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
'soufflĂ© 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.

Friday, 17 January 2014

"Babies Are Killers" Awareness Week (Part 3)

This is the third and final post for Babies Awareness Week.  We hope that the danger of Babies has now been fully conveyed to you.  

Remember that the symptoms of Babies are not always visible. If you have been been bitten by a baby, toddler or even an adult under 4 feet 9 inches, always visit your doctor.  If you do not receive medical attention within 74 years of being infected you risk suffering from the effects of aging and, ultimately, death.

"Don't smuggle death. It could save your life..."

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

"Babies Are Killers" Awareness Week (Part 2)

Babies Awareness Week continues with this poster which was placed in airports, harbours, maternity units and other entry points into the United Kingdom.

Monday, 13 January 2014

"Babies Are Killers" Awareness Week (Part 1)

Today is the start of Babies Awareness Week in Scarfolk, so make sure you check back for updates. The first Babies Awareness Week took place in 1973 after health and literacy clashed with wide-reaching consequences.

Here is an excerpt from a 1974 leaflet: "While babies are stunted, mostly inefficient humans, 'Babies' is the name of a viral disease carried by unbaptised infants born out of wedlock. It is usually transmitted to other animals by a bite from an infected baby. 'Babies' travels via the nervous system through the anxious gland to the brain, which is most often stored within easy reach of the cranium. The virus is untreatable and invariably fatal within days, especially if panicking family members leave the delirious patient to stumble aimlessly along the motorway at night.

Early stage symptoms include gurgling, inability to walk or solve complex mathematical problems, an inexplicable contempt for mashed banana, and defecating without panache accompanied by a sense of unjustified triumph."

Back in the 1970s, concerned parents vaccinated their children daily and those suspected of having contracted 'Babies' were taken away by the council in large trucks then pickled, varnished and used as clothes mannequins in department stores. However, this practice was stopped when the virus spread to a range of medium-priced sweaters. It was the first time that the disease had passed from one species to another.

Here's the first of several posters designed in the 1970s to warn Scarfolk citizens of the dangers of babies with 'Babies.'

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas Surveillance in Scarfolk



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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

"Dentistry for the Deceased" annual 1974

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 9 December 2013

The "Rem-Exec 1" remote execution system

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

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

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

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


Friday, 22 November 2013

Dr. Who in Scarfolk

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

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

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

Happy 50th anniversary!
 
(Click to enlarge).