Australia has gone nuts.
We’ve had a tremendous furore, and it’s not been over poverty or abuse or the quest for world peace.
No, the bone of contention is that most lacklustre of berries*; the avocado, a fruit so bad most people think it’s a vegetable. Apart from it’s previously brilliant name of “alligator pear”, it has no redeeming features: it tastes, looks and feels like semi-congealed nasal mucous**. There is no earthly use for an avocado.
Respected demographer Bernard Salt is responsible. (He is in fact, the exact person I would have grown up to be if I had been a teacher’s pet instead of “Mr and Mrs Godden, he’s bright but he won’t make an effort” and turned my love of the 1977 SANFL Official Statistics Guide into a career.)
Mr Salt put the cat amongst the kitchen pigeons when, in a satirical piece, he suggested that hipster cafés are designed to annoy Baby Boomers and keep them away with uncomfortable seating, a veritable pogonophobiacs*** gallery of fear and loathing, and to top it of, overpriced fancy food that, in the minds of the Boomers, uses valuable money that could be better spent on a housing deposit.
Well, I’ll say it again, Australia went nuts.
Conforming to the worst prejudices and generalisations that they (generally) reject, the hipster/Millennial/Gen Z lobby went off, having a crack at proving they were not a bunch of short-attention-spanned, social-media-consumed, self-centred outrage peddlers who can’t take criticism by:
- failing to read more than one line
- tweeting it endlessly
- assuming the article was all about them
- seething; and
- rejecting the criticism that wasn’t actually there.
Well, tough. I can’t say anything that puts them in a worse light than the malarkey of the past week or so.
The problem I have, though, is with Bernard’s theoretical Baby Boomer.
I’m over them and their whining.
Australian Baby Boomers had it good. Not the war generation, who grew up with fear, or the depression era, but these guys had the BOOM! Jobs for all. Free or almost free university degrees****. Cars and telephones. They grew up with the exceptional science fiction of Philip K. Dick before his latter drug-addled efforts; the probable consequence of Ronald Reagan acting badly was a B-movie, not Armageddon, and they never had to listen to Hall and Oates in their formative years.
I’m proudly Gen X, and we get on with it. Not only do we never get a mention, sandwiched between the petulant Gen Y and the overbearing Boomers, but we even had to put up with Billy Joel’s Boomer Apologist “We Didn’t Start The fire”, and hey, the jury’s out on that assertion.
So, where is this mythical straw man, this EveryBoomer, wrong? Well, he***** forgets that his generation was responsible for much of the shift away from all that is decent and kind and human and towards the supermarket.
The complete reversal of standards evinced by infiltration of teab*gs – from 3% in 1963 – happened on their watch.
Today, as I eat my large free range eggs, from our own chickens ($29.95 for nine weeks’ food and no other costs, meaning 15c per egg with an 85 gram average) and a piece of sourdough I made myself ($1 for about 8 serves, or 12.5c each) and some butter I made using an electric whisk and a litre of good quality cream that was left over from a tea event, so effectively free, I don’t fall into EveryBoomer’s trap of working out my costs (27.5c plus 6c for the loose leaf tea) and proudly decry that I have saved $13.57ish by not eating it at a café.
No, I work out that the real benefits are quality, quantity, environmental and satisfaction******.
If there’s one thing Boomers represent, it’s falling standards. Eggs got cagier and smaller. Milk got more homogenised. Bread got more tasteless and more plastic-ensconced. And tea became bagged by default.
So lay off the Hipsters, Boomers. They’re trying to make sense of the world. Of course, when you’re handicapped by having no attention span, a complete inability to comprehend satire and you’re drowning in facial hair, it’s tough.
And lay off the Boomers, Hipsters. They are so convinced that their worldview is right, that all you’ll do with your poorly-spelled and punctuated outrage is push them over the edge, and before long they’ll become cardigan- and white running shoe- clad menaces talking loudly in public places about bad remakes of The Magnificent Seven.
Instead, let’s all rub along, over a pot of great tea, and a quality breakfast that may or not be home made but is free range and plastic-free, and will have the undeniable virtue of being of the highest possible standard.
Of course, in a world where all eggs are high quality and free range, what will people throw at politicians’ cars in the time-honoured method of protest?
Hang on, I may have just found the only possible use for an avocado, and it’s a smashing one.
*- Yes, it’s a berry. Get some botanical science in you.
**- because I can’t say ‘snot’ in a serious post
*** pogonophobia is a fear of beards and collaterally, ZZ Top.
**** Let me stop you there, Whitlamites. Prior to being actually free, there were some heavily subscribed scheme which had the same effect.
***** Given that the mythical Boomer is whining, it’s safe to assume it’s a ‘he’
****** or “smugness” if you prefer