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Discovering Scarfolk: a wonderfully witty and subversively dark parody of life growing up in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s

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Daniel Bush makes a dreadful mistake when he stops off at Scarfolk, and when his two sons are abducted he must overcome the town’s totalitarian leadership, the paranoia of its brainwashed inhabitants and the dark secrets at the town’s malevolent heart. Mark Sinclair (27 March 2013). "Creative Review – Have you been to Scarfolk?". Creative Review. Archived from the original on 27 April 2015 . Retrieved 14 October 2014. Although we can now no longer be entirely sure what Plan C consisted of, the image of a nuclear mushroom cloud offers us a clear indication of the council's intention. Our archivists have postulated that the council might have thought it simpler and more cost effective to remove all living things than to target specific vermin and/or undesirable microscopic pathogens. In July 2018, a parody Scarfolk poster was mistakenly featured in the UK government's in-house magazine Civil Service Quarterly as part of a serious article about the history of government communications. The inclusion of the poster, which bore the slogan "If you suspect your child has RABIES, don't hesitate to SHOOT", attracted some media attention. [8] [9] Reception [ edit ] If this sounds too grotesque to be true, don’t worry—it is! There were never any smiling, appendage-finding kidsin Scarfolk, because Scarfolk never existed. But the town’s online presence is meticulously detailedand impressively creepy.For three years, graphic designer Richard Littler has been using his design skills and bone-dry wit to write a whole history of Scarfolk, a fictional, supernatural-tinged town that finds humor in dystopia, and is closer to today’s world than we might like to think.

Discovering Scarfolk by Richard Littler | Goodreads

The orphans were children of disgraced artists, academics and other intellectuals who disappeared during the New Truth Purges of September 1977**. Sanctioned "Scarfolk Annual" On Its Way". downthetubes.net. 8 August 2019 . Retrieved 18 October 2019. Crime in Scarfolk did not rise substantially between 1976 and 1977, largely due to the latest in thought detection techniques* and random public executions. The government, however, did announce that there had been a significant increase in naughtiness.At the end of the decade, the council decided that because of a small handful of troublemakers, the whole town would have to be punished: Everyone would have to resit the 1970s. Littler: Scarfolk is more like a half memory. This means popular or stereotypical imagery from the period is ignored—there are no lava lamps, discos, or garish fashion and interior design. Scarfolk often invokes involuntary memories of long-since forgotten things, which didn’t have a life outside of the period or were taken for granted, like municipal designs, household products, TV station idents, and library music. The ice-cream van man came between 3 and 4 a.m. His van blared out the haunting Swedish Rhapsody numbers station. The ice-cream van man wore a clown mask to disguise the horrific burns on his face because he didn’t want to frighten the children. It didn’t work. He used clothes pegs to hold the mask on because he was missing an ear. He lived in a nondescript building in an electrical substation and no one knew his name. Apocalyptic toys were all the rage in the late 1970s, not that they were thought of as apocalyptic at the time. Citizens didn't fear their annihilation; they quite looked forward to demonstrating their 'Dunkirk spirit' with the misguided belief that it would somehow bring the country together. It didn't occur to them that their dogmatic nationalism might instead bring about the demise of the nation.

Discovering Scarfolk - Design Week Discovering Scarfolk - Design Week

In his review of The Advisory Circle 's From Out Here ( 2014), musician DJ Food remarked both From Out Here and Discovering Scarfolk define "a good portion of the visual stimulus associated with the hauntological genre." [23] Scarfolk Annual [ edit ] Scarfolk Annual Country In January 2014, the London Evening Standard published an article [7] by Charles Saatchi, which accidentally included the cover of a Scarfolk book called Eating Children: Population Control & The Food Crisis instead of the intended Jonathan Swift publication A Modest Proposal ( 1729). As the country moved toward collapse, social unrest and inevitable casualties increased. The paranoid state began anonymously exterminating citizens who so much as hinted at insurrection. Average (and the vast numbers of below-average) people were killed in street clashes between opposing factions and there were spates of frightened suicides.

