It started at the airport.

The woman ahead of me had a sport utility bag with the words LIVE LOVE LAUGH BELIEVE HOPE DREAM DANCE on it.

And I thought All at once?

And then, Don’t tell me what to do.  Especially on a cheap sports bag. But it was too late.  Suddenly, slogans are everywhere.

Stones with STRENGTH on them.

Endless weathered wooden plaques with DANCE LIKE NO ONE’S WATCHING, SING LIKE YOU’RE IN THE SHOWER, HAVE SEX LIKE A BABOON IN A TREE or some such.

Americans seem desperate for meaning. And Brit sloganism is not far behind.

So naturally, I thought I’d set the record straight. Here are some slogans from my personal shop window, available on mugs, t-shirts, acid free paper (add $100 framed), headstones and extra large support garments.

 

  1. DANCE LIKE YOU’RE ON A GIBBET.
  2. FLY LIKE YOU’VE GOT A STONE ROUND YOUR NECK.
  3. JUST DON’T.  REALLY, I’M NOT KIDDING.
  4. BE NICE OR LEAVE.
  5. PLOD FASTER.
  6. MORE STUFF TO EASE THE PAIN.
  7. BOOZE. PROZAC. ASPIRIN. LIPITOR. DEAD.
And then I remembered the granddaddy of all slogans, the one from my youth — IBM’s little grey desk sign.
It read simply, THINK.

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18 thoughts on “SLOGANS FOR OUR TIME

  1. Vanessa Harbour 5 years ago

    Oh Meg I couldn’t agree more. Am so tired of being told to be calm and carry on and various variations. I don’t feel calm and I certainly feel like carrying on, so leave me alone. But do they listen no they find some other delightful slogan to throw at me. Definite slogan overkill. Great post

  2. Zannah Kearns 5 years ago

    Dance like you’re on a gibbet made me cackle like a hyena. I might have to place an order!

  3. Martine 5 years ago

    thanks, you really brightened my day:-)
    martine

  4. Stella 5 years ago

    I saw a version of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ spelled out in painkillers, sleeping tablets and anti-depressants. I rather liked it.

  5. Philip Ardagh 5 years ago

    That’s one of the reasons why I started #ArdaghTips on Twitter… I got sick of wallowing knee-deep in feel-good treacle.

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  7. Kate 5 years ago

    I actually saw ‘Be Nice or Leave’ on something just the other day!

  8. Mik 5 years ago

    then the ones from childhood:

    Don’t talk with your mouthful
    Sit still and be quiet

  9. Wendy Wise 5 years ago

    Very true and very funny! My fave slogan was across the chest of a big French lorry driver, it read “Strong Whisky Scooters”

  10. Maudie Stokes 5 years ago

    Loved plod faster!

  11. erica 5 years ago

    I’ll take a “plod faster” bumper sticker, please.

  12. Suranne Keynes 5 years ago

    What about “Yes we can!” ?

  13. Justsal 5 years ago

    Loved #7 Though personally I’d have added ‘Xanax’ 🙂

    1. Meg Rosoff 5 years ago

      Legal petitions have been filed.

  14. Lynne Harris 5 years ago

    my favourite is C.B.A. – Can’t be Arsed

  15. Amy 4 years ago

    Yes to everything you said. And the best version of that godforsaken ‘keep calm and carry on being smug and ignoring inconventient truths’ is this one here: http://pinterest.com/pin/244883298457960320/

    In case my technical ineptitude means the link doesn’t work, it says ‘I usually try to keep my sadness pent up inside where it can fester quietly as a mental illness’.

    I would like it on my wall.

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