Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Just a Disease

Hey, did you know depression is just a disease? Why don't we treat it like any other disease? Wouldn't that be great? Then we could really help folks could we not?

Except it's not. You know it's not. No matter how many times you claim depression is a disease like any other, and no matter how many times you link to really super articles about how depression is a disease like any other, and no matter how many times you applaud righteously for anyone who says depression is a disease like any other, you don't believe it.

I know. I don't believe it either. We know depression isn't just another disease, you and I: that's why we will never ever treat it like one.

Flu is a disease. We treat it like one. And I never met anyone, no matter how loudly they protested their caring credentials, who treated depression like flu. Because depression is nothing like flu.

You can't come down with the flu because one of your friends ditched you. You can't have a flu relapse because of a Facebook post mentioning that ex-friend. You don't suddenly develop flu symptoms due to something you read in the paper or saw on TV. You don't go through every day fearing that the next thing anyone says to you will bring your flu back with a vengeance.

Nobody ever tells you that you're brave for telling everyone you've got the flu, and then tells you to stop whining every time you sneeze. Nobody swears they understand what it's like having the flu before washing their hands of you once you get it.

When you've got the flu, you can call work and say you're sick. And when you show symptoms of the flu when you're at work, your workmates will show sympathy for your illness. Nobody makes complaints to the boss about your flu. Nobody says you're scary because you've got the flu. Nobody disciplines you for having the flu at work.

Nobody calls the police on you because you have the flu. Nobody has the law come into your house, threaten you with pepper spray, slap cuffs on you and throw you in the back of a van because it's easier to do that than try to talk to you about your flu.

When the flu kills you, nobody says you were a coward for letting it.

Depression isn't just another disease. You know it's not. I know it's not. If it were, we'd act like it. We don't because we know the truth.

And I don't want it to be just another disease. The whole fiction of "just another disease" is presented in a cloak of compassion and strips off to reveal the dismissal beneath. As long as you pretend it's just another disease, you will check that I've taken my meds, pat me on the head and be on your way.

As long as it's just another disease, it can't be anyone's fault that I'm depressed. The strangling mood that is sucking me below the earth can't be sheeted home to anyone, as long it's just another disease. As long it's purely a medical phenomenon that can be blamed on nothing more than chemical fortune, you're not responsible for my depression. The fact I'm depressed will have nothing to do with the people who've hurt me, the cruelty of those I trusted, the contempt of the human race or the foulness of the world around me. Nobody is to blame, because it's simply a disease.

More than anything, won't be to blame as long as it's a disease and nothing else. The fact I'm mentally useless three days out of every five can't possibly be down to any failures of my own. My conviction of my own worthlessness can't be connected to any reality, my self-loathing can't be down to any genuine loathsomeness. It just can't be, because everyone knows it's just a disease.

No I do not want this. I do not want this myth, asserted by all and believed by none, to stand in the way of any slivers of self-awareness that manage to penetrate my shell. I will not accept a promise that my depression is no fault of mine, from strangers and casual acquaintances. If my depression is fooling me about my own self-worth, so be it: it's no less than what everyone who hears about it does.

If those who assure me it's just a disease behaved to match their words, maybe I'd take their assurances more seriously. But they do not. And neither do I. And I don't think we ever will.

This is not because "we don't talk about depression enough". We talk about it too goddamn much. This post itself is just another little puddle of self-pitying vomit to join the ocean of regurgitation washing over us every day of people wearing their depression proudly on their sleeve, begging us to talk more, to understand more, to congratulate us all more on our illness. If there were any chance of public discussion assisting us all to treat it as just another disease, that would've happened long ago.

It hasn't and it won't, because we don't believe it. We'll claim it as a disease as long as it's convenient, and as soon as depression becomes awkward, it becomes a personality flaw, an insanity streak, self-indulgence, or the darkest of all, "mental illness".

