News Satire People Food Other

Keeping It Authentic

By Pearl Bullivant on June 3, 2011 in Other

Cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, civil wars – we can all forget about the woes of the world when there’s ‘real issues’ going down outside our doorstop; real bourgeois, cutting edge issues that serve to distract us from our beachside utopia.


Of what interest is the overthrow of the Egyptian president (unless coups have become a trendy ‘must have’) when there’s more relevant issues like the removal of an illegally built tree-house in Bondi, which somehow deserved to become headline material in the Sydney Morning Herald back in February this year, bumping poor old Hosni Mubarak’s plight to page 10? Of course, I had to read no further than the child’s name, ‘Holden’, to confirm that the front page article was actually about Bondi.

What is it with names like Holden, Scout, Atticus, and Hunter? Why does one feel the need to advertise how smart they are via their child’s name? Yes, darlings, let everyone know that you have read Catcher in the Rye, that To Kill a Mockingbird changed your life, and that you love Gonzo journalism but please leave your child out of it!

I’m sure most readers are aware of the illegal Bondi tree-house. It received national media coverage – when you upset the children of the affluent, the world soon hears about it! Alas, the tree-house issue is part of the latest yuppie trend of ‘keeping it real and authentic’ in a stress-laden world. Give your child a trendy name and an iPod, dress it in designer clothing, feed it organic food and ferry it around in a 4WD all the while keeping their lifestyle ‘real and authentic’ by encouraging them to play in an illegally built tree-house.

Yuppies are used to flaunting laws – talking on mobiles whilst driving, disregarding 40km school zones, refusing to pick up dog poo, illegal parking – so assuming private ownership of council land for a child’s enjoyment and maintenance of its ‘authentic lifestyle’ is just a natural extension of middle-class illicit activities.

What amused me most about this pathetic saga was that one of the mothers involved in the beat-up complained she now had to drive her child to Lyne Park and the beach since the tree-house had been removed! She lives in Bondi with a beach and myriad playgrounds in walking distance and she has to drive her child all the way to New South Head Road to play in a trendy park?

If she wants her precious child to experience ‘authentic’ she should get off her backside and walk the child to the park or beach. Anyway, I thought the tree-house lobbyists would be proud to let their children go ‘free-range’ (yet another annoying yuppie trend), walking to the beach unaccompanied like in ‘the good old days before computers’.

Alas, the ‘keeping it real’ trend isn’t just about tree-houses. It’s responsible for various vacuous trends, the most omnipresent being home-cooking. And, like all middle-class fancies, the cooking obsession can’t be done by halves. It has to go way beyond a simple home-cooked meal. ‘Keeping it real’ means having to measure ‘food miles’, cook ‘slow food’, eat ‘nose-to-tail’ (think blood pudding with salmon), and buy at farmers’ markets. And for yuppies, vegetarianism is no-longer ecologically sound. Instead, we should be killing our own produce so we can brag about feeling exhilarated and ‘connected to the land’! What a lot of pretentious, middle class rot!

So parents of the east, take Pearl’s advice: give your child Lego, a couple of soft-toys and some cardboard boxes. ‘Keeping it real’ requires more than an illegal tree-house and home-made gnocchi with blood pudding!

Pearlie xx