Spoonful of Poison at the Urban Bar

I looked up Urban Bar online and wished I had someone to come with me, such delish looking food!

It was literally across the road from Whitechapel station and has a cool tiger print, but sadly wasn’t that busy.  Spoon, who runs the night, suggested it was because it doesn’t get the flow of Brick Lane but as someone who travels to East London rather than lives there, it doesn’t make much difference for me.  It was nice to be on the Overground line, reminded me of last summer’s internship.

Spoon didn’t recognise me at first because of my new haircut so I felt a bit awkward and shy.  I spoke to a woman called Jan who did some cool things with a drum machine, keyboard and voice… a bit PJ Harvey meets Bjork.  I felt more relaxed after Spoon spoke to me, and he was really nice – you can’t see it on the video I filmed, but he squeezed three round of applause out for me haha.

At some point they made jokes about PRS and I felt pretty smug with myself knowing what they were talking about, having gone to this crash course into the music industry thing.  There were some people at the back that talked through it all and one performer pointed it out and it was a bit awkward but it didn’t even stop them!

One guy came up to me to say well done, and he also asked ‘are you really a feminist?’ and he defos represented the predominant negative perception feminist have these days.  I told him I believed in equality, but he seemed to think it was a given, but the point is, it’s not!  That’s why we still need feminism, and I want to reclaim the word.  I feel like I should write a book on being a feminist. I’ve been reading The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir but I also have an urge to read more modern texts to see what other people of my generation are writing about.

Another thing I’ve been wanting to reclaim is patriotism.  I want to reclaim it from the racists because being proud of your country shouldn’t be about racism and that’s generally the association one gets… as seen from the reaction of when I drunkenly told my friend ‘I’m fiercely patriotic’.  I’m not sure where I stand on the whole Royal Wedding thing… as someone who fundamentally believes in equality, the notion of a monarchy doesn’t sit right with me, but I did watch a lot of it on TV and I thought it was lovely, and the speech by the priest was particularly touching, as the couple seem like nice people… so it was nice to celebrate the occasion, and seeing them laugh after the crowd cheered at their kiss on the balcony, the cute little girl covering her ears at the noise, the choir boy who was REALLY into it, the EMOTION in his eyes haha!, and that moment driving in the car saying ‘JU5T WED’ – classic with modern twists!  I wish I had gone to Battersea’s street party in a way, because it seemed like it would have a real sense of pride on being British, from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds… because our democracy, our embracing of the different and the quirky, our freedom… it’s all something to be celebrated.

In going back to the poetry event.  I was tempted to wear jeans, but I always feel too dressed down.  I ended up going for one of my favourite dresses… it’s so versitle in terms of day/night.  It’s from Motel, one of my favourite brands.  It has a rose print at the bottom which is a a-line shaped, and plain black at the top, so it’s a really flattering shape.  I can offer a discount code for Motel dresses online, so drop me a line and I’ll let your know the code 😉

I dedicated my poem ‘To Be Loved’ to Ellie Glouding because I read that she thinks feminists would be turning in their graves to hear her songs and seems to suggest that you can’t be a feminist and express love or vulnerability.  But why can’t I be a feminist who is also patriotic, likes clothes, dislikes having body hair, and falls in love with the wrong people sometimes?

A bit of a dampener on the other day, a discussion about drugs and alcohol escalated and I got upset about it, but I don’t want to go into those details, as it is personal.  The thing I have learnt about going to the feminist discussion group, is that we don’t have all the answers, things are not black and white.  That goes for drugs as well.  I don’t feel I can judge people to take illegal drugs whilst drinking alcohol… as there has been a lot of evidence to show that alcohol is equally, and, in some cases, more harmful, than some drugs.  I don’t advocate either as the best examples of what you should do with your life but I believe in freedom of choice.  I believe that it would help to decriminalize the use of drugs, because people who get addictions need help.  It can been seen in other countries that legalisation actually produces a decline in drug abuse, and whilst I don’t think that would initially help in the UK, I think it shows a positive example of what can be achieved.  I think it’s a complicated issue, and it needs addressing on so many different levels.  The drinking culture in the UK is problematic, as the focus is often on getting drunk and leads to bingeing.  In the past I have wanted to deny this is a problem, but I feel I have been the poster-girl for the problem more often than not, and I want to develop a more healthy relationship with drinking, because it is something I enjoy doing when I do it in the right way.  It’s about information and education from a young age, and in the right way, with honesty, not scare-mongering and moral panic in the media.  Anyway, before I start going on about my views on sex education and so on, I’m going to stop.

xxx

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About carminamasoliver

I'm an ex-UEA writer from South London. Founder of She Grrrowls. Feminist Arts Writer for The Norwich Radical. BAR poet. Published by Nasty Little Press.Currently living and working in Spain.
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