View Full Version : The Gentrified Ar#ehole Monoculture

9th May 2014, 09:29
Walking (and cycling) around some of the old suburbs that I used to frequent Iíve noticed that gentrification has run amok in all of them. Although many of these suburbs were officially working class they all used to harbour a diverse group of people, now their populace replacements all seem to be very much like each other.

After much observation of the slow change of these old suburbs it seems to me that gentrification is not a natural occurring state but an artificially induced one. Ignoring the gays for a minute who with high income, low outgoings, no kids, prefer their own kind and end up literal to this threadís title, what about the rest of them?

If you quiz them on what job they do you often hear something obscure and fancy sounding that doesnít seem to create any real value, yet they are paid the big bucks for it, and most of them are not even business owners. Itís as if their tiny contribution to local gentrification is being sponsored/funded by bigger interests, be it business or political.

Suddenly these old suburbs, which are often inner-city with nice period dwellings, lose all appeal to people like me because theyíre full to the brim with ar#eholes who are all aspiring to be the same dull thing, that is, trapped by dogma and living someone elseís dream.

Effluent Man
9th May 2014, 09:35
That's a pretty eccentric post,and yet I find myself understanding the general thrust of it.I think what you have is an allergy to the twenty first century.

Every other person seems to be a nutrionist,a personal trainer or a salesperson for some service that nobody wants.But don't despair because by my calculations in twenty years time everyone will work for Tesco.

tony draper
9th May 2014, 10:51
I've seen areas go from gentrified in the complete opposite direction before,I would say a oinkified area is infinitely worse to dwell in.:uhoh:

Lightning Mate
9th May 2014, 11:04
In twenty years time it won't be Tesco - it'll be Aldi.

Worrals in the wilds
9th May 2014, 11:05
Yep. :sad:
They all move in to the inner city and then complain about the noise/parking. They buy wooden houses and complain about the upkeep and small rooms, yet they have their status symbol; the inner city Queenslander house. They don't actually like it and it doesn't suit their purposes, but it's THEIRS :ugh:.
The old inner city Brisbane has nearly gone now; lost to a sea of mansions, crazy renovations, expensive cars and pretentious gits who complain about every single thing that made the inner city cool.
The Go-Betweens - Streets of your town - YouTube

Dr Jekyll
9th May 2014, 11:13
Although many of these suburbs were officially working class

Officially? How does that work then?

9th May 2014, 11:33
Although many of these suburbs were officially working class
Officially? How does that work then?

Booth Poverty Map & Modern map (Charles Booth Online Archive) (http://booth.lse.ac.uk/cgi-bin/do.pl?sub=view_booth_and_barth&args=531000,180400,6,large,5)

Mr Booth didn't beat about the bush, 'BLACK: Lowest class. Vicious, semi-criminal.' Before anyone gets up in arms, this is the colour of the houses on his map, not the residents.

Lon More
9th May 2014, 11:35
In twenty years time it won't be Tesco - it'll be Aldi.

That is gentrification

9th May 2014, 11:36
which do you most object to - these people existing, or in such quantity, or all gathered together, or gathered together somewhere you frequent?
I think different opinions may be offered dependent on your 'hit list' order

9th May 2014, 12:57
This term The Gentrified Ar#ehole Monoculture popped into my head last night after chatting with a friend in Boston, US. It seems that the gentrification of Boston, US and Melbourne, Australia are very similar, so similar that it almost looks formulaic.

Which is my point, is modern gentrification a result of business or political interference rather than a natural order of things? I suspect there just isn't enough real wealth to go around to create so much of this suburban affluence so it must have been artificially propped up. There are an awful lot of never-gentrified people in these areas who have owned their house for decades but are being squeezed out because their cost of living has suddenly skyrocketed which they struggle to service with their honest job.

These long time locals sell up and are replaced by an another version of the ar#ehole neighbour that had moved in a year ago, perpetuating the monoculture.

