The Null Device

Things Bogans Like

The latest addition to the "Things ___ Like" genre is Things Bogans Like, looking at the common Australian bogan.
18 – Petrol Consumption as Recreation
13 – Misspelling Their Kids’ Names
11 – Ruining Music Festivals
6 – Prefacing Racist Statements With ‘I’m not racist but…’
(Bogans, for those unfamiliar with them, are sort of like the Australian equivalent of chavs (except without the quasi-civilising influences of the more drugged- and/or thugged-out sides of Balearic rave-techno and hip-hop) or rednecks (only without the religion and guns). The MetaFilter thread explains it better than I can:
Bogans are just bogans. You don't really get the equivalent overseas. Take the awkward upward social mobility of a chav, mix in the fierce anti-intellectualism and tribalism of your redneck, the utter lack of self awareness of the frat boy, baste it in cheap beer and abandon it on a prison island, hidden in the summer for a million years. They're nice, very unusshual, verry unikwe.
That my friends, is a bogan.
Of course, they tend to have broad senses of humour, strong loyalty to friends and family, no matter what the friends and family do, and a certain code of honour that you do not break. Don't fuck with kids or old ladies, share your hospitality, and help folk out if they're in trouble. A bogan may start a fight, but they'll often break them up, too. They may have their rough sides, but most bogans are okay people.
And here is a retort from the bogan side, slagging off the "inner-city tossers" who go to Laneway music festivals and bars with retro furniture, travel to obscure countries, spend their weekends reading newspapers, browsing independent bookshops and having deep, depressing conversations, typically using unnecessarily large words. Alternatively, here's Stuff White People Like: the Melbourne Version.

There are 5 comments on "Things Bogans Like":

Posted by: Michael S. Sat Nov 7 11:31:28 2009

See, the thing about Stuff White People Like is that it's written by a White Person who hates that he loves the things White People like! But Stuff Bogans Like is not conflicted, slightly tortured essays about bogan culture, and it's also not very funny. So, I don't really get it... My favourite Stuff X Like is:

Posted by: mark Sun Nov 8 05:12:45 2009

I'm with Michael. The charm of "Stuff White People Like" is that it's written by someone who fulfils the stereotype. This Is Important. Even the nastier "Stuff Geeks Love" is written by a geek, and there's an overriding sense of self-deprecation in every line.

"Things Bogans Like" is full of understandable frustration at some of the dickheads out there (of the articles on the front page, I particularly agree with "sexualising their children" and "ruining music festivals") but it's not funny. It just reads as the bourgeoisie making fun of the less well-educated, and it's mean-spirited and dumb. Good humour has to consist of more than just whingeing because you don't understand why the lower classes are more celebrated in Aussie society than you are.

Posted by: mark Sun Nov 8 05:16:54 2009

In follow-up, it WOULD be interesting to see a true bogan version, where a bogan writer takes aim at the things that annoy HIM about bogan culture ... I wonder what he'd pick on instead of your typical "aww bogans have terrible taste in cheese and wine and they remind me of this one guy who called me a poofter in High School".

Also, props to Michael for "White Stuff People Like". One-shot idea, but made me smile.

Posted by: Greg Mon Nov 9 08:37:59 2009

It's amazing how much 'left' politics has changed in recent decades. From the late 60s to the early 80s the working class was feared and respected. Middle-class people who desired a career in culture-production often tried to acquire 'cred' by passing as working-class. (Joe Strummer is a bizarre, 'Safran-esque' example.) The fall of the USSR put paid to the possibility of workers taking power through revolution, and they have come to be castigated. One even hears phrases like 'conservative working-class' - what can that mean coming from a bourgeois? Having said that, I think 'Things Bogans Like' is pretty funny. A lot of bogan culture is bad - petrol and plasma TVs and all that. The trick is how to criticize it without anti-worker ad-hominems. The key is the culture - workers have been sold a lemon. I hate the 'White People' blogs because they are not about white people but the middle class. Those categories are not the same in most parts of the world. Read as "Stuff Middle-Class People Like", they're great

Posted by: acb Mon Nov 9 11:48:55 2009

Was the majority of the working classes ever radical? I was under the impression that the bulk of the working classes (however one draws the boundaries of this term) were somewhat conservative in their aspirations, not caring much for collectively being at the apex of a dictatorship of the proletariat but rather wanting more immediate comforts (a nice house and garden, or a big plasma TV and regular holidays to somewhere warm); i.e., what the Marxists call "false consciousness". Only when the system denies the masses aspirations do they become radical (and even then, the intellectuals who lead the revolutions tend to be middle-class or above).

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