Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

What's in a Brand? Real Hero Status for Starters

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

What's in a Brand? Real Hero Status for Starters

Article excerpt

IN THE same week that three brave young Australian soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan, three young blokes (dare I suggest bogans?) in Queensland decided to brand their bums.

Three heroes a responding to the call of duty.

Three nobodies a responding to the call of booze.

Both incidents are sad in their own way.

It is always tragic when a soldier dies in a foreign land in the defence of their flag.

It is similarly tragic when wannabe men find alcohol and a peer group of like IQ and self respect at the same time a and kill off a vestige of the last remaining hope we hold for the younger generations.

Most tragic of all?

Followers of the news in Queensland probably know more about the branding boys than they do about the diggers.

Probably know their names, have possibly even been following them on Facebook, maybe won't even bat an eyelid if they are offered big bucks to tell their sorry tale to their fellow Australians.

These boys have been told they are cool, have even had complete strangers asking for their autographs.

What did the soldiers get?

A flag over their coffins.

Some half-hearted debate about bringing our troops home.

A minute of television footage, buried amongst the other heart breaking events of the day.

I'm a little embarrassed to live in a society where our values are so skewed.

Boys will be boys will be boys, you might say a they have always done dumb things, they have always been ruled more by instinct and the desire for a good time than by any process of rational thought or logic.

But never have we celebrated the stupid antics of young men as we do today.

Never have we broadcast their acts of random dopiness so widely.

Parents throughout the millennia have known the best way to nip morons in the bud is to ignore their behaviour.

In the same way that you curb uncivilised toddler behaviour by ignoring it, you can cure the wilder excesses of the male post-adolescence stage by giving it no attention whatsoever. …

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