Bicycle Diaries: Keep calm & carry on

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Keep calm & carry on

this too
shall pass

Times are tough. Since January's Black Monday, the US economy continues to hemorrhage jobs as global financial markets plunge. Personal debt is astronomic. More credit is nearly non-existent. Here in The Windy City the anxiety are palpable; although folks are muddling through. Whether or not it was last week's record warm spell, there are more bikers on the streets. Costco Warehouse memberships are at a record high. Neighborhood taverns and restaurants are quieter than usual on weeknights. The same is true for every large city across the world.

So it isn't at all surprising that Barter Books, in the UK's Northumberland, now sells a reprint of the WWII propaganda poster above. Several million copies of Keep Calm and Carry On were printed but never distributed. Winston Churchill's Ministry of Information had decided to use them only in the event of a German invasion. Fortunately they were never needed. They would've then been consigned to the dustbin of history if it weren't for the discovery of a single copy by Barter's owners, Stuart and Mary Manley, in 2001. Their subsequent decision to sell reprints at £3.60, or $5.54, has met with great success. While we are nowhere near the dark times of the 1940s, these posters are a wonderful reminder that this current crisis shall pass. Or as Churchill declared,
The English know how to make the best of things. Their so-called muddling through is simply skill at dealing with the inevitable.

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Anonymous Karl McCracken (twitter: @karlonsea) said...

Barter Books? In Alnwick?

OK, so now I'm curious - you're in Chicago, but where are you from Mr Da Square Wheelman?

15/2/09 14:57  
Blogger Da' Square Wheelman, said...

Not from Joly Olde. But am from the grand old duke's estates north of the Hudson. At least, I married (and divorced) a fines Norwicher, actually Pixley Parish. As for the know-what, I know my way 'bout google...

Sorry, been just ogglin' BBC One's latest Oliver Twist! Wale, new for usins' the colonies...

15/2/09 21:03  

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