Building a Better Bloke

When Barbie is a prawn

Posted in Women by Sam de Brito on October 29, 2009

By Sam de Brito

How many times have you experienced this scenario?

Your friend is dating a girl with the personality of Katherine Knight, who bears a striking resemblance to Wilson Tuckey but because she’s endowed with a porn star hard-body, all your buddy has to say is: “Mate, have you seen the rig?” and there’s nods of understanding from all your friends.

Many men will overlook a woman’s mental instability, body odour, absence of a sense of humour, absence of intelligence, even absence of teeth — if she has an incredible figure.

Ironically, it was a woman who I first heard term these females “prawns” because “you can chuck away the head and just keep the body” … More

Four eyes

Posted in Confidence, Health by Sam de Brito on October 29, 2009

By David Delaney

I have very bad eyesight, so I wear glasses. I needed to qualify the second statement with the first, because there are people who wear glasses by choice.

Glasses supposedly make a person look “intelligent” so you get the occasional bimbo/meathead affecting them in an effort to look like they’ve read books without pictures in them. That annoys me a little, because it’s a choice I don’t have.

I’m not complaining, having met a few blind people over the years. But I’ve also knocked the glasses off my face on occasion, and it’s really humiliating to have to get down on my knees and feel around for them because I can’t see well enough to find them visually.

For a seriously myopic person, it’s scary how helpless you become without your glasses … More

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The three Ps

Posted in Uncategorized by Sam de Brito on October 28, 2009

Last week Timothy J Graham gave us his breakdown on the basics of Christianity – dogma and ceremony aside. This week he expands on the final point of his post – the three Ps – and why he reckons Jesus banged on about them so much.

At the heart of the gospel is the message that the antidote to confusion and paralysis is always a return to simplicity; returning to a life free from the complexities that naturally arise from having money and possessions.

One thing was clear from Jesus’ teachings: money and the gospel don’t mix. This issue is probably the biggest on Jesus’ agenda, and yet modern Christians seem to have not only missed it, but gone in the opposite direction … More

Funerals suck

Posted in Death by Sam de Brito on October 26, 2009

By The Ginger

They can be emotional, solemn and, when the fans inside the church are broken, inconveniently hot. Some people find them comforting and uplifting. However, I can’t think of a single person who would rather attend a funeral than not have to.

Sadly, they’re also one of few certainties in this world (the old idiom included taxes as well, but Paul Hogan has pretty much up-ended that one), and for men, they present a boiling stew of unfamiliar emotion.

Unfamiliar, not because we haven’t felt it before, but because a lot of us shy away from it like Jarryd Hayne dodging a tackle, and so we never have to face up to what we feel. Funerals do not give you that option … More

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On the rise

Posted in Relationships by Sam de Brito on October 25, 2009

By El Guapo

There are obvious signs things are going well in a relationship: you get butterflies when you see each other, you can’t keep your hands to yourself, you lose track of time when you’re together, and you think every love song on the radio was written about you.

There’s equally obvious signs things are going poorly in your relationship, most notably, you argue all the bloody time. And usually over the smallest crap.

But there are also subtle signs that can be just as meaningful. After all, they say it’s the little things that count and they are right … More

Voice of the frustrated consumer

Posted in Anger, Finance by Sam de Brito on October 24, 2009

This guy is classic. Nuts but he knows his stuff.

To deal or not to deal? Part 3

Posted in drugs, Entrepreneurship by Sam de Brito on October 22, 2009

By The Brute

The next month went agonizingly slow; the plants reached their zenith at roughly nine feet and were as wide as an outhouse. I knew the things were worth a small fortune and I became increasingly more paranoid about them being stolen as harvest approached.

The last two weeks I pitched a tent in the backyard and slept in there with a BB gun, Samurai sword and my 75kg dog. I gave my old man some shitty excuse that he accepted without question

The day of harvest was a massive job as I followed my ‘Pot Bible’ and took the big heads off first and let them continue to grow. It was called a “double harvest” and it worked well … More

Group action

Posted in Confidence, Depression, Male bonding by Sam de Brito on October 22, 2009

By Leon N

What’s this stuff about men’s groups?

Some of you might learned about them via the excellent film released last year, whilst others may suspect they are an urban myth, or just some gay or feminist fantasy.

The fact is that men’s groups exist all over the country, and if you’re lucky there’s probably one near you.

Social psychologists in Australia have studied the evolution of men’s groups over the past 20 years and recognise them as powerful mediums for enlightenment and personal growth … More

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Tick tock

Posted in Confidence, Housekeeping, Life skills, Self esteem by Sam de Brito on October 21, 2009

A quick reminder that the next Building a Better Bloke seminar will be held Sunday, November 1, 2009 in Surry Hills, Sydney.

