#8 – Contiki Tours

23 10 2009

In the 21st century, the bogan is no longer only interested in his town, the nearest beach, and the occasional trip to Queensland. While they remain suspicious of other cultures, they want to see the world, hold different beers in their hand, and sleep with more foreigners (white) than ever before. Enter the Contiki tour.

ContikiContiki, and the companies like it, package up overseas experiences so that the bogan can satisfy all of these needs. Up to 60 bogans are loaded into a bus at the airport, and are then whisked around for the next fortnight, vomiting in a different part of a continent each day. The bogan is able to physically witness many landmarks it has seen on television, and participate in hilarious “holding up the leaning tower” style photos, over and over and over again. All without the dreaded need to problem solve, learn, or communicate with locals.

The tour company, meanwhile, organises every meal, bed, transfer, and drinking location, while supervising and micro-managing every moment. This leaves the bogan to do what it does best – create a boorish, ignorant vortex that ruins the location for anyone else who happens to be there, and make clumsy attempts to fornicate with other members of the tour group. With rarely more than 24 hours spent in one city, Contiki ably caters to the short attention span and one-dimensional needs of the new bogan.

Now that Contiki has recently commenced offering all-inclusive tours through Southeast Asia, the bogan is now able to visit a whole array of countries in the region that were previously too hard. Hence, the male bogan can now be seen in his home town with a wider array of foreign beer-branded singlets than ever before, impressing the female bogan with his new sense of cosmopolitanism and worldliness. The female is also now more worldly, thanks to the purchase of an oriental home furnishing item after haggling and berating a peasant street stall for 10 minutes to save 40 cents.





#262 – Padlocks

28 10 2014

Adrift in an endless galactic sea, the bogan can sometimes feel so small. Not even bicep curls and a gigantic house can lend the bogan a sufficient sense of scale. Then there’s the minor problem of eternity. 24 months interest free is baaasically forever, but what about after that? What about month 25, bogan?

I mean… sure, the bogan can go and get another wrist tattoo. Sweet, sweet permanency. Even the Chinese symbol for “eternity” is an option. The tattoo could also represent the bogan being tribal for eternity, or in love with its current mating partner for eternity. But, despite the best efforts of the Australian and Thai health systems, the bogan will eventually die, and its skin wither.

“How can I leave my mark forever?”, mused the female bogan as it shuffled down the BBQ aisle at Bunnings, intending to replace the other giant BBQ which it had not used in the previous three years. Lost in its thoughts, its nose collided with a vertical display of brass padlocks hung from one of the shelves. The flash of snout-pain was also a flash of inspiration.

“I’m totally going to uninstall Tinder. Promise.”

Some years earlier, on the bogan’s repeat Contiki tours of Europe, it had seen bridge railings covered in padlocks. Pure romance. Dutifully, the bogan placed  padlocks on the ironwork to symbolise the undying nature of its love for bus companions Jackson (’07), Troy (’12), and Jakcson (’12 – week two), respectively. It was European, it was classic. Just like the chic sophistication of the wok burner on the $899 barbecue. $906 later, the bogan had purchased its new padlock, and was fully equipped to confront its own mortality.

On the drive home, Twitter was informed that “I’ve dumped 3 loser guys this month, but @Trizzzztan69 is the one #yolo”.

While Tristan was somewhat surprised to hear his new fuck buddy speak so emphatically, his reluctance to burn his sexual bridges resulted in him consenting to the visit to the nearby physical bridge. Hopefully for sex. Following a thirty second recital of Taylor Swift lyrics, the padlock was snapped closed around the bridge’s railing, and Tristan’s future was sealed. Tears were shed. Tristan feared that the tears would delay sex. He was right to fear this.

Quick, what’s the Twitter handle for the United Nations War Crimes Commission?!

Although the bogan has generally negative feelings about China, the padlocking craze can actually be traced back to here, before rearing its head in Europe in the 1980s. So it’s European. It’s a trend that appeals strongly to the bogan, because of its drama and exhibitionism. Nothing can exist for the bogan unless it is acted out in public.

But by bringing this craze to Australia, the bogan has delivered a new challenge to local councils nationwide. Spooked by reports of European bridges collapsing under the weight of thousands of steel padlocks, council workers with boltcutters are tasked with routinely depriving the bogan of its constitutional rights AND its one big shot at transcending all of existence.

