The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Warning! Keep calm.

See this cute little bookmark? I have one. I use it. It holds my place, exactly like it should and it makes me smile, plus it's way cuter than a raggedy piece of paper torn from one of Indy's worksheets (or a piece of toilet paper which I have used on occasion. Don't judge me). I give it 5 stars. For those who may not know, it is based on posters commissioned by the British Government during WWII. This poster was the 3rd in a series of three motivational posters designed by the Ministry of Information. The first 2 posters (Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory and Freedom Is In Peril) were widely produced and placed on public transport, shop windows and notice boards all across Britain.Two and half million copies were printed in August of 1939 and were to distributed in the event of a Nazi invasion. It is believed most of the posters were destroyed after the war, except for those in the National Archives and the Imperial War Museum, and a few that ended up on various office walls.   An original was rediscovered in 2000 in a second hand bookstore. The Crown Copyright expires after 50 years, and the image became public domain. Since it's rediscovery it has become incredibly popular and inspired an entire line of products, including my cute little bookmark. What's the point in all this? Aside from a mini history lesson (you're welcome), I have a gripe. I know, you're incredibly shocked aren't you? MIHH? Griping? NO! It does happen, gentle reader, but fear not.  Or, should I say, Keep Calm and Carry On? 
On the back of the bookmark is, get this, a warning. War-ning.  On a bookmark.  Scroll back up and look at the bookmark.  I'll wait.  You get a good look?  Okay.  Here's the text:  WARNING: Includes small parts.  Not for children under 3 years.  Are you kidding?  Yes, I get that the bead is likely a choking hazard, but haven't we gone a little far with this CYA mentality?  Are we so litigious these days that even bookmarks have to carry warnings?  Europeans don't have warnings on everything in case some idiot person decides to hand their 7 month old a bookmark to chew on.  They have, what is usually known as "personal responsibility" which is something Americans, with their love of suing everyone for everything, seem to have forgotten about.  Here's the thing, coffee is generally hot.  If you spill it on yourself, you might get burned.  Coffee cups should not have to come with a warning.  Eating fast food every day will likely make you fat.  Happy Meals shouldn't have to come with a warning.  If you put your head in a plastic bag, you might run out of oxygen and die.  Bags shouldn't have to carry warnings.  I'm tired of being warned of every possible bad thing that can happen.  Use some common sense people.  Don't give babies bookmarks.  Be careful with your coffee.  Stop suing and take some responsibility for your actions.

Wow, I feel so much better, getting that out.  If you stuck with me through the whole thing, thanks.  You're awesome.  Obviously.  And, if you'd like to get your very own Keep Calm bookmark (and why wouldn't you for $2.95?) you can find one here:

Or, If you like, you too, can get your very own reproduction poster. Tell me we don't all need to look at this daily.

Keep Calm and Carry On.


Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

What drives me nuts is seeing a helmet for a kid to wear while he's learning to crawl/walk. They have those in catalogs. Get a grip, people!

Jenn B said...

It's a wonder we've lasted this long. I mean, rocks don't come with warning labels...hope no one chokes on one.

Do you follow Lovely Yellow Ribbons blog? She has an etsy shop with a fun miliary take on those posters...

Rachel said...

I personally enjoy the warnings on my blowdryer and hair straightner telling me not to use in the shower. I was JUST ABOUT to try to wash and dry and straighten my hair at the same time too, so good thing I caught the warning in the nick of time.

Anne said...

LOL!!! I think sometime people should come with warning too! LOL! Like "WARNING, will suck the energy out of you, Please KEEP AWAY for your own sanity" LOL!
BTW I have the same bookmark!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

it's ridiculous what the companies have come to when it comes to their warnings.

I love the Keep Calm products. I have a keychain that says this.

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