It may be the Summer Holidays but here at the Academy Miss Malice and I never rest when it comes to researching new methods to bring the miscreant male into line. We were therefore most intrigued to see that there was an exhibition on at the British Library regarding the great art of propaganda. We are always looking for new ways to get across our important message that very naughty boys present not only a danger to themselves, but threaten the security of the nation as a whole. Perhaps we have approached this issue too softly-softly in the past? Perhaps we should adopt the direct approach “Your Country needs You (to behave yourself)”. Or perhaps the more insidious methods used by totalitarian regimes to instil fearful compliance in their citizens (Miss Malice and I are great believers in the transformative powers of a little fearful compliance)
We hoped for inspiration and the exhibition didn’t disappoint. It was rather large and a little too much to take in on one visit, but their were some truly striking images with even more striking implications. . However, Miss Malice and I both agreed that our favourite piece of propaganda was the Burt the Turtle who blithely advised the school children of 1950’s America to “Duck and Cover” under their desks in case of a nuclear explosion. Not only did this seem to be an extreme case of too little too late, but the saccharine little song and the oppressively cheerful animation of Burt the Turtle spoke powerfully of a false and brittle confidence in the face of a very real fear of nuclear attack.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKqXu-5jw60 (link to Burt the Turtle)
Rather dark as this all is, Miss Malice and I couldn’t help musing whether Duck and Cover would be useful strategy when faced with an explosively angry Mistress and had to agree that the effort would no doubt be equally futile.