Mental illness is not really illness, it's something we pity people for until they do something under its influence that upsets us, and then it becomes "no excuse". If we treated depression like any other medical problem, a person who acts irrationally when in its grip would be condemned no more than a man with a broken leg is condemned for his failure to walk; but that would never do. As long as the illness is mental, we are responsible for resisting it through sheer willpower - we are to use the very minds that the disease is in the process of ripping to pieces to overcome the process itself.

Still, afterwards we'll nobly assert that it's "just another disease", and we will go home happy with ourselves because we understand.

And every day a thousand voices will proclaim that understanding, and every day a thousand chins will nod wisely, and a thousand clever folk will find themselves satisfied in every way by the compassion they've shown.

And every day, ever so quietly, another few sorry souls will stumble and fall and cease to exist and all who knew them will take solace simultaneously from the fact that it's just a disease and there was nothing anyone can do, and that it was really all their own fault for failing to take responsibility. And not one of those poor souls will cause a pause in the thousand voices' clamour, or a halt to the thousand sage chins.

And we will all fight furiously against admitting to ourselves and each other that this thing devouring minds in our midst is not a disease like any other, that it's too strange and elusive and horrible to ever be.

Depression is the best disease in the world to have, because it's so easy to hide you can go about your day and never have anyone know the pain you're in. It's the worst disease in the world to have, because when you hide it, you make it worse, and when finally you break down and stop hiding, you think that'll make it better, and it doesn't.

I've never had any disease like that. I'm not going to pretend I have, or pretend that by pretending I can help myself.

You will tell me I'm wrong about myself, about my illness, about the way I'm seen. You might even tell yourself that.

And after hearing it from you, I'll probably tell myself that too, because wouldn't it be nice to believe that I'm wrong about the one crucial fact of my depression: that when I am huddling, shivering, sobbing, at the bottom of this endless well, feeling the black water rise against my skin and waiting for the moment when I stop caring, waiting for the moment when the dot of sunlight beaming weakly on my face winks out...that when I am down there feeling myself being torn apart by my own vindictive intellect, I am, in the final analysis, completely and irrevocably alone. That the further I fall, the easier it becomes for the illusion of companionship to melt into the smoke around my head.

You will tell me I'm wrong.

But when it kills me, some of you will still call me a coward.

When it kills me, some of you will still call me selfish.

When it kills me, some of you will still shrug and tell each other there was nothing that could have been done.

All of you will most likely be right.

Monday, October 27, 2014


AQUARIUS: You need to lose weight. A chance encounter with a childhood friend will reveal that he thinks you should lose weight too.

TAURUS: An unexpected development in your finances could cause a nasty rash, but probably won't. Beware Greeks bearing gifts, especially your mother-in-law. Remember that it is the simple things in life which frequently bring the most happiness. Late Friday afternoon you will be mauled to death by a mastiff.

CANCER: A lot of people question your life choices, but you have to remember that the only person you need to please is yourself, and this is particularly true since you have no friends or loved ones. Your loneliness will really hit home this week as you burst into tears when you realise this is the last time you will ever see the chicken breast you cooked for dinner. You will consider seeking psychiatric help but instead you will keep drinking.

SAGITTARIUS: You will need to brace yourself for some heavy criticism this week after committing a series of brutal murders. Haters gon' hate.

GEMINI: A religious experience will cause you to sing Daft Punk's "One More Time" incessantly until you lose your job. A second religious experience will cause you to remove your pants. A third will cause you to explode. It'll be a weird week, I'm not going to lie to you.

CAPRICORN: You often feel like everyone hates you, but this week is the week you discover that I hate you too.

PISCES: The phrase "too many cooks spoil the broth" has always seemed trivial to you, but this week it gains a whole new meaning after a gang of angry cooks beat you up and steal all your money. It's also a good week to plant some new flowers or take up kite-making.

