Books (yes, plural)

As you are no doubt aware, this is a blog. But as of now, Things Bogans Like is also a two book(s).


Boganomics is not a sequel to Things Bogans Like, the inexplicably popular  misadventure in amateur sociology that launched a million boats, caused a million dinner-party discussion and likely resulted in a million glassed cunts. That book was merely a catalogue, a list that existed primarily as a result of a drunken debate and an attempt to piggyback off someone else’s better idea.

This book is not about purple suits, large energy drinks, Coldplay or cheap petrol, yet it is about all of those things. And it is certainly not about to make us rich or famous. It is simply a text book. Having spent over two years rigorously indexing and logging incidences of the national bogan footprint, we at the Boganomics Institute decided that we needed to look deeper. These are out stories.

Please find below the nice things that the publisher had us write for the blurb:

From the bestselling authors of THINGS BOGANS LIKE comes a not-quite scientific study of all things bogan. E. Chas McSween et al have compiled this in-depth historical, sociological, geographic and cultural study that traces bogan culture back to society’s very foundation, as well as identifying prototypical and stereotypical bogans through time. Brief discussion of the bogan of the 19th century, morphing to pre-war, then to the popularly held notion of the ‘bogan’ being 80s metal, flannel and Victoria Bitter. After exploring this stereotypical example they then track the leap to the 21st century bogan, clad in garish garb, holding their nationalism close to their chest and slavishly following every celebrity trend in magazines. BOGANOMICS is an important book as understanding is a bridge to unity. Read this book to broaden your knowlege …or to laugh …a lot.

The (first) book contains the best stuff from the blog, along with a couple of dozen brand new topics, new images, AND unacceptable trans-Tasman immigrant Richard Wilkins on the front cover. Place it proudly on your coffee table to demonstrate your awareness of the bogan menace, or give it as an elegant gift to those who are in need of education in the nuanced field of Boganomics. Either way, you just can’t lose! It’s in shops around the country as of October 28, and is also available via all of the normal online means.

This bit of text is so that the next subheading doesn’t start until after the bottom of the photo on the left. It is strictly functional in nature.

Here are some additional things – let’s start with a link to a review, which suggests that the reviewer has benefited both socially and emotionally from reading the TBL book:

A link

And here is the tantalising summary that our publisher uses to induce bookshops to stock said book. It is at least 20% more diplomatic than we ourselves are:

THINGS BOGANS LIKE is a revolutionary manifesto that lifts the lid on the secret sect of the bogan.

The word bogan has a bad rap; first impressions are still associated with flannelette, VB, utes and mullets. But this would be wrong. The bogan has advanced and needs new explanation, evolution has cursed (or blessed, depending on your thinking) us with a modern version. The bogan with money. The bogan with aspirations. The bogan with Ed Hardy t-shirts. The new bogan will not rest until it owns a plasma TV so large that Rove McManus becomes six feet tall for the first time.Today s bogan defies income, class, race, creed, gender, religion and logic. Now the bogan is defined by what it does, what it says and, most importantly, what it buys. Those who choose to deny the bogan on the basis of their North Shore home, their stockbroking career or their massive trust fund choose not to see the real bogan. Many bogans are affluent and perhaps are working in that same stockbroking firm and sharing a Corona with you over Friday night drinks. They set themselves apart by their efforts to stand out by conforming as furiously, and conspicuously, as possible.The authors, six self-confessed snobs, have drawn on their friends, family, neighbours, workmates and that guy who always jumps the queue at the bar, to show the evolution of the much-loved Australian bogan, their modern desires, and how we can either join them or mock them.This will be a groundbreaking sociological publication and, far more importantly, the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who has ever bought a Buddhist-themed water feature, Ed Hardy t-shirt or watched Today Tonight.

And here is a picture of Lleyton Hewitt, rumoured to have been taken immediately after reading the TBL book and discovering that many of the things that he likes are extremely bogan:

Conclusionarily, here are the condensed summaries of the bios (the full bios in the book are accompanied by actual photos of us) which are in the front of the book:

The six self-confessed snobs responsible for this maxtreme study are:
Intravenus De Milo: Now living in Australia, smug in the satisfaction that he is pretty much the smartest person in the country.

Melbourne and Sana’a, Yemen-based Hunter McKenzie-Smythe: Completed an Arts degree and skied the world until experiencing an epiphany and converted to Sunni Islam.

