A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

Binge Britain: Whats happening to the young people?

Some times when you see something every day, over and over you get desensitised to it. Like that nude advert that is played every twenty minutes purporting to sell a body spray or chewing gum, you slowly and gradually believe its acceptable and rationalise that its  permissible as long as your lust that it fuels is a “victimless crime”. A polish photographer, Maciej Dakowicz, 34, decided to capture nocturnal scenes of the streets of Britain and entered the collection in a photo exhibition. Well…

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They look like images you might find in some depressing police dossier. Here, in vivid detail, is a squalid portrait of binge-drinking Britain. Some of the more incapacitated specimens are in mid-vomit. A few have simply passed out.

Tequila-fuelled young women strike crude poses that will (or should) mortify them in the sober light of day. More worryingly, one or two are unconscious on the pavement, dangerously vulnerable in their pathetic state.

The scenes were all captured in Cardiff, in the area around St Mary Street and neighbouring ‘chip alley’. But similar scenes are being played out in town centres all over Britain every weekend.

Yet there was no sense of concern or revulsion the other day when this collage of shame was unveiled before an audience of 1,000 people. Instead, they leapt to their feet, applauding, roaring with laughter and crying ‘Bravo!’

For, in the eyes of the experts and professionals gathered at the International Festival of Photojournalism in the French city of Perpignan, this portfolio of work —entitled Cardiff After Dark —was a beautifully crafted and realistic portrait of life in modern Britain.

On those very streets of Cardiff once walked a great Reformed Welsh hymn writer, William Williams Pantycelyn, he penned the words of a hymn Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch (in English, Lord, lead me through the wilderness, translated as the English Hymn Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah) that so very much bemoans the moral state of our (any) generation:

Lord, lead me through the wilderness,
Me, a poor, sick pilgrim,
I don’t have strength or life in me,
Like lying in the grave:
Omnipotent, Omnipotent
Is the one to raise me to the holy.
Is the one to raise me to the holy.

How I wish my generation would have an ear to listen! Just for once without that bottle in their hands. It could happen, though I know I am a dreamer.


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