Monday 22 December 2014

Council Christmas Boy

Over the Christmas period, families in 1970s Scarfolk were plunged into a state of fear. They desperately tried to appear happy - or at least meet the minimum contentment levels - in case a council Christmas Boy turned up at their door to inspect them. Though many families were visited, seemingly concurrently, the council claimed there was ever only one boy. Nobody knew his real name.

Family members would often take turns standing in the front windows of their homes where they mimed laughter in the desperate hope that the Christmas Boy would pass them by. He rarely did. Once inside a home, he would sniff or lick the occupants for signs of stress or unhappiness.The Christmas Boy rarely found what he would deem a legally cheerful family and harsh punishments, which varied, were often meted out on the spot.

Families did not usually realise that they had been visited by the Christmas Boy until an hour or two after he had left because his flute was designed to have soporific effects. When these effects wore off, families might find that one or more members had been removed or that broad grins had been fixed on their faces following minor surgery.

A lawfully merry Christmas from Scarfolk Council. Be content...

Thursday 11 December 2014

"Pious Peril" public information (1972)

When the stationery-worshipping cult of Officism became the dominant faith in 1970s Scarfolk (see Discovering Scarfolk for more details) all other religions were forced underground.

Consequently, outcast religious zealots would loiter outside schools and target vulnerable children. The devout deviants would try to entice youngsters into their cars with colourful, desirable books about eschatological and soteriological theology. Sometimes they would expose their tabernacles.

However, children weren't such easy prey. Officist schools taught their pupils rudimentary anti-religion logic, such as the well-known observation by Epicurus:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? 
Then he may have accidentally locked himself in the garage.
Is he able, but not willing? 

Then he may still be upset with you for eating that ham salad sandwich last April. 
Is he both able and willing? 

Then he may just be delayed for some reason, e.g., stuck in traffic.
Is he neither able nor willing? 

Then he may have lost his job due to an industrial accident, such as getting his beard caught in a factory machine. Or he might be striking over having to work 6 days a week without benefits.

Some children did inadvisedly go with these pious perverts, but only because they wanted to practice what they had learned in their kidney removal classes.

Thursday 4 December 2014

'Deformed Anonymous Infant Demon' model kit (1977)

In the 1970s there was a plethora of plastic model kits for children to construct and paint: ships, planes, space rockets, as well as favourite characters from children's stories such as Peter Pan, Humpty Dumpty and Idi Amin.

The most desired model kits were those based on popular childrens' television programmes, one of which was a show called Deformed Anonymous Infant Demon, or DAID for short.

DAID was a crime-fighting eight year old with a difference. He had 4 arms and one leg because his psychic mother had smoked and drank during trances while she was pregnant. For some reason, this also made DAID a demon.

Because he wore a roller skate on his only foot, he found it very difficult to propel himself forward without assistance; however, he did have a special power: Devil Jam, which he smeared over his foes. The sticky, supernatural substance also afforded him the ability to communicate with the ghosts of consumed plums, which reluctantly acted as informers during his investigations.

DAID was also accompanied by a sidekick: the reincarnation of his dead sister who, due to a radioactive occult mishap, had come back as a pork chop. She went by the name Sibling Chop, though her real name was Julie. Together they solved crimes and offered culinary advice to the under 10s.

Deformed Anonymous Infant Demon ran for two series between 1977-78.

Thursday 27 November 2014

"Democracy Rationing" Public information poster (1970)

Chirper was an early computer network that allowed people all over Scarfolk to communicate with each other via short messages called 'Chirps' in 140 characters. It was allegedly created by a psychic and telepath called Warwick Webb who lived in a caravan to avoid detection. Chirper let people discuss social issues, vote on them almost instantaneously and deliver the results via telex to the council without needing to go through swathes of red tape.

Democracy no longer needed to be something that only occurred only once every four years on election day; users on the Chirper network could freely interact with political issues twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and they no longer needed politicians to represent them.

The council was unnerved. It had already spent millions on town planning that prioritised impersonal, widely-dispersed concrete conurbations, which discouraged people from leaving their homes and mingling on the streets where they could share potentially dangerous ideas. Chirper bypassed this plan and permitted mass democratic interaction on an unforeseen scale.

When a Chirping campaign snowballed, pressuring the council to reduce the dose of truth drugs in the water supply, the council had enough and closed down Chirper. They couldn't control it.

The council warned that democracy could collapse if average and below-average people were permitted to "exploit it willy-nilly for the benefit of themselves and others". "Democracy", a council spokesman said, "can only work if it is protected from the whims of the people. Democracy can only be preserved if it is governed by self-appointed leaders who decide when and how it should be applied. It should therefore be subject to cuts. For this reason, and for the good of society, we propose that the next general election be postponed for at least 16 years."

Below is a Democracy Rationing public information poster from 1970.