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The Scarfolk blog draws on a particularly late 20 th Century aesthetic, one which Littler has grown to increasingly like during the time he’s been using it. Specially trained police officers patrolled streets, public and private buildings, and handed out on-the-spot fines for various misdemeanours such as not standing up straight, running in corridors and not paying attention. At the officer's discretion, the fines could be substituted for corporal punishment with a slipper, belt, cane or rabid Alsatian. Darran Anderson (June 2014). "The Creeping Terror of Childhood". The Honest Ulsterman . Retrieved 14 October 2014. Beverley Turner (25 April 2013). "It's time to toughen up kids. Start terrifying them 'Scarfolk' style – The Telegraph". The Telegraph . Retrieved 14 October 2014.

Through the Archives of Scarfolk, the Internet’s Digging Through the Archives of Scarfolk, the Internet’s

I've always really enjoyed the Scarfolk Council blog ever since I've discovered it from some source or another, The notion that the council planned to employ a nuclear option is further supported by a minor story in a local newspaper from the time. In October 1979, seven-year-old schoolboy Nigel Johnson, mixed up his family's contribution to his school's annual harvest festival. Instead of the intended box containing four cans of oxtail soup and spaghetti hoops in tomato sauce, he took a quarter tonne of enriched uranium and other weapons-grade nuclear materials. It's not surprising to learn that author Richard Littler is a graphic designer; all the illustrations here (many of which are also featured on the blog) are beautifully executed to the very last detail. The story, though, leaves something to be desired. The silliness that made me laugh out loud at the beginning soon overstayed its welcome; the book is too focused on the graphics to allow the plot to develop into anything you'd care about or be scared by. This is reflected in the blog, which started out as just images but now includes a lot more description around them. It's obvious the popularity of the images has forced the creation of a narrative and not the other way around. The Fougasse homage posters I have created for the Open Rights Group are also a way for me to compare and contrast historical and contemporary British values” he explains. “They are still satirical, so the work itself comes from the same part of my brain as Scarfolk. But of course, the intention is to highlight serious political issues and hopefully inspire support that will help bring about tangible change. It seems like lots of people have become more political in recent years, but then, do we have a choice?”

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Recently, Littler has also been creating illustrations for the Open Rights Group. In a way, they’re a kind of more serious counterpoint to the message of Scarfolk.

Scarfolk Council Scarfolk Council

What also seems clear is that an unidentified but enthusiastic council employee took it upon themselves to extend Plan C to almost every eventuality, in effect making the nuclear Plan C simply the only plan. a b c Simon Usborne (17 April 2013). "How to wash a child's brain: Designer Richard Littler creates fictional world based on terrifying public service films – Features – Films – The Independent". The Independent . Retrieved 14 October 2014. Scarfolk is a town in north-west England that did not progress beyond 1979. The entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. In Scarfolk children must not be seen OR heard, and everyone has to be in bed by 8 p.m. because they are perpetually running a slight fever..." A book called Discovering Scarfolk, which tells the story of a family trapped in the town, was published in October 2014 by Ebury Press. [18] [19] It is a guide to all aspects of Scarfolk and covers the "frenzied archive of Daniel Bush, whose sons 'disappeared' in Scarfolk in 1970." [18] Littler has said that the book "attempts to guide you through the darkness by making light of the contradictions and it promises not to unnerve you. Well, not too much anyway." [3] Scarfolk University, for example, was given four million pounds to develop a computer that could record the brainwaves of hundreds of Real English Wine drinkers and then convert those brainwaves into sounds and images.


This is a rather comprehensive tourist guide (for those tourists who have NOT been quarantined), featuring all of Scarfolk's attractions, such as the police flea market which sells forensic evidence, Scarpark, where all foliage is constructed of the finest British concrete, the Outsider's Zoo and Slaughter Gardens and the Scarfolk Drop, a popular destination for despondent visitors, it is open more than 7 days a week, 367 days a year. (Please avoid the Kill Bush underground station which was recently closed due to poltergeist activity.) Cory Doctorow (23 April 2013). "Wyndhamesque missives from Scarfolk, an English horror-town trapped in a 1969-79 loop – Boing Boing". Boing Boing . Retrieved 14 October 2014.

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