What Does It Mean To Be An Aussie Bogan?

This is a repost of an article I wrote on the Comedy Estonia website for our Aussie special show on May 18th

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Leading up to our all Aussie special at Club Prive on May 18th, I wanted to tell you a little more about our culture. Who are Australians really? Do we really all sit at the beach all day drinking Fosters while our mate fires up a BBQ? Absolutely yes. We have built a whole economy around sitting at the beach comparing each others cutting implements?

In Australia we have a sub culture called “Bogan”. You can be a bogan or more acceptably, you will want to accuse others of being a bogan without actually admitting any of the traits in yourself. A bogan is sort of like a rullnock but not quite. To be a bogan is to be the most quintessentially Australian you can be. It is to take every Australian stereotype of Paul Hogan, The Crocodile Hunter (what was his name again?), Kylie Minogue, Dame Edna Everage and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and times it by 1000. The bogan is the most Australia and often most obnoxious, an Australian can be.  While browsing the Internet the other day I came across this photo collection from what must be one of Australia’s biggest bogans and it makes for the perfect example.

 

1. Stealing Street Signs

The aussie bogan loves nothing more than grabbing his trusty wrench and heading off to find the “HUMP” sign that he spotted several weeks back. What better way to spend a boring Sunday night than look up your surname in the street directory and then drive half way across the city to unbolt a street sign emboldened with your title. If the street sign doesn’t unbolt, then why not just take a leaf from the American Army’s book and do the old “Saddam Drag” and tie one end of a rope around the sign and another end to your car?

2. Wrecking Old Cars

Of course you have an old car! You are way too poor to afford something better and since the engine just blew up for the 3rd and last time and you can’t afford a new one, the car is off to the junk yard. But wait! The car is off to the Junk yard which means you can do anything you like with it! Why not take out those seats and place them in the lounge room for the complete Playstation Gran Turismo effect? Why not experiment with the interactions between an axe and the cars bonnet? Why not kick in every panel and then boldly stand on top of the car posing for eternal glory? Why not indeed!

 

3. Custom License Plates

 

Why just have a regular car licence plate when you can have something fancy and cool written there to show everyone who passes your rusted our heap of shit that you mean business. For extra points, why spell our regular words when some cryptic combination of letters and numbers will truly prove how cool you are. For added value, make your license plate a well hidden reference to an obscure Melbourne indie band for the sort of recognition that you will never get.

 

4. Making a pilgrimage to Canberra and honouring Bob Hawke

Bob Hawke was Australian Prime Minister between 83 and 91. More importantly than this, in his youth he held a beer drinking record at Cambridge. This man drank a yard glass (about 3 pints) in 11 seconds. That’s Australian. Even in Hawke’s own memoirs he suggests that this single feat may have contributed more than anything to his popular success. DAMM STRAIGHT. How many pints can Ilves down?? With this great man at our nations helm nothing could go wrong. Indeed for those 8 years not a thing did go wrong in Australia, it was the golden age of OZ and thusly a trip to Canberra is not complete without praying at the most bogan altar of them all, his portrait in our Parliament House.

In Cambridge they have this sign to remind the British what a bunch of little girls they really are and that this great man led the best national on earth.

 

 

5. Nudie Runs

Clothes are great and all but after a few drinks, what can be better than stripping down to your nud and doing the bolt down the main street as your friends cheer you on. Bonus points if the cops come by and you are taken away in the van while still being nude. The Aussie Bogan loves being naked and showing his wedding tackle at any opportunity. What could possibly not be funny about quietly leaving the pub, only to reappear at the window outside dangling your nuts right near your mates face on the other side of the glass? Take these four prime examples, out hiking in the forest and deciding that immortalizing their white buttocks on film could not possible impact negatively on their lucrative careers later in life.

6. “No Worries” Attitude

Can there be any greater Australian stereotype than “no worries mate”? Let me think for a while… ah no worries! The irony is clearly that a bogan has lots of worries: is my new car exhaust loud enough? I hope my horse wins tonight as I bet this months mortage payment on it. What if these 10 cases of beer aren’t enough for our 5 person party? Am I being too dressed up by wearing my thongs (read: flip flops) to my best mates wedding? I mean, you don’t want to be too posh and all.

