I have been involved with a lot of different lifestyles and people over a very interesting life, I have engaged in lots of promotion within the arts and music and it keeps on moving me, though I do not think I have ever been prouder than to be associated with The Wolves Theatre Company and their extraordinary play Marooned written by Michael Gray Griffith, who also interacts from off stage as The Registrar/God/voice in the dark.
Blokes don’t talk about this shit, if you have an injury your best mate will whack you on it as a laugh…get over it mate…warriors all…but the things that we, in our hearts and hurt our souls are trapped within that same warrior mindset guise presupposed for Aussie blokes and are unspoken.
Whilst International Feminism rose in, basically, a fatherless society in Australia (due to the losses in the various wars we fought under British domination) both my grandfathers succumbed to in their early 50’s due to German gas, men fell silent under a wave of a societal diminishing idea of their value, I mean ‘war’ was over, the horrors of the Vietnam War succumbed to Cold War indifference. Mocked, vilified and left out of the conversation…dad as the fool has been a go-to message for a lot of television advertising.
Those re-engineering our society at the time had also prepared a whole generation of Australian males to be potential cannon fodder in a future war, as a repetition of the past, thinning our male population out…instead, they stayed at home until they were ROOLY old lol, like 30…fuck I could not wait to escape and be me!
60,000 odd young Aussies died in WW1 and 5 times that maimed physically and most mentally, 27,000 odd in WW2, Korean war 340, Vietnam 521, 6 times that many wounded…mostly teenagers or close too…for King and/or Queen and country, to protect our women and children (furphy alert…how did that work out blokes?!)…and the support and respect they got when they got back was nill from any they were putting their lives and consciousnesses onboard for what amounted to more torture.
Extrapolate those numbers into breeding Australian males over these decades, families of yore, and we would be one huge nation!
Pure and simple, men that returned from those horrors didn’t have a voice because they refused to speak, to allow their loved ones a glimpse of their mind’s sight.
A very close friend, Terry Orgles decided to end his life on his 40th birthday, a lot of my old friends will remember Terry, spent half a year selling ads for calendars and made enough to spend the other half in Thailand…hmmm…loved heroin, and eventually married a Thai girl,(ended in tears) it sort of wasn’t optional I didn’t, we were close and I had helped him through what was we thought his hardest time, I supposed to go to his 40th party, I didn’t, and it haunted me for years that being there might have made a difference…he was a good bloke but very selfish…a regrettable incident.
Another bloke I know, a plumber sat down on his belt around his neck because the courts had stripped his life savings to fallacious claims, cut off from his children with nothing left, little did he know a damages cheque was about to arrive that next day for over $50000 that MAY have changed his countenance.
We all hum along to the theme song of M*A*S*H, when you hum the first bars sing “Suicide is painless”, it is the name of the song.
We can talk about it now, men can open up more, and more will.
I am thankful I have 4 wonderful kids that have floated my boat away from near rocks of despair on a few occasions, unbeknownst to them…doh!
“Marooned” pushed every button in my consciousness and body and maybe like a deep tissue massage, grippingly intense but I walked out feeling lighter than usual.
A tour de force from the performers, Gregory Caine, Rohana Hayes, Christopher Jay, and Darcy Smith in a play that is as powerful as it is uplifting.