World War II mantra adopted for modern times
'...you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on.'
Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable
A relic from wartime Britain, the phrase 'Keep Calm and Carry On' was once a hallmark of the restrained stiff-upper lip response to adversity. The message was spread on a series of minimalist posters, the zenith of design simplicity, in a typeface familiar to anyone who has travelled the London Underground.
The slogan is a short and convenient mantra for anyone prone to anxiety: whether at war, feeling stress in the workplace, or in the throes of complete existential breakdown. It even has its own website: keepcalmandcarryon.com.
Thanks to Owen Hatherley's website, Sit Down Man, You're a Bloody Tragedy, for drawing my attention.