Monday 23 December 2013

Christmas Surveillance in Scarfolk

The recent Snowden disclosures about the NSA and GCHQ have revealed that there are no, nor have there ever been any secret 'Secret Santa' gift transactions. Such gift trades have been strictly monitored, and the subsequent data recorded and stored, since 1975.

In addition, in 1970s Scarfolk all Christmas presents had to go through a council clearance department that assessed each gift individually to decide whether or not it was appropriate for the intended recipient.

For example, if an intelligent child had revealed any potentially free-thinking tendencies he would not be allowed to receive books or any other form of educational materials. Such gifts might be substituted for depressants/sedatives, such as Comazepam, or he might receive a Cell Token which he could exchange for a prison term, irrespective of whether or not he had gone to the unnecessary effort of committing a crime.

Everyone at Scarfolk Council would like to wish you a very Merry Christmess, irrespective, or perhaps in spite of, your beliefs. All the very best for the new year; see you in 1974!

Tuesday 17 December 2013

"Dentistry for the Deceased" annual 1974

It's that time of the year when parents hurry to get in their orders for Christmas annuals. There's always a wide selection available devoted to children's favourite TV programmes, cartoon characters, magazines and even beloved toys.

"Dentistry for the Deceased" was a Saturday night programme that the whole family could enjoy. Celebrities who had recently passed away were put in teams of two with their dentists to compete against other dentist/celebrity teams.

During the week-long run-up to the live show the dentist would rehearse with the celebrity corpse to create spectacular and exciting oral displays.

Come the show, the teams would battle against the clock to produce the best postmortem smiles while the BBC's all-female dancing troupe "Teeth & Co." performed mouth/death themed routines to live music.

Bruce Scythe was the host for more than 90 years during which he assembled one of the world's largest collections of deceased celebrities, which sat forever smiling in his specially converted cellar gallery.

Monday 9 December 2013

The "Rem-Exec 1" remote execution system

In the 1970s children were encouraged to take part in and experience all areas of civic life. In addition to compulsory youth clubs, which taught children surveillance skills and how to use them on neighbours and family members, older children were expected to take part in judicial proceedings.

Once a judge had sentenced a criminal in one of Scarfolk's many impromptu mobile courts, local children were expected to help carry out the sentence. They might assist by testing a noose's integrity, filling a hypodermic needle for a lethal injection or polishing the instruments of a masked council 'punisher.' Child executioners were chosen from school reports, much like jury duty.

Later in the decade, parents complained that such activities were too time consuming and got in the way of more important activities such as watching television, which is why Microharsh, a budding computer company, invented the REM-EXEC 1 (The Remote Executioner), a computer system that enabled children to carry out a death penalty from the comfort of their own homes.

The REM-EXEC 1 became so popular that children even began coding their own basic punishment programmes. One well-known one called 'Insert: Explosive Suppository Frog' made 10 year old Stephen Steel a household name.

Friday 22 November 2013

Dr. Who in Scarfolk

Back in the 1970s the makers of BBC's Dr. Who could not find a location big enough to accommodate a story set on the surface of a desolate moon.

Scarfolk Council generously offered to demolish two hospices, an orphanage and a battered dolphin sanctuary to create the necessary space. However, the council neglected to warn the residents before they flattened the buildings.

Fortunately, the Dr. Who story also required an immense battlefield to be littered with dead and injured aliens.

Happy 50th anniversary!
(Click to enlarge).

Thursday 14 November 2013

BBC "Swap Shop" swaps (1976-1979)

"Multi-Coloured Swap Shop" was a popular Saturday morning children's show on BBC1 that began in 1976 and was hosted by presenters such as Noel Edmonds, Keith Chegwin and Peter Sutcliffe. It was centered around children phoning in to offer unwanted possessions in exchange for desired ones. The offers/wants were added to a board in the studio and broadcast to the nation. It was stopped after an investigation by the government's broadcast regulatory body discovered that the swap service was being exploited by gangs to traffic live organs. Below are a selection of rare screen shots.

