Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Whole Lot Of Stuff White People Like In Melbourne

Not Liking Football
Sport is popular with the wrong type of white Melburnian, and the most popular sport amongst these people is Australian football. It is no accident that Melbourne is considered Australia’s sporting capital AND its art capital because art is the best way to hide your love of football. In the white Melburnian brain, art and football are mutually exclusive. If you profess an interest in one, everybody will assume you hate the other. Melburnian white people do this to hide their shame, because all of them carry around little shards of pain in their hearts caused by North Melbourne’s shock loss to Adelaide in the 1998 Grand Final, or the 1996 merger of the Fitzroy Lions with the Brisbane Bears, or Essendon’s agonising one point loss to Carlton at the ‘G in 1999.

White Melburnians love comparing football with homosexual sex. If this sounds weird, don’t worry. In Melbourne it is perfectly normal to discuss man-to-man anal sex if the conversation veers towards football. This is because white people in Melbourne are so uncomfortable talking about footy as it might reveal how devastated they were when Carlton got pumped on the weekend. This horrible sense of shame makes anal sex a comparatively easy concept to engage with. So when Richo does his hammy and that shard of pain wells up in their hearts just say something like, “Yeah footy, it’s so homoerotic, don’t you reckon?”

Fingerless Gloves
Melbourne White people love doing things differently, which is why they all wear fingerless gloves. White Melburnians will tell you fingerless gloves are worn for warmth, but that’s obviously not true because proper gloves are even warmer. The real reason is they make them look poor. They also help them mark the Sherrin in the wet.

Filled with oppressively friendly men who ‘just want to give you a massage,’ Confest is sort of what you imagined the seventies to be like, except with a lot more AIDS and variants of hepatitis. White Melburnians like Confest because they get to experiment with creating a perfect society, which for them means being able to fuck anyone they want. Don’t sit down in the sauna because it’s the equivalent of touching a thousand naked and sweaty assholes.

Dirty 3 gig at Meredith Music Festival in 2004
Because the average age of the typical white Melburnian is twenty-five, it’s not plausible for them to claim they attended the Nirvana gig at the Palace in 1992. In 1992, all of today’s white Melburnians were about seven years old and living in Mount Waverley. This is where the Dirty 3 show comes in. It’s a gig that strengthens white Melburnian culture by providing an event around which its members can experience a sense of shared belonging. If you are new to white Melburnian culture, ask someone, “what’s Meredith like?” White Melburnians have talked each other to death over this show (remember: all of them were there), so a newcomer could easily parachute their way into a new friendship group by getting them to rehash their experiences to a fresh audience.

The Dirty 3 played at dusk on the Saturday night as storm clouds gathered over the stage. Thunder could be heard in the distance. Both literal and metaphorical electricity was in the air. The violinist had big hair, and everybody swore it was standing on end because of the lightning in the atmosphere. I don’t remember what happened after that.

Lentil As Anything
Who would want to eat at a restaurant where it takes thirty minutes to get a table, ten minutes to get a menu, and forty-five minutes to get food? White Melburnians, of course! On the walls are adverts for drummers, rooms for rent, poetry nights and upcoming Dirty 3 shows. There are only two tables worth sitting at in Lentil As Anything. There’s the large bench out the back with pillows and cushions, and then there’s the table up the front with the world map stuck to it. This gives Melbourne white people a chance to discuss the countries they’ve been too and the countries they want to go too, all of which are either in Asia or South America.

The food is all vegetarian and you can pay what you want for your meal. The owners have succeeded in creating a reasonably successful business using an artful combination of trust and guilt. There is a large padlocked wooden dropbox on the front bench where you deposit your money. Just remember to bring lots of loose change and some five dollar notes.

One of my friends made a wallet out of an empty Bonsoy carton because she is so goddamn sustainable, but white Melburnians love this product mostly because it’s hard to find. It’s not in the soy milk section as you would expect. It’s in the health food section. There was recently a Facebook rumour that Bonsoy was set to become unavailable in Melbourne which meant everyone stocked up in bulk. It was even harder to find after that. Bonsoy is soy milk you have to strive for.

Northcote does not make sense. Positioned in the heartland of suburbia, a whopping nine stops away from the city (comparable to North Brighton, Ormond and Murrumbeena) it has somehow managed to defy geography and pass itself off as a gritty inner city urban wonderland. The brilliance of this suburb is only magnified when you go there and discover it’s mostly just a few kebab joints and a massive indoor shopping centre with Kmart, two Coles, Donut King and a fucking Bakers Delight. This is stuff the wrong white Melburnians like! I don’t know how, but Northcote has brainwashed Melbourne white people. Go there to experience genius.

Mulled Wine
This drink lets white Melburnians combine two of their favourite drinks – red wine and chai - into one slightly nauseating drinking experience. The spices are also good for masking the flavour of cheap red wine.

Moroccan Soup Bar
After eating at The Moroccan Soup Bar, you’ll probably feel distressed and wonder, “How does a restaurant with only one good dish have a line out the door night after night?” But think about it. Do you think there’d be a line out the door if the place was called The English Soup Bar or The Tasmanian Soup Bar? Not a chance. This restaurant is in Fitzroy North, the only suburb in Melbourne where people talk about Morocco. Either they’ve been there or want to be there. If you mention you’ve been to Morocco while dining at The Moroccan Soup Bar, prepare to answer questions about what you ate. This is a cruel question because anyone who’s been to Morocco will know that all you ate were burgers, fries, croissants and those weird red meat sausages.

Dropping the ‘North’ from your suburb
If you believed white Melburnians, you’d think the suburbs of Fitzroy North and Carlton North were barren wastelands filled with abandoned houses and stray cats. That’s because people who live in these suburbs never admit it. Instead, they say they live in “Carlton”, or “Fitzroy.” If you live in a northern suburb, your status as a white Melburnian is augmented if you live in the southern parts because they are closer to the city. Thus white Melburnians get more status if they live in Carlton or Fitzroy instead of Carlton North or Fitzroy North. But you can’t ask white Melburnians directly because they are notoriously deceptive. You have to read between the lines by asking questions like, “So how long does it take to get to the city?” If the response is, “Oh, only 15 minutes by bike,” they are lying. Carlton and Fitzroy are only five to ten minutes from the city by bike. These people really live Carlton North or Fitzroy North. But some Melbourne white people are smart and will know what you’re doing. In that case you have to get them talking about their neighbourhoods (most white Melburnians are dying to tell you where they live) and keep an ear out for key words such as: St Georges Road; Piedemontes; Edinburgh Gardens; cemetery; VicRoads. If these are mentioned, chances are they live in Carlton North or Fitzroy North.

