Saturday 16 June 2018

'The Blurred Face Island Scandal' by Neil Clark

 Remember the Blurred Face Island Scandal?

Remember when it all came out? When the public learned that, when someone appeared on television with their face blurred out, it wasn’t some post-production special effect? That they had their actual face blurred out in real life?

That was all kinds of mad.

Remember when the first Blurred Face Islanders escaped? Man, they were front page news for weeks. Those blurred faces were everywhere you looked. They just could not keep up with all the questions.

What did they do with them on the island?

How did the perpetrators get away with it?

How did the loved ones of the blurred face people never notice them missing?

How did they blur the faces?

What was it like to touch the face of a blurred face person? To kiss a blurred face person?

Is it possible to unblur a face?

Was there some sort of international blurred face kidnapping ring on the go? What sort of sinister forces were at play here? Government? Extraterrestrials?

Was it all some big hoax?

“We’ve only seen images of all these Blurred Face Islanders on the news and the internet,” the sceptics said. “Unless we meet them in real life, how do we know they didn’t just have their faces blurred out using post-production?”

When Blurred Face Island opened as a tourist attraction, I saved for years to visit. Man, it was worth it. I even got to look into an actual mirror that an actual Blurred Face Islander would have looked into with their actual blurred face.

All my favourite Blurred Face Islanders had memoirs of their time on the island for sale in the souvenir shop, too. Man, I read those books religiously. And, let me tell you, it was no hoax. Too many of the accounts were the same. The way they described how they blurred the faces out just before the cameras started rolling. Barbaric stuff, man. And the harrowing accounts of their journey to the island. The way they rounded them up in a van as soon as they stopped filming the blurred face footage. I wept and wept, reading about the dread they experienced as they sat in that van, blurred face to blurred face with their fellow kidnapped blurred face people.

Remember when all those think pieces got written? When groups of people went missing and nobody noticed them missing, how that became known as the Blurred Face Island Phenomenon?

Remember when that other theory came out? That the reason nobody cared about the Blurred Face Islanders when they went missing was because big companies couldn’t sell cosmetics products to them? The Blurred Face Consumerism Complex Theory?

Anyway, reason I brought it all up is, a Blurred Face Islander has finally agreed to meet me. They’re on the other side of the world, so we have to do it via video call or whatever. But yeah, I’m actually going to meet an actual Blurred Face Islander.

Dream come true, man.


  1. Love the wit in this piece and that the story was inspired by vss365. The ending is absolutely perfect! A follow-up on the theme could be a tongue twister: Who can say "Blurred Face People" fives times fast?

    1. Thanks Bridget, glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for giving me an idea for next year's flash flood entry - The Tongue Twisted Island Scandal.


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