#131 – Short Courses

21 04 2010

The bogan’s lizard brain has a powerful need for recognition in all that it does. This is why it will drive its Chevrolet down streets lined with luxury retail outlets, wear seizure-triggering quantities of jewellery, or sport a t-shirt with a tiger biting some sort of skull/love heart thing. Easier still, is to merely TALK about things that the bogan intends to do, but in reality will almost certainly never do. These include “going to see the pyramids (the moment it has enough money to get to Phuket on Jetstar, off it goes)”, or “learning how to shred on the axe! (as soon as it realises that this requires persistence and dedication over some years, it swiftly places the shiny Ibanez in the corner, and scuttles back to Guitar Hero)”.

While the bogan will rarely end up doing these things, it derives great satisfaction from the statements of surprise or admiration it receives when loudly announcing these hollow intentions to the world. It is in the interests of other bogans to express this enthusiastic surprise, because the other bogans will expect to receive the same reaction when they announce their new plans to master the stockmarket, lose 20 kilos, or finally move the family to Queensland.

Eventually though, the pattern of loud claims and no action becomes apparent, even to one with the negligible self-awareness of the bogan. The second quickest and second easiest way for the bogan to medicate this fleeting perspective on itself is to enrol in a short course. Conducted through TAFE colleges, community houses, or other organisations, these courses involve a couple of hundred dollars of the bogan’s money, and a commitment of one night a week for a month or two. While even this proves to be too much of an ask for some bogans, many manage to make it through. Often, the bogan will draw on skills it developed during high school – coercing more diligent students into granting the bogan the temporary benefits of proper work. Short courses allow the bogan to simultaneously claim the title of “educated”, while remaining staunchly anti-intellectual.

Two months later, the achievement-oriented bogan emerges like a shimmering butterfly from its shabby chrysalis, replete with the knowledge of how to create wonky ceramic bowls which it will solemnly gift to every one of its relatives that Christmas. While the bogan will certainly never make another ceramic bowl after the conclusion of the course, its sense of smugness inexplicably continues for years. If at any point the smugness begins to abate, the bogan will restore it by resorting to the quickest and easiest method – purchasing another self-help book and adding it to their entirely unread collection on the bookshelf.