Building a Better Bloke

Meditations on war

Posted in Death, Morality, Philosophy, Violence by Sam de Brito on December 9, 2009

By David Delaney

When I was prime soldiering age – late teens, early 20s – I never gave a moment’s thought to being a soldier. Nothing attracted me to the idea of being at war. It never even occurred to me. I had plans, ambitions, things to do. War, to me, was an alien concept. A crime against humanity.

Both my grandfathers died before I was born. Both fought in wars.

Finding out about their lives, I became obsessed with trying to understand what made them go to war. A sense of duty, defending your country and the things you hold dear, I understand those things, but they don’t fully explain to me why my grandfathers were so keen on war. Which, according to my mother, her father most certainly was. I know less about my father’s father, but I believe he was similar … More

O brother where art thou?

Posted in Death, Philosophy by Sam de Brito on November 18, 2009

By The Ginger

Those of you who read my previous post on this matter may have picked up on a line about my brother’s death earlier this year.

He was 19 years old and killed in a car crash in January, and since then my family and I have spent a lot of time wondering how exactly you adapt to something so fundamentally life-changing.

My own tactic has been to downplay it, joke about it, act tough, because a lot of the time I don’t feel anything – there’s a sense of loss, sure, but it’s distant enough that I can examine it fairly dispassionately (either that or I’m just kidding myself and I’ll be in therapy with rope burns around my neck in 10 years time) … 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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