Inner City Wankers

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Inner City Wankers and their detachment from Fair Dinkum Australia.

And how I discovered that Bowling Clubs and Caravan Parks were the places where I was least likely to come across them.

Our Inner Cities are awash in a sea of coffee culture and the cafes are stacked with drones who look like they are perpetually auditioning for reality television shows. And this phoney and contrived culture is passing off as our Zeitgeist !

Nick Carter’s book The Lucky Culture had one reviewer liken it to ‘a conservative forensic attack on that fraction of Australian society- the latte sipping inner urban wankers’.

Oh Nick, you’re not alone on this one mate. I’ve had a problem with this lot for years now. I’ve watched them posing and prancing up and down their Lifestyle Latte Loitering strips bewildered it all. I’ve even joined them on occasions to see if I was somehow missing out on something and underestimating the appeal of it all. Maybe I wasn’t ‘getting it’!

Why did I find the prospect of consuming lightly seared chicken giblets garnished with Persian pine nuts, porcini and a dash of Margaret River organic extra virgin olive oil al fresco in amongst this lot unappealing !

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As much as I’ve tried, I just can’t get around the notion that it’s all just one big Wank.

Their obsession with the pursuit of ‘good coffee’ being a prime example. They’ve completely transformed the formerly innocuous task of drinking a cup of coffee .

And tracking down ’good latte’ has become a holy grail of sorts. It’s used in marketing paraphernalia to sell anything from leather lounge suits, scooters to apartments.

And while the contemporary Italian equivalent of our ICW are just as susceptible to market trends and the adman‘s hype. They’re at a loss to fathom the obsession our ICW attach to the humble latte.
For the average Italian a caffé latte is just a cup of warm milk mixed with coffee.

It’s invariably drunk of a morning to stimulate bowel movements……it’s kept me regular for years.
Whereas these ICW have embraced this quasi mild laxative with a fundamentalist zeal and created urban art spaces to consume it.

In my exodus to escape this nonsense and trying to find an alternative to these contrived pockets I’ve managed to come across places where thankfully Fair Dinkum Australia still exists.

Notably Caravan Parks and Bowling Clubs. While you’ll struggle to find many of the former in our Inner Urban areas. There are still plenty of bowling clubs operating, albeit tenuously in some suburbs of inner Melbourne.

An Oasis from those ubiquitous Lifestyle Strips blanketing inner urban areas.

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Over the years I’ve taken umbrage to the way ICW have used their addresses as kudos tools, looking down on those who live in so called less desirable areas.

I remember being introduced to a bar manager in a St Kilda night spot years ago. He was one of those metrosexual types, fashionable, smarmy and cocky. A bitchy Tom Waterhouse look alike for want of a better picture builder. His boss introduced us.

“Marcus I’d like you to meet Fab, he runs a pub I drink at in Footscray.”

Marcus became visibly disconcerted the mention of Footscray and was at a loss as to why his boss thought it necessary to introduce us. He sort of instinctively cocked back his head as if he was trying to avoid something which could be contagious and reluctantly asked me, “So, how would you best describe your clientele?“

I gathered he was mocking anything associated with Footscray so I took my time in responding ,eyeballed him and answered with.
“Well Marcus, they’re what you might call real people” (I was subtly making the distinction between try too hard tossers like him and fair dinkum types.)

His discomfort was palpable and he quickly excused himself bringing to an end what was an unpleasant meeting for the both of us…let’s say we didn’t share core values !

I’ve met too many wankers like Marcus for my liking over the years. Not surprisingly that his type are rarely found in caravan parks and bowling clubs. Places where the concept of egalitarianism is still the norm and staunchly upheld. ICW love to flaunt their perceived advantages over those who come from the suburbs.

And the entitlements their lifestyle affords them. They’d baulk at having to share bathroom facilities in caravan parks

“Oh my God Share !!!!“

They’d squirm at having to line up at a communal wash basin in a caravan park’s toilet block to brush their teeth. They’re into flaunting what they‘ve managed to acquire or got over others. And communal toilets aren’t the sort of places to conceal that their bowel movements can be just as odorous and thunderous as those who come from less ‘fashionable addresses’.

I once lived in the salubrious suburb of Kew, but after a couple of years I worked out that it wasn’t the place for me. I remember going to say goode to the Swiss owner of a local bakery whom I‘d been chatty with.

“Where are you moving to ? “ She asked.

“Coburg .” I replied.

She couldn’t conceal her shock. She looked at me with a mixture of pity and sorrow, “Oh I‘m so sorry.“

What she really meant to say was , I’m so sorry you have to move to a place like Coburg (in her reckoning an undesirable suburb).

Her startled look and overly sympathetic voice displayed the sort of sorrow one expresses on hearing news of someone’s death- not on changing suburbs!

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The lads from Toorak Bowling Club.

In this ever creeping sea of posing and posturing I’ve been lucky to stumble across a gem in Princess Park Bowling Club in Parkville- North Carlton.

Beautifully located in splendid parkland just where Sydney Road Brunswick begins. The membership is an eclectic hodgepodge of what the inner suburbs once truly represented before it was over run the Inner City Wanker Lifestyle. Our membership includes retired academics, trade union number crunchers, local business owners, staunch public servants, artists and a couple of oddball superannuated wogs thrown in for good measure.

An ambience respectful of tradition but hardly stuck in a Menzies era time warp! We’re discerningly progressive. Everyone is embraced without prejudice or judgement. We even welcome curious ICWs who stroll in off the street.

They’re surprised to find imported German wheat beers and Mornington Peninsula Pinots at the bar. But we draw the line at ‘lattes’ .
There are enough places pandering to the Latte Lot.

Anyhow, serving Skinny Milk Macchiatos at a bowling club just wouldn‘t be Fair Dinkum, now would it!

Fabrizio Marsani
fmarsani@yahoo.com.au