At Ceres, white Melburnians get to do everything they normally do except they get to feel like they are Making A Difference while doing it. So at Ceres you’ll see white Melburnians riding bikes, white Melburnians gardening, and white Melburnians drinking espresso coffee (fair trade). Feeling like you’re Making A Difference is a central pillar of white Melburnian culture. Whether or not you actually Make A Difference is irrelevant. The important thing is to appear as if you are doing so.

Since exercise and sport are something the wrong type of white Melburnians do, Melbourne white people must find ways to get around this and the answer is fire-twirling. It requires hand-eye co-ordination, dexterity, good reflexes and it’s slightly dangerous– just like sport! Yet fire-twirling does not require cardio fitness, so you won’t be building any annoying muscles or lung capacity, and it takes place at night meaning you won’t get a healthy tan. These characteristics are celebrated by the wrong type of white Melburnian. In fact, being fit is so anathema to the Melbourne White Person it is customary to say “well that’s my exercise for the day” after running for a tram. Feel free to lay on the hyperbole. Tell everybody it was your exercise for the week, the month or even the year! It will not sound out of place. It is also important to breathe heavily as you say this.

Tibetan Prayer Flags
You might wonder why staunch atheists openly display prayer flags. This is because Eastern religions that aren’t Islam appeal to white Melburnians. Melbourne white people love Peace, so they like religions they consider peaceful, such as Buddhism. It doesn’t even matter that many Buddhist countries are some of the most war-torn on Earth.

ACCA (Australian Centre of Contemporary Art)
White Melburnians love art, and since Melbourne is widely considered to be Australia’s art capital, it is very important to have a decent knowledge of at least one area of art. White Melburnians love ACCA because it is hard to get too. It’s not centrally located like ACMI (Australian Centre of the Moving Image) or the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria). But beware - if you overhear white Melburnians talking about ACCA, tread carefully. The worst mistake you could make at this point is confusing ACCA with Jason ‘Aka’ Akermanis, a star player for the Western Bulldogs football team. Remember, football is popular with the wrong type of Melbourne white people. If you make this mistake you will never be friends with a white Melburnian again.

Shanghai Dumpling House
White Melburnians love this place because it’s cheap, but mostly because it’s in an alley. The patronage is also about 15% Asian, which isn’t enough to freak out white Melburnians, but enough to make them feel as if they are escaping white culture. The owners like it too, because they know they can save money by reducing the amount of chili and other seasonings in their product, as the average white Melburnian discovered soy sauce in the mid nineties.

Hating on Sydney
White Melburnians are going to read this and say "What the hell is Sydney doing on this list? The only list I'd tolerate Sydney being on is a World's Shittest Cities List!" Et cetera et cetera. Then they'd bang on about how Sydneysiders traded culture and style for geography and climate two hundred years ago. They'd make the point that when Sydneysiders praise their city they only talk about factors outside of human control, such as weather and the beach and blah fucking blah. They would also argue that while Melbourne beaches aren't as pretty, at least they're not packed with British backpackers and race rioters. Then they'd go on about global warming and how in the future Melburnians will be able to grow avocadoes and bananas while Sydneysiders will get hurricanes and malaria. White Melburnians are so pathetic sometimes! I like Sydney. It's Australia's only global metropolis.

Earthchoice Dishwash Liquid
White Melburnians love anything that’s cheap and good for the environment. Even if it comes in plastic and contains the known skin irritant, sodium laureth sulphate. Earthchoice Dishwash Liquid is the Morning Fresh of our generation.

Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam
Tourism (‘travel’ in white Melburnian vernacular) is very important in white Melburnian culture because, like op shopping, it allows them to consume without feeling guilty. Because the Australian dollar is one of the strongest currencies in the region, a white Melburnian can feel like they are consuming less because they are only spending twenty to thirty dollars per day. Your status will be boosted by a visit to any of these countries, but doubled if you visit all of them and/or remain in the region for at least three months. Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were recently war-torn, but have a robust tourist infrastructure in place, enabling you to pass yourself off as a swashbuckling adventurer in the jungles of South East Asia while enjoying the same level of customer service as Thailand and Bali (popular with the wrong type of white Melburnian). To put your travel credentials beyond doubt, make sure to purchase a Caution! Mines! Cambodia! tshirt.

Pronouncing Chile as 'Chil-AY'
Previously pronounced as 'chi-li', Melbourne white people now refer to the nation of Chile as 'chil-AY'. This sometimes also applies to Haiti, where it gets said as 'hi-AY-ti' or something like that. While the only Chilean I've met said 'chi-li', he also said he was going to put poison in my food, so I haven't met a reliable verifier. In any case, remember that white Melburnians are happy to mispronounce other places in the Americas, such as Maryland and Arkansas, so don't worry about those. Just make sure to emphasise the 'AY' parts of Latin American place names if you want to appear knowledgeable and worldly.

Pretending to Hate Cars
White Melburnians love road trips but hate cars. This is because road trips let them enjoy cars without feeling guilty. When a white Melburnian gets behind the wheel a type of alchemy occurs – for them the act of driving is magically different compared to when other white people do it. Their love of crude machinery from the early 1900s is sublimated in various ways – it’s a means to see Mexico or a way to save the forests of East Gippsland. This is similar to how it’s acceptable for white Melburnians to be in the Hungry Jacks drive-thru between the hours of 3am and 6am.

Movies That Make You Think
All white Melburnians are sophisticated and intellectual so they like movies that make them think. If you want to see an action movie just go by yourself. Don’t even mention it. White Melburnians will do this thing where they scrunch up their nose when you talk about action movies. Below is a transcript of a conversation between me (Ben) and a white Melburnian friend (WMF) when I asked if he wanted to see The Kingdom, an action movie set in Saudi Arabia starring Jamie Foxx.

Ben: Hey you wanna see The Kingdom?
WMF: Errrrrr, do you think it'll be good?
Ben: OF COURSE it will be good. It's an ACTION MOVIE!
WMF: Errrrr, it's gonna be terrible. It'll be racist and it'll be shit because Hollywood doesn't understand terrorism and Islam and Saudi Arabia and blah fucking blah.

