As I kick through a sea of discarded tin cans and bottles on my way to work I wonder the state of the each person that was last to touch them. I wonder if they feel just as discarded and lifeless this morning.
Australia Day. A representation of all things Australian. And what is more Australian than drinking?For Aus day I hung out with my family down at a community event in Caloundra. As we walked through the park, it provided a perfect opportunity to observe how ingrained drinking is within our culture on all levels.
I saw a sea of families with their eskys packed to the brim with Extra dry. I saw the 4WD utes drive past with their Bundy flags flying high as though of equal importance to the Australian one on the other side. I saw the dark tanned young Aussie flesh with the Southern Cross planted on their backs and a Rum can almost just as permanently planted in their fists. Its everywhere.
If you look at Australia as a brand (as from an advertising perspective) it seems that a drinking culture is firmly ingrained as one of the key brand attributes. To support this, just look at all the car flags that have been getting around this weekend. Do you know where they come from? The majority come from a little known Woolworths retail outlet called called BeerWineSpirits. Half the population will now see those flags and think ‘I should probably pick up a carton on the way home’.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the 10pm aftermath because I had to drive back to Brisbane pretty early. However, kicking the cans on my way to work I wonder what these metallic little packages of Australiana would say if they could talk…
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“After the binge” Paul Toohey November 29-30
Interesting comments Dec13-14
Professor Dorothy Scott, Direct Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia.
Don’t blame it on sunshine
Don’t blame it on moonlight
Don’t blame it on good times
Blame it on the boogie
My Australia Day revelation – I was sick for all of the Australia day weekend, so when Monday came around and I was still sick I made the ‘smart’ choice to not drink. However I did still want to celebrate Australia so I made my way to a house pool party.
When I arrived I was told to go and find Mick so he can give me my ‘bands’ for the day and write them on my arm (the idea of this was the when listening to JJJ that day whenever you’re band came on you had to scull your drink). I found Mick who asked me what I was drinking – I said I wasn’t because I was sick – he said he was disappointed in me and so I wasn’t allowed to play the game and wasn’t allowed to have any bands!
I just thought it was an interesting note that on Australia day I could not participate in the ‘activities’ on the day because I wasn’t drinking. Makes you think about how Australians celebrate their country and how you are ‘un-Australian’ if you’re not drinking on Aus day!
That is a really important point Sammy. I think that certain types of people define themselves as being a young Australian through binge drinking.
It would be great to find and profile some great young Australians (who aren’t absolute dorks) who don’t binge drink. Even to find out which high-profile Australians don’t drink at all and profile them to demonstrate that you don’t have to drink to be a great Australian.
Found your blog thru Hannah Suarez.
I like your content – our binge drinking culture is something I think about regularly, though I occasionally allow myself to join the herd.
Looking forward to the rest of your dry year. Keep us posted mate – highs, lows, in-betweens!
If please feel free to post any of your thoughts or ideas through the year.
Please feel free to post any of your thoughts or ideas throughout the year!
I’m loving your blog, as I too really fail to understand the Australian drinking culture and why you need to be utterly smashed to have a good night (and no, I’m not a complete dork!). I do enjoy having a few drinks, but drinking until you spew just ain’t attractive.
Seeing peoples children at the supermarket is the best contraceptive, and seeing trashed girls spewing all over themselves is the best drinking preventative (for me, anyway!)