Why The Oz Linking Smashed Avo To The Housing Crisis Is A Guac Of Shit

Hey! My name is David. I’m an Afternoon & Nights Editor right here at PEDESTRIAN.TV, and this is a confession. 

As you may have garnered by my job title, I operate over Saturdays and Sundays. In all honesty, it’s a pretty sweet gig: I spend my working hours finding the most interesting things going on in the world, and I get to deliver that information to you. The powers that be even allow me to crack wise in the headlines.

Believe it or not, I’m not the only bloke in Australia on that weekend duty. On Saturday, News Corp columnist Bernard Salt did what many columnists are wont to do: he had a bit of a spray about Millennials, and our apparent predisposition towards overpriced smashed avos on toast. And he was very, very wrong about it.

In truth, his piece wasn’t so much about that delicious and foundational brunch combo, but what Salt believes we should be spending that money on. In his missive for The Australian, the man said:
“I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more. I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle-aged and have raised my family. But how can young people afford to eat like this? Shouldn’t they be economising by eating at home? How often are they eating out? Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house.”
Here’s the mea culpa. For all intents and purposes, the fact such a blatantly-out-of-touch worldview was published in a national paper was, and is, worthy of comment. God knows social media, the spiritual home of the custodians of millennial culture, was quick to detail exactly why Salt’s assertion was straight-up BS:

Those insights really lay out the crux of the problem: there is quite simply no way abstaining from the occasional brunch will offset the financial realities we face. Yet, all of this passed me by. 

Yesterday, I saw the howling winds of righteous indignation swirl around this toasty drama, but I didn’t add my own voice to the maelstrom. Perhaps the sheer blunt-force ignorance of Salt’s take deterred me, but the most truthful reason I can give for not using my position of influence (hey, you are reading this, after all) to talk about this widening cultural chasm is that I am already used to the idea I will never, ever own a home.

As a 23-year-old living and working in an Australian city, I should goddamn care, but Salt’s opinion piece didn’t stir the same fierce sentiment that it did in many of my contemporaries – at least, not immediately. I saw it as another confirmation of a seemingly inviolable truth. I will not own a house, unless my parents – who took out a mortgage in a favourable economic climate, some 30 years ago – offer the family home to my brother and me when they shuffle off this mortal coil. (Ma, pa, If you’re reading this… have I told you how great you are lately? ‘Cause you are.)

So, this morning – and I swear this is true – I had smashed avo on toast for breakfast. Sat in a Melbourne apartment, a pretty unique and uncomfortable feeling came over me. It wasn’t from my avo, which was frankly quite delicious. Rather, the background sensation of “these surrounds are not mine, nor will they ever be,” which I could usually tune out, was rendered unavoidable due to the sheer bloody assurance of Salt’s opinion. By extension, that’s an opinion we can reasonably assume many of the, yes, “Boomers” hold as gospel.
A titanic series of institutional roadblocks stand between us and home ownership, but the big ones are obviously negative gearing and its associated culture of rampant property investment. Both have ensured it’s far, far easier to buy a home if you already own several more, and that’s a luxury not too many of us young guns have. Turning away some avo won’t change that, but internalising the current status quo won’t do shit either. 

Although so, so many of you picked up the pitchforks to defend your breakky, I should have been absolutely ropeable too. 

This is a call-out to everyone who may have heard about this weekend’s drama, and like me, sat by. The opinion presented by Salt is nearly endemic; as such, many of the gatekeepers to the once-promised land of property ownership simply don’t understand the opportunities available to them are woefully out of fucking reach for us avo-eating Aussie youth. 
I’m probably going to have avo on toast again tomorrow, purely out of spite. And when I do so, I’m going to tell myself I have just as much of a right to own my own damn home as any 60-something News Corp columnist.