Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Horned Deceiver

The Horned Deceiver appeared in several Scarfolk publications in the early 1970s, one of which we featured a few weeks ago (see here).

As followers of the traditional state religion dwindled, a gap opened in the faith market. The Horned Deceiver exploited this by targeting the lower middle-class, under-12 demographic, relying initially on playground word-of-mouth. By 1973 he had become so popular that he produced a successful range of merchandising including lunchboxes, bed sheets and wallpaper, plush dolls and black candles made from human tallow. He was a regular guest on local radio and on television where he appeared on celebrity panel quiz shows such as Celebrity Squares and Blankety Blank (see below).

Though well-liked, he eventually lost the pagan market to Mr Johnson of the Officist cult (see Discovering Scarfolk for more details) who had the enthusiastic backing of local politicians and business magnates whose families had been kidnapped and threatended by the cult.

The Horned Deceiver on Blankety Blank, BBC 1, 1979.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Children's Vermin Extermination Clubs

By 1973, poverty was widespread in the UK and 80% of Scarfolk residents relied on soup kitchens. At first, the council alleviated the problem by exploiting an existing urban food source, but once the supply of homeless people was exhausted, a more sustainable food solution had to be found.

Scarfolk Vermin Extermination Club (see leaflet above), which was launched in 1974, encouraged children to scavenge through cellars, rubbish tips and industrial wasteland and eat the pests they caught. Initially, youngsters cooked their prey, but parents complained that expecting children to use matches without supervision was irresponsible and dangerous. Thereafter, rats, pigeons, mice, and even foxes (which became collectively known as 'ghetto tartare') were consumed in their raw state.

Unsurprisingly, pest control clubs became popular throughout the country and gained thousands of new eager members. The most requested Christmas gifts of 1974 were steel-reenforced jaw braces and hunting dentures which were required if children wanted to adequately render sinew, skin and bone. Which they did in vast numbers: The many tonnes of discarded bones were used to partially reconstruct the House of Commons which had been damaged by hungry children in search of the vermin rumoured to be teeming within its walls. 

Friday, 13 May 2016

Regional BBC Scarfolk TV Programmes

In 1979 the government told the BBC that it needed to have more control over its regional programming, especially in Scarfolk. The culture secretary delivered a whitepaper in the form of a nursery rhyme, the lyrics of which warned the BBC that it should "create distinction or face extinction". To illustrate his point, the culture secretary brought along the education secretary, who he dressed as a dinosaur, and the secretary of state for work and pensions who was dressed as the meteor which wiped out all living things.

However, the culture secretary did not define exactly what he meant by "distinctive" and within the year BBC Scarfolk had begun broadcasting programmes which it felt satisfied the government's demands. Many of these programmes didn't make it past pilots, much less receive full series commissions. Again, the culture secretary had to intervene. He suggested programme titles that the goverment would prefer to see, programmes such as "Great, Amazing, Incredible Conservative Heroes", "Report Your Neighbour!" and "Strictly Catapult", which saw the coastal construction of an immense contraption which launched unaccompanied child refugees at great velocity back to their native countries.

Friday, 6 May 2016

DIY Childcare Books

DIY was all the rage in the 1970s, but in Scarfolk it wasn't just limited to household repairs and interior decoration. Childless, sterilised adults, many of whom had been specially bred for civic or sacrificial service, decided that unauthorised parenting might prove to be a nice hobby or weekend pastime.

When children began mysteriously disappearing in their dozens, police detective Evan Brown of Scarfolk constabulary dedicated himself to rigorously investigating the cases. He swiftly came to the conclusion that there was a gap in the market for self-help and DIY parenting books for child abductors. Brown quit his job and penned several books on the subject (see above and below). He was also responsible for a change in law that required abductors to compensate parents for the loss of their children with hampers containing fruit, chutneys and a selection regional cheeses.

click to enlarge

Monday, 2 May 2016

May Day Celebrations

May Day is a perfect opportunity for the people of Scarfolk to rid the town of any surplus or redundant citizens. The Scarfolk Wicker Man will hold up to 100 people, with one space always reserved for the lucky winner of the compulsory town raffle.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

British Gas Austerity Advert (1978-1979)

In 1978 the government faced budgetary problems on all fronts. The NHS, for example, risked collapse following an all-out doctors' strike, which had been triggered by the health secretary's insistence that doctors continue to work after they die and attend to patients via séance.