Dr Jekyll, one of the suburbs in question is Port Melbourne which was officially working class when the docks were located there.

Fox3, I guess my objection is towards these artificially created monocultures.

9th May 2014, 12:58
The very qualities that attract people to an area, whatever that might be are often changed by the incoming residents who are really seeking to be surrounded by reflections of whoever they are, that is for most safety, affluence and acceptance. This seems to be more so prevalent in inner city areas that are full of character, edgy, tatty around the edges, vibrant etc.

I've seen it many times, the place gets tidied up (no bad thing) and the visual quality changes and with it the character. Then others who would never have considered moving there do so, comforted by the others of their group/tribe/kind who paved the way. It's just the way of things and there's not much to be done about the winners and losers from the effect. It does of course beg the question that in the not too distant future the centre of all big cities will be the realm of the well heeled and the important workers who keep life turning will be banished to the distant suburbs and/or smaller towns. How will that affect things ?


9th May 2014, 13:18
The big question Cattletruck, and it is arguably the biggest on the planet, is about the 'doesn't seem to create any real value' point.
If real value is in fact being generated because these people contribute to the economy, and they are redistributing their wealth to renovation companies, interior designers, posh chair manufacturers, etc., then all well and good. If, say, your 'Social Media Development Facilitator' increases sales of solid products like cellphones, and they are more effective because they have a personal trainer and a lifestyle consultant and can get a frappacino delivered at 3am from "that nice little place on the corner", then that's real value.
Alternatively, if they are a bunch of exploitative [email protected] living off the backs of globalised minimum wage peasants, then there's going to be a societal collapse in the next 20 years; and anyone not living in a self-sufficient rural area with a few guns and lots of ammo is going to be seriously f#cked, including the exploitative [email protected]

9th May 2014, 13:22
Cattletruck - I think both you and I could easily retire to a small semi-rural location, where people still chop their own wood, cook nearly all their own food - and ignore TV, the media, and advertising in general - where people live in houses that are adequate and functional, and where there's no pretentious rampant consumerism.

I guess part of your complaint is about the seachange that is affecting society today, where "real" jobs that involve visible work and effort are rapidly disappearing.
Even pilot and ATC jobs will probably disappear within 25-30 years, as automation of aircraft becomes complete.

Many jobs today seem to consist of people working on nebulous ideas and projects for global corporations, with no immediate or visible result from what appears to be no real work being carried out - but they get huge amounts of money for what they do.

However, these people will make up a larger and larger proportion of what little workforce we have left in the future.

The bad part of my story, is - I actually live in one of those old (1910's) inner-city, leafy, tree-lined, "desirable" suburbs - but when I moved in 24 yrs ago, it was just another working class suburb full of old 2 bedroom homes with outside toilets, a sizeable % of War-service homes, and probably about 20% public housing owned by the State Govt.

Nowadays, it's one of the "more-desirable", "highly-sought-after" suburbs (real-estate terms), full of Yuppies and Dinks, and other new breeds of the material-wealth-seeking/rampant consumerism society of the 21st century.

They've all either slavishly built new "architecturally-cutting-edge" new multi-storey homes - or carried out massive extensions to the old homes, investing hundreds and hundreds of thousands on turning them into double-story-7-bedroom-3-bathroom-with-swimming-pool monstrosities - in which usually only 2 people live. The funny part is, they're only actually home 1/4 of their lifetime, anyway.

It's sad in a way, to see them all following the "latest trends" in materialism and wealth-gain, that the media constantly insist, they must follow slavishly.
They buy monstrous oversized 4WD's/SUV's/luxury vehicles - not because they have an actual need for them - but because, to not have one of these, is a sign of abject personal failure. Most are used to just ferry the kids to school, and to go shopping occasionally.

