By Niamh Browne
The word Motley is defined as ‘incongruously varied in appearance or character; disparate’. This to me is the strength of Motley, the magazine. We are various, eclectic and we have the freedom of being freaks. To quote Jughead Jones, a character on one of my favourite tv shows, Riverdale: ‘I’m weird. I’m a weirdo. I don’t fit in and I don’t want to fit in. Have you ever seen me without this hat on? That’s weird.’ Ah yes, how one (albeit fictional), aspiring writer speaks to another.
Every Thursday while there’s a new season of Riverdale running, myself and my brother get a couple of beers and play a game called ‘Riverdale and Liverfail’ which as you can probably guess from the name does not follow UCC alcohol policy guidelines. Everyone makes fun of me for my shitty taste in TV shows – possibly rightly so. What I like about Riverdale though isn’t the bisexual lighting, nor the impeccable performances, and it isn’t well crafted story telling, I like that it’s different. That I can say hand on heart, that there is quite simply no other show like it. I have watched dozens of well made mid-quality Netflix documentaries with no satisfying resolution, I have seen the same talk shows again and again and if I have to sit through another episode of the US Office I will scream. I’m sick of globalisation, I’m sick of all our accents blurring into a generic midwest one, I’m sick of all office buildings being soulless glass boxes and I’m sick of the same luxury student accommodation popping up all over the world. Andy Warhol once said: ‘You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too’. Somehow in a world with over 8 billion people, we have managed to make life more samey rather than enriching. Entertainment Editor Séan Enda Donnelly speaks to this phenomenon beautifully in his article this month ‘Resistance in Late Capitalist Art’.
It is in this spirit that the last theme of Motley was set, that it would challenge us as writers and readers, to explore counter-culture, to protest, and to resist. I am proud to be affiliated with this magazine for many reasons but one of them is the diversity of well thought out and intelligent opinion that is included in its pages. We don’t always get it right, but we create a space for students to explore their creative voice and develop their point of view. The people who run the top institutions of the world were once college students like us, whose minds were shaped and changed by ideas and discussions. If Motley in all her humility as a small college publication can change someone’s mind, or foster an idea, then that’s something I’m proud to be a part of. And I certainly don’t think ideas or institutions get any better unless we challenge them.
The 2010s for my money can be said to a decade of protest and resistance, more so than the 1960s. The movements that arose from the 2010s include but are not limited to: Occupy Wall Street and other occupy movements globally, the Arab Spring, Strike for Climate Action, The Women’s March, Repeal the 8th, Marriage Equality, Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, Anti-Government protests in Hong Kong, and countless of others, both left and right. It’s clear that the world is changing and that people have fire in their belly.
The ‘Resistance’ issue offers solutions to the housing crisis, analysis on the scary rise of Andrew Tate, and sexual assault culture in nightlife in Cork. Over the course of the 22/23 academic year, the Motley Crew have evolved enormously as writers and contributors and I am happy to say I think this is our best issue yet.