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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A Guide to Men


Oops -- Cardiff, Wales, St Mary Street, Friday night: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 25 May 2006

This is a song about common sense
Folded backwards into itself

-- from A Guide to Men, in The Plot Against Common Sense (2012) by Future of the Left, a Cardiff band

Huw in the club, Cardiff. The Glamorgan County Council Staff Club, Cardiff, Wales: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 12 November 2005

Three Men -- Financial District, New York: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 15 October 2010

Rituals in Gandak-- Soneur, India. Asia' s largest cattle fair: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 17 November 2013

22:19 -- Saturday night, Cardiff, Wales: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 20 March 2010

On the Beach -- Aden, Yemen: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 29 December 2007

02:45 -- Saturday night, Cardiff, Wales: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 31 May 2009

Coke --Sonepur Mela, India: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 22 November 2010

 00:46 -- Saturday night, Cardiff city centre, Wales: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 13 June 2009

Tea -- Istanbul. A little tea shop in Balet, a wonderful colourful area of Istanbul: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 8 May 2013

22:41 -- Cardiff, Wales, the chippy alley on matchday. The guy literally dived into that pile of garbage a few seconds before, just for fun I guess. He didn't realize that he could get dirty a bit: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 18 June 2008

Priest --Sonepur, India. A quiet moment in one of the temples of Sonepur: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 18 November 2013

Pink Hat -- Cardiff, Wales, St Mary Street on Saturday night: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 25 June 2006

Night calls -- Bangkok, Thailand. Night calls from a tailor shop in Khao San Road, Bangkok: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 28 February 2014

Late Night Meal -- Cardiff. Wales, Caroline Street, the chippy alley: photo by Maciej Dakowicz, 24 July 2006


TC said...

Future of the Left: A Guide to Men

ACravan said...

I enjoyed the song and video a lot (it kind of reminded me of first hearing Devo, but with a difference) and found the images you posted effectively unsettling. I wish I knew my thoughts better on "A Guide For Men." Unclarity arises, however, because I know and speak to so few people any more and I feel out of touch with almost everything. Curtis

Wooden Boy said...

Cardiff: that spew out of focus in the first shot and that vast boy climbing over the railings in his nightie. My father's people. The same blood in my veins. God help us.

The shot in the club with two generations face to face is telling.

From common sense to common sensibilities. Looking through the pictures, it's clear there are a variety ways of making men.

Hazen said...

To paraphrase Richard Heinberg: Civilization is a massive case of post-traumatic stress disorder, and has been from the get-go. The symptoms of PTSD include:
-vigilance and scanning,
-elevated startle response,
-blunted affect or psychic numbing (the loss of the ability to feel),
-denial (mental reorganization of the event to reduce pain, leading sometimes even to amnesia),
-aggressive, controlling behavior,
-interruption of memory and concentration,
-generalized anxiety,
-episodes of rage,
-substance abuse,
-intrusive recall and dissociative "flashback" experiences,
-suicidal ideation, and
-survivor guilt.

Cf. Heinberg’s essay Catastrophe, Collective Trauma and the Origin of Civilization.

TC said...

This two-part video follows Maciej (the unassuming fellow in windbreaker, with backpack and camera) down St Mary Street, Cardiff, on a Saturday night:

Cardiff night -- 1/2

Cardiff night -- 2/2

TC said...

Really this photographer's work calls for a few more words.

First, the title of the post is strictly my imposition, as is, of course, and as ever, my selection from the full range of the work. As the video should make clear, it's impossible to dismiss the public behaviour we are seeing here in the Cardiff shots by simply labeling it "Eee-yooh! Guy stuff! Disgusting!" The photographer's profile and video posted here should make it amply evident, women do the same stuff.

Second, and again perhaps this ought to go without saying, Maciej Dakowicz is not a party animal but a street photographer whose work reports but does not judge -- in which sense one might think of him as an ethnographer. He's worked all round the world. He comes from Poland but spent a decade or so in the UK, staying on for some years after attending university in Wales at Glamorgan. Since then he has moved on to conduct street photography workshops in Istanbul, Southeast Asia, Kolkata, Varanasi, among other places. He is now based in Mumbai.

Duncan, you might be interested in what Maciej has to say about that wonderful shot of "Huw in the club, Cardiff -- The Glamorgan County Council Staff Club".

"The Glamorgan County Council Staff Club was a pub in the city centre of Cardiff, on Westgate street. That old red brick corner building just in front of the Millennium Stadium. We called it the Staff Club. You could go there and always see someone you know. A special place and a second home for many of its customers.

"The pub was suddenly closed in October 2007 after almost 50 years of operation. At that time, the club was selected by the Cardiff branch of the Campaign for Real Ale as the club of the year and had about 6000 members, the vast majority employees and ex-employees of the city council. All attempts and hopes to reopen it failed and in the end of 2008, a year from its closure, the building was sold to a company that planned to open a trendy club or music venue there."

Barry Taylor said...

Leeds, Stoke, Nottingham, Reading, Worcester, Bristol - welcome to our Saturday night. I'm a believer in the crisis of masculinity thesis, but as Tom suggests, the girls get pretty scary too. Pig-out, barf, screw, ruck, get off your face, fall over, is what you do when the rest of the week is meaningless conformity to someone else's rules and for someone else's profit. And that doesn't seem to have changed much since Breughel was taking his Saturday night photos on the streets of Ghent (as it were) -

And as that article suggests, the bloke in the lilac frock in Cardiff is carrying on the great tradition of carnival cross-dressing, which brings us back to men but, in the spirit of the song, inside out and all over the place.

Nin Andrews said...

Amazing photos.

TC said...

Thanks Barry and Nin.

Barry, "inside out and all over the place" for sure.

Your account of the social background of the ragged bacchanalia in the Saturday night streets sounds dead on. The article link didn't come up, but that Bruegel is certainly apropos. It should show up here:

The Fight between Carnival and Lent (1559)

Lord Charlie said...

Terrific photos.

Wooden Boy said...

Barry's right - you can add Birmingham to the list. Good to remember the carnival fire at the heart of it.

Been thinking about this post through the day and this came to mind.

"You will never understand
How it feels to live your life
With no meaning or control
And with nowhere else to go
You are amazed that they exist
And they burn so bright
While you can only wonder why"

TC said...

No kid anywhere, of any age, wants to be taken for granted.

aditya said...

Thanks for this and everything else.. Wonder-full-- these photos of the other side of the "global" mirror.

TC said...

Many thanks, Aditya. Sometimes the other side of the mirror lends a touch of balance to the view.