SCORPIO: The moon is in Jupiter this week, which means its kids are staying with their grandma. This information will prove of no use to you after you wake up in a lifeboat with a hungry tiger. It is a good week for meeting new people and a surprise at work leaves you mysteriously able to speak French.

LEO:  Your father will call you and tell you a long boring story about his new shoes. Don't take this too lightly, as contained within his story will be a secret code revealing the location of a solid gold statue of a jackrabbit. Follow the clues and you will become rich beyond your wildest dreams, assuming all the other Leos don't get there first. Your father will call again later in the week and tearfully say he's finally ready to talk about his wartime experiences, but you don't have to pay attention to that.

ARIES: You are pregnant and don't even know it. On Thursday you will give birth. That's Life magazine will pay you $750 for your amazing story. Later your child will grow up to be the weird kid who eats grass.

LIBRA: It's a good week for reading. As you are completely illiterate, this fact sends you into a deep depression. At some point on the weekend it is very likely you will trip over a puppy of some kind.

VIRGO: Your brown socks are stuffed down a crack in the lounge. Also your wife has been cheating on you. These two facts are not unrelated, but I've said too much already.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Guy Writes The Most Hilarious Complaint Letter After Realising He Has No Life

It has been a heated debate whether dickheads should be allowed to fly on planes. To be politically correct, I believe that if someone is, through genetics or upbringing, a dickhead, they deserve the right to travel like anyone else. However, the question is, when being a dickhead affects other passengers, how should transport authorities deal with the situation? It would be like policy to isolate a contagious passenger that could make other passengers sick. In this case, sitting next to a dickhead undoubtedly "affected" fellow passengers. Below is my letter to the airline:

Dear Jetstar,

Do you like riddles? I don't, but I thought it might me seem funnier to people on Twitter if I started this letter with one. What is more irritating than a mosquito, less irritating than a nuclear holocaust and is as fun to be around as a hyena's bowel obstruction? No idea? How about, what becomes sexually aroused by unhappiness and has the personality of zip-lock bag full of urine? Still nothing? Right, one more try. What's as annoying as fuck, constantly talks shit and should be forced to ride on the wing of a Jetstar flight? That's right, it's the man an unfortunate overweight fellow sat next to on my flight from Perth to Sydney yesterday.

Passengers were no doubt mentally high-fiving themselves on the excitement and adventure of affordable air travel as they boarded the plan, before being suddenly distracted by what appeared to be an adult human being located halfway down the aisle, but which turned out to be a sort of cross between a particularly spoilt two-year-old and a faulty smoke alarm.

Soon after taking their seats, the passengers caught what was to be the first of the man's many whines, possibly triggered by the fact that the man sitting next to him wasn't allowing him the breadth of personal space that his personality usually generated in his immediate vicinity, but also possibly triggered by the fact that the man can't achieve an erection unless someone else's life is being made harder than it has to be. Considering the kind of guy he is, I found it strange that none of the cabin crew punched him in the groin. To be fair, they may not have noticed him, because they had jobs to do, which also infuriated this knobtwizzler. Perhaps this photo will jog their memories:

Although to be honest, probably not.

Bewildered by the refusal of the world to conform to his personal specifications, the insufferable cock-nostril stood up, scuttled to the back of the plane and started pestering the cabin crew to upset someone else's trip in order to cater to his individual comfort and constant gnawing desire to ruin people's day. I don't know the names of the three flight attendants, but for the purpose of this letter, I'll call them Normal Human 1, Normal Human 2, and Maintaining a Sense of Humour Despite Harassment By Human Garbage (MSHDHBHG). After his request, Normal Human 1 and Normal Human 2 continued their conversation, presumably about how they've got better things to do than mollycoddle petty little man-ferrets all day. He then asked if he could sit in one of the six vacant seats at the back of the aircraft, to which MSHDHBHG responded that they were for crew only. The fact that this bipedal cowpat failed to understand this pretty basic and clearly reasonable rule makes me think he may be suffering from some form of mental impairment.

