A Thousand Flowers: Our First Three Months

jm01905It’s hard to believe that just 3 short months ago today, on March 8th, we were all rushing around at 12.13 am putting the final touches to our wee blog just in time for launch.  Well, 13 minutes late, but no-one’s perfect.

It’s fair to say we started as we meant to go on.  Our first offerings included this epic queer, feminist, troller looking at the misogny at Glasgow Uni.  We named names before any national newspaper dared.  We also had a pre-made response ready for when we just got told to shut up and go away.  We later returned to wonder where the Uni Rector, Charles Kennedy, was hiding.

Not content with shining light on present scandals, we even managed to forsee the future with our piece about payday lenders. Two months later, Kerry Katona’s “Cash Lady” advert was banned by the ASA.  Our prophecies continued when we examined why Corrie Star, Bill Roache, had a vested interested in victim-blaming (some six weeks before his recent arrest). In a decidedly more upbeat turn, our piece examining the negative nonsense from Better Together ended with a picture of the Iron Lady and the caption “Bye Bye Britain.” 48 hours later we were dancing in the streets and the fun continued for some time.

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We’d talked about independence a lot amongst ourselves, and we mentioned it briefly in another of our first pieces looking back at the Section 28 debacle, but it wasn’t until the aforementioned Better Together/End of Thatcher piece that we really came out swinging.  Of course, we kept it up, not least when Better Together again used dirty tricks to censor the mighty National Collective. We were not impressedAnd not for shutting up about it either.  We would never let anyone off the hook just for being pro-independence so we were happy to rebuke all the nonsense about our perennial hate figure, Brian Souter, and point out that it was possible to hate him and love independence at the same time.

Since we enjoy a bit of balanced debate and definitely wouldn’t want to be accused of being partial, we’ve had the pleasure of providing a platform to “MP for Cathcart and Dunwoody East” Frank McAllister.  Frank has delighted us with his sermons on the importance of maintaining the Union/in-house bar at Westminster and why we should definitely vote no, otherwise we might all turn into foreigners.

Aside from the referendum, there’s a lot going on in our country that we feel should be talked about.  The current ripping apart of the welfare state, the Bedroom Tax, our unhealthy obsession with terrorism and militarism.

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It’s not just Britain that’s collapsing under the weight of systemic failure but most of the world.  We’ve explored the possibilities for the end of life as we know it if we don’t deal with climate change now. We’ve examined what’s really behind Korea’s crisis, lambasted Paraguay’s new incumbent President and pissed ourselves at the Krelim’s propaganda. In contrast, we’ve eugolised Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and examined the lessons for our own oil rich nation. We’ve travelled to Chicago to look at the roots of drill as a music genre and why it’s problematic for white people to appropriate and exploit culture without understanding or being part of it.  It’s also problematic when your mayor smokes crack, as the citizens of Toronto can attest.

Mainstream politics doesn’t offer us many useful solutions to these myriad of problems.  Obviously, we spend quite a lot of our time chasing Tories, but Labour are hardly up to much either If Ed Miliband isn’t enough to put you off, then a brief glimpse into what goes on at Glasgow City Council should do the trick. UKIP are the new kids on the British block and it’s fair to say they’re about as welcome as… Nigel Farage in Scotland. Our examination of political parties has also strayed into the less well known, with our potted history of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party And if anyone thought we’d be letting the SNP off Scot free because they support independence, we didn’t.  We are queer feminist trolls after all.

Speaking of trolls, we’ve also delighted in welcoming others to our midst.  Most recently renowned writer and artist, Greg Moodie,  made a guest appearance with his aptly titled, “Troll” and there was much rejoicing at his recollection of epic battles with unionists on the old internet. We’ve also been delighted to welcome Rowena who examined why neither alcohol nor those who consume it are responsible for abuse, no matter how much men say it. A mysterious former-Aberdeen based socialist also made a guest appearance to examine whether his former party, the SWP, were falling apart. We could tell you who it is but we’re not grasses. Unlike him.

Since I’ve mentioned the SWP, whilst thankfully we’ve (mostly, LOL) avoided membership of their particular far-left club, we’ve not really tried to hide our general desire for communist utopia. We also think there’s a lot wrong with the left and we’ve not been afraid to say so. Whether it’s things like the kinds of jokes comedians tell or the big political events like the anti-war movement, we think it’s important to challenge ourselves to do better.  Not least because if we don’t then we leave the door open to the shouty, charismatic men who seem to vandalise radical movements all the time.

Whilst it’s nice to have a place for chin stroking pieces (in TWO PARTS no less) about all that is wrong with the British left, we also make no apologies for getting enraged and just shouting. Whether we’re being aggressive homosexuals or raging feminists, we say what we feel needs said. And when we felt like shouting was the only weapon left, we did just that.

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And when all else fails, nothing beats just calling people wankers – whether it’s the pompous George Galloway, Occupy homophobe Michelle Shocked, sexist dinosour Ray Winstone or a woman who is both a Daily Mail journalist and a parody of a Daily Mail journalist, Samantha Brick. We promise many more scalps in the weeks ahead.

But it’s worth mentioning that to most people, not least us, official “politics” is very, very dull. We like talking about stuff that’s going on in what some people might call “the real world.”  We go out dancing (and don’t expect to get groped for the privilege), fawn over Beyonce and occasionally get lifted (and become memes in the process) – ACAB We also end up in predicaments  we’d rather not, like having to choose between giving money to nazis and keeping the buzz going for a few more hours.  Speaking of drug-fuelled hazes, people make drugs and people take drugs It’s completely bizzare that no-one ever says this. We always will. And when the cold, dark, Glasgow summer nights return you can always just kick back and have a wank.  You wouldn’t get that from the Morning Star.

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We’d like to take the time to thank our many tens of thousands of visitors for making these last three months so much fun.  We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received whether that’s on Facebook or Twitter or just from random punters.  We’ve even got our first official troll (who clearly hasn’t read the comments policy). We’d like to big up all those out there who’ve spread the floral message.  Your support means the absolute world to a bunch of windbags like us. The kindness of friends and strangers alike has motivated us to keep at it despite, to paraphrase one blogger, the variety of “work/study/political/mental illness pies” we all have our fingers in. We hope whatever happens over the coming months and years that we never stop asking the big questions about what our country, our politics and our society is actually for.  Whether we love it, hate it or just rip the piss out of it: we need to keep talking about it.

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Never let the wankers grind you down.

Always remember – a bit of the old Floral Sects is much more fun.

Let the cross-pollination of radical ideas continue!

Let A Thousand Flowers bloom!

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Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AThousandFlowers

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