The 4WD's never see a dirt road - but they get washed weekly - because washing your $150K 3 tonne 4WD on the driveway of your $2M mansion is a sign of total personal success.
I kind of wonder what the 22nd century will look like - but I'll wager these places will have turned into gated forts by then, to keep the millions of worthless and threatening, welfare-dependent, peasants out. :(

9th May 2014, 13:33
Fox3, I know where you're coming from with that, however many years ago in my town in Melbourne you could visit these inner city areas and easily strike a conversation with all sorts from millionaires to bums to people with obscure job titles. Melbourne's heart and soul was at street level then. In this new gentrified monoculture it all seems to have been lost and become rather cold and sterile.

9th May 2014, 13:39
Hallifield Street is still a couple of rows of terraced houses, but the interiors are no longer the two-up, two-down of the olden days when I was brought up there. The downstairs are mostly straight through open-plan "lounges" now, with fancy open stairs leading to the single upper floor single bedrooms. En-suite, of course and with walk-in wardrobes. Starter homes for Yuppies.

The cobbles have gone, replaced by smooth tarmac, lined with BMWs and Audi "executive" cars. We drove up the old street in Dad's funeral cortege, on the way to Saint Mick's, but it didn't feel like home anymore.

Like all who once lived there, I've moved on and so has everything else. It's the natural order of things. Get used to it. :)

9th May 2014, 13:40
The gated forts won't last 3 minutes, because the inhabitants are likely to phone their therapist rather than know how to organise a defensive position. Part of the reason the aristocracy held sway for so long in most countries was that they had family members who could and did stand up and fight. Unfortunately, when they stood up in the trenches in WWI, they all got shot along with the plebs.
The lesson from the fall of the Roman Empire is that if you are incapable of taking responsibility for your own defence and exploit the plebs to starvation, then you are doomed, and once it starts it will happen fast.

There might be several reasons for the monoculture. Affordability is the obvious one, and a cultural similarity explains the inflow, but why the outflow? Why have both the millionaires and the bums left? There may be several reasons for each group of leavers. It would be trite and offensive simply to state that no-one wants to live next door to a bunch of pretentious tossers....but that's a pretty good reason

9th May 2014, 13:42
Great post onetrack, we got a bit of that going on here too, I'm not too excited about the modern architecture they choose either as it often ends up looking like an office block rather than a house.

And yes, you read me well, the farm idea is progressing very nicely thanks :ok:.

Curious Pax
9th May 2014, 13:49
Different in different countries I think. As Cap'n Draper alluded to, in the UK a lot of inner cities were gentrified (at least in places), hence the big old Victorian houses. Then the pendulum swung the other way, and people a lot further down the social scale moved in, so the gents moved out. Now, as living near a city centre seems to be more desirable (can't see why myself, but anyway...) they are moving back in. The Victorian mansions that were divided up into multiple flats are often being undivided again.

Just the world turning......

I prefer the edge (ish) of the suburbs - near enough to the city to get in and out when I like, but far enough out that there are green spaces around aplenty to walk the dogs.

9th May 2014, 14:04
The Chain (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088898/) is a good film that parodies social climbing by people moving up the housing ladder. Bigger houses, posher neighbourhoods and postcodes are what all the characters are chasing, but there is a good twist at the end.

9th May 2014, 16:06
Onetrack:Cattletruck - I think both you and I could easily retire to a small semi-rural location, where people still chop their own wood, cook nearly all their own food - and ignore TV, the media, and advertising in general - where people live in houses that are adequate and functional, and where there's no pretentious rampant consumerism.

Kinda like Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski did then.......

9th May 2014, 16:29
So, anyone who wants to chop their own wood is a technophobic terrorist?
That would include most of my neighbours. But we have such a low crime rate here..is that only because none of them have been caught yet?

