A dear friend of mine in communications told me I need a one sentence pitch, otherwise it’s not a digestible concept. Mine is this: exploring the depths of middle class culture, values, and actions as a reflection of modern society. I spend copious amounts of my waking moments reflecting on this and its influence on our decision making, but until now have not had an outlet. As a result, it’s enhanced my well-documented ability to rant too much at dear friends and family, especially when drunk. Half the reason I’m writing is an AA-like contrition measure to salvage my friendships and relationships.
The other half is about my fascination with what motivates us, finding deeper meaning behind our values, beliefs, and institutions. This stems from my observation that middle class public debate – through media, academia, and citizen journalism – too often over simplifies or over analyses. In simplifying, we’re informed by bigotry and/or ideology, resulting in deeply entrenched beliefs; “people are poor because they are lazy and selfish”, “illegal boat people”, or “a free market is the fairest, most free and most effective way of increasing our wealth”. To believe statements like this requires the mind to be hogtied, and wear an eyepatch and chastity belt. This is detrimental for meaningful discussion on complexities of economics, history, poverty, law, and ethics. At the other extreme, though complex analysis can be excellent for economics, history, poverty, law, and ethics, it can be ill-suited for music, film and art. Too frequently, complex analysis can elevate culture on an intellectual pedestal and speak an elite language accessible to few. Don’t get me started on some music reviewer’s definition of the perfect pop song; that doesn’t need to be discussed, ever.
I write from my conflicting experiences that inform my perspective on the world, as a middle class, young, half-Chinese, half-European, gay, New Zealander living in Melbourne, Australia. This allows me to both cherish and challenge those parts of myself and all of us. I write living as an expatriate between New Zealand and Melbourne worlds, but feeling strongly rooted in neither, and write as such. When I question us, I question myself as part of my environment. I want to fire bursts of rhetorical machine gun warning shots into the air, but not simply destroy, but also construct. I want to connect us to our values and actions rather than tear into us constantly. I want to investigate the why