Flash Johnson: Born from an egg on a Peruvian mountaintop in 1986, Flash set sail for Australia – the site of the world’s most advanced bogan colony, and now resides in Melbourne.

Enron Hubbard: Since his arrest for civil unrest while defending battery hens, militant vegan Ron lives as a hermit, fearful of reprisals from angry bogans who value their low-cost, high-quantity egg and poultry goods.

E. Chas McSween: Adopted at the age of eight by visiting celebrity bogan Greg Evans, and relocated to a household full of Ken Done prints and Jive Bunny CDs.

Michael Jayfox: From the lush bogan habitat of Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. Initially planning to sell the bogan maxtreme products that it didn’t need, he became distracted by the study of bogan creature itself, and began writing of its ways.




And of course, all good book stores. And many bad ones.

35 responses

27 10 2010

Please tell us there is a book launch at a shopping centre?

We would, but for fear of furious bogan reprisals. TBL

28 10 2010

Fear of reprisals? Wot; scared of a few DFO ugg-boots whizzing past your ears? Soft.

28 02 2011
Ash - Glasser of Carnts

Harden the fark up ya carnts.

27 10 2010

Top marks for the functional paragraph, I received a letter yesterday & it had a functional sheet of paper which only had the words “This page has been intentionally left blank” printed on it.

27 10 2010

This is one book launched this week that WON’T get an angry review from Peter Costello.

28 10 2010

I braved the maxxtreme bling and awesome bogueness of the new Pitt Street Mall and can report that TBL The Book is in stores (well Dymocks) 1 November 2010.

PS: The staff knew all about it:-)

Yay! Some stores have it on sale as of today, so it all seems a bit hotchpotch. Either way, it won’t be far away! TBL

29 10 2010

ARG! I’m getting mine from Planet Books in Mt Lawley, apparently not hitting the West til next week. Just had animated phone chat with the guy at the shop about how he must find out about you! He was unaware!! Sadly I am the only person who has pre-ordered a copy. For shame Mt Lawley residents, for shame.

29 10 2010
Bag O'Turnips

I too am a Sangroper, Hel, but I found my copy earlier today at Angus & Robertson at Morley Gonorrhoea, an appropriate purchase location due the mall being a magnet for those who need guidance from a chainstore on how to be trendy.

I know it may pain you to take the 21 bus up to the wrong end of State Route 53, but try to see it as an excursion to witness how the bogan lives, while safe in the knowledge that you have come to further arm yourself.

That’s why I call it the Gonorrhoea: I’m sure that it’s about as pleasant an experience as the said STI, though I wouldn’t know, having avoided the bogan proclivity to think itself bulletproof and take stupid risks, instead practicing safe sex since I started.

Despite having to expose myself to the headfückery of a big mall (admittedly, it was fairly quiet this afternoon), procuring both the Things Bogans Like and The Gruen Transfer books was worth the effort!

1 11 2010
Son of Duane

Saw some on display at the A&R in the closest bogue-heaven (shopping centre). While I was there, someone walked up and showed off the book to a group she was travelling with. Everyone had a good laugh when they saw the cover.

I can’t tell if they were laughing at the title, the cover, the idea of the book or if they will actually consider buying it.

If I had more money, I would have bought a copy myself.

1 11 2010

bought my copy today at abbey’s on york street, sydney. you’ll be glad to know they had it placed right at the front on the counter so it is one of the first things you see walking in to the store.

6 11 2010

Glad to see that you listened to my advice (on facebook) to publish your stuff. I wrote a comment long ago when the blog first started off that it’s written so well that it deserves to be published… (something along those lines) Congratz!!! I will be buying your book.

7 11 2010
chubbybloodfart BBo

thankyou for this additional material which I found both humorous and informative.
I thoroughly endorse this product or service.

7 11 2010
common man

Frankly i was dissapointed. A recatergorized blog!.Then i watched the wrap and almost felt sorry for them.The stumbling and reliance of one word showed the difference from a carefully scripted/planned product, to what we’ve become use to.All i kept thinking was god those blokes need to eat more

8 11 2010
TY Boganus Maximus

Finally!!! I shall b buyin mine directly!!! Bogan And Damn Proud!!! Bogan 4 Life!!!

9 11 2010

Hey, I just stumbled over here from “what white people like” and am wondering when your book will be released as an ebook so I can read it on my iPad?

