Thursday, 16 February 2017


The bogan in its natural habitat

I've been pondering anew and thinking a little about class and its implications in Anglo-Saxon societies. Although Australian and New Zealand societies are supposedly classless, this is not true. Arguably the Antipodes are less class conscious and less defined by class than their British brethren, but class structures/strictures and hierarchy do exist. Societies throughout the world segregate to some degree. In some societies, it is extreme as observed in the caste system of India. In America, class awareness is based mainly on money, although there are still a number of patrician blue bloods lurking in New England, but again the upper echelons residing on the east coast are invariably wealthy. Contrast this with the typical English aristocrat who, like their ramshackle stately homes, have seen better days. Death duties and upkeep on dilapidated castles have robbed these former robber Barons of their ill-gotten gains garnished from hundreds of years of fruitful exploitation and wars with the French. In England, the aristocracy is not synonymous with great wealth.

I would like to consider a sub-type of class or 'classless' denizen of Australian and New Zealand societies known as the bogan. Bogans are a peculiar sub-culture instantly recognisable by their dress, speech, coiffure and mode of transport.

The bogan in its natural habitat.........

The bogan is a most interesting and universally loathed creature. The majority of the species are hideously repugnant, devoid of full denture and remarkably unintelligent, and yet they manage to breed in ever-increasing numbers and populate an area known as the outer west. It is quite common to find five or six offspring in each family group, often with a different father for each new baby. 

Their habitat consists of a weatherboard or brick veneer dwelling and is characterised by an early model Holden or Ford in the driveway surrounded by a group of males discussing why the carby is stuffed and the results of last night's footy (a primitive gladiator-like spectator sport enjoyed by most bogans).

The female of the species, while smaller in stature, is far more loud and aggressive than the male. While the males tend to be very friendly and congregate with other males, the females spend most of their time in supermarkets and shopping malls, using a shrill high-pitched call to discipline their children and contact other females. 

Males and females rarely interact socially except during breeding season, which is otherwise known as Friday night. During this time, females are allowed to enter the male-dominated area known as "the pub" and display their impressive coloured plumage to a prospective mate. Male plumage is universally displayed as a crest or mullet sportingly enhanced in multi-coloured hues

Herein lies an interesting phenomenon. Males will often fight over a particularly attractive female and she will mate with only one male, while some less attractive females have been known to have several partners simultaneously. 

Of course, the bogan has its equivalent throughout the western hemisphere. In the US they are affectionately known as, 'trailer trash' and in Britain as 'chavs'. Lack of taste, lack of culture and ill fortune foisted upon by nature truly knows no geographical bounds.

Trailer trash in its natural habitat

Ahhhh. The wonders of nature and the power of convergent evolution.

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