#94 – P!nk

26 02 2010

Alecia Moore first entered the Australian consciousness a decade ago, with an R&B by-numbers single called “There you go”, in whose video she rode around on a motorbike and gave bad girl attitude to an X-boyfriend. The bogan liked this, and propelled it to #2 on the Australian singles charts. It was just the beginning.  Since then, Pink has had an additional TWELVE solo singles chart in the Australian top 7, but only three in her native USA. So what’s she been doing that gets the antipodean bogan so damn enthused? Shitloads.

Pink met her husband (a motocross racer) at the 2001 X Games, and has since acquired the ability to ride motorbikes. She used this skill to woo prime bogan love-object Rove McManus, allowing a national TV audience to witness her teaching Rove how to be x-treme. Rove reciprocated by fawning shamelessly, and exhorting his audience to supply Pink with their bogan bucks. You see, Pink speaks the bogans’ language. She rebelled against conventional literacy and social norms by titling her second album “M!sundaztood”, and regularly spells her stage name “P!nk”. The bogan appreciates the gesture, as it considers itself m!sundaztood also, LMAO.

Primarily, Pink’s marketing strategists targeted teenaged female bogans, with a defiant message of how unique and uncontrollable she is. The teenaged female bogan empathises with this message, and is controlled by the marketers into buying yet another concert ticket, and buying yet another album to be unique, just like the other individuals in Pink’s target demographic who have sent the thing 10x platinum. P!nk (lol) undertakes stadium tours of Australia every seven minutes, allowing the fans to always have something new to purchase. This is always accompanied by another spruiking visit to her favourite little buddy on Channel 10. Then, as the adult femme-bogan wants nothing more than to be a teenage femme-bogan again, they embraced P!ink with a similarly slavish enthusiasm, waxing lyrical over how ‘cool’ and ‘empowering’ she is, effectively demonstrating how tenuous their grasp of those words was.

In the same way that the bogan trusts Pink with its money, it also trusts her as a source of both domestic and foreign political knowledge. The bogan’s knowledge of international relations was augmented by her track “Dear Mr. President”, which commandeered populist anti-Bush sentiments. She also (on behalf of PETA) lectured the Australian wool industry on the practice of mulesing. She later admitted that her position was “bullshit”, saying “”I probably could have done a lot more (research)”. The bogan forgave her public misinformation campaign, because she was “so real”.

Five albums in, she toured Australia again in 2009, selling over 650,000 tickets, mainly to bogans. Her ability to fleece the bogan had become unsurpassed – topping John Farnham’s Whispering Jack tour for the most Australian shows in a tour, including a record 17 shows at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena. What could possibly be left for greedy Alecia’s bogan cash vacuum? Her management pondered this, and eventually found the answer. She has recently signed a three year contract to be the face of V8 Supercars (the trans-generational bogan institution), including a special effects-laden TV commercial. A commercial that features her baring her midriff, chomping down on an entirely non-phallic sausage, falling into the arms of a big, strong V8-man, readjusting her breasts and a midget. The very embodiment of female bogan empowerment. That’s right, not content to surpass Farnsey in ticket sales, she’s decided to go after his rusted-on baby boomer audience, and cannibalise him completely. He’ll be tickled pink.

#27 – Rove

17 11 2009

The bogan likes to laugh. It also likes to be comfortable in the fact that jokes about farts and dicks and mothers will remain funny for all of eternity. For there is nothing more revolting for the bogan than to be challenged in some cerebral way when it comes humour. Here’s where Rove McManus, the paragon of the “this is bound to make your mum laugh” quip, neatly satisfies satisfied all of the bogan’s comedic needs.

