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Episode 12: Our biggest fight ever

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We recorded an Ask Me Anything to celebrate 7 years of The White Pube. We get INTO it. We talk about Zarina's day job, the few days we worked for the Brexit festival, going viral, health, the future, what we would do if the other one died, fuck-marry-kill, hair conditioner, and of course, our biggest fight ever. We actually recorded this so if you'd prefer to watch, check out our youtube channel!

Speakers: Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad

Jingle by Toynoiz

we used the transcript generator on Adobe Premiere Pro and I combed through to try to fix everything but I am not a reliable narrator - - we usually pay for transcription but our finances are low at the moment, but we’ll go back to paying as soon as we can

00:00:00:20 - 00:00:01:17

Sync clap.

00:00:02:05 - 00:00:03:08 Gabrielle: One, two three.

00:00:05:16 - 00:00:07:17 Zarina: That was in sync, that was.

00:00:09:10 - 00:00:33:17 Gabrielle: Hello and welcome to the latest episode of The White Podcast. My name is Gabrielle de la Puente.

00:00:35:03 - 00:00:36:09 Zarina: And I’m Zarina Muhammad.

00:00:37:03 - 00:00:47:14 Gabrielle: And we run a website called the White Pube. We’ve been doing it for seven years now as of next week, which is actually weird

00:00:47:14 - 00:00:48:03 Zarina: Crazy.

00:00:48:12 - 00:01:29:04 Gabrielle: And today is the 100th episode of the podcast, which we started like way late into the game. So today we’re going to record a bit of like a chatty - something to put on in the background, and you know, put on as you go around Tesco, whatever, like little chatty episode. Because we are recording an ask me anything, an ask us anything, AUA, and if you’re not familiar, the White Pube is a website where we publish weekly reviews on all games, books, films, theater, probably other things at this point, it’s just like culture at large.

00:01:29:16 - 00:01:30:01 Zarina: Yeah.

00:01:30:16 - 00:01:33:23 Gabrielle: And we are critics at large, which is.

00:01:33:23 - 00:01:48:06 Zarina: But we’re not cultural critics, which is important to say, because I think they have a specific job that we don’t do, you know, do they? Yeah. Cultural critic. They talk about the culture. You know.

00:01:48:06 - 00:01:49:03 Gabrielle: Fair enough.

00:01:49:10 - 00:01:50:06 Zarina: The culture.

00:01:50:10 - 00:02:10:19 Gabrielle: We just zoom in a bit. Yeah, I get that. And so most of the episodes that go out on this podcast are reviews that we’ve written that zoom in. But today, just chill. Just chill. Like plenty of people read those reviews but don’t really know who we are as people.

00:02:10:19 - 00:02:12:03 Zarina: Which is the way I like it.

00:02:12:16 - 00:02:20:20 Gabrielle: Mm yeah. Zarina wants to be like this secret squirrel, mysterious chic gal. Yes.

00:02:21:16 - 00:02:27:06 Zarina: Yeah, absolutely. I want to be fundamentally a mystery to everyone, including you.

00:02:28:14 - 00:02:47:05 Gabrielle: We asked - we asked our people, our people on Instagram, Twitter and Discord to send in questions. And one of the questions that came in - and this is in caps lock, caps lock - Zarina, what is your day job?

00:02:47:05 - 00:03:10:12 Zarina: Is it - is it - do you know what it’s because the little About cards used to say Second Job and yours used to say running output and mine used to say I work in an office - none of your business. I’ll say because I don’t actually have a day job anymore. I did my last day at my day job last week. I used to work for Birdsong, which is a sustainable fashion social enterprise.

00:03:10:17 - 00:03:35:14 Zarina: They’re amazing. They do incredible work. They employ migrant women in East London to make clothes locally, sustainably and ethically. They pay them fair wages and they source like deadstock end of roll fabric to make their clothes. They do really cool stuff and I used to write copy for them and like do some marketing bits of jobs and they’re like quite a small team.

00:03:35:14 - 00:03:59:01 Zarina: But I used to just rock up and do little bits and bobs. I did my last day last week. I’m now full time a writer, but before that my day job was I used to work for a VIP travel company. I used to run their social media but I had to quit because during the pandemic that boss went a little bit nuts and turned into an Anti-Vaxxer.

00:03:59:13 - 00:04:06:00 Zarina: And I mean working for a travel company, being an Anti-Vaxxer like it just wasn’t working.

00:04:06:12 - 00:04:17:01 Gabrielle: Can you tell people what that job actually involved, though? Like not that you were doing the thing that you’re going to say, but like, it’s a part of the world that I didn’t know existed.

00:04:18:03 - 00:04:23:08 Zarina: Oh, my God. Yeah. So I actually don’t know if I can say this because I did sign an NDA, but - oh, and we’ve just cancelled

00:04:23:08 - 00:04:24:12 Gabrielle:

00:04:24:13 - 00:04:35:16 Zarina: our digital risk insurance yesterday so we could get sued. But I would like to say we’re recording this on the 5th of October before our insurance cover runs out.

00:04:35:16 - 00:04:37:10 Gabrielle: So oh, man.

00:04:37:21 - 00:05:05:13 Zarina: So basically in airports, there’s like the normal airport that people go through, right? Like the public go through the normal airport. But in big airports or I mean, airports in major cities and most airports, there’s like a fancy private terminal for rich people and celebrities. There’s one at Heathrow and Gatwick, there’s one at JFK. All the big airports they go through like their own little separate little terminal.

00:05:05:17 - 00:05:27:01 Zarina: They go through security separately. They get a little lounge that they can sit in by themselves. And I’ve seen these lounges. They’re boujee. They’re nicer than nicer than most places. And they do like little canapes. And if you want the duty free shop, they bring the duty free to you and you go through security separately.

00:05:27:01 - 00:05:37:07 Zarina: And then they drive you from the lounge to the plane across the tarmac in a little Mercedes there. If you’re really rich, that will set you back like five grand.

00:05:38:10 - 00:05:39:15 Gabrielle: a pop.

00:05:39:18 - 00:05:40:16 Zarina: Either way, for one journey.

00:05:40:17 - 00:05:44:21 Gabrielle: Is that for the ticket or just like the treatment?

00:05:44:21 - 00:06:06:22 Zarina: No, you still have to pay for the ticket, that’s the treatment. But if you’re really rich. We booked this for - I think this is the bit I can’t say publicly at least - anyway, we got so many notable celebrities whose passport pictures I have seen and I did that job for about two and a bit years.

00:06:07:05 - 00:06:12:14 Zarina: Yeah. Before that. What did I do? Like generic marketing digital jobs.

00:06:12:22 - 00:06:49:05 Gabrielle: Someone asked us something that is kind of related to this, which is like: when did the white pube get to a point where you saw it as your job? And I think it was like quite early on, like we started, I don’t know, for me, yeah, we started earning money about a year into it when we did one artist lecture at Liverpool John Moores University. Probably earned like £200 each or thereabouts.

00:06:49:05 - 00:07:13:02 Gabrielle: And like I think as soon as that money came in, I just saw it as a job because we’d just left university and while I was in uni I had like 9 million different zero (hour) contract jobs. So like, why would this be any different? Like it was just an another one. And as soon as we got to that point, it felt like another one of those things that I did.

00:07:14:00 - 00:07:33:16 Zarina: That make sense. Because it’s always been work, I think in my mind I differentiate between it being a job and work. And I’ve always seen my day job as like that stable money that I can rely on because I think for so long we didn’t know how much money was actually coming in each month.

00:07:33:16 - 00:07:47:07 Zarina: I was like, Well, I can’t call that my job. That’s crazy. And so if I’m completely honest, it wasn’t until 2020 that I considered this like my job.

00:07:47:07 - 00:07:47:23 Gabrielle: Fair enough.

00:07:48:13 - 00:08:04:02 Zarina: I was an art critic for work. It was such a slow slide into that. I think all of a sudden I woke up one day and I was like, actually, this is my job. And it’s been my job for a long time. But like, I don’t remember there being a moment where I thought, like, something switched and I was like, This is my job now.

00:08:04:02 - 00:08:11:09 Zarina: Oh, my God. Like, you know? And there wasn’t like a moment where I thought, I’ve made it because I still don’t think we’ve made it.

00:08:12:06 - 00:08:19:20 Gabrielle: Someone said, Why do you think the White Pube blew up? What was the first thing you felt went viral?

00:08:19:20 - 00:08:20:13 Zarina: I know why.

00:08:20:14 - 00:08:21:21 Gabrielle: What?

00:08:22:20 - 00:08:24:15 Zarina: It’s because you’re really good at the Internet.

00:08:25:24 - 00:08:31:10 Gabrielle: That was not what I was expecting you to say. I’m good at the Internet.

00:08:32:07 - 00:08:45:16 Zarina: You’re really good at the Internet. You’re good at, like using Instagram and clickbait. And you know what hits you spend the time you’ve got nowse when it comes to like, Internet credit, you’ve got Internet street cred.

00:08:46:19 - 00:09:02:17 Gabrielle: Thank you very much. That’s so nice. I think I think I do know how to use the Internet. Well, I think I have a good intuition for it. Yeah. And that’s that’s what it is.

00:09:02:17 - 00:09:03:12 Zarina: It is intuition.

00:09:03:12 - 00:09:31:16 Gabrielle: It does feel like intuition. And I heard someone recently say like, you know, things like how to use the Internet well, and social media and community-building are skills that are just written off as, like, weird, feminized labor that people don’t even see as labor or skills. It’s just like this thing that happens over there that can’t be monetized or doesn’t have any real value.

00:09:31:23 - 00:10:16:12 Gabrielle: And I disagree. I think, yeah. I have some kind of skill with it and it’s because I enjoy it and it feels genuine. Thanks. But in terms of like why do you think the White Pube blew up? We never necessarily had like a a huge moment or mark where like something went all over the place because as soon as we said the words the white pube into existence and on the Internet, and we said that we wanted to start a website where we wrote about exhibitions in a way that’s like a little bit more casual and a little bit more honest on our terms.

00:10:16:12 - 00:10:35:18 Gabrielle: Like the London art scene said, Good, because that’s what we need. Like it just felt like the right place, right time. Like there had been publications in the past that had died down and people were just waiting for something to have a bit of a pep to it.

00:10:36:00 - 00:10:47:17 Zarina: It was a gap in the market and we were just the people that got the domain name at the right time. But also that’s why it popped off then. Seven years on, we must be alright at this, you know?

00:10:48:07 - 00:11:22:05 Gabrielle: I mean it popped off then because it felt like there was a need for it. So it was like a comfortable popping off like, you know, it wasn’t a bang, it was like a nice pop. And then we got into our stride. I think we became better writers. I think the biggest moment for me, like in terms of writing, felt like the ‘Are white girls capable of making art that’s not about themselves’ text because in terms of numbers that one was 12,000 reads in ten days.

