Say No To Toddlers – 1970s Public Information Film
Jul09

Say No To Toddlers – 1970s Public Information Film

Graham Weevilface is not a name that’s particularly well-known these days but in the mid 1970s he was one of the leading producers of public information films on behalf of the British government. He was a recipient of numerous awards for films such as Danger! Slow Worm! and Chalk Cliffs: White Trauma but it’s his 1976 classic Say No To Toddlers that arguably had the most impact on a British public on the cusp of emerging from the darkness of high unemployment and unending energy crises into a brave new world of European integration and booming prosperity. A massive sense of relief following World War II, the rise of promiscuity in the 1960s, and long, dark nights with nothing better to do in the early 1970s led to a state of what was described in government documentation at the time as “too many blasted babies” and so a number of programmes were accelerated in order to reduce the birth rate in the British Isles. Alongside adding bromide to the water supply and inventing a new craze called “aerobics” that was designed to tire people out making sex less likely the services of Weevilface were sought out and in very short order he was able to produce the following classic film clip. Shown in cinemas and on television – particularly before and after schools and colleges programmes as children were most open to the message within – Say No To Toddlers was initially received with the kind of stupefying horror associated with all British public information films; the creepy music and stark voiceover messages were requirements of government-sanctioned movies but Weevilface excelled in the craft. However, in follow-up interviews with childless men and women during the 1980s and early 1990s it’s this specific film warning the dangers that toddlers and children possess that most often came out with a sense of warmth; many interviewees claimed that had it not been for the consideration of the British government they might have inadvertently unleashed swarms of adult-killing, car-stealing babies into the general...

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Great Team Leaders: The Borg Queen
Jul08

Great Team Leaders: The Borg Queen

We’re undertaking a mandatory course of team leadership at work which has included all the things you’d expect from one of those courses – anger, recriminations, making towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows, bitter comments, dropping oranges on spaghetti bridges, open mockery – and the latest session has required each of us to select a great leader, alive or dead, real or fictional, and to list the attributes we admire in their leadership roles. Examples of people selected by other poor souls forced to participate in these lessons have included Alexander the Great, Bill Gates, and Alex Ferguson. All very typical. As you can probably already tell, I went with someone a little different. When it comes to great leaders with all the leadership qualities you could ever possibly want in one of these team building courses you just can’t beat the Borg Queen. Just what were those skills and attributes that made the Borg Queen a great leader in my opinion? I’m glad you wanted to know. Seeks to improve her team by embracing everyone’s distinctiveness into the whole. Good at assimilating knowledge; encourages her team to assimilate knowledge too. Gives her team the right tools to get the job done. Excellent communicator; listens to everyone and gets her message to everyone too. Adapts quickly to problems. Great determination; considers resistance to the project’s success to be...

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Space Captain Tim
Jul02

Space Captain Tim

Space Captain Tim Adventures In The Distant Fear Zone was the first of three published science fiction novels featuring the ruggedly handsome and devoted father and space captain by Ryan Hedley, Sr during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The books were written for Hedley’s infant-then-teen son although they were marketed for an adult audience. Generally, the stories followed the heroic captain of the Space Voyager Cosmic 10 as he steered his vessel and crew through perilous space adventures all with the aim of saving his son from the clutches of Alien Witchqueen Audrey who steals the child in the opening chapter of this book. Hedley’s devotion to his own son accounts for the artwork present on each book’s cover, allowing Ryan Junior to design Space Voyager Cosmic 10 for the first in the series as well as the wrestling aliens that adorned the outside of Space Captain Tim Conquers The World Of The Warriors and the huge weapon that graced Space Captain Tim Unleashes The Ultimate Power. The latter two books were eventually withdrawn from sale and pulped as their covers were deemed to violate anti-homosexuality and obscenity laws...

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1980s Movie Music Triple
Jun26

1980s Movie Music Triple

Three bits of music from 1980s movies for your listening pleasure. 1980s movie master Kenny Loggins produces a song that is only surpassed by the gopher’s dancing skills in Caddyshack, skills I’ve mastered to the detriment of any other dancing style. Used in a ridiculous number or movies and TV scenes (see: Wikipedia: Oh Yeah) but probably most famously in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Weird Science, just one of those 80s movies that can be a little uncomfortable viewing in later years if you question some of the attitudes to sex and age. But still...

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The Queen’s Dolls’ House
Jun26

The Queen’s Dolls’ House

Scans from the Girls Own Annual, 1924, featuring an article on the Dolls House built for Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, and constructed with the help of architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Click the images for larger...

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Britain First: Misunderstood Athletes
Jun19

Britain First: Misunderstood Athletes

A friend shared a link on Facebook which included an image and quote from Britain First’s Jayda Fransen: On the face of it that’s a pretty damning quote implying anyone considered to be a traitor by Jayda and her chums will be killed. The problem with quotes like that, though, is that they’re all too easy to take out of context. Just because Britain First is filled with racists and people unable to get jobs through a lack of social or technical skills plus an inability to learn anything new (or old for that matter), and just because Britain First’s members are anger-filled, violent subhumans it doesn’t automatically follow that Jayda Fransen was necessarily saying that a lynching (the sort of thing that used to happen to dark-skinned people a lot) would be the end result for anyone considered traitors to the really small-minded (really small-minded) organisation that considers itself Christian mostly because it’s kinda guessing what happens later in the Bible but hasn’t really got past the first half of Genesis so far as a collective. But they’re really trying to crack three-syllable words any day now. Good luck Britain First. In fact, in this case – and it’s always worth doing your research on quotes for things like this – Jayda’s comments were a simple call for a sporting competition in order to build some team spirit with “the enemy”. It followed on from someone taking the time – three and half years in this case – to sit down and explain what had just gone on in the London Olympics. So there you go. Sure, they’re amongst the worst scum of the Earth but always engage your sceptical mind when considering whether everything Britain First says is just pure hate and...

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