So, ummmm…

14 12 2011

An apology is probably in order for the absence of posting. In the wake of writing books and holding down day jobs, many of us have decided to decamp for foreign climes for some time. And some of us had no time to post because Skyrim. Now that some are back, expect a bit more frequency with the posting.

In the meantime, here is a list of things that happened that we could have written about, should we have had the motivation. Please feel free to add suggestions.

  • Teenager arrested in Bali for purchasing marijuana.
  • Bogans assume he is guilty
  • Bogans then assume he is innocent
  • Bogans decide to wait until he’s sold his story to 60 Minutes
  • Shane Warne gets engaged
  • Shane Warne burns finger
  • Trashmedia pay equal attention to both events
  • Interest rates dropped
  • Bogans took the opportunity to lament how Tough they are Doing It
  • Kyle Sandilands something something
  • Andrew Bolt was found to be a racist in a court of law
  • Bogans blame political correctness gone mad; claim loss of free speech

What else happened?

#249 – Pauline Hanson

31 10 2011

There was once a time when claiming that bogans enjoyed the nasal whine, fierce ignorance and misguided nationalism of Pauline Hanson would be misguided in itself, and begging for a backlash. While the bogan insists that it is not racist, it is more than happy to broadly stereotype and generalise on the basis of ethnicity or skin colour. The bogan of today is, however, cognisant enough of the forces of Political Correctness Gone Mad to avoid making blanket statements in public about the country being swamped by Asians, and instead its racism was never entirely of a piece with that of Ms Hanson. The result was that the bogan was deeply conflicted over the former member for Oxley.

On one hand, it secretly agreed that it was indeed being swamped by Asians (who couldn’t drive), was having its taxpayer dollars siphoned off to layabout aborigines (who were all alcoholics) and that it was subject to reverse racism because it was neither of those things and didn’t receive sufficient support in Making Ends Meet. On the other, it was not racist. The result was a strange kind of mental stagnation, as the bogan’s rigorously programmed brain was confronted with an unsolvable paradox. The result was that Pauline Hanson really attracted only the votes of those completely happy to be racist – old people.

But that was then. The past five years has given the bogan every chance to engage in Hanson’s very public rehabilitation, as the trashmedia, short of anything it could legitimately call ‘celebrities’ settled for people that were at least ‘recognisable’. Midway through realising that her 2004 attempt to re-enter federal politics was doomed, she instead opted to fail more generally at life, by featuring on Dancing with the Stars. Immediately sensing the chance to ‘forgive’ a ‘celebrity’, the bogan instantly propelled her to the final, only to be confronted by a choice between a forgiven Hanson and an ascendant Hewitt.

After that, Hanson released an autobiography called Untamed and Unashamed, two things the bogan, rebellious Underbelly viewer that it is, certainly considers itself to be. Less mentioned is Hanson’s earlier book called The Truth, which suggested that Aborigines routinely engaged in cannibalism. Nonetheless, Hanson’s journey to bogan forgiveness is now complete, as she competes alongside a series of utterly failed semi-public figures in Celebrity Apprentice, a program that is effectively designed to see which low-rent, feckless Australian is most willing to debase themselves in order to garner a few more moments in the public eye.

Today, Pauline Hanson is comfortably ensconced in the bogan pantheon, with a lifetime of income to be drawn from her continued public exposure for no reason beyond the fact that the bogan recognises her. Once, she was (allegedly) driven to electoral fraud in order to make a crust, but from now on, she may suckle on the nourishing, engorged teat of the bogan’s ignorance. And she will.

#248 – Bashing Hippie Skulls

24 10 2011

The bogan, as we have well learned by now, has an astonishingly broad vocabulary with which to insult other bogans. All of these words tend to coalesce around a euphemism for homosexual, of course, but the myriad ways that the bogan can suggest homosexuality (the fact that homosexuality is an insult is implicit) boggle the mind. When insulting non-bogans, however, the insults tend to be limited variations on sipping/quaffing milk with their coffee or sipping/quaffing white wine from the grape ‘chardonnay’. Or calling them hippies. Bogans hate hippies.