00:11:22:11 - 00:11:36:19 Gabrielle: And then I just stopped checking the numbers because I was like, what the fuck. Maybe that’s viral because like when do 12,000 people read a piece of art criticism? Within ten days. That doesn’t seem normal.

00:11:38:01 - 00:12:06:07 Zarina: But when does art criticism go viral? The only example I can think of is Morgan Quaintance’s New Conservatism essay on eflux and I do think 2018 before that the numbers jumped and maybe that was like setting the ground up for the white girl art text go viral in 2018. We had quite a good year. That was quite a good year, really.

00:12:06:07 - 00:12:21:13 Zarina: Two things happened, but like it was a good year in the grand scheme of things, right? Like we were on Dazed 100, The Guardian did a little feature on us and so the numbers just tripled on Instagram.

00:12:22:05 - 00:12:34:08 Gabrielle: I don’t want the first like 10 minutes of this podcast to just be us talking about how great we are. Someone has messaged saying, Did you become critics because you suck at making art?

00:12:35:05 - 00:12:37:05 Zarina: Yeah, actually, yeah.

00:12:37:05 - 00:12:37:23 Gabrielle: We’re terrible.

00:12:37:23 - 00:12:55:09 Zarina: I’m going to be honest. I actually I really I don’t think the art I was making art school is any good. And if I had to review it, I’d be like, you’re shit and you should probably stop. And I have actually no qualms saying I’m better at talking about art than making art. I think I’m really interested in art.

00:12:55:14 - 00:13:16:18 Zarina: I understand it now. When I was at uni I didn’t. I think it’s taken me a longer time than like the three or four years that you spend on foundation, it took me a longer time to like jump, jump on board and get with the program. I think maybe five years in it clicked and I was like, Oh, that’s what that all is. But

00:13:16:20 - 00:13:36:09 Zarina: erm, by the time it clicked, I was like, Actually, this doesn’t really interest me. And my heart’s never been in it. And actually, I don’t think I wanted to make art. I think, I think I wanted to talk about it and spend time thinking about loads of other things. I’ve never been good at making things even as a painter before I did like foundation.

00:13:36:19 - 00:13:54:20 Zarina: I like really struggled with the idea of like coming up with images. I like looking at images other people have made and like thinking about how barmy they are, but like the idea of coming up with it myself, it just - my brain doesn’t work that way. I don’t like making things, thinking about things and having a chat. Yeah, I’ll do that.

00:13:55:15 - 00:13:57:17 Zarina: And I’ve always been good at writing as well actually.

00:13:58:10 - 00:14:27:06 Gabrielle: Well, I think my heart was in it. Like, I think I was going to art school thinking like, I’m going to be a painter, I’m going to get a studio, I’m going to be someone who lives a life as an artist. And I don’t know how artists make money but I’ll figure that out when it comes to it. And like, the process of being in art school, especially in London and going to the mega galleries and like starting to have conversations with people who work in the arts.

00:14:27:14 - 00:14:51:18 Gabrielle: Like it all just like broke my heart a little bit and especially conversations with tutors, which I still think about like, like, wow, if they’d have gone differently, maybe I would be in a different place now. Like I was so into painting and tutors - I remember one teacher in particular was like, Why are you so attached to this?

00:14:51:18 - 00:15:01:02 Gabrielle: Like, is it just because you can sell them and you can make a bit of money? And I was thinking, well, that’s a big part of the reason. Yes. Because, like.

00:15:01:08 - 00:15:02:13 Zarina: There’s literally nothing wrong with that.

00:15:03:07 - 00:15:37:10 Gabrielle: I want to have a job. I want this to be my job. And almost like being talked out of that as as like a, you know, a moral imperative. Just very strange. But, at the same time, I did better in English at A-level than I did at Art. Fucking loved writing. So the transition to, you know, have that like heartbreak moment and start to think critically about being inside an institution.

00:15:37:10 - 00:15:57:08 Gabrielle: And what does it mean for us to have these conversations about making money as artists and like, why don’t we already know what’s going to happen when we leave art school? Like all of those anxieties being able to like sit between the world of like art and writing, and try and write through it in a creative way.

00:15:57:18 - 00:16:05:11 Gabrielle: It was like best of both worlds. So like, there was the heartbreak. But I’m like, way over it. Like, it’s all good. I love writing.

00:16:05:21 - 00:16:34:08 Zarina: Yeah, you always say as well, this is something that really sticks with me. And I think a similar thing happened with me, but slightly different. You always say that like towards the end of the course you were finding all these different ways to smuggle text into the artwork and like find ways for it to secretly just be writing. I think for as long as I was making art, I was just obsessed with the idea of like thinking through an idea.

00:16:35:16 - 00:16:49:02 Zarina: And I was so much less attached to the natural aesthetic or like artistic merit of what I was making. And that secretly is a very writerly thing to be doing right?

00:16:49:02 - 00:16:50:01 Gabrielle: Yeah. Yeah.

00:16:50:06 - 00:16:59:15 Zarina: Like, just like thinking a thought through to completion we have of both always meant to be writers. We just ended up in the art world. By pure accident.

00:17:00:01 - 00:17:09:22 Gabrielle: It is by accident. Someone relevantly asked if you were to make the decision now, would you still try to work in this industry.

00:17:11:16 - 00:17:12:04 Zarina: Yeah.

00:17:13:03 - 00:17:13:17 Gabrielle: Would you?

00:17:13:23 - 00:17:37:01 Zarina: Yeah, I think so because I think, and is this is something I’ve really come to terms with recently and I really had to reckon with this this year. I actually just really like art. I really like art. Like I think it’s great. It’s what I spend my time doing most of the time and like, yeah, it’s work, it’s all tax deductible, but I’m also enjoying myself.

00:17:37:20 - 00:17:56:23 Zarina: If I wasn’t responsible, it wasn’t being paid. I’d probably go to these places anyway. I’d want to see what was going on. I’ve always kind of resisted the idea of enjoying this, but I’m enjoying myself. I’m having a lovely time because I enjoy art. I like it. I think it’s great.

00:17:57:06 - 00:18:29:23 Gabrielle: Sometimes I have these, like, panic moments, imagining, like, if I hadn’t gone the route I’d gone through, like fine art degree and then, you know, sidestep into art criticism and then start a website where I have to publish something every fortnight, and I have to write something that I’m happy with, happy enough to share with the public, especially as that public is growing and more and more people are reading it and there are more comments and just more pressure to write something well.

00:18:29:23 - 00:19:20:06 Gabrielle: I think like, would I have found a way to write anyway? Like, would I have had that like creative edge or instinct or like an outlet? Would I’ve like, made that anyway. And if so, like, what would it look like? Because I sometimes, I think the panic is because what if I had a different job and I never had the time or the website where it all went, oe like the schedule and the deadlines and the, you know, the subjects to look at and think about and write around. Like, yeah, I feel so like grateful that we’ve got it because it has been so regimented and I think I needed that.

00:19:20:06 - 00:19:44:16 Gabrielle: And it’s genuinely worked because it’s like, I look at the writing from 2015 compared to the stuff that I’m making now and I think like how is that stuff in 2015 still on the internet? Delete it now. It is embarrassing. Hundred percent. We should just delete it

00:19:44:16 - 00:19:46:01 Zarina: But we never can because it’s -

00:19:46:01 - 00:20:08:22 Gabrielle: So someone asked like, what’s the worst review you each think the other has done? And maybe the answer to that is the stuff at the beginning. Like, yeah, because relatively it’s just so, so bitty and quick and like, you know what I mean?

00:20:08:22 - 00:20:33:02 Zarina: But even then, I’m like, I’ve got so much generosity and sympathy, I’ve got real sympathy for like the people we were back in 2015. We didn’t know what was going on. We barely knew we were alive. Like we were babies. We didn’t know we were doing our best. Like the jumps we’ve been on, like all of that is like skilling up, right, like in Runescape.

00:20:33:02 - 00:20:42:01 Zarina: Yeah you’ve got to start at like a level one and you’ve got to smelt things to make other things that you can smelt into other things. And then eventually the wizard gives you some.

00:20:42:07 - 00:20:42:24 Gabrielle: Really cool.

00:20:42:24 - 00:20:44:15 Zarina: beans or whatever.

00:20:44:17 - 00:20:51:06 Gabrielle: You’ve not played Runescape in years.

00:20:52:21 - 00:21:14:17 Zarina: Eventually you create something that you can smelt into a knife and then you can smelt a sword. And then some armour. And like we had to do that, we had to put in the legwork. So I’ve got real sympathy for Baby Gab and Baby ZM. Those early texts, it was just kind of like, I don’t know, the world was quite tight around us.

00:21:14:17 - 00:21:18:01 Zarina: We were like just making some space. We were clearing the weeds.

00:21:18:24 - 00:21:38:13 Gabrielle: Pruning the big old bush. The white pube bush. Someone said, How do you keep momentum? And it’s because I like doing it. That’s the answer.

00:21:38:13 - 00:21:39:23 Zarina: There are other answers.

00:21:40:05 - 00:21:47:10 Gabrielle: But I’ve never had a - I’ve never thought, I don’t want to write next week or this week. Like I’ve never thought that.

00:21:48:03 - 00:21:52:23 Zarina: There can be things that you like that you like only really want to do once a month, you know?

00:21:54:06 - 00:21:54:13 Gabrielle: I know.

00:21:54:19 - 00:21:56:01 Zarina: Every week gab?

00:21:57:07 - 00:21:59:02 Gabrielle: Like yeah.

00:21:59:20 - 00:22:06:05 Zarina: Sometimes I think to myself I really can’t be arsed but I have to do it anyway. I have to do it.

00:22:07:05 - 00:22:08:09 Gabrielle: You’re a fraud.

00:22:09:04 - 00:22:21:01 Zarina: No, but the reason is because, like. Right, I, I go running three times a week. Sometimes on one morning I’ll wake up and I’ll be like, oh, you know what? I’m really tired. It’s really cold.

00:22:21:09 - 00:22:22:17 Gabrielle: My beds really warm.

00:22:23:05 - 00:22:26:19 Zarina: I go anyway because I know that after it I’ll feel better.

00:22:27:11 - 00:22:27:22 Gabrielle: Hmm.

00:22:29:01 - 00:22:49:14 Zarina: I feel the same way about writing sometimes. I really don’t want to start, but once I’m in the midst of it, I’m having a nice time and I feel good after I’ve put it all together afterwards. And I’m like, Oh, this is actually all right, fine. Yeah, yeah, good. But I think that’s not momentum. That’s discipline.

00:22:50:07 - 00:22:53:16 Zarina: Okay? I think I struggle from

00:22:53:23 - 00:22:54:19 Gabrielle: an

00:22:54:19 - 00:22:58:17 Zarina: Incredible problem, which is too much discipline.

00:22:59:21 - 00:23:00:04 Gabrielle: Well.