But who does? Of course the message is going to be confusing and jumbled and insensitive. It's HOLLYWOOD! Hollywood doesn't even know shit about Hollywood. I'm not expecting intelligent and thoughtful insights into globalisation and terrorism in a post - 9\11 world because when I want that I go to a fucking library. Movies are about entertainment! Can’t you come with me anyway and just interpret the movie through Foucault’s power/knowledge thing?

One of the most outrageous things a white Melburnian can do is wear their trackies outside. It's seriously a radical act for them. This is because trackies are comfortable, bland and still popular with the wrong type of white Melburnian, ergo - they are not obviously ironic. Irony takes time. It will take another five years before we can wear Limp Bizkit tshirts. Wear one now and everyone thinks you're a fan. So if you're hanging out with white Melburnians be prepared to hear them say things like: "I rolled out of bed at eleven so I just threw on my trackies!" Or, "I wore my trackies down Chapel street. I must have looked like I just rolled out of bed!" There is an implicit assumption that the wider community will care about their choice of pants. Stories about your trackies are conversation gold for white Melburnians. Just remember to act awestruck when they tell you theirs.

Pretending To Be A Nerd
Because it's uncool to acknowledge you're cool, and since making an effort to be cool is uncool, it's now cool for white Melburnians to pretend they are uncool.

The Monthly
Sort of like The New Yorker but four times less frequent and about half as interesting, White Melburnians read The Monthly because it makes them appear literary, which is kind of nerdy and therefore cool. Also, since it's published in Collingwood, most white Melburnians know someone who knows someone who works there. They will not hesitate to tell you this. But you're only allowed to act impressed if this someone is a member of the editorial staff.

Acknowledging the Wurundjeri
You might notice how very awkward white Melburnians sound while acknowledging the Wurundjeri. It's because they've been working up the courage to say that for two hundred years.

White Melburnians are too urbane for donuts but they eat churros because they love anything with a foreign sounding name. For example - yoga, latte, chai, chai latte, Al Qaeda and Franco Cozzo.

The World Section of The Age
Even though the World Section of The Age is mostly a snapshot of what the USA is doing, white Melburnians love it because it usually has colourful photographs of their favourite type of poor person (the ones who don't live in Australia).

The Windsor End of Chapel Street
Chapel Street is the continuum upon which Melbourne white people orient themselves. It is also a test. If you want to be friends with a white Melburnian you must openly dislike Chapel Street, but always throw in a caveat about the Windsor end being “alright.” The South Yarra end has the wrong type of white Melburnian, because they like cars instead of bikes, go to Bali instead of Cambodia, drink at clubs instead of pubs or bars, and they prefer designer labels from designers instead of designer labels from op shops. In white Melburnian culture, consumerism is bad except when it’s not. Since this doesn’t make sense, just say “the Windsor end is alright,” and you will be fine.

Notable Mentions
Triple R and PBS, Daniel Kitson, Copenhagen-Style Bike Lanes, David and Margeret, My Disco, Camberwell Market, Aesop, High Vibes, Degraves street, leggings, Getting Kicked Out Of Pony.

What'd I miss?


  1. White Melbournians love hating on Sydney, of course.

  2. We'll have to agree to disagree on there only being one good dish at the Moroccan Soup Bar, but otherwise I like this. What about more on cars? I hardly know anyone that owns a car and recently when I was with a group of people and someone mentioned buying a car someone else seemed to flinch, as if their respect for the new car owner had suddenly dropped. Owning a bicycle in the inner north is SO white.

  3. The Dirty 3 show was in 2004...

  4. I can't believe you haven't added:
    Black Jeans (or wearing black in general)
    Hating on Bimbos but still going there to eat pizza
    Talking about how Meredith isn't as good as it used to be (despite the fact that most people who go these days only started going a few years ago)
    International Development Degrees

  5. I like this!

    A few comments.

    Re: Bonsoy
    I don't know where people get the idea that Bonsoy is hard to find. It is literally (!) pouring out from discount vitamin shops for $22.74 for a box of six. Come back next month after the next campaign flyer has reached your letterbox and you just might score one for $19.98.

    Re: Northcote
    I don't understand this place either. I suppose white Melburnians are fans of only the Westgarth end, because the rest of Northcote i.e. the part over the bridge is full of the other types of white Melburnians. Northcote's bars are strewn between cash lending stores, discount vitamin shops (they're everywhere, man), 1970s-styled acupuncture centres and several forlorn-looking second-hand bookstores and health food shops.

    Re: A place you missed
    White Melburnians love Curtain House because it combines everything they love:
    - a bar that has an adjoining restaurant serving sanitised Thai food
    - a bookshop that specialises in design, advertising and art books
    - a rooftop bar where you can overlook beloved Melbourne (city) in the company of fellow hipsters while sipping your mug of mulled wine.
    - a bar that features little booths in the middle of the venue so you can remain in your clique while checking out the style of fellow patrons (and their cliques).
    - its six floors are serviced by a lift, so you can keep your leg muscles underdeveloped and fitting snuggly into your skinny black jeans.
    - Curtain House used to be the headquarters for the Australian Communist Party

    Also, you don't want to get on the wrong side of white Melburnians by spelling 'Melbournians'!

  6. Other things WMs like:

    - vegetarianism / veganism
    - osteopathy
    - claiming allergies to obscure additives
    - using the word "footprint" as a suffix for pretty much anything
    - staunchly supporting the public health sector, but preferring to go to private hospitals
    - talking about the weather
    - talking about real estate prices
    - putting plaques on their letterboxes acknowledging the Wurundjeri people

  7. Moving to Castlemaine. Or talking about moving to Castlemaine. This particularly applies to citizens of the Darebin area.

  8. Sorry Ben, have to disagree with you on a couple of points.

    Firstly, WMs prefer living in North Fitzroy and/or North Carlton because it has more street cred. Everyone knows that Fitzroy and Carlton are more mainstream than their northern relatives, and if its one thing white people don't like, its being mainstream.

    Secondly, Northcote plaza is the best thing about Northcote, because its the last bastion of "old" Northcote. Therefore WMs love it because they know its only a matter of time before it gets ripped down to make way for more uber-apartments, or worse, a westfield. Then WMs can use Northcote plaza as the compass point of the "ye old good days" before Northcote became, gasp, yuppified.

