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

Male violence

Posted in Violence by Sam de Brito on November 5, 2009

By David Delaney

We’ve all heard the rants before, many times.

Men make wars. Men rape. Men are violent. Well, that’s pretty insulting to the many, many males who have fought for equality between the sexes. Or the males who have fought against various other forms of oppression and injustice, and the males who continue to do so.

Don’t those guys count? Apparently not … More

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