An Australian rules football player goes on an end-of-season trip to Las Vegas with some of his teammates. He gets blind drunk, ends up at a hotel where he is not staying, tries to jump from the balcony of a room onto a palm tree and falls to the ground.
Unfortunately, the man dies as a result of this fall. He is just 22, not anywhere near the age where one thinks of death.
A local paper in Melbourne describes him as a hero.
Which means that many others should aspire to be like him. After all, we all want to be heroes don’t we?
Exactly, how stupid can the media be? You’d have to wonder.
Australian rules footballers and participants in other sports in Australia have a habit of getting blind drunk and doing stupid things. It is always excused. Partly because there is a historic reverence for booze in the country.
Every time it happens, no-one talks about the danger of drinking to excess. That is never brought up, for if it was, then a lot of people would have to look very hard at themselves.
The first white people brought to Australia were prisoners from England. In chains, they were locked up and made to work, hard, back-breaking work. Their only relief in the evening was to get sozzled to forget. And so it has continued down the years.
One of the prime ministers who was said to be a crowd favourite, Bob Hawke, was two parts cut right through his eight years as the head of government. Nobody in the country thought this was an issue.
Had someone been driving while drunk and ended up dead as a result, there would be a lot of talk about the danger of driving while high. But in the case of this footballer, there will be no such caution.
He will be extolled as a great mate, and all his other noble qualities will be talked about. There will not be a word said about the fact that if you get blind drunk, then you are bound to do stupid things.