He tried to relocate himself on his own, but unfortunately there was nobody on the plane operating on the specific frequency of whiny bullshit that he lives his life on, and so he had to suck it up and stay in his own seat like a normal person. He made his way back to his seat and spent the remainder of the flight thinking up dehumanising insults to use to describe the man sitting next to him in the nasty vindictive letter he planned to send upon landing so that he could fulfil his lifelong dream of getting other snivelling wads of rancid smegma like himself to tell him how hilarious he is on the internet. You could imagine his surprise when he saw both "crew-only" rows occupied by non-crew members. I can only assume the cabin crew decided to pull a bit of a prank in an attempt to make him feel as bad as he deserves to. Well, that's not quite true - another thing I can assume is that he's lying, because he seems the type.

Imagine going out for dinner and a movie, only to have your night ruined by a fat mess who eats half your meal then blocks 50% of the screen. Isn't that exactly the same as having someone who can't control their calorie intake occupying half your seat on a flight? Of course it isn't, that's why only the sort of congenitally obnoxious crotch-stain who actually thinks being forced to spend a few hours in close proximity to a fat person is the same as having someone steal your food would have the naked fuckfaced gall to demand a full refund for what would have to incorporate a flesh-eating virus to qualify as a first world problem.

But Jetstar, you sold this failed experiment in human-guano crossbreeding a ticket, so I'm looking to be compensated for the pain and suffering caused by having read the half-witted doggy bag of petulant foot-stamping and braying bigotry that the beetle-browed dicksnorter vomited up for the entertainment of his fellow drooling dickgoblins. My brain is in agony and I had to type this letter with a stick between my teeth because of the intense migraine I get whenever I think about this scrotum-faced little shitcrumpet and the crybaby corpse gas he emits onto the internet whenever he can't find a towel to wipe his penis on.

To discuss the thorny stick he jammed into his rectum just before writing to you, email him at [redacted], or tweet him at @RichWisken.


Ben Pobjie

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hyper-Auto-Repellence: A Personal Plea

What should we make of Christopher Pyne?

Some kind of glovepuppet?

This week Australin politics farewelled a titan in Gough Whitlam. Many people voiced opinions on this, ranging from Prime Minister Abbott's opinion that Whitlam wasn't the best PM ever, to Julia Gillard's opinion that he was actually so great he was a lot like Julia Gillard, to every News Ltd columnist's opinion that he ruined everything for everyone and it's a good thing that finally his ring has been cast into the fires of Mount Doom.

But, Abbott's somewhat faint praise notwithstanding, most of the tributes from actual parliamentarians were quite complimentary and very respectful. Even Philip Ruddock said some pretty nice things about him, and Philip Ruddock dug his own soul out of himself with a rusty lino knife when he was eight. 

But Pyne...well, Pyne made a jolly little speech in which he noted that when Whitlam was dismissed, his mother cried, and "I have to let you in on a secret, she was crying out of joy"

It was a delightful moment

Now, of course, that is an insight into the life of the young Pyne that opens up all sorts of questions. For example, does Christopher still watch Adventure Island, or now that he is in his forties does he prefer Mr Squiggle?

But it's not so much the substance that I want to dwell on: the fact that Christopher Pyne has been forced to spend his life coming up with a dazzling array of excuses to explain away the fact his mother was constantly crying whenever he was around is neither here nor there. What I want to examine is the psychology that caused our Honourable Education Minister to think to himself, "Hmm, Gough Whitlam is dead...this might be a good time to tell the country how much my family hated him".

What process produces these thoughts? Is there a process even taking place?

Evidence is so far inconclusive

The real problem is that Christopher Pyne, despite a respectable upbringing. an expensive education, and Amanda Vanstone cooking all his meals, seems to have developed a pathological need to be the most hated man in every room he is in. It's actually quite a rare psychological phenomenon: hyper-auto-repellence. In other words, he can only be satisfied by making others loathe him. Obviously this has been an advantage to him in his rise through the ranks of the Liberal Party, but at this point in his life is it becoming a liability?