The programme was so successful that some of the presenters went on to host their own shows such as "Cheggers Plays Pop" and "Ripsters Rips." Noel Edmonds was tragically killed in a horrific bean bag accident in 1979 but his corpse was resurrected with a slinky, Swarfega and four AAA batteries by sixteen year old Marie Grype, the first student to get an O-Level in Necromancy & Media Studies.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Bonfire Night in Scarfolk

As tonight is Bonfire Night, instead of a postcard from the mayor's pharmaceutical collection, we thought we'd post an image of a 1975 box of fireworks that we just found in the cellar.

Back in 1970s Scarfolk, fireworks weren't used only during celebrations; they also had many other practical applications. For example, in  medicine and healthcare, they were used by dentists to remove enamel from healthy teeth; rockets were employed by surgeons to demean rowdy prostate glands; and sparklers were taped to children's hands to stop them biting their fingernails.

Fireworks also had everyday uses: beauticians applied them as speedier alternatives to waxing, and inner-city school teachers used them to create volcano deities, as volcano deities don't typically manifest in deprived urban areas. They were even tied to emotionally unstable homing pigeons with skyphobia in an attempt to rouse them from their anxiousness.

Of course, children also loved them and incorporated them into playground games such as 'holdy-sparkler-screamy-stubs' and 'doctors, nurses and ECT (electroconvulsive therapy)', but above all they tasted great and came in several flavours including fizzy lemon & lime (see image), pork & hair and whisky & unknown.

Enjoy Bonfire Night but remember: if your Guy Fawkes effigy groans or moves unexpectedly, please call a council exorcist before placing him on the bonfire. And always light your Guy at arm's length in case he tries to bite.

WARNING: Fireworks are dangerous. Do not try any of the above at home. If you are homeless, do not try under a railway bridge or in a shop doorway. Always light a firework at arm's length, preferably using the arm of someone who has a better education than you and therefore more societal value. Never pick up or throw a firework at someone. If you want to do something like that join the army and/or become a terrorist.

Thursday 31 October 2013

"Pagan Paediatrics" Pelican Books, 1974

Happy Halloween/Samhain from everyone at Scarfolk Council.

There was always conflict between science and religion in Scarfolk, particularly regards topics such as birth, death and secular resurrection. However, writers like Dr. Santa Blacklord tried to bridge the gap with their books and Open University courses, which included 'Pagan Paediatrics.'

Excerpts from the birth chapter of the revised edition:

The normal process of birth starts with a series of involuntary contractions of the uterus walls. This is the first sign that the dark spirit has made his presence known. Eventually, the amniotic sac bursts and amniotic fluid escapes. This fluid should be preserved as it is known to a) help pigs and owls develop psychic abilities, b) hurt one's enemies when mixed with unstable explosives and c) cure female pattern chest baldness.
When the cervix is fully dilated, further uterus contractions push the lazy baby out through the left vagina or nostril, and the baby is born with umbilical cord attached. If, when plucked, the umbilical cord is tuned to D-sharp it is considered a lucky birth. If it's tuned to G the child will most likely grow up to work in retail. If tuned to B-flat most parents are recommended to try for another child.

Excerpts from the chapter on death:

Death is a state that immediately follows life. Only very rarely does it not occur in that order.  During death the body's organs, like employees without an immediate supervisor, become confused and wander around the body looking for someone in charge. They meet in the buttocks where they hold a seance. They contact the dark spirit who was present at birth but learn that he has been made redundant due to cutbacks. Panicking, the organs argue amongst themselves briefly before turning out the lights and leaving, never to be heard of again. Some religions believe that when a deceased person is buried they are reincarnated as soil.

Friday 18 October 2013

The "Little White Sam" Book Ban (1977)

"Little White Sam" had always been a very popular book among Scarfolk children, but in 1977 the Scarfolk Association of Teachers caused controversy by withdrawing it from the school curriculum.

This had been triggered by a slew of international complaints: Children from developing countries (many of which had been liberated from themselves by the benevolent British Empire) were terrified and offended by the book's pale-skinned, blonde protagonist. He reminded them of days under British and European rule and the suffering (or 'learning' as the government preferred) that they had endured.

Historically, white people had always been unfairly picked on for trying to help the world be more like them and Jesus, so this was another major blow.

A legal battle over the book ensued, and when it was finally reprinted stringent efforts were made to completely remove any contentious material regarding race, colour and even gender. In the updated 1979 edition Sam was reimagined as a completely transparent flatworm which changed gender at will. 

However, sales plummeted and, before long, environmentalists were reporting that crimes against flatworms had risen by as much as 23%.

