There has been enormous interest regarding the Samizdata.net article last Wedneday about the bizarre poster appearing across London. The large number of comments and e-mails that people have left present a wide range of fascinating views and a few rather odd theories.
- Whoa! There is a UFO up in the corner! This is creeping me out!
- What is wrong with trying to make buses safer?
- Totally Cool! What great graphics! I want one!
- No, it is entirely true. As mentioned by Brian Micklethwait in the previous Samizdata.net article, here is the appropriate link to the London Transport website.
- Relax! I went out and looked at the poster again and it is just a reflection of a lighting fixture from the bus shelter… the imagery is sinister enough without any UFO references!
- Nothing at all. However the point I was making is the 1940’s imagery and choice of words in the poster suggests far more than keeping Granny safe on the bus. It is a propaganda poster in the most literal 1940’s sense of the word, and what it is advocating is ‘Safety through Panopticon‘ : nothing less than a surveillance state.
- Yes, I agree. Although I may be an arch-capitalists libertarian individual rights advocate who hates the message and sub-text these posters convey, I also have a nifty Communist Chinese poster on my wall and would love to add one of these babies next to it. However they are enormous and I do not think they are available for sale yet.
However, we at Samizdata.net think our often used slogan ‘When the state watches you, dare to stare back’ (which we have on our coffee mugs and tee-shirts) suggests some alternative poster designs:
Samizdata-ized images by Alan K. Henderson