The Honeymoon is over, the Hayfever begins
As the cheery sorts begin to comment on how “the nights are fair drawing in,” it’s hard to believe that Summer is almost over. Another three months have came and went and in our continued spirit of falling back on endless self references and making lists when we don’t have any better ideas, there’s no time like the present to run down all the things we’ve been ranting about in months 3-6, while Scotland has been out enjoying some rare sunshine.
Summer in Glasgow is synonymous with marches and so we had a crack at understanding why the Orange Order exist and what we’re gonna do about them. It’s always good to get on the queer march ourselves but even marches where the Union Jacks are replaced by rainbow flags aren’t immune from being a breeding ground (breeding? NEVER!) for unpleasant ideas, as we revealed when we looked at the racists who were booked for Glasgow Pride. Thankfully, that particular act thought better of it and cancelled and we were also grateful that the very silly spat between Glasgow City Council and the Pride organisers was resolved, allowing rainbow flegs to adorn the City Chambers on the day. Somewhat disappointingly, the “rainbow lollies” promised by our pals at Better Together turned up to be a total con…although we did enjoy lollybombing their stall.
Speaking of winding up Better Together, our relentless separatist deviance showed no sign of abating as we pondered the big questions like “why would we need such a big security apparatus?“, “Would Postman Pat support independence? ” and “will we still have stamps in an independent Scotland?” We looked at the UK’s descent into racism (while No campaigners called pro-indy folks racist and anti-English) and wondered what would happen if the young generation of independence supporters were denied the opportunity to build a better country because their parents weren’t quite sure about change. We turned our fire on our opponents like Alistair Darling as we asked him explain the case for Union/why he got rid of his black beard and challenged the independence movement to explain why we would want to leave the Queen in charge of a new democracy.
Calling people wankers reached its royal zenith with the much-anticipated arrival of royal wean but we also enjoyed pissing off feminist “royalty” like Charlotte Raven.
It wasn’t just the Queen and/or Princes we were after, a certain Stefan King irked us as well when, in space of a few weeks, his venues were caught letting male punters spy on women in the bogs and refusing access to wheelchair users. Never ones to let go of a good vendetta, we even came back for another round/list at his expense.
Other dodgy merchants, like those punting potential lethal pills also made it onto the agenda as T in the Park coincided with a series of deaths from fake ecstasy. This wasn’t the first time we’d taken (on) pills, having already looked at the case for regulating MDMA rather than standing idly by while unregulated drugs risked the health of our nation for the profit of a few gangsters. We’ve also attempted to wade through the tabloid nonsense over methadone replacement treatments, by arguing tackling heroin addiction requires a range of approaches governed by evidence and not spin.
It wouldn’t be summer without holidays and guests and so we welcomed some new(ish) faces on board to look at what was happening in their respective holiday destinations; bemoaning homophobes in Lithuania, looking at changes attitudes towards the “drug war” in Colombia, discovering the vast expanse of Alaska or getting steaming and trying to overthrow the Turkish government – all the joys of the jetset.
But it wasn’t all fun and games. It’s true that we may have examined the (non-existent) “Olympic Values” as we argued for a boycott of the Winter Games in Sochi and looked at the “legacy” of the Commonwealth Games in our neck of the woods but the last few months have also given us pause for thought. We paid tribute to the late Iain Banks as we demonstrated why his sci-fi work was up there with any of his other literary output and looked at why we must continue the fight for the values he held dear. We also stood in shock and awe as we watched the man who murdered Trayvon Martin get away with it and asked what that tells us about our continued culture of white supremacy.
Back in Scotland, we managed to get over our suspicion of the east coast and all who reside there by welcoming Mrs. Misandry to the gang, whose first post as a full Flower examined the silencing of sex workers in Edinburgh’s saunas.
Safely back within the confines of the greater Glasgow area, we thankfully didnae spend our summer in a more confined space (i.e. the jail) for the “crime” of anti-nazi bin raking, leaving us free to continue our relentless campaign against the Council. A visual feast ensued as we took hunners of photos of campaigners hanging out the Council’s Dirty Laundry and even managed to have a few words with Margaret Jaconelli, Alisdair Gray and James Kelman among others on camera. We also examined whether seemingly harmless “Clyde The Thistle,” the mascot of the Commonwealth Games was actually the leader of a Satanic Cult (answer, yes.)