Thursday 20 November 2014

TV Times magazine (1975)

Throughout the 1970s, ITV programmes were tailored to mollify the proletariat. Talent shows, low-IQ quiz shows and sitcoms about average working people were carefully constructed to mislead viewers into believing they were important.

But were they?

A 1973 survey showed that 87.5% of politicians deemed their working-class constituents to be less important than a second family car or having regular bowel movements. The concept of a functioning 'society', of which the working class believed they were a valuable part, when in fact they were little more than consenting serfs, had been invented by an eight-year-old hobby virologist who worked part-time for the government in the Department of Domestic Propaganda.

A fabricated sense of worthiness among the working class also benefited advertisers and therefore the economy. As one Scarfolk sociologist noted:
"When people think they are important they buy expensive continental wines and Custard Cream biscuits, and they won't even notice if they've misplaced one or two of their many children". Indeed, the aforementioned 1970s survey indicates that 78% of adults would have rather lost a child than a biscuit.

Thursday 13 November 2014

SIDA (Serious Infant Dental Assault)

Although there were genuine cases of children fatally biting people in 1970s Scarfolk*, historians now believe that there were far fewer incidents than was originally thought.

It is now believed that the government exploited the widespread fear of SIDA (Serious Infant Dental Assault) simply to silence children. The state had spent millions of pounds indoctrinating adults into accepting its prescribed view of reality, but children, who were yet to be intellectually and emotionally conditioned, were prone to asking questions. Even a simple enquiry could undermine an adult's strictly-controlled psychological servitude and set him back years.

Children up to the age of seven had to wear a muzzle, which was provided by the Notional Health Service, and when they were old enough they were fitted with special safety dentures which were made from lead. So heavy were these dental implants that children found it virtually impossible to open their mouths, restricting them to only uttering a word or two.

The scheme backfired when a group of muted children naturally developed telepathic abilities and tricked the county's dentists and orthodontists into boarding a mysterious black bus, which was never seen again.

*In 1971 six year old Kimberley Twix accidentally ate two members of her family, a social worker and the arm of a special forces soldier who was dispatched to contain the hungry child.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

"Terrorist Tingle" Firework (Bonfire Night Part 2)

Provoking acts of terror has always been a national pastime. In November 1605 Guy Fawkes, after much conspiring and careful planning, very almost blew up Parliament. Throughout the 1970s this historical moment was celebrated annually to demonstrate to children just how much one can achieve if one puts one's mind to it.

In 1970s Scarfolk, young terrorism enthusiasts could apply for state funding for their amateur acts of terror. If their applications were successful they were permitted to attend a council course, which furnished them with rudiments such as car bombing, hijacking and guerilla-style complaining.

They were also taught how to make their own balaclavas using the knitting pattern and free knitting needles which were included in a 1976 edition of Pretty Girl Weekly, an issue which sold out 3 times over in Belfast.

Below is a 'Terrorist Tingle' firework casing from 1978.

"Arms Length" Safety Poster (Bonfire Night Part 1)

When Scarfolk Council issued the poster below in 1972, it was met with complaints from parents, teachers and arsonists. While the poster does offer the safety guideline of an 'arms length', it does not specify how long that arm should be: The arm of a policeman (the long arm of the law) is of course much longer than the arm of a 6 month old baby (the short arm of a largely useless, albeit nutritious imbecile).

Because of this governmental vagueness, come Bonfire Night, many adults needlessly suffered nasty burns when trying to set fire to their children. Something clearly needed to be done.

The council scoured the town until they found a resident whose arm they deemed to be an appropriate length. This they amputated then sent to schools, scout groups and civic centres so that they could each take a measurement. The arm was put on display in the council foyer, but was eventually returned to its owner when Scarfolk went metric.

If you're wondering why people might want to set fire to their children, you'll have to wait until next week to find out. In the meantime, Bonfire Night Part 2 will be posted later today.

Friday 31 October 2014

The "Nonnein" Wraith Advisory Board (1970)

Similar to the Ouija Board, the "Nonnein" Wraith Advisory Board was released by Scarfolk Games in 1970. The main difference between the two boards was that the latter gave the deceased more control over their messages.

Ghosts had became weary of dictating one letter at a time to the living, especially if they had poor spelling skills, so they welcomed the upgraded Nonnein Board which permitted them to shuffle the letters and spell out their own messages in 140 characters or less.

Predictably, the initial otherworldly communiqués were ominous, such as those below:

However, eerie threats and foreboding creepiness eventually gave way to genuine, inter-plane bonhomie:

The Nonnein Board also became a political interface between the spirit and earthly realms and by 1979 there were, in local government, several deceased politicians defending the social rights of both living and dead constituents. This wasn't without some controversy, as right-leaning politicians expressed concern at the idea of dead people immigrating to the UK and taking the jobs of the living.

Happy Halloween from Scarfolk Council.