Sunday 13 October 2013

"Audio Control for Baby" (Scarfolk Records & Tapes, 1970)

The cassette called "Audio Control for Baby" (Scarfolk Records & Tapes, 1970) has long been lost but we do have this recording of the music playing in the background at the Scarfolk Inconvenient Infant Playcenta. It was piped into every room around the clock at high volume and many child carers found it to be very effective: Enjoying drinks at the pub two doors down from the 'centa', the carers rarely heard any of the babies cry.

Many struggled with the pressures of the job. As one carer, Jocelyn Hurtt, noted at the time, "the kids really set your nerves on edge, especially if, like me, you don't have a natural affinity with children. You can be right in the middle of a good programme on the telly and one of them will start up: complaining about nightmares, appendicitis or wanting to be freed from their restraints. I really don't know what I'd do without my Martini & lemonades. You're not supposed to hit the little blighters, but if you've had a few drinks you're less tolerant and you don't know your own strength; it only stands to reason and is to be expected. After all, we're only human."

We hope the extraneous sounds on the recording do not distract too much from the music.

Monday 7 October 2013

"Charley says...[obey or die]" (1973)

Bad behaviour was rampant in 1970s Scarfolk and disciplining children was a major concern.

The so-called 'degenerate generation' of children, often from worthless-class backgrounds, was known to actively defy rules and social norms and frequently committed the following appalling offences:

- Stay awake after allotted bedtimes.
- Peel marzipan decorations from cakes.
- Laugh loudly while having fun.
- Read books more advanced than their official reading age.
- Question adults' belief in Father Christmas.
- Cry after having nightmares.
- Refuse to join in educational/life-skills games such as 'lie about a friend,' 'slap-the-immigrant',  'wet someone else's bed.'

In a desperate attempt to curb this destructive, nihilistic behaviour, Scarfolk Health Service launched a treatment regime employing the newly developed 'great flooding' psychological technique*, which exposes the subject to such long durations of relentless and exaggerated cruelty that any desire to be undisciplined is quashed.

*The technique largely comprised of repeated readings of a book called the bible which was written many hundreds of years ago by people who had never heard of knives and forks, washing machines, coat hangers, toilet seats, aluminium kitchen foil or shampoo.

Sunday 29 September 2013

Porn-Education (1976-1979)

More rare screenshots this week.

In 1976 the Scarfolk Board of Education was faced with a problem: Children weren't educated enough to be able to learn anything, thus benefit from education.

Teenagers had lost all interest in schooling and spent their time indulging themselves in popular teenybopper pop groups such as The Wittgenstein Rollers and Arnold & the Schoenbergs.

To counter this apathy, the Board of Education decided to take advantage of the recent relaxing of film censorship and the rise of sexploitation.

From September 1976 they delivered the school curriculum via a series of feature-length pornographic films. In particular they wanted to enliven maths and English topics and to "put some lead back in the pencil" of pedagogy, as the minister for education, Tom Stiph, put it.

School attendance rose by 42% in less than six months, as did the birth rate.

Below are three of the long-lost maths and English, so-called 'Porn-Ed' films, as certified by the BBFC (British Board of Film Censorship).

Other films included:
"Debbie Does Differential Geometry" (1976)
"Lady Pythagoras' Love Triangle" (1977)
"HomoPhone Sex Operators" (1977)
"Vital Statistics and Alge-bra Overflows" (1977)
"Homonympho Grown-up Groans" (1978)
"Homonympho 2: Whole Holes Meet Man Meat" (1979)

To enlarge/zoom right-click and 'open in new page/tab'

Saturday 21 September 2013

"Seducing Students & Secretaries" (BBC 1, 1977)

In 1977 BBC Scarfolk broadcast a 'schools and colleges' series that prepared children for the world of work awaiting them. The programme was aimed at boys aged between eight and twelve (girls, of course, weren't allowed to watch such programmes because they interfered with weekly domestic servility exams).

"Seducing Students & Secretaries" focused on one of the more important aspects of employment; that of cornering and ensnaring female employees or students for personal gratification.
Based on his book "How To Get the Lady Beneath You Beneath You" (Pelican Books, 1974), Dr. Hugh Schaime (seen below) presented the programme and taught prospective bosses, in a classroom environment, how best to exploit their positions of power in the workplace.

