(Buzzfeed, April – July 2019)
This Week’s Internet Weirdness Involves Aspidistras
It’s a kind of perennial, apparently.
Yes, we too are wondering how an image of a plant with a hand around its stem goes stratospherically viral. It’s probably tagging it #pourencouragerlesautres that does it.
[Image description: Instagram post from @antony.j.crowley, geotagged London, image of yucca plant with yellowing leaves, liked by @singlecrow and 1265 others, description from @antony.j.crowley reads “you’ll regret this”, option to view all 71 comments]
aloevera actually it’s a rubber fig
rozesI tried it with mine and it didn’t work
botanicslover332 should’ve grown better, fuckers
Scroll down, there’s more.
Top Five Off-the-Wall Theories About the Scary Instagram Plant Man
Does screaming at your plants even work, anyway?
Everyone’s seen Scary Instagram Plant Man, the insta for… well, a scary plant man. @antony.j.crowley, whoever he is, is famous for gorgeous views of the London skyline and goth- monochrome furniture, interspersed with episodes of sociopathic horticultural rage. But who’s the man – or not! women and enbies can be weird as shit too – behind the mask? Here’s some totally serious contenders.
The usual suspects
A known influencer on a weird flex, always a possibility. Whoever @antony.j.crowley is, they’re otherwise not known to google. How about @tallulahflyte, who sells white-people kombucha to Hampstead hipsters? @deliciousllyella has more range than we thought? The new thing from the people who brought you Fyre Festival? Idk.
Pros: God’s in his heaven all’s right with the world etc
Disgraced former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, hundred-to-one outsider. You’ve seen the scary black walls and chrome furniture. Tory Cabinet ministers and their sex dungeon interior décor, amirite.
Cons: plants wither at his touch
Pros: he might not be PM??? fuck
New album pre-buzz? Icelandic performance art?
Pro: indubitably the most plausible of these options
Cons: possibly insufficiently weird?
North London pillar of the community. Occasionally to be seen on Hampstead Heath against a background of thematically appropriate greenery.
Pros: has admitted to this rumour
Cons: has no idea what Instagram is
So verdant, so extra. Remember the one you can sort of see the photographer in a reflection and it’s maybe a guy with sunglasses and all the hair? Yeah.
Cons: that vocal but misguided contingent of the reading public who believe he’s dead
Pros: David BOWIE, motherfuckers.
[image description: Instagram post from @antony.j.crowley, geotagged London, image of rose with half-white, half-black petals, liked by @singlecrow and 1889 others, description from @antony.j.crowley reads “see how well can you do when you TRY.”, option to view all 828 comments]
Query: has Plant Man found love??
Weirder things on heaven and Earth, Horatio.
Yes yes deeply bizarre BDSM aesthetic but he’s GROWING ROSES. And look at that grudging encouragement in the caption!
Has Plant Man found the dahlia to his rhododendron? The aloe to his vera? The horticultural playmate of his dreams?
(Sidebar: Extremely Heterosexual colour scheme. Hmm.)
[image description: Instagram post from @antony.j.crowley, geotagged London, image of pavement with a light pattern of rainbow flags spread across it, liked by @singlecrow and 455 others, description from @antony.j.crowley reads “rather pretty I thought”, option to view all 22 comments]
mandrake22 that’s not a plant, Plant Man
aloevera I don’t have a problem with it but children go on this website
everymonthispridemonth ONE OF US ONE OF US
(Autostraddle, July 2019)
Is PLANT MAN A BIG GAY???
Signs point to yes.
Seriously, though. Grappling naked statues, bad houseplant parenting, now this.
(The Guardian, August 2019)
Leather and teapots: a diverse aesthetic
Plants leather-upholstered furniture aside, by far the most interesting thing about the @antony.j.crowley account is its occasional foray into an entirely different realm of Instagram aesthetic. For every ten-or-so images of terrified yuccas and brutalist statuary, we get a shelf of calf-bound books; a view north from St James’s; a cup of tea in a pink porcelain cup. Other than that infamous scatter of rainbows, one might say there’s nothing here that’s profound. But still, there’s a tender, intimate feel to them. As though Scary Plant Man has tired of vitriol, of impotent fury at those who can neither hear nor answer.
[image description: a tweet from “queer all year”, text reads: “@guardianopinion ok hi it’s TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE WITH THE SAME INSTA its a gay thing ok”]
(The New Yorker, August 2019)
Cultural comment: “Elusive or allusive: a possibility in excelsis deo”
Let’s skip through the preliminaries. Has Plant Man found love? Probably. Have they found it with the mysterious reposted user who – like antony.j.crowley themselves – has no identifying details listed and follows no one? Very likely. Is this recent post extremely suggestive?
[image description: Instagram post from @antony.j.crowley, geotagged London, image of healthy house plant in a bucket, strung across by fairy lights, liked by @singlecrow and 2777 others, @antony.j.crowleyoption to view all 863 comments]
repost * @aziraphael
tinkertinkerbell sooooo cute!
botanicslover332 are those FAIRY LIGHTS
aspidistra34 wait what repost??
Yes. No further detail has been posted to Plant Man’s Instagram, but there’s no real need. If your heart yearns for it, go look at the Archive of Our Own.
The matter at hand, then. In some Catholic and Islamic exegetic traditions, you will find an angel known variously as Aziraphael, Ezraphael, देवदूतआज़ीराफेल.Whatever you call him – them – this particular angel is an odd but earnest patron of queer love and passion. No surprise, then, that a reclusive Instagram influencer’s even more reclusive partner might use an allusive handle like this. So far, so perfectly explicable.
Those beautiful views across London, though. Remember? Scroll back and you’ll see them, amidst the chrome furniture and fearful Swiss cheese plants. The bright lights, the bridges, the sweep of the river through the cityscape. Google image searching doesn’t indicate that the pictures have been taken from elsewhere on the internet: let’s assume they’re the original work of Antony J. Plant Man and the elusive Aziraphael.
So here’s my question.
What were they standing on?
[image description: Instagram post from @antony.j.crowley, geotagged London, image of discarded white feather, strung across by fairy lights, liked by @singlecrow and 334 others, @antony.j.crowleyoption to view all 16 comments]
phantasmagoriaok what the fuck where is my quality GAY CONTENT.
the.almost.duckI kinda like it.