Thursday 23 October 2014

"Ritual & Invasive Mind Control" (Mayflower Books, 1978)

From children to teachers to pensioners; from secretaries to factory workers to black propaganda operatives secretly working for the government disguised as school dinner ladies, mind control was all the rage in 1970s Scarfolk.

Everyone was at it. Dozens of 'DIY' books flooded the market and there was a schism over which was the better method: occult ritual magick, the use of precision medical implements such as straightened wire coat hangers, or television advertising.

Because the government had already employed potent thought-control techniques to cap the cognitive abilities of citizens, most people didn't master much more than the basics, such as the Disco Leech Maneouver (see the book cover below), which reduced the mental age of a subject by up to 4 hours.

An except from chapter one:

"...Carefully insert a finger or medical (non-musical) instrument into the nasal cavity. The opening is quite narrow but about 2 metres in it opens out into a larger chamber. Here you will encounter a marsupial called Zimbardo, who guards the entrance to the brain. You will not be able to pass him unless you agree to a wrestling match (Blavatsky rules). Let him win. Once you have access to the brain you will see that its interior resembles bubble wrap. Use your finger/instrument to pop as many of these 'think pockets' as you feel is appropriate. If the subject begins to gurgle or talk backwards, immediately exit the brain via the nostril, ensuring that you take any litter with you..."

Friday 10 October 2014

"Inhale for Britain" (1974)

In the 1970s a government think-tank headed by Scarfolk councillor E. Bernays predicted that 21st century Britain might see a much-increased elderly population. Already faced with a recession, the government decided on a two-pronged solution that would not only reduce the numbers of future senior citizens but also boost the economy.

It strongly encouraged people, especially children, to smoke and then, once addiction had become more widespread, the tax on cigarettes was raised. The short-term plan was to bolster the economy with the tobacco levy and, in the long term, drastically reduce the number of people reaching pensionable age by ensuring they develop fatal, smoking-related illnesses.

To further secure economic stability the government also began slowly dismantling the NHS (Notional Health Service) so that it could not be made financially accountable for any pensioners who accidentally slipped through the net and stubbornly endured.

The poster below from 1974, which was aimed at impoverished children, took advantage of the national pride and sense of 'Britishness' which had been fabricated by an earlier government propaganda campaign intended to control the uneducated.

Find out how this campaign developed with confectionery branded cigarettes.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

"How to Burn Books" (Pelican Books)

Scarfolk council was a staunch advocate of biblioclasm. It did not want citizens acquiring unsanctioned knowledge and expected families to regularly scour their cellars, attics and priest holes for prohibited books. Book burnings took place after Sunday Coven on every 3rd Sunday, unless it fell on a Saturday, in which case the following Sunday.

However, in the 1970s, after the inexplicable disappearance of many of Scarfolk's old age pensioners (which, incidentally, coincided with a much-needed boost to the town's flagging sausage industry), the time-honoured method of how to correctly burn a book fell out of common knowledge. No one could remember how to do it because the traditional know-how had not been passed on to them.

The council had no choice but to publish 'How to Burn Books' (1970), which furnished people with the required skills for correct book burning.

Unfortunately, the book- and education-starved populace could not read and attempted, albeit clumsily, to burn all the copies before they had looked at them properly.

Frustrated, the council had no choice but reteach people how to read, or at least well enough for them to be able to read and comprehend the 2nd edition of 'How to Burn Books' (1978). Both editions, including the rare 1st edition, can be seen below.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

"Scarbrand Pie Filling" Food Scare (1975)

At harvest time in Scarfolk, families donated food, household items and other objects they were going to dispose of anyway, to people who were too lazy to go shopping themselves. Canned products were most often donated (because they are easier to throw), but that ceased in the mid-70s following a food scare.

Tests on Scarbrand's meat-flavoured pie fillings had shown that each can might contain up to 7% ergot-impregnated stoat faeces, which had most likely leaked from a farm that specially bred animals and children for pagan rituals.

Scarbrand admitted culpability but did not recall their products. They maintained that most customers weren't qualified or even clever enough to notice the contamination because the genuine, non-faecal ingredients were so similar in colour, texture and odour to the faeces that they were virtually indistinguishable.
Secondly, the hallucinogenic ergot content was so high that the vast majority of affected customers would not be able to remember their name, or even that they were human, much less complain about the pie filling.

Scarbrand's public relations director publicly ate stoat faeces to demonstrate that it would not have any adverse effects. However, when he and several consumers fell ill and hijacked a garden centre which they tried to drive to the Lake District, Scarbrand relented and advised consumers to discard the questionable 7% of their pie fillings. They even incorporated the message into their TV ad campaigns.
"Only greedy people eat ALL their food. Scientists have proven that eating more than 93% of your food could affect your health".

By the end of the 1970s, with no improvement in consumer health, Scarbrand was forced to provide the ergot-laced stoat faeces in a separate sachet.

