The new Foster's advert, a parody of a parody

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I have a thorny regard for Australian men, predominantly because I am one. The hard-bitten masculinity central to Australia's sense of national identity has been rocked in recent decades by the onset of affluence. It's difficult to insist you're a tribe of little battlers when you have a AAA credit rating. The image exported to the world is a parody of what was a parody in the first place. Which brings us neatly to Foster's. Using Foster's to insult an Australian is akin to laughing at the US for David Hasselhoff's music: sure it may have originated there, but they have nothing to do with its popularity. Foster's brand ambassadors are Brad and Dan; like the beer, unseen in their homeland. Perched on a beach, the duo dispense advice to wet fish from Britain via a hotline. In the latest, Ryan from Cardiff phones in with this doozy: "My mate keeps talking about the economy on a guys' night out." The two diagnose it as a "Gentlemen's Fun Crisis" and suggest fending off earnest conversation with a "paddle of rebuke". The exchange is a classic Tall Poppy Cutter's conundrum: how do I belittle a man who has challenged me intellectually? Answer: austerity measures for the brain. Whinge away, but don't dare analyse the forces behind your whinge. Instead, check out the chick in the bikini! Foster's attempt to modernise the cliches of Aussie manhood turns out to be two Gen Y lads playing dress-ups in their dads' singlets. And in the process, "laidback" has become a synonym for disengaged stupidity. Or perhaps, as Brad and Dan would argue, I'm overthinking it.

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