As the political class have increasingly courted the bogan over successive generations, and the corporate world has become more sophisticated in persuading the bogan to act against its own interests, we live in a world today of growing income inequality. Meanwhile bogans remain the prime beneficiaries of the explosion in welfare payments that do little to even out income inequality.

Thus, the ‘occupy’ movement sprung up. Originating in New York as an inchoate response to corporate influence on the political process, it was co-opted (as these things always are) by many and varied disgruntled protest groups who feel the need to piggyback their drive for pushing the socialist alternative on everyone else. In Melbourne’s city square, the largest of these movements resulted in a small tent city of disparate protest movements all loosely confederated around a hatred of ‘the man’. Members of these groups tend to have dreadlocks. Unless the locker of said dreads be black, nothing spells ‘hippie’ to the bogan more than dreadlocks and/or fisherman’s pants. Ipso facto, these protests were the purview of hippies and everything they stand for is uniformly incorrect.

Meanwhile, the monumental political failure that is Robert Doyle sniffed the wind. Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, having failed at every other political office he even considered standing for, realised that these people were hippies and a bogan windfall could be won by having his stormtroopers crack some heads.

The bogan, need it be repeated, is comfortably ensconced in its cocoon of normalcy. The bogan has its quarter-acre, its IKEA furniture, its large car and its porn collection, all designed to allow it to exist in such a way that it never interacts with those it finds unlike itself. Thus, it is offended by the existence of those unwashed and dissimilar who insist on appearing in public places where they cannot be easily ignored. Seeing Melbourne Police arrive in riot gear and comprehensively pound the living crap out of these people who were breaking no law is thus deeply satisfying to the bogan, which can then turn back to the news and listen to the report on how many police were injured in the operation. It will not hear that they were injured by their own capsicum spray. And it likes it that way.

Boganomics: Maxximising the Bogan Opportunity

19 10 2011

Marketers should never, ever view the bogan as a problem. The bogan is an amazing opportunity. Other market segments marketers deal with are likely to be more discerning, more logical, and more restrained. When faced with the chance to pitch to the bogan, the opportunity needs to be maximised to the power of max.

Bogan marketing: novice level

The basic view of marketing involves making your product stand out amongst competitors, and appealing to the target audience in a way that makes the audience more likely to plump for your product instead of something that isn’t your product. Take, for example, a hungry bogan. One who wishes to plump for its own plumpness.

As portrayed in the above diagram, a marketing strategist for KFC aspires to instruct the bogan that it should not go to the supermarket, nor should it sample fine dining, go to a competitor, or go and do something about its waistline. Instead of any of these things, the bogan is to want a delicious Zinger burger. The easiest way to do this is to apply as many of the X factors as possible from our proprietary X-factor bogan wrangling model.

Bogan marketing: intermediate level

The novice marketer to the bogan may think that he or she has done a wonderful job by convincing the bogan that it should eat a Zinger burger at KFC. In truth, the marketer’s performance has been woeful, considering the opportunity it was presented with. The bogan has little capacity to differentiate its wants from its needs, and its own opinions from those opinions which it is instructed to possess. A higher level of bogan marketer appreciates these facts, and will use them to achieve a higher level of success.

The intermediate level bogan marketing diagram demonstrates the ability to make the bogan choose KFC for its burger, and then inform the bogan that it also needs something else in order for the Zinger burger to be truly satisfying. This can be done by packaging the products together, and calling it “deluxe”, or “value”. The bogan will never evaluate whether the package of products is indeed deluxe or good value, so there is no need to discount or add quality. When packaging the products together, the bogan marketer should consult the X-factor model to ensure that the package comes in a brightly branded carry box. Another highly effective method is informing the bogan that the deluxe value meal, while comprised of three regular menu items, is available for a limited time only.