Click to enlarge

Wednesday 17 September 2014

North Scarfolk Independence & the "Unity Wall" (1974)

Back in 1973, residents of sparsely-populated North Scarfolk wrote to Father Christmas and asked if they could have independence. The North Scarfolkians had long felt that South Scarfolk had taken advantage of their natural resources - seashells - which they painted with pretty colours and glued together to make funny little characters and animals. These novelty items were valued as far afield as Wales.

Scarfolk Council eventually acquiesced. It granted North Scarfolk its independence and made it a gift of an unassailable, wall-shaped monument to celebrate its new-found sovereignty. The 'Unity Wall', as the south preferred to call it, also provided protection and comfort: The council was worried that North Scarfolkians might inadvertently fall off cliffs into the sea, so it made sure that the wall completely surrounded North Scarfolk. Positioned along its length were armed 'monument curators and attendants' who protected the wall for the North Scarfolkians and made sure they didn't accidentally wander out.

Occasionally, a few bad-mannered people from the North, who did not appreciate this artistic symbol of harmony, tried to spoil it for everyone else by attacking the wall, and the curators were forced to benevolently shoot these people for the sake of peace and brotherly understanding.

But on the whole, Scarfolk Council found North Scarfolk to be both amicable and manageable, so much so that it sent all its criminals to live there, presumably so that they could learn from their virtuous neighbours.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

'Hand Amnesty' (1972)

You may recall that we recently touched on crime in Scarfolk. One ubiquitous problem was 'subconscious crime', which was so prevalent in the 1970s that the council was forced to take drastic measures. Although it had complete faith in the integrity and innocence of it citizens, the council did not trust their hands. What were the town's approx. 80,000 hands doing and who were they talking to? There was no way of effectively monitoring or policing the situation.

That's why in 1972 the council offered its first Hand Amnesty and announced that no legal action would be taken against citizens if they turned in their hands to the police. A week before the amnesty date, each home received through the post a parcel containing a local anaesthetic, a miniature hacksaw (or sharp spoon, for working class families) and a raspberry lolly (as an incentive to carry out the necessary procedure).

However, many citizens were confused. If their hands had committed crimes without them being aware of it, how would they know if they were guilty or not? The average person had neither the time nor the resources to systematically surveil their own hands.

Council guidelines suggested the following:

1. If you are already conscious of your subconscious crime please take advantage of the amnesty and surrender your hands to the police. 

2. If you do not recall committing a crime, it is likely that your conscious mind is suppressing the memory of committing a crime. Please take advantage of the amnesty and surrender your hands to the police.

If you fail to comply with either 1. or 2. you will be visited by council surgeons. 

They are on hand 24 hours a day to give you a hand handing in your hands.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

"Childcare Skills" (New Scarfolk Library, 1972)

One health- or community-care professional per 10,000 citizens had long been considered extravagant so when the region was hit by a recession in 1972, Scarfolk Council was forced to make cuts. To reduce costs but maintain the workforce, the council shrewdly decided to employ only people who suffered from multiple personality disorders.  

For example, Scarfolk's under-12s coven had always operated with a fulltime staff of 7 with an extra position for a sacrificial martyr, who was employed on a short, fixed-term contract. After the cutbacks were introduced, the coven was reduced to one staff member, Donald Kissme, who fulfilled all 7 fulltime roles with 7 separate personalities, not to mention a couple of superfluous ones, including a 18th century pirate and a Swiss truck driver with cathisophobia.

The short-term, sacrificial martyr positions were not subject to cutbacks as they helped reduce expenditure in the region's orphanages and state-run elderly care homes.

Monday 18 August 2014

Investigation & Prosecution Pigeons (1973-1979)

In the 1970s the government realised that more crimes were being committed than was technically possible. This was partly due to the fact that 31% of crimes were fabricated by the government to keep citizens in a constant state of anxiety. To maintain its own credibility, the government banned the use of contraceptives for 3 months per year in the hope that the population would rise and thus generate the citizens required to meet the implausible high crime figures.

The scheme backfired when the new population proved to comprise largely blameless, model citizens. However, the government was not convinced of their apparent virtue and created a special, combined investigation & prosecution squad. It invested birds, insects and other animals with the full power of a law court and trained them to spy on citizens, assuming that guilt would inevitably be detected.

In addition to pigeons (see below), there were crack teams of sparrows, cats, butterflies, stoats and tuna, but there were also 'lone wolf' operatives, the most infamous of which was a ladybird who everyone knew as Two-Spots Bailey, though his real identity remains a mystery to this day.
For more about animals being converted into surveillance devices please see the book "Discovering Scarfolk"

Friday 8 August 2014

'Junior Will & Testament' (1977)

'Junior Will & Testament' (see newspaper advertisement below) was produced by Scarfolk Legal Games & Documents Ltd. While it familiarised children with the inevitability of their demises in a fun way, it also introduced them to their civic obligations. For example, many children were not aware that, like adults, they were subject to death duty.