  9. You missed going for a meal on Victoria St. White Melburnians love having Vietnamese on Vic St - its cheap, most are BYO and it provides a 'cultural' experience

  10. Classic Ben!
    You should really develop the Astor posters. Seriously, you aren't cool uncool till you have one of these carelessly strewn somewhere in the house. Generally a bathroom or kitchen. Plus us WM love Nova cinemas. And dressing 'uniquely' but ending up all looking the same anyway! Oh and Brunch. It's the only truely civilised meal for a WM.

  11. You're forgetting that white people from Melbourne, especially those visiting Sydney, are prone to sprout (pun intended) random information regarding the origins of popular vegetables to hapless journalists at house parties. Why isn't this on the list? Too niche??

  12. Spot on my experience so far except on the footy. Perhaps following the mantra of "It's cool to be uncool", I think WMs like footy, particularly when they can recall random dates, results and injuries.

    Two more suggestions:

    "WMs like to underline their original (ie, non-American) taste by shamelessly duplicating US creations."

    "WMs would only bag what other WMs' like because 'ethnic' Melburnians must have a pure and uncorrupted taste."

  13. How did Coopers longnecks escape this list? It's the white Melburnian's tipple of choice, after 'obscure foreign spirit I sampled with locals while travelling'.

  14. I agree with Papa, eating out on Victoria St is a very popular activity amoungst WMs. As a WM, it is important to have a favourite Vietnamese restaurant on Vic St (the more obscure the better) and to express opinions such as how the Bon bo Hue is far better at Minh Tan 2 than Minh Tan 3.

    Another popular topic of conversation amongst WMs is laneway bars. At some point during the conversation the topic of St Jeromes will usually come up. At this point it's important to fall silent, as if a deceased family member has been mentioned, and then to lament the loss of the city's bar to yuppies who don't mind paying $15 for a drink.

  15. Well done, Ben! Your blog is popping up in my facebook news feed as more people seem to discover it.

  16. Pretending to like to Footscray.
    Animal Collective.

  17. given that almost all of your points are based on northern melbourne landmarks etc. perhaps a line about WM never, ever going south of the river. Except to go to a NGV special show.

    also something about the Yarraville 'village'

    bemoaning the sliding standard of journalism at The Age.

    Golden Plains being the 'next' Meredith.

    Preston market being cheaper and better than the Victoria Market.


    Whoever said the thing about the Coopers longnecks. Hell yes.

    WM loving the Stuff White People Like lists.

    House parties or Art Shows at shared houses...

    Sleeve tattoos

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  19. I'd be inclined to say that liking the "Stuff White People Like" blog is a typical white Melbournian trait...

  20. White Melburnians can be snobbish about the correct spelling of 'Melburnian' (no 'o') and write elitist letters to the newspaper about slipping editorial standards if a journo ever gets it wrong.

    As a non-Melburnian, you can be forgiven :)

  21. This stuff is bloody great and captures 'intellectual' 'indie' white melbournians perfectly. Keep going!

  22. How did fixed wheel bikes also escape the list? Come on, every second white twenty something owns one of these things now. What makes more sense than a brakeless bike?

  23. you've obviously only got hippy white friends from north of the yarra...southside 4 life

  24. Yay my old Melbourne culture! You were my life for twelve years. I sure miss you, and my old stickered bike, but I like Darwin better now. I can wear thongs and a grubby singlet anywhere, sh!t beer tastes great in the humidity, and fishing on the flats sure beats serial lattes. :D

  25. I've noticed that White Melbourne People - well, Women - used to wear skirts on the outside of their jeans. This is a style error on the scale of a comb-over with chunky-knit Arran pullover. Or socks with sandals.

  26. Hey Goatsfoot, you missed the best thing about Darwin - Me! uh, I mean us locals, hehe. Oh yeah, and the bowhunting.

    (And the pink 4WD and the pink fishing rods ;-)

    Ben, I've spent enough time in Melbourne to find this really funny *grins* Thanks for the laughs!

  27. Matt Preston, Matt Preston and Matt Preston - Melbournians love him, his dress sense, the cravats, the best food writer in the world and he's from Melbourne - very smart white women (Marieke Hardy, Catherine Deveny etc) are in love with his plump verbosity - for mine White Melbournians love Matt Preston (of course none of them watch Masterchef - that would involve them having a TV and that would not be so...white

  28. loved the hating on sydney section. too funny!
    ditto re eartchoice dishwashing liquid - read the label peeps, its made of dishwashing liquid. send your 6 buck per litre premium to the wilderness society.

    things you missed - new york, fixies, catherine deveny, the tote hotel, the corner hotel, melbourne and rmit universities, and Thornbury (the new Northcote).

    also, not having a favourite coffee shop, b/c we know fashions change too fast. instead having a favourite local roastery. e.g. di bella, toby's estate.

    i laughed a lot at this. But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, plagiarism is the sincerest form of imitation. you owe christian lander a link at least.


    Jason (North Fitzroy)

  29. Watch out, Harry Connick Jnr may read this and make you apologise on national TV

  30. Cafes with polished concrete floors...
    Talking about the buckets in the shower...
    The bratwurst place at the Vic Market...

  31. "Pretending To Be a Nerd"

    WM's must own one of those Atari T-shirts.

  32. Pretending you were never a raver... Most White Melbournians will openly lie to new acquaintances about never going to hard Kandy or Bubble and how thy hate Hard Trance, ie: "i hate techno, but Nick Fish and Bexta were cool when they played at bubble from 2002-2005

  33. Love it! I think it's also important to be of ethnic descent or have lots of friends who are of ethnic descent. Also to mention that something tastes "just like my nonna used to make it".

    What about "being an artist". Even if you just cut out crappy little bits of paper and stick them to an earring hook and exhibit them in Craft Victoria.

    WMs are in AWE of anyone who grew up in WM suburbs, like East Brunswick (I grew up in East Brunswick and constantly gain approximately 3.8 new respect points as soon as I say I grew up there).

    Thanks, this is awesome!

    Shit, I have to review my dishwashing liquid buying habits

  34. not enough coffee jokes, not enough fixie jokes and shanghai village is not in a laneway its on little bourke street, camys in in a laneway and it is shit!

    keep up the goog work !