More than 100 guys have attended the seminar now and the feedback has been incredibly positive: take a look here, if you’d like to read some recent comments about what goes down on the day.

I spent the first thirty years of my life clueless as to what I was doing wrong (and right) with girls. About 2001, I stumbled across a couple of websites and realised there was a massive amount of literature out there that could help guys like me.

Since then, I’ve either read, listened, watched, researched, tried or written about most of the dating material out there – certainly more than any other Australian writer has in the public space … More

Christianity for … smarties

Posted in Philosophy, Religion by Sam de Brito on October 21, 2009

By Timothy J Graham

Let me preface this post by saying I am not a Christian, though I was brought up in a very Catholic family (my father was in seminary for seven years before dropping out in his final year).

For this reason, I am privy to half-drunken conversations with a rare collection of wise but burnt-out old priests and clergymen, who are old friends of the family.

The following is five points I put together based on conversations I have been a part of for many years. Much of this might be declared heresy by Christian folk, but it is beautiful and rich in wisdom, and I am greatly in awe of how deeply it resonates for me.

Jesus was not a Christian

And certainly not a Catholic, a Lutheran, a Methodist, or a Seventh Day Adventist, and so forth.

He was born a Jew and he died a Jew. He didn’t order people to start a religion after him. There was no bible in Jesus’ time. There were no priests, no bishops, no Popes. No churches. No confessionals. No “Jesus Fish” stickers on the bumpers of mid-range luxury cars … More

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Chick buddies

Posted in Female friends by Sam de Brito on October 20, 2009

By Sam de Brito

It’s hard to overstate the benefits of having lots of female friends.

Aside from the obvious advantages of them belching less and looking hotter in shorts than your mates, women buddies seldom drop a solid in your bathroom, help you avoid fashion disasters, give you insight into the screeching jungle that is the feminine mind and they’re a great way to meet other chicks.

One of the great flaws of Aussie blokedom is that for a lot of men, their closest female relationships are with women they’re either related to or they’re having sex with.

I’m sure there’s plenty of guys out there with close female friends but rest assured there’s lots of other men who struggle to see chicks as anything other than someone to lie on while they’re having a root … More

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Slow man

Posted in Entertainment, Philosophy, Sport by Sam de Brito on October 19, 2009

By Craig Lennox

I am a cyclist, and I love watching cycling.

Whether I mention this in passing or during a deep discussion on the merits of various sports, it regularly draws funny looks, comments regarding a penchant for Lycra shorts and suggestions that I may also enjoy watching paint dry.

Justifying being a cyclist and enjoying the lycra shorts whilst contending with wind, rain, hills and traffic is generally easy enough. It’s great for building fitness, you can exercise while actually going somewhere (and admire the outside world rather than sweaty people and walls), and it’s a way to get around without destroying the planet.

But explaining to someone why I enjoy watching men and women doing the same on TV is always a challenge … More

Get involved

Posted in Uncategorized by Sam de Brito on October 17, 2009

Lots of you are visiting and saying nothing, which shits me.

This site is for you guys.

I don’t get paid for it. How about participating, and stop cruising by like mutes at a traffic accident?

Suggest topics. Make submissions. I’ve already received a bunch of crackers. Come on. Step off.

To deal or not to deal? Part 2

Posted in drugs, Entrepreneurship by Sam de Brito on October 16, 2009

By The Brute

The soil around the city beaches of Sydney is very sandy and perfect for growing a plant that originated in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The dozen tiny plants took to our garden like a Maori to scaffolding, and with plenty of water and helpings of my mother’s dynamic lifter they were a couple of feet high after just one month.

My mother wasn’t stupid and she recognised the shape of the leaves very early but funnily enough she didn’t give me up to Ray or tear them out.

Although she was very anti-drug and had never drank another beer since getting drunk at her 18th birthday in 1958, I think she was enjoying watching them grow.

Our neighbours on both sides were very old and wouldn’t have known what these healthy big shrubs were even when they had reached the top of the fence by New Years.

I remember mum saying to me with a hint of worry, “How big do those marijuana plants of yours get and when are they ready?” … More

Shy guy

Posted in Confidence by Sam de Brito on October 15, 2009

By David Delaney

I am shy, but I don’t look it.

I have had conversations with people where I’ve claimed to be shy and been told “no you’re not.” Admittedly I’m not as shy as I once was, and I’ve regularly done things that are seen as “not shy” behaviour.

But I’ve also read about (and personally known) a lot of performers – musicians, actors, comedians – who are shy. People who get up in front of a crowd and perform are usually judged to be egomaniacs who thrive on attention. It’s true, in some cases, but I’ve found that many of the best performers aren’t like that at all.

