Building a Better Bloke

Home or Away?

Posted in Careers, Philosophy, Status, Travel by Sam de Brito on December 11, 2009

By Craig Lennox

A little while ago I saw the animated film UP.

It is a film for children, with bright, bold colours, amusing characters and a simple and entertaining story. And like many of the kids’ films being produced at the moment it has plenty for the parents, or adults who don’t mind watching kids’ movies.

To briefly summarise; a young boy with dreams of becoming an adventurer and explorer meets a young girl with the same dreams.

They grow up, get married and grow old together, all the while saving for and dreaming of the day they can travel to the South American jungle … More

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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

Fat, rich westerner

Posted in Philosophy, Travel, Wankers by Sam de Brito on December 8, 2009

By James Marshall

Ten years ago I made a resolution to go overseas every year.

It wasn’t in response to anything in particular, apart from a love of travelling, but I realised that if I didn’t prioritise the planning process, it would be easily neglected.

I didn’t want to wake up one day, realise that I was old and had not done the things I wanted to do. Since then I’ve managed to get to all sorts of out-of-the-way places, even if I cheated slightly one year by going to relatively un-exotic New Zealand for a couple of weeks. So far, so good … More

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Y am I here?

Posted in Careers, Philosophy by Sam de Brito on December 3, 2009

By The Ginger

I have a confession to make. I’m 21 and have been working at the same job since I left school in 2005.

Older readers might shrug at that and say “talk to me in 40 years” and some grandparent types might pat me on the back for not getting fired in that time.

Mention that fact to anybody of my generation, however, and I’ll more than likely cop a blank look, a slight slackening of the jaw and then the verbalisation of this shock: “What’s wrong with you?”

It’s been said that people my age (I loathe the term “Generation Y”) are far happier jumping from job to job, accruing life experience and sampling as much of the world as they can before their body, liver, bank account, or criminal record prevents them.

To be stuck in a single job, in a single location, for nearly four years is not the mark of success it was in my parents’ generation … More

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The straw test: How much do you like her?

Posted in Dating, Philosophy, Relationships, Women by Sam de Brito on November 25, 2009

By Sam de Brito

I was at the pub some years ago and it was mobbed, five deep at the bar.

I bought drinks; a couple of beers for my mate Jack and me and vodkas for the women. I paid for the hooch, got the drinks in the tight-four position and burrowed into the crowd.

Half way back to our spot, I looked at the voddies and thought ‘Hmmm, forgotten the straws.’ That’s when I asked myself: ‘How much do you like this chick? Is it really worth going back for the straw?’

Now, a lot of you might say this has nothing to do with attraction, that it is gentlemanly to fetch a woman a straw. Me, I think it’s gentlemanly to buy drink after drink for a girl and, last time I checked, even toddlers could successfully sip out of just a glass … More

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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


Posted in Life skills, Philosophy by Sam de Brito on November 16, 2009

By David Delaney

Something that doing creative work has taught me: you’re about the worst possible judge of your own worth.

You have no idea. You’re prejudiced. All you notice are the mistakes, the things you could have done better.

People don’t always pull off whatever it is they’re trying to achieve. Geniuses are notable because they fail less often than the rest of us, but even geniuses blow it with predictable regularity. And – I’m certain – most real geniuses think of themselves as semi-competent strugglers in their fields … More

Are my best days behind me?

Posted in Life skills, Philosophy by Sam de Brito on November 12, 2009

By Sam de Brito

At the beginning of the film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, written by Charlie Kaufman, there’s a scene where the crazed protagonist, Chuck Barris, the creator of the Gong Show talks to himself in his crappy motel room.

“When you’re young,” he says “your potential is infinite. You might do anything, really. You might be great. You might be Einstein. You might be Goethe. Then you get to an age where what you might be gives way to what you have been. You weren’t Einstein. You weren’t anything. That’s a bad moment.”

Hearing those words in a dark cinema was a bad moment for me … More


Posted in Confidence, Life skills, Philosophy, Self esteem by Sam de Brito on November 9, 2009

By Rich Nicol

It occurred to me some time ago that advice is something you ask for, not some thing that you hand out freely whenever any possible opportunity arises.

I used to give out advice freely, whether requested or not. I always thought I was “helping” the other person rather than telling them what to do but this was often not how my assistance was received.

Back then I knew everything, I was always right and people would have a much easier time if they just listened to me and did what I said, when I said and how I said it … More

Can I stay faithful to one woman forever?

Posted in Cheating, Philosophy, Relationships, Women by Sam de Brito on November 5, 2009

By Sam de Brito

Is it possible for the average male, short of chemical castration, to keep his spanner in his strides for the duration?

The short answer, I believe is yes. The longer answer: how?

The only blokes who really qualify to answer this question are either dead or very close to it.

All the guys I know who answer “yes” or “without a doubt” are in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. That’s the relationship equivalent of cocky adventure tourists doing karate kicks to warm up in Everest base camp. You just know some cabanossi-skinned Sherpa’s gonna be picking up the guy’s toes on the walk back down the mountain … 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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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