Front Page Faux Pas: Farrago

Sunday, 2 November, 2014

Read the whole Front Page Faux Pas series here.

Welcome, friends and foes alike. It is time to gather ‘round for the last hurrah. Grab a snack, strap in, and sit tight, because it’s going to be a fun one. Or a slightly distasteful one. Either way, things are going to get a bit strange. I can only promise it won’t be as unpleasant as sitting through the 2003 Tommy Wiseau film The Room (although you might feel the need to howl “I’m fed up with this wouurld!” at some point).

This column series kicked off with a grim yet hopeful evaluation of print media. I claimed it was still very much alive, albeit in a terrible state. I stand by that. Enough time has passed now to safely say print media has not recovered, but get this—the thing still twitches if you poke it. I believe something has changed though—the newspaper segment of print media has mutated into something worse than it once was. It has reached the point where I almost feel inclined to find some crevice-like space and yell “I’m going in the crevice!”, Charlie Kelly-style.

The many unpleasant newspaper happenings of recent need no explaining. Among many other things, there was the ‘terror raids’ coverage (that in many cases seemed to mirror a media strategy from the AFP), the accidental publication of Abu Bakhar Alam’s photo by Fairfax (along with many Islamophobic stories across newspaper outlets), the dehumanisation of murder victim Mayang Prasetyo by The Courier Mail, Sharri Markson’s ridiculous undercover investigation of media degrees in Sydney for The Australian, and that same newspaper’s more recent attacks on New Matilda for exposing Barry Spurr’s racism and sexism.

Singling out a front page or two in this mess would mean letting many others off the hook. So since this is the final instalment—I am about to graduate—and Farrago is set to change hands, I have decided to go rogue. I’m talking about turning the tables and taking aim at Farrago itself.

To do this I am going to try to channel a bunch of views that are not my own, but hey, that’s alright if I say it’s for the sake of balance, right? And someone needs to stop this hipster fest in its tracks and expose the magazine’s raging leftist agenda.

The atrocity that was the Edition Six cover of Farrago featured a so-called ‘magic eye’ that basically did not work for anyone and frustrated a lot of people (myself, for one). Apparently, the thing was meant to read “VOTE” if you looked at it closely, clearly proving Farrago to be a mouthpiece for the left-wing political parties it best aligns with. So much for an ‘independent’ student magazine. But let’s move past that. Below this image “UMSU ELECTIONS”, “PROSH WEEK”, and “GRAFFITI” were printed.

Let’s break these three down to illustrate that each one is more contentious than the last.

PROSH WEEK: That’s right. The week where a bunch of radicals run wild around the university doing stupid shit—e.g. disrupting others’ educations with  nudie runs and attempting to acquire something they call ‘Bachelor of Inebriation’. Farrago appears to condone this kind of raucous behaviour. Also, Christianity is the largest Australian religion according to the 2011 Census, and the kind of behaviour on display at Prosh is highly offensive because it goes against the Christian values held by so many in this country. God is watching you, Proshers.

GRAFFITI: Really? The people who practice this so-called art are, as we all know, nothing short of vandals. The last thing these people need is further encouragement to pass their crimes off as art. Before we know it taxi drivers will be calling themselves chauffeurs, drug dealers will consider themselves entrepreneurs, and, God forbid, we might even have another female prime minister. What’s more, this front cover itself should be considered an act of graffiti.

UMSU ELECTIONS: Talking about eyesores. For those of us who could not decipher whatever that thing on the front cover was, here is a less subtle way for the magazine to scream out “VOTE, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE” and so on. Enough said.

So what can be done to improve the quality of, and restore balance to, our at-present valueless student magazine? Farrago needs to provide content that is more reflective of different views shared by the student body and our society at large. I have a few suggestions—“MUSLIMS ON CAMPUS”, “STOP THE BOATS”, “WELFARE SCUM”, or “PRO-COAL STORIES”. I can go on…

So there you have it, Farrago is the worst. Cheers for seeing this through.

Over and out, you absolute legends.

Disclaimer: The views in this column may sound a little like Jacqui Lambie, or come across as generally misinformed, greedy, biased, and/or bigoted (Andrew Bolt said I have the right to do this). But I apologise for nothing.


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Dear Editors, as much as I usually enjoying reading your publication, I was disgusted at the content in your last issue. As a young man with bilateral temporal hemianopia, your “magic eye” hidden message on the front cover was anything but magic. I found myself feeling alone, ostracised, in the words of Natalie Imbruglia, “naked on the floor”. But I wasn’t naked, I just couldn’t see the hidden message. This is the kind of bullshit that keeps me up at night. Lift your game.

Darcy Chadwick