It's not that I hate Christopher Pyne. I mean, I do, but that's not the important thing here. The important thing is that every word out of his mouth, every action he takes, every step in his life up to now, has seemed perfectly calculated to force me to hate him. And frankly, though I hate the man, I also worry about him. When a fellow is so desperate to be disliked that he stands in parliament to merrily spit in the face of the old man who just died, there is something quite concerning going on behind his smooth, shiny facade.

Very very concerning

I don't know if Christopher reads this blog - no idea why he wouldn't - but if he does, I'm here to say: Christopher, I am no longer enabling you. I will write no more about how awful you are, now that I realise it's just feeding your addiction. Instead, I urge you: get help, Christopher. Don't be afraid to reach out.

You might think you can't be happy, Christopher, unless you're being hated. But believe me: you CAN. With a caring therapist and a good support system at home, you might even find a way to derive pleasure from being liked.

And I promise Christopher: when you do, we'll all be a lot more relaxed.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Girlie-Man or Corr-Man? You Decide

If there is one thing that makes me angry, it is a good man's words being twisted and used against him. Luckily, there is actually more than one thing that makes me angry, or my conversation would be extremely monotonous. Nevertheless, this issue is a burning one that sticks in my craw like a collar in an uncoordinated cat's mouth.

Let's look at Senator Matthias Cormann.

Now let's stop looking at him.

Instead, let's THINK about Senator Matthias Cormann, about what he represents, what place he occupies in the modern Australian dialectical discourse. Let's not get bogged down in semiotics, but rather let's examine Matthias Cormann from all sides and make up our own minds about what he symbolises for a culture in crisis.

To put it another way, he has a pretty funny accent.

But forget about the accent for a moment: making fun of people's accents is a big part of being a progressive, but it's not the only part. It's what they SAY with those accents that is the important part, and what Matthias Cormann has said with that hilarious accent is this:

"Bill Shorten is an economic girlie-man,"

This has caused a furore in some circles, as it as been seen as an attack on women, an attack on equality, an attack on our children's futures, and by some even as an attack on Bill Shorten.

But is it really such a terrible thing to call someone "an economic girlie-man"? Let's unpack this, shall we?

First of all, the derivation of girlie-man: etymologically, the term originates in the two separate words "girlie", meaning resembling or bearing characteristics of a girl; and "man", meaning a person who is a man. So we can assume that Cormann was saying that Shorten is a man who in some way resembles a girl.

Our starting point must be to determine the truth value of this assertion. So let's look at Bill Shorten:

How much does he resemble a girl? "Not very much," you might say. BUT what if you look at him from this perspective?

Well. Doesn't THAT put a different complexion on things? Can anyone who has seen the above photo truly say that there is nothing in Cormann's assertion?

But what of the broader implications? Is it true that, in using "girlie-man" as an insult, Cormann is demeaning women by suggesting they are weaker and less capable than men?

I say, not at all. Because let us be clear, Cormann did not actually call Shorten a "girl", That would, indeed, have been reprehensible - to suggest that being a girl precludes one from being an effective leader is disgusting. To suggest that any girl is as bad at her job as Bill Shorten even more so. I have personally known many girls, and watching them burgeon into womanhood is a very different experience than watching Bill Shorten burgeon into Shortenhood.

Also, Cormann did not call Shorten a "man", which would obviously have been slanderous.

What he called him was a "girlie-man", and that is a horse of a different flavour.

Think of it this way: a dog can be a very useful thing, and a tractor can be a very useful thing, but a dog shaped like a tractor? That is entirely different. 

