#228 – Doing it Wrong

23 05 2011

A recurring theme at this stronghold of boganic inquest has been the bogan’s ability to ruin things. Be it music festivals, geographic regions, sport, even  your favourite bar, the bogan’s ability to belatedly adopt a trend then force it to bend to the bogan’s unyielding demand for maxtremity remains unparalleled. In much more recent times, the desire of the bogan to travel at faster than the speed of internet has led to a capacity to destroy a new thing faster and more comprehensively than ever: internet memes.

From their shadowy origins in the pungent bowels of the intertubes, the dizzying array of memes is distilled by a process of moronic selection as it rises to the surface of the mainstream. By the time these fads reach the bogan, one can be assured of their absolute, refined idiocy. And, of course, shortly after the bogan touches them, they are irrevocably ruined. The book of faces is a principal conduit for this process. The bogan’s habit of impulsively jumping on bandwagons it doesn’t understand, and joining groups on Facebook as a means by which to brand itself with things it considers suitably maxtreme and totally celeb, makes it uniquely susceptible to the mesmerising siren song of the internet meme.

In the bogan mind, the internet is a megaphone to broadcast the mundane details of its life to a captive audience, and an endless receptacle of maxtreme pornography and cute pictures. This scenario is a perfect storm for fucking up memes. The bogan can discover, adopt, and broadcast any given meme in the few seconds it takes to re-post it on the book of faces, and the sheer volume of bogans clogging up the intertubes drives the meme from obscurity, into infamy, and back into obscurity at an ever-quickening rate. Remember Rebecca Black? That went from hipster in-joke to global phenomenon to dead story in four days, to the point that the original haters found themselves standing up for a thirteen year-old girl, in the face of a bogan-hate onslaught.

The internet meme begun, it is generally agreed, as a dancing baby gif, which, stretching the limits of contemporary technology as it did, eventually wound up on that paragon of 90s bogan feminism Ally McBeal. There have been hundreds of memes since, and many have fallen by the wayside, only to be recalled by the geekiest of internet neckbeards. But every so often, the maxtreme appeal of a particular meme prompts the bogan to thrust it into the national spotlight. For instance, LOLcats. Fuck you, LOLcats.

This all, naturally enough, results in the promulgation of said spent meme in the main media. Because there is an important pivot point for this transmogrification from meme to boring story: the trashmedia journalist. The formula for creating news on the websites of Fairfax and News Ltd in 2011 roughly follows this methodology:

  1. Receive email from friend with humorous meme
  2. Conduct research (read: Google three things) to verify its real-ness
  3. Paraphrase 300 words from the relevant internet source
  4. Upload as news

Once a meme has made into onto the trashmedia sites, the rate of bogans fucking it up reaches fever pitch. In the most recent instance, this was Sam Newman, happily demonstrating his maxtremity by ‘planking’ (a meme which set new land-speed records in its shift from niche cultural marker to meme to national joke, incidentally,) dangerously only days after a bloke died performing a similar act. Bogans the nation over chuckled and told the affogato belt to drink some concrete and harden up, as they continued their battle against the forces of insane political correctness.

Because the forces of political correctness are one thing the bogan won’t take lying down.