As this is my day to focus on standup and sketch writing, I’ve decided not to make posts on Tuesdays. See you tomorrow instead 🙂
So apparently I decided this blog was too tightly focussed (on poetry, comedy, mental health, LGBT+ issues, kink, and feminism). Because today I’m going to try something a little different. I’m going to write about one of my favourite paintings, and the extraordinary artist who created it. I should make it clear that I am in no way an art expert, so don’t expect an academic critique.
Generally been feeling a bit rubbish recently so I wrote a few haikus about things that help me feel better on days like this, enjoy 🙂
Trigger Warning: Depression
My main creative outlet outside of this blog is a performance night I run in Leeds. Every detail of this is done by me, from the concept (an inclusive, welcoming space to celebrate the underrated artform of dirty storytelling) all the way through to MCing the night to build the right atmosphere.
I don’t run this event to make money, if I can create a space I’m proud of and walk away having covered the room hire then I’m happy. I love running this event with all my heart, but I won’t deny that it takes a fair amount of work to make it run smoothly.That’s why interactions like the one I had at a local event yesterday piss me off so much.
Generic white guy (GWG) walks up to me at the bar. “Oh you do that Cocktails and Fuck Tales thing don’t you?”
“Yes I do” this happens semi-regularly to me, already my brain is shifting into Informative/Soft Selling Event Organiser mode.
“I’d like to go to that, but the pricing seems a bit prohibitive.” I pause for a moment as he says this.
“Well if you book in advance it’s only £6, and we also offer £5 tickets for people on limited incomes” I say, trying not to look too pointedly at the craft beer in his hand that costs approximately the same. I’m on water, I can’t afford the drinks here.
“I don’t know, it seems like a lot to pay just to watch some people make jokes, maybe you should consider lowering the price.” GWG’s eyes watch me greedily. At this point I make my excuses and leave him, I wish I hadn’t. This is what I wish I’d said.
“Fuck you. Performing isn’t easy. The people who get up onstage often put hours of work into preparing for a 15 minute slot. But you can’t see that. You don’t see the hours I put in each month gathering together performers, advertising, dealing with problems. You don’t want to know about the stress I deal with every month about whether or not I’ll make a loss and have to pay for it out of my own pocket. All you can see is me asking for the price of a couple of drinks. And you think that’s unfair. Unfair for me to give the people who open their hearts (and filthy minds) a few pounds as thanks for helping the event exist. Unfair for me to make back the money I risked to set up the event. Unfair for me to be paid for the dozens of hours of work it took to set up. That may not be what you meant to say. But that’s how it sounds to me. So fuck you, what I do has value.”
The thing that particularly pisses me off is this never comes from people on particularly restricted incomes. I have plenty of friends who have to count every penny, they respect the value of what I do, it is people with money to spare who don’t
P.S. Yes I’m aware this isn’t exactly a groundbreaking post, it’s what I’ve been thinking about today though, I did warn you daily posts might reduce the quality xD
A poem I wrote to describe how I feel before I perform onstage.
One of the more common things that I get accused of when writing online (at least when I write things other than erotica xD) is being “obsessed with identity politics”. Putting aside whether or not this is true (probably at least partly xD), I think it’s worth looking at why this is considered a bad thing. In the past I have certainly tried to avoid this label, and even felt ashamed when I was accused of it.
Identity politics refers to the tendency for people who share a particular characteristic or group of characteristic (e.g. race, gender, sexuality) to group together and campaign about issues that affect them.
What it doesn’t mean:
- This is all I am. Talking about labels doesn’t mean I’m defined by them. It means I use them as a framework to help me think about who I am, and how being trans/pan/kinky/poly/fat shapes the way the world will treat me.
- I automatically like people who share these identities. There are plenty of trans people who I personally dislike. There are definitely toxic elements within the feminist community (cough Germaine Greer cough).
- We’re plotting to destroy everyone who isn’t like us. The trans communities I engage with are focussed on supporting each other, sharing experiences, and dealing with transphobia. Feminists are generally focussed on making the lives of women better, not attacking men. Generally speaking the groups that feel the need to engage in identity politics are too busy dealing with bullshit aimed at them to persecute straight, white, cis-men.
Some of them greatest social advances in the last few centuries have happened because of identity politics, by people who would now be called social justice warriors. A few examples include
- The US Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The (limited) decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK
- Universal sufferage in the UK (giving women the vote)
So before you use this as an insult, or feel guilty for being an identity politics SJW, ask why this is such a bad thing. It can certainly be annoying or uncomfortable to be confronted with your privilege, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing for someone to do. I’m done with being ashamed of being loud, I’m fed up of being criticised for talking about my experiences. Fuck the haters, I’m proud of my identity politics.
I welcome discussion and sharing of alternatives views in the comments, but please keep it respectful.