What Cormann was saying was that Shorten is a kind of tractor-dog, a hybrid of two things that are excellent in isolation, but when combined lack a certain something. You might like girls, and you might like men, but is a girlie-man something you'd like? Probably - it sounds like a lot of fun - but is it someone you want in charge of the economy?

After all, remember the old song "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". Maybe a girlie-man doesn't just wanna have fun - maybe they do have other interests - but there can be little doubt that they will probably be a little bit more frivolous than what you'd ideally like in a person whose duties will necessarily include stamping repeatedly on unemployed people's faces. 

Is Matthias Cormann sexist? Well, if it's sexist to suggest that an economic girlie-man is not the sort of tractor we want ploughing our kennels, then sure, he's sexist. But if it's sexist to not suggest that women can do anything they want without fearing that they won't be criticised for not being men if they're genuinely not as good at their jobs as another woman might be if she wasn't not a man, then I'd say that the answer is clear for all to see.

To sum up:

Girls are good. Men are good. But girlie-men are girlier than is ideal, and manlier than a girl should be. And saying so isn't as bad as you think even in a weird accent. Not that having a weird accent should ever be acceptable.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Find out what YOUR week has in store, based on something to do with stars or planets or stuff!

ARIES: Wednesday holds many mysteries - wear something waterproof. A chance encounter with an old friend will leave your hand sticky and you not knowing why. At some point during this week you will collide with a cow. Don't overreact.

TAURUS: Your hair is too long and you must get it cut. You look like a damn scarecrow. Around lunchtime on Friday your mother will probably either die or kill someone. Don't try to stop her, she is a grown woman with the right to her own choices.

GEMINI: Just as your sign is the Twins, you will give birth to twins sometime tomorrow. This may come as a shock if you didn't know you were pregnant or if you were a man. But this isn't about you. Think of the children. On the weekend you will abandon them at a fire station. This may haunt you in later life, though I won't know for sure till next week's horoscope.

CANCER: You have eaten too much and will regret it. Your job is unsatisfying, but a ray of light emerges this week when your boss is impaled on a fence.

LEO: A trip to the movies may provide more than just entertainment when you are attacked by a tiger quoll. The facial reconstructive surgery goes badly and you live out a bitter, hate-filled existence in the shadows of your decrepit home. Be frugal with money; your lucky colour is green.

VIRGO: Your new job as editor of the motoring section of a major Sunday newspaper hits a snag when you lose the use of both your arms. On the upside, a strange man agrees to marry your father.

LIBRA: Your poor dress sense will get you in trouble, as will your friend Marvin. Stay away from cats and asbestos removal technicians. Money problems may rear their ugly head, as will your friend Marvin.

SCORPIO: You get some good news from home, which is immediately retracted. You deserve some pampering - why not visit a spa? There is a very good reason in fact why you shouldn't visit a spa, but it's a secret. Remember to thank the trustworthy people in your life for being trustworthy and to spit on the others. You may be accosted by a beggar mid-week. Bear in mind that nobody will even care if he is murdered.

SAGITTARIUS: Just as the shark must keep on swimming, or else he'll die, you must keep swimming, or that shark behind you will eat you. Stop reading this and swim.

CAPRICORN: If you are truly honest with yourself, you will admit that you are extremely racist. There is nothing to be ashamed of, but you should probably go away for a while.

AQUARIUS: Try not to walk under low-hanging branches, as the moon is in Venus and this indicates that monkey attacks will be a real problem. For those on the cusp there are many topical creams which can address the issue. Be kind to your parents this week, as they do not know the terrible news their doctor is hiding from them. Don't be kind to your grandparents though, as they are fervent supporters of fracking.

PISCES: Large, expensive dinners will catch up with you when you are arrested for stealing food, a common trait amongst Pisces. Avoid oily fish and books about the cultures of central Asia. If a woman you've never seen before offers you a tube of liquid cement, my advice is to take it.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

There is no U in Team

You know, a lot of people come up to me and ask, "Hey Ben, this Team Australia stuff - what's it all about?"

