#51 – Tribal Tattoos

18 12 2009

Much the same as a herd of warring goats, bogans closely associate success and social prominence with pursuits relating to physical prowess. Finding a convenient way to channel the spirit of the gladiator in order to become the alpha of their town or suburb can be critical to the self-worth of the bogan. The bogan has a vague awareness that over the millennia, there have probably been thousands of brave feats of killing things performed by warrior-like people. But, opening a book to figure out what, where, and when can be quite threatening. Thousands of bogans have discovered that a quick and effective way to appropriate the battle markings of this imagined warrior is through a tribal tattoo.

Tribal tattoos serve another important function for the bogan; they actually allow it to convince itself that it is culturally and artistically aware. Because tribes are probably from some other culture, the bogan becomes proud of its open-mindedness and ability to embrace the thuggish tendencies of an abstract people from another era and/or community. By doing so, the bogan displays tolerance and acceptance of all people, and deeply connects with the cosmos.

Secondly, tribal tattooing allows the bogan to express its artistic ability. The bogan enjoys being able, upon enquiry about its tattoo, to state that he/she “designed it myself”. Designing a tribal tattoo requires the capacity to draw up to 60 arced or swirled lines with no defined spatial or thematic structure, and to then pass it off as inspired expression. Just as this was within the capacity of the glistening trail of a snail on a slab of hot concrete, the bogan is also able to triumph in this endeavour. Jagged lines in the design depict battle-readiness, hardness, and other unspecified warrior traits.

The bogan male is aware that a tribal tattoo is best displayed on a broad, warrior-like piece of flesh. Some bogans will achieve this through making their biceps huge at the gym, while others will eat more fatty food than they ever should. The female bogan also expresses interest in acquiring tribal markings, though generally in the form of a tramp stamp.

By expressing itself through the permanent application of a tangle of unintelligible and meaningless lines to its body, the bogan attains the status of artist, creator, warrior, and, perhaps most importantly, suitable breeding partner.

#50 – Discount Airlines

17 12 2009

The bogan is no longer restricted to holidaying within a 5 hour Commodore journey of its nest, and it can thank a ginger Englishman for this fact. Now the whole family can whisk itself to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, or some other coast with a well-funded regional tourist body that pitches effectively to the bogan’s needs. It can even get to ‘countries’ like Bali, Phuket, and other places where there are poor people to haggle with for hair braids. Australia’s first discount airline in the modern era was launched in 2000, and Virgin Blue quickly acquired the loyalty of the bogan with its blend of lower prices and titillating hostesses.

Qantas soon realised that the bogan no longer aspired to board the flying Kangaroo, and subsequently launched Jetstar in 2004, with its blend of even lower prices and Magda Szubanski’s less persuasive visual charms. To conclude this race to the bottom, Tiger entered the market in 2007, boasting the lowest prices yet, and some scrubbers that the bogan had never heard of. This did not deter the bogan though, as anyone who has had the misfortune of being situated in a Tiger departure lounge can attest.

The discount airline business model involves stripping airline travel down to the basics, and passing the savings onto the customer. While the bogan generally desires to live like a celebrity, it is very receptive to the idea of getting somewhere really cheaply. This is where the bogan’s logic fails on two different levels that it seems unaware of. Firstly, it expects celebrity service at bargain prices. If the discount flight is 30 minutes late, a small cluster of bogans can be seen gesticulating maniacally at the service desk, an act which is likely to make the subsequent flight 45 minutes late. The bogans’ flat nasal yowl reverberates across the departure lounge, prompting other bogans to begin howling like a neighbourhood of cross-eyed dogs while the bogan children replenish their tear ducts with 500ml energy drinks. Due to incidents such as this, the Bali to Brisbane Jetstar flight on Sunday afternoons has come to be known as the “bogan bus”.

Secondly, the bogan has saved TWENTY SEVEN DOLLARS on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney at dinner time this Saturday, flying Tiger instead of Qantas at 9am Wednesday. Let’s break it down, shall we?

#49 – Faux Lesbianism

16 12 2009

Almost everything the bogan does revolves around drawing attention to itself. Be it the highest hair, the most garish Ed Hardy t-shirt, the most fluorescent laces on its shiny new Dunlop Volleys, the biggest guns or the largest sunglasses, the bogan is living a constant audition to be a contestant on Big Brother. In particular, the bogan has a narrower focus on attracting the attention of the opposite sex.

As this sartorial and behavioural arms race continues to escalate, ambitious bogans are being forced to revert to ever-more outrageous activities in order to stand out. While the male bogan continues to embrace sheer muscular bulk and gaudy attire, his female counterpart has realised that the male couldn’t give two shits about what she was wearing. She had to stand out by emphasising her sexual availability.