00:23:01:04 - 00:23:13:23 Zarina: I think I’ve got like a really, really like I’ve got, like, too much self-discipline. I don’t think it’s a good thing. I live quite a regimented life. Sometimes I should maybe not go for a run, you know?

00:23:13:23 - 00:23:34:05 Gabrielle: Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. I get you. And another anonymous person asked would you consider yourselves the art world Dan and Phil? And I’m glad that you’re laughing because I’ve never watched a Dan and Phil video and I don’t get the reference.

00:23:35:16 - 00:23:38:16 Zarina: There just two people. Two Internet people.

00:23:38:17 - 00:23:40:11 Gabrielle: No, no.

00:23:40:15 - 00:23:44:16 Zarina: You what? What? They’re not serious. We’re serious.

00:23:44:16 - 00:23:46:01 Gabrielle: critics. No.

00:23:47:08 - 00:24:05:18 Zarina: Sorry. I’m so sorry to Dan and Phil but I think we’re - oh, I don’t like that. I’m so sorry to Dan and Phil, this is nothing to do with you. But that’s not. That’s that pissed me off.

00:24:06:08 - 00:24:09:10 Gabrielle: Why has it pissed you off? Because I don’t get it right.

00:24:09:10 - 00:24:13:05 Zarina: I’m so sorry to Dan. Phil, I’m so sorry but they’re a bit cringe.

00:24:14:01 - 00:24:15:06 Gabrielle: Okay. Yeah.

00:24:16:07 - 00:24:17:04 Zarina: That’s annoyed me.

00:24:17:13 - 00:24:23:23 Gabrielle: Well, that’s it, we want a bit of spice, we need a bit of texture. Oh, now I feel bad.

00:24:23:23 - 00:24:42:21 Zarina: I feel bad. I’m sorry to Dan and Phil, that’s really rude of me because they, you know, well, they are really charismatic people and they’re really good at presenting and entertaining people. And that’s not anything to be sniffed at. They’re good at their job, right. And they do their own specific thing as content creators. But we’re not content creators.

00:24:42:21 - 00:24:52:06 Zarina: We’re critics. And it’s a parallel that diminishes the intellectual value of what we contribute to the art world.

00:24:53:15 - 00:25:45:16 Gabrielle: And probably them as well. And okay, speaking of the content we do create, which is reviews mostly of exhibitions and shit, a few people asked questions like, do you pay for exhibition tickets or get press comps? And somebody said, Do you think you’d be more or less critical of exhibitions if you had to pay to see them? And I think we can also, you know, swap out exhibitions for video games because I get most of them for free, thank you to PlayStation. I genuinely believe that when we are given a free ticket to an exhibition or given a code to download a game, I pay it like 150% more attention and I try

00:25:45:16 - 00:26:09:04 Gabrielle: to write a way more thoughtful review. It’s often more critical because that person has like given me the opportunity to actually sit down and think about it. If I go see things for free, it’s like almost extra curricular stuff in a way. I don’t know how you feel, but that’s how I feel about it.

00:26:10:11 - 00:26:21:03 Gabrielle: It’s like sometimes people pay for reviews with the agreement that we can say whatever we want. And in that instance I will just like go in.

00:26:22:05 - 00:26:28:13 Zarina: Right, a press comp, like a press ticket is different to a commission in my mind because I agree.

00:26:28:13 - 00:26:29:13 Gabrielle: With the commission. Yeah.

00:26:32:06 - 00:27:16:24 Zarina: Yeah. It just means that you can, you have like a little bit that time that you’d spend thinking about something else that you’re reviewing. It’s been thinking about that particular thing and it gets your full attention and it’s nice. Yeah, I think it’s nice too. And it stretches me because sometimes people commission things and I say yes then because gas prices. I actually have a nice time looking at something I probably wouldn’t have seen under any of the circumstances or spent as much time thinking about or thought about as deeply as I have to for a review and with press tickets, I think it’s difficult because at first I would just email the

00:27:16:24 - 00:27:27:05 Zarina: Tate and be like, Hey, really cheeky. Oh my God, can I like pop in? And I feel like I owed them something.

00:27:28:00 - 00:27:28:12 Gabrielle: Hmm.

00:27:29:11 - 00:28:00:18 Zarina: Which is a difficult dynamic with an institution like the Tate because obviously right. I don’t think it makes me less critical when they comp a ticket. I think I need to be quite mindful that I remember how much the ticket actually costs. And this happened recently. I went to a show at 180 The Strand and I turned up and I was like, Hey, I’m really sorry.

00:28:00:18 - 00:28:14:17 Zarina: I forgot to email ahead but can I just like grab a press ticket off you? Like, sometimes I’ll walk into galleries now, like I’m really sorry, I forgot to email ahead. I didn’t realise I’d be in the area. Like, can I just nip in? And they’re like, Oh yeah, you want to just sign the press list?

00:28:14:17 - 00:28:33:12 Zarina: And I’m like, cool, that’s cool. But 180 The Strand were like yeah, you do need to email ahead, we can’t comp your ticket. And I was like, Oh yeah, fine. I was put on the business - put it on the card, whatever the company card. It’s all our money. So like, you know, it’s, it’s just tax deductible. Tax deductible.

00:28:33:19 - 00:28:58:18 Zarina: But I was like, yeah, fine, whatever. And the guy ran it up and it was £25 and I was like, this better blow my mind. This better knock my socks off, this better change my life. I said to him, This better change my life. And he said, It is quite good. And I went in and I was like, My life hasn’t been changed. I think, because if I just email it, I wouldn’t have known it was £25.

00:29:00:04 - 00:29:19:02 Zarina: I think I need to remember how much these things actually cost because I think as a critic you can like slip through and you like I know you pay a normal amount of attention to it, like the same amount of attention you’d pay to anything. I think it’s like whether it’s free or whether it’s like a press comp, I just kind of like slide on through.

00:29:19:02 - 00:29:20:08 Zarina: I’m too busy looking at the art.

00:29:21:12 - 00:29:21:23 Gabrielle: Yeah.

00:29:22:19 - 00:29:28:05 Zarina: Notice the container sometimes and I do need to remember, I do need to be mindful of like how much these tickets cost.

00:29:28:05 - 00:29:57:09 Gabrielle: Think about the equivalent for games then. Like at the moment, those are jumping up to 70 quid. And that’s why like I do think about those prices all the time and I think, okay, like people take me so seriously. We have influence whether we want it or not. And I need to let people know whether I think it would be worth that money or not.

00:29:57:22 - 00:30:01:14 Gabrielle: Like always, we both we both need to like bear that in mind.

00:30:01:21 - 00:30:25:14 Zarina: But also, I do fundamentally believe that all exhibitions should be free. I don’t believe anyone should be paying £2 like as a fundamental rule, £1 is too much. I think these things blow up. I think it’s a public service, it’s a public good, and the public deserve the right to access it for free. I don’t think anyone should be charging anything for an exhibition.

00:30:25:14 - 00:30:30:18 Zarina: I really fundamentally disagree with it. I always have. Yeah. Whether I was a critic or not.

00:30:31:11 - 00:30:58:03 Gabrielle: I always like the ICA’s £1 entry personally because it’s so small that you sort of like - enough people go in every day that like the people aren’t going to feel the £1, but that’s going to add up to for them to put good shit on with it. It’s like - income - hmm, I’m talking myself out of it.

00:30:58:04 - 00:31:00:06 Zarina: But the government should be - the government.

00:31:00:06 - 00:31:04:02 Gabrielle: Yeah. I’m going to cut that. Yeah.

00:31:04:02 - 00:31:16:21 Zarina: But I think as well the ICA’s £1 - like don’t cut it because I think this is important, because it does seem like a small insignificant amount of money. But like if I really think about it, the most cynical part of me thinks is this just so that homeless people

00:31:18:01 - 00:31:18:21 Gabrielle: don’t come in.

00:31:18:21 - 00:31:20:07 Zarina: Yeah.

00:31:21:04 - 00:31:57:10 Gabrielle: Yeah you’re probably right, yeah you’ve you’ve convinced me. Speaking of the moral conundrums we face as the white pube, a thoughtful follower sent a question in that says What project have undertaken that has felt closest to compromising your ethics or fully crossed that line? Do you worry whether balancing finances slash professional growth might see you tempted to compromise more in the future, brackets

00:31:57:15 - 00:32:01:11 Gabrielle: No subtext, curious, as it’s a question I’m also asking myself.

00:32:02:13 - 00:32:03:08 Zarina: It’s a good question.

00:32:03:21 - 00:32:10:02 Gabrielle: It’s a very good question. You got to - Stop, I’m scared - Wait, what’s your answer?

00:32:11:12 - 00:32:17:07 Zarina: No, do you know what, I’ll go first. I think, Festival 2022, the Brexit festival.

00:32:18:04 - 00:32:25:17 Gabrielle: Yeah, we had another question that just said like what was your experience of working with Unboxed Festival?

00:32:27:09 - 00:32:28:09 Zarina: Is that what they’re called now?

00:32:28:23 - 00:32:31:03 Gabrielle: That’s what they tried to rebrand as.

00:32:31:03 - 00:32:41:11 Zarina: Yeah. Working with them I think from top to bottom was not an enjoyable experience. But the money that we received went a long way.

00:32:42:01 - 00:33:11:04 Gabrielle: Okay, so Theresa May, while Brexit shit was going through Parliament, said the £120 million was going to be put aside for, you know, a special festival of Britain that would celebrate like how good we were in spite of the European Union and without it and blah, blah, blah. And straightaway the media starts to call it the Brexit Festival, right?

00:33:11:10 - 00:33:45:09 Zarina: I, what I didn’t understand at the time and I kind of still really don’t is - I get yeah, it was kind of like how great is Britain Woo and in the context of Brexit, yeah, terrible. But the original festival of Great Britain was like a thing that happened under a pretty socialist Labor government. No, it yeah it was, it was like back in, like I think was the early government and it was like part of like a massive wave of like public spending on like culture and social infrastructure.

00:33:45:09 - 00:34:17:09 Zarina: And like, I don’t think the idea of like a festival of great britain is a bad thing because. I think and I know that this, like, perhaps this is in danger of - you might need to cut this - I know this is perhaps in danger of turning into Keir Starmer’s progressive nationalism, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly bad in being like, I like the society we’re in or I like parts of it, you know, like I like the culture that we have as a people and like culture is good and we’re producing amazing things and like, we can all be people together, you know, that’s nice.

00:34:17:15 - 00:34:39:22 Zarina: I think the problem is when the state enters into it because the state, the state is terrible and like the structure of the state is shit, but like enormous public moments of like culture at large, that’s a good thing. I found myself really confused and conflicted by like a lot of the criticism because I was like, Well, money for the arts is a good thing.

00:34:41:05 - 00:34:53:22 Zarina: Like, I found it really hard to understand the criticisms that were being lobbed at us and like the Festival and us by association. I found it really, really baffling. Like I didn’t understand, to be honest.

