#58 – Hugh Hefner

6 01 2010

In your more private moments, you probably enjoy looking at some porn. The animalistic, overplayed instant gratification world of adult entertainment can be a (re)productive escape. The bogan is not like you. It wants to experience this world at all times. The internet has made porn footage easily accessible, but the bogan females wanted something more “tasteful” to communicate their raunchy life-vision at the shopping centre and the pub. As a result, they turned to the sexual fantasies of an 83 year old American man. Try to not vomit in your mouths as we explain how this is a manifestation of… feminism. Of all things.

There have long been two opposing camps in the feminist movement, one arguing that pornography was degrading, and one arguing that it advanced a woman’s freedom of expression and sexuality. Without being aware of this, the bogan female has decisively sided with the movement that best allows it to be crass. Some commentators have attempted to apply the lofty metaphor of women “repossessing the oppressive world of porn and making it their own”, but this gives too much credit to the thought process of the female bogan.

We already know that the bogan has a clumsy, manic sense of sexuality. It craves the ‘x-treme’, indulging it through faux-lesbianism, the use of expensive and brightly coloured props, the viewing of hardcore porn, or other gimmicks. The same primal appeal lies in the expansive, glittering faux-tough branding of “couture” clothing such as Ed Hardy. It has taken a rickety octogenarian to merge these two bogan loves, feeding smut and glitter into his finely tuned bogan and redneck merchandising machine, and miraculously churning out a feminist statement at the other end. The Playboy brand has transformed itself in the mind of the female bogan from ‘crude’ to ‘cheeky’, a delineation that the bogan has little grasp of.

Today, every second bogan female can be seen tottering around as walking billboards for Hefner’s concept of sexy. Playboy has created a wide range of mid-priced, prominently branded products for all facets of the female bogan’s life, and they have been purchased in abundance. A cover for her iPhone? Sure. A whale tail frame for her tramp stamp? Yep. In HER more private moments, she closes her eyes and imagines seductively feeding a cluster of Viagra tablets to Hugh Hefner in the playboy mansion, like a Roman peasant with a bunch of grapes for her emperor. A truly liberated feminist.

#57 – New Year’s Eve

5 01 2010

Much like the rest of us, the bogan enjoys heading out for a night of fun and frolicking, unencumbered by the inhibitions that alcohol has the glorious ability to strip from our nocturnal selves. However, that is frequently the point where the similarity between the modern bogan and, well, everyone else, ends. The bogan, in its quest to do everything ‘to the extreme’, will invariably wind up putting away fifteen Jagerbombs before closing out the night with a Tequila Suicide and a couple of ambiguously identified pills.

And there is no greater opportunity for the bogan to indulge in this kind of behaviour than on the 365th night of the year. New Year’s Eve is, quite naturally, associated with various forms of overindulgence for almost everyone, and hence to do it in a dangerously epic fashion is something of an annual rite-of-passage for most bogans. Originally, the bogan was unfussed by the where and how of its yearly binge of self-destruction, but, as the nouveau-bogan trends became clear, and police began to worry about the number of foreigners being brutally beaten, the move to push bogans indoors gained momentum.

Naturally, canny publicans have latched on to this phenomenon, and begun offering ‘tickets’ to attend their ‘NYE parties’, which tend to involve, well, a pretty normal night out, but with a price tag of $250, and the ability to co-mingle with a couple of hundred other bogans. The bogan will then proceed to drink $80 of alcohol and eat three spring rolls. Sometimes, an actual event is organised, offering a litany of bogan clichés, generally revolving around DJs that one may have heard mention of at last year’s NYE function, a failed rock band, loads of extremely drunk femme-bogans, and a venue that for 364 other days, furiously avoids the clientele it, for once, deigns to attract.

The bogan, presented with the option of paying an excessive amount of money for something it could ordinarily have for nothing, is drawn, like a moth to the glowing blue death-light, to these inner-city locales, looking to get laid. Of course, by 1am, it is clear that, in its horrifically inebriated state, getting laid is unlikely, and hence it will take to the streets with its posse, looking for Indians to bash.