9th May 2014, 17:02
Gordy - Not, not quite what I had in mind ... although thoughts of carrying out my own version of "Falling Down", have come to me occasionally, in the past - after having been on the receiving end of some particularly ruthless and totally unconscionable behaviour, by a large financial institution, that resulted in total destruction of 30 yrs of my hard-won asset building .. :E

However, the exercise in reduction to poverty left me with the outlook that one has to determine exactly what amount of wealth-gain results in happiness and satisfaction.
For me, that amount of wealth is now only a modest requirement, and I managed to turn around a life-changing event, to one where I have a modest steady income, but only a bare minimum of assets.
I now place far higher value on the important things in life - good health, supportive partner and family, and good friends. These are the real wealth in life.

"Ted" Kaczynski was/is seriously warped in his outlook - and I believe he became psychologically damaged during some unconscionable University tests.

I, too, like many others crushed by ruthless banks, occasionally thought about turning to Kaczynski's methods - in fact I recall reading about one bloke in the Eastern States of Oz who actually planned to fly a plane into a bank to kill all the senior execs that had wronged him.
He said the only reason he gave up on the plan was because he could never be sure he was going to get the exact right people. :ooh:

In my case, I took a dear old Aunties regular advice to heart. She used to say, "As you age, you can get bitter, or get better."
I saw no point in continuing to be bitter - it will eat at you and kill you. I decided I was going to get better with age and make sure I lived comfortably to a ripe old age - leaving the bank execs to worry about their massive wealth-creation schemes and worries and fears of theft and loss.

In the final washup - when you reach retirement age, if you have a comfortable roof over your head, 3 square meals a day, good health and healthcare, and no major worries - what more do you want? :)

Oh, hang on .... isn't that what Kaczynski now has, too?? :{ :)

Krystal n chips
9th May 2014, 18:33
Surprised, that, so far nobody has mentioned the tertiary level species known as estate agents....during the many and varied criticisms of bankers, the financial sector etc, etc, the contribution made by this collection of self centric, unregulated ( as such ) social parasites has been strangely lacking and remarkably quiet,

Which leads to gentrification.

The development of inner city Manchester had a knock on effect, for those obsessed with the Post code. Notably how Withington...for years bed sit land and still is in part, Fallowfield and Chorlton....which, suddenly became the des res areas.

Always an eclectic mix of humanity, the sudden influx of mwah, BMW / Audi owners enticed by the post code, as promoted by estate agents, have done little overall to gentrify the areas. Such was the demand, a hospital was demolished ( well ok, it was a former workhouse and convenient for Southern Cemetry as well as being somewhat run down ) for some " prime location, convenient for etc" dwellings

Then there's Broughton, in Salford. The road out of Manchester shows a stark divide......on the left, the untouched estates where you can take your life in your hands at times....many on here wouldn't have a clue as to how to survive for 5 mins....on the right hand side, all the affluence those who yearn for could want.

9th May 2014, 20:02

Nice answer...and how true.....

9th May 2014, 23:40
..and as for the IRS

2010 Austin suicide attack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Austin_suicide_attack)

9th May 2014, 23:46
I was watching a programme about parking last night. One section concentrated on Hampstead which I always believed was a highly desirable area. They showed the problems caused by the morning and afternoon school runs, where women in huge 4 x 4s (sorry eclan ;)) circled endlessly trying to find a spot to drop their kids off or pick them up. One woman, whose net worth was probably a minimum of ten times my own said that living in the area was "hell".

Which prompts the question - why live there then?

I've lived in the same slightly scruffy house for 37 years. I really must get round to getting the kitchen updated - maybe next year. I've driven a succession of 10-12 year old cars which I change when they fall apart (or fail the MOT). I've just come home from a concert where I sat in the £10 seats and heard the same sublime music as the people who paid £25. I'm totally with onetrack - I'm warm, dry, well-fed and don't owe anyone a penny - what the heck do I want with any more?

