Last night, I purchased this poster:
Perhaps you've seen it before? I love its story. In case of impending disaster, the government says "Don't panic!" This is quintessentially British--stiff upper lip and whatntot. In America there'd be some kind of color-coded panic-inducing system.
And isn't this the best response? If the Germans invade, don't give them the satisfaction of panicking. (Sidenote tangent: Some of the whiny hipsters who frequent the comments at Apartment Therapy seem to think it's wrong for the government to tell the people to keep calm. Because "EVERYBODY PANIC!" is much more effective? They also think the poster is cliche, although I've never seen it in actual reality. It is popular on the internet, though. But the whiny hipsters also use "cliche" when they mean "widespread" or "popular." You know what else is popular? Ansel Adams, Monet, that French poster with the black cat, etc. Does it really make them any less enjoyable, just because other people enjoy them too? Bah. Hipsters.)
It reminds me of when I was a kid; I must have been in second or third grade, and I got glasses. One of my relatives thought it hilarious to call me "Librarian." Drove me crazy. What's wrong with glasses? Or librarians, for that matter? So the advice my dad gave me was to stop responding. If he doesn't get the reaction he's looking for, he'll stop doing it. Not that the Germans would have turned around and left if the Brits had kept up the appearance of being calm, of course, but...you know. They didn't really throw around the word "terrorism" in the 40s, but wasn't that the point of the Blitz?
Anyway, I love this poster--its aesthetic, its message, its story, everything. I really could have used it lately, as things have been so crappy. Sometimes you just gotta keep calm and carry on. (Although sometimes you just need to be dramatic. [I really like the one I once saw that said "Go crazy and throw things."]) I could have gotten a "Keep Calm" poster on etsy, but not only was it cheaper to order it from England, even with shipping (whaa?!) but I wanted to support Barter Books, since they found the original, and they're a second-hand bookshop in an old train station! You can't beat that.