Sound, drums and light

The foundations of outsider environmentalism

Featured in

  • Published 20170801
  • ISBN: 9781925498417
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IN MY LATE-TEENAGE years, I found myself for a time hovering on the border of bogandom. In those long-gone days of the mid-1980s, the bogans of Perth’s foothills could be identified by a clear dress code: flannelette ‘x-brand’ outer shirts, black T-shirts (often with the AC/DC band logo), black desert boots, black jeans and black heavy cotton ‘battle jackets’. And yes, the mullet was the preferred haircut.

The word ‘bogan’ itself was in common usage, but only to describe a kind of social identity and, as I recall, without any implicit disparagement. Bogans tended to be the toughest kids at my school and those most likely to get into physical fights, but my recollection is that they were not generally the bullies. Despite my weedy bookishness, I found myself in the bogan penumbra through some mates who were even more bogan than I was, including a couple who were the real deal – battle jackets and all. My no-doubt unconvincing foray on the fringe of boganness went as far as owning a couple of flannelette shirts and, in retrospect, the photographic evidence suggests a hint of mullet. I possessed at least one copied AC/DC cassette tape, with track titles carefully written out on the inner paper cover.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

More from author

The ship, the students, the chief and the children

Non-fictionThe power of the fossil-fuel order depends on foreclosing any kind of political and institutional decisions that would see societies break free from the malignant clamp of coal, oil and gas corporations. This power also depends on eliding alternative ways of seeing. In one sense, the whole of the political struggle against climate change can be understood as an effort to make corporate and political decision-makers see, such that they are required to act.

More from this edition

Killing Bold

EssayTHE FIRST SAFETY message Brett,[i] one of our tour guides, delivered was about wearing seatbelts. The second was about dingoes. ‘If you see a...

The men in green

EssayTO KILL TIME following a minor a delay to their meeting schedule, three middle-aged men with thinning hair, charcoal-grey suits and blue ties stood...

Impossible things

EssayIN THE SUMMER of 2016 everything changes. Portentous news should come by phone, or a knock on the door, maybe a letter dropping onto...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.