00:34:55:04 - 00:35:26:07 Gabrielle: Well, we were contacted sort of close to the whole process starting when the festival producers were still trying to figure out like who that £120 million would go to. And they asked us and like, I don’t know, about 20 or 30 other people to sit on like a selection panel and go through all of the applications that came in and, you know, make notes about like what we thought should be nominated.

00:35:27:03 - 00:35:52:22 Gabrielle: And essentially, we were asked to do 12 days of work, some of which involved going through those applications and some involved either creating a video or a text or a talk that would be shown to the people who got through the first round of research and development in order to like inspire the projects they would go on to make.

00:35:53:10 - 00:36:22:23 Gabrielle: We didn’t end up doing 12 days of work. We did about like half of that. And then for whatever reason, Unboxed Festival let everyone go, but still decided to pay us the full 12 days which continues to be the highest rate of pay I’ve ever received, which was £500 per day, which means £6,000.

00:36:23:05 - 00:36:53:11 Gabrielle: Who the fuck can say no to that, right? If you’re listening to this and thinking I wouldn’t have said yes, then like, you have more money than I do. Like that was my rent for the year. Like how could you say no to that? And importantly, I think the stage of that we were at where it’s like, okay, if this money is going to be spent anyway, I would like to be there to try and have a say in who gets it and who doesn’t.

00:36:54:23 - 00:37:06:22 Gabrielle: But ultimately, I think what we did offer in terms of input and criticism went absolutely fucking nowhere. And yeah, that’s problematic.

00:37:08:01 - 00:37:19:23 Zarina: I think to be honest though, it was - the reason I’d go back and I probably would make the same decision to say yes to that job for the six grand alone. Yeah. Would you?

00:37:20:19 - 00:37:24:09 Gabrielle: For six grand? Literally. Like, I don’t have enough money to say no to that.

00:37:25:07 - 00:37:29:07 Zarina: But also as well as the money, I think we’ve never really done a job.

00:37:29:09 - 00:37:29:24 Gabrielle: On.

00:37:31:14 - 00:37:58:07 Zarina: The inside of an institution that big. Yeah. On that scale that capital I institution. Right. With that much money we’ve never done a job on like a job on the inside. So prolonged not just in and out, like really getting to grips with the way these, these kind of structures work. Right. And I think if there was any shadow of a doubt in my mind that there really is no way to change these structures from the inside.

00:37:58:07 - 00:38:20:22 Zarina: It doesn’t like one person with like a half a half an ounce of like good intention on the inside of like an institution really can’t do anything that touches the sides of the scale of the problem that exists within these places. Right. If there was any shadow of doubt in my mind, it was worth us saying yes to that job, just to really deep it.

00:38:20:22 - 00:38:50:23 Zarina: Because I think - think about it. Right. There was just so much that like, just the way that they positioned themselves and the way they the way they implemented like really progressive, progressive, liberal, like HR policy, like personnel language, right, to be like the way they, like, acted to be like, oh, well, this is like community consultation or like not community consultation, but like consultation, like procurement, like we’re paying you for this for the full 12 days.

00:38:50:23 - 00:39:24:03 Zarina: Oh, all the participants have been invited and they’ve been paid for that application. And like this and like everything was like done with the veneer of progressive politics. But at its core, it’s like it’s a deeply conservative – it was a deeply conservative thing. So I think it was really interesting just to see the way that all works from the inside, because, I mean, neither of us have ever had a job in a gallery like an institution.

00:39:24:03 - 00:39:47:01 Zarina: or an NPO, like on that scale, like you ran OUTPUT, which is important to note, grassroots as fuck, and an artist-led space, you worked at for a bit, but on that scale we’ve never really seen the insides and the way that moves. So I’d do it again just for that, because I think that was an education, to be honest.

00:39:47:15 - 00:40:14:14 Gabrielle: I think it was educational in the sense that I realized like these people have all of this money and all of this power and reach and literal organization, but nothing we say matters because we’ve just been hired to like, what’s the word like, Just make them look good. Like, Oh, the white pube are involved and all of these cool selectors are involved and they’re all diverse and all that bullshit.

00:40:15:22 - 00:40:28:05 Gabrielle: But ultimately, like when you raised the issue that oh by the way, that person that has applied is racist. They were like, Oh, well, we don’t know what to do about that. So yeah, never mind.

00:40:28:05 - 00:40:45:23 Zarina: Their HR policy kind of broke and I was like, Well, we need you to take this seriously. And they were kind of like, okay, well, we will. But like, this is a serious allegation and it will be forwarded on. We’ll deal with this. We’ll deal with this. And he still ended up in the next round. Or did he?

00:40:46:07 - 00:40:48:06 Gabrielle: I’m not - I don’t know.

00:40:48:06 - 00:40:50:08 Zarina: I don’t think it got commissioned, the project he was on, but.

00:40:51:01 - 00:41:20:23 Gabrielle: Also once it was like all over and done with and like the things that were commissioned did go on to happen. I didn’t really hear about any of them, like organically, like, you know, no one I knew was speaking about the festival. I didn’t really see it the news that much. It was, you know, every so often there’d be like a Brexit festival headline, but like the actual content that was put out like I, I didn’t see it spoken about anywhere and that was kind of amazing.

00:41:22:13 - 00:41:51:06 Zarina: Which was a real shame. All of that money. Where did it go? And I think that’s another way in which it was an education because like these structures that pop up, these neoliberal, wow, I really sound like a nut. And this is turned from an AMA into a piece of art criticism like but that’s that speaks to the fundamental problem with like the neo liberalization of the art world is this like most of this money just leaks away into like bureaucratic shit, like it’s middle managers, right?

00:41:51:06 - 00:42:09:08 Zarina: It is the the administrators that end up walking away with most of this money. The distribution system itself sucks up the money it’s meant to be distributing to the artists, which is why it’s just close to the artists in the first place. Like they should have just taken that however many billion and given it to the Arts Council for like an extra DYCP boost. Literally.

00:42:09:18 - 00:42:35:17 Gabrielle: Or just yeah, given it to us to distribute, that would have been better. And Yeah. Moving on from the Brexit festival bullshit nightmare to some of the questions that we had in, would you want to work for an institution and if so, what kind? And any personal or white pube ambitions that you want to share. Oh, oh.

00:42:35:23 - 00:43:00:21 Zarina: And the one about would I want to work for an institution is interesting because I think my position has really shifted and I don’t know for you how you feel about this, but I will say in the spirit of sharing, ask me anything, back when we first graduated, I applied for loads of jobs. I didn’t get a single one.

00:43:01:17 - 00:43:20:19 Zarina: I applied to be like a marketing person at Tate. I am so glad I never got that job. I interviewed for a role at the Arts Council to be like an admin assistant, but like I was in the interview and I was like, Yeah, this is part time, this works for me because I do other things on the side and they knew about the White Pube and they were like, Would this be like a conflict of interest?

00:43:20:19 - 00:43:28:16 Zarina: And I’m like, No, this is my day job. Like this would be my day job. And it would obviously have been a conflict of interest.

00:43:29:02 - 00:43:29:18 Gabrielle: Obviously.

00:43:30:15 - 00:43:52:20 Zarina: Obviously a massive conflict of interest. I’m so glad I didn’t get that job. But like they were like, I was in an interview and they’re like, yeah, there’s like loads of chance for internal progression. That’s like the entire point of like coming to work in this job. You’d go on to be a relationship manager like, here, there, wherever you wanted, like we’re keen on internal progression and really good.

00:43:52:20 - 00:44:12:03 Zarina: I never got any of those jobs because it took me a long, long time to kind of like - I just thought that was what you did when you graduated. I thought I did an art degree. I like writing about art. If I need a day job, it makes sense for it to be in the art world. And then I – it makes no sense for my day job to be in the art world.

00:44:12:03 - 00:44:35:11 Zarina: In fact, the complete opposite is a total conflict of interest, and it also is loopy as hell. But the art world is nuts - like the art world – in these like day jobs – like arts workers have a terrible time. The only reason we’re loving life is because we work for ourselves and each other like and we’re nice, we’re lovely.

00:44:35:11 - 00:44:57:06 Zarina: If you need a day off, I’m not going to be like, Well, Gabrielle, we’ve not got any cover, And you’re on a 0 hours contracts and you’re like, Yeah, right. So like it’s, I don’t know when it shifted, but I really, it took me a minute to clock on and realize that like I couldn’t work in an institution.

00:44:57:11 - 00:45:02:18 Zarina: Like, it’s just not. It’s completely at odds with the nature of this job that we do.

00:45:02:18 - 00:45:28:20 Gabrielle: Yeah, I also feel the same way, but maybe for different reasons, which is that like I just have come to love writing so much that if I had a job that wasn’t writing, I think I would go mental. I just love the freedom and the looseness, and the like, creativity of it all. So you can’t give me a normal job anymore.

00:45:29:03 - 00:45:29:23 Gabrielle: I’m ruined.

00:45:30:08 - 00:45:34:08 Zarina: And you wouldn’t want to do like citrus farmer.

00:45:34:08 - 00:46:08:04 Gabrielle: No, I couldn’t. Also, just physically, like, becoming sick and disabled. I feel like writing just works so well with the pattern and rhythm of this stupid body. Like, it’s like the only thing left that I can do. I’m sure there’s more stuff, but, like, it’s the only thing left that I have the skill set and interest and energy for, and it works with the times and like the situations and by situations I mean bed.

00:46:09:06 - 00:46:13:01 Gabrielle: It fits really well into all of that and I like it.

00:46:13:14 - 00:46:19:20 Zarina: I was about to say, Can I talk briefly about all the other jobs I think I’d be deeply well-suited for, but that’s a completely different question.

00:46:19:20 - 00:46:22:05 Gabrielle: Do it.

00:46:22:12 - 00:46:47:01 Zarina: I’d really enjoy being a citrus farmer and I think I’d be really good at shepherding. I’d be a really good shepherd. Pastoral, rural jobs. I’ve never lived anywhere other than London in my entire life. And yet for some, I truly believe that I’d be excellent at most rural jobs. No basis for this. I think I’d be a really good croupier.

00:46:47:15 - 00:46:49:04 Gabrielle: What the fuck’s a croupier.

00:46:49:22 - 00:46:54:10 Zarina: In a casino? The person in the waistcoat that does the: Is this your card? Is this your card shuffle?

00:46:55:05 - 00:47:14:07 Gabrielle: Blackjack. When I was in school, my best friend’s mum had been a croupier on a cruise ship. Cruise ship croupier? Yeah. And she was very proud it and said that it was very fun and yeah, I did know that word.

00:47:15:19 - 00:47:19:23 Zarina: I’d be really good at being a librarian because I love telling people to.

00:47:19:23 - 00:47:20:14 Gabrielle: Shut up.

00:47:23:19 - 00:47:26:07 Zarina: And I love putting things back where they’re meant to be.

