OPINION: How to spot a bogan

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser

Capital B ‘Bogan’ is a moniker that serves as a source of pride for some and as a pejorative for others.

The traditional Australian Bogan has become something of a cliché and is typically defined by long and short hairstyles, V8 supercar inspired vehicles and propensity for premixed cans of brown spirits and cola.

These folk are the backbone of Australia, they are the hardened working class that are more concerned about letting the mullet down after a 60 hour week by swilling a few cold tins watching the footy or the favourite motorsport than heading out to bar in an alleyway that serves beer and fruit in old jam jars.

There has been, however an evolution of the Bogan adjective and this is where the pejorative usage has come into play, some would argue justifiably so.

The modern Bogan is no longer the hard working, V8 loving, larrikins; they are a pernicious bunch who are more than wary or anything foreign and get all of their “news” from commercial breakfast television.

While the tradition Bogan can be easy to spot the latter is not quite so obvious, here are five simple tips to understand the modern Australian Bogan.

1.One Nation: Their opening line in any discussion on the subject of politics typically includes “Pauline Hanson says what we are all thinking” and or “At least One Nation put Australians first”.

Their supporting argument for why immigration is to blame for all of society’s ills may also consist of a Today Tonight or Current Affairs report they saw on a shonky Vietnamese cladding company.

Much like Pauline Hanson’s One Nation political party the modern bogan is very adept at pointing out who is to blame for their own circumstances but less able to articulate any viable solution.

2.Misspelt baby names: It is the prerogative of the modern Bogan to burden their offspring with overly creative and sometimes completely invented names.

The type of names that ensure their children will have to spell it out every single time they deal with a utility or service provider over the phone.

Some examples from Kidspot.com’s top bogan names for 2017 include Bacardi, Gaige, Harisyn, Jakxson, Kendrew and Alize (pronounced Ah-Leez-ay). Yeah.

3.Sleeve tattoos: The modern bogan has destroyed any and all merit in tattoos by appropriating the full length sleeve tattoo.

This was once the sole domain of the transgressive of society and the most dedicated aficionados of tattoo art.

At least the collage of various tattoo icons is an improvement on the once ubiquitous tribal designs, these modern sleeves, however, are now so commonplace among the cashed up middle class bogan (which you have to be to be able to afford such masterpieces) they have been stripped of all meaning.

4.Moan and Groan pages: These popular Facebook groups exist in most suburbs and provide a platform for the community’s most malcontent to point out in a public forum exactly what is wrong with everyone and everything in town.

The Kalgoorlie version of such a page was thrust under the spotlight when screen captures of people threatening to run over children who had stolen property surfaced, just after someone had run over and killed a child who had stolen property.

Much like the beloved One Nation party, there are plenty of problems on these pages but all too little in the way of solutions.

5. Bali: This might be a controversial point to finish on as who doesn’t like a cheap overseas holiday to relax and unwind form the everyday hustle.

It is, however, the, mental gymnastics, cognitive dissonance if you will that is ever present in the tales told by the returned modern Bogan from Bali, Phuket or wherever the next poor South-east Asian island that is about to be invaded.

They have to maintain the façade that Asian people, culture and food is not really their thing while also admitting they had a great time eating, drinking and relaxing among the lovely Indonesian people.

These are the same people who complain about foreign aid going overseas and politicians not fixing the problems at home first but then choose to spend their saving on overseas holidays buy counterfeit AFL and NRL merchandise… “but it’s so cheap” they say as the local manufacturing and regional tourism operators struggle to make ends meet.

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