 Bogan marketing: advanced level

The bogan marketer who has achieved the intermediate level of upselling, packaging, or expanding the bogan’s perceptions of its needs has reason to feel proud of their work. A marketer at this level is likely to be promoted to middle management, and go on to forge a solid career assisting the bogan in believing that marketing and advertising is an instrument that helps the bogan, not controls it. If, however, the marketer wishes to progress to the top of the tree, they need to abandon any quaint idea that they work with the bogan, instead embracing a gloriously depraved hegemony over the bogan’s hopes and dreams.

The diagram for the advanced level of bogan marketing shows that the bogan’s hunger should not be acknowledged by the marketer. Hunger for food can generally be satiated for $15 or less, and the bogan has more bucks than that. These bucks are the rightful property of the marketer, and need to be removed from the bogan promptly. The advanced level bogan marketer interprets the bogan’s hunger not as a hunger for food, but as a hunger for consumption. For example, a bogan marketer with multiple clients should include a plug for an iPhone app in its KFC advertisement, an app which would allow the bogan to summon a Zinger burger to its couch with little more than a wave of its finger. Now that the bogan is thinking about the benefits of advanced telephony, it is ripe to be sold a poor value, multi-year phone contract with an overloaded telco. This phone advertisement needs to follow the KFC advertisement swiftly, before the bogan forgets what it has been told it wants.

Stage one complete, the elite bogan marketer will conjure up a nonsensical branding alliance between the phone retailer and the provider of dubious and extremely expensive medical suppliers who promise that they will allow the bogan to have maxtreme sex. The branding alliance does not need to make any sense at all – the bogan is still hungry, confused, and its credit card is warmed from previous swiping. An equally meaningless connection can be then made to a car manufacturer, via a method such as an “everyone wins something” raffle or lottery, where the bogan’s supplied contact details are then used to pepper it with any number of unrelated marketing schemes. The bogan’s hunger has continued to grow, and the idea of a fast car to get it to a feeding venue is likely to be of appeal.

At this point, the bogan’s bucks are likely to be exhausted, along with its various lines of credit. A $15 hunger has been completely ignored by the advanced level marketer, who merely viewed it as the soft underbelly of a cash chamber worth approximately $45,000. The chamber thus emptied, this zen level marketer can choose to retire to the Bahamas. If, however, the marketer has become so hooked on exploiting the bogan that they can derive joy from nothing else, he or she can then sell a 26% interest “Deluxe platinum” credit card to the bogan, because the bogan is still hungry, and Zinger burgers ain’t free.

#247 – Gig Photography

10 10 2011

We may have figured this out. For all the talk, posturing and driving down inner-urban streets with all four windows down and the sonic enema of David Guetta emitting at NASA-like frequencies, the bogan does not actually like music. It has an underdeveloped Morrissey gland. Sure, it responds, Pavlovian bivalve that it is, to rave whistles and sub-bass rumblings, but things like ‘rhythm’ and ‘melody’ may well do no more than cause the bogan confusion.

So, why? Why would the bogan so studiously be such a big music fan, to the point that it actually likes ‘ on Facebook. Not an individual artist or band, but ‘Music’? Our thousand monkeys experts at the Boganomics Institute in Genève have, after several billion hours of rigorous testing, nutted this problem out. The bogan, knowing that everyone else ‘gets’ this music caper, must fit in. It must, on pain of social exclusion, give the appearance of enjoying the mundane bleatings of Michael Bublé and, by extension, encourage the musical abortion that is Human Nature. It must undergo the trauma of indie rock gigs to prove its bona fides. This, of course, explains why the bogan is incapable of attending these gigs without resorting to shouted conversations and the occasional punch-on.

However, these are bogans we’re talking about, and subtlety is not their strong suit. The bogan would not waste time listening to music simply to enjoy music, but to establish its street cred. So, beyond the aforementioned musical drive-bys and Facebook posturing, how can the bogan prove that it is a music fan? By taking photos, of course.