00:47:27:00 - 00:47:28:13 Gabrielle: I think I’d be a good teacher.

00:47:29:13 - 00:47:32:09 Zarina: You’d be a really good teacher.

00:47:32:09 - 00:47:33:16 Gabrielle: I think I would enjoy it.

00:47:33:16 - 00:47:38:13 Zarina: Good. I can imagine you managing a primary school class like, you’ve got.

00:47:40:05 - 00:48:00:13 Gabrielle: I wasn’t thinking so much that I was thinking, you know, like when people in this country go to other countries to become the English tutor. Yeah. In like a rich family, I think. I think I would do that job but.

00:48:00:23 - 00:48:22:20 Zarina: Like, you know, I feel like there’s like a formative experience that some people go through, which is like really loving they’re high school English teacher. I think you’ve got that like life changing, inspiring high school English teacher energy as well. Like, I can see you disciplining a group of year fives being dead rowdy on the minibus.

00:48:23:01 - 00:48:38:07 Zarina: I can you see changing someone’s life in year 11 and teaching them about literature, but it’s actually not about literature, you’re teaching them about life. I can also imagine you as like an English foreign language teacher in another country.

00:48:38:14 - 00:48:58:15 Gabrielle: Well, I love all of these ideas. I would do them all. And when that person said, like any personal white pube ambitions you want to share. Here’s the question. Do you think you’ll be doing this forever or will you have another era?

00:48:58:15 - 00:49:11:17 Zarina: I don’t know. Like that’s a really hard question because I would like to obviously say yes, but you never know. One of us could die.

00:49:12:06 - 00:49:14:10 Gabrielle: I think about that all the time.

00:49:15:12 - 00:49:16:11 Zarina: I wouldn’t want to do it.

00:49:16:19 - 00:49:49:10 Gabrielle: If you think about what I would write on Instagram if you died. Same. What would you say? Would you carry on The White Pube without me? absolutely not, no way. I would. Do you - would you? Good, fine. I couldn’t, I couldn’t. There’s no way. No, I know I’m not arsed. You‘re not arsed? I’d feel like I was like an imposter.

00:49:49:10 - 00:49:55:09 Zarina: Like I feel like I can’t be the white pube on my own. I don’t know about – Like, it’s a collective identity and I think like so much of.

00:49:57:05 - 00:50:02:13 Gabrielle: You’d continue? Yeah I love writing so much.

00:50:02:13 - 00:50:05:02 Zarina: But would you continue writing or continue being the White Pube?

00:50:06:00 - 00:50:22:14 Gabrielle: Well I think people would thrust that upon me - oh my God - people would see me in a gallery and it would no longer be I love your writing, are you the white pube? It would be, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know it would it would be different, but I wouldn’t stop.

00:50:23:12 - 00:50:26:14 Zarina: Do you know what, I like that. I like that. Yeah.

00:50:27:00 - 00:50:30:15 Gabrielle: Fine. Yeah. I give you the blessing from beyond the grave.

00:50:30:23 - 00:50:38:11 Zarina: I, just. I think I’d pivot. I’d have to reconsider that. I don’t think I’d do it. I’d cut some of the odd obs off.

00:50:38:11 - 00:50:45:04 Gabrielle: You would post on Instagram once a week. Yeah. The discord would be found dead in a ditch. You would forget.

00:50:45:07 - 00:50:46:17 Zarina: They’d be no discord. Yeah.

00:50:46:18 - 00:50:50:16 Gabrielle: Twitter also inactive last tweet 2022.

00:50:50:16 - 00:50:54:10 Zarina: Basically I would turn the white pube into a literal blog.

00:50:54:20 - 00:50:55:11 Gabrielle: You know.

00:50:56:07 - 00:51:05:03 Zarina: And it would just be like none of it would be like stuff that people actually want to read it. It would just be me writing about the weird kind of marginalia I find interesting.

00:51:05:16 - 00:51:09:00 Gabrielle: Yeah, that’s obscure.

00:51:09:00 - 00:51:12:21 Zarina: Renaissance painting. Let’s think about that for 20 minutes.

00:51:13:10 - 00:51:14:18 Gabrielle: Yeah, it wouldn’t work.

00:51:14:18 - 00:51:16:08 Zarina: Gabrielle, I can’t do that.

00:51:17:01 - 00:51:29:24 Gabrielle: See, I’m already thinking of – 85 thousand people – the fun clickbait titles I can put on this podcast. Like what we would do if we died.

00:51:29:24 - 00:51:38:04 Zarina: I know that that’s the thing, I know that that’s the thing I can do, I just like, it doesn’t occur to me.

00:51:38:04 - 00:52:18:02 Gabrielle: See, this is what runs through my head. One Don’t tell anyone, but we are writing a book. If that book goes incredibly, then we can carry on. We can write books, we can like live our lives, we can write more books and hopefully we make money and we live. And if people don’t like it, then we will have to become English teachers and citrus farmers like so basically

00:52:18:02 - 00:52:49:16 Gabrielle: go buy our fucking book. It’s like you can’t blackmail 85 thousand people. I’m not blackmailing them, I’m just saying like in the grand scheme of things, we do need money and we’re not right now making enough money to like, you know, be adults. Like we’re just just scraping by, really, because, you know, freelance rates don’t necessarily rise with inflation, freelance rates stay the same.

00:52:50:01 - 00:52:57:04 Gabrielle: No one is interested in paying more. The White Pube podcast has never had a sponsor, and I don’t know if it ever will.

00:52:58:11 - 00:53:00:17 Zarina: No, one, one, SoCards.

00:53:01:04 - 00:53:03:18 Gabrielle: SoCards, we had one sponsored episode, and I still don’t know -

00:53:04:05 - 00:53:05:08 Zarina: Shout out SoCards

00:53:05:08 - 00:53:07:15 Gabrielle: Know how to get more.

00:53:07:17 - 00:53:09:00 Zarina: Know what? Those were banging questions.

00:53:09:11 - 00:53:41:22 Gabrielle: Yeah. That was the Praise Kink episode that we did. So like, you know, we’ve run a very unstable project where we are funded by Patreon and we do a bit of freelance writing, but we don’t have sick pay and pensions and mortgages like we don’t - we’re not quite at that level of of being adults. Well.

00:53:42:07 - 00:53:45:18 Zarina: I was thinking about this. What happens if I marry rich?

00:53:47:12 - 00:53:57:24 Gabrielle: Oh, well, then things change. But I would have to, like, somehow be in the agreement and I want a stipend.

00:53:57:24 - 00:54:19:06 Zarina: Out of it. I have a second question then for the group. What would we do if Zarina married rich and embezzled her rich husband’s money in the white pube? Would you still run the white pube if you were my live-in friend?

00:54:20:10 - 00:54:28:04 Gabrielle: So then what if that happens? But then you did die. Would I still get the payments?

00:54:28:04 - 00:54:33:07 Zarina: I think then actually, legally speaking, you’d become – you’d be married to the rich man.

00:54:34:08 - 00:54:51:21 Gabrielle: Yeah. Someone messaged anonymously saying, Gab, are you still engaged? I am, but I don’t need to be if this offer comes up.

00:54:51:21 - 00:54:57:19 Zarina: That is so funny. Are you still engaged? Are they just checking? They just want to know. Are your DMs open?

00:54:58:06 - 00:55:13:05 Gabrielle: I was working out the logic of it. Is it like someone who doesn’t want me to be engaged? Is it someone who just is curious? Because maybe I’ve not spoken about like being in a relationship on the Internet for a while. I don’t know. I thought it was funny.

00:55:13:10 - 00:55:16:23 Zarina: Someone that thinks you’ve been jilted and that you’ve kept it quiet.

00:55:16:23 - 00:55:19:23 Gabrielle: I know. I wish there was a more interesting story.

00:55:20:10 - 00:55:26:16 Zarina: Maybe it’s an empath and they think that you are suffering secret heartbreak which is actually – that’s the best case scenario.

00:55:27:06 - 00:55:56:13 Gabrielle: In terms of like, you know relationships whether that be with your rich husband one day, me and your rich husband one day, and so on. We had 100,000 questions from people that said things like this. Do you ever argue with Z over white pube stuff or is there always consensus and did you ever fall out? And what was the beef? Your biggest falling out so far?

00:55:56:18 - 00:56:10:16 Gabrielle: Question mark, etc., etc., etc.. And then related: who took what stand in the pro slash anti conditioner argument? Is conditioner necessary?

00:56:10:22 - 00:56:15:23 Zarina: I love that that argument has become white pube lore.

00:56:15:23 - 00:56:26:00 Gabrielle: Is it important to condition your hair? Like, it goes on. So yeah. Yeah.

00:56:27:09 - 00:56:35:22 Zarina: So it was 2019 we were in Bergen and we were just having a little hot.

00:56:35:22 - 00:56:36:05 Gabrielle: Apple.

00:56:36:05 - 00:56:56:09 Zarina: Cider of an evening. It was fucking freezing. And I think we were talking about like what we’d brought in our carry ons because we had like carry on luggage. And Gab was like discussing her skincare haircare philosophy, which was that she doesn’t want to be beholden to any one product. She doesn’t want to be reliant on any one product.

00:56:56:10 - 00:56:59:22 Zarina: She’s a survivalist. She simply wants to go out to the world equipped with.

00:57:00:17 - 00:57:03:20 Gabrielle: A toothbrush and nothing more. It’s literally. Yeah, right.

00:57:04:11 - 00:57:25:24 Zarina: And deoderant. Oh, yeah, yeah. But like, just minimalism, like product minimalism. And I was like, that’s like the opposite of, hey, I’ve got 5000 things and I’ve put them all into mini pots so I can take them through hand luggage. And we just somehow got to the point like Gab told me that she didn’t use conditioner, ever.

00:57:26:12 - 00:57:49:10 Zarina: And I was like, That’s insane, but you’ve got to like at the time I was like, my mind cannot comprehend a world in which people do not use conditioner. Like that blew my mind. I thought that was the wackiest thing I’ve ever heard. And then the next morning I think we were going up the little funicular and I felt really bad.

00:57:49:10 - 00:57:54:10 Zarina: I was like, I feel like I shamed you.

00:57:54:10 - 00:57:55:23 Gabrielle: Yep. That’s really funny.

00:57:56:18 - 00:58:15:12 Zarina: I was that. Maybe it’s like a thing, like, I don’t know you. It’s fundamentally I don’t want you to feel like I was judging your choices, your personal grooming choices. I don’t think you are a dirty person for not using conditioner. It just like was so alien and baffling, and you were just, like, blinking at me across the table.

00:58:15:15 - 00:58:18:00 Zarina: Yeah, I don’t use conditioner and it’s fine. And you know.

00:58:18:00 - 00:58:19:14 Gabrielle: What? You didn’t.

00:58:19:23 - 00:58:24:20 Zarina: Use conditioner. Your hair looks great. It was like it was my entire world view.

