The First Scarfolk Annual: a mysterious artifact from a curiously familiar eternal grimdark 1970s

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/30/the-first-scarfolk-annual-a-m.html

Since 2013, Richard Littler has been publishing Scarfolk, a darkly comic series of brilliantly photoshopped artifacts from a dark and brutal English town trapped in a loop between 1969 and 1979; Littler published his first Scarfolk book in 2014, a pretty straight-ahead best-of anthology that was a sheer delight, and since then, he’s taken a brilliant detour into animation, while still keeping up on Scarfolk, which has now spawned its second – and even better – book: The Scarfolk Annual.

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We can only hope that nobody involved in Brexit planning has heard of him, or his work.

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To me, it’s more like “laying the groundwork for Thatcherism,” given that Thatcher wasn’t PM until 1979.

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“Brexit in Midwich” kind of covers it.

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They don’t have to. They’re in Scarfolk in spirit, being:

a thoroughly despicable coalition of the hereditarily posh, sociopathic financiers, and terrified, small-minded Little Englanders.

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It says it right there in the Tory manifesto.

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But seriously, what did happen to all the white dog poo?

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That’s it. From now on I’m calling all the Little England Brexiteers and Tories “Scarfolk”.

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Apparently:

Back In The Day

Meat and bones used to comprise a large part of the domestic dogs diet, as a result their poop was rich in calcium. After a few days, water and organic components evaporated from their poop and what remained became dry, hard and turned white with calcium.

Diet of Convenience

Today’s dogs are fed from bags, tin cans and packets, with the occasional table scrap thrown in. None of which are natural. Dogs these days rarely consume enough calcium to create the whitening effect on their poop.

http://www.caninest.com/white-dog-poop/

The comments there are good fun fucking hilarious, too!

ETA with some unmoderated offensive racism thrown in - don’t say you weren’t warned

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People of a certain age (and location) will shudder at this image

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Brexwich! You have to form an impenetrable border in your mind so that THEY can’t get inside and change your opinions. Keep them out! Keep them out!

wall

@gracchus Scarfolk News: Local Chap Makes Good On The National Stage.

@timd From the looks of it Play School had some pretty hardcore Scarfolk moments and opinions of its own. From the Play School Wikipedia page: “Hamble was a little doll and one of the original five toys but dropped from the show during the 1980s to be replaced by Poppy. According to Joy Whitby, creator of Play School , Hamble was chosen as representative of a more “downtrodden”, humble background than the “middle-class” associations that the teddy bears had.[8] She was disliked by presenters as she could not be cuddled.[9] According to the BBC website Chloe Ashcroft “did a terrible thing to Hamble. She just would not sit up…so one day I got a very big knitting needle, a big wooden one, and I stuck it right up her bum, as far as her head. So she was completely rigid, and she was much much better after that.””

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Cummings with large knitting needle inserted

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OK - I’m a little puzzled by Scarfolk. I lived in the UK through the 1970s - ages six to sixteen. I lived in a working class neighbourhood, grew up in a council house, and although I won’t deny for one second that there were issues in the country regarding racism, sexism etc (for example my mother was incredibly racist - furious that when we moved house the new tenants of our previous house were from Pakistan); I will still contend that Britain, or at least northern England, was a million times better than it is now, with the rot setting in at the beginning of the Thatcher era in 1979. I just don’t get the hate for the 1970s, even though my personal childhood was pretty awful. As far as I’m concerned the early 1980s, and now are the worst of Britain out for the world to see and laugh at. The country is an embarrassment on the international stage, whereas in the 1970s it was still possible to be proud to be British…

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I don’t think Scarfolk hates the 1970’s - it’s just a perfect backdrop for a dystopian police state - There was the potential for total control of information, radio, TV, libraries, schools etc - and authority was respected and mostly listened to - Add in the brutalist architecture and the image is complete.

Plus the art styles really lend themselves to the concept. image

Scarfolk posters have appeared in official UK government publications.

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Hambel - the doll of the apocalypse…

…she’s probably lurking in the shadows behind you right at this moment.

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Anyone else old enough to remember the black and white anti-rabies poster with the skull and snarling dog?

You’d flee from that horror to rush home where the telly would be showing a public information film about the dangers of quarries or high-tension electrical grids. Then the lights would go out because Arthur Scargill had downed tools again.

Good times.

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Just missing the continuous, high-pitched “EEEEEeeeeee” tone.

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I think that Scarfolk is more about riffing off the terrifying 1970’s Public Service Announcements, coupled with the results of brutal town planning from the 1950s and 1960s, and the general sense of townhall corruption and incompetence. Also, that 1970’s design aesthetic is just so perfect for this sort of low level horror; bright, but often sickly colours with rounded, childlike shapes.

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Culminating in Protect and Survive - narrated by the Government Sanctioned Voice of Doom, the incomparable Patrick Allen, and finishing with that terrifying jingle (which Intel really should have used in their adverts):

All together now: ‘If anyone dies while you are kept in your fall out room, move the body to another room in your house…’

Another Spangle anyone?

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Our dog mostly gets chicken as in over five or six days we cut up a chicken and feed it to him. His poop turns white, the vet tells us he should have more grain, and his teeth are very clean from crunching the bones

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