Friday 23 December 2016

Radio Times Christmas Issue

Everyone at Scarfolk Council wishes you a very merry final Christmas before the inevitable apocalypse.

Here's your festive double issue of the Radio Times, which covers Christmas to the new year (or the end of time, whichever comes first.)

Learn more about the jolly apocalypse HERE.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Disposable Children Bags

Discarded children were a serious problem in 1970s Scarfolk. Adults who had decided against parenthood, whether for reasons of finance or boredom, would dump their offspring in sacks by roadsides or in laybys.

Hungry children who had not been given the required sedative dosages often chewed their way out of the sacks and wandered into speeding traffic. Not only did these unwanted children cause hours of unnecessary delays to motorists, but a study showed that discarded children were responsible for close to a million pounds worth of damage to car bonnets, bumpers and windscreens in 1974 alone.

From January 1975, any 'Bag Baby' (as they came to be known) involved in a road accident that incurred costs to motorists, risked a fine of up to £125.

Thursday 8 December 2016

BBC Sound Effects Records (early 1970s)

In the early 1970s, the BBC produced numerous sound effects records. Though many were created for educational purposes, such as 'Squeaky Eyeballs' (1973), the public were encouraged to utilise the more practical releases in their daily lives.
Expressing emotion or personal thoughts in both private and public had long been outlawed. Records such as 'British Tutting' (1970) allowed the disgruntled listener to listen to a variety of legally sanctioned tuts as a sort of surrogate expression of displeasure. Equally, 'Inconsolable Weeping in Libraries' was a soothing, lawful substitute for the act itself.
As familial contentment was also prohibited in the 1970s (apart from at Christmas when it was compulsory. See HERE), some families, frightened that their satisfaction might be discovered and reported, opted for albums such as those from the BBC's Divorce Series, which they would play at elevated volumes for the ears of prying neighbours or passing government agents.

Not all deceptions were successful. If a family was arrested they would be taken to their local police station where, while waiting to be interrogated by specialised officers, they might be played an album such as 'Uncomfortable Silences'.

Thursday 1 December 2016

Council Advent Cards

In 1970s Scarfolk, the council sent out personalised advent cards to all its citizens.

Not only did the cards hint cryptically at policies due to be introduced in the new year, but they were also frequently accompanied by updated citizen expiration details (see HERE).

The more observant among you may have spotted Charlie Barn on the roof.
More on advent HERE.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

1970s Pornography

Even an archive as respectable as Scarfolk's contains artefacts that some might deem offensive. In 1970s Britain, many aspects of life became increasingly sexualised, though sex was rarely one of them.

As you look at these pornographic magazines, which were aimed at lovers of Brutalism, please remember that the 1970s were a very different time with its own mores and values.

Click on the brown paper bag to access the magazines. You must be over the age of 18* (SFW). 

 *with a City & Guilds qualification in town planning.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Mandatory De-education Classes

Post-Truthism is nothing new. Following the Truth Reform Act of 1976, it became every citizen's civic duty to attend de-education classes. The state instinctively felt that knowledge and the educated people who wield it destablize governmental plans, especially those that routinely and deliberately disregard verifiable facts.

According to one de-education textbook: "A good or 'Schrödinger' fact is simultaneously true and untrue until such a time that someone in authority tells you which, though they may change their mind or substitute the fact entirely for another piece of information, fabricated or otherwise, that suits their personal or political needs."

It could take many years for a citizen to unlearn everything, particularly because they first had to learn the complex method of how to unlearn. (Also see the How to Burn Books book).

Additionally, because de-education classes were compulsory (and expensive), some people opted instead for lobotomies by backstreet barber-surgeons, who, it was later revealed, received government funding. These unregistered practitioners would lay their patients' heads on the bottom step of a staircase, then release a Slinky attached to a sledgehammer from the top step. If this procedure was unsuccessful, they would force the patients to binge-watch ITV talent shows such as Opportunity Knocks or the BBC's Come Dancing programme.

Thursday 10 November 2016

The "Easy as 1-2-3" Campaign

From the launch of the 'Easy as 1-2-3' campaign:

"We live in worrying times. Many residents require help but feel that they are unable to discuss with the council the social issues that affect them.