00:58:24:20 - 00:58:26:11 Gabrielle: Was crumbling around me.

00:58:26:19 - 00:58:44:22 Zarina: But like, I really felt bad. I felt like I shamed you. And that was not. I didn’t want that. I don’t want to shame my friend. So if you don’t want to use conditioner, you fucking go for it because it looks great. But I just can’t comprehend a world in which that’s plausible.

00:58:44:22 - 00:58:55:22 Gabrielle: Yeah, I’ve got nothing to add. That was it. It was. I don’t even remember the time that we told the Internet what had happened. But, like, people still remember it, obviously.

00:58:56:23 - 00:59:00:12 Zarina: But that’s the biggest argument we’ve ever had. And even then I was like, You know what? live your life.

00:59:00:12 - 00:59:33:03 Gabrielle: That wasn’t even an argument. And quite a few people asked tips for collaborating on long term creative projects. How do you communicate and make decisions for the White Pube and you know, how do you communicate across the void living in two different cities? I find that quite hard to answer. Um, I just think that we get on well and it has made things very lucky.

00:59:33:17 - 00:59:49:22 Gabrielle: We’ve been lucky, like we just get on. We agree on a lot of shit and I think sometimes I have ideas and Zarina is like, Oh, I don’t know if we should do that, but then we do it. And then Zarina says, You’re always right and it makes me feel good. And then we carry on.

00:59:51:24 - 00:59:54:00 Zarina: We’re each other’s yes men.

00:59:54:00 - 01:00:09:03 Gabrielle: Yeah. I mean, we like, speak every day. We use WhatsApp, we tried to have our own like more organized workplace on a private discord server but like WhatsApp’s ultimately all we use.

01:00:09:03 - 01:00:12:19 Zarina: And do you remember when we tried Slack as well? that didn’t work. I was just

01:00:12:19 - 01:00:22:17 Gabrielle: About to say Slack and I didn’t know whether it was like a fever dream, but we did try Slack. No. Yeah, yeah. I mean, like, that’s it. We just got on.

01:00:23:19 - 01:00:47:03 Zarina: But I have something to say in the spirit of confession, and it’s that when I turned 27, a friend bought me a tarot reading to celebrate Saturn’s return, and it was absolutely the nuttiest Tarot Reading, the only tarot reading I’ve ever had, but like also nuts, because this person just proceeded to, like, spend an hour telling me about myself.

01:00:47:13 - 01:01:16:24 Zarina: And it was all correct. And or at least like I thought it all applied and it was like bang on, but also transformative. Like, I loved it. It was like, incredible, and maybe I’ll link it in stories, because it’s an art person, which I didn’t know at the time. But this Saturns Return tarot reading basically, among other things, the one bit that I’ll share from it was that one of the cards was like two things.

01:01:16:24 - 01:01:43:07 Zarina: Like it was a thing, like a thing of twos, or like the lovers or something like a pair and the person doing my tarot reading said, Oh, potentially there’s a another future partnership. And like there’s a partnership coming up in your future. And it’s going to be really fruitful because you’ve got a partnership already in your life that’s like really deeply healthy and that feels effortless and like, so you know what

01:01:43:08 - 01:02:01:05 Zarina: a healthy partnership looks like. So like the partnership that you currently have in your life will help forge the terms of this future. Well, and I was like thinking about like, I don’t know what that future partnership is. I was asking them, is it romantic? Is it romantic? I’m like, going to get a rich husband. And they were like simply, there’s no way of telling.

01:02:01:05 - 01:02:26:13 Zarina: It’s just a future partnership. I can’t tell you that. Like, I’m not psychic, but the like the present partnership I truly believe has been the white pube because this is - and I think this this speaks to the way that we don’t really value platonic or like friendship, like platonic relationships. And that friendship in the same way, like the same hierarchy, like there’s a hierarchy, right?

01:02:26:13 - 01:02:48:04 Zarina: You see, like romantic, like sexual or like heterosexual dynamics, right? Between a man and a woman in a relationship. They’re married and like, they’ve got kids in a house. Like, that’s the relationship that, like it’s committed, it’s solid, it’s never going to break. But one in two people get divorced, when two couples get divorced, it makes no sense that that’s like way more valuable.

01:02:48:05 - 01:02:53:19 Zarina: And across the span of our lives and the friendships that we – I don’t respect men.

01:02:54:01 - 01:02:58:17 Gabrielle: Wow. cut this off. You’ve got to edit this.

01:02:58:17 - 01:03:25:19 Zarina: I really, truly think that like – I think that the people’s compatibility, right, like that the relationships that we form with our friends and our collaborators and the people in our lives that are non-romantic, they’re equally as important that you vibe with them well and that you put in effort and work and support and love and care for each other as you do in like a romantic relationship.

01:03:25:19 - 01:03:38:10 Zarina: I don’t respect men, so maybe completely, way more than I would value these people in like a romantic setting. I think that’s really something to be said. We’re compatible basically, and I think you’re my soulmate.

01:03:38:16 - 01:03:44:07 Gabrielle: So I hate men. You’re my soulmate.

01:03:45:06 - 01:03:54:15 Zarina: But it doesn’t have to be a romance. It’s not I don’t think it’s a romantic term. I think I’ve got so many friends. I think, oh, like I value you so much. You mean so much to me in my life.

01:03:54:19 - 01:04:18:16 Gabrielle: Sometimes I don’t even like – I mean, not sometimes – I think I don’t deep any of that because it’s so easy. I just take it for granted because it’s like this stable, continuous, relationship that just happens and it works. So like when people send those 9 million messages, like, have you ever fallen out? I’m like, no, we’ve not fallen out.

01:04:18:24 - 01:04:27:03 Gabrielle: And it’s a joke that maybe we once did for like 2 minutes. It’s like not even it wasn’t even a thing. And yeah.

01:04:27:07 - 01:04:38:16 Zarina: Don’t undermine it because I went to bed that night and I really thought I, I think I fucked up like, oh, I really hope Gab’s not sat there thinking and Zarina shamed me .

01:04:39:06 - 01:04:41:23 Gabrielle: I felt really bad.

01:04:43:10 - 01:04:55:23 Zarina: Basically, that was a long way to say that it works. But like, I think it works because we put in work to make it work, you know, in the same way that you would in any marriage.

01:04:56:13 - 01:05:04:15 Gabrielle: I literally disagree. I think it works because we don’t need to work like it just happens. We’re very lucky. It just works.

01:05:06:06 - 01:05:10:14 Zarina: It just works. But I think that is a kind of work.

01:05:12:12 - 01:05:44:05 Gabrielle: And someone sent in a Zarina-related question that feels like it would be a good time to ask because it is relationship-related. Fuck marry kill for Zarina. Laurie from Little Women, Timmy version. Oh okay. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice Colin Firth or Anthony from Bridgerton right? Um.

01:05:45:05 - 01:05:52:11 Zarina: Kill Mr. Darcy. Fuck Timmy, Laurie. Marry Anthony. That’s easy, child’s play.

01:05:52:11 - 01:05:54:12 Gabrielle: Why would you kill Mr. Darcy?

01:05:55:20 - 01:06:13:02 Zarina: I don’t like Colin Firth. I don’t trust him. He’s got no expressions and his version of Mr. Darcy is so repressed that it’s actually not sexy. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. The only reason I like the BBC Pride and Prejudice is because it’s just the book.

01:06:13:14 - 01:06:17:08 Gabrielle: Yeah. Anyway, moving on, what is Zarina’s favorite elfbar flavor?

01:06:17:08 - 01:06:19:23 Zarina: Cherry.

01:06:20:08 - 01:06:28:08 Gabrielle: Zarina is always dressed fucking amazing. Can she give any intel on where she shops, please? Oh.

01:06:28:17 - 01:06:54:24 Zarina: How how much detail should I go into. How much time we got with. I don’t know. It’s an hour long already. Fucking bumper episode so. Right. I don’t actually buy that many clothes, I just have started buying clothes that I think I will wear lots. Basically working in sustainable fashion for a bit really made me clock on to how I buy things because I think I’ll like them or I’ll like the –

01:06:55:01 - 01:07:17:13 Zarina: I think I can be that person that wears that thing. And actually I’m not. I started just dressing for the body I have and a lot of that is just buying things I will be comfortable in. Like I just fucking love sweatshirts. I want a really good sweatshirt that’s not going to bobble and the sweatshirt that’s not going to bobble is probably from Uniqlo or from - and I know this isn’t sustainable -

01:07:17:13 - 01:07:38:15 Zarina: I know that they’re not like a great company. Nike do great sweatshirts that don’t bobble and it’s a bit more than like a jumper and then like a sweatshirt just off ASOS from Berksha, and it’s probably not sustainable. But if I’m wearing it every day for like five, six years, that’s the more sustainable choice, right?

01:07:38:19 - 01:07:57:06 Zarina: Wearing the things that you have and making sure that they last and that you’re taking care of them – that’s the way I approach buying things. So I shop wherever I can get my hands on something that will last. And most of the time it’s like sportswear and workwear. So like.

01:07:57:06 - 01:07:58:05 Gabrielle: Carhartt.

01:07:59:01 - 01:08:26:19 Zarina: I have a Carhartt jacket that is so snug, so warm. It looks as good as new. I’ve had it for ages, but that’s about it. Okay. And all right, those were the questions for me. Now I’ve got a question for you, and I’m asking the questions right. You’re in the hot seat. Fuck, marry, kill for Gab: caustic, revenant or octane from Apex.

01:08:27:15 - 01:08:37:15 Gabrielle: I would kill caustic, I would fuck Octane and I would marry Revenant for the drama.

01:08:38:09 - 01:08:45:04 Zarina: Next. I have no idea, and I love that right. What’s on your to-play list.

01:08:46:12 - 01:09:11:06 Gabrielle: Ooh so I just played Sable and that’s going to be the next review and I was like literally waiting to play that all year and but it’s only available on like PC and Xbox and I just cat-sat for my cousin and she’s got an Xbox. So I was like, Oh, I finally played that and I’ve just downloaded Spiritfarer today, which is something people have literally been asking me to review for two years.

01:09:11:16 - 01:09:44:14 Gabrielle: And behind me on the shelf there are like a stack of PlayStation games. And I remembered that that was there yesterday and that I’d bought Alan Wake and I want to play that game. And then two bigger ones that I feel like I’ve been meaning to get to. But I just I just haven’t. The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk. The Witcher feels a bit more motivated because like, there’s a TV show and, you know when you want to watch the TV show or something.

01:09:44:14 - 01:09:55:01 Gabrielle: But like, yeah, you need read the book or whatever it is beforehand. I feel like I need to just get on and play it because I do want to watch the TV show. But yeah, that’s it. That’s it.

01:09:55:22 - 01:10:05:11 Zarina: Are you enjoying cat mum life? And also I’ve got a question. How do you feel about the term cat mum?

