Thursday, 25 January 2018

Illegal Puppetry & Ventriloquism


By 1977 the numbers of puppeteers and ventriloquists roaming Scarfolk's sewers had reached crisis point.

Initially, they had claimed their sole intention was to entertain the many outcast citizens who had been ordered by the courts to live out their remaining days in the sewer system beneath Scarfolk's streets. It became apparent, however, that the ventriloquist's real motives were far less salubrious.

In the maze of subterranean concrete tunnels they lured people with sweets, toys and other gifts and abducted them. Then, through a complex process of mummification which permitted the subject to forever retain partial consciousness, the abductees were turned into so-called 'breathing dummies' destined for the northern, illegal club circuit where 'haunted ventriloquism' had become popular.

Though haunted ventriloquism conversions were outlawed in entertainment, they continued to be applied in politics for many more years.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Real English Wine (Magazine Ad)


The government strongly promoted the ‘Buy British’ message in the 1970s. It was so keen to prove the scientific superiority of British products that large-scale experiments were commissioned.

Scarfolk University, for example, was given four million pounds to develop a computer that could record the brainwaves of hundreds of Real English Wine-drinking subjects and then convert those brainwaves into sounds and images.

Scientists (and advertising agency executives who planned to exploit the results) predicted the result would produce “a wide variety of positive images, including majestic British landscapes accompanied by the sounds of waves and music as beautiful as anything written by maestros such Sir Edward Elgar or Cliff Richard”.

In actual fact, all the subjects’ brains produced exactly the same image: An electrified cage containing a baby monkey whose mind had been destroyed by medical experiments, systematic torture and the jarring sound of a toy mechanical bear mercilessly beating a drum 24 hours a day.

Despite this apparent setback, the Real English Wine committee ran with this image in their advertising campaigns. The wine sold well in Scarfolk, simply by virtue of being British, as did a spin-off ‘soft-toy’ monkey, which wasn’t actually a soft-toy at all, but a real dead monkey.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

'Loose Tongues' Public Information (1977)


When this poster was distributed by Scarfolk Council in 1977, many people were concerned that they did not understand the poster's message correctly and were thus at risk of unintentionally breaking the law by either talking or not talking about it.

Worried citizens gathered in secret to discuss the poster campaign. Knowing that most homes contained surveillance devices, they debated the poster non-verbally, using hand gestures. Unbeknownst to the clandestine groups, however, specially-trained police mime experts had infiltrated the meetings and reported everything they saw to Scarfolk's police commissioner who, keen to outdo his predecessor's record, had created the public information campaign to boost arrest numbers.

Telephone helplines were set up to provide legal aid to the many who were accused of talking (and not talking) and faced punitive tongue removal. Although the legal experts who manned the lines were not permitted to speak, they were authorised to offer advice via the medium of mime.