While it is true that a) we adhere to a strict policy of not answering our public helpline telephones and b) our offices cannot be approached without the aid of a mine detector, we would like to alleviate any concerns you may have.

In the coming weeks you will see posters [see above] placed in public areas around the town. Read them thoroughly. They contain all the details you need to go about your daily life. You do not require any additional information from the council. Further solicitations for help or support, even in alleged emergencies, could incur a fine of up to £500."

Monday 31 October 2016

Halloween Masks

(Page taken from the weekly children's hobby magazine 'Which Craft?')

In 1970s Scarfolk, children liked to make Halloween masks out of everyday household items such old curtains, ritually-sacrificed livestock and executed criminals.

The latter were so sought-after that mischievous children planted evidence of crimes that ensured the arrest and capital punishment of relatives in the hope of inheriting a head with which to make a mask.

Happy Halloween/Samhain from everyone at Scarfolk Council!

Thursday 20 October 2016

The Economy & Currency Fly-Tipping (1970s)

When the pound's value suddenly plummeted in 1972 to its lowest in 170 years and became virtually worthless, people started throwing out all their money. Piles of discarded coins and banknotes littered the streets. Scarfolk's binmen were so overwhelmed that they went on strike, demanding a £4 pay rise.

Despite campaigns to stop currency fly-tipping (see above and below), the government, unable to cope with the mountains of useless sterling, created an ingenious scheme: It advised citizens to hold on to their money and use it instead to trade for basic items such as food and shelter. It even suggested that interim emergency values be attributed to the useless cash. The recommended value for a five pence piece, for example, was five pence.

The only way Britons could earn real money was by making tea and biscuits which were rushed in mass flotillas of little ships to the continent - evoking the evacuation of Dunkirk - where they were sold to Europeans on their tea breaks.

Thursday 13 October 2016

Points-Based Citizenship (1972-)

While politicians debated a points-based system for immigrants in the early 1970s, Scarfolk went a step further and introduced a similar system for existing citizens.

The council didn't see why it should be burdened with unimportant, objectionable people.

Surprisingly, many citizens had never even entertained the idea that their country of birth was purely accidental and that their value to society might be lower than that of a pack of disposable nappies or a plate of tripe*, never mind better educated, more civilised foreigners.

Between 1972 and 1976 thousands of British citizens were deported to an immense raft which floated five miles off the coast of Blackpool. Realising that they were now the foreigners they had previously denigrated, the deportees hurled racist abuse at themselves and each other and frequently got into fights.

* see Citizen Values for further details.

Thursday 6 October 2016

Foreigner Identification Badges (1974)

From 1974, all foreigners (as well as citizens friendly to foreigners) were required by law to wear identification badges. The image above is just one page from a hefty, six volume guide distributed to local councils and border officials. The glossy guide and badges were so expensive to produce that they were manufactured abroad because the dwindling UK print industry no longer had adequate resources.

Additionally, the first print run of the guide had to be recalled after a typo was discovered: A foreign typesetter had accidently rendered every instance of the word 'British' as 'Brutish'.

Thursday 29 September 2016

Accidents in the Workplace (1971)

In the first half of the 1970s, accidents in the workplace increased one-hundred fold, largely because work equipment and machinery were poorly maintained by employers. In fact, health and safety guidelines were so frequently overlooked by corporations that the government could see no reason why employees shouldn't be able to accurately foresee and schedule the life-changing accidents that would befall them; especially because every major company was obliged to provide its workers, as per union regulations, with the services of a clairvoyant or witch.

In January 1971 the scheduling of accidents became policy. The state would only pay disability benefits and/or sick pay if the time and nature of an employee's workplace accident had been approved in advance by his employer.

Employees who had unplanned accidents as a result of their employer's negligence were accused of unprofessionalism and many were fired for damaging company resources and impeding productivity.

Some enterprises, however, turned the nuisance of careless workers to their advantage: One company that manufactured metal warning and safety signs for Scarfolk Council saw its employees mutilated by volatile machinery so many times that it stopped sign-making and moved into the far more lucrative decorative finger business.