01:10:05:11 - 01:10:07:03 Gabrielle: It makes me cringe. Um.

01:10:07:12 - 01:10:08:04 Zarina: Same.

01:10:08:04 - 01:10:47:21 Gabrielle: Yeah, I like having a cat. She was very intense and difficult for a while just because, like, she was so used to me being in bed. And then when I started to, like, do more stuff, I think she got a bit aggro because she couldn’t just sit on me all day. But we’ve like, made friends again recently and I just bought her this really cool toy that I was inspired by when I was cat-sitting called a cat dancer, which is just like a bouncy piece of metal with bits of cardboard on it, and she literally was like bouncing off the walls playing with it today.

01:10:47:21 - 01:11:05:04 Gabrielle: And it was very entertaining. I like having a cat, I think. Like, I can’t imagine having any of the kind of animal. Like, she’s just the right energy. Very cute and like, spooky Halloween vibes. Yeah, nice.

01:11:06:12 - 01:11:10:02 Zarina: How have you managed being sick and being one half of the white pube?

01:11:11:11 - 01:11:38:12 Gabrielle: And, um, sometimes I look back on last year when things were much worse and think like, how did I write anything? Like how did I write anything? I don’t understand how, but I think the answer is that because I wasn’t doing anything else like I wasn’t washing dishes or cooking food or washing myself, like I was just tip, tap, typing away.

01:11:38:23 - 01:12:10:08 Gabrielle: Um, yeah, I think about, like, things that I regret. Like, like I don’t think I put as much effort into, like, Michael’s birthday or Christmas present because I was so drained that in the sickness, the only place that my brain and ideas would go were towards writing and like that feels like, I don’t know, an unhealthy relationship with writing.

01:12:10:08 - 01:12:28:01 Gabrielle: But like for a while it was the lifeline so it’s fine and he gets it and I will make it up – I am trying to make a big effort in my relationship this year because I am still engaged

01:12:28:01 - 01:12:48:19 Zarina: I think it’s interesting. I think both of us prioritize the white pube over everything else. It’s the most important thing in my life. Yeah. Yeah, and I have no qualms with that. Same really. It’s the way I want it to be. It’s the most important thing in my life because I make it the most important thing in my life and I always will.

01:12:48:21 - 01:12:49:23 Gabrielle: Same, yeah.

01:12:50:11 - 01:12:50:20 Zarina:

01:12:50:21 - 01:12:53:06 Gabrielle: I’m glad. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

01:12:55:23 - 01:13:36:00 Gabrielle: But in general, I’ve managed being sick and being half the white pube by doing less work and realizing the work that I can’t do anymore. And handing that off to Zarina, who is very graciously taking it on, and I have tried to accept more jobs that are just writing-based that I can like do in my own time as opposed to making a bit of extra freelance via teaching and other kind of physical things, which has been hard because obviously I’m like, I’m just writing all the time and at the same time I

01:13:36:00 - 01:14:10:02 Gabrielle: I have also really enjoyed just like letting the subjects within our writing and the reviews and Instagram captions and tweets like stretch to include discussion of disability and everyone has very much seen me figure this out over the past like two years, a year and whatever and I know there’s another question coming up which like … maybe you should ask it now.

01:14:10:23 - 01:14:15:18 Zarina: Yeah, smooth transition, shall I read the entirety of this question?

01:14:15:18 - 01:14:17:04 Gabrielle: Read the entirety of the question.

01:14:18:01 - 01:14:32:07 Zarina: Okay. My self and my friend both have ME and POTS nd we don’t understand why Gabrielle is explaining so much about POTS but not about ME. She says she gets PEM, which is a unique symptom to ME

01:14:33:16 - 01:15:08:12 Gabrielle: Yeah. So ME is, god, is it Myoencephalitis? Is that what it stands for? I can never remember the science. It is a chronic illness that is most known for PEM, which is post exertional malaise, i.e. after you do something, you really take a hit from doing it. I thought I had ME ast year because that’s what it looked like.

01:15:09:09 - 01:15:42:18 Gabrielle: I spoke a lot about that on the Internet. I’ve read books about people with ME like Ill Feelings. I spoke to my friend who has ME - two friends actually - to try and come to terms with it and learn from them. But then in January of this year, I got diagnosed with POTS. And I know that one of the main symptoms of POTS is also chronic fatigue.

01:15:43:00 - 01:16:06:18 Gabrielle: So it is a kind of a blurry mess. And some people have one and some people have both, and some people have many things. Over the past ten months of having my diagnosis, I’ve been able to, like, test my limits and figure out, like, whether or not I have post exertional malaise or not. And it’s very hit or miss.

01:16:07:13 - 01:16:35:21 Gabrielle: But essentially when I take care of all the symptoms as best I can and when the POTS stuff is going really well, I don’t have the same fatigue hit because now I’m medicated and because I have POTS, I don’t have ME. And chronic fatigue is still a symptom of POTS. So essentially I understand the question, but it doesn’t feel like the full picture.

01:16:36:09 - 01:17:26:05 Gabrielle: And I mean, how can I expect anyone to know the full picture? Because like the way we communicate online is in random reviews. But not everyone is going to read random blog posts and not everyone is going to read the occasional Instagram post story. So like I read that and I got a bit like – not annoyed but like, oh like, it frustrated me not being able to communicate everything so coherently as I wish I could, and like it also – I think part of my tiny, tiny 1% upset with that question is the like… the chronic illness community have genuinely saved me over the past year or two years.

01:17:26:19 - 01:17:59:19 Gabrielle: But at the same time there have been notable instances within that where like people who sort of are like, I’m the sick expert, I’ve been sick for way longer than you have, speak to me like shit and have also said things to me that in the end did me more harm than good. And it’s really difficult because it’s like, I understand that you want to like share advice and share wisdom, but maybe it’s just like not right for me at that time.

01:17:59:19 - 01:18:23:00 Gabrielle: Or maybe you’re saying it in a way that’s like unhelpful. And it’s made me really conscious about how I talk to people who I know have become sick after COVID, which feels like this scary growing number, because then people are coming to me like, I think I’ve got Long COVID, and then I’m like, Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck. Because if I say anything, then I’m like, the ghost of future present, you know what I mean?

01:18:23:07 - 01:18:50:17 Gabrielle: And I’m not a doctor and I’m like, I literally don’t know what to say and I don’t want to be like those people who’ve, like, said things to me and made me feel like I’m being sick in the wrong way or like I, don’t know. It’s just, it’s like, there is this great part of chronic illness culture online – people who are so isolated that and all they have is the internet as a way to like have relationships but at the same time it’s not perfect.

01:18:51:06 - 01:18:56:10 Gabrielle: And yeah, like it’s stress.

01:18:56:10 - 01:19:00:15 Zarina: It’s complicated, isn’t it? Yeah, it is complicated. Sounds like some people are just dickheads.

01:19:00:15 - 01:19:05:19 Gabrielle: I know, and no, this person isn’t, not talking about them at all.

01:19:06:10 - 01:19:06:18 Zarina: Yeah.

01:19:07:10 - 01:19:09:03 Gabrielle: But like it’s just some people.

01:19:09:06 - 01:19:14:13 Zarina: People turning to you like - look at all the miles I’ve put – in a dickhead comment.

01:19:14:22 - 01:19:42:06 Gabrielle: Look like people, some people - and this happens in every kind of like, genre of person – people brand themselves as if that’s their full identity. So like you can trust them. That might be, you can trust that person for being like a certain race or a certain sexuality and like no ONE person is. So like everyone should just speak with a bit more humility.

01:19:42:06 - 01:19:49:07 Gabrielle: That’s my hot take. But anyway, let’s slam through, carry on with quickfire questions.

01:19:50:01 - 01:19:51:01 Zarina: Pew pew. Yes.

01:19:52:02 - 01:20:09:08 Gabrielle: When was your first kiss? Ha, ha. No. Next, skip. I think I was like in year six, so that was like ten. Anyway. Your favorite part of your body?

01:20:10:23 - 01:20:11:19 Zarina: My legs.

01:20:13:05 - 01:20:20:07 Gabrielle: I’m really just into the whole thing at the moment. I’ve got no answer.

01:20:20:07 - 01:20:21:08 Zarina: No that’s good, you can say the whole thing.

01:20:21:09 - 01:20:34:13 Gabrielle: Yeah, I’m so into the way I look at the moment, I feel so chill about it. I’m like, Yeah. At what time do you usually go to bed? It’s really funny question.

01:20:34:13 - 01:20:41:13 Zarina: 11 midnight depends. I’m not a late night person. I’m a morning person.

01:20:42:05 - 01:21:09:02 Gabrielle: I am currently going to bed about 5:30 a.m. I keep thinking about this like… I wouldn’t believe me if I wasn’t in my body. Like about what happens to me in terms of like, my relationship with sleep. Essentially, since getting sick, I have way more energy in the nighttime. But apparently when it comes to September, I become nocturnal.

01:21:09:12 - 01:21:18:01 Gabrielle: So I don’t know what that’s about, but it is almost to the date that it’s now happened two years in a row and the difference!

01:21:18:01 - 01:21:18:16 Zarina: Really.

01:21:18:21 - 01:21:46:03 Gabrielle: Like for real. For real. And the difference is that all summer I wake up and I can get out of bed. But come some day in like the second week of September, I wake up and I can’t - I can’t stand up. I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. And then as the day progresses, I feel nauseous.

01:21:46:03 - 01:22:07:02 Gabrielle: I feel like I should not (be awake) - I feel like I’ve not slept. And then it comes to the evening and I start to like pick up a bit, and then it comes to midnight and I’m like, Let’s fucking go, let’s write. Let’s write the fucking book, everyone. Turn all the lights on. Put the music on, let’s go. I feel like I can go for a run. It makes no sense.

01:22:07:02 - 01:22:38:01 Gabrielle: I feel better on those nights in the winter and autumn than I do at any other point in the year. That doesn’t make any sense. Again, if I was not living this, I would think I’ve gone nuts for. If I have co-morbidities other than pots, it is that I have a delayed sleep phase disorder which has also affected fatigue.

01:22:38:10 - 01:23:17:12 Gabrielle: That is my my own conclusion of my health. I think I got COVID. I think I got POTS off the back of it, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. And I think I got a delayed sleep phase disorder. And I think COVID has also slightly messed my lungs up because obviously respiratory stuff. And so, at the moment I’m going to bed at 5:30 a.m. and I have to say I get into bed and I am wide awake like this and I could stay up for hours.

01:23:17:12 - 01:23:34:14 Gabrielle: This time last year I was going to bed at like 8 a.m. am feeling great and I think the same thing’s going to happen. And you know what, part of me thinks I should just let it happen because we’ve got a book to write.

01:23:34:14 - 01:23:52:10 Zarina: Lean into the time zone, I say, because if you’re feeling better, if it feels better, I think you should do it. Even if it’s just a bit. And I have something to say, is that when I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning to go to the gym, I saw the Instagram post you posted at 4 a.m. and it said 2 hours ago, and I was like.

