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 upcoming book 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 single-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 made 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 Ä’ostre 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