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Wellington is the arsehole of New Zealand

Wellington enjoys a charmed reputation as a cultured and hip city to live in. Even objective international commentators like Lonely Planet seem to have fallen for its charms, saying:

“Everyone here looks arty and a tad depleted, like they’ve been up all night molesting canvases. These creative vibes are fuelled by kickin’ caffeine and craft-beer scenes. Mandatory Wellington accessories: skateboards, beards and tatts…preferably all three.”

I’m not a contrarian by nature, but I have to disagree with Lonely Planet – strongly. Wellington deserves only one reputation, that of the arsehole of New Zealand. The place, the people, the weather – everything about it positively reeks of pointlessness. Why – and this is a serious question – is Wellington even a city in the first place? What tail end of a fuckin’ Victorian opium session was it when it was suddenly decided that a city should be placed in such an inhospitable spot on New Zealand’s long coastline? I imagine the conversation went something like this:

“Godfrey, pass me back the pipe. I’ve just had a fantastic idea.”

“Nathaniel, what is it?”

“You know that place in New Zealand where the natives never go?”

“That place that blows harder than my children’s wet-nurse?”

“Yes, that’s the one.”

“What of it, chum?”

“We should soooo build a city there. I bet I’m the first person to have ever thought of it. I’m a genius!”

As you can see from the above ‘historical’ record, the idea of settling Wellington was dubious to begin with. Early settlers should have honestly considered expanding Taihape before a serious thought was given to founding Wellington…

Moving to the present day, Wellington’s reputation as an “arty” and “creative” city is as completely undeserved as it is objectively false. The great creators/thinkers/artists of history were – without a single doubt – individualistic in nature. The hipster aesthetic that is so revered in Wellington is – according to Wellingtonians I’ve had the displeasure of talking to – all about showing oneself to be different from ‘others’ and being able to freely express yourself through your look.  It’s hard to find a suitable adjective that would adequately insult this kind of thinking. Ridiculous and contrived come to mind…

The whole obsession with appearing different falls short of being genuine on a number of levels. Most importantly, if you’re deliberately adhering to hipsterism so as to fit in, aren’t you the very opposite of hip? Are you really an individual if you’re adhering to something in the first place? How many facial piercings, groomed moustaches, over-sized cardigans, Palestinian keffiyehs and faded Nirvana tee-shirts do you need to show that you’re adequately ‘different’ from the dreaded mainstream that is anathema to your thinking? If you have to express your individualism through your outward appearance, I would speculate that you lack the moral courage to express it through your own personality. Think about this point – and what a complete knob you are – the next next time you even consider trying to pull off the ‘Sonic Youth look’.

On the topic of personality, Wellingtonians do not actually have them. There seems to be a one-size-fits-all personality that every Tom, Dick, Sally and Harry has in this godforsaken shithole. Everyone you meet seems to sport this far-off glaze in their eye and carries on their person a grumpy look of indifference. Conversation – certainly that of a unique nature – is hard, if not impossible, to find. Speaking, as they do, in a pseudo-American drawl, every Wellingtonian youth you meet seems to be at pains to point out how progressive and far-out they are. In between tokes on their shisha pipes, they quote Noam Chomsky, Ian Curtis and Morrissey with abandon, and as if they are the only people in human history to have ever said anything worthwhile. The following is a typical example of the kind of conversational gold you can expect from your average Wellingtonian trendy:

“Hey man, last night I got soooo tripped out on Acid!”

“Woah.”

“Anyways man, have you heard of this new band (insert some pretentiously generic band name here)?”

“No.”

“They’re soooo far out, man. They’ve got this banger underground trance vibe going on. They’ve hard out got the whole Joy Division aesthetic going on.”

Small digression: what the fuck does banger mean?

“You mean they’ll all hang themselves?”

“Nah man, not like that.”

“Darn.”

“Woah man, you’re sooo far out. Nah man, they’re seriously banger and sooo authentic and underground.”

“So underground that no-one’s ever heard of them?”

“Hard.”

“That’s awfully convenient.”

“Anyways man, I’ve got to scoot. You wanna catch up for a green tea up in Te Aro later on? It’ll be banger.”

“No.”

Leftism – yes, I’m going there – is so ingrained in this city that you could trip over it in the environmentally-friendly open-toed sandals you bought from Trade Aid. And this leftism isn’t the kind that speaks of showing solidarity when a cleaners’ union goes out on strike or even being a good person in your day to day lives. No sir, that sort of thinking is not adequately trendy or safely middle class enough for your typical Wellington lefty. Instead, freeing Palestinians, nipples and caged hens seem to be the only issues of the day worth posting about to social media on your smartphones made by limbless toddlers in Cambodia (sorry, Kampuchea). I suppose this is inevitable when most young people in this city are schooled in their thinking by the intellectual cattle stop that is Salient magazine.

And this leads me directly to my next point: craft beer. Seriously, how many wind gusts to the brain does it take before you suddenly feel the urge to sample this vile crap? Here’s a handy tip: if you seriously need cheese and kale to wash down your alcohol, it’s probably time you seriously considered the direction your life is taking. Craft beer is not only wanky, it is undermining the honest reputation of New Zealand’s great beers, such as Double Brown and Ranfurly.

I could go on all day, but it’s probably time to wrap up this little rant against the city I hate. Without even having to mention its weather, its exuberant car-parking fees and lack of a decent sporting side, I think I have done enough to convince most honest and decent New Zealanders what a toilet their capital is. Wellington possesses all the charm of a freshly exhumend John Lennon making love to Kim Kardashian in a chemotherapy ward. I think it’s high time we considered abandoning her as this nation’s capital. Let’s go further still and abandon it all together from our thinking. Wellington, you’re not fooling anyone anymore. You are, without a single doubt, the arsehole of this fine country of ours.

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