Desperate to reduce the numbers of patients straining NHS resources, the health secretary eventually struck upon an idea that would allow him to kill at least two birds with one stone.

British Gas was in the process of being privatised and the health secretary had a controlling financial interest in the company that was being groomed to acquire ownership. The health secretary lobbied for a short-term reduction in the cost of coal gas, particularly in areas of high unemployment, and promoted it as an aid to health akin to mountain or sea air.

He also had a hand in secretly funding a BBC "Play for Today" drama called "Noble Gas for Noble Gary" which extolled the virtues of a sick, working-class man who, along with several out-of-work comrades, commits suicide by putting his head in an unlit gas oven so as not to burden society. The men were portrayed as heroes to be emulated.

The health secretary's ideas became conflated in the public mind and by 1979 suicide by gas became an unlikely health fad spawning an array of books, cassettes and evening classes, all of which were produced by a company in which the healthy secretary also had shares.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

National Security Ear Grafts (1975)

Click to enlarge

When compulsory surveillance ear grafts were introduced in 1975, many Scarfolk citizens resorted to non-verbal forms of interpersonal communication to avoid the attention of government eavesdroppers. This in turn prompted a ban and users of sign language, mime artists and even fans of the party game charades suddenly found themselves on the wrong side the law. Writing was also subject to restrictions and was only permitted when verbal delivery was not possible. Incensed by the ban, a fervent group of mimes known as the MLA (Mime Liberation Army) committed several acts of silent terror and built invisible walls around government buildings preventing staff from entering.

The authorities recognised that national security ears were perhaps not as feasible as they had originally thought. Although several other surveillance schemes were launched in Scarfolk in the 1970s (see, for example, thought-detector vans, telekinetic child-owls, I-Spy books and Living-Eye surveillance computers), GCHQ realised that the most productive way to surveil a nation is for the citizens to unwittingly collate all their own personal data, verbal or otherwise, and transmit it directly to the government. In essence, citizens spying on and betraying themselves. Unfortunately, this idea would be not become workable on an industrial scale until the age of the internet.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Panama Laundry Detergent Magazine Advertisement (1976)

In the 1970s, husbands gave their wives weekly housekeeping allowances to maintain the household. Many housewives claimed they were buying pricey washing detergents such as Panama Automatic (see above), when in fact they were buying packets of a cheap alternative and refilling used Panama boxes at home. The money they saved was spent on vast amounts of gin, which was distributed via a secret, international network of trusted housewives.

Teetotal housewives hid the money in fake, child trafficking companies and used their own children to perpetuate the façade. The schemes were uncovered in 1979 when a Scarfolk pensioner, who had siphoned tax-free money from her housekeeping allowance for decades, tried to buy Wales. The woman claimed to know nothing about the money or the fake companies and insisted that they were all the dealings of her pet tortoise, Cammy, who had recently died.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Christian Values

Governments have always invoked religion to deflect criticism away from or justify questionable political agendas. Not unlike terrorists.

In the 1970s, the British government frequently cited so-called 'Christian Values' around Christmas and Easter time. Taking its cue from the Bible, the government knew that belief in an all-powerful authority, whose actions cannot be questioned, is a formidable tool of control.

The prime minister would, before the proposal of dubious bills or changes in policy, aggressively promote trust in the state as a virtue not dissimilar to religious faith. By the end of the decade, ideas of political and religious authority became so entwined that anyone who questioned or opposed the ruling party faced Biblical-style punishments.

Academics and experts in particular were branded as 'extremists' (and later as 'fact witches') for producing any evidence that contradicted government policies. In 1978 a 4 year old 'dissident heretic' was crucified in Scarfolk town square for highlighting glaring errors in the government's annual budget, which she did with the help of a Fisher-Price junior calculator she had received for her birthday.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Charlie Barn

Charlie Barn was a paranormal, spider-like entity discovered in the vast, labyrinthine bunker beneath the Scarfolk council office building. He employed mind-control techniques to trick people into making him famous and was a regular guest on British TV throughout the 1970s. He appeared in children's programmes such as Blue Peter and as a cartoon character in Paddington (see below). He also hosted his own show, Barn's Owls, which saw him hunt, disembowel and eat large owls (later revealed to be orphans dressed as owls) in front of a live studio audience.

In 1973 he set up various fake charities which gave him access to schools and hospitals where he would illicitly lay eggs in the heads of children in a bid to populate the world with his unnatural progeny. How he got away with his sickening actions for so many years beggars belief.

