#122 – Ernie Dingo

8 04 2010

As we have amply discussed here at this salon of civic discourse, the bogan is fiercely proud to be Australian. It is wracked with patriotic quiverings whenever Australia’s history is mentioned.  It is like the proverbial horny bull at a rusty gate when making a spectacle of its ‘patriotism’ – whether on its car or on its skin. It fully supports any initiative to keep the country’s borders safe from outsiders. The bogan wants foreigners to know that Australia is bogan country, and any prospective Australian should become a bogan themselves if they expect to be welcomed – otherwise, they should simply ‘go home’.

The bogan believes it possesses all qualities unique to Australians, and has appointed itself both gatekeeper and keymaster to the thrice-locked security locker of boganic Australianness. The existence of indigenous Australians, however, throws a distinctly obstinate spanner into the works of this line of thinking. Whenever a bogan uses the apparently water-tight “I was here first” logic to engender in itself a snugly fitting sense of unchallenged entitlement to the country, a distant but unshakable feeling of self-doubt is stimulated. When this feeling gets too much for the bogan, it reminds itself that it likes Ernie Dingo.

Like many Aboriginal people who are elite athletes or media personalities, Ernie Dingo is embraced with enthusiasm by bogans as the smiley, clean cut face of Aboriginal Australia. In his TV journeys into the outback, Ernie allows the bogan to see the country it is so proud of, witness some maxtreme four wheel driving and perhaps a spot of fishing. It desirously gazes at sumptuous food and luxury accommodation, and chuckles at the assorted on-road hijinks, without, of course, having to leave the couch. More comforting still for the bogan, engagement with the local population is kept to a minimum, and when it does occur, it is at the depth one might expect to accidentally plumb whilst on a Contiki Tour of Thailand.

The bogan’s take on the situation is similar to the bogan’s take on most politically charged topics – simplistic and ill-informed, yet held onto with the white-knuckled grip of the truly terrified. When quizzed on Aboriginal disadvantage, the bogan will take a massive swig on its sixth massive can of Woodstock, and tell you everything would be perfectly fine for Indigenous Australians if they only “got off the booze”. It will tell you Aboriginals get an unfair share of government handouts, yet remain vigilant for opportunities to rort workers’ compensation schemes, and vociferously decry any attempt to reduce indigenous poverty or increase lifespans as “political correctness gone mad”.  The bogan is, however, happy to be pro-Aboriginal when it comes to Ernie Dingo, who delivers it sharp pangs of patriotic pride, mixed with pleasant, light-hearted, unchallenging entertainment. Just as the bogan is happy to take ownership of any Indigenous athlete who earns a gold medal or Premiership trophy. The bogan does a similar thing with New Zealand actors and, at times, homosexuals of note, but is quick to switch around when they fall out of favour, and toss them on the scrapheap of fame.

#104 – Road Rage

12 03 2010

While the bogan generally engages in few critically important activities and has accrued a lifetime of missed deadlines, when on the road it is in an urgent hurry. If delayed by a stop sign, it will charge through. If delayed by a line of traffic, it will seek to drive in the emergency lane. It will reach its destination a full 90 seconds earlier than the non-bogan, and it will consume that 90 seconds, along with 300 other seconds, to stake out a parking space that is 30 steps closer to Boost Juice.

However, the notoriously poor coping skills of the bogan make it susceptible to losing its cool entirely if it finds that the traffic conditions are not to its liking. A key problem of road-based bogans is that a car makes a bogan invincible. Encased in a 1500kg glass and steel shell, the bogan transforms from an irritation to a menace. It enforces its skewed value system and desire for the x-treme by speeding, running red lights, and burning rubber, disregarding other road rules as it sees fit. If someone does not let the bogan do these things as it wishes, the trouble starts.

Just as it will do in relation to free speech, the bogan sees itself as entitled to break any road rule, but everyone else is not allowed to at all. The bogan will even reserve the right to object to other road users driving safely and correctly. If someone merges into a lane in front of a bogan, the results will depend on a number of factors:

  1. How badly it wants to go to the shopping centre or nightclub strip
  2. Whether the bogan is intoxicated
  3. The presence of tribal tattoos
  4. Any other obstacles that the bogan has encountered that day
  5. The presence of personalised number plates
  6. Degree to which the offending motorist is perceived to be Asian

If the bogan’s anger becomes moderate, it will scream from inside its car, and make obscene gestures. It is unlikely to realise that the other person cannot hear its profanities from inside their own car, but this does not deter it from pursuing this action with vigour. If the anger level becomes high, the bogan will attempt to overtake the other car without indicating, expecting surrounding cars to part like Katie Price’s legs. If it is not allowed to re-enter its original lane, it will emerge from its car in a blind fury. The alpha road warrior bogan will attempt to lure the other driver from their car with an elaborate roadside war dance, intermittently spitting and kicking door panels. If this is not successful, it will eventually return to its car, do a burnout, and rocket off into the distance, which is usually the next traffic light 100m up the road.