His course covered subjects such as 'how to make women believe that an uninvited kiss is a compulsory dental exploration.' He also tutored obstinate female employees, teaching them how to submit with grace.

The programme was particularly memorable for its title sequence which featured a butcher preparing meat, something that Dr. Schaime felt was a perfect metaphor for the knowledge he imparted for over fifty years.

The programmes were accidentally erased by the BBC in 1979, but we do still have a selection of screenshots, as you can see below.

Friday 13 September 2013

Happy Friday the13th from Scarfolk Coven!

Everyone at Scarfolk Coven would like to you wish you all the best for today, Friday the 13th. So mote it be, dear citizens, so mote it be.

"Scarfolk Coven: Where every Friday is Friday the 13th"

To enlarge/zoom right-click and 'open in new page/tab'

Thursday 12 September 2013

"Patient #249" EEG Recording 01.11.1977

In 1977 Scarfolk Clinic conducted sleep experiments on a local boy known only as 'Patient #249'. He suffered from severe nightmares and developed a rare condition known as 'manifest hypnagogia'.

Symptoms include the physical manifestation of hallucinations that sufferers endure between sleep and waking states. For example, Patient #249 frequently awoke to find, sitting on the end of his bed, a syphilitic, deformed Victorian clown eating trifle and pig's liver pâté. At other times, a confused sewing machine salesman from the Midlands would appear. Patient #249's parents found this inconvenient.

Doctors observed Patient #249 at home and wired his brain to an EEG, which they attached to a Bontempi electric keyboard. They wanted to record what Patient #249's brain was doing and translate it into music. In the recording you'll hear the TV in the background before Patient #249's unconscious brain takes over and he slips into a hypnagogic state.

Thursday 5 September 2013

Falling Disorder (mid-1970s)

In the mid-1970s, Scarfolk was under pressure from the government to investigate a high incidence of suicides and tourist deaths in the region.* In 1974 alone there were 356 cases.

The mayor appointed the council-funded Scarfolk College, which was run by Dr. James Marde, the mayor's "bestest friend in the whole wide world," to help conduct the enquiry.

A trained psychologist, Dr. Marde soon identified a hitherto unknown condition, which he named Falling Disorder. It was this, he insisted, that was responsible for the many inexplicable demises.

According to Marde, Falling Disorder led the sufferer to tie their hands behind their own back and hurl themselves from high places.

The discovery appears to have made a considerable impact because council statistics showed that there were zero official reports of suicides or unlawful deaths in 1975, and the government was appeased. However, there were approximately 360 new cases of terminal Falling Disorder.

*For a related post go here to learn about 'Scarfolk Drop'.

Friday 30 August 2013

Scarfolk Council Health & Safety (1973-1974)

As many of you know, a vaccination introduces a small amount of a virus to the body so that it may build up an immunity.

Scarfolk Council applied the same principle to preparing its employees for accidents in the workplace. For example, to prepare for the eventuality of falling from the roof of the seven storey council building, an employee, during a drill, would be thrown out of a low first floor window. In the case of a gas leak explosion, which could kill fifty people, only three employees would be terminated during the drill.

This method ensured that health and safety ideals were maintained to a high standard throughout the 1970s.

To enlarge/zoom right-click and 'open in new page/tab'

Wednesday 14 August 2013

The Scarfolk Towers Murders - Comic Book Adaptation (1977)

Some of you may recall the spate of murders at Scarfolk council's social housing flagship, Scarfolk Towers (it was touched upon in Scarfolk's tourist literature. See here for more information).

In 1977 there was a comic-book adaptation of the murders which served not only to lure tourists to Scarfolk but also entered the curriculum of the Business & Sociopathy Diploma course at Scarfolk Technical College. 'The Scarfolk Towers Expirations' comic became a seminal work and inspired many of Scarfolk's most successful entrepreneurs, bankers and politicians.

When one of the 'Scarfolk Towers' killers, three-year old Trevor Smite, was finally apprehended, he was presented with a 'Businesschild of the Year' award and offered 23.5% of any revenue generated by his homicidal spree, the highest payout to date for a sociopath under the age of ten (see here for the poster warning residents about dangerous children).

