By Editor-in-Chief Niamh Browne


Some of them can kill you, some of them taste delicious and some of them can make you see the face of God. I am of course talking about mushrooms. When proposing this theme, I knew these were the three things I wanted to discuss, mortality, pleasure and spirituality. A lot to unpack in the humble fungi. 


The Motley crew did not disappoint with this one and have foraged for the best articles far and wide across campus. From our cottagecore photoshoot to the representation of mushrooms in folklore and fairytales, we have a magazine that is almost as diverse as the organisms themselves. Current affairs discuss the possibilities of fungi-based plastics in the fight against climate change. Mushrooms are also the basis for the smash-hit video game ‘The Last of Us’, analysed in our entertainment section. These microbes are also the inspiration for some of our plosive poetry yet. Not to mention all the fashion microtrends from mycelium. Somewhere between plant and animal these remarkable creatures belong in their own realm just beyond the grasp of our comprehension. Making them the perfect subject for psychedelic subcultures, Alice in Wonderland and even University Magazines. 


Not only do we proffer our own opinion and experience about mushrooms, we ask some of the most exciting talent in the Irish music industry about fabulous fungi. Motley Magazine is bringing you exclusive coverage of the acclaimed music festival ‘Other Voices’ in this issue. Other Voices is the brainchild of UCC alum Phillip King. It provides a platform for both Irish and international musicians to perform for the world in a live stream from St James’ church in Dingle, Kerry. In a return to the place of King’s education, Other Voices hosted a series of these special concerts from our very own campus. The prodigal musician returns. This lineup included both established and up-and-coming talent including; Biig Piig, Cian Ducrot, Yenkee and Susan O’Neill. We were lucky enough to get exclusive access to the live-streamed concert in the Aula Maxima.  Not only that, but we wrangled our way into interviews with Cork-based band Pretty Happy, and Mercury Prize nominee SOAK.  


It is the time of year when the days get that little bit shorter, and we all crave leaving the Boole library before sunset. It’s a tough one for many students and staff on campus as we buckle down, wrap up and prepare for the winter. Our pagan ancestors used to have special festivals to mark these occasions. Samhain was between the summer equinox and the winter solstice. It was a mystic festival and believed to be a time when the doorways to the otherworld were open. Now, we have Movember to get us through the long Irish November. With the release of Top Gun 2, I suspect this shall be one of the best ones yet. 


All this said, it is in times of darkness that we lean more than ever on each other for the community. So while there’s the dark academia of the quad, the cosy nights in the snug of a pub and the pleasure of a good book it’s ok if winter is not completely your groove (it rarely is anyone’s unless they have the luxury of hibernation). How apt our theme is mushrooms as this is the time of year for foraging, winter vegetables and folklore. These fungi do some of their best growing in darkness-  we should take note and try to do same.

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