Any child who owned more than 20 toys at the time of its passing was expected to part with 26.5% of them; 50% for more than 40 toys. After several years of the 'grave game tax', as it become known colloquially, the council noticed that many of the toys it was receiving in payment were clearly not the children's favourite toys.

From then on council workers would audit children every year to make sure that they weren't hiding away their most treasured toys. Particularly untrustworthy were very poorly children. Upon admission into a hospital, the council would confiscate children's possessions until their passing - the council couldn't take the risk that a frightened child may be tempted to withhold a favoured toy during its time of need.

In 1979, the millions of collected toys were melted down and made into an enormous, inflatable bouncy castle for politicians to play in on their many days off work.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

1970s "Inspirational posters"

In 1970s comic books and newspapers one could usually find advertisements offering posters, iron-on transfers, sew-on patches and T-shirts arranged by theme or subject matter: movie and TV stars, cartoon characters, pop stars, infant felons, etc.

Inspirational or motivational posters were also very popular, particularly among people who had few thoughts of their own and believed that pithy phrases containing as few syllables as possible somehow furnished them with something akin to a personality.

Scarfolk Council monitored the content of all posters to ensure that only quotes with moral integrity found their way onto the walls of citizens. To this end, the council turned to the tried-and-tested morality of spiritual and religious texts such as the Bible.

Here is a small selection of these posters from the council archive.

Sunday 20 July 2014

"Severed Up" Psychic Advertising (1978)

In the late 1970s the police were struggling to solve several brutal crimes.

They turned to two Scarfolk psychics, Terry and Jasmine Oiltoad, a married couple who also ran a thriving advertising agency with a unique, supernatural selling point: Terry and Jasmine could psychically channel the victims of crimes, but only, strangely, if product placement was incorporated into their trances.

Deep in a clairvoyant daze, they would strategise national marketing campaigns, design advertising mock-ups for print, write product slogans, and even design storyboards for TV commercials. Psychic clues would somehow filter through Terry and Jasmine's subconscious into the promotional material.

Only when the campaigns were officially launched could Terry and Jasmine snap out of their trances and furnish the police with tangible details, such as the precise location of a murder or kidnap victim.

The advertisements themselves were littered with cryptic clues, as can be seen from the magazine ad below for Severed Up soft drinks. The razor logo and copy in this psychic-advertisement eventually led to the apprehension of a criminal known as the "Fizzy Razorblade Killer," though her real name was Helen Cradle, a 7 year old pupil from Scarfolk Infant School, who was also a known embezzler and quite good at geography and maths.

Psychic advertising was outlawed in 1979 when three major corporations were found to have ordered several murders in an effort to be included in popular psychic advertising campaigns.

Sunday 13 July 2014

"Gaol!" Weekly (1970-79)

Sports were banned in Scarfolk (see Discovering Scarfolk page 41 for further details). However, a legal loophole permitted the playing of ancient games, as long as they were an integral part of a religious ritual.

Mayan football and other sacrifice-based Mesoamerican ballgames, which often employed human heads or skulls instead of balls, became all the rage. Not only were these early games fun and exciting, but they also gave citizens the opportunity to use up any surplus of tourists that had become ensnared in traps during the summer season.

"Gaol!" weekly was the number-one selling football publication at the time and each issue included a pull-out poster of a hat or toupee once worn by the longest serving 'headballs', the most popular of which was Mr. Kenneth Trampel of Ramsgate, Kent, who was a veteran of 22 games until his left ear fell off.

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Family Planning & Recycling (1972-1979)

An adult's social status in 1970s Scarfolk was in part determined by the worth of its offspring. However, until 1972 there was no central mechanism in place to define and classify a child's usefulness (or lack thereof).

Scarfolk Council was the first in the UK to implement the MVS (Minor Value System), which not only assessed the qualities and flaws of each child, but also ranked them in order of financial worth.

Though a very small percentage of parents could retire on the proceeds from the private sale of their offspring, many were disappointed to learn that their children were not as profitable as they had hoped. In 1975, 42% of Scarfolk's young were found to be less valuable than an inflatable garden paddling pool and 8.5% were only as valuable as a can of tuna.

To stop the abandonment of unwanted children at motorway service stations, the government created a scheme that enabled parents to sell their unsatisfactory progeny to the council at a fixed price. Parents welcomed the scheme and hundreds of children disappeared from Scarfolk homes overnight.

Coincidentally, the price of pet food plummeted and the safety of pharmaceutical products increased.

Saturday 28 June 2014

Scarfolk Music & Indoctrination Festival (1970s)

Scarfolk Council did not approve of popular music unless it could be utilised as an indoctrination tool. In fact, most music was banned unless it contained subliminal messages which had been approved by the council's department of social education.

Scarfolk's first music festival in 1973 was only given the go ahead with the stipulation that all bands play songs which contain backmasked content. Additionally, they had to perform the songs backwards so that the subliminal messages could clearly be heard and understood by the audience.