This is not as easy as it once was. In the early days, it was a simple matter of wearing revealing clothes, which is harmless enough. Then came the commodification of Playboy, entrenching in the bogan mind a notion of the feminine ideal that spawned from the syphilis-ridden mind of an 83 year old lothario. But shortly thereafter, bogans discovered internet porn, and Pandora’s box was well and truly opened.

Suddenly, the male bogan’s definition of ‘sexy’ devolved to one of two definitions: “fake-tittied blonde copping a tag team from a pair of oversized bouncers/porn stars” or “chicks making out/strapping on.” In the absence of societal acceptance of breaking out sex toys in public, bogan girls began slamming their tongues down each others’ throats with an enthusiasm that their potential paramours found all the more intoxicating for its insecurity and desperation. It gets even better as it allows the bogan to promote the appearance of the acceptance of homosexuality without ever having to condone two guys, you know, doing it. Or ugly chicks.

Today, the faux-lesbian encounter tends to happen about five cruisers into a 10 cruiser and half-bottle of Jack Daniels night. The bogan male, stalking its appealingly tandem prey, waits until many more of those 10 cruisers have disappeared, before making its move. Gently, wordlessly, he guides the now-malleable faux-lesbian femme bogans to an upstairs bedroom, before attempting to perform an (albeit confusing) one-man Chinese finger trap on one or both. All too often, the evening ends with the male bogan covertly performing The Stranger on itself in a nearby carpark.

#48 – The Corbys

15 12 2009

In 2004, Schapelle Corby was a blue eyed, moderately attractive Gold Coast TAFE student. A 20-something girl with a remixed name, dodgy family, and a tendency to go to Bali for holidays. An exemplary new bogan. Things went badly wrong for her when she was convicted by Indonesian authorities for smuggling 4.2kg of cannabis into Bali. Bogans back in Australia were outraged, and Today Tonight/ACA realised that a major meal ticket had arrived. The other thing that arrived was a white Mercedes with an oversized front grill and a high pitched screech emanating from its throat.

The bogan is a fiercely tribal creature, neatly tucking its selective disregard for truth into the pseudo-noble Australiana slogan of “standing by your mates”. This egocentric “us versus them” mentality permits the bogan to violate the laws of other jurisdictions whenever and however it wants, declaring foreign countries “un-Australian” whenever problems occur.

At these times, the Australian Government is supposed to spring into diplomatic overdrive to extricate the sullen bogan from the consequences of its willfully ignorant alleged actions. An opportunistic celebrity lawyer will work pro bono to coach the bogan on crying, temporarily converting to Islam, or other methods with a chance of perverting justice. The fortunate bogan eventually comes home to a hero’s welcome and a lucrative “tell all” ACA interview, having not learned a single thing (aside from the crying). All of this overrides the simple fact that the bogan in question in all likelihood traveled to a foreign country with draconian anti-drug laws while importing or taking illicit drugs.

The bogan regularly gains self-esteem from loudly declaring a stance on topics that it knows little about, and the idea of a healthy bogan female of reproductive age being imprisoned on a drug-related charge in an Islamic country represented the convergence of a number of its fears. It demanded that the Australian Government “do something” to bring Schapelle home.

The fact that her father and two of her half-brothers all had prior drug convictions was deemed by the bogan to be unrelated to Schapelle’s certain innocence, along with piles of other information. It just knew. Meanwhile, Schapelle’s sister Mercedes used her new fame to pop up and net $50,000 for stripping down for bogan bible Ralph magazine, airbrushed and spray tanned to within an inch of her life. This allowed the bogan readers to remark that “I’d take that Mercedes for a spin”, to the laughter of their similarly braindead mates.

While there are thousands of people imprisoned on drug-smuggling charges around the world, and hundreds of medical and social problems that cost the lives of Australians every year, the bogan saw no inconsistency in ignoring them all, save for Schapelle. It proudly participated in newspaper and television polls to “confirm” Schapelle’s innocence, vehemently maintaining to this day that a great injustice has been done.

#47 – “Fuck Off, We’re Full” Stickers

14 12 2009

The Bogan loves its car, and the Bogan loves putting bumper stickers on its car. A sentiment that has been distilled into a few short words appeals to the Bogan’s belief that the universal order is fundamentally simple to grasp, which is convenient since its past experiences of thinking about things too hard have proven frustrating and ultimately unrewarding. Perhaps this explains why the Bogan can sustain the conviction that Australia’s landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres cannot physically accommodate any more than its current population of just over 22 million people.

