Melbourne, once disparagingly known elsewhere as “Bleak City” is in love with itself as a cultural capital and hipster enclave.
Just how much it has fallen in love with itself was evidenced two weeks ago when its home-town broadsheet The Age elevated the brilliant invention, Samuel Davide Hains, to the cover of its print edition and helped it, and his brand of Melbourne cool, go viral. The front page story was headlined: Is this the most Melbourne guy ever?
“Davide” effortlessly captured how Melburnians want to see themselves in his hilarious street fashion Q and A. “Davide” was the personification of a town that’s simultaneously subversive and aspirational and whose fashion-forward inhabitants want the Southern city to be seen as relevant as Brooklyn, Portland and Shoreditch are as global hipster hotspots.
So is this conversation featured in Quora of a conversation on a Melbourne tram posted by Kim Huynh (who does work in marketing but assures Daily Review the following is what she heard) more evidence of Melbourne’s scholarly cool? Or, like Davide’s, could it be another example of what Melburnians can truly claim to be masters of: brilliantly composed, self-deprecating piss-taking?
In response to the Quora question: “What’s it like to live in Melbourne?” Kim posted:
“Last Tuesday evening, I was on a tram in Melbourne CBD. It was around 8pm and the tram was quite crowded.
A (really drunk) old man lost his footing as the tram moved forward. A (possibly-on-drug) Jamaican-looking guy (who spoke with a British accent) caught him.
Here was the conversation that followed, broadcasting at a volume loud enough for everyone to hear:
Old dude: Hahaha thank you that was nice of you. It is tricky, isn’t it, standing around on a tram.
Jamaican dude: No problems, man, it’s all good.
Old dude: *giggles softly*
Jamaican dude: As we have the chance to encounter each other today and in the spirit of good vibes may I leave you with one more message before we part ways? Would you like that?
Old dude: Sure
Jamaican dude: Everyone is saying, knowledge is power, but what we don’t see is knowledge has limits, at least for each and everyone of us. There is a limit to what we know and what we can learn in this lifetime, so I say, let your imagination set you free, because imagination is the force that will unlock the power within and give you what knowledge cannot. So let your creativity and your imagination run wild and let them be the force that pushes you onwards.
Old dude: *not missing a beat* That’s right, as Shakespeare says,
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
Jamaican dude: Yeah that’s right that’s quite right
Old dude: I’m getting off here
Jamaican dude: Alright. And so we say goodbye, as ships in the night, passing and waving
Old dude: Yeah we are
Jamaican dude and old dude then hugged each other good bye. I got off the tram at this point.
So, I don’t know about you, but I feel that this sums up nicely what it’s like to live in Melbourne for me.”
Image source: via Flickr KanDangSee