But that’s ok, it stops the bogan from needing to find a new bridge railing next month. And Bunnings doesn’t mind.





#256 – Superfluous Ingredient Descriptors

19 03 2013

It is just plain wrong to categorise the bogan as a straightforward, simple creature. There is nothing simple about naming a child “Mhadeziyn”, attempting to perch atop a revolving system of four different interest-free finance facilities, and clutching seventeen different mutually exclusive conspiracy theories about foreigners, allergies, and corporate fat cats.

That’s right, the modern bogan is a seven-sided Rubik’s cube of mystery. Gone are the days where it would happily lunch upon a humble beef burger, a packet of salt and vinegar chips, and a can of Sunkist. This caused much hand-wringing in snackfood and fast food boardrooms around the nation. “Had the bogan become less ravenous?” one asked. No, the bogan had not become less ravenous. “Had the bogan become more tasteful?” another well-intentioned staffer enquired. No, the bogan had not become more tasteful.

A Contiki Tour in three 200 gram boxes.

A Contiki Tour in three 200 gram boxes.

The boardroom clocks ticked loudly, and a few board members shuffled their papers to distract from the fact that the meeting had ground to a complete halt. Others in the room awkwardly looked out the window, wishing for an urgent reason to be elsewhere. Out the window, down in the car park, a bogan was doing doughnuts in a fluorescent ute. Attached to the ute was a trailer, on the trailer was a Jet-Ski, and on the Jet-Ski was the bogan’s friend, riding with no hands. Seconds later, the Jet-Ski rodeo bogan was thrown off the Jet-Ski, landing in a puddle of its own elbow cartilage. Clearing his throat, a board member addressed the room. “The bogan has become much more deluded”. Yes.

Six weeks later, the snackfood company re-released its salt and vinegar chips. As “Rock Salt and Balsamic Vinegar”. Salt from exotic rocks. Vinegar from exotic… balsams. The bogan didn’t mind that the price was 50% higher. After all… rock salt! Sales soared. The constantly mutating vagaries of the bogan mind had once again been skewered by nonsensical branding. Soon, no bogan wanted a beef burger unless it was an Angus Beef Burger. And “blood orange” flavoured soft drink was seen as both more maxtreme and more prestigious than stupid old plain orange. It was thrillingly irrelevant whether there was any discernable difference in ingredients or taste. This is because the bogan wants to remain deeply within the comfort zone of its palate, whilst still projecting the illusion of fashion and progress.

The bogan craves these superfluous ingredient descriptors, and consuming something pointlessly, functionlessly overwrought adds additional layers of meaning to its existence. An Ed Hardy t-shirt for the mouth. If Arnott’s releases a gourmet version of Shapes called “Cracked pepper, Mediterranean feta, French onion, crispy chicken, flame grilled steak, roasted garlic and peppercorn” (all of these terms have appeared in Shapes names in recent years), the bogan’s biscuit-purchasing fervour could  only be heightened further if the product was also dubbed “limited edition”.

The bogan is a moron.





#243 – Perspective-Based Photography at Famous Landmarks

25 08 2011

“Wait…move your left hand over a bit…that’s it…nah, wait, you missed it. Fuck. Try again.”

Travel to any part of the world with any landmark that has appeared in a James Bond movie or a Contiki catalogue, and you will undoubtedly hear words to this effect. With a strong Australian dollar, cheap flights, and internet accommodation bookings, the newly internationalised bogan has embraced overseas trips/tours/drinking with a previously unseen fervour. They then decide, in their uncommonly belated manner, that it would be totally bitchin’ if they posed alongside a famous landmark, employing their unparalleled grasp of telephoto perspective to create the impression they’re, you know, holding it up! While the bogan has precious little perspective on life, empathy, culture, and modesty, it has an unlimited desire for perspective in its photography.

How artistic and clever it makes the bogan feel to have come up with such a devastatingly effective photo. The several hundred other travelling bogans undertaking the same process within a 50 metre radius are clearly ripping off what is an original idea. It is inconceivable that anyone other than that one particular bogan could have realised how extreme it would be if a photo made the Eiffel Tower look really small, with the tip being squeezed by the oily pincers of the bogan.