Saturday 24 September 2016

"Positive Outlook? Look Out!" (1976)

In the hot summer of 1976, people were enjoying the rare sunshine and the opportunity to socialise, sometimes even with foreigners. Scarfolk Council became concerned that its citizens were developing something akin to happiness, which it considered a destabilising threat to its authority.

Government operatives illicitly carried out false-flag acts of terror in an attempt to discourage positivity and regain control, but Scarfolk citizens were undeterred.

Fearing that this pandemic of cheerfulness was a prelude to social breakdown, perhaps even leading to revolution, the government quickly passed a health bill to formally recategorise "psychological states such as contentment, gratification and satisfaction" as mental illnesses "as dangerous in their effects as diseases such as rabies".

The above poster, which played on deep-seated personal doubts, appeared on the walls of cafes and restaurants, leisure centres and in other locations where people might be at risk of enjoying themselves or becoming contaminated by peace-of-mind

Friday 16 September 2016

Death is Like a Happy Balloon (1973)

Death is Like a Happy Balloon by Dr Cassandra Henge was one in series of books published by Bullyrag Books who specialised in introducing children to alarming topics without alleviating any of their readers' fears. Other books in the series included Totalitarianism is Like a Merry Smile, Slaughterhouses are Like a Paddling Pool and Organ Failure is Like Fudge.

Death is Like a Happy Balloon contained a subliminal trigger word, as is used in hypnosis and psychological conditioning. The idea was that if there were any future social problems - overpopulation, revolution, widespead idiocy, a disproportionate number of old people - the government could use the trigger word and cull a whole generation by activating overwhelming suicidal thoughts.

The state carefully chose the word (a neologism, unrepeatable here for legal reasons), so that it would not trigger an unintended suicide epidemic.

In 1975, however, a UN human rights inspector was sent to the UK to interview alleged victims of state brutality. His foreign name by chance matched the trigger word and thousands took their lives following a television broadcast about his visit.
It was later revealed that the government had specifically requested the inspector by name. Additionally, it had total control over the broadcast's contents and when it was aired to ensure that it reached the maximum number of viewers.

Thursday 8 September 2016

Physics Tax (1975-1979)

In the mid-1970s, the government introduced a series of questionable taxes. One was the Physics Tax, which was announced via leaflets posted to every household.

"As you know, gravity is supplied to you not unlike like gas, electricity or water. Creating, maintaining and distributing the forces of physics is an expensive national undertaking and the cost of running the Gravity Generator Plant in Scarfolk costs millions of pounds annually. Sustaining the right balance of gravity isn't easy and even the smallest error in calculation could leave many people at risk of floating away, perhaps irretrievably. This is why it's important that you pay your Physics Tax on time (including any surcharges), as well as report any illegal immigrants who destabilise the finely-tuned distribution of gravity."

Though countless immigrants (and citizens who made friends with immigrants) were allegedly deported between 1975 and 1979, the sudden disappearance of more than 1200 registered citizens was blamed on their failure to pay the Physics Tax. Without the appropriate levels of gravity to keep them earthbound, they had, according to the government, probably been sucked into outer space. However, by the end of the decade, it became clear that the state had lied about its capability to supply citizens with the forces of physics. Scarfolk's Gravity Generator Plant was revealed to be a facility built specifically for processing political undesirables, immigrants or otherwise, into cheap snacks for visiting tourists.

Thursday 1 September 2016

"Mr Liver Head" Toy (mid-1970s)

As part of its scheme to recycle human body parts (first outlined in "An End to Starvation?", Pelican Books, 1973), Scarfolk Council insisted that the region's NHS hospitals and police departments bolster their dwindling funds by partnering with commercial businesses. One such enforced collaboration was between Scarfolk Barber Surgeons Clinic, Greater Scarfolk Police and the ScarToys Company.

Surgical waste, such as amputated limbs, damaged internal organs and even excised tumours, was pooled with body parts accumulated by criminal forensics teams from the scenes of violent crimes. These were delivered in large trucks to ScarToys, whose development departments repurposed them into children's playthings with names like Snakes & Bladders, Fun Lung, My Little Kidney, Haunted Heart and the Placenta Playcentre. There were even crayons made from rendered human fat as well as authentic editions of the Operation Game and Girl's World.

