Just keep calm already
The Keep Calm craze has turned into full blown ridiculousness. Now I admittedly am fully addicted to it also as I just bought Christmas cards that say “Keep Calm and Be Merry” however even I started to feel like I was pushing the line of acceptable versions. It seems the most popular rendition remains to be “Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake” however I recently saw a mug that said, “Keep Calm and Hide Ya Kids Hide Ya Wife” and found it pretty horrifying. If we’re going to keep calm we should also probably keep it classy.
Now as to its origins. According to Wikipedia the poster was initially produced by the Ministry of Information, in 1939, at the beginning of the Second World War. It was intended to be distributed in order to strengthen morale in the event of a wartime disaster. 2,500,000 copies were printed, although the poster was distributed only in limited numbers. The designer of the poster is not known. In 2000, a copy of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster was rediscovered in Barter Books, a second-hand bookshop in Alnwick, Northumberland. Since Crown Copyright expires on artistic works created by the UK government after 50 years, the image is now in the public domain. The store’s owners, Stuart and Mary Manley, were thus able to reprint copies at customers’ requests, as did others, inside and outside Britain.
There is something so charming about the simplicity of the message and graphics that keeps us both calm and wanting more. But when is it being taken just too far? When is it no longer cute and funny? I don’t know but I do know that for now I just can’t stop.