The bogan is prone to inward-looking, self-serving, short-term behaviour. For this reason, it is rarely found to engage in any form of social cause aside from unionism, which is arguably self-interest dressed up as collective interest anyway. This all changes when a disaster occurs that costs the lives of Australians. Instantly, the bogan transforms itself into a generous, empathic creature who will dig deep in order to get behind the charitable appeal related to the disaster.
It is even better when the disaster takes place in a region whereby the bulk of victims are not Australian, but there is a notable Australian presence. This allows the bogan to engage in their standard nationalistic giving, while giving an outward appearance of racial tolerance. Non-disaster-related charities suffered in silence until someone figured out how to activate the bogan’s unique trigger points. It had to be glitzy, it had to be on commercial television, it had to have celebrities, and it had to offer the prospect of exhibitionism for the bogan itself. The telethon was born.
One of the commercial networks will cancel the day’s programming so that it can show its – and only its – celebrities manning phones, taking calls from the bogan populace. In addition to the possibility of speaking to a reality TV star or footy player, the bogan is motivated by the hope that their friends will see their name on the scrolling ticker across the bottom of the screen that announces recent donations.After all, there is no point to being charitable unless the world is aware of the charitability. The logical culmination of this is, of course, the moment when <insert anonymous soap starlet here> declares, carefully scrutinizing the piece of paper in front her, that ‘Ben from Sandringham will double his $5 pledge if it gets read out on television. There you go Ben!’ All of this is interspersed with bite sized snippets of entertainment from said celebrities.
By making a donation, it becomes possible to confidently participate in social conversations about the appeal, and wait impatiently to mention that they’ve dug deep. The one-off and public nature of the donation is enormously alluring to the bogan, who generally lacks the conviction and consistency to provide quiet ongoing support to a social cause. A more recent (and laudable) innovation in bogan philanthropy science is to incorporate charity into music festivals. Here the bands play for free (glitz trigger), the bogans can ruin an event (exhibitionism trigger), it can be rebroadcast on TV (commercial TV trigger), and Peter Garrett (celebrity trigger) can promote the ALP to a generation of young bogans who didn’t realise he was the singer of AC/DC.