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Bogan 3.0: Our Bogans, Our Selves

May 24th, 2010 by the_lifer

Wazzer has been asked to model in an avant-garde fashion show. Wayne, having received an okay-for-the-recession bonus for managing his software development team, is listening to AC/DC on his upgraded iPhone. Wayland runs a hand through his hair and says, “I’m rough as guts, under the suit,” and everyone swoons. Welcome to the triumph of Bogan 3.0.

Wellington is an incubated petri dish developing Bogan 3.0. The city draws the best and brightest of Kiwi boganity from Waiouru (where Wellington’s gravitational field begins) to Invercargill.  With Wellington’s high cost of living, employment that rewards intelligence, and proximity to the Hutt Valley, the bogan is both challenged and nurtured here.

The result is recursive, self-aware, but determinedly not post-bogan. Bogan 3.0 may demur that, despite their heart’s yearnings and metal T-shirts on Friday, they are not truly, worthily bogan. They may also defiantly declare that they are bogan to the bone, and their friends can take them or leave them. Most of Wellington happily claims Bogan 3.0 as their own.

The bogan look of heavy black, silver metal embellishments, and enhanced hair dovetails neatly with Wellington’s dark, avant-garde, enhanced hair aesthetic. Often all that separates a bogan’s look from an old-city ministerial analyst is, nowadays, not one but several tattoos.

What separates them mentally is another matter. Bogan 3.0 remembers Grandpa Bogan, domestic upheavals, and what happens to school leavers 20 years after they’ve left. And Bogan 3.0 wants better things than that. They wrap up at least the educational basics, and work as hard as they party.

Government work is good to Bogan 3.0. In the more cultural ministries, a dash of bogan earthiness is seen to bridge the gap between Pakeha and Maori. Even when this doesn’t apply, Wilson Wellington, at his government desk, likes hiring Wayne and Wayland. It makes him feel like he’s keeping the ministry connected with the Real New Zealand. Two desks over, Wilson’s equally empowered colleague, an old-time bogan made good, is happy to sign off on their invoices.

After work, young Bogan 3.0 has the choice of partying old-school on Courtenay Place, or being ironically bogan on Cuba Street, where the drinks are better.

Having made their bones downtown, paired-off Bogan 3.0 units often retreat to the Hutt Valley to buy reasonable houses (which leaves more money for cars) or shift to Australia or Europe.

Refined in the crucible that is Wellington, outside of the region, Bogan 3.0 often fails to read as bogan at all, and suffers an identity crisis.

Note: Why Bogan 3.0? The Australian varietals of Old School Bogan and New Bogan are piercingly described at the seriously choice Things Bogans Like.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • I loved reading this.

  • We call our ironic rednecks “hipsters.” Trucker caps have recently gone out of fashion but wayfarers, chuck taylor high tops, white belts and garage sale sweaters are still big.

  • Going by American taxonomy, Kiwi/Aussie bogans are more closely aligned to the guido than to the hipster. It’s my experience that the Kiwi bogan has more ironic awareness than the Aussie one, but that’s part of everything in NZ being so small that social divisions get blurry.

  • We don’t have much of an Italian-American community in Minneapolis. We do have a lot of art students and aspiring rockers though. Oh, and bicycle culture is surprisingly big here. Doesn’t actually mean they all have trust funds.