Saturday, January 09, 2016

The Ministry of Nostalgia

Or

Keep Calm and Carry On – the sinister message behind the slogan that seduced the nation

"The power of Keep Calm and Carry On comes from a yearning for an actual or imaginary English patrician attitude of stiff upper lips and muddling through. This is, however, something that largely survives only in the popular imagination, in a country devoted to services and consumption, where elections are decided on the basis of house-price value, and given to sudden, mawkish outpourings of sentiment. The poster isn’t just a case of the return of the repressed, it is rather the return of repression itself. It is a nostalgia for the state of being repressed – solid, stoic, public spirited, as opposed to the depoliticised, hysterical and privatised reality of Britain over the last 30 years."

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