Monthly Archives: June 2014

Scarfolk Music & Indoctrination Festival (1970s)

Scarfolk Council did not approve of popular music unless it could be utilised as an indoctrination tool. In fact, most music was banned unless it contained subliminal messages which had been approved by the council’s department of social education.

Scarfolk’s first music festival in 1973 was only given the go ahead with the stipulation that all bands play songs which contained backmasked content. Additionally, they had to perform the songs backwards so that the subliminal messages could clearly be heard and understood by the audience.

Infamously, local prog-group Beige’s* performance of their 3-hour epic song-cycle about a school gym teacher with single-personality disorder contained subliminal elements that triggered mass hysteria. Many audience members hallucinated seeing in the sky the shape of satan with a trident, though others argued that it looked more like an intercontinental travel plug.

*For more information about Beige go here.


WWI Ads–Gallipoli Coal Tar Soap, 1915 (?)

JF Ptak Science Books    Quick Post

These ads are interesting and take a bite, both ways.  For example, the first–for Wright’s Coal Tar Soap–uses the background of the enormous struggle in Gallipoli to sell itself.  The ad appears in the 9 October 1915 issue of The Illustrated London News, and stresses the fact that the troops were badly in need of, well, soap, among other things, not the least of which was forward motion, or victory.  


But the fact of the matter is that this relatively cheery image of the actions at Gallipoli looks entirely misplaced, especially at this point in the campaign when things were going badly.  The battle took place at Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey from 25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916, and the conditions were deplorable: massive heat, rotting corpses, poor sanitation, dysentery, flooding and then frostbite and bitter cold in the winter–that, plus the killing part, with 392,338 killed and wounded on both sides of this one campaign.  There’s much more to this campaign, of course–especially for my New Zealand and Australian friends–but this is not the place for it.   I was just taken by the spectacularly mundaneness of this ad for selling soap on the back of a terrible campaign, and an eventual disaster for the Allied forces.