Worrals in the wilds
10th May 2014, 00:00
It does of course beg the question that in the not too distant future the centre of all big cities will be the realm of the well heeled and the important workers who keep life turning will be banished to the distant suburbs and/or smaller towns. How will that affect things ?That's already happened here, and there is some interesting stuff happening in the outer suburbs. Ethnic restaurants, fresh food markets, unique boutiques and some good band venues springing up in unlikely places...

One of the reasons inner city areas were working class in the 20th century is because that's where the factories were. Most people didn't have cars so the factories had to be on public transport routes in the centre of town and workers generally lived near by. These days factories are generally in outer suburb industrial parks and most workers have cars, so they're not clustered around them any more.
This thread is punctuated with a lot of barely concealed envy.I don't care how much money people have; good luck to them/you. I get cranky when suburbs like Brisbane's Fortitude Valley go posh, then all the new posh residents complain about the noisy pubs and music venues and use their influence to shut them down, despite the music scene being the main thing that made the Valley interesting in the first place. :ugh: Likewise exponential rents; many of the small businesses that made New Farm so unique can't afford the increased rent so they move out, to be replaced by jazzy stores full of pretentious crap from the big design houses. :bored:

It's like a yuppie fungus, that spreads out over 'interesting' areas, pushes the prices up and then stifles everything that was interesting about the area in the first place.

Solid Rust Twotter
10th May 2014, 06:02
Craft beer heading the same way. In the past it was some bloke selling the stuff out the back of his shed and a couple of blokes with guitars giving it stick. He'd then upgrade to a beer garden but continue making the stuff on the premises and his customers would remain loyal because they like the beer.

Now that it's become trendy, beer bars are opening in upmarket suburbs, selling overpriced bottled beer and the odd keg from a local supplier. 'Aficionados' are wittering moist eyed into their pint about hops and the self styled gurus are furiously scribbling blogs about the wonders of IPA. The beautiful people are now making the effort to be seen at these places. Not a fat, smelly old fart enjoying a pint in peace anywhere in sight...

10th May 2014, 07:38
In the final washup - when you reach retirement age, if you have a comfortable roof over your head, 3 square meals a day, good health and healthcare, and no major worries - what more do you want?
A guarantee that the bankers you regard as irrelevant won't destroy it.

The US Federal Reserve, The European Central Bank, Abenomics, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all are brewing up a sneaky means of destroying your expectations.

Somebody has to pay for the current global mess and the above name organisations know precisely where the deaf, dumb and blind sitting ducks are.

10th May 2014, 11:59
Eclan - I'm sorry, what you perceive as envy isn't envy at all. It's a perception of what really matters to people. To you and the people cattletruck and I are talking about, a large and impressive new SUV and a 7 bedroom, 3 bathroom mansion, is a highly necessary requirement to impress other people - and you have to place family and friendships and good health on a much lower rung to acquire them.
I always find it amusing how people buy huge impressive cars and houses to impress people they normally wouldn't bother speaking to in the street.

I've owned a new, top-of-the-wozza Landcruiser - and I've felt the envy and anger of those with a real chip on their shoulder.
That came in the form of the person who dragged a key up the full length of my new 'Cruiser, in the 2 minutes I left it parked outside a building, where I had to deliver some documents.

I would never indulge in such wanton destruction of someone elses expensive possession, out of jealousy or anger, because I'm not that type of person.

Good luck to those who drive expensive cars and live in expensive houses - but I notice it rarely means they have better character or personality traits, than those who don't have expensive cars and houses.

I have multi-millionaire members in my extended family - but I find they usually have little time for family, because they are always on the move, making their next million, as a major priority in their life.
I've re-arranged my priorities to the things that I rate as important - and working yourself to death to acquire vast amounts of consumer possessions, isn't one of my priorities any more.

10th May 2014, 12:16
When I first saw this thread, I wondered if it might be about golf courses!


10th May 2014, 12:40
Even pilot and ATC jobs will probably disappear within 25-30 years, as automation of aircraft becomes complete.