The no worries attitude extends to getting stuff done. Any solution will do and while our preference would be the option which takes the shortest time so we can get quickly to the beer drinking, the next best option is the solution which causes the biggest scene, thusly giving us a chance to show the other bogans, what super bogans we really are. Take the scenario of trying to get a couch into a 1st floor apartment. Sure it could be taken up the stairs but they look kind of narrow and that involves all kind of lifting. Why go up the stairs when there is a great big balcony out the front. How do you get it up on that balcony though? These bogans lifted the couch onto the top of the moving truck, then drove the truck onto the pavement, jamming it in front of a store and blocking their entrance for 30 mins. While a disadvantage to the shop keep, this allowed the bogans to easily place the couch onto the balcony and get immense bogan cred while doing it.

7. Defiling Public Statues

What good is a statue if you can’t take a dirty photograph with it? That’s the purpose right? No one in Australia gives a shit about any kind of poofy “culture” you Europeans have, so clearly a statue is merely there for you to come along and touch it in the naughty places while your mates laugh and take photos.

8. Dishing Out Bush Justice

Bogans dont fuck around. It’s not enough to get rid of that annoying insect, what is needed is a bigger display of brute strength so the other insects learn that they shouldn’t mess with you any longer. After a nasty cockroach was caught in the kitchen, it was deemed not enough to just kill it. What lesson would the cockroach learn? He mates would just be coming back tomorrow thinking they can mess with with us… err I mean the bogans. Therefore, this particular cockroach was sentenced to death by fire, using a spray can and a lighter to really teach that pesky cocky a lesson his char grilled ass will never forget.

How Can I Learn More About Aussie Boganism?

With luck by now you understand more about the great aussie bogan and your curiosity has been aroused. If you want to get into the bogan vibe, get your ticket for Stand Up Comedy with Louis and Eric this Wednesday night, there are a few left at Piletilevi.

En Bra Vecka i Sverige

I dont care if thats proper Swedish or not, Ive been speaking bad Svenska all week anyway. We are in Umeå and our last gig is done. We were invited here to perform as part of a festival of gender studies and between Marja, Evelyn, Henric, Sandra and I think we gave them a good show which also touched on a lot of the topics on their mind. The best part was probably Henric Chezek firing off his sexist racist one liners to the ultra feministic crowd, it was worth the trip just for that.

Henric thinking up more ways to insult minorities before the show

Last night we went to Uppsala and did a gig at Kick Ass Comedy run by our buddy Adeel Faqih. Adeel is a very funny comedian and an awesome guy, he let Henric and I stay at his place for 3 nights and eat at his restaurant whenever we wanted. Good food too. The Uppsala crowd were really nice, kind of closer to Estonian audiences, warm, receptive, there for a good time.

Tomorrow is a long day, Umeå to Stockholm, Stockholm to Tallinn, Tallinn to Tartu, then host the open mic at Möku. Or rather host half of it. This is the first time we are doing an open mic in two languages, so the first half will be Estonian and the second half English. I think thats pretty cool. I dont have new jokes. Funny how being in Stockholm hasnt given me much new stuff. Im sure Ill come up with something on the night, I always do. I do have a beard right now, maybe Ill just bring back Barry.

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Stockholm – The Return

Its been a year since I visited Stockholm, in fact I havn’t returned since I packed up the Volvo, Alireza helped me put my bed on the roof and took the Volvo and myself to Finland. I got asked to put together a comedy show in Umeå again this year so I took Chezek and we jumped on a boat and came for a few days of shows.

Last night we did Maffia Comedy in Stockholm and it was a good night although I went on so late both myself and the crowd were wondering as to my purpose on the stage. After 2 hours of show what can I bring to them? Not as much a I hoped but I did learn that Swedish people dont understand that Finnish people have a self esteem problem. Its a small but important detail to me.

So im chilling in Stockholm today doing my work. I bought some jeans, two pair in fact, to replace the two pair I own which both have gaping holes in them. I say they are air conditioned for winter. Everyone else disagrees. Its nice to be back here for a few days. Back in my old home. Back amongst good food. Back in a place where I sort of don’t stand out. A place where people dress well. Is it weird that as soon as I got here I felt like I need a haircut shave and a manicure?

Tomorrow we are gigging in Uppsala and Friday the main one in Umeå. When I arranged the gig I forgot to tell the other comedians the show is outside at 18:00. A small but unimportant detail to me.