  35. The bit about sport and art is wrong. Everyone in Melbourne is into sport -- whether they’re the right sort of white person or not. Do you even live in Melbourne? It’s Sydney where the wrong sort of white people are into sport.

  36. White Melbournian's love 'Zines'. They are so quirky and indie!

  37. Not all white people are hippies.

  38. CRATES! what is with the crates thing?!?

  39. Exhibition openings in Collingwood with long titles in lowercase that read like something Dave Eggars would have come up with, like: "they told us this was beauty they told us this is how we die", or "before the end of everything there's something special in the way we moved inside the shell". They also like Dave Eggars. Don't forget big fake black glasses, noise gigs, and claiming that they were "just listening to Gang of Four" in their iPods.

  40. Further to Akuzi and Papa's comments about Vietnamese dining on Victoria St, WM love it even more because it is not Springvale, where you can actually eat amongst Vietnamese people for half the price.

  41. Excellent! Perfect!.. Except no mention of trams! White people love the trams, and complaining about the trams.

  42. Also La Trobe Uni, Bundoora campus. All white Melbourne people have spent time there while not actually studying there. Usually to hang out with their arts student friends and to drink beer at the Eagle bar.

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  44. what about being lactose intolerant? WM's love claiming it. Then they can feel justify travelling around to find Bonsoy. Despite our biological and genetic system being largely unaltered in thousands of years. How come noone was a celiac in the 90s or before. Then every second person i met claimed to be one after 2000? Heck i even wanted to be one to fit in.

  45. Following Box Hill or Port Melbourne in the VFL (former VFA) - it's footy's Latin America to the AFL's North America.

  46. I agree with HoneyLoveChild in regard to Fitzroy. Real WMs will talk endlessly about how Fitzroy used to be cool but has become too commercial now. That's why they moved to Carlton North/Bruswick/Northcote.

  47. You could excise the southern suburbs of Melbourne and attached them to Sydney - and thus improve the "culture and style" of both cities.

  48. Coopers!! If a Mwlbourne pub doesn't have it on tap then they are in trouble with the WM! Having a favourite obscure cafe in a residential street corner house somewhere in the middle of nowehere that you can only reach by cycling, and commenting on which staff member makes the best coffee!The Spicey Lamb Borek at the Queen Vic Markets!! Everyone has tried this...Growing your own veggies and raving about how amazing 'Seasol' is as a fertiliser is so uncool it has become cool!
    Knowing your Marlborough Region wines is VERY important to WM too!

  49. More mention on WM's love for wearing only second hand clothing/shopping at Savers.
    I've lived in Melbourne for five years and still don't understand why telling someone you got your entire outfit from Savers increases the amount of respect they have for you/gains you double the amount of friends, even when they're wearing a sweater your half blind gran wouldn't touch.

  50. White Melburnians love looking like smackeys whilst hating looking like smackeys.
    Going to First Floor when they've had enough of being a WM - not on the southside, but it almost could be.
    Warehouse parties.

  51. Potato rösti
    It's in all yr goddamn cafes.

    Humour that looks self-deprecating and vaguely anti-racist but is actually totally narcissistic and racially essentialist without helping anyone but yourself
    And Christian Lander already did it.

  52. Curry bashing
    Otherwise known as "beating up Indian international students for fun".

  53. You missed the tedious coffee snobbery.

  54. I was born and bred in Northcote (the Westgarth end, naturally), and have worked at both the Donut King and the Bakers Delight of Northcote Plaza. Your description of the carny suburb that I so love (because I am white) has brought new meaning to my life. Funniest thing I have ever read.

  55. White Melburnians love a good short course in Spanish; of course they pay up front, attend two lessons, and claim fluency.

  56. Another suggested addition: thanking tram drivers when disembarking.

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  58. what about moleskins !!
    every poor student can afford their $30 note pad to record their whimsical encounters on public transport

  59. Not being blonde.

    Brunette women with that perfectly horizontal fringe thingy.

    Going to the Rose St. Artists Market but never actually buying anything.

    Saying you only watch SBS and the ABC, but really it's only for South Park, The Chaser and First Tuesday Book Club (the latter only to perv on Marieke Hardy).

    Preferring Smith St. over Brunswick St.

    Studying Circus "Arts".

    Being a lesbian, a former lesbian or surrounding yourself with lesbians.

    Going out of their way to shop at Piedemontes, so they can pay twice as much for the same packet of stale pita bread.

    Talking about Banksy and stencil art.

    Going to Burlesque shows at the Spiegeltent, because it is "high art" and not just a watered down strip show.

  60. Yeah definitely fixies need to go in - or flipflop hubs but ONLY used on the fixed side. And where is vintage clothing? And burlesque?

  61. Sorry two more: boutique beer and anywhere that serves duck.

  62. Wow, a lot of this cuts a little too close to the bone...

    I'd like to see an entry for 'Festivals'. Seriously, is there ever not a festival going on in this town?

  63. It sure does Michael. I love boutique beer and duck. That's why we are so qualified to talk about it.

  64. gluten free and having babies!

  65. Re: Preferring Smith St. over Brunswick St.

    Whitey's still pref Brunswick St. during the day, but it clearly stems from their underlying fear of Smith St. during the day - at night there's less 'characters' to steer clear of. Thus we see a slow transition between letting go of the former and embracing the latter.

  66. When they write, they like using words and word combinations that make them sound learned:

    This includes but is not limited to

    Therefore, However, Moreover, Thus

    Using crazy amounts of punctuation – especially too many hyphens!

    When they speak, they use words like:

    Clearly (has anyone else noticed this making an outstanding comeback?)

    And use swearing as punctuation – clearly effort to hide their inner suburban bogan.

    You know….

    Using acronyms like WTF and LOL when talking!!! I actually hear this!!

    Please feel free to add.

  67. This is fantastic, love it! Have to agree with the people who said Coopers - WM only drink Cooopers. Also agree with the person who said you got it wrong re 'north'. Saying you live in North fitzroy and north Carlton actually adds cred because Carlton and Fitzroy are way too mainstream. Same with the Smith st vs Brunswick st thing. Smith st wins hands down

  68. Making a point of calling the suburbs North Fitzroy and North Carlton by there correct name rather than Fitzroy North and Carlton North which is a change made by Australia Post to make things easier for there directories (See also East St Kilda) and correcting people about this major hindsight as much as you can.