This idea is perplexing, but the Bogan appears to believe it firmly enough to plaster it on the back of its beloved car. Believing Australia is fatally overcrowded, one does wonder why the Bogan pumped out three kids in the last two and half years, and this is yet another example of the kind of fascinating contradictions constantly thrown up by the phenomenon of Boganism.

At the risk of doing TBL readers’ work for them, the sticker makes a lot more sense when you look at it this way: Australia is not ‘full’ as far as the Bogan’s own kind is concerned – the message is intended for foreign immigrants, particularly asylum seekers. The Bogan is not racist, but believes that immigrants (only the brown ones, of course,) don’t ‘assimilate’, by which it means they don’t become Bogans. Naturally, the Bogan has never actually met a refugee before, and bases this opinion solely on something Aaron was saying in between mouthfuls of beef and black bean the other night. One of the most illustrative insights into the Bogan’s confounding pathology is that the Bogan claims to like each and every brown person it has ever chanced to meet, yet continues to maintain the opinion that every single other brown person is some kind of hybrid of Osama Bin Laden and Idi Amin.

To its marginal credit, and despite the fact that the Bogan drives about with a racist statement on the back of its car, a true Bogan is unlikely to be a member of an active white supremacist hate group. That would mean straying too far outside of the warm, cradling mainstream, and besides, their meetings clash with Two And a Half Men. Also to its credit is the accurate grammar and syntax of the printed sentiment.

No, the “Fuck Off, We’re Full” sticker is racism-as-automotive-adornment, a nod and a wink to other racist Bogans – “yes, I’m a racist too, it’s OK, you belong. Now please admire my sick rims”.


There have been some expressions of doubt that these exist. Doubt no longer.

#46 – Weddings: Photography

11 12 2009

In the interim stage of the wedding day, as the guests trudge across country to attend the winery in rural NSW to get drunk on someone else’s dime, the bridal party head off to be photographed. For several hours. In several locations.

Because, in typical nouveau bogan fashion, paying a professional photographer to capture the special moments when the beautiful bride walks down the aisle, the new husband and wife have their first kiss or share their first dance are not enough. Oh no. The bogan couple to be want another 927 photos of them and their bridal party, taken in a variety of scenic and urban locations, featuring a dizzying array of poses and facial expressions and featuring every possible permutation of groomsman and bridesmaid.

After waking sprightly to apply industrial grade foundation and ‘product’ for the day ahead, the bogan wedding party’s first port of call is a non-descript, inner city beach. Flutes of Yellowglen Pink and golden microphones in hand, the party awkwardly pose for the two hundred photos, Juan the photographer capturing the bride’s Christine Aguilera pose and closeups of her gem encrusted hand and plunging neckline while the bridemaids frantically try to save freshly straightened hair from the marauding sea breeze.

Posing in the midst of a graffiti-lined inner-city alleyway lends the bogan couple urban grit and credibility, before they retreat to their neatly sterilised, graffiti-free apartment block of four-bedroom abode nestled comfortably at least 20kms from the nearest train station.

Waiting to snap the bride draped over the bonnet of the vintage Mustang, the wedding party make a quick stop at an inner city graffiti laden laneway normally derided for being full of ‘goths and fags.’

Next stop on their pictorial odyssey is the botanical garden. Here the couple play ‘hide and seek’ behind the 300 year old elk tree and the groomsmen don Ray Bans and adopt tough guy poses in imitation of their favourite action flick.

The final destination on the bogan’s filmic expedition is a building, preferably old looking, where the budding Aaron and Erin can pose in doorways. Here the bogan couple can also demonstrate their artistic bent, with the bride opening the curtains in a dark room to reveal the daylight –presumably symbolic of something, the groom ponderously staring out a window as if contemplating their future lives together (whilst actually wondering how best to consummate his marriage – doggy or missionary) or the Pièce de résistance of bogan wedding photography, the juxtaposition of a black and white portrait with a red inanimate object – the absolute ultimate in bogan Facebook profile images, until they have kids and can use them instead.

Although exhausted and $7500 out of pocket, the bogan couple are now ready for their special day… when friends and family descend on their new, outer-suburban display home to in two weeks time to view a slideshow of all 927 photos in all their excruciating glory.

Here are some others – sometimes words just don’t quite cut it.

On a final note, the staff here at TBL are heading off for the weekend to a particularly non-bogan music festival, and may or may not be in a proper state to post on Monday. Stay tuned!

