Saturday, April 19, 2008


10 years ago I came up with the idea of doing a documentary. I was dating a girl who's father had converted the family's standalone garage into what he called "The Clubhouse". It was a place to hide from the family, drink beer and watch television.

I realized that there appears to be a universal, hard-wired need among men to establish a space for themselves. It appears to span across cultures and well as socio-economic boundaries. In the last few years the term "mancave" has poped up in popular culture to describe this phenomenon. It's often just a space to drink and watch tv or play video games but sometimes it's a den, library, woodworking shop, watercolor studio, whatever.

One of the points of reference I had for the film was the shanty town in Murmansk (Russia). From BBC News: In pictures: Murmansk's gorgeous garages

The men of Russia's Arctic city of Murmansk have an unlikely passion - as a woman living there explains: "Many men in Murmansk love escaping to their garages, which are often built far away from the apartment blocks where they live."

"It is a tradition that the men build the garages themselves. Many of them were illegally built, though a few months ago there was an amnesty for unregistered garages."

"They call them sea shells. I don’t know why because they are so ugly and sea shells are so pretty."

"Winters here are long and hard and they’ve got to keep their cars somewhere. They like to mend their cars in a warm place, and the fishermen can lock up their cars when they spend months at sea."

"The men spend a lot of time there, repairing their cars and talking politics or gossiping."

"When a car has been repaired they celebrate. It is a tradition to eat home-made pickles and drink vodka, so in most garages there is a good store of supplies."

"The garages are often furnished with old furniture, so after bad rows with their wives the men can come here to stay for a few days."

CNN just did a piece on mancaves: iReporters share a glimpse of their man caves

This was one of the responses to the CNN piece, from Tiki Bar TV

This is just stupid.

The man-cave is NOT shown around, it is NOT talked about, it is kept in the dark where only the owner can tread. The man-cave contains in its recesses stuff that only applies to the man in question. Mocking can result if shown to other men, and divorce if shown to women.

Showing a man-cave is like showing your gitch in public.

It's just not done.

Silly CNN. The man-cave's privacy is sancrosect.

1 comment:

crackfoxlicker56 said...

the mancave shit is some facinating,,,,shit.