CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
“I’m not the girlfriend type,” says a half-drunk Eddie.
The north-Betoota man sips from his schooner of XXXX Bitter and continues.
“I prefer the ‘one-night’ kind of romances… I sure as fuck don’t like talking in bed”
“I spend most of my weekends getting on the grog at the pub, usually I do pretty well with the ladies, but if not, I usually go looking for a stink (one-on-one fistfight)”
Eddie Barkdale is a 26-year-old health and supplement rep originally from the Gold Coast. As a self-confessed “fitness fanatic” and “piss-wreck”, Eddie does a good job of hiding the fact that he suffers from a lack of emotional depth, a condition that plagues young men Australia-wide.
“I don’t know what it is hey… I used to cry and shit when I was a kid. But I don’t anymore”
Eddie claims that while his condition can be quite debilitating, he and several of his close mates have worked hard towards a lifestyle that combats the effects of being emotionally stunted.
“I mean we go to the pub a lot, but we don’t talk about gay shit too often,”
“Politics, our feelings, our emotional interactions with the opposite sex… all that stuff is pretty much a no-go”
“We prefer to get a skinful of piss and talk about sport, people we don’t like and how much of a fuckwit the security guard is”
“More often than not, we finish up the weekend either punching on with eacho ther or punching on with another group of blokes”
Eddie and his friends aren’t alone. A growing body of evidence from both Australian and overseas studies has explored the association between emotionally inept men, alcohol and violence – identifying a range of factors that have been identified as important predictors of incidents which result in someone getting the fuck kicked out of them.
The characteristics of alcohol-related violence include:
- Being young, single and male are the most significant predictors of self-reported alcohol-related victimisation and (Teece & Williams 2000)
- Rates are particularly high among young people living in rural areas, with one-third of people aged 14–19 years and two-thirds of those aged 20–24 living in rural areas having reported being victims of alcohol-related physical abuse (Williams 1999)
- Males are more likely to be involved in incidents of physical abuse in pubs and clubs or in the street, whereas for females, these incidents are more likely to be in their own home (AIHW 2008)
- Alcohol consumption among young people is typified by frequent episodes of binge drinking and heavy drinking has been shown to be associated with aggression and violence (Wells & Graham 2003)
- Alcohol-related violence in which both the victim and offender have consumed alcohol are more likely to be spontaneous or opportunistic and more likely to involve strangers (Finney 2004; Plant, Plant & Thornton 2002)
- Alcohol-related assaults most commonly occur between 9 pm and 3 am on Friday and Saturday nights (Briscoe & Donnelly 2001)
- There is a relationship between seasonal changes, calendar events and major sporting events and the rate of reported incidents of violence, which can in part be explained by the increased level of alcohol consumed on these days (Marcus & Braaf 2007).
While many berate Eddie’s lifestyle, he says he wouldn’t change it for the world.
“I don’t think people understand. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of a stink. And there’s nothing better than winning one.”
“Blokes like me get pushed around every minute of the day… bosses, parents, sisters, girlfriends, bouncers, coppers.”
“The only chance I get to assert any form of authority is when I am crouched over someone’s chest punching him in the fucking head”
While Eddie agrees a girlfriend might calm down his tendency for alcohol-fuelled violence, he can’t see himself getting one of them any time soon.
“Girls are hard work. Talking to them and shit is hard. I prefer to just hit and quit,”
“The last missus I had laughed at me when I accidentally spilt a drink in her kitchen. Can you imagine the damage I did in the pub that night? Some poor bloke got the shit kicked through him”