The speaker we heard yesterday, held their attention because he had honed a performance that appealed to such an audience. Listen to the cool life of Bxxxxx who has done all the bad things that you only dream of - and is here as a happy and healthy adult survivor. The words tell them not to follow, but the subliminal message is far stronger - go to the limit because then you will feel that you have really lived before you settle into the adult straightjacket of famly responsibility.
The vast majority of the speech was his "How cool am I" life story. The occasional clichéd advice was thrown in. He lost his way in his own story (a by product he told the student of his cool drug addiction phase). He spoke of his first months in Pentridge as a wonderful time. He spoke of his time working with disturbed adolescent girls as the time when he learnt so much more than university. As he delivered the ultimate "Me generation" soliloquy, he predictably spat on selfishness and consumerism and any other issue that he felt might build some agreement with his audience.
The whole message was that society was crap. Traditional achievement paths were crap. I am fantastic BECAUSE I have violently rejected everything my parents, school and society offered me EVEN though I was such a success. AND it was all OK because I could blame the whole destructive adventure on my parents who didn't love me enough.
Too be truly "life experienced" you too can plum the depths of depravity and survive to be a successful adult.
Oh and by the way - get a "mentor" an she'll be right mate !
When are we going to stop hiring such trash to speak in schools !