After the magic of the digital camera allows the bogan to make the requisite 300 attempts to place the photo’s two subjects in harmonious alignment, it can be taken home, enlarged 100 times and placed on the wall of the formal living room. The roaring success of the photo is enough to induce the bogan to tell its friends that it’s thinking of becoming a pro photographer. Indeed, the possibility to take more perspective-based photos (along with V Australia now flying to North America) may lure the bogan to journey to NYC to create a sidesplittingly unprecedented scene where the Statue of Liberty gets sodomised from behind. An alternative, and equally appealing option is to kiss the Sphinx, and then make a joke about getting older pussy. Or, or, what about one where it looks like the ruins of the Acropolis are getting stomped on?!?!

The bogan will never, ever, ever tire of this.





#238 – The Australian Dollar

20 07 2011

The Australian dollar is the only currency that the bogan believes in. It’s the currency that last year’s designer drug can be purchased in, it’s the currency that Centrelink can be defrauded in, and it’s the currency that can be acquired in wholesale volumes when one goes and works in the mines. While Australia’s economy was doing very well through the middle of last decade, there was a problem. Other nations were also doing well, and the exchange rate of the Australian dollar was not high. This weighed heavily on the bogan’s heart whenever it proposed to venture to Thailand, Bali, Thailand, or Bali.

Having a moderately valued currency was like getting beaten at cricket by Bangladesh. Bogans were unhappy. Unable to afford yet another Contiki Tour, a meeting of bogans was convened at the local glassing barn. The first idea raised was that everyone should join the army, and go and f**k up other countries in order to cripple their economies. This suggestion was received positively, but due to the fact that bogans mainly just talk about joining the army, it was not practical. The second idea raised seemed irrelevant, but turned out to be inadvertently genius. “Bugger this, I’m going to go work in the mines”, uttered one bogan from underneath its Von Dutch trucker cap. And so it was, even more bogans moved northwards and westwards to dig holes for their Chinese overlords.

Soon after came the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States, which subsequently became a debt-crisis that engulfed the developed world. But not Australia; it even avoided a recession due to the ongoing Chinese demand for Australian holes. Miraculously, the Aussie battler dollar began to rise from the canvas. Unsteady at first, it lurched past 90 US cents in October 2009, falling back again in mid-2010 due to the deferral of interest rate rises. While deferring interest rate rises pleases the bogan, deferring the inflation of the Aussie dollar displease the bogan very nearly as much. Hence, like the little ANZAC that it is, it came again. Mind you, much of this was due to the US Federal Reserve was desperately trying to devalue its currency in order to revive its own uncompetitive and/or obsolete export industries.

On Monday, 31st January 2011, the bogan woke to find the lemon-coloured morning sunlight playing whimsically on the folds of its Ultimate Fighting Championship bedspread. On this glorious day, the Australian dollar had surpassed the US dollar for the first time since its float in 1983. The bogan reclined in its bed, entertaining pleasant fantasies of Thai ladyboys throwing themselves at bogans in exchange for one Australian dollar, and monstrous bright pink Hummers costing just a week’s salary. The bogan was king of the world, right where it belonged. Chants of “Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi” could be heard rattling up the McMansion-lined avenues of suburbia.

Sensing its patriotic duty, and with the “stuff is cheap online” mantra of people who dared to disagree with Gerry Harvey rattling in its ears, the bogan jumped on its computer, and bought things from overseas websites, wielding its Australian-denominated credit card like a samurai sword. To complete the forgiveness process of Tiger Woods, it purchased a $2,000 Tiger Woods Tag Heuer golfing watch. It would have cost heaps more a few months previously, and this purchase would be the perfect way to breathe life back into the abandoned “get my golf handicap below 10” new year’s resolution from 2004.

Unwittingly, the bogan’s acquisition of foreign products was limiting the dollar’s capacity to rise further, but the bogan did not care, because more holes were getting sold to China, and if Western Australia endures Queensland-esque flooding, those holes will become completely sick places to do some maxtreme jet-skiing. While Australia’s non-mining export industries (like… um… Keith Urban…) are suffering due to the value of the dollar, Keith’s problems do not register on the bogan’s radar unless expressed in song form, preferably in a duet with Bernard Fanning.