Having established that the bogan is unlikely to frequent live music performances for the pleasure of witnessing live music, it becomes easily understandable that the bogan’s true purpose for being there is to stand front and centre, raise their iPhone above the crowd, in order to get a blurry, diagonal capture of half of Kings of Leon’s lighting rig, and a flurry that could possibly be their bassist’s hand, and start snapping. And snapping.

In Phuket, the bogan is perfectly happy to enjoy the experience of getting smashed on buckets of beer and errantly identifying ladyboys while only taking the occasional snapshot. The experience of live music, however, is lost on it, so attempting to create a visual record of its attendance, and uploading it – post-haste – to Facebook becomes of paramount importance. Forward-thinking bogans may even upload a Twitpic or two while still at the gig, adding reams of bogan musical veracity to its already bulging resume of forgotten, but recorded, concerts.

The Facebook photo album ‘Kings of Leon Awsum!’ rapidly assumes equivalent importance to other albums demonstrating the bogan’s max clubbing skillz such as ‘Friday Night OMG!!!1!’, ‘Boutique Fridayz!!!’ and, of course, the unforgettable ‘Friday Night with the Girlz!!!’. The only real difference between these undifferentiated dark blobs of pixels is that three contain elevated images of poorly arranged cleavage, while the other (un)focuses on a brightly lit stage 40 metres away. The bogan now understands music.

Boganomics Excerpt: Choose Your Own Bogan Adventure

3 10 2011

With the threatened release of our new book, Boganomics, drawing ever closer, it has become time for us to whet your collective appetite with some choice snippets to be drawn from one of the 12 chapters contained therein. Today, let’s open up with a taste from our chapter on the bogan’s love of music and nightlife:

Choose your own bogan nightclub adventure

For this exercise the reader must put themself in the bogan’s shoes.

You step onto the footpath outside ‘ViperSnake’ nightclub. It is 11.30 p.m. on a Saturday evening and you have spent the previous few hours at the local pub, consuming a range of sugary and caffeine-enhanced alcoholic beverages and wailing along with poor timing to all the Whoooa-ohs and the Yeeeeah-eeaahs of the resident cover band. Those remaining acquaintances who have not already become overly intoxicated/embroiled in fights or forced to go home/to the hospital/to the police station join you at the club.

1. Upon arrival at the club’s entrance you are greeted with a long line, at the head of which stands a very enticing velvet rope. You are more important than the average person because your cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s sister knows someone who was once on Big Brother, and this level of celebrity entitles you to jump the queue as you are probably on ‘the list’. If you wish to: slum it with the regular folk for a change, go to part 2; push in, go to part 3.

2. A lengthy spell spent peering around those in front of you in order to catch a glimpse of the velvet rope has left you thirsty and impatient. You head to the bar for refreshments only to find yet another queue, this one without a velvet rope to encourage orderly behaviour. If you are: sick of waiting in lines, go to part 3; willing to wait your turn, go to part 4.

3. You have picked the wrong person to push in on: another, larger bogan. Yelling quickly turns to posturing, and then grill-getting-up-in. Your flight-or-fight response is heavily weighted toward fight at the best of times, let alone after a few drinks. The larger bogan easily accounts for you in an emotionless display of violence. You end up sprawled, semiconscious, on the footpath. Game over. You lose.

4. After repeatedly waving a $50 note under the barperson’s nose eventually proves an effective method of gaining their attention, you order a round of Jägerbombs. You consume yours in a heroic manner, punctuating this with a hearty Whooo-hooo while raising your glass aloft triumphantly. But then, as you look around the venue, an anxious feeling suddenly comes over you. This place seems pretty good, but you begin to question whether or not, maybe, the people are more celeb, the beats sicker and the drinks more explosive at some other club. You fear you are not having the most maxtreme time possible. If you wish to: leave and seek greener pastures, go to part 1; stay, go to part 5.

5. You decide to cut a lap of the place to check things out. It is extremely crowded, requiring you to push your way through the crowd, thereby inconveniencing the entire patronage of the club. You persist, regardless of the fact that you’re not going anywhere in particular. As you conclude your lap a stranger offers you a random blue pill at the low cost of $40. If you wish to: take it, got to part 6; politely decline, go to part 7.