Not only is was Rove armed to the teeth with painfully uninspired jokes, he is was also self-deprecating, had romantic dalliances with starlets from Home and Away and Blue Heelers, and boasts boasted a cousin who played AFL football – all being decisive bogan prerequisites for winning their coveted affection. Realising this sacred (and lucrative) connection to his audience, he never misses missed an opportunity to use his show to shamelessly plug the movies, artists, albums, books and agendas of celebrities he desperately needs needed to come back for another anodyne, often awkward interview. Particularly galling were international guests, who constantly appeared befuddled that this guy managed to get his own TV show. Meanwhile, he remains remained the televisual equivalent of comfort food, which was sad, after his edgy, Channel 31 beginnings. After all, heaven forbid, he alienates his audience, forcing Pink to settle for 20 concerts nationwide instead of 54. Not on Rove’s watch.

Flanked by the affably stout Peter Helliar and a team of mildly entertaining, inoffensive larrikins such as Dave Hughes, Rove Live is was the ideal Sunday night televisual escape for the bogan. With a wonderfully generous interviewing style (read: poorly researched and overtly fawning), Rove never dares dared challenge his guest with anything remotely controversial, but safely steers steered his questions to the thunderous applause of his faithful. Drenched in immaturity, the show annoyingly veers veered between bad timing and awkward delivery while Rove constantly laughs laughed at his own jokes with gay abandon.

Validated by three Gold Logies, the bogan it seems simply can could not get enough of Rove’s unique brand of (un)funniness. Until now. The decision to end the show has, unsurprisingly, caused outrage among bogans. No longer can it while away another Sunday night perched in front of the telly snug in the knowledge that the next hour will be safe and familiar, like ordering lemon chicken from the local Chinese take-away. No more riding dirt bikes with Pink or another episode of Kevin Rudd, P.M. or a giant bowl of smarties. No more silly attempts at “really getting to know the celebrity” with edgy titles such as “Public Probe”. No more relying on Hamish and Andy for ratings. No more Rove. Phew.

#22 – Cover Bands

10 11 2009

Bogans love commercial radio. But, with the limiting nature of only liking five different artists (selected from; Pink, Snow Patrol, U2, AC/DC, Nickelback, Coldplay, Green Day or any remix of anything. The Beatles are also allowed, to convey an understanding of musical history, while some outliers like Franz Ferdinand provide extra rock cred), the bogan can quickly grow bored. Commercial radio does what it can, by playing these artists on constant rotation, but still there is a void. Particularly when it comes to live music. Pink’s constant defilement of major arenas notwithstanding, major international acts rarely venture to the antipodes.

Hey kids...Crazy Haus! Enter the cover band. You know them. They were the guys who formed a band in year nine, playing gigs at lunch to 30 kids who then got booted out of the auditorium for crowd surfing. That was, until the point they formed a cover band, the highpoint of their lives. It’s Darren, Sam and Clint, plus Clint’s younger brother who they recruited to play bass because their old bass player’s wife won’t let him out on weeknights/their old bass player got hooked on ice and disappeared in Darwin/they never see their bass player anymore. And, in a desperate attempt to reclaim the euphoria that is live performance, they go to the same pub, on the same night, every week, and play the same songs. To the same bogans.

And bogans love it. Having only five artists to listen to means that opportunities for attending live rock performances (is there another kind?) are few and far between. Sport notwithstanding, communal entertainment is usually designated as being for ‘other people’. Opera (“poofs”), dance (“poofs), non-rock music (“poofs”), comedy (“is it Hughesy? No? Poofs”) and the theatre (“poofs”) are all for a cultural subset that is not bogan, leaving only whichever Fast and the Furious film is in cinemas, or the pub with a cover band. Those five artists mentioned above can be re-created without the talent, verve or originality of their original members but, importantly, the cover band will mimic each song down to the 16th beat.

Thus, the bogans can bounce around, singing only to the chorus of ‘Betterman’ and ‘Jessie’s Girl’, while screaming for post-Californication Chili Peppers, and feel inordinately cultured. Meanwhile the boys from ‘Jet Black’ or ‘Crazygarden’ reel out “hit after hit”, and the bogans continue to regret that they jumped in to the loud bit from ‘Blister in the Sun’ one measure too soon.