Or, there is Sensation™. Or Falls Festival, giving the bogan the chance to combine massive overindulgence with ruining gigs for everyone else.

The bogan then awakes, feeling furry, in an unidentified bed, and begins groggily preparing for the new annual bogan tradition: New Year’s day. No longer does the massiveness of one night satisfy the bogans’ urge to ‘go hard’ and be seen to ‘go hard’. No, today, there are festivals, held on the day after the night before, that tend to involve many huge bogans wearing white singlets and sucking on Chupa-Chups, bearing the occasional femme-bogan on their shoulders in a manner reminiscent of various South American primates.

The bogan cannot ruin this festival. It already sucked.

#56 – The Post-Christmas Sales

4 01 2010

The weeks leading up to Christmas were expensive but pleasurable for the bogan. Many bogans get drawn into the endless loop of trying to outdo their other relatives in terms of the scale, shininess, or brand naminess of their gifts. This, predictably enough, was funded by interest free credit card debt at a competitive 20% interest per year. Christmas Day came, the gifts were exchanged, the sugary parts of the Chrisco hamper were consumed, and bogans nationwide retired to their beds on the evening of the 25th, exhausted, broke, and contented.

This period of contentment lasted from 11pm on December 25, to 3am on December 26, when the bogan female pounced out of bed, a glimmer in its eye. Shopping time. The Boxing Day sales at department stores were due to start as little as two hours hence, and it is of vital importance to the bogan female that it heads the waiting throng. Once upon a time, Boxing day was associated with hosting alternate family gatherings, relaxing at the park with friends and loved ones, or getting kicked out of bay 13 at the cricket. Today however, it is entirely, resolutely, tied in with spending immense amounts of money for products no one needs at surprisingly negligible discounts.

The clock ticked past 6am. The lights were on in the store, there were employees milling around in there, but the doors remained closed. The bogans were growing increasingly agitated, united in their outrage at having their consumption delayed by tens of seconds. At 6:02, two security guards approached the doors from inside, and began instructing the bogan mob in how to gracefully enter the shopping centre.

Without warning, a particularly ox-like bogan female barreled at the door, and the security guards soon relented. The bogans surged, foaming at the mouth and desperately snatching at any item within a 2 metre radius of a sign saying “(up to) 70% OFF!” Skinny bogans wriggled their way between the fat ones, tall ones reached over the top, and the fat ones jutted their ample rumps outwards to create a quivering exclusion zone around the precious discounts.

On Boxing Day, the gladiatorial bogan is able to fight to impulse purchase items it does not want, at prices that are cheaper than what it won’t pay. It justifies this on the basis of being broke from Christmas, necessitating frugality, and any discount is by virtue of its discounted nature, a saving.  While all of the things it set out to purchase are either not on sale or already gone, the bogan is determined to not leave this feeding frenzy empty handed.

At 8:45am, the bogan limps out of David Jones, sporting a black eye, a torn t-shirt, and a David Jones bag containing an electric mango slicer, a Von Dutch bumbag, and a set of carving knives by a company it has never heard of, and can not pronounce. And only $220 poorer.

#55 – Chrisco Hampers

24 12 2009

“After months of excited waiting, it’s finally arrived. OMG. A massive hamper full of festive goodness from Chrisco! Sure it’s a couple of weeks later than they said it’d be, but kids, come quickly – our magical Christmas is saved!”

This has been the triumphal squawk emanating from bogan nests around Australia as, one by one, they receive their big baskets of shit. After years of piously soothing advertisements from a middle aged woman with a vague resemblance to Mrs Claus, bogan families have fallen for Chrisco en masse. With festive food hampers ranging from $370 to a galling $1250, this clever company has somehow convinced bogans that waiting to have a massive basket of easily available foodstuffs sent to them is better than immediately getting the actual items they want from the supermarket up the road at half the price.