Trevor became a household name and hosted his own quiz panel show, 'Capitalism Punishment', on BBC Radio Scarfolk. The show penalised contestants for inadvertently introducing ethical or moral considerations into hypothetical, potentially lucrative business propositions.

More pages from 'The Scarfolk Towers Expirations' may be posted in the future.

To enlarge/zoom right-click and 'open in new page/tab'

Monday 5 August 2013

'Go Home' Racism & Living Toys (mid-1970s)

This allegedly innocuous British Rail poster, which could be seen all around Scarfolk in the mid-1970s, is pertinent because it touches on issues raised by the recent controversial anti-illegal immigrant campaign in the UK.

The campaign, which threatens illegal immigrants with its 'go home or face arrest' message, smacks of 1970s racist rhetoric, in fact it quotes it outright. The Home Office's claim that the campaign is not discriminatory is also reminiscent of 1970s racist attitudes which were subliminally woven into public life.

When racism was finally exposed as being detrimental to society, it was blamed on foreigners.

This post is the last in a short series which addresses dolls in society. Many Scarfolk children took part in after-school occult rituals to animate their toys but this practice was banned after schoolboy Peter Colons brought to life an immense Slinky which killed 237 people and destroyed public property.

Tuesday 30 July 2013

"Gynaecology for Anxious Patients" & Puppetology (1973)

After the last post about inflatable child substitutes, a young reader has written in asking about the use of dolls in general.

Puppets and marionettes were frequently used in 1970s healthcare. For example, at Scarfolk Hospital & Confectioners, electro-shock therapy was administered by ventriloquist dummies. Even Scarfolk Council's very own Barbara, the omphalophobic hand puppet, performed amateur lobotomies on disobedient children and undesirable tourists in her weekend hobby group.

Bi-weekly prostate examinations were performed by a wooden Pinocchio puppet who initiated the procedure by telling a series of lies (whilst attached to a polygraph machine to ensure a rigorous, productive examination).

If Pinocchio discovered anything to be concerned about he would withdraw and squeal: "We've found a nasty one, Jiminy Cricket!"*

*Before the advent of fibre-optic cameras the use of crickets or grasshoppers for exploratory surgery was common. However, there was a breakthrough in 1978 when a local scientist invented a miniature polaroid camera which he taught locusts to operate.

Saturday 20 July 2013

"Vulnerable Sam: Inflatable Child Substitute" (1972)


This educational product went on the market in late 1972 and was targeted at prospective parents, nursery school teachers and church staff. It afforded them the opportunity to practice their corporal punishment techniques before inflicting them on an actual child.

From the product description:
"'Vulnerable Sam' wants you to hit him (or her). Yes, that's right: Give him a good old whack! (wooden spoon provided). 'Vulnerable Sam' deserves everything you can throw at him. Hone your skills like a pro so when it comes to the real thing you can achieve the perfect balance of injury and compliance. Our research shows that correctly administered physical punishment will produce long-term psychological effects. Guaranteed. Now, that's what we call value for money!

'Vulnerable Sam' requires no medical attention and can't report you to the police or welfare services. So what are waiting for? Pick up that wooden spoon, cricket bat, or red hot poker and strike while the iron's hot!

'Vulnerable Sam's' body can be filled to simulate child body density at different ages:
- Inflate with air (0-2yrs)
- Fill with jam or marmalade (2-3yrs)
- Pack with cooked ham or black pudding (3-4yrs)
- Pack with raw lamb, beef or giraffe (4-6yrs)

Sample admonitions that you might like to try out:
"Sam! Stop it! Only filthy animals defecate where they sleep!"
" Jesus hates you, Sam. It's your fault that he was killed by Italians."
"Why must you constantly remind me of my first child who died?"
"You are irretrievably unaesthetic. I'm ashamed and sense the scorn of my peers."
"Your father is foreign."

Monday 15 July 2013

"Twice Tasty" Secondhand food schemes (1970s)

Tolerating poor people has always been a challenge to more civilised, useful members of society.
Because of a historical legal statute the poor, unemployed and homeless were not formally recognised as homo sapiens until 1971. Before then they were officially categorised as a class of 'fruit or vegetable' below melon but slightly higher than turnip. Technically, this meant that they could be traded, thrown at petty criminals and fed to pigs, though this rarely occurred.

