Friday Boganomics – March 18th

18 03 2011

After last week’s last-minute avoidance of maxtreme litigation from a certain vindictive mining magnate, we resume our regular broadcast schedule. Please check out this week’s contribution to the excellent Macrobusiness Superblog, in which we take a close look at the thought process and actions behind the development of Myer’s MyFind website.

It used to be so easy. In recent decades, controlling the bogan’s retail habits was as simple as spending a few million dollars on an advertising campaign on commercial television, and inviting television cameras to film other bogans trying to kick the front door of the shop in at 5am on Boxing Day. Even the advent of discount airlines and the associated rise in Phuket-sourced fake clothing and DVDs didn’t crack a mention at the boardroom tables of Australia’s largest retailers. But things have indeed changed.

They’ve changed to the extent that Gerry Harvey and Solomon Lew had to disrupt their drowsily symbiotic relationship with current affairs television, and use the medium as a key weapon in their battle to remain the bogan’s pathway to consumption. As has been adequately covered by columnists elsewhere, the PR campaign by the “Retail Coalition” did not go well, with the bogan correctly deducing that being asked to fund Gerry Harvey’s ongoing status as a billionaire did not represent a good value proposition. The debate about the GST is primarily a decoy designed to milk extra years of high margin shopfront duopolistic profits out of the bogan.

Read the rest of the article here.

#218 – Mexican Beer

16 03 2011

We’ve already dealt with the fact that the bogan enjoys beers that are brewed here, but labelled as foreign to give the fictional imprimatur of international cool. The bogan, however, is entirely, blissfully unaware that the repackaged Crown Lager it is drinking is Australian made. Thus, it has no real need to be discerning when it comes to alcohol, beyond that fact that the beer must be from another country. This conveniently explains why the only genuinely foreign beer the bogan drinks tastes like cats’ piss, and requires citrus-based assistance to enter the nebulous realm of ‘drinkable’.

Mexicans cannot give their entry level beer away fast enough in their native land. Having realised some time ago that bogans are stupid, however, they began exporting their swill to Australia at premium prices. At velvet-roped leisure venues around Australia, Corona can sell for as much as $9 a bottle. Back home in Mexico, the same product will sell for $14 per case, or under $2 each at a licensed venue. Drinking a pale, watery version of beer somehow confers cultural cachet onto the bogan, purely because it is sourced from a Latin American country with many poor people.

When the bogan orders a Corona or Sol, the bartender simply assumes that it would require a slice of lime. Originally, the bogan inserted a slice of lemon into their colourless liquor, but it rapidly became clear that this only made the beer taste worse. The presence of citrus itself has been hugely successful in attracting the female bogan to beer, a task previously thought to be beyond the capacity of mortal man. By placing a tart piece of fruit on the rim of the bottle, the drink now attains the appearance, and hence the status, of a cocktail. Mexican beer is cool.

The Mexican beer the bogan is drinking also matches the t-shirt the bogan is wearing, which has a Mexican location and a date on it which strangely links the bogan to the shooting of Emiliano Zapata. The bogan is unaware of the significance of the numbers and letters on its shirt, but any shame in this is unrelated to it tearing off its shirt after 15 Mexican beers, and commencing a glassing joust on the footpath outside.

#217 – Driving Like a Fucking Idiot

7 03 2011

It’s a pleasant Sunday afternoon, and the good citizens of Australia are out on the freeways. Some are on the way to or from visiting family, some are coming back from the beach, or from doing a grocery shop. In the stream are trucks and taxis, sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs. A driver sees another car indicating, and then eases off the accelerator to give them space. The other driver gives a friendly wave as she changes lanes. The children in the back seat natter and coo, and the Garfield doll on the rear window swings whimsically to and fro. The tiled rooves of suburbia dash past in the afternoon glare. All is well in the world.

Enter the bogan.

Ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles have sirens to warn other motorists that they are coming. Today, the bogan is using its own special siren. It goes “unce, unce, unce”. 1.2 tonnes of steel, glass and racist bumper stickers swerve erratically. The bogan at the wheel sucks on a ciggy, and in its mind, it is the most maxtreme stunt driver ever. It sees a sliver of sunlight appear between two cars, and veers unannounced through the gap, tyres howling, aiming for the statistically negligible possibility of arriving two and a half minutes earlier than it would have otherwise. In the bogan mind, every road object presents a driving challenge: a pair of cars become a chicane, a red light a game of chicken. And when a bogan is unable to run the red light due to a line of perpendicular traffic, it will quickly assess the car next to it for a potential drag race when the light goes green. This sort of  behaviour ensures that when the bogan is behind the wheel, its first priority is the endangerment not only of itself and its passengers, but also every other road user and stray marsupial in the vicinity.

The bogan will tell you that it is a good driver. As evidence for this, it will offer up its ability to depress its accelerator pedal. As such, the needle of its speedometer serves as an exact gauge of its driving expertise. Whether picking up the kids, doing the shopping or coming back smashed from the glassing barn, the bogan will channel the only stunt driver it considers to have the requisite mad skills, The Stig, and imagine it is one of the famous people who have graced Top Gear’s celebrity wall. Unable to contain its need for maxtremity, the bogan sees any road as its own elaborate race track, designed solely for its clumsily executed, life-threatening manoeuvres.