The key to the appeal of Chrisco is the idea of making direct debit installments all year, in order to have the hamper arrive for FREE* sometime in December. Clearly, this is a gift from the good people at Chrisco, massive earlier investment notwithstanding. As the bogan appears willing to invest $210 over 9 months in order to have a slab of Bundy and Coke appear magically on its doorstep, Chrisco appears willing to make enormous profits from their gullibility.

As the bogan ‘plans its finances’ in advance, it allows Chrisco to sit on a lucrative mountain of bogan bucks for months before it has to actually purchase inventory for the hampers sometime in October. In order to deal with pesky questions about value, Chrisco sincerely informs the bogan about the stresses and strains that abound when navigating the supermarket in December, as though there’s some kind of bogan demilitarized zone between the dairy aisle and the turkey fridge. Instead, it’s OK. Chrisco is here to help. Thank heavens for Chrisco.

The Chrisco company originally formed in the UK, where it was moderately successful. While Britain is riddled with boganesque , the founders recognised that, with its apparently far more limited grasp of accounting, the bogan populace in the antipodes could make them rich beyond their wildest imaginings. They moved to New Zealand, and from there, the company crossed the Tasman to storm the main bogan stronghold in 1997. Today, it fleeces over a million bogans per year, and turns over a cool quarter billion. This phenomenal cash harvesting often goes unnoticed, as Chrisco is a seasonal business without prominent shopfronts, and bogans rarely read anything with numbers.

In late 2007, a systems failure caused the company to fail to deliver thousands of hampers prior to Christmas, which made the bogans both furious and elated. Furious, because they had to go to the supermarket to chance their luck at Checkpoint Charlie. Elated, because it allowed them to conduct furious vox pops with 22 year-old Today Tonight reporters about a new, and enormous, rort. However, while bogan rage is intense, a crippled attention span causes it to also be brief. A month later, the bogans in question had already signed up for an extortionate 43 week installment plan for Christmas 2008. This is the distillation of everything that bogans love about buying things.

Like some kind of retarded Friedmanite, the bogan views Chrisco as a good deal. This is the bogan economy. In the belief that if something is paid for in installments, and purchased in bulk, it must be sensible commerce, the bogan parts with $4.70 a week. For 10 months. To get a slab of Bundy and Cokes and a towel.

As presented on their website, though, the hampers appear full to the brim with discounted factory seconds. This mass of consumerism tends to cause an eye twitch in many of us however, and we can find the ludicrous price/image conflation confusing. But it’s OK, TBL is here to help. Here is a breakdown of a couple of the simplest beverage hampers on offer:

Coca Cola Hamper:

Contains 2 slabs of coke (supermarket value $35), and a promotional beach towel, hat, Frisbee, and bag. Typically this stuff is only a few bucks each (or free) when coke puts a promotion on, because it’s basically advertising.

Chrisco price: $137.80, or ONLY $3.21 PER WEEK! Only $3 a week for all that cokey Christmassy goodness? Thanks for the 300% markup, Chrisco, Christmas will be magical!

Beers of the World Hamper:

Contains six 6-packs of mid-priced beer (supermarket value $15 each, total $90), and a 5 litre mini keg of Heineken (supermarket value $30).

Chrisco price: $202.80, or ONLY $4.73 PER WEEK! Only $3 a week for all that beery Christmassy goodness? Thanks, Chrisco, for only charging $80 for delivery. Christmas will be magical!

This is the most genius company in Australia. And bogans bend over and take it with a smile. Merry Christmas to you all.

TBL is going to take a break for a week, as we sit back, drink some hard-earned local label beer in a little-known inner city haunt while wearing ironic T-shirts. We will then head out and conduct some primary research into bogan mating season (i.e. New Year’s Eve), and return in 2010 with renewed anger, renewed vitriol, and a renewed mission to bring to you, the people, the truth behind the bogan menace. Merry Christmas!