So for now, the bogan strides along the glittering promenades of its local Westfield with a spring in its step. Its Aussie dollar is totally sticking it to the yanks, its Aussie dollar is totally enabling boganism to ascend to the next level of consumption, and its Aussie dollar is currently driving BHP Billiton to develop an Olympic-standard hole in South Australia that brings with it the hope that the Australian dollar will supplant gold as the one true store of value. Unless China decides that it prefers Mongolian or Brazilian holes, but that won’t happen, because the bogan knows that Australian holes are the best in the world.

 





Friday Boganomics – The Almighty Dollar

20 05 2011

The Australian dollar is the only currency that the bogan believes in. It’s the currency that last year’s designer drug can be purchased in, it’s the currency that Centrelink can be defrauded in, and it’s the currency that can be acquired in wholesale volumes when one goes and works in the mines. While Australia’s economy was doing very well through the middle of last decade, there was a problem. Other nations were also doing well, and the exchange rate of the Australian dollar was not high. This weighed heavily on the bogan’s heart whenever it proposed to venture to Thailand, Bali, Thailand, or Bali.

Having a moderately valued currency was like getting beaten at cricket by Bangladesh. Bogans were unhappy. Unable to afford yet another Contiki Tour, a meeting of bogans was convened at the local glassing barn. The first idea raised was that everyone should join the army, and go and f**k up other countries in order to cripple their economies. This suggestion was received positively, but due to the fact that bogans mainly just talk about joining the army, it was not practical. The second idea raised seemed irrelevant, but turned out to be inadvertently genius. “Bugger this, I’m going to go work in the mines”, uttered one bogan from underneath its Von Dutch trucker cap. And so it was, even more bogans moved northwards and westwards to dig holes for their Chinese overlords.

Soon after came the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States, which subsequently became a debt-crisis that engulfed the developed world. But not Australia; it even avoided a recession due to the ongoing Chinese demand for Australian holes. Miraculously, the Aussie battler dollar began to rise from the canvas. Unsteady at first, it lurched past 90 US cents in October 2009, falling back again in mid-2010 due to the deferral of interest rate rises. While deferring interest rate rises pleases the bogan, deferring the inflation of the Aussie dollar displease the bogan very nearly as much. Hence, like the little ANZAC that it is, it came again. Mind you, much of this was due to the US Federal Reserve was desperately trying to devalue its currency in order to revive its own uncompetitive and/or obsolete export industries…

To continue reading, head over to the MacroBusiness Superblog!





Friday Boganomics – Zara (Reprise)

29 04 2011

This week, the opening of Zara left us with an abundance of material. Here on Things Bogans Like, we looked at the socialogical drivers behind the seemingly inexplicable success of a homogeneous fashion retailer. Today, over at the Macrobusiness Superblog, we take a peek at the marketing theory the evil geniuses over at Zara are employing….

The Australian retail climate isn’t particularly strong at the moment, because bogans are Doing It Tough. Confronted with historically low interest rates, a strong dollar, a resilient economy and low unemployment, the bogan knows that it has to cut back on some things in order to get by. Its newfound love of online retail and Australian retailers’ inability to, you know, build a functional online retail site, has left us something of a retail wasteland. Until you realise that compared to pretty much every other developed economy, we are, in fact, a retail oasis.

International fashion retailers have long avoided Australian shores like the plague. The market is small, the logistics confronting, the seasons reversed, and the local providers far too adept at convincing the bogan of what it needs to buy next. However, this has overlooked a key aspect of the bogan retail landscape; one that, it appears, we are soon to see exploited on a grand scale.

Ordinarily, the bogan will vocally advocate the purchasing of Australian products (Thai manufacturing notwithstanding), as a means of stroking its throbbing nationalism gland and providing Australians with jobs. But the modern bogan has travelled a bit. It managed a two-week trek across seven European countries courtesy of that great international bogan bus, Contiki. And what it took away from its jaunt across such a cultured locale is class. The bogan, upon returning, now seeks Euro style. It needs Euro style. Cosmopolitan style. Like the cocktail. Yet because of the reticence and lack of awareness of foreign companies, this yearning has gone unfulfilled.

Zara, being the fashion behemoth they are, figured it out first. 