6. You soon lose control of your bodily functions. You end up sprawled, semiconscious, on the footpath. Game over. You lose.

7. Having decided to stick to the liquor, you head back to the bar and conquer another Jägerbomb before going to check out the DJ. The DJ’s booth is sectioned off with velvet rope. You spend a few minutes peering beyond the rope, wondering what it would be like to be on the other side. Then the DJ starts playing a song that you don’t recognise from any Ministry of Sound compilations. That anxious feeling comes over you again. If you want to: leave this club and seek greener pastures, go to part 1; go out for a cigarette, go to part 8.

8. You head out the door you so recently waited in line to enter. You see someone smoking and ask to bum a cigarette … and a light. You have neither, because you only smoke when you’re ‘out’. You scoff at a few sad losers sprawled on the footpath, obviously either unable to handle their liquor or handle themselves in a fight. You are feeling pretty wasted and tired yourself by now. Do you: hop in a cab and call it a night, go to part 9; persist, go to part 10.

9. Conveniently, you see a cab pulling up. As you step to its door, someone else has the same idea. You want this cab, and you go for it. Go to part 3.

10. Persistence is the key to success, you tell yourself. More Jägerbombs sees you thoroughly intoxicated. Go to part 6.


#246 – Tax Refunds

29 09 2011

It has happened since the dawn of time. In 1854. Taxation issues caused ancestral bogans to attack police in an unsuccessful revolt on the Victorian goldfields. The tax paid on discovered gold was deemed by the miners to be excessive, and they wanted it back. They wanted a tax refund. They did not get a tax refund. The subsequent 16 decades have, in a large part, been dedicated to the bogan getting square.

In modern Australia, income tax is deducted from a worker’s salary at a rate that, all other things being equal, should result in the person neither underpaying or overpaying tax throughout the year. This system entitles the bogan to bark about the perpetual and limitless misuse of its taxpayer dollars. This very nearly makes sense, so it is not meaningful to the bogan.

While British colonists in North America 350 years ago lobbied for political change (and led to the American Revolution) with the slogan “no taxation without representation”, the bogan, being the ambitious parasite it is, has higher aims. While the bogan will reluctantly have tax deducted from its monthly salary, it agrees solely on the condition that all of this money, and more, is returned to it at the end of the financial year. Also, it wants infinitely maxtreme levels of political clout at all times. “No taxation, yes representation”.

A recent survey reported that 89% of people expected to receive a tax refund from the 2010-11 financial year. From this, we can deduce that at least 11% of Australians are not bogans. The remainder comprises people who genuinely warrant refunds, people who have successfully defrauded a pathway to a refund, and a large horde of bogans who are smirking on borrowed time. In the weeks and months after June 30, Australia’s towns and cities rattle from the shrill cry of bogans opening their ATO envelopes. Birds flap from their perches on sandstone cathedrals. “Where’s the refuuuuund?!?”, complaineth the bogan, upon receiving a cheque for a mere $400 to offset unspecified and highly dubious expenses. The bogan knows that it paid thousands in tax over the year, and continues to ponder this injustice as it drives down the smooth, four lane road to chemist. A script for PBS-subsidised Ritalin is collected for little Thailaar, who is on her third warning at a private school mostly funded by the government.

An angry phone call to the creative accountant later that day involves a slew of incompatible accusations about the accountant’s level of ability, coupled with a demand that the tax return be filed again, getting it “right this time”. Because the bogan is acutely aware of its Bill of Rights, it therefore knows what is right, and that it has a right not to pay bills. Conceding that bogans (particularly those in marginal electorates) are indeed right, parties on both sides of the political fence are profoundly reluctant to reduce any tax deductibility loopholes frequently used by bogans. Furthermore, new ways to offset income tax miraculously appear near election time, confirming that, Eureka! – the bogan is right.