No idea, sorry! We do the writin’, the publisher does the bookerisin’. I will mention it next time I speak to them, though! TBL

9 11 2010

I was surprised there is no listing for Rat Tails on bogan kids

22 11 2010

Perhaps TBL have warehoused that for ‘More Things Bogans Like’?

7 03 2011

Or included it in the traditional bogan as opposed to the new age bogan … or the bogan of middle eastern or meditteranean appearance (are they bogans or something else because many of them display decidedly boganish characteristics?)

9 11 2010
Will S

I got my copy today!

Despite being a new release it was tucked away in the corner of the humour section of this particular A&R, not even facing face-forward like the rest of the books on that shelf.

That may have something to do with it being in the middle of a particular recently re-maxtremified megagiant shopping mall here in Newcastle… woudln’t want to offend the patrons.

12 11 2010

Found a copy today in a Go-Lo store. Grabbed it for $17. Have followed this blog since early on and digested every post, often lurking in the comments section. Having a laugh now at the book.

It would make a great stocking-filler — imagine subtly placing a copy under the tree this year, labelled with the appropriate bogan relative’s name. The bogan may not buy the book of his own accord but is sure to recognise himself in its pages and, surer yet, not to understand that the jokes are made at his expense.

12 11 2010

at go-lo? really? can’t think of many stranger places to sell the book.

13 11 2010

TBL did say, “…all good book stores. And many bad ones.” Yes, I always thought Go-Lo got the type of books that bypass bookstores and go straight to the bargain bin. Not so now!

12 11 2010
Ash - Corporate Lawyer cum Lingerie Model

I can’t afford one. Do you guys mind if I steal one instead?

I know it’s a pretty bogan act, but I’m broke and you don’t offer a maxxtreme No Interest, No Deposit, No Repayments plan.

14 11 2010
Benny Hill

While I’m still waiting for Apple products to be listed as bogan at least there was a nice story in the Courier Mail;

24 11 2010

Having an online purchasing facility and option to send as a gift worldwide would free us of the burden of having to enter the bogantopia that is the maxxxtreme dome/plaza/shopping village.

19 01 2011
Davo from Bunbury

Things Bogans Like as reviewed in Crikey 19-01-2011

Smart summer reading: bogans not nationally lampooned.
by Mel Campbell, editor and publisher of The Enthusiast, writes:

Things Bogans Like is an example of a relatively new phenomenon: the blog-to-book publishing project. The first blog-based books were easily slotted into conventional publishing genres: confessional memoirs and glossy coffee-table tomes seemed the natural model. More recent efforts have been heavily influenced by the thematic approach popularised by the Tumblr microblogging platform.

These blogs tend to begin with an overarching topic, then collect examples of it, post by post. “Tumblelogs” that have earned book deals include 1001 Rules For My Unborn Son, Pets Who Want to Kill Themselves and Look At This F-cking Hipster. The much-publicised Sh-t My Dad Says began in a similar vein as a Twitter account. Unlike some of its cousins though, Things Bogans Like suffers from the contrasting ways in which blogs and books are consumed.

Online, it’s satisfying to be drip-fed new variations on a theme. However, a book – especially one that aspires to social satire – has to work as a cohesive, stand-alone text. Simply collating online content in a single volume raises the question: what’s the point of this? And Things Bogans Like has you wondering from the start.

I’m not suggesting the book is without its pleasures. Yet, the pseudonymous gaggle of young professionals who wrote it don’t really seem to have articulated their reasons for doing so. It’s as if they tossed around a few quasi-anthropological bogan jokes at the pub, blogged them on a whim, rode high on the internet’s appetite for OMG SO TRUE LOL, and then found themselves being wooed by a publisher who saw Christams gift idea written all over it.

It goes on and on. So many things bogans like, so little meaningful structure. The writing is fluent and often shrewd, and the short entries are organised into categories, from “Multiculturalism” to “Sartorial Splendour”. But in an odd and misguided move, the categories are presented in alphabetical order. Key ideas are introduced without context and repeated between entries; the tone pitches about like The Spirit of Tasmania on Bass Strait (presumably due to the different authors’ writing styles) and the categorisation is loose and inconsistent. (Why was “Uninformed Gambling” filed under “Discretionary Spending”, yet “The Casino” was in “Boganomics”? Why are there separate categories for “S-x” and “Mating and Procreating”?)