Click through to read the rest





#224 – Zara

27 04 2011

The bogan is widely travelled. Having been as far as both Bali and Phuket, it also has fond memories of its Contiki tour across seventeen European countries over two weeks back in ’06. While the South East Asian trips are full of blurry memories of buckets of vodka, Red Bull and ladyboys, the bogan can remember precisely what it managed to extract from its Euro-jaunt: class. Merely by attending such a storied, classy land full of cigarette-smoking, baguette-eating, beret-toting, cheese eating surrender monkeys, the bogan arrived home flush with the belief that it had been imbued with the very thing it robbed from much of Europe.

Of course, upon returning, the bogan immediately began complaining about how ‘uncultured’ its homeland was, pining for the sophistication it reveled in while vomiting behind a bush as the Eiffel Tower glittered in the Parisian twilight. Usually, the bogan can spend money on things that confer upon it the requisite cachet. When it came to European cool, however, it was stumped. Scanning the Australian retail landscape, it saw a wasteland of local companies – Witchery, Sportsgirl, Cue, Myer, David Jones, Country Road, Suzanne and Dotti – who wouldn’t know their escargot from their escargot pants.

Ordinarily, the bogan will vocally advocate the purchasing of Australian products (Thai manufacturing notwithstanding), as a means of stroking its throbbing nationalism gland and providing Australians with jobs. But, having returned from somewhere so classy, so goddamned cultured, the bogan simply cannot be satisfied with local clothing providers any longer. It needs style. Cosmopolitan style. Like the magazine. For years, this yearning has gone unfulfilled.

Until now. The entrance of Spanish fashion behemoth Zara into the Australian market comes at a time when bogans are Doing It Tough.  Yet even flagging bogan fashion spending doesn’t prevent our economy outstripping all other developed countries’. For years, foreign fashion lines have avoided antipodean shores, ostensibly because it was a small market, when in fact it was an acknowledgement that convincing bogans to buy furreners’ wares was foolish. Now, with Australia the only economically viable country in the free world, Zara has taken a gamble which, in retrospect, was no gamble at all. Offered the prospect of cladding itself in the Eurostylz, the bogan has quite nearly dropped a lung in excitement, queuing up not behind a velvet rope, but a cattle race, in order to access the low-quality, high-turnover goods that Zara provide.

Because when examined more closely, Zara are perhaps the greatest bogan fashion label ever. More bogan than Tiffany & Co., more bogan than Pandora Bracelets. Even more bogan than, yes, Audigier. Zara’s business model is to offer the bogan maxtige at record pace. It can turn fashion from the catwalk or the drawing board to the shop floor in a blindingly fast two weeks. The bogan can now access the same clothes it bought at other stores faster and cheaper. This neatly fits in with the bogan’s two-week fashion gestation period between spotting a celebrity endorsed style and securing a new credit card in order to purchase it. Zara understand the term zeitgeist (luckily the bogan doesn’t speak Spanish) better than most people in the business of extracting bogan bucks, ensuring that nothing stays fashionable for more than a couple of weeks.  Luckily, the bogan was too distracted to care.





#216 – The Real World

28 02 2011

While it may not admit it in as many words, the only type of experience that the bogan has respect for is experience at being a bogan. For, you see, being a bogan allows a degree of insight into things that is simply unattainable through any other means. While bogan-reviled intellectuals seek (and often succeed) to understand things via logical methods, this currency is of no value to the bogan. This is because the bogan itself is an elaborate tangle of hypocrisy and half-truth, and any bogan worldview tends to project that condition outwards. This, to the bogan, is The Real World.

No Real World can be real without reality, and the bogan derives its quotient of reality from the television, where it observes other bogans bickering amongst themselves for cash prizes in highly contrived and edited conditions. It then turns to A Current Affair, where it observes bogans complaining to journalists in highly contrived and edited conditions. At this point, the bogan’s broad river of knowledge breaches its banks, and it is right ready to dispense… dispense knowledge about how its bank breaches its rights.

Indeed, in order to acquire knowledge of The Real World, it appears the bogan merely has to indulge every impulse that is induced in itself, and subsequently locate escapegoats. Once again, A Current Affair plays an important role, explaining allergies, ADHD, clashing with reporters, the Qu’ran, freedom of speech, and the misuse of their taxpayer dollars. All in all, the bogan’s Real World is constructed as a reason for the bogan to not have to modestly apply itself to any long term pathway of self-betterment.