But by far the most popular toy was Mr Liver Head, which was based on Mr Potato Head (see above and below). It quickly became so popular that a military curfew had to be imposed on overzealous young fans who would go to any lengths to acquire fresher, more impressive body parts to become the envy of their friends.

More posts about Scarfolk toys: "Pollute", "Mr Smug", "Land Mine", "Surgical Toy Insertions", "Lung Puppy", "Deformed Anonymous Infant Demon", "Ethnic Cleansing Playset", "Vulnerable Sam", "Junior Will & Testament".

Thursday 25 August 2016

Human Rights Lottery Advertisement (1976)

In 1976, after three years of austerity and drastic cuts, the government admitted that there were no longer enough human rights to go around. Stockpiles diminished at such an alarming rate that only one UK citizen in twenty had access to inalienable human rights and by the end of the decade it would plummet to only one in a hundred.

The populace was dissatisfied with the government's initial solution, which was to mail out IOU letters. In lieu of human rights, these official missives offered a non-legally-binding 'gentlemen's agreement' to provide substitute rights akin to human rights, which were never fully defined and thus remained completely open to interpretation. Indeed, many citizens were not entirely sure that they adequately fulfilled the government's criteria to be considered human.

As a token of goodwill, the government offered an annual Human Rights Lottery (see magazine ad above), but cancelled it after three years because, according to an official press release, "granting human rights to only a few citizens is not in the interest of a fair and equal society".

Thursday 11 August 2016

'Allclear' Open-Air Nuclear Bunkers

click to enlarge

In 1971 the government's civil defence budget was slashed. Local councils limited their building of conventional nuclear bunkers and focused instead on cheaper alternatives, for the general populace anyway.

From government public information literature:

"Though secure, Britain's existing nuclear bunkers are cramped and do not offer the comforts of home living. Built from drab, uninspiring concrete, they are brazenly unaesthetic and because they lack natural light, occupiers risk becoming fed up during their stay.

"Government officials, royals and the independently wealthy have courteously opted to endure these cheerless conditions so that you don't have to*.

"We think that you and your family deserve more agreeable accommodation when that 4-Minute Warning jingle sounds.

"Enter ALLCLEAR, the government's new post-nuclear solution for YOU. ALLCLEAR Open-Air Bunkers are easily erected in approx. 60 minutes. They are light, airy and available in a choice of fun colours: orange or yellowy-red. They even come with their own FREE
power-string, velcro all-seasons flap and a multipurpose stick [...]

"*Please note that any attempt to secure a place in a traditional concrete bunker (and in doing so compromise the well-intended benevolence of the abovementioned persons) will be rejected with extreme prejudice."

Friday 5 August 2016

Scarfolk Olympic Games (1976)

In 1976 Scarfolk Council released its own Olympic Official Collectors Edition booklet, which focused on some of the lesser known disciplines. When the Olympic Games were accused of being a hotbed of corruption, bribery, insanitariness and illegal doping, the Olympic Committee simply sanctioned them as official Olympic sports.

Thursday 28 July 2016

"People Are Dangerous" (1974-1975)

During the People Purges of 1974 and 1975, the many people who peopled Scarfolk were alarmed to learn that they were now the kinds of people that the government categorised as "people".

With no clear definition of what the state meant by "people", the mayor, who had previously declared himself a man of the people, tried to alleviate anxiety among his people by saying he didn't want to drive a wedge between people; he only intended to arrest those kinds of people who he deemed not to be "people people".

He said that he of all people knew that the most effective way to crack down on these people was with "people power": People working together to observe people, being able to tell people apart and then reporting those people to the appropriate people in authority.

On the 13 August 1975, the only people not in prison were six government officials, members of Scarfolk police force and a man called Dennis Peoples who suffered from a rare psychiatric syndrome called Clinical Lycanthropy which led him to believe he was a puffer fish.

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Summer Fete Leaflet (1976)

As can be seen from this leaflet advertising a local fete, acts of terror and violent incidents were so frequent in 1970s Scarfolk that many people came to expect them and planned their days around them. Employers and local councils built them into their calendars and children spent more than half their school time memorising and rehearsing emergency drills. Violence was endured like bad weather, inconvenient yet seemingly unavoidable.

