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An Australian thought-leader who grew up without siblings or any form of contact sport in his life is today still reeling from the vision of a smart arse being met with an open hand slap from another man.
Atticus Cilento-Hopscotch (29) is purported to be a journalist from Sydney’s privileged Light Rail belt, although he also moonlights as an amateur stand up comedian and COVID-19 infographics generator.
He’s just one of many Australians with a medium-sized Twitter following who has spent the last 24 hours trying his very best to unpack Will Smith’s decision to slap Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscar Awards.
Atticus says – while trying to take in to account the nuance surrounding race, ableism, love and extreme fame – that Will Smith’s behaviour is sickening.
“People want to dismiss this as someone just defending his wife” says Atticus.
“Using words like pride, respect, and emotion to excuse the actions of a man who should be in handcuffs”
“It’s violence. The worst kind of violence. The type of violence I could imagine happening to me”
“I think that it’s nothing short of unbridled toxic masculinity. Anyone who thinks otherwise are no different to the ‘Good Germans’ who sat back and did nothing while the Nazi party murdered 16 million people”
While Atticus understands that some people may have grown up differently to him, and have possibly become conditioned to this kind of violence in their abusive home lives, he says it’s worth educating these people that no, it’s not okay to give someone a clip for talking shit.
Atticus says his opinion shouldn’t be an outlier. Regardless of the fact that he has never joined the vast majority of Australia and stood on the hill at a suburban football ground to watch grown men lose their temper over much less.
He believes that just because he has never had to exact revenge on an older sibling or cousin who gave him a noogie with dad’s car keys, it shouldn’t mean his opinion on a mild melee between two men is irrelevant.
As the only child of two heavily politicised public servants who both work in outdated but secure roles within wildly bureaucratic state government departments, Atticus says he’s always had a fair understanding of what life is like for the common people. That’s why he got into journalism, to tell the world what we are all thinking, or should be thinking.
“It’s not like I grew up in a mansion” he says.
“I know the signs of violent offenders when I see them”
“and Will Smith is the type of person that coward punches civillians like me outside of wine bars in Darling Harbour”
“I’ve always thought that. There’s just something about him”
It is not yet known what what Atticus means by ‘something’ – but it is assumed that he is subconsciously drawing a parallel to the intimidating teenagers who play basketball in Prince Alfred park.