  69. Aaahaha lactose intolerance- that is so goddamn true.

    But i can't believe no one's mentioned Tim Rogers from You Am I yet.

    We all know that every single White Melbournian has had a beer in a pub where Tim Rogers was also having a beer at some point in their lives, and will take any opportunity presented to tell you about it.

    The only thing superior in White Melbournian culture to name-dropping the bar where you had a beer near Tim Rogers is naming the OVERSEAS bar (preferrably in berlin) where you had a beer near Time Rogers.

  70. Eeeek I have absorbed soo many of these since moving to Melb 6 years ago...Go Coopers Pale!!

  71. I can't believe you even stole Lander's style of writing! This blog is lamer than people say it is...

  72. Ben, you forgot to mention that WM love to Hate On Anything That Is Funny Which They Wish They Though Of Doing Themselves. Their lack of humor and irony is only compounded by their bitterness as they enthusiastically point out any slight error the author may have made. They really should go back and watch their Best Bits of The Late Show VHS tape to see Tony Martin doing his "Pistake'"

  73. Taking babies to cafes to start training them early to become WMs

    Pronouncing 'Melbourne' as MAAL-born and having a pompous accent in general

    Pretentious 'fashion' sense i.e. glasses with no lenses, shopping at savers and ending up looking like Kath from Kath and Kim, asymmetrical haircuts

    Being something like 5th (or greater) generation Australian but bragging about being part Dutch, French, etc

  74. Some of this is funny and relatively true - that said, for me, white people in Melbourne like hanging around Toorak, South Yarra and Prahran more than the 'Cote (I live there and I love it - however, I agree it's scruffy in parts and pretentious in its own way - eg you need a zany hat to fit in at a bar on High St!) - As a Brit immigrant to Northcote I'd much prefer the people there than to the yank style white teeth, sticky up hair, pastel t shirts and fake tans that you get with all the private school kids and all their toss pot parents driving Toorak tractors around Chapel St and surrounds!! Also, how does Richmond not get a mention? Apart from a few parts (Vic St etc) it's a whities inner trendy paradise - what about bridge road!?

    I'm also not sure that Northcote is the heart of inner suburbia as it would be notably nearer than St Kilda is to the CBD? It also has great public transport with two train lines and a tram? Basically, the dynamic has changed and it's more in the city than other suburbs which pretend they are very inner but are not really or have average public transport meaning in practical terms they are a long way from town (Kew, Caulfield etc)......

    Anyway, thought I'd throw a bit into the mix and stick up a little for the 'Cote (Although agree to some of the things about it people laugh at!)

    It's also nice to see a Melburnian laughing at his own town as usually Melbournians harp on about how great it is (I agree or would not live here but it would be better to be a tad more humble!)

  75. A few suggestions:

    Girls who wear their skirts over their trousers.

    Loving Christos Tsiolkas. And knowing Christos Tsiolkas personally.

    Hanging out at Readings in Carlton and then heading over the road to Borders to see if you can find the book cheaper.


    Bike commuting. Bike shops. Bike rides. Bike paraphernalia.

    Belonging to a Bookclub.

    Pretending to be politically conscious/aware and active.

  76. And:

    Pouches of Champion Ruby.

    Popping the top off your Creatures with a lighter.

    Talking about how vinyl has a better sound while not actually owning any.

    Pretending to not care about politics.

    Writing a blog...and dropping it into a conversation casually like you've been doing it for years.

    Calling the warehouse party you went to a speak-easy.

    ...and then being really cagey about how you found out about it.

    Partying outdoors in freezing weather round fire drums.

    Constant five day growth.

    Wearing hats like fedoras.

    Dunlop volleys.

  77. Combining two of your points above, WMs love to pronounce Laos without the s. You're an imperialist pig if you pronounce that s.

  78. ..just anything anybody does like swimming at Fitzroy pool, NOT going to Docklands, tattoos on the back of the neck or the bottom of the spine, laughing patrionisingly whilst watching water skiing at Moomba, changing the Z to an S in Word docs, ie GlobiliZation, a red wine at the kino, ANY festival, using capslock to express yourself, queing for rooftop cinemas, trying to get a wireless connection, tattoos, making jewellery, IPhones!!!, feigning an interest in climate change/politics/world hunger, secretly liking u2, tapas, organic chicken,hoping StKilda win the premiership, tattoos...and anything else anybody does.

  79. As I sit in my (northcote) back yard idly playing with my asymmetrical haircut posting this comment from my non-conformist android phone, I wander what WM comment I can drop on the high street iga chick to excuse my trackie dacks and thongs while I purchase a coopers green longneck.

    Great blog, rings true.

    How about a mention of underground electronic/prog rock gigs (fkn) ?

  80. Gorgous Torched Knitts! whereing 4 layers of knitted cardigans then leaving your chest completely exposed all the way to your belly button in the middle of July! So Melbourne! and when you realised you have just seen or done something that is "So Melbourne", saying to your friend, "thats so Melbourne" Whereing silly knitted tea cosies and trying to pass them off as hats. Selling second hand cloths as "vintage" and charging more for the same item that is on the rack as new in a shop a few doors up on Brunswick St. Its very WM to work in a fashion store on Smith St.

    My favorite is when at a persons house they say "I have chocolate, stawberry or vinila icecream", and when confronted they break down and confess to only having Neopolitan, but then try to salvage the moment by asking what percentage of each you would like. that is a classic So Melbourne Moment.

  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

  82. obsession with cider, but not strongbow

  83. From reading this, I would say average white Melburnians in their mid-twenties can't spell for shit and don't know enough about the history of their city and why some things are cool and others aren't.

  84. Hilarious!!

    Surprised not to see more about the 'save live music' band-wagon

    And plywood / form-ply bar fit-outs / shop fit-outs

    and laser-cut jewellery

    Yeah and of course coffee.

    but otherwise... awesome!

  85. This just cracked me up. Stumbled on this blog after googling 'ethnic jewellery' (another WM love??). I happened to be at that Dirty 3 gig but God forbid I mention to my friends that I didn't enjoy it. The whole festival was a haze and frankly not much fun... I do remember once though raving to a total stranger about the 'electric atmosphere.' Spot on. I feel even whiter now.

