Watch this creepy 1973 PSA about water saftey

Originally published at: Watch this creepy 1973 PSA about water saftey | Boing Boing

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I remember that ad.

And there was an Irish equivalent that aired for much of the '70s and '80s. I remember it as being funny, but watching it again just now it’s actually pretty brutal and to the point.

I’m pretty sure if you ask any Irish person of a certain age - “Where’s Grandad?”, they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about!

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Nearly all the 1970s Public Information Films are nightmare fuel.

But without them we wouldn’t have this.

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Creepy, yeah. But to the point. Teach your kids to swim!

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The script for Lonely Water was written by Christine Hermon for the COI and passed to Jeff Grant for direction. Grant recalled the moment he received the script, “I read it and got a bit of a shock. Gone was the gentle cajoling of Rolf Harris, who had recently appeared in a public information film aimed at persuading children to learn to swim. This one plumbed the darkness; it set out to scare.”

In hindsight…

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Gonna confess, I couldn’t understand a word the two farmers were saying. Anyone know what Irish region the accent is?

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Same here. I could completely understand while I was drunk, but as I sobered up, I got nothing.

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It’s from an alternate timeline where Hammer Films made television PSAs. I like it.

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Ah, the '70s - when the main water safety issue was kids and seniors drowning in it. Now, we have to be concerned about adults drinking it, too:

We’re gonna need more PSAs… :weary:

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Alternate? They used to put these in the ad breaks on Saturday morning television in the 1980s and 90s.

One minute you are watching Bugs Bunny, the next…

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Not even a game of chess first? That sucks.

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Love the chicken wire ends sticking out from the water cover, ready to give the kids tetanus. Almost as safe as if everyone had a gun.

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Seems more effective than what we had for PSAs in the States, back when I was a kid:

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To my ear it sounds like a “Culchie” accent. Typically Roscommon, Mayo, Galway area, but the intonation on the T at the beginning of certain words leads me to believe it’s around County Clare. It doesn’t have the lilting pattern you find further south in Kerry or Cork.

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Loves my

water saftey

'cause too much saf is never enough.

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Wait, did the Reaper go streaking in response to a couple kids not making the worst possible decision that one time?

By the end of the piece I was more concerned by the settings than the swimmings.

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The Advisory Circle, musicians of the Hauntology genre, have made pseudo-PSAs. Lemme see if I can ahem scare some up.

Ah, success! They are in order of spookiness:

TAC also do cool logotones, w/and w/o words. These are wordy, and in chronological order:

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Only Death can bring release.

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Couple things:

This is grim in a way only the UK could muster for a PSA. The most equivalent thing this side of the pond would be MADD PSA’s.

Second: It is shocking to me how many people in my social circle cannot swim. Seemingly by virtue of not growing up as average middle class white Americans.

ETA: Swimming ability (if I was unclear) is a weird way privilege manifests.

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