#45 – Weddings: Her Big Day

10 12 2009

Saturday morning, 11am. The bride is fifteen minutes late, just as she planned it. She is ready for her day. The groom and his five men stand in their rented suits with lavender cravats and pocket hankies ($1,500) looking generically awkward/nervous, just as she planned. The bridal car arrives; the stretch Hummer ($2,000) makes a fifteen-point turn in order to get in the church’s ($5,000) driveway. The bride and her five maids spill out, each tripping over in an effort to avoid stepping on her strapless, yet veiled, gown ($5,500). They stand, waiting, freezing in the (unplanned) bad weather in their unnecessarily short lavender dresses ($2,500), each an incandescent orange hue, their hair ($400) and makeup ($300) struggling to remain in place in the biting wind and driving rain.

As the iPod attached behind the scenes begins playing ‘One’ by U2, she appears, radioactive in her luminescence ($50), in the doorway. She then waits fifteen minutes more, as her retinue each pace slowly, sonorously down the aisle in intervals predetermined by Jenny, the wedding planner ($2,000). But first, the ‘adorable’ niece and nephew potter aimlessly down to the altar, confusedly tossing flowers in every which direction while drooling on their custom-made tuxedo ($300) and dress ($500). Speaking of flowers, bridesmaid #4 left hers in the Hummer, and dashes out to get them ($400).

Eventually, relishing in the incessant flash of her friends’ and family’s SLR bulbs, she arrives at the altar, a queer look of joy and resolute determination on her face. Her beau, and his accompanying entourage, are the embodiment of the opposite of their behaviour a week earlier – at the buck’s – as they cheerfully stand by and watch their mate cry like a little girl – right on cue, as the music swells, and the cameras point in his direction, and the videographer ($2,000) zooms in.

The priest ($400) smiles benignly on his supplicants, and begs them to sit. The bride is glad, as she hasn’t eaten for four days and is feeling woozy. The priest then begins to invoke his bog-standard collection of platitudes for the massed horde, which laps them up enthusiastically, as they mirror those seen on every television wedding ever broadcast anywhere. The fifth bridesmaid and groomsman, left with no jobs to do, are asked to make the readings, which are lifted from a list of possible readings offered by the priest, hence have no actual relationship to either bride or groom, as neither are really Christian. They do so, in the stilted, sing-song manner of those who have rehearsed studiously, yet struggle to pronounce ‘begat’.

However, the bride is insistent that their wedding be ‘different’. This caused some consternation, as, when pressed, neither party could conceive of how to do so. Until she stumbled upon the idea of personalised vows in her fifth issue of ‘Aussie Bride’ ($18.95). They spent minutes each googling furiously the best words they could steal from other people to develop their own special vows. Several minutes of ‘loves’ and ‘I will always put away the dishes’-style ‘vows’ later, the priest smiles benignly once again, asks the obligatory questions, receives the obligatory answers.

NOTE: We here at Things Bogans Like considered the idea of throwing a bunch of bogan vows your way, but then realised that YOU could probably do a better job! So try our new BOGAN WEDDING VOW GENERATOR! It’s good preparation for your very own big day…now back to the action.

After the formalities are completed, the party moves outside, and greetings are made. Then, the bridal party vanish, along with their extended family for the five-hour session of photographs ($7,000 – wait ’till tomorrow) in various locales. During this time, the guests return to their cars to make the hour-long drive to the remote winery where the reception ($200 per head = $40,000) is to be held. The guests arrive (petrol = $40, accommodation = $200), and dutifully place their gifts from the registry ($50-$5,000) on the allocated table. When the in-laws all arrive, they gently prod each other to discover which family spent more on the BBQ/dining set/honeymoon suite, until one father learns what he believes to be the truth, and struts off with a self-satisfied smirk.

The reception hall, clad entirely in white, and featuring a four-piece jazz band ($1,000), is full of tired, bored guests, waiting for the bar to open by the time the couple and their crew arrive.

Another 45 minutes later, the entire bridal party have been introduced and seated, and the eating and drinking begin in earnest. The cake ($1,000) is cut, before it collapses under its own weight. The dance (to Michael Buble’s version of ‘Moondance’) is danced. The groom’s uncle falls asleep in the corner. The fifth groomsman – the bride’s weird younger brother who no one really likes – has been sent to sit in the car after he touched up the maid of honour. The fathers-in-law have come to fisticuffs after one reneged on his responsibility to cover half of the $75,000 bill for the day. The bride, before leaving, tosses the bouquet. The ladies present make their obligatory gestures towards not wanting to stand in the pack before surreptitiously throwing elbows at one another in an effort to walk away the victor. The men present take careful note of which participants are most aggressive…

Finally, the groom carries his new bride upstairs to their suite for the night. Finally, after her day has run itself out, he can have HIS moment. He can nail a chick in a wedding dress. She falls asleep as he disrobes. Just like she planned it. He taps her on the shoulder, and says ‘You awake?’ She doesn’t stir. He contemplates doing it anyway.


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