Infamously, local prog-group Beige's* performance of their 3-hour epic song-cycle about a school gym teacher with missing-personality disorder contained subliminal elements that triggered mass hysteria. Many audience members hallucinated seeing in the sky the shape of satan with a trident, though others argued that it looked more like an intercontinental travel plug.

*For more information about Beige go here.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

"Get Angled. Not Mangled" Public Information (1973-1979)

By the mid-1970s, the list of officially recognised hazards far outnumbered the list of non-hazardous. In fact, the only situation that the council approved as being completely risk free was the state of being deceased*.

Because each of the myriad hazards had its own detailed safety guidelines, citizens became easily confused, and the council was under pressure to create one safety procedure that could be adopted in any given scenario.

Experts eventually developed 'kneeling at an angle' which they determined could protect a person from the following dangers: an attack by a rabid animal, falling out of a seventh storey window, a chip pan fire or nuclear attack, being electrocuted by a feral robot, being thrown by a professional wrestler.

The slogan 'Get angled. Not mangled' was drummed into school children, who were submitted to regular angle drills.

* However, the council did acknowledge that a dead person might be in danger of post-mortem perdition. For this eventuality the council published a separate, non-denominational pamphlet which prepared the reader for an eternity of discomfort in the hell or hell-like place of his or her choice. Advice included taking a change of clothing, doing regular exercise and eating Kiwi fruit.

Sunday 15 June 2014

"Ethnic Cleansing Playset" (Scartoys, 1972)

Scarfolk parents thought it was crucial that their children play with educational toys. This was to help familiarise youngsters with the everyday items that would be indispensable to their adult lives: Vacuum cleaners and kitchenware for girls, for example, and for boys the M1941 Johnson Light Machine Gun, or the M4 Sherman Tank with the 75mm M3/40 cannon.

Toys like the 'Ethnic Cleansing Playset' from Scartoys also taught children invaluable life-lesson skills, such as how to defend oneself against marauding foreigners whose homeland you have decimated for either selfish economic gain, or for parochial, sanctimonious, religious reasons.

Most importantly, over time, such toys inculcated in the child the belief that though the righteousness of their actions was self-evident, they needn't be mundane; they could also be fun.
Click to enlarge

Thursday 5 June 2014

Organ Tax & live organ postal services (1971-1978)

If a Scarfolk citizen failed to pay his annual Organ Tax, the organ in question could be turned off by the council, and if further warning letters were ignored the organ might be completely uninstalled by council workers, known as Offalbailiffs.

Many old people, as well as unemployed single parents, couldn't afford to pay the usurious Organ Tax, and frequently made ends meet by selling their innards to pay off outstanding debts.

This mounting problem was eventually brought to the public's attention when 82 year old pensioner Marjorie Pierce was discovered to have sold 17 human kidneys and 5 lungs, all of which she alleged were her own. However, the two spleens she traded were revealed to be two frozen, oven-ready lasagnes.

Charity organisations, such as The Insides Foundation, collected internal organs from wealthier citizens, which school children personally delivered in buckets to those less fortunate. However, when children began turning up in hospital emergency rooms suffering from the effects of purloined kidneys and pilfered spleens the practice stopped.

Organ donors instead turned to Scarfolk Royal Mail who quickly started offering special postal services, as can be seen from the advertisement below.

Thursday 29 May 2014

"Clay Stool" TV theme tune (Klofracs Records, 1973)

The theme tune from "Clay Stool," a popular 1970s children's daytime TV programme for 4 to 7 year olds, was released as a single in 1973 under the title "Demons Come In All Shapes & Sizes."

"Clay Stool" acquired its name from a form of medieval punishment for witchcraft. Originally, alleged witches were strapped to a wooden chair - a ducking stool - then plunged into a river. If they sank they were innocent, if they floated they were in league with the devil and summarily executed.

Samuel Revile, a local priest and freelance misogynist, wondered if ducking stools, which were traditionally festooned with dozens of inflated pigs' bladders, colourful helium balloons, and tethered albatrosses had something to do with the high numbers of people being found guilty.

Revile set about inventing the heavier "clay stool." A year after its introduction 100% of accused witches, mostly women, had plummeted to the riverbed where they drowned, proving their innocence.

Revile's work also alerted communities to the dangers of balloons. It was they, he maintained, not the women, that floated and were therefore in league with Satan. To this day, people who make balloon animals are considered unholy and are barred from church jumble sales.

Though Revile revolutionalised the justice system by inventing compassionate torture, he inadvertently caused widespread redundancies in the execution sector.

Listen to the single here:

Or watch the video here:

Friday 23 May 2014

"Martyr Maid" Ice Cream (1970s)

In the 1970s, arcane cults and religious orders secretly funded multinational corporations with the goal of illicitly proselytising or brainwashing. Though the cults often targeted children via products such as toys and confectionery, including ice cream, as can be seen from the image below, adult virgins were also in great demand.