If that sounds a bit silly, perhaps that’s because Summer is known as “silly season” as the politicians desert us for warmer climes. Things got incredibly daft for the unionists when they tried to make scandals out of nothing but we weren’t immune from our own bit of silliness when we presented some summer filler or examined the vast number of creeps who accidentally end up on our blog because we use sweary words and call people wankers a lot. Speaking of such indecencies, we also wondered whether there was a case for supporting the campaign against Page 3, pishy and liberal as we thought it may seem. To their credit, the campaign itself responded in an open, engaged and self-critical way.
The same can not be said of some who inhabit the darker corners of the interweb/politics who’ve made clear that our wee honeymoon was well and truly over. As usual, it was when we dared mention the women and the gays that it all kicked off. We launched our Summer Collection in typical style with a critique of the lefts failure to get its head round the existence of women; a theme we continued with this personal epic about the failure of political movements to build a climate that’s safe and empowering for activists. We also prodded the sleeping/dead dog socialists by looking at how little has actually changed for LGBT* people in the movement. No matter how much we’re shouted down for it, we’ll continue to talk about why woman and LGBT* people matter and why our political movements need to start coming to terms with that. There are no free rides for our “own side” nor should there be. Just this week we turned our ire on our fellow indy enthusiasts over at Wings Over Scotland when their Twitter account was spouting transphobic rubbish. We never stand in deference to people just because they support indepdence or call themselves socialists or feminists or they once gave money to a dogs home and we never will.
It’s always good to see some of those you pursue coming unstuck – just yesterday we learned that the abusive Bill Walker was no longer a member of the Scottish Parliament and cowardly Julian Assange had failed miserably in his bid to be elected to the Aussie Parliament. It seems being a Weekly Wanker is becoming a serious impediment to holding public office. You have been warned!
No synopsis of these past 3 months would be complete without mentioning our proudest achievement; we said we quite liked Nicki Minaj. The shockwaves from this revelation still echo around cyberspace, so intense was the reaction to a women having an opinion about music and daring to suggest that the backlash against assertive black female artists might have something to do with their race or gender. This whole debacle created an outbreak of “Hayfever” – a reaction to floral exposure which sees previously reasonable human beings get so sniffy they feel the need to whine about it long after the event. We enjoyed it all so much, we thought it would be an appropriate time to bring you a selection of reviews from our many…erm “fans.” Of course, the snivellers were far outweighed by the legions of folks worldwide who were basking in the glow of our Minaj-erie, exposing us to audiences who don’t tend to care about any of the other boring stuff we’ve just spent this entire piece recounting.
So as Scotland returns to the grey and wet with which we are all accustomed after a taps aff summer, we hope our pink flare has brightened up these last few months. None of this would have been possible without our legion of readers, haters, fans, followers, detractors and fellow travellers alike who give us the strength to keep ranting. We are forever grateful to everyone out there who has taken the time to listen to our pish.
There is so much going on in right now in our society, we can’t possible cover all or even most of it and we don’t try to, although we’re always looking for input. But we’ve never been more convinced that we need radical voices and fresh thinking to shake up our dreary political culture if we’re going to win the kind of independence our country needs. That’s about much more than just the constitution, it’s about giving folks the confidence and the power to speak up for themselves and stand up for each other as we build something better, from the ground up.
We don’t expect the universe will start taking a lead from one wee blog with a rather loose definition of the word “weekly,” propped up by an assortment of domestic extremists – we cannae promise revolution today or jam tomorrow. If nothing else, that means we don’t have to take ourselves too seriously.
So for an a-pollen array of terrible wordplay, indy-related capers, sex, drugs, photoshop and contentious pop, there is surely no cabal more unsavoury than ours. Feel free to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and generally ensure you never miss a trolling moment.
We certainly hope you will continue to join us as our Floral SectsDrive switches up a gear.
A Thousand Flowers: Our First Three Months
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