  86. What about people who live north side hating on people who live south side...dam yuppies

  87. You are not original you have just copied and pasted from similar sites in the USA.

  88. HI there,

    Firstly - I love this blog. Keep the posts coming!

    I'd like to suggest Dench bakery bread? menus at cool places WMs like to brunch at always mention the fact their bread is from Dench. What's up with that? it's bread?

  89. Moving to Berlin. Those poor Germans. Crowded out of their own city by hordes of white Melburnians stinking up the joint pretending to curate galleries or be fashion designers, artists, photographers, and writers.

  90. wtf ?
    Intellectual snobbery in action!
    I'm a white melbournian, if such a thing can be said, and I like virtually none of those things.

    Perhaps this is meant to be amusing, but somewhere around the 16th paragraph it comes across as a endless see of drivel spouted by someone with less wit than writing skill.


  91. This is gold! But I have to disagree with your justification for Shanghai Dumpling House (though I agree with its inclusion in the list). Your reasoning about 15% of the customers being Asian and hence not enough to freak out White Melburnian ignores the fact that quite a significant proportion of White Melburnians ARE Asian ;)

    Also, soy sauce is definitely a product of the 80s. By the 90s WMs had discovered sweet chilli sauce!

  92. I have some confessions (with )...

    I used to live in the eastern suburbs (after a stint living overseas)..I am married to a Moroccan (and converted)...I oil paint (but also like football)...I work in the sustainability industry (but admit I have green fatigue)...I like Chai Lattes (with soy of course)...and...I also now live in North Fitzroy.

    Shit that's probably not everything...

    I like Footscray and I have friends who live in Northcote (and I understand the genius)...I walk my dog in St Georges Park (but do not play Bongos or wear a Feodora)...I'm a agnostic atheist (and cant understand prayer flags either)...I've tried Bonsoy (but not the poisoned variety)...I have friends who live in Castlemaine (yes hippys)...

    In my defense...

    Dench is over rated (and full of consciously uncool WM's trying hard to be overheard)...the Moroccan Soup Bar serves hardly anything authentically Moroccan (and the owner is not Moroccan, besides Moroccan food is all cous cous and tagines)...I've eaten at Lentil as Anything (but only once)...I don't own a house (WM's from Carlton and South Yarra and their negatively geared investments are killing my home ownership dreams)...

    Damn... I don't know whether to get therapy before self hating WM syndrome sets in or just embrace the reality.

    Please don't hate on me haters..

  93. Here are a few more:
    Hating on hipsters but desperately wanting to be one
    Having a kid in your thirties and calling it Iggy or Lou Lou
    Frankie Magazine
    Collecting vintage crockery

  94. The point about The Windsor End of Chapel St is absolutley spot on. I routinely make snap judgements about friends, colleagues and people in general based entirely upon what end of Chapel St they gravitate to on weekends.I then silently pigeon hole anyone who expresses a preference for the South Yarra end as the wrong-type-of-white-melburnian, and avoid any non-essential contact with them. I'm English but have accidentally become so-White Melburnian it hurts, probably because White Melburnians model themselves on White Londoners who are similar to White Melburnians only slightly poorer and cooler. I anticipate that within 3-5 years there will be reversal of the poles on chapel st, whereby all the wrong-kind-of-white-melburnians will be found sipping muld wine at La La Land while the right-kind-of-white-melburnians will be dancing in an ironic fashion to early noughties Euro Trance at Zos and complaining how horrible and commercialised the Windsor End of Chapel st has become.

  95. -being a socialist for all the wrong reasons

    -shopping at "vintage" boutique.

    -paying $15+ for a sandwich at Earl canteen.

    -late night China bar crawl.

  96. Wurundjeri Way - that road that runs past the stadium that ACDC played - is named in the honour of two great Melburnians - ventriloquist Ron Blaskett and his doll Gerry Gee. Remember that - Ron and Gerry Way - it's a lot easier to say and it will make you laugh if you ever seen these two.

  97. How about The Greens - the groovers' political party of choice?

    It means you don't have to explain or justify anything to your friends because everyone who supports the Greens is just like one of your friends. No need to sit next to anyone who you wouldn't want to have at your place for dinner.

    It also means you can keep the conversation on safe topics like recycling, whaling by the Japanese, Gunns and Tasmanian forests, refugees - and don't have to talk about anything that might cause disagreement like, well, everything else.

  98. wearing skate helmet when bike riding (even tho they cant skate) because the helmet gives them more street cred (at 10 times the price of a bike helmet)

  99. waaaay too "north of the yarra" centric. Only White Sydney-siders are restricted to talking about one area of their city.

    The gnarled arty-farty inner northern types are only one side of the WM society. You're forgetting the grungier St. Kilda type. Hmmm....I'd throw the Gerschwin Room into the well as RockWiz (Julia, you are a hawt-ie!!), but staying away from Achland St, naturally.

    Then there's the Yarraville WM crowd with their lovely little Anderson St.

    Also, as a few others have mentioned, fixie bikes combined with black bowl helmets (I'm of the belief that the "no helmets" subset are committing trying-too-hard-to-be-cool violations)

  100. The Supper Club - WM's love drinking wine and eating sausage rolls at 3am.

    Mag Nation - WM's can get all there favourite 'zines' there, which leads me to my next point...

    Reading Frankie - WM's aren't exactly sure why they are reading Frankie half the time but they do so anyway because it looks good.

    Kicking On To Revs (Revolver) - every WM has done this at some point in there life, they say it's disgusting and laugh about how drunk they were but they secretly can't wait to have an excuse to go back.

    Warehouse Parties - .....nuff said.

    Hating On Andrew Bolt - as much as WM's love Matt Preston they hate Andrew Bolt, yet they read most of his articles.

  101. Bagging out the Herald Sun (wrong kind of white people read that) but actually reading it 'just for the sport section'. This goes hand in hand with praising the Age but not actually ever buying it.

  102. Bemoaning the Kennett Government school funding issues from the mid-90s still, but actually sending their kids to Scotch.

  103. I get the feeling it is becoming cool to like football for WM's - as long it is at a suburban ground where VB tinnies, are like $4.

  104. What about buying coffee from Seven Seeds?

  105. I like to think WM's as very Mont Marte.

    I also think street art deserves a mention.

