Saturday, 26 October 2013

Bricolage - Arts & Craft Just Got Manly

Bricoleur

BRICOLAGE

Noun. Mid-20th century.
[French. from bricoler do odd jobs, repair, formed as next.]

Construction or creation from whatever is immediately available for use;
something constructed or created in this way, an assemblage of haphazard or incongruous elements.

BRICOLEUR

Noun. Mid-20th century.
[French = handyman, from bricoler (see above) + -eur -OR.]

A person who engages in bricolage; a constructor or creator of bricolages.

Let me set the scene: you're tied up in the back of a flat-spinning helicopter; the rotors have fallen off and the pilot is dead. All you have is a paperclip in one hand, a post-it note in the other, your immaculate mullet and fifteen seconds 'til impact. How do you survive? How do you survive? A real man would easily slip this fix, of course, because a real man is a deft bricoleur, schooled in the art of bricolage. True, it might not sound like the manliest of survival crafts with its fancy French pronunciation and spelling, but some of the manliest men that have every graced our screens have been bricoleurs - BA Baracus, for one, and the Brigadier-General of Bricolage himself, Agent Angus MacGyver, a man that could simultaneously disarm a nuclear weapon, tame a tiger and spot weld your leaking radiator with nothing more than his trusty paper clip, a can of Coke (to use as a catalyst, of course) and a child's toy trumpet. Now that's a real man. Even if you're not a get-your-hands-dirty, save-the-world-with-an-envelope type of guy, you can be a bricoleur in so many fields: art, literature, music, fashion or IT, to name just a few - all you need to have is the uncanny ability to bring together incongruous elements that are immediately to hand so as construct a novel artifact that addresses whatever purpose or problem you're attempting to manage. Easy.

Bricolage, Bricoleur
Art by Rasmus Olsen

Are you a bricoleur, or do you have any dazzling tales of real-life bricolage?

Were you able to out-bricolage the helicopter conundrum?

Are you offended by the rampant assumption in this post that bricoleurs are men?

Do combobulate your incongruous comments below.   

13 comments:

  1. Simple - use the post-it note to cover up the CCTV camera so that the man with the cat won't know you've escaped, haul the dead pilot out of his seat, use the paper clip to fuse the electrics that are keeping the hatch to the outside locked and then, keeping a careful hold on the body of the pilot, throw yourself out of the helicopter, opening his parachute asap.
    Then it's off with a hey-nonny-no to meet the girl in stilettoes and save the entire continent. Obviously.

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    1. Sally, you're a resourceful genius.

      May I take the liberty of one small refinement, given that 15 seconds might not be enough time to successfully land with a parachute.

      If you jumped out and fell headfirst you would just slowly decelerate as you approached the ground, since the force of earth's latent hatred of mullets is stronger than gravity.

      You'll have to do it though, as I suspect I'm probably not allowed within 200m of stiletto-girl.

      -c

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    2. Brilliant, brilliant. I was worried about the parachute's having time to open, and hoped that detail could be safely left to a canny copy-editor. Thanks Anon.

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    3. I love it, Sally (although it did slightly ignore the 'you're tied up' element). However, I think it would work, especially with C's refinement, as you can use the pilot's corpse to break your hard fall (which is a bit dark for MacGyver), and also we can probably assume that the pilot has a mullet too (if we're operating in MacGyververse), so by bringing his lifeless body along for the ride will double C's aforementioned earth-mullet repulsion factor. Brilliant.

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  2. I once tried to achieve invisibility with just a sock, a painting of the Royal family, a mirror, and a small yoghurt.

    I am now banned from the local gym (and anywhere in town with a changing room) and can't come within 200m of the queen.

    Thanks MacGyver, you idiot.

    -c

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    Replies
    1. Invisibility with a sock, a painting, and a ... oh yeah, yeah! I see how that would work. It's all just simple physics really.

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  3. I can't top Sally's or Mr C's resourcefulness, but I sure can enjoy it!
    Thank you both for the Saturday morning (my time) laugh!

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  4. Real-life bricolage: 2 weeks ago we had a flat tyre and it was a rental car and we were in the woods of North Carolina. We drove really slowly to the nearest gas station and the men there insisted we didin't have to change the whole thing. One of them found the cause of the problem, a tiny bit of metal. He took it out and then brought something called a "tap" (I'm not sure) and he managed to deftly plug the hole. Then he inflated the tyre again and he used saliva to check if it was leaking! It was the perfect solution, we drove 9 hours without a problem.

    And he was very funny too. Before he started fixing it, he said -Southern drawl and all-: "That's the redneck way to fix it!" We're so grateful he was there.

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    Replies
    1. But Evi ... did at any point you think you might be in the opening scene of a cliched American horror movie?

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    2. All the time! It was such a typical situation.

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  5. Brillant, brillant. Je craignais d'avoir le temps de le parachute pour ouvrir, et espéré que le détail pourrait être laissé en toute sécurité à une copie-rédacteur en chef rusé. Merci Anon.

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  6. http://serrurierfichet.paris/serrurier-yerres/
    serrurier yerres
    I can't top Sally's or Mr C's resourcefulness, but I sure can enjoy it!
    Thank you both for the Saturday morning (my time) laugh!

    ReplyDelete