01:23:52:19 - 01:23:56:16 Gabrielle:

01:23:56:23 - 01:23:59:04 Zarina: Tme zone slippage.

01:23:59:07 - 01:24:11:02 Gabrielle: That that is why someone has message to ask because, I, uh. Yeah. Someone else has said are either or both of you queer?

01:24:11:02 - 01:24:15:19 Zarina: I mean. No, probably not. Okay. I don’t know.

01:24:16:22 - 01:24:30:13 Gabrielle: I’m bi. Next question. Would you rather have pogo sticks or micro scooters for legs?

01:24:30:13 - 01:24:34:12 Zarina: Micro scooters? Because I’d be able to go really fast.

01:24:34:24 - 01:24:36:10 Gabrielle: But you wouldn’t be able to jump.

01:24:37:02 - 01:25:04:08 Zarina: But I think. Right. The pogo sticks, I’d be able to jump and that would speed you up compared to the normal pace that you’re at with your legs. Right. Performance enhanced. But I think the micro scooters would be the faster option and the jumping would be nice because you get the height, but it wouldn’t be as fast as a micro-scooter, and imagine

01:25:04:11 - 01:25:15:03 Zarina: Yeah, you’re walking through a packed crowd, you want people to get out of your way. We all know that unlike a scooter to the ankle is fucking lethal.

01:25:15:20 - 01:25:18:14 Gabrielle: You would have weapons on your legs.

01:25:18:19 - 01:25:21:03 Zarina: So true. You’d be unfuckwithable.

01:25:21:21 - 01:25:54:24 Gabrielle: See, my instinct was pogo sticks because you could also go incredibly fast. You would have to do some like training sequences to get your balance right, but I think you could go really fast and really high. I say that like going high is an important part of my daily lifestyle, but I think that’s because I’ve played so many video games in the past two years that like, I think I need to always have movement abilities.

01:25:56:01 - 01:26:15:24 Gabrielle: And that’s not true. That’s just not true. And the other issue with pogo sticks is that they’re so noisy, so noisy like – you could not be chill or cool walking down the street. You’d be like rusty, annoying, metallic.

01:26:16:10 - 01:26:20:13 Zarina: You can’t be inconspicuous. That is a conspicuous mode of transport.

01:26:20:21 - 01:26:33:15 Gabrielle: And how would you stay in one place like say you’re in queue for the post office. You have to be like bum bum bum bum.

01:26:33:15 - 01:26:35:16 Zarina: Irritating immediately irritating.

01:26:35:16 - 01:26:42:18 Gabrielle: Whereas the micro scooters for legs person could just like do the thing roller skaters do when they turn their toes inwards and just stand still.

01:26:43:22 - 01:26:52:20 Zarina: And with one leg as a micro scooter each, you could take two passengers with you wherever you go on your evening trips.

01:26:53:01 - 01:26:54:01 Gabrielle: That’s so true!

01:26:54:18 - 01:27:00:09 Zarina: And that’s a fundamentally, really generous thing to be able to do. You could give people a lift, you can’t on a pogo stick. No one wants that.

01:27:00:20 - 01:27:09:22 Gabrielle: That’s so true, you know. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I’m convinced that was a really convincing argument.

01:27:09:22 - 01:27:10:23 Zarina: Really good question.

01:27:11:07 - 01:27:15:08 Gabrielle: Probably the best question that we’ve had.

01:27:16:10 - 01:27:26:21 Zarina: If you were offered the opportunity to go to Mars for five years, would you? You’d have to be on your own.

01:27:26:21 - 01:27:27:06 Gabrielle: No.

01:27:28:07 - 01:27:29:07 Zarina: You wouldn’t go to Mars?

01:27:29:13 - 01:27:30:21 Gabrielle: Why would I go to Mars?

01:27:31:20 - 01:27:32:07 Zarina: I would.

01:27:32:15 - 01:27:33:01 Gabrielle: Why?

01:27:33:24 - 01:27:34:14 Zarina: Just want to see what it’s like.

01:27:34:14 - 01:27:37:05 Gabrielle: For five years?

01:27:37:05 - 01:27:39:12 Zarina: Yeah, but how many people can say I’ve been to Mars? None.

01:27:39:12 - 01:27:49:07 Gabrielle: I mean, like, are you cut off communication-wise from the rest of the world? Are you, like fully plonked there without any internet and like, you know.

01:27:49:14 - 01:27:51:22 Zarina: I haven’t decided. Does it swing things for you?

01:27:52:22 - 01:27:53:06 Gabrielle: Yeah.

01:27:54:09 - 01:27:57:12 Zarina: Well, yeah, you can have a little chat with the person on the other end.

01:27:58:19 - 01:28:17:03 Gabrielle: I’d still say no. Right, think about it. If you get sick, you’ve got no means to make yourself un-sick. Two, you can’t have sex. Three.

01:28:17:03 - 01:28:19:13 Zarina: I didn’t say you’re not allowed to bring a suitcase.

01:28:21:06 - 01:28:43:20 Gabrielle: I think people who are basically in solitary confinement are like guaranteed to go mad. I don’t really want to go mad. And there are like things to do on Earth. You couldn’t live without like endless coffees.

01:28:45:03 - 01:29:02:13 Zarina: I was just thinking, will I be able to have a silly little coffee on Mars? And no, I can’t. Yeah, I think I’d die on the way there. Obviously, I’d simply just it would get to the first week and I’d be like, well, I’m stuck in a rocket ship and I can’t go anywhere. And I’d simply just cease.

01:29:02:21 - 01:29:05:17 Gabrielle: And how long.

01:29:05:17 - 01:29:15:19 Zarina: Can you stomp across the bridge of a rocket ship? It’s just not going to work for me. But I’d still go because I don’t think things through do I? I get myself into scrapes.

01:29:16:06 - 01:29:29:00 Gabrielle: Yeah, You can’t go there. We had, like a lot of questions from people that were really like all weld related on advice related. But I think we’re going to leave those for other podcasts because

01:29:29:00 - 01:29:29:11 Zarina:

01:29:29:11 - 01:29:58:23 Gabrielle: it feels more responsible to like really get stuck into those things. It feels like it could be useful. So one question that I would like to end with goes back to the first category of questions that we looked at today, which is like super white pube related stuff: What are some notable messages you’ve got about how helpful slash useful your platform is?

01:29:59:10 - 01:30:26:14 Gabrielle: It would be nice to hear if you both recognize how beneficial slash interesting your platform is and use this as an excuse to endlessly big yourselves up lol. And like I think yeah, let’s end with that because I said we shouldn’t just use this podcast to like gas ourselves up, but we’ve been doing this for seven years and we’ve managed to make it our job and it’s something that makes us very happy and I think it’s something that makes other people happy too.

01:30:27:00 - 01:30:43:00 Gabrielle: And like, Oh yeah, maybe it’s nice to have a tiny party at the end of the podcast for the people who are still listening. If anyone is still here? Like what are the things that people have said.

01:30:43:00 - 01:31:18:03 Zarina: I’ve had lot of responses individually from artists who said, Thank you so much for writing the review. I’m not going to name the artist, but one artist said that the review I wrote of the exhibition was so like moving and meaningful that they listened to the audio version of it all the time, just at the bus stop, like, just casually

01:31:18:03 - 01:32:06:04 Zarina: And I was like, That’s crazy. And like, I don’t know how I feel about that because I mean, not that I don’t know how I feel about that. Like, I just don’t that I don’t know how to comprehend that – that’s crazy to me. But I get yeah, that’s the bit that means the most to me because I think I’m very specific in what I write about in terms of the shows and the artists that I’m paying attention to and I think is important that they’re getting critical attention from someone who’s not a middle aged white man working in like a full time job for like a staff writing position for like a broadsheet newspaper, getting

01:32:06:04 - 01:32:30:20 Zarina: like, you know, six, six figure salary with a pension, and like a three bed semi-detached house in Hampstead. You know, like it’s important that the artists I write about get the critical attention from someone who’s a bit more normal. So that means a lot. And I think that is what I have in mind when I’m writing it.

01:32:31:05 - 01:32:50:10 Zarina: I don’t know how to comprehend the other kinds of feedback we get when people are like, Oh, I loved this. I’m like, You read it? To me, the idea that anyone reads the things that we write - you it makes sense. Me, I don’t know why you’d be interested. I just, I can’t get my head around it.

01:32:50:10 - 01:32:57:12 Zarina: It does. It bends my mind. I find it crazy, so I don’t really believe it.

01:32:58:05 - 01:33:04:17 Gabrielle: You’re a very good writer. There’s a reason that we have the jobs that we do. It’s not all me.

01:33:05:13 - 01:33:13:07 Zarina: Who’s that interested in art criticism? Who’s like - ? I recognize that I’m a good writer, but I’m not that good. You know, it’s a niche interest.

01:33:13:17 - 01:34:06:06 Gabrielle: Yeah. In my mind - and by the way, I love the fact that this person listens to the podcast on the regular like their own review. Like that’s just so, it’s so nice that you can like give that to someone - I, I have a folder on my desktop called Nice People and whenever someone makes like a little comment that feels special or especially when people send emails, I’ll always screenshot them and put them in the nice people folder because you know, like when musicians perform at the end of it, people clap and they can like visibly see the people receive the things that they do. On The

01:34:06:06 - 01:34:37:04 Gabrielle: White Pube, essentially what we’ve had for a long time is Google Analytics, and we’ve been able to see the numbers of people who read the website and listen to the podcast and the pretty big like it’s still for some reason is at like 30,000 visits a month and that’s a good thing. But it’s hard to know what that means or feels like because we, we just see a number and we don’t see much more than that because it’s the Internet.

01:34:37:04 - 01:35:07:11 Gabrielle: But you’ll remember this, like the Fax Me Harder newsletter put out a text just about the White Pube podcast and I’ve got a screenshot of it. So it says, I’ve been listening to the White Pube’s podcast recently. Have you heardd it? There’s very few podcasts I’d describe as Beautiful, but it’s properly, properly beautiful. I don’t play any video games and I’ve never sought out game reviews.

01:35:07:18 - 01:35:46:13 Gabrielle: But Gabrielle de la Puente’s readings of her game reviews are actual poetry. They’re luscious with description, but not wanky in any way. Thoughtfully composed, casually spoken, engaging, but not like recently got a column at the New York Times engaging. Also Hearing a Scouse accent on a podcast is blessed relief. I listen to GDLP’s softly, harsh or harshly soft lilt, and I allow myself to sink into descriptions which incidentally feel like the only bit that I do like of a game where you’re walking down a wooded route in the first bit and nothing bad has happened, or can happen yet.

01:35:47:09 - 01:35:52:02 Gabrielle: And like, then it goes on and it’s just like, Oh my God.

01:35:52:02 - 01:35:55:17 Zarina: Because it was a really good review.

01