Nearly two years ago, we brought our readers news from a strange colony in northwestern England called Scarfolk, where it’s 1972 every day and the slogan of the local “Public Information Bureau” is, at once reassuringly and not even slightly reassuringly, “WE WATCH YOU WHILE YOU SLEEP.” (That message invariably is accompanied by a huge Orwellian eyeball.) In Scarfolk rabies is such a public danger that it’s probably best to kill your child (after all, you never know) and the first Sunday of the month is reserved for “clown exhumation.”
Richard Littler has been delighting us for several years with his painstakingly executed, devilishly creepy PSAs and informational posters in which the ostensible tone of public concern is consistently drowned out by the overtly terrifying text. (“Whatever you do, DON’T,” pictured below, is fairly typical.)
It’s a bit like what would happen if Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz’s Look Around You became infested by termites. It’s also a lot like the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, which has since spawned a book. In 2014 Littler came out with a book called Discovering Scarfolk with a suitably Penguin-esque cover design, but it’s only available in England, I am pretty sure (you might get lucky here, however).
Over the weekend a video with the innocuous title of “Teaser A” popped up on Scarfolk’s YouTube channel. Consisting of scarcely more than a black blob on a blue field announcing the existence of “Scarfolk TV,” the video has certainly whetted my appetite for any television fare that the stalwart (and imaginary) citizens of Scarfolk would be forced to contend with. Littler has stated that Scarfolk was principally inspired by viscerally disturbing public information films from the 1970s as well as curiosities like Children of the Stones, so I’m delighted to see his Scarfolk project move into the arena of video in a more sustained way.
The teaser blandly (hilariously) asserts that the programming will resemble such outwardly harmless but stupefyingly dated fare as “The Benny Hill Show, George & Mildred, Bless This House, Morecambe & Wise, Love Thy Neighbor,” with the distinctively Scarfolkian addition of “Dismember Thy Neighbor.” Of course, we also have a good idea of what Scarfolk TV will resemble from Scarfolk’s own YouTube channel.
I simply cannot wait to hear more about this…..
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Welcome to Scarfolk, the most twisted English village of the 1970s