Mathangi Arulpragasam is a 34 year old woman of Tamil origin, who spent 9 of her first 11 years in Sri Lanka and Southern India, on the run because her father was involved in Tamil militancy and civil war. In 1986, she arrived in England as a refugee alongside her mother and brother, and Mathangi learned English while living on a council estate in South London. Bogans would not approve of this story.
Whether it’s beating them up at train stations, running out of their taxis without paying, or just general derision, there is a significant number of bogans who simply do not like “curries”. It believes that curries smell bad, want to steal its job, and listen to stupid high pitched music that isn’t their own stupid, high-pitched music. When the white bogan is in the club, it would rather be surrounded by other white bogans, and listen to sick songs like M.I.A’s ‘Paper Planes’.
As evidenced in the video, the bogan appeal of the song is clear. While the repetitive melody and lyrics make things easier for the bogan when it is on the dancefloor, by far the most important thing that Paper Planes provides the bogan is the chance to shape its hand into a pistol of some sort, and pretend that it is firing a gun. And not just once or twice, but the bogan can fire its imaginary gun 48 TIMES during the song. This appeals to the bogan’s desire to feel close to Underbelly. Now that it’s firing its gun 48 times in the club, it is more like Underbelly than ever before. The bogan feels empowered, dangerous, and desirable.
With its focus exclusively on waiting for the next chorus – and certainly with no intention of listening to anything else M.I.A. ever recorded – the bogan’s attention strays during the parts in between. The bogan does not realise that Mathangi Arulpragasam’s lyrics during this time include phrases such as “third world democracy”, and that Arulpragasm’s music is highly political. To quote the lady herself, the song is “about people driving taxicabs all day and living in a shitty apartment and ‘appearing’ really threatening to society. But not being so…I wanted to see if I could write songs about something important and make it sound like nothing. And it kind of worked.” Indeed, the bogan is utterly oblivious that it is being entertained by an activist curry refugee.
A group of bogans later exit the club, they are feeling strangely energised from the dozen Jager bombs, and also from animatedly discharging their dancefloor weapons 48 times in the space of three and a half minutes. They need an outlet. Up ahead, they spy an Indian student who appears to be carrying a laptop bag…