fbpx

FOR

Words by Joshua Green

Here’s the thing: I love a Snapchat. It might be from a close friend, a family member, or even that middle-aged African-American woman whom I haven’t had the heart to delete. I don’t really care. All I know is that I’m thankful for the weird and wonderful world that is unveiled to me through this little yellow app.

Not that long ago selfies were considered passé and the domain of the teenybopper minority (and Kevin Rudd). Not anymore. Today they are being reclaimed by the masses and to great affect.

Snaps I have received include a magical melange of drunken singing (most regularly ‘Drunk In Love’), grotesque facial expressions, and artfully rendered drawings of penises over people’s faces.Who wouldn’t want that?

For ten seconds I am privileged with a snapshot into that person’s life, a shared digital moment that breaks down any time/space division between us. We are free to let our wild side shine like a beacon to anyone on our contact list.

To those who might scoff at the Snapchat enthusiasts among us, I ask you to consider the ramifications of a world without this platform. The risk of your parents seeing you singing Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ atop a bed might be reduced (apologies Mum and Dad), certainly—but what else might be lost?

Snapchat is not solely for the imbibers and eccentrics. I’ve known entire relationships that have been conducted via the platform. Sending a bedtime selfie, a perfectly tousled morning selfie, even the occasional ‘bored in a lecture but still looking hot’ selfie. And while photographic traditionalists might snicker at this, I think it’s got something going for it.

As a member of Gen Y, I go mad for any new form of social media. MSN, Bebo, Facebook, Instagram,… even LinkedIn; I’ve had them all. But the real human quality is missing in all these platforms.

This is where Snapchat comes in: as the technological home base for sharing insignificant moments. An outlet for serial sexters who do not want their wobbly bits splashed across the frightening sphere that is the Facebook news feed. A digital vortex that is willing to forget the drunken shenanigans of a big night faster than you do.

This is not to suggest that Snapchat serves as some kind of Utopian platform, rekindling real human contact in the cold digital age. A dick pic does not a relationship make. However, in contrast to the highly edited, permanent realms of other social media, it is a step closer to reality. Ily Snapchat. Stay golden.

AGAINST

Words by Alexander Sheko

Snapchat, if left unchecked and unchallenged, will lead to nothing less than the collapse of Western civilization, if not humanity itself. I guarantee this, and plenty of my predictions have come true in the past. For example, the other day, I correctly foretold that Andrew Bolt would publish a laughable and borderline offensive editorial piece in the Herald Sun.

The first reason why Snapchat will lead to the end of life as we know it is that it promotes a frighteningly dangerous level of narcissism by encouraging its users (mostly those pesky and entitled Gen Y-ers) to pester their contemporaries with snaps (as it were) of their mundane and tedious lives. Many users even take “selfies” to send to their friends; such is the level of their self-fascination!

I once tried to take a selfie. It appeared there was something wrong with the front-facing camera on my phone so I had to do it the “old-fashioned” way. It was very awkward and I ended up dropping my phone. The fall of my phone to the ground was surely nothing but a portent of the fall of humanity that is to come because of this app.

Secondly, Snapchat discriminates against those with fingers that are less than dainty and nimble. I attempted to handwrite an amusing message earlier today, superimposed on a photograph of a bruise that was forming on my foot where I had dropped my tablet. Though a pleasant lime green, the letters were but indecipherable, triggering a traumatic flashback to being told as a child that I would fail at school, university and (presumably) life due to illegible handwriting. And handwriting practice. God, I hated that.

But this isn’t about me, of course. This is about civilization! For when we permit the marginalisation of those with clumsy fingers and inexpert fine motor skills, we basically go down the slippery slope that leads only to dystopian nightmares beyond belief.

Finally, how come nobody has sent me nudes yet? Seriously. I assumed this was a platform for the free (albeit fleeting) exchange of poor quality amateur pornography, but so far have received only pictures of a moustachioed cat and complaints about pharmacology lectures (in selfie form to convey deep angst). What a complete and utter letdown. And, of course, the whole civilizational collapse thing.

Every month, For & Against will tackle a different issue – some serious, some not so serious. If you have a debate you want to see resolved in Farrago, email us at farragomagazine2014@gmail.com

Words by Joshua Green
Illustration by Cameron Baker

It was the year eight swimming carnival and I had donned my school speedos in preparation for the 50-metre boys breaststroke. I was teetering on the brink of high school victory and stardom. It was at this point though that I glanced down and noticed puberty had worked its magic that summer.

To this day, the risk of a curly mane protruding from an unforgiving expanse of Lycra has shaped the very way I enter water. And my budgie smugglers have been replaced forever more by the infinitely less risqué board short.

But why the fuss?

Pubic hair (and the manner in which it is approached) brings up some fairly curly questions.  Are the waxing, plucking and pruning of our pelvic garden merely another beauty regimen with which we submit ourselves? Or is it perhaps something a little darker? By eschewing a pubic mane are we infantilising our otherwise sexually mature bodies?

Given my past life as a dancer (and the surplus of Lycra that came with it) the topic of waxing was discussed freely and often. For some women it appears to be a practicality thing. It’s easier to just get the curly mates downstairs removed than constantly be tugging on a leotard.

When discussing this article with my sister I only needed to mention ‘pubic hair’ before she responded, “Kill it with fire”. While there is a pro-wax camp, there are some not so keen on messing with what yo’ mama gave you. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Another woman I spoke to voiced concern over the notion that by waxing themselves, girls are emulating child-like bodies to gain adult male attention. While I don’t think anyone would condemn a bit of light sprucing around the edges during swimsuit season, there are certainly interesting ramifications of balding the vagina.

What of it for men, though? Some of my female friends are vocal in their preference for a cleanly shaven man as opposed to ‘a full body dreadlock’. Indeed, manscaping—along with its key tenet, ‘a smaller bush makes for a bigger tree’—has gained prevalence lately,  but when it comes down to it, how much does any of this maintenance matter?

Unless you’ve just been cast in an amateur production of Hair, there’s little likelihood you’re going to be exposing your pubic region again until at least November. Sure, if you’re due for any coitus in the next couple of weeks you might want to tidy the furry-pant fuzzies, but is a bit of hair really going to change the situation? The long and short of it is that pubic hair fashions come and go, for women and for men, and in the end it’s a matter of choice. Under the cloak of winter though, it’s probably safe to let everything go to seed—if not for aesthetics then for a bit of extra warmth.