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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


  1. It is amazing how hypocritical wannabe journalists can be. Hate hate hate in journos is as much of a trend in Bondi as everything else is. All this hate doesn’t make it any easier for anyone to accept that living in Bondi is all about the people, the trends and the everchanging lifestyles of the mixed bag that live here. I say bring on the treehouses, bring on the crazy named kids and bring on gnocchi with blood pudding. Do you really think living in Bondi is still what it was 20 years ago? Get over it. Things have changed. Once the sewer that was the beach got cleaned up and the price of owning your own piece of Bondi went through the roof, the Bondi of old became a new Bondi. And nothing will ever bring back the old Bondi – so you might as well stop hating and take a fresh look on life and where you live. Maybe then those kids with interesting names from the early 1900s whose parents were not braging about their journalistic wisdom (infact that was you who was doing all of the bragging about how amazingly well read you are) will get to grow up in a place where creativity and a friendly community is king and haters like yourself lose your public voice so as not to taint the next gen through anger like you so obviously have been. Boring.

    Posted by: Rich | June 6, 2011, 10:49 AM |

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    • Rich, Rich, Rich, how dare you tear strips off dear Pearl!
      Do you mind if I call you Dick? Well Dick kids with crazy names have to live with them all of their lives and not their parents who named these poor children, these defenseless children are unable to protect themselves from being given these zany names at their birth, thus being left to endure life with a name that their parents thought was “COOL”. Pearl is as open minded as you can get and her depth and breadth of knowledge on matters of importance and second to none, since meeting Pearl in the early 70’s we have shared many a good time theorising on social issues and I can honestly say Pearl can smash rocks better than Charlie Sheen ever can.

      Posted by: Allistair Conrad Charlton | June 7, 2011, 7:39 PM |

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      • I lived with the name Dick my whole life and I survived with no issues about identity. I simply see no need to voice an opinion on fashion when fashion is what has branded generation after generation as far back as names can be found. You can mock Dick, She can mock Holden, Hunter, Atticus and Scout. Mocking people who make the community, the community is far from openminded. Actually I would say quite the opposite. Hate journalism is boring. What is wrong with kids building tree houses. Let the kids have a happy place. Let the next generation have a point of difference from their parents. Just accept what people want to do in their lives as theirs, not yours.

        Posted by: Rich | June 7, 2011, 8:48 PM |

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  2. Having lived in the Eastern Suburbs for many years I really can’t see how 4wds, expensive prams, high rents, huge mortages and children with silly names equates to creativity. Rich should have been living in Bondi in the 1960s when there was creativity and a real bohemia, not a pretend one based on organic foods and childrens’ names. Sorry to disappoint you Rich, but creativity is not the bastion of today’s affluent and university educated people. Many creative people who achieved a high level of fame, sporting or artistic, came out of the old Bondi. Bondi had a lovely, friendly community where people looked out for each other. That community has now dissolved into a community of people with too much money. A community where people fight over parking spaces, verges, and development applications and spend their time and money trying to outdo each other. And woe to anyone who dares criticise them, like Pearl. No creativity there Rich. The new breed of people have bought the hate in their pursuit for a middle class utopia.

    Posted by: Maureen | June 8, 2011, 11:42 AM |

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  3. I agree with Maureen, I was born & bred in the Eastern suburbs, what was once a happy enclave of community & diversity is now ‘wankerville’, get out of the way the $3000 pram is coming through & they have right of way!……I moved to the Inner West, although the same thing is happening there…. a little slower one can only hope.

    Posted by: Sarah | June 8, 2011, 12:06 PM |

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    • It’s already happening in Newtown – Slummy Mummies with their expensive designer rasta hats and Hyundai 4WDs and huge, trendy second hand pramulators buying up big in ‘exclusive enclaves’ like Laura Street because there’s a ‘magnet’ public school to cater for their egalitarian sensibilities.

      Posted by: Pearl of Clovelly | June 14, 2011, 3:22 PM |

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  4. Hey Al – thanks for standing up for me, but do you really need to refer to those heady days of the past????!!! Blair and my three great-nephews will be reading this. Peace love and Kombis.. Pearlie

    Posted by: Pearl of Clovelly | June 8, 2011, 2:11 PM |

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  5. Ahh how nice is living in the past. How good the old days were. I remember playing naked in the streets with some string and a stick for days and days without any need for supervision. Yep Dick is also not that young but what Dick has is the ability to see how things are today and why. We, the baby boomers had too many children. We created urban sprawl and now we live in the product of our creation, where land is very valuable and the only people that can affod to live here are successfully living in the system created for them by us. Rememeber our poulation then… 12 000 000. 40 years later here we are with 20 000 000. 1 generation and we almost doubled. That’s close to 4 kids a couple! That’s a lot of pramulators. So again I am so confused by the banta but I do love a good heated discussion. The middle class utopia is our doing, not theirs, and the negative discourse I see as guilt. It isn’t that our generation made Bondi amazing – Bondi is amazing and is equally as amazing to the ‘Slummy Mummies’ as it is and was to you. Keep up the hate guys. I am sure that slagging off women with kids in a 2011 stroller, shopping in retail areas that used to be the local butcher is going to make a difference. And Maureen you don’t disapoint me at all by saying that creative people came from the 1960s real bohemia. I 100% agree with you. But then the drugs wore off and I realised that the product of our lifestyle created the next gen lifestyle and hence the next chapter in what is the ever changing world and community that we live in – that a massive majority of us love being a part of. And guess what! Tomorrow’s creative people may have been pushed around in a pramulator. OMG.

    Posted by: Rich | June 20, 2011, 10:57 AM |

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  6. Look, it’s not the crass narcissism or even the vulgar consumerism that makes those Eastern suburbs nouveau rich so annoying. It’s simply their inability or unwillingness to recognise the existence of others in their surrounds that grates on all but those of their “me” generation kind. As evidence just take note next time an oversized ‘Bugaboo’-brandishing 30-something approaches as you make your way around the coastal walk. Who makes the first, or any, attempt to avoid the other? My money’s not on the Bugaboo.

    Posted by: Bonzo | July 25, 2011, 11:00 PM |

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