Thoughts on Unjustified Cultural Triumphalism by Ben
The Age’s Melbourne Magazine decided last week that it’s cover story should be “Why we love Melbourne” – because the Melbourne Magazine just doesn’t spend enough time blathering on about how great Melbourne is. Part of the piece is a list of “22 reasons Melbourne is the best place on earth” – because when it comes to bizarre, unquantifiable and ludicrous claims, it’s best to itemise. Let’s see what they’ve got…
Reason 1 – “We’ve got Julia Zemiro”. Yes, we do. And what makes a city a truly great place to live is the presence of a minor celebrity who you will never come into personal contact with. Oh, isn’t Julia WONDERFUL? Doesn’t she make all our lives WORTHWHILE?
At Reason 2, we have: “The Melway”; the magazine explains this with “Who needs sat-nav?”
Now, I don’t know how many of you are from Melbourne, so perhaps I need to explain what the Melway is.
It’s a street directory.
The Melbourne Magazine has decided that the existence of a Melbourne street directory is one of the reasons the city is the best place to live on earth.
A STREET DIRECTORY! Why, how absolutely marvellous! The innovations these Melbourne folk come up with! Surely, Melbourne is the uber-city! I mean, it’s a book, that shows you where stuff is. With MAPS. It’s the eighth wonder of the WORLD. Why, to experience anything remotely comparable, you’d probably have to go to, I don’t know, ANY OTHER CITY IN THE WORLD.
Skipping ahead, we see Reason 4: “The bay…Sydney Harbour? Pah! Our bay spits out that much water through the heads every day of the week.”
Yes, because volume of liquid is the main selling point for Sydney Harbour.
Reason 5: “Small nights out…You can see a band any night of the week in a venue so intimate it’ll probably be you, your friends and the musicians.”
Mmmm…crowded and unpopular…the ideal entertainment experience.
Reason 8: “The coffee is pretty good”. Oh well, that’s going to draw them in from around the globe.
Reason 9: “We’re hip”. No.
Reason 17: “We care”. Apparently Melburnians gave generously to the Black Saturday appeals. And the Royal Children’s Hospital. So Melbourne must be better than anywhere else, given that people in other places don’t give a shit about anyone.
Reason 19: “We’re record breakers”. Apparently, 15 of the records in the Guinness Book of World Records were set here (sorry, “a whopping 15” that should be). Wow. So what records were broken in Melbourne?
Well, for example, there’s the record for most goals kicked in an “AFL” game (actually VFL, back in 1947. And isn’t THAT a record to be proud of! What other amazing feats has Melbourne beaten the world in? The record for the most number of stations on Flinders Street? The greatest percentage of Victorian premiers’ residences? Truly amazing.
And then there’s the world record for the most spiders on a human body. We should all be proud.
Reason 21: “Hamish and Andy…good clean fun!” Oh fuck off.