Often they’re intensely self-critical. They’re not driven by dreams of glory but by aspirations to adequacy. If a successful performer claims to be shy in real life, there’s a good chance they’re being honest, not modest … More

Grog monstered

Posted in Booze, Medical advice by Sam de Brito on October 14, 2009

By Dr Michael Mancini

I thought I’d start my column with a topic that is close to my heart and often not far from my lips. Alcohol.

Whether worshipped or vilified, alcohol has played a starring role in most major civilisations. Stone Age beer jugs have been found dating back to 10,000 B.C., remnants from what is believed to be the first ever keg party.

That most excellent novel, Ye Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus et al.), records Noah planting a vineyard on Mt Ararat; and after Moses led the Hebrews into Canaan and out of Egyptian slavery, they were heard to be complaining about leaving all the good wine behind.

The Ancient Egyptians also recognized the heavenly qualities of alcohol, worshipping Osiris, the Goddess of Wine.

They proved to be prodigious brewers, producing up to 17 different varieties of beer and 24 types of wine. With the passage of time and the changing geopolitical climate, the Mecca of beer-brewing changed to Eastern Europe and is now dominated by countries such as Germany and Belgium, and is celebrated by that wonderful cultural festival Oktoberfest … More

To deal or not to deal?

Posted in drugs, Entrepreneurship by Sam de Brito on October 13, 2009

By The Brute

To deal or not to deal, that is the question.

More people than you think sell drugs, be it pot, coke, speed, ice, crack, E’s or some other deadly concoction mixed together in a backyard lab.

It’s easy money but it is fraught with many dangers: getting caught by the cops and arrested is the closest to mind but you can also get addicted to your wares as they are so ready to hand, and almost free.

You can have your house invaded, get yourself bashed and your dirty, hard-earned cash and merchandise stolen.

But no matter the dangers, it is still a very attractive profession for those amongst us too dumb or lazy to get a proper job or career … More

Bandwagon jumpers

Posted in Sport, Wankers by Sam de Brito on October 11, 2009

By El Guapo

I grew up a mental Western Suburbs Magpies fan.

My dad and brother and I endured years of heartache, attending most games in the days you could drive to every venue, lob five minutes before kick-off and find plenty of standing room on the hill.

(I don’t think I actually sat down to watch a match until my 20s. And that was in the early 90s on a demountable, uncovered, plywood and aluminum “grandstand” at Campbelltown Sports Ground that Wests bought on the cheap from the 1982 Commonwealth Games “stadium” in Brisbane.)

Our fervour peaked during the apocalyptic 1984 season which produced one win in 24 matches (a 13-10 home victory over Illawarra). We sat, or stood, through every single match. We drove to Penrith, Wollongong and Canberra. We capped off the season in Round 26 with a drive to Endeavour Field in the Sigma, where Cronulla walloped us 48-10 in front of 3230 fans … More

Talking your way out of it

Posted in Cheating, Diplomacy by Sam de Brito on October 10, 2009

Legitimately funny. Hope you never find yourselves in this situation.

Fight or flight?

Posted in Diplomacy, Violence by Sam de Brito on October 7, 2009

By Grant Hyde

It’s an age-old question; do you stand and fight like a man or is discretion the better part of valour? What do you do if somebody wants to fight you? Do you wimp out and walk away or do you throw the fist punch?

As with most things in life it is never black and white. But hopefully I can shed a little light on the repercussions of your actions.

Some years back I was in Tonga building a hotel and playing rugby league. I met a girl there who had a very big, pissed off ex-boyfriend. One night he managed to outflank my entourage and king hit me whilst I was having a piss under a tree. One punch broke my nose and snapped my front tooth off in the gum. It was a good shot.

I have copped worse on the league paddock but that was a three-man gang-tackle with a high shot to the jaw.

As I hit the deck, one thing kept going through my mind, “Get up. Get up you cat.” More

Depression: what it isn’t

Posted in Depression by Sam de Brito on October 7, 2009

By David Delaney

I’m talking from personal experience here, and I’m talking about major clinical depression.

You can find definitions and descriptions elsewhere: this is a guide to common mistakes people make when dealing with seriously depressed people.

“A case of the sads”

Everyone has those. Clinical depression is not like that. It’s an illness, and it can be fatal. It can cripple a person just as much as any other serious disease while being invisible to the naked eye. A person can look perfectly normal, and behave in a perfectly normal way most of the time, and still be just as disabled as a person who has a disease you do understand. Take it from me, and take it from doctors and scientists who have spent their lives studying it: it’s real, it’s serious, and it can cripple a person … More