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

#54 – Thailand

23 12 2009

The recent proliferation of discount airfares has seen the rise of the wise, well-travelled bogan. Five years ago, Bali was the best place to observe herds of shirtless, migratory bogans in the wild, but the rise of terrorism in Indonesia, Schapelle Corby’s well-publicised failure as an importer/exporter, and the entry of Jetstar into the Australia-Thailand route has seen a new habitat emerge. Motivated by the lure of cheap alcohol, spicy foods (ordered ‘mild’), and sexploitation, the bogan has embraced Bangkok, Phuket, and that full moon place as its modern spiritual retreat.

Thailand is close enough for the bogan to leave its nest at dawn, read the latest movie readapted to novel or watch Anchorman, and land in time to be slurping from a bucket by evening. Much like the Contiki tour, Thailand allows the bogan to believe it is having an exotic cultural experience, while speaking English, interacting only with other bogans (hopefully including British and Scandinavian bogans) and engaging in activities they engage in at home abroad.

Safely ensconced in a Phuket tourist resort or an Australian themed bar, the bogan can drink near toxic amounts of cheap beer, “get bronzed,” eat spring rolls, adorn itself with braids, tramp stamp or tribal tattoos, and watch Anchorman again. The more adventurous bogan can have its photo taken sitting on an elephant, have its photo taken in front of a temple, or have its photo taken posing shirtless and sunburnt on a generic beach.

At the end of the week, the Bogan can round out its travel experience with its fourth visit to the Khao San Road tourist pit, where they can interact with impoverished locals for the purpose of methodically screwing them out of $1.30 of the $1.40 profit margin in their fake sunglasses’ starting price. Invariably, one of the items purchased is a beer singlet for itself or a loved one to wear at the gym back home. Other items regularly witnessed by Jetstar cabin crew include Buddhist iconography, stolen bar mat(s), painfully idealistic (and often misspelled or erroneously translated) tattoos in the local language, bogus high fashion brands, and a new found capacity for credible racism.

Once home, the bogan will get mild Thai food delivered to their next house party, enthusiastically regaling attendees with its bucket guzzling exploits through a mouthful of Pad Thai. The worldly bogan will employ its one word Thai vocabulary to attempt to say thank you to the food delivery guy, even though he’s an engineering student from Delhi.

#53 – Their Pre-baby Weight

22 12 2009

It is increasingly apparent that bogans have a love of two distinct, but closely related things: celebrities (i.e. reading about, looking at, listening to, talking about, imitating etc.) and the appearance of health (i.e. thin (f) or huge (m)). And nowhere do these things collide more violently than in the guise of a post-natal bogan woman.

The logic, as the bogan understands it, is undeniable. Fat is unhealthy. Carrying a living being in your womb for nine months will tend to result in substantial weight gain. Ergo, childbearing is an inherently unhealthy thing whose effects must be reversed as rapidly and drastically as possible once the responsible offspring are removed and placental remains mopped up.

This belief is consistently reinforced as bogans gather to discuss the varying successes of relevant celebrity mothers who, with their vast fortunes, excessive spare time and cameras constantly aimed at their thighs, manage to lose about 30kgs within the week following childbirth. Seeing as, according to the bulk of the bogan mother’s reading material, celebrities are ‘just like us’, it is no stretch to imagine that this is how the body is supposed to work.

Thus, the bogan automatically reverts to a diet of shakes, egg whites and broccoli stems for three months, purchases a jogging stroller and effectively starves itself in an effort to return to the hallowed ‘pre-baby weight’. The true ideal, of course, is to actually revert to a weight that is lower than the week they neglected to take the pill. By this, they attain true celebrity status within their new mothers’ club – the most viciously competitive environment on Earth.

In an effort to defeat their rivals, these new bogan mothers will simultaneously deny themselves food while lactating furiously to empty their soon-to-be stretchmark-free mammary glands. At which point they can resume referring to them by their proper name, boobs. While almost all bogans have the desire to achieve this, many lack the will. The next best thing is to gaze longingly at New Idea and Woman’s Day, pining for the days that they featured in the liftouts in the middle of the street presses, pouting from behind a flirtini.

#52 – Telethons

21 12 2009

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 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.


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