The Australian cultural figure being lampooned doesn’t emerge any more sharply as the book proceeds. If anything, it becomes more generic and unfocused; a bogan turns out to be anyone who goes in for aggressive shopping binges, uninhibited public behaviour and mainstream pop culture. There are only so many supposedly quintessential bogan traits you can witness being given the treatment before you ask yourself, “So what?”

The reason it’s a shame is because it’s important for Australians to ask ourselves what we actually mean when we use loaded terms such as “bogan”. It’d also be good to ask these questions now, if only to stem the tide of pointless op-ed pieces that substitute lazy generalisations for cultural analysis.

This is not to say that Things Bogans Like doesn’t ring true quite a lot of the time. But it’s a callous, objectifying book. The pleasures of recognition it offers are pleasures of disavowal. The authors of the book seem to start out with an attitude of un-thought-through contempt for the social forms they mock. And they don’t allow themselves, or us, to do anything with that attitude.

Apart from the anonymity that relieves the authors of responsibility for their snideness, what separates Things Bogans Like from its ur-text, Christian Lander’s Stuff White People Like, is empathetic use of the imagination. Lander freely admits that he’s white as the driven snow, and there’s affection in the way he mocks his peers for their solipsistic, anxious snobbery.

By contrast, it’s striking that Things Bogans Like constantly refers to its subject using the impersonal pronoun “it”. (Though the rhetorical strategy falters when gender is up for discussion; feminine pronouns often slip into the book’s descriptions of female bogans.) The clinical style is designed to create a rhetorical gulf between “the bogan” and those who so comprehensively have his/her/its measure.

Which leads me to my next party-pooping question: who is this book for? Christian Lander knows his audience. Although he addresses the reader as a “non-white” cultural tourist seeking to understand and befriend white people, he’s keenly aware that white people are awfully fond of reading about themselves.

I’d actually tip my hat to the authors of What Bogans Like and to its publisher, Hachette, if the book were meant to be consumed in the same way as the gaudy merchandise it catalogues: bought by bogans as a display of sophistication and wit, but in fact broadcasting the exact opposite.

Sadly, I don’t think that’s the case. Though possibly the book might make an ideal gift to a relative with unknown reading tastes who once did something described in its pages (“Dear Craig, wishing you a maxtreme birthday …”), at a guess, I’d say What Bogans Like is destined to be quietly flipped through and sniggered at, by readers not dissimilar to the authors, as they browse the latest releases at an independent bookshop or get comfortable on an inner-city loo.

Throughout years of trying to participate in intelligent discussion about things bogan, I’ve constantly run up against the “commonsense” belief that bogans aren’t worthy of critical analysis; that they’re simply there to be scorned. This book might claim to illuminate one or two “new” kinds of bogan, but really it’s just more of the same. Where good comedy provokes and unsettles, Things Bogans Like offers nothing but complacent certainties. For this reader, it was disheartening to see how badly the book fumbled its opportunity to turn some of its excoriating wit back on the people doing the name-calling.

An article about nitpicking and sooking. On Twitter today, she made scapegoats of Crikey’s editors for the repeated bungles regarding the title of our blog/book. Delicious irony. We already knew she resents us, though she is oddly unable to resist repeatedly writing about us. I’ll refrain from commenting on the points she raised – her mind is made up, and my level of desire to be virtuous in her eyes is quite low. TBL

1 09 2011

oh shut up! nobody cares what u think!

26 09 2012

You obviously do.

10 04 2011

Has TBL considered releasing an audio book version of The Book? Or has this been stymied due to difficulty in sourcing Richard Wilkins’ talent for the read?

15 04 2011
Brad Cubitt

This is actually the greatest piece of literature i’ve ever absorbed through my eye holes.

31 07 2011

Where is book number 2? My bogan instinct to spend cash knows no bounds!

6 09 2011
david rathbone

Anyone interested in knowing where this word actually came from can find the whole story here:

15 11 2011
moar caek


19 02 2012
Robert G Heyward

As a long time student of both individual and social psychology, I have one criticism to make of your otherwise excellent book. In it, in the section on the bogan’s “Irishness” you suggest that at least 20% of the Oz populace is bogan.
I find this a highly dubious figure.
Surely, it would have to be closer to 80%.

6 08 2013

why do bogans have numerous old broken cars on their front lawn?? trophies?? sad dream that they’re “gonna do it up mate and make some money” (cos cars are awesome returns on investments). Seriously, can someone tell me?


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