But it’s not enough for just the bogan itself to comprehend The Real World, for the bogan also refuses to be led by someone who it cannot witness being Real. As a result, camera crews are routinely summoned to capture footage of politicians doing Real things that they would never Really do, such as shear sheep, dig holes at construction sites, or cradle babies they have no affiliation with. Thanks to the bogan’s energy-rich, nutrient-poor consumption of the world around it, Real action is deemed to move the bogan further forward than Real policy.

It is important to understand the other impacts of the bogan’s endless search for the Real in this world. Real flavour comes from highly processed foods, and Real entertainment occurs in either tandem with wearing 3D googles in front of the maxtreme plasma screen, or at Movieworld, which is the second most Real World after Reality relevision. It’s possible that the pinnacle of Reality was achieved in August 2007, when a Reality television program called “The Real World: Sydney” saw 8 Americans relocated to a 1,900 square metre house in Darling Harbour… to work for Contiki Tours. Jim Beam has also been of great assistance to the bogan via its “Real Bourbon” marketing campaign, which helps the bogan to distinguish Real Bourbon from the products of sneaky distilleries who keep putting iced tea or creek water in 700ml bottles, attempting to sell them to the bogan without telling it what’s Really in there.





#122 – Ernie Dingo

8 04 2010

As we have amply discussed here at this salon of civic discourse, the bogan is fiercely proud to be Australian. It is wracked with patriotic quiverings whenever Australia’s history is mentioned.  It is like the proverbial horny bull at a rusty gate when making a spectacle of its ‘patriotism’ – whether on its car or on its skin. It fully supports any initiative to keep the country’s borders safe from outsiders. The bogan wants foreigners to know that Australia is bogan country, and any prospective Australian should become a bogan themselves if they expect to be welcomed – otherwise, they should simply ‘go home’.

The bogan believes it possesses all qualities unique to Australians, and has appointed itself both gatekeeper and keymaster to the thrice-locked security locker of boganic Australianness. The existence of indigenous Australians, however, throws a distinctly obstinate spanner into the works of this line of thinking. Whenever a bogan uses the apparently water-tight “I was here first” logic to engender in itself a snugly fitting sense of unchallenged entitlement to the country, a distant but unshakable feeling of self-doubt is stimulated. When this feeling gets too much for the bogan, it reminds itself that it likes Ernie Dingo.

Like many Aboriginal people who are elite athletes or media personalities, Ernie Dingo is embraced with enthusiasm by bogans as the smiley, clean cut face of Aboriginal Australia. In his TV journeys into the outback, Ernie allows the bogan to see the country it is so proud of, witness some maxtreme four wheel driving and perhaps a spot of fishing. It desirously gazes at sumptuous food and luxury accommodation, and chuckles at the assorted on-road hijinks, without, of course, having to leave the couch. More comforting still for the bogan, engagement with the local population is kept to a minimum, and when it does occur, it is at the depth one might expect to accidentally plumb whilst on a Contiki Tour of Thailand.

The bogan’s take on the situation is similar to the bogan’s take on most politically charged topics – simplistic and ill-informed, yet held onto with the white-knuckled grip of the truly terrified. When quizzed on Aboriginal disadvantage, the bogan will take a massive swig on its sixth massive can of Woodstock, and tell you everything would be perfectly fine for Indigenous Australians if they only “got off the booze”. It will tell you Aboriginals get an unfair share of government handouts, yet remain vigilant for opportunities to rort workers’ compensation schemes, and vociferously decry any attempt to reduce indigenous poverty or increase lifespans as “political correctness gone mad”.  The bogan is, however, happy to be pro-Aboriginal when it comes to Ernie Dingo, who delivers it sharp pangs of patriotic pride, mixed with pleasant, light-hearted, unchallenging entertainment. Just as the bogan is happy to take ownership of any Indigenous athlete who earns a gold medal or Premiership trophy. The bogan does a similar thing with New Zealand actors and, at times, homosexuals of note, but is quick to switch around when they fall out of favour, and toss them on the scrapheap of fame.