Cultural Climate

I’ve got this theory about the difference between Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is basically paradise as far as climate is concerned, being essentially temperate all year round. I don’t know that born-and-bred Sydney-siders really appreciate this fact – I certainly didn’t until I moved to Melbourne, and realised that what I’d always thought of as cold really isn’t that cold at all. And yet, Melbourne is generally regarded as the more culturally interesting city of the two, an oasis of progressive thinking in a sea of close-minded national politics.

Anyway, the theory is that Melbourne is more interesting because of its climate. Like, people can’t get by on frolicking in the surf all year round, so they have to come up with inventive ways to entertain themselves. Artistic endeavour, designer handcrafting and innovative approaches to business become driving forces of the local way of life, a sort of cultural gas heating. Melbourne effectively uses creativity to warm itself.

Or, you know, something to that effect. It’s not a very well fleshed out theory; it’s more of a half-baked notion, really. Do you think there could be something to it, though? Having lived in both cities, I can tell you that it would explain a lot. That’s not to say that Sydney folks are airheads – I’d never be so indelicate as that. I’m just saying that Sydney is the glossy postcard, and Melbourne is the insightful, handwritten note.

Having said that, at least Sydney is less reliant on central heating repairs. Melbourne has to be constantly tuning up its system in order to hold its position as the country’s creative epicentre… hang on, I’m back in the metaphor again. I actually meant the thing about repairs literally. While we’re being all artisanal and groundbreaking, we’re also at the mercy of indoor climate control systems. As progressive as we might think we are, for the most part we haven’t managed to transcend our perceived need for artificial warmth.

New theory: Sydney people actually have it all figured out, and we’re just floundering around down here pretending we’re not freezing our heads off.


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