He probably avoided detection by hiding in plain sight: he appeared in a series of public information films and published books which warned the public about the dangers of arachnoid demons such as him.

Since 1979, all forms of evil spirits have been banned from consuming minors on public property and/or for the entertainment of a paying audience.

Spider legs by sankax

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Welfare Recipient Targets (1971-1979)

In 1971 it became compulsory for welfare recipients to sew targets onto their clothing so that they could be identified in public at all times. The minister for social services rejected claims that the target invited personal attacks, sidestepping the fact that the government had concurrently increased its funding of archery classes for newly released criminal sociopaths as part of their reintegration into society.

Despite these developments, the number of people claiming welfare tripled by 1973, in part because many families had lost one or more breadwinners to arrow-related injuries. The government, desperate to reduce spending, began promoting the idea that less dependent members of society involved in "crimes against target wearers" should be exempted from legal proceedings. In fact, they were rewarded. For example, points on drunk drivers’ licenses were removed following accidents which produced fatalities within the boundaries of large council estates.

There were also several instances of fully-armed Alvis FV101 Scorpion tanks, with the keys in their ignitions, inexplicably left by the army on the driveways of decent, middle-class citizens who neighboured built-up social housing areas.

Friday, 4 March 2016

1970s Science Book (Birth Chapter)

With Mother's Day upon us, we thought we would share a page from an out-of-print school biology textbook. As you will see from the image below, the physical process of human birth has slightly changed since the 1970s. This is largely due to the unintended consequences of medical experiments on children carried out by genetic-modification and eugenics hobby groups, the only social outlet available to drunks before the invention of pub quiz teams. Medical procedures have also evolved and instruments such as ropes, crowbars, sink plungers and egg whisks are now rarely used.

Giving birth was something that only women were expected to undertake. There's not a single recorded case in Scarfolk of a man giving, or even trying to give birth during the 1970s, a clear indication of just how prevalent sexism was at the time.

Related: A maternity problem that society faced in the 1970s was that of lazy or uncaring mothers who were absent from the birth of their own children. For more information click HERE.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

'Win A Cottage' Sunday Supplement Advertisement (1976)

Between 1970 and 1976 the government vastly overspent on state and private prisons and was disheartened when crime didn't rise to match the amounts being invested to control it.

Local councils were directed to encourage criminal activity but when they also failed to produce the required crime figures, the government's Office of Spurious Welfare developed a scheme to attract new offenders.

It targeted the aspirational lower-middle class by shrewdly portraying lawbreaking as an upwardly mobile activity and prison sentences as socially desirable. Pro-jail messages were subliminally printed on fake antiques, mass-produced Royal memorabilia and incorporated into newspaper Sunday supplement competitions for dream cottages in the country (see above).

Emergency laws were also made to ensure that crime would become more prevalent. One law, the so-called Passerby Criminal Indolence Law, which is still in effect today, penalises people who refrain from committing a crime when the opportunity arises, even if they could have got away with it.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Romance Novels (1970s)

St. Valentine's Day is a fitting day to show you some of the novels that pandered to women's romantic fantasies during the 1970s.

Same Job Less Pay (1970) tells the story of a woman who falls in love with a co-worker. When she finds out that he earns twice as much as she does, she's so relieved she doesn't have to carry around all that heavy money that she bakes some pretty little cakes and falls pregnant.

Biological Necessity (1976) is about a woman who, having failed to meet a partner with an emotional IQ higher than a sandwich, takes an evening eugenics class in which she learns that romance is an overvalued social construct and that she is in fact most compatible with men who have a strong EPAS1 gene and an income of more than 100k per annum.

Carcinoma Equals Inheritance (1971). A woman encourages her husband to smoke in a bid to kill him for the substantial inheritance. When he dies, she suddenly remembers that she was the wealthy one all along. Shortly afterwards, a young, penniless con man falls in love with her and proposes marriage. On the honeymoon he encourages her to get drunk on vodka and take part in a series of dangerous sports.

Set in the year 1620, Tortured In The Name Of God's Unconditional Love (1974) is about a woman who falls in love with a pious town elder. She tries to tell him and other backward villagers about rudimentary first-world concepts such as interpersonal communication skills and oral hygiene. She is subsequently tortured and killed by a devout lynch mob, headed by her would-be lover, whose grasp of such things extends to believing that the demonic spirits of pigs can destroy crops by hiding in your nose.