And to be honest, I find these people intrusive and presumptuous. But still, I attempt to answer their questions as best I can, because if there's one thing you know about Team Australia, it's that we try to help our teammates no matter how inadequate we find them as people.

Team Australia is, essentially, a state of mind, a philosophy that says, look, we're all on the same side here, let's work together to achieve our goals.

After all, we all love to feel like we're part of a team. Look at this happy fellas:

Yes, Team Australia is a lot like the 1982 Parramatta Eels. The government is Peter Sterling and Brett Kenny in the halves, controlling play, organising the team and orchestrating the big moves that produce results. The taxpayers of Australia are the forwards in the engine room, Ray Price and Geoff Bugden and of course good old Johnny Muggleton, doing the hard yards that are necessary if we're ever going to let our outside backs do their job: the outside backs in this case being mainly Cate Blanchett and Silverchair. 

The point is that just like a great football team, Team Australia has all its disparate parts performing their designated function in pursuit of the same aim - a strong, prosperous nation. And that's the genius of Team Australia - it uses the powerful imagery of sport, something all Australians understand, to illustrate a point. No wonder Tony Abbott was a Rhodes scholar - that man sure knows a thing or two about using sports words to say things about things that aren't sport!

It's an effective technique. That's why the accessibility of sport permeates our public affairs nowadays. For example, the government is now moving to implement a "red card" system for hate preachers. Why red card? Why not just a "stop hate preachers" policy? Because red cards are sporting, and Aussies love sports! Admittedly red cards are more of a soccer thing, but let's be honest: it's the ones who like soccer we need to be keeping an eye on.

And this is why I hope people don't feel scared or alienated by Team Australia. After all, would you feel scared or alienated by this?

Of course not! Those guys are having a great time! Because being in a team is just fantastic. And we're all in the best team of all - Team Australia. 

Naturally Team Australia requires vigilance. After all, if you're playing cricket you can't just sit idly by and let the batsman hit you for six. Team Australia is all about taking precautions. As a country of course we need to send fielders to the boundary to keep the run rate down. As a country we do have to, at times, bowl a dry line outside off stump. Sometimes we might even need to pitch it outside leg into the footmarks. That's just the nature of Team Australia - a responsible government must be prepared at times of crisis to come around the wicket. Ben Chifley knew this.

Because the fact is, being Team Australia is just as much about responsibilities as it is about rights. Sure, when you're on a great team like Team Australia you get to take the speccie in the goal square, but you also need to make the smother on centre wing, you need to punch from behind and get men around the stoppages. Some people think it's not important that, as citizens, we rush the odd behind, but those people probably don't understand the fundamentals of foreign policy.

You can't stop terrorism with this:

Sometimes you need this:

And that's what I tell those irritating people from the beginning of this article. I tell them, Team Australia is about security, about safety, about prosperity, about democracy, about freedom, about hard work, about togetherness, about patriotism and about justice.

But most of all, Team Australia is about creating a better future. I know that's hard to see sometimes, but maybe it'll be easier to understand if I put it like this:

When you're down six goals in the final quarter, sometimes it's necessary to roll the dice. You don't get over the advantage line by going sideways before you go forward, you need to make sure your scrum is solid before you start worrying about the corner posts. It's easy to get caught offside when you don't keep your eye on the ball, but the one thing we all know is true is, nobody ever scored a goal sitting on the bench. And it's by sitting on the bench that we miss our opportunity to jump the net. Hurdles are natural in life, but you can take the rebound more easily when you hit the training track hard and keep your shape. It's great to play your shots, but a sound forward defensive is the foundation of a flowing cover drive - getting the ball in the right areas is how you tempt the opposition into mistakes. And it's those mistakes that will keep this country out of the bunker, and in the onion bag, for many years to come.

That's what Team Australia means to me. So please: don't be terrorists OK? Because national security is a trophy we can all win.