Rather the opposite. They will be the jobs most sought after as they are jobs that cannot be totally automated and will, eventually, command maximum salaries! But that is a different thread!

10th May 2014, 12:51
People who have to have jobs in order to live can never be called gentry and gentry do not live in suburbs. At best those who have and who do would be of the bourgeoisie, the enriched middle classes so beloved of Karl Marx.
The rise of the bourgeoisie has been a social phenomena through the ages and it is usually followed by a consequent tumble through the tumbrils as economic cycles wage war. Mercifully, the gentry has more or less survived both phenomena in spite of the ravages of death duties and the demise of the 1,157 old Etonians who fell in WWI. The antics of the nouveaux riches and their rampant displays of affluent vulgarity have always been offensive both to the working classes, the gentry and the nobility. They should be ignored with the contempt that they deserve remembering always the words of Charles II (?) to some rich peasant or other: "Sir, I can make you a Lord but I cannot make you a Gentleman."

10th May 2014, 13:29
One of things I find interesting is the changes in our society over the 50 years I've worked. I spent all my life in what I regarded as nation-building and productive efforts. I harvested and stored crucial rural water supplies via earthworks, and constructed extensive drainage to guide excessive water away when floods did come. I mined important ores when I was in the mining industry. I farmed for a period and produced sheep meat, wool, and grain. I like to think I produced real wealth, because in the "old world", real wealth only came from two areas - the ground and physical effort. All wealth thereafter came from re-circulating that initial wealth production.

In our "new world" of the 21st century, vast amounts of wealth now appear to come from IT efforts, marketing, advertising, consumerism - and "paper-shuffling".
There are many jobs today that are exceptionally highly paid positions - and they are merely paper-shuffling and nebulous jobs - such as people who draw up more and more complex regulations - and people who devise fast stock-trading computer programs that now mean that share prices rarely hold any relationship in value to what the company actually does.
There are people who make a fortune out of selling schemes that tell you how to become a multi-millionaire within a couple of years, via dubious wealth-creation methods.

Then there's the problem that the global corporations are steadily but surely increasing their share of the worlds wealth, via poorly-structured taxation laws that were never structured to cope with globalisation - and by what amounts to subtle monopolies by those corporations - and via local business laws evasion, by utilising cunning lawyers and devious accountants, who can really show that black actually is white.

On the bottom of the wealth rung are now the people who are small business people and farmers, and everyday wages employees. They now bear the highest taxation burden, because the laws are structured to assist big business - and big business takes great care to avoid paying taxes where they can manipulate their way out of them.

Most people I know who are exceptionally wealthy are operating within the global corporations structure. They get exorbitant salaries for working the same hours as any one else does.

These corporations are skewing values, and skewing wealth distribution to the extent, that in the not-so-distant future, we will return to the "robber baron" and "peasants" era of the Middle Ages. However, the average worker won't realise their "peasant" position, because the increased overall wealth of the world will mean they will still be surviving O.K. - while the "robber baron" corporations will basically own anything worth owning on the Earth.

I was reading an article recently where the author claimed the "robber baron-peasant" scenario is basically the standard position of our nations for nearly all the time of civilisation.
He stated it's only been since the Industrial Revolution enabled a larger number of working people and small business people to increase their wealth position, that the basic wealth scenario was reset in favour towards the increased wealth of these groups.

He claimed that within a few decades, the wealth gain of these groups will be returned to the "normal" peasant position - and the "robber barons" will again become ascendant in the enormous wealth stakes. I believe what this bloke wrote is pretty much spot-on.

10th May 2014, 15:20
My current suspicion is that this modern gentrified monoculture is funded by the big corporations. As I said in another thread:

I have this theory on how big business works.

First find an ijut that buys stuff he/she doesn't need, then employ them, then pay them an ever increasing salary as long as he/she keeps buying stuff they don't need, then when he/she reaches their debt saturation point sack 'em and find another ijut.

Nation building? The corporates now run government.