#142 – Buying a Snowboard

24 05 2010

Each winter, the bogan stares balefully out of its window, through the sleeting rain, and dreams of being maxtreme. The sun has gone, and the bogan can no longer visit the beach once a month, wander around shirtless and pretend to know how to surf. Its fantasies of warm-weather maxtremity dashed for four months, it has been reduced to a blithering mess of sporting brand-free misery.

Then, sometime around mid-June, the bogan is watching breakfast TV. Glumly shovelling Nutri-Grain into its mouth, it notices something different. After the obligatory dwarf weather segment, the robot host cuts to a new character, one the bogan vaguely remembers, swathed in brightly-coloured Michelin tyres, and its muffled voice speaks into a microphone about ‘crisp powder’, ‘lifts operating’ and ‘black runs’. Setting aside its iron man food, it pays attention to this human marshmallow. And it comes to a realisation; it has found winter nirvana. Australia has snow. And snow people are exactly like beach people, but with snow. The bogan immediately buys a snowboard. And not just any snowboard…a snowboard that can achieve maximum altitude. A snowboard that will get it up to X-Games standards. After all, if that 16 year old kid at the Winter Olympics do it with a broken hand, surely the bogan can do it with its broken grip on reality.

Upon arrival at the lodge, the bogan will automatically adopt the local vernacular in spectacularly unconvincing fashion. It will speak of ‘hitting the slopes’, ‘carving it up’ and refer tangentially to ‘whistler’ as a snowboarding manoeuvre. It will troll around the lodge, keeping one eye peeled, as it has always dreamed of hunting the extremely rare, highly seasonal, arctic cougar. It will be happy, as this entire exercise has offered in an opportunity to acquire an array of garish, brightly coloured, heavily branded specialty clothing, without actually having to go outside and get cold and/or wet.

Emerging groggily onto the slopes the next morning, the bogan decides it should put its shiny new equipment into practice. Naturally, upon hearing that ‘black run’ means the most maxtreme, the bogan decides to enact its newly remixed winter dreams on the crisp powder. Lessons are for pussies without natural talent. Thirty minutes in, the bogan decides that the inability to snowboard is actually called ‘freestyle’, and tells it to anyone who will listen henceforth.

Come summer, the bogan will look gaily out of its window at the bright sunshine, and glance fleetingly, scornfully at the hot-pink snowboard in the corner, before heading out and buying a surfboard. And not just any surfboard…





#127 – Slater and Gordon

15 04 2010

Years of watching Today/Tonight and A Current Affair and reading News Limited have taught the bogan that it is not to blame for anything. The introduction of a kaleidoscope of alternative scapegoats for the faults and failings of bogan society – foreigners, children, foreigners’ children – have placed the bogan in a warm, soothing cocoon of impenetrable security. Their child’s illness is an allergy. Their resulting behaviour is a disease treatable by anti-psychotics. Job loss is the result of cheap migrant labour. There is no action the bogan can take that will result in negative consequences or blame for the bogan. Chlamydia has no symptoms.

Akin to Max Markson, who saw the bogan need to be famous and monetised it, like coke saw the bogan need for massive cans and monetised it, Slater and Gordon realised – well before most – the bogan desire for x-treme lawyering. As has previously been discussed on TBL, the bogan lives life to the maxtreme. But when something fucks up, it wants justice; the mega justice that comes from a legal system to the power of maximum times awesome. Should a bogan slip on a puddle of spilt detergent at the supermarket as the pimply 16 year-old fetches a mop, the supermarket faces x-treme bogan legal retribution. Should a bogan forget how to properly operate its jet ski and does its back, water speed regulations are at fault. Should a bogan fail at a glassing attempt and get hurt, their assailant is a heinous criminal who deserves righteous dispensation of legal vengeance forthwith. And when it happens, Slater and Gordon provide the mega justice.

Even better, they do it for nothing.

Just like Harvey Norman and their ilk realised that if the bogan has nothing to pay up front, they will walk out of any store with an inordinate amount of televisual and refrigeration equipment they do not need, Slater and Gordon’s epiphany was that offered free legal advice, the bogan will sue anyone for anything, at anytime. The bogan only pays legal fees if they win their case.

So, despite the bogan’s firm belief that several years of watching Law & Order have prepared it for the rigours of the Australian courtroom, S&G are there to represent it. The bogan hates rules and laws, but is not aware that the existence of many of the rules it hates most is a direct result of its own reckless behaviour. S&G are aware.