The government always endeavoured to strike a balance between eliminating the poor (and thus the strain on society) and needing them to fulfill menial, demeaning work:  cleaner, road sweep, theologian, etc. It was Dr. Max Gongfarmer, professor of Socially Debased Ethics, who had the idea of feeding secondhand food to the poor after reading an amateur historian's account of Marie-Antoinette's life. According to the typo-ridden book, she uttered "Let them eat cak."

Unsurprisingly, the poor, who have no sense of aesthetics or cleanliness, welcomed the idea and it thrived in 1970s Scarfolk, as can be seen from this newspaper advertisement for the COUP supermarket chain. 

Saturday 6 July 2013

"Son Oil" Baby Marinade (1979)

It has been some time since the mayor permitted us access to his collection of 1970s pharmaceutical postcards. Here's one for the summer:

The text on the reverse of the postcard:

"A child's skin is vulnerable and can easily burn, which could impair the flavour. To avoid damaging the skin first blanch the child for fives minutes then generously apply Son Oil. Add salt, pepper and newts to taste, then leave the child in the garden during the hottest part of the day. Whimpering usually means that the child is ready to be transferred to the grill or oven. Warning: Illegitimate or unbaptized children burn more quickly."

Friday 28 June 2013

"We Won't Forget. So You Can't" (1973)

Illicitly and unconstitutionally spying on a whole nation requires an enormous amount of taxpayers' money. That is why, in 1973, Scarfolk started a scheme to sell surveillance data to the public, the actual object of the aforementioned spying.

By 1970, Scarfolk Council had bugged every room, every street, every public and private space. Even forests, beaches and bouncy castles were wiretapped. Every moment of every resident's life was recorded and archived in vast bunkers in the mountains of Snowdonia and abroad.

All this information was subcontracted to a consortium of corporations called RIMPS that used the data to exploit citizens' psychological weaknesses and/or blackmail them into acts of personal depravity for entertainment. These acts were televised and had viewing figures of millions per broadcast. Many people became household names as shame and celebrity became synonymous.

Monday 24 June 2013

"Mr. Nationalist"

Until 1978 foreigners were officially classified by the government as livestock and were subcategorised by odour.

Defining who was and wasn't English became complicated. By the end of the decade, right-wing nationalists had drawn up a list that demanded the deportation of everyone apart from 9 people, all of who claimed to be the only true English. They even insisted on the deportation of all foreign foods (which they later amended, granting visas to pizza, kebab and curry sauce).

Their spokesperson, Colin Head, said at a 1976 rally:  

"We reject foreign influences in England. That is our weltanschauung. Multiculturalism is our bête noire and we strongly believe that English culture is destined to become kaput if the current zeitgeist continues to be de rigueur. But it doesn't have to be a fait accompli and that's why we will continue to be the enfant terrible of modern politics. It's time to act: Carpe diem!"

Sunday 16 June 2013

Primary school tapeworm experiments (1970s)

Back in the 1970s there was no way of ascertaining how some medical products might affect humans.

Rabbits, chimps and other animals were needed for dark ritualistic purposes and human volunteers were not forthcoming, especially after several high-profile medical scandals.

The Cavalier Pharmaceutical Company hit on the brilliant idea of publishing a series of primary school science and maths books. They donated them along with a generous endowment to Scarfolk Education Board which had no choice but to introduce the books to the curriculum.

The textbooks invited young children to conduct experiments on themselves and record the data, which contributed to higher end-of-year grades. The best scoring pupils from each school were awarded the chance to try out the medicine to which their schoolwork had contributed. They also won free cigarettes, as well as courses of either anti-seizure or anti-psychotic medication.

There's another page from the Scarfolk maths and science book here.
(click image to enlarge)

Sunday 9 June 2013

"Is Mankind a Board Game?" 1973

Scarfolk had its fair share of UFO/deity conspiracies in the 1970s. The town's resident UFO expert Bert Cage insisted that extraterrestrials have intervened in mankind's development for generations,  introducing technology and even manipulating our genes.

He claimed the otherwordly visitors have been responsible for: irrigation, rockets, fax machines, polyester bed sheets, dental floss and cocktail umbrellas; not to mention genetic emotional states such as: the disappointment one has seeing the film adaptation of a favourite book and the amusement one feels when seeing a cat fall over.