Of course, such behaviour often puts the bogan on a literal and metaphorical collision course with other road users and, inevitably, the police. Rarely one to take responsibility for its own actions, the bogan is nevertheless highly critical of others’ actions, and is sure to engage its horn at the slightest provocation. And naturally, the bogan is only ever seconds away from an episode or road rage. But when it is booked for speeding, road raging, or going around roundabouts on two wheels, the bogan will engage its outrage gland and fulminate about such high-minded political subjects as “revenue raising” and “the nanny state”. The Trashmedia Kraken is behind the bogan on this.

In defence of the bogan’s perceived right to drive like an idiot, the Kraken has decided to reveal to the bogan the exact location of every single speeding camera, going so far as to give it regular updates throughout the day via one of its multitudinous tentacles. Thus, it can provide the bogan with fair warning on when to momentarily observe the road laws, before careening off into the distance. In what is a testament to the bogan’s impulsiveness and endemic stupidity, the speeding fines continue to appear in its letterbox.

Friday Boganomics: March 4

4 03 2011

The announcement this week by the Federal Government of a fixed carbon price to be set next year, followed by an ETS has been met with the predictable ill-informed back-and-forth that we’ve come to expect from any major policy announcement, whether or not any actual information has been imparted. No doubt, the news has sparked ‘considered’ objection by various business and consumer groups, as well as the pockets of the media that enjoy reminding the bogan how tough it is doing. It has also prompted the PM to remind bogans that while there must be a price on carbon, there is no way in hell bogans’ freedom to burn fossil fuels for transport or recreation will be impeded by anything so unsavoury as a tax.

Part of the process of developing a systematic means of implementing a price on carbon and the eventual emissions trading market, which appears inevitable, despite the bogan’s howls of protestation, is casting a nationwide net for opinions  on the shape it will take. While the official submissions process is not yet underway, we felt obligated to make our point clearly and early. In the interests of transparency, we have posted on an unedited copy of the submission made by the team at Boganomics.

Read it here.

#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.

A New Initiative

25 02 2011

Hello, reader. You may have noticed that the constant stream of posts on this delightful hub of boganic discourse has dwindled to a trickle. The major cause of this has been that we’re busily in the midst of completing a second book, and that there are only so many Things that Bogans Like. Along with this is a new initiative that we, the authors are engaging in. We’re teaming up with the august collective of brilliant minds at the MacroBusiness blog to give a weekly wrap up of the economy and the business world through the eyes of the bogan. This will be our Friday post from now on, and we’ll endeavour to keep some content flowing on at least one other day of the week.

So please check out our first post: The Bogan is Doing it Tough.

#215 – Franchises

21 02 2011

It’s not that the bogan is afraid. The bogan is maxtreme, and not afraid of anything. It’s more that… well, the independent bakery might have rats on the floor, and who knows what that the charcoal chicken store is putting in its gravy. It’s not fear, it’s… it’s standards. The bogan has standards. Standards that can only be met when the front of the shop has a familiar logo that the bogan has seen in other suburbs and towns too. It’s best for the bogan to be nourished by the Colonel’s mystery gravy instead.

Despite Jim Penman holding a PhD in the bogan-derided intellectual field of history, he has managed to become the bearded cartoon that pacifies many areas of the bogan’s life. Starting with a mowing business in 1982, the bogan now trusts Jim to clean its carpets, install its antennas, even to wash its dog. His ever-expanding universe of franchised service businesses mean that the bogan may never need to invite an unbranded human into its McMansion again.

Franchised brands do so much more than just make the bogan feel calm in its confusing world, they are also crucial papiermâché for its thin latex identity. When the bogan wants others to perceive it as healthy, it will circle the food court clasping a Boost Juice, logo facing outwards. When the bogan wants to seem sophisticated, into Gloria Jean’s cosmopolitan maw it shall march. And after a big afternoon at Endota Spa, what better look for the bogan female, than to collect its nascent ADHD charlatans from a 14 hour stint at the local ABC Learning Centre. While ABC is in administration due to bad debts and maxtremely dishonest accounting practices, the bogan is less afraid of franchised corporate crooks than the inevitable paedophiles working at the community child care centre.

From time to time, the enterprising bogan will express a desire to buy its own franchise of a brand that it enjoys purchasing from. While there is a 95% chance that this will never become anything more than talk, most of the other 5% will involve the bogan overpaying for a poorly conceived or located business, and quickly learning that being an owner-operator is much harder work than earning penalty rates to join moronic facebook groups on someone else’s time. At this point the bogan will exit the business at a loss, and tell its friends that is “exploring other opportunities”.

The bogan’s overwhelming urge to remain well inside its own narrow comfort zone has driven Australia to become the most densely franchised nation on earth. So set in its ways does the bogan become, that it is unwilling to even dabble in unfamiliar franchises, despite their inherent franchised trustworthiness. That said, the bogan’s resistance to change is swiftly broken down once a celebrity endorsement or other  marketing campaign is undertaken. For while each bogan is a unique snowflake, franchises allow them to be precisely as unique as each other.


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