Eventually, however, terrorists and murderous loners found it too demanding to keep up with the schedules expected by others and, disheartened by the public's apathetic reaction to their actions, stubbornly refused to commit any more atrocities until they once again inspired the fear they felt they deserved. 

Thursday 21 July 2016

Drug Advertisements (1970)

When Scarfolk's Mayor Ritter announced his determination to fight the war on drugs, he meant it. He also knew that if you want to win a war, it has to exist in the first place. Fortunately, Ritter had shares in the Cavalier Pharmaceutical company with whom the council secretly collaborated on a scheme to introduce vast amounts of highly-addictive narcotics into the daily lives of Scarfolk children.

The scheme not only bolstered Cavalier Pharm and other local industries; by the end of the decade it had also attracted increased government funding for the region's police and prison services. Additionally, as many young addicts didn't make it to adulthood, the strain on the NHS and welfare programmes was greatly reduced.

When Ritter was lauded for his services to the town, he said he had only done it for the children who, he declared, "are the future", though it became apparent that he specifically meant his own children who had been conceived during occult rituals, had never been exposed to the drug schemes and now had many more career opportunities than they might have had otherwise.

Above and below are 1970 drug advertisements by Cavalier Pharm. By 1972 barbiturates had been introduced to school milk, and drugs such as heroin were included in the ingredients of Pick 'n' Mix sweet selections.

More Cavalier Pharm related posts: Mindborstal and Children & Hallucinogens: The Future of Discipline.  See also: Lobottymed (Discovering Scarfolk. p.15) and Placebol (Discovering Scarfolk. p.66).

Friday 15 July 2016

Xenophobic Postcards


In 1972 the University of Scarfolk trialled a new drug that affects the part of the brain that produces racist attitudes.

Researchers observed that the subjects lost control of their bodily functions and had to wear clinical incontinence products. Additionally, many subjects found it difficult to form coherent thoughts, much less verbalise them, and their mental ages registered as those of infants.

The experiment was discontinued, not on ethical grounds, but because the researchers concluded that there were no discernible behavioural and psychological differences between the racists who had taken the drug, and the control group of racists that hadn't.

When the Foreign Secretary read the study's findings, he decided that xenophobia should be extolled as one of Britain's defining virtues and he immediately set out to promote this idea abroad.

Thursday 16 June 2016

Voting in the 1970s

Research into confirmation bias at Scarfolk University in 1973 showed that 87% of people will not deviate from their beliefs, no matter how much counter evidence is presented to them. However, the study found that the figure drops considerably if torture is used, with more than 50% of subjects losing all their beliefs, largely because their brains stop functioning during the study.

These findings demonstrated to the government that informing citizens and giving them a choice is futile because they've already made up their minds, often basing their decisions on irrelevant, whimsical criteria such as whether a politcian's eyes are too close together, his choice of football team, or if he took an active part in the unwarranted decimation and exploitation of a foreign nation for personal financial gain.

By the mid-1970s the government had vastly overspent on citizen persecution and "physical coercion" and no longer had the resources to enforce the election and referendum outcomes it desired. It felt that the only way forward was simply to "remove those limiting aspects of the democratic process which give citizens a say in the running of the country". Consequently, a referendum was set for early 1975 and the public was politely encouraged to ban the right to vote and give itself over to iron-handed totalitarian rule.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Europe Referendum TV advertisement (1975)

During the lead up to the 1975 EEC referendum, the government realised that the only way it could maintain its authority was to appear equally for and against Europe. It did this in two ways: First, by having its ministers wildly contradict each other on an almost daily basis, and second, by rejecting the use of facts and evidence, which the state viewed as hindrances in the political sphere. This strategy would eventually be formalised in the 1976 Truth Reform
The population was confused by this persistent doubletalk and consistent vagueness, but confusion was very much intended. Those in power know well that if their true positions can be obscured through contradiction they can never be shown to be wrong and therefore can't ever be opposed effectively. When citizens can no longer differentiate between truth and fiction, they are easier to control.

Scarfolk politicians were the first to utilise 'puzzlement politics'. Though their first attempts were crude - pumping ergot into the water supply and lobotomising people during routine tonsillectomies - they eventually launched the more nuanced "Don't" and the "No!" campaigns. These made the populace much more manageable and much less likely to shuffle around in circles drooling.

