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".