  106. Smoking pot

    beer gardens


    granny dresses

    women with hairy legs and arm pits

    hacking advertising posters

    writing on pub toilet doors


    moon cycle posters

    linen shoulder bags

    stripey t-shirts

    sunglasses with white rims

    veggie patches and garden envy

    themed dress up parties

    Norman Gunston


  107. hi ben, i'm Chilean, i like to pronounce chile - Chil-eh, sometimes though its just easy to go with Chilli... but then you get the 'it must be hot there hehehe' or 'do chillies come from chile'

  108. Oh God. So either way you lose? I'm sorry Miss M, white Melburnians are so lame sometimes. We're the first to admit it though.

  109. WM ex-pat life: Spend 6 months as a self marginalized greenie in Alice Springs. Only socialise with other ex-pat Northcotians while away. Spend 2 weeks in an indigenous community. Film a documentary about your 2 weeks living in an indigenous community. Get a skin name. Return to Northcote a 'Territorian'

  110. Possessing both Wayfarers and iPhones. I swear if someone would do the survey / analysis (at the end of a MIFF movie session, naturaly) and come up with official figures, the correlation of an individual (WMs) possessing both of items must be very close to 'Very Likely' with 95% confidence interval!

    When the above statistics are further linked to the possession of a MacBook, it will also yield very conclusive results that the love of WMs to Apple products goes longer than Curtin House's staircase.

    WMs agenda for Spring/Summer 2011 is to fashion their Wayfarers, MacBook on their lap (looking at - as a substitute for MacBook, 'Broadsheet' paper is also acceptable while sitting on the ledge at De Clieu, Gertrude St. Try it and you'll feel like you're on top of the world!

  111. Don't forget cynicism and mockery, the cornerstone of the White Melburnian worldview. No matter where you look, there's always someone to sneer down your nose at. Look to the left, and everyone's a wanker or a poser. To the right, everyone's a bogan or a yuppie. How many centuries until this damn tall-poppy syndrome finally dies?

  112. Tall poppy syndrome could be a symptom of an immature nation (the entry about Procrastination sort of mentions this). Look for it to die around the time Australia becomes ready to be a republic.

  113. Plus one on FIXIES. And those silly hats which do absolutely nothing but make you look vintage and reckless(and not wearing helmets).

    New media. What does that even mean? Who cares...

    Not clapping, smiling at or dancing to a band that they actually really like. Way cooler to be all introverted like.

  114. JJJ top 100 countdown parties on australia day even though they have moved onto RRR now becuase thats more edgy, but for old times sake, and to be kinda cute.

    Being kinda cute is generally good in melbourne. (especially for girls, in a hong kong sort of way!)

    oh, and if you DO have a car, beaten up european cars.. with RRR sticker, and if you don't have a cool car, RRR sticker plus 'clean ocean' sticker to make everyone think you might still be ok.

    saying 'edgy' like I did earlier. (can't help it, I live here!)

  115. I pretty much agree with everything you said..

    but you did miss Vege Bar on brunswick st, but maybe because it's become too mainstream, like the rest of brunswick st, which means you missed "hating on brunswick st cause it's not like it used to be"

  116. How about loving gluten free and soy based products?
    Being lesbian?
    Rude hospo workers?
    Quite easy to pigeon hole white Melbourne uni architecture students too

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  118. The Vegie Bar got a mention in the Nostalgia post. But it's not getting an entry because it hasn't changed it's menu in about fifteen years. It's not relevant now.

  119. Knitting on the tram and being in knitting circles with your friends, drinking tea, rollie cigarettes, beanies that sag at the back, having had dreads,boots instead of cons, ANYTHING Mac, writing in journals in cafes like A Minor, calling Brunswick 'B-town' in txt messages, talking about how crossing the river is like going to another country.

  120. Clearly those who bash this blog are WM and are trying to ignore it or haven't meet one! yes its similar to the other blog but if you haven't been to (or like me lived in) Northcote then you just don't understand.

    Also there is a clear line you can not and will not ever go south of the river. ever!

    Being annoyed at the American spelling on you Mac, and knowing how to change it for all your friends.

    Also the WM woman never wears skirts and pants who ever you saw wearing this, she aint in the club!!

    Ok all that aside, i realise that i miss Melbourne so much Ive done most of these things, especially kitting on the tram, its the best way to protect yourself on the 86 from all the junkies!

    Viva la WM

  121. Oh I love this! Highlarious.

    The one thing that springs to mind right away is WMs who live in the inner eastern or Bayside suburbs referring to all western suburbs as 'over the Westgate'.

    Oh oh AND WMs who act as though 'attending the Polo and staying at the Portsea summerhouse' is like popping down to the Hamptons for New Yorkers.

    Keep 'em coming!

  122. Abbotsford convent (& particularly, how good the bakery is)? WM are all over this like stink on a monkey

  123. but being north fitzroy or carlton is cool! it implies one lives on an obscure residential street and has dinner parties with the one-child neighbours. fitzroy is out, because 'brunswick st is just like chapel st (south yarra end) these days'.

  124. WMs love banging on about how great science is... with almost religious fervour. They hate 'long-winded' storytelling conversation that strives to extend understanding with an example from everyday experience.. they prefer their information passed around in neat little agenda based packages, endorsed by (cool tempered/moderate)experts (such as those found on the Q & A show (That Bunyip Alumni episode was classic, Ha!!). I'm wondering if one day it will become cool for WMs not to have an Arts Degree?( Yes Tony Jones, you can take that as a frickin' comment!!). At live-band gigs, remember... WMs are busy thinking about the review they will post right after the gig, or trying to hear the lyrics to the songs being played,so don't bump or disturb them with your lively dancing. Cultural snobbery is mandatory for WMs.. favourites being gastronomic and zone 1 snobbery.

  125. Agreed. The Age had a story today about how you can actually find great restaurants outside Zone 1! It's so patronising.

  126. Haha this blog is still spot-on accurate. And must include Crumpler bags. And Reclink community cup, essential on the WMs calendar.......also, making the Napier your local, if you live or work even vaguely near it.......getting a 'carpark' at the races, which sets you apart from the wrong sort of WM who also flock to the races...volunteering at the Asylum seeker resource centre.......intending to make/bake/sew Christmas presents but running out of time and doing the Xmas Eve dash-of-shame out to Doncaster/Chaddy...or is that last one just me