Incidentally, the music by Steven O'Brien in this advertisement also appeared on the Scarfolk library LP The Big Brass Sound of Patronising Encouragement.

Thursday 2 June 2016

"Trampvertising" (1973-1979)

 In 1973 the council ratified a bylaw which legalised the exploitation of all homeless people as advertising spaces. It became known as 'Trampvertising'. At first, only small, local businesses took advantage of the new law but large corporations soon started bulk buying advertising space, which drove up prices.

These big companies also insisted on the option of permanent tattoo advertising because their homeless human billboards frequently lost, ate or soiled the paper-based marketing materials.

By 1975 Scarfolk Council could no longer meet the demands of national and multinational businesses and began losing clients to neighbouring towns. To stay competitive, the council had no choice but to generate new advertising space.

It did this by targeting poor families and individuals at risk, ensuring that they lost their homes and livelihoods through a series of punitive taxes and fines. These included the exorbitant Gormless Tax and the Unemployment Tax, which charged jobless citizens 37% of the wage they would have earned had they become a barrister and not been barred from attending a good school.

Thursday 26 May 2016

The Horned Deceiver

The Horned Deceiver appeared in several Scarfolk publications in the early 1970s, one of which we featured a few weeks ago (see here).

As followers of the traditional state religion dwindled, a gap opened in the faith market. The Horned Deceiver exploited this by targeting the lower middle-class, under-12 demographic, relying initially on playground word-of-mouth. By 1973 he had become so popular that he produced a successful range of merchandising including lunchboxes, bed sheets and wallpaper, plush dolls and black candles made from human tallow. He was a regular guest on local radio and on television where he appeared on celebrity panel quiz shows such as Celebrity Squares and Blankety Blank (see below).

Though well-liked, he eventually lost the pagan market to Mr Johnson of the Officist cult (see Discovering Scarfolk for more details) who had the enthusiastic backing of local politicians and business magnates whose families had been kidnapped and threatended by the cult.

The Horned Deceiver on Blankety Blank, BBC 1, 1979.

Thursday 19 May 2016

Children's Vermin Extermination Clubs

By 1973, poverty was widespread in the UK and 80% of Scarfolk residents relied on soup kitchens. At first, the council alleviated the problem by exploiting an existing urban food source, but once the supply of homeless people was exhausted, a more sustainable food solution had to be found.

Scarfolk Vermin Extermination Club (see leaflet above), which was launched in 1974, encouraged children to scavenge through cellars, rubbish tips and industrial wasteland and eat the pests they caught. Initially, youngsters cooked their prey, but parents complained that expecting children to use matches without supervision was irresponsible and dangerous. Thereafter, rats, pigeons, mice, and even foxes (which became collectively known as 'ghetto tartare') were consumed in their raw state.

Unsurprisingly, pest control clubs became popular throughout the country and gained thousands of new eager members. The most requested Christmas gifts of 1974 were steel-reenforced jaw braces and hunting dentures which were required if children wanted to adequately render sinew, skin and bone. Which they did in vast numbers: The many tonnes of discarded bones were used to partially reconstruct the House of Commons which had been damaged by hungry children in search of the vermin rumoured to be teeming within its walls. 

Friday 13 May 2016

Regional BBC Scarfolk TV Programmes

In 1979 the government told the BBC that it needed to have more control over its regional programming, especially in Scarfolk. The culture secretary delivered a whitepaper in the form of a nursery rhyme, the lyrics of which warned the BBC that it should "create distinction or face extinction". To illustrate his point, the culture secretary brought along the education secretary, who he dressed as a dinosaur, and the secretary of state for work and pensions who was dressed as the meteor which wiped out all living things.

However, the culture secretary did not define exactly what he meant by "distinctive" and within the year BBC Scarfolk had begun broadcasting programmes which it felt satisfied the government's demands. Many of these programmes didn't make it past pilots, much less receive full series commissions. Again, the culture secretary had to intervene. He suggested programme titles that the goverment would prefer to see, programmes such as "Great, Amazing, Incredible Conservative Heroes", "Report Your Neighbour!" and "Strictly Catapult", which saw the coastal construction of an immense contraption which launched unaccompanied child refugees at great velocity back to their native countries.