Hello Cruel World
Friday, February 07, 2003
From: Don Pattenden
Sent: Wednesday, 5 February 2003 9:34
Subject: How to survive a terrorist attack
I haven't yet seen my copy of Howard government brochure yet but
I'm sure it will appear in my mailbox very very soon. It has
stirred a faint recollection of a very similar brochure released
by the British Government (in the 60s I think) on what to do in
the event of a nuclear attack.
As I recall, this in turn inspired stage play (or was it a radio
play) depicting a typical family and their attempts to act out
the instructions in the brochure. It was a very witty piece of
reductio ad absurdum and a very effective satire.
Does anybody have a better recollection of this than I do?
I predict that the Howard publication will similarly lend itself
to some healthy and inspired lampooning. At least I certainly
This is the book. The story is of a couple old enough to remember
going through WW II & the Blitz who followed the instructions --
unsuccessfully for them, but with some success for the government
of the day. "Tragi-comic" is a good description in more than one
sense. There was also a stage play & and animated film, may have
been other versions like a radio play. Read the book, know naught
of the other. Am not sure whether the book or the play inspired
each other & in what order.
When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs
( Amazon link)
"Raymond Briggs's cartoon book depicts the effects of a nuclear attack on an elderly couple."
He is better known for his children's books (see www.mindbodyspirit.com.au/auth/b/briggsr.htm, where it sits rather uncomfortably).
A review of the animated version
SOME RELATED LINKS
(have more, but will either let you search them out yourself, or put them up later)
A Home Office Guide
Domestic Nuclear Shelters
This booklet is a brief guide to three basic kinds of nuclear shelter:
Simple shelters for short-term indoor or out-door use which can be built
from materials already at hand.
Shelters that can be assembled from do-it-yourself kits.
Permanent custom-built shelters built into the ground and requiring
professional help in design and construction...
Protect and Survive
This booklet tells you how to make your home and family as safe as possible
under nuclear attack
These two Public Information Films were produced by the Central
Office of Information and are currently available on video or DVD
as a collection of PIFs from Network Video
GOVERNMENT ADVICE UPDATE.
In light of the recent increased threat of Nuclear attack by bogus
asylum seekers and foreigners in general, the British Government
has seen fit to re-issue its excellent publication 'Protect and
Those of you who survived Thatcher will remember how the pamphlet,
beautifully illustrated by the bloke who did 'The Snowman'*, showed
us step-by-step how to build our very own fall-out shelter.
*[NB: I think s/he's mixing up the original govt booklet
"Protect & Survive" & the satire of "When the Wind Blows" (named
from a phrase in P & S)]
The re-issue has been updated for the 21st Century. Here is a brief
Fig 1) Buy a second hand hammer off ebay.
Fig 2) Visit a poorer neighbour who cannot afford a new open plan
apartment like you and still has to suffer the indignity of wooden
doors. Take your neighbour's doors and nail them to your newly
laminated floor. Try not to scratch the laminate too much.
Fig 3) Pile against the doors all the useless consumer crap you
spend your embarrassingly high wages on.
Now get inside and try not to worry too much about the fact that
it is your drive for such material wealth and gluttonous decadent
mperialist lifestyle that has once again driven everyone in the
whole world to want to kill you.
Now don't let anyone in who has a mustache or is wearing an
unbranded make of trainers.
Come, Gentle Bombs
I am glad to see that Armageddon is coming back into fashion. Nuclear
holocausts were a tremendously important part of my childhood ...
"What do today's children use as raw material for their nightmares?
Failing their accountancy exams? It is healthy for an adolescent to
picture his mortality in terms of a nuclear fireball sometime before
his thirtieth birthday; it keeps the untidy, depressing future firmly
off the agenda.
The sad demise of the nuclear bomb is also to blame for the chronic
decline in Church attendance and religious belief. Am I the only
person whose first serious prayer was 'Please God don't let Mrs
Thatcher start a nuclear war, however much she might want to'?"...
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