According to Cage, there are also several significant changes due to mankind very soon. These include: Geo-spankhens (eta: 2017), colonspicers (2019) and the shame one feels for having eaten cabbage for so many years not realising that it's actually an animal (2032).

Friday 31 May 2013

"Scarfolk Drop" Tourism poster. 1970

Decades before 'assisted suicide' was offered by organisations such as Switzerland's Dignitas, Scarfolk Council had its own kind of 'suicide tourism.'

The mayor and his councillors were always torn between the economic benefits of the tourist industry and not particularly liking outsiders. To balance the dichotomy, advertising man and stand-up arsonist Taylor Church suggested that the tourism board considerably exaggerate how exciting Scarfolk's tourist attractions were and then advertise them to depressives, the terminally ill, etc.

The plan was to raise the hopes of despairing tourists, so that when they arrived at an attraction it was an extreme disappointment - just the nudge they needed to 'take a plunge into the ocean'.

Cleverly, Church also recommended that tourists be guided through gift-shops before visiting the attractions, before disillusionment took too strong a hold.  

After the tourist season ended, Scarfolk children would comb the beaches for washed-up snow globes, key-rings, tea towels and other items which were then resold in the shop.

Saturday 25 May 2013

Sex, Sex, Sex 1978 (Part II)

Here's another page from the 1978 biology textbook taught in Scarfolk schools. This time it's about female reproduction.

You can learn about the complexities of "Male reproduction in males" here.

Saturday 18 May 2013

"Pick off your litter" & Mobile Termination Units (1977)

After the case of James Sprout (go here for more detail) the government realised that parents desired more control over their offspring, so, in 1977, laws pertaining to pregnancy and termination were revised and widely expanded.

Adverts, such as the one posted below, were printed in newspapers, magazines and church newsletters.

Many parents either couldn't find the time to drop off their unwanted children at a termination facility, or they just couldn't be bothered, so the MTU (Mobile Termination Unit) was introduced.

The MTU was a fully-equipped bus which travelled to schools, playgrounds, junior covens and prisons for the under 5s. In an attempt to calm children, sounds of laughter were played through tannoys.

Children dreaded being called out of the classroom by uniformed MTU doctors and desperately feigned undiminished magical abilities, but to no avail: The MTU doctors knew all the ruses and highly-trained government psychics tested each child individually before termination.

By 1979 the numbers of children in Scarfolk (in particular red-haired, bespectacled, and those who never wiped their noses) were drastically reduced, which prompted parent-teacher associations to hold a town fête.

Friday 10 May 2013

The "Don't" campaign and Kak, 1973

This public information poster is from the "Don't" campaign, which started in 1973.

The council became increasingly concerned that citizens were too actively involved in 'doing.'
Because 'doing' is a morally and politically ambiguous activity the council decided to take control and enforced 'not doing' until they could clarify and ratify only positive, socially acceptable expressions of 'doing.'

The campaign's mascot was called Kak the bird. To disseminate the 'Don't' message among the youth, all school corporal punishment, daily vaccinations, and dentistry had to be carried out by an adult dressed as Kak.

Parents were also encouraged to dress as Kak then rush in on their young, sleeping children at 3am, and screech as loudly as they could: "Don't, don't, don't."

A "Don't" Kak button badge (1973-74)

Tuesday 7 May 2013

The ghost of Mrs. Payne (field recording), 1975

The mayor has decided that it's time to hear more from Scarfolk's audio archive.

This post refers to a previous one about the disappearance of primary school music teacher Mrs. Payne whose body was found encased inside an ancient standing stone (go here for more detail)

Forensic examination of the stone revealed that it had originated more than 300 miles away and historians could not ascertain how prehistoric man had transported it to Scarfolk, much less how Mrs Payne had found her way into a 300 million year old rock. The police reported it as a chance accident.

When the stone was broken into chunks and sold as 'Payne's Pain' souvenirs in the Scarfolk gift shop, purchasers began hearing ghostly music in their homes. Additionally, the music was heard at the stone circle where Mrs. Payne's body was found, as well as at the geological site of the stone's origin.

The souvenirs were recalled and buried at the centre of the stone circle in Scarfolk fields, now the only location where the music can still be heard, but only on the anniversary of the death of Payne's husband who found himself unexpectedly dismembered during a pagan ritual competition for the under 10s.

This is a field recording made from the stone circle.