Thursday, 8 December 2016

BBC Sound Effects Records (early 1970s)

In the early 1970s, the BBC produced numerous sound effects records for domestic use. Though many were for pure entertainment, such as 'Mimes at Work' (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*, nevermind 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".