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Citizens, Not Subjects

Posted: June 3rd, 2002, by Marceline Smith

I tried to make the effort and be anti-Jubilee today by wandering over to Glasgow Green for the Citizens, Not Subjects event. It was a perfect day for the park and I was looking forward to seeing James Kelman and just sitting about in a sunny park scowling at policemen. But we arrived to a small group of people half-listening to some other people babbling on about Scotland and how great it is to be scottish and reading excerpts of god knows what written in auld scots. I am scottish, I’m a member of the Scottish Socialist Party and I’m a long time socialist. However, I don’t think Scotland is a wondrous place and I don’t feel any greater affinity with other scottish people over my english friends. So get over it already. We decided to duck into the Winter Gardens for a while and see how things were later. I can’t believe I haven’t been to the Winter Gardens before, they were ace! Loads of cacti and banana plants and other tropical big-leafed fantastic plants with a clunky board path, tropical temperatures and some interesting wee exhibitions hidden in the back all about the history of Glasgow Green and the city itself. I sat for a while and immersed myself in leaf patterns and warmth. Mmmmm. When we returned outside it was to discover more excerpt reading and even worse some acapella singing of heavy duty protest songs. As we left we pondered the thought that pro-Jubilee street parties were probably more fun since at least they’d have music and cake. I’m not saying they should have got Le Tigre style outfits and dance routines but a summer park event aimed at families should have music and fun above all else.

You might have noticed the new issue of the diskant ZINE isn’t up yet so if you’re lacking something to read then I recommend you stop by The Morning News. Not only have they been putting up some great articles recently but they’ve also been involved in a collection of writing called Manual. You can download the whole thing as a PDF and I second their suggestion that you print it out and read it away from your computer [especially if you can use the printer and paper at work hoho]. You get seventeen little pieces of writing with a How To theme. A few do this as a semi serious advice giving article such as How To Organize Your Record Collection (I order mine almost exactly by the ‘Conveniently’ method described) and How To Start A Dialogue With A Complete Stranger (pretend to get hit by a car, good call!) and others in the form of short fiction. Favourites of these include the touching and subtly detailed How To Perform A Card Trick and the cutely sadly funny How To Unsuccessfully Woo Your Roommate’s Future Husband. Most if it is damn good stuff though so go get it and go read it.

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


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