Peter Gauge, Boxation, Mullumbimby
Having worked with youth in Byron Shire for 13 years – street youth, depressed youth, suicidal youth, soon-to-be-jailed youth and everything in between – I am saddened and gobsmacked after the recent State of Origin.
As if Paul Gallen’s left-right wasn’t a bad enough example to our youth, the commentators talked about the Maroons’ initiating a brawl to break up the NSW’s rhythm. (Sounds like a deliberate push-in at the taxi rank or kebab queue.) Then Laurie Daley called the incident one of the great Origin moments.
I am totally aware of the reasons for Gallen’s ‘king hits’ but people in such influential positions should understand the ramifications their actions have on our easily-influenced youth.
Award-winning Karl Stefanovic called Gallen a ‘dog’ after watching the game. My disgusted 13-year-old daughter said, ‘Aren’t they stupid?’
But the following morning on Karl’s breakfast Today show, he commented, ‘I like a bit of a biff’. Obviously hasn’t been bashed, glassed or had his son killed by violence. Our youth, like the ones before them, are just trying to fit in. As Gandhi said, good leaders lead by example. How are we meant to influence our youth responsibly when their heroes act like something off Jerry Springer?
Channels 7, 9 and 10 flood our desensitised viewers every evening with sex and violence, and society tries to bandaid the problem by drugging or jailing our confused youth and asking for more police.
After the unprovoked assault on Simon Gramp in George Street, Sydney, by an unknown attacker, king-hit for no reason recently, you would think as a generalisation people would get it. With 3,733 recorded violent assaults in George Street alone, the effect of misdirected anger is obvious, coupled with all the alcohol companies that sponsor, advertise and pay such huge amounts of money for the privilege of promoting their products.
Having been king-hit, bottled in the face, kicked by 14 thugs while defenceless on the ground, I know the detrimental effects of violence. Enough of this bogan behaviour.
Stop trying to find the reasons for this behaviour on the outside, and start on the inside, with the biggest vehicles for sensationalised violence being TV, movies, various internet sites and games.
Five years ago, I conducted a survey asking 200 under-15-year-olds what constituted tough and would they have a fight if they thought they would lose. The answers: mainly gangsters, and no, they wouldn’t pick a losing fight.
Stop this lunacy now.