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.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The BBC Test Card Witch

(click to enlarge)

Many people recognise BBC television's test card "F". However, when it was broadcast in Scarfolk an old woman would inexplicably appear in place of the young girl as soon as parents left the room.

According to legend, if she turns to look you in the eye, you are fated to die beneath an overloaded lorry which will topple over, crushing you with its consignment of industrial safety equipment (Find out if you are cursed HERE).

Children called the woman Old Chattox and she was believed to be a 17th century witch whose spirit had been unintentionally revived and broadcast by a hilltop TV transmitting station built on the site of her execution. She frequently flouted broadcast guidelines and undermined the BBC's attempts to avoid product placement by advertising the services of a bull castrator who had been dead for nearly 400 hundred years.

Below: Photographs of Old Chattox taken by viewers between 1970 and 1978. Old Chattox wrote out demands on her blackboard, which children felt compelled to obey (top). She also drew occult or satanic symbols designed to mesmerise and indoctrinate young viewers. Some of her messages were seemingly nonsensical, though many people believed they were cryptic descriptions of future events (bottom).

Further reading:
i. Learn about Bubbles the clown and his range of possessed greetings cards.
ii. For more information about TV broadcast signal intrusions, see the 1975 We Watch You While You Sleep video.