The aim was to subliminally indoctrinate a person over many years, so that by the time they came of age and were ready to be recruited, a cult's beliefs and rituals would not appear inappropriate, dangerous or even fatal.

This was especially true for people who were designated to become sacrifices to spirit deities, of which there were many in Scarfolk. One particularly insatiable deity was Rupert, a Robot Penguin Lord, who consumed so many sacrifices between 1970 and 1975 that he developed diabetes and put on so much weight that he had to completely replace his wardrobe.

Monday 12 May 2014

"Old Coffins are Death Traps" Public Information Poster (1975)

The recession of the 1970s gave Scarfolk Council no choice but to raise the age of retirement to 95 for men and 92 years, 36 months for women. This meant that when some people died they had not, in the eyes of the state, completed paying their dues to society.

All across Scarfolkshire coffins were exhumed and the cadavers put to work in the community. Fresher examples were dissected by children in biology classes or used in experiments by pharmaceutical and cosmetic firms. Less fresh cadavers served as scarecrows, supply teachers or junior ministers.

All this meant that hundreds of discarded coffins littered Britain's conurbations and countryside. Before long, Scarfolk's runaway children gathered the coffins in their thousands to make shanty-town-styled coffin 'cities' on the outskirts of urban areas. These settlements, which were given names such as 'Gravesend' and 'Bury', were pronounced death traps and a special branch of the police, called the Necropolice, were called in to dismantle the sites. Riots broke out and many police and children alike accidentally died after receiving nasty splinters. Despite this loss of life, thousands of pounds in funeral costs were saved as no new coffins were needed.

Thursday 1 May 2014

"Ask a Policeman" poster (1979)

Crime was always one aspect of policing that hindered the police force from doing its job. That's why, in 1975, the department of justice proposed the radical idea of cutting back on the numbers of crimes that would be tolerated during any given year.

The 1975 crime figures were as high as 100,000, but by 1977 the total number had been reduced to 65,000. This was largely due to a polite but firm public information campaign which targeted offenders, informing them of the new, official crime ration, and explaining just how much pressure the average police officer was under.

Many lawbreakers were sensitive to the needs of the police and either stopped committing crimes completely or only committed those that were legal. Many helped out by leaving incriminating evidence at the scenes of crimes and in 1979 a consortium of gangland bosses even held a charity knee-capping event, the proceeds of which went to the police pedicure fund.

Friday 18 April 2014

Jellied Babies (late 1970s)

This week's theme of human consumption continues with this popular Jellied Babies confectionery packaging from the late 1970s.

It's that time of the year when people tear unborn offspring away from incarcerated, drugged, distraught adults, paint them lurid colours, as if to mock them, then devour the helpless, would-be babies in front of the tormented parents. It's a bit like an annual jolly pogrom.

However, in the spirit of fairness, people in Scarfolk believed that chickens should not be the only creatures to lose their young during the festive spring period. Rabbit and otter eggs were also frequently consumed in Scarfolk, and human orphans in aspic were a particular favourite. Jellied Babies went into production after the council realised that the cost of foster care was prohibitive, especially because funds were needed for more beneficial things, such as quality garden furniture for the second homes of politicians.

In general, child donation can actually be financially lucrative. For example, when God sacrificed his own child for the good of society, he made sure he got a cut of the publishing and merchandising rights.

Happy Ēostre from Scarfolk Council.
Click to enlarge
If you have any unwanted children please write to: KiddyKomestibles Ltd, Scarfolk Industrial Park, SC1 6FG to arrange for a FREE pick up.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

"An End to Starvation?" (Pelican Books, 1973)

Before the 1970s, the idea of reprocessing human body parts had only been officially proposed once. In 1790, Arnold Bumb, an alchemist, necromancer and avid shopper, suggested that amputated human limbs be surgically spliced onto livestock to make them more efficient. His pamphlet "The Duck With My Wife's Foot" was very popular among agriculturists (and fetishists) of the time.

But it wasn't until the 1970s, when poverty levels were at their highest since the the second world war, that the government published a white paper proposing a solution to Britain's impending food deficit.

Since the advent of modern medicine, hospitals had been incinerating post-operative surgical and biological waste, and to many people this was considered both uneconomical and unethical. In the early 1970s, a nationwide study into the numbers of body parts amputated annually showed that there were enough discarded limbs, organs and even hair, to feed a county the size of Lancashire, as long as people supplemented their diet with fingernail biting, thumb sucking, and by popping over the border into Yorkshire for an occasional pub lunch.

The government's trial schemes were so successful that some hospitals, such as Royal Wimpy Infirmary, St. McDonalds General and North Findus Hospital shifted away from healthcare and became fully-fledged food processors and suppliers.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Follow the Country Code (1979)

Scarfolk's farmers, like its firemen and policemen, are very delicate but have demanding jobs. Farmers wake up very early, often before lunchtime, to sing ballads to wheat fields, counsel anxious potatoes and smear themselves with shit.

They must also be able to communicate telepathically with livestock destined for ritual sacrifice. Pagan rites are complex and it's crucial that animals learn their lines and do exactly as they are instructed. Even the slightest deviation from standard procedure can lead to a faulty communion with the Nameless Lord of No Known Name, whom locals call Mr. Johnson for the sake of brevity.
Most sacrificial animals are fully aware of their fates and tend to mumble or mime their lines to delay the inevitable. It's not death that bothers them so much as being reincarnated as motorway service station employees.

A not very well hidden April Fools' bonus image is here

Thursday 20 March 2014

"Mummy's Gone Now" Scarfolk Books, 1978. First day of Spring!

Happy first day of Spring from everyone at Scarfolk Council.

Here's a scan of a book called "Mummy's Gone Now" which advised young, orphaned children about what to do with the bodies of recently deceased family members.

As most children could not afford a funeral, the book suggested burying bodies in the garden, pushing them off a bridge into a river, or donating them to a soup kitchen.

The book also offered advice about how to forage for food in a suburban environment.

Monday 17 March 2014

'Totalitarian Salads', Scarfolk Books, 1976

'Totalitarian Salads,' published in 1976, sold more copies than any other book that year and was voted Scarfolk's best book by no less than 100% of the public in a mandatory survey.

The success of this publication may be partly due to the fact that all bar one of Scarfolk's bookshops and publishing companies were razed to the ground in semi-mysterious circumstances. In short,'Totalitarian Salads' was the only book commercially available that year.

Additionally, the authors and editors of competing cookery books were found sauteed in a mass shallow grave just outside Scarfolk.
Police food forensics experts put the recovered bodies in a refrigerator overnight before transferring them to an oven for 20-25 minutes and then pouring into individual pots to be garnished with wreathes of flowers.

Despite attempts to monopolise the cookery book market, illegal food pamphlets were distributed by an underground recipe resistance movement. This is the origin of recipes such as
'soufflé uprising,' 'coup soup,'  'putsch punch,' and 'insurgence sausages.'

Saturday 8 March 2014

International Women's Day (1970)

Today is International Women's Day and the anniversary of the "Spread 'Em" campaign.

The freedoms of women and people like that were always very important in Scarfolk. As you will see from this poster and magazine ad issued by the council in early 1970, women had even more social and legal rights than domesticated foreigners.

Scarfolk was one of the first places to give women the right to ask a man if they are allowed to vote.

The council also fiercely lobbied to permit women's sports such as ironing, being pretty & sweet, and sobbing without cause in international competitions, including the Olympics. That the council was unsuccessful is testimony to the reactionary structures and attitudes that still hinder a woman's place in society. Poor dears.  

Wednesday 19 February 2014

"We Watch You While You Sleep" TV signal intrusion 1975

Below is a rare video from the Scarfolk archives.

In 1975 there was a series of anonymous signal intrusions on the Scarfnada TV network. Many believed that the council itself was directly responsible for the illegal broadcasts, though this was never confirmed.

However, in 1976 a BBC TV documentary revealed that the council had surreptitiously introduced tranquillisers to the water supply and employed council mediums to sing lullabies outside the bedroom windows of suspect citizens.

Once a suspect had fallen asleep, the medium would break into their bedroom and secrete themselves in a wardrobe or beneath the bed. From these vantage points the medium could record the suspect's dreams and nocturnal mumblings into a specially designed device called a 'Night Mary', named after the woman who invented it.

The data would then be assessed by a local judge who could meter out the appropriate punishments. Many subconscious criminals were caught this way and the numbers of dream crimes plummeted. Literally overnight.

In addition to the video below, a poster, which can be viewed here, accompanied the scheme.

Friday 7 February 2014

NHS organ returns (1974)

There have been recent reports about National Health Service plans to sell off patient data (i.e. your personal medical records) to the highest bidding drug and pharmaceutical companies. It's worth remembering that something similar happened when the NHS almost closed down in 1974.

This leaflet was distributed at the time:

Click to enlarge

By Autumn of 1974 the government, which was not prepared for the sheer numbers of returned prostheses and organs, declared a state of medical emergency. Warehouses up and down the country spilled over with artificial legs, arms and buttocks.

"It looked like the piles of confiscated possessions one sees at concentration camps,"
said one man who was forced to return all his limbs and an ovary he wasn't aware he had.

Mountains of returned livers, kidneys and hearts (and even children who had been born as a result of artificial insemination) spoiled in unrefridgerated conditions and the overwhelmed government had no choice but to return the decaying, by now useless  organs to their owners. However, to make amends they did also send packs of complimentary lemon-fresh hand wipes.

Though thousands died, the government did not consider it to be a failing of the NHS. The fault was squarely aimed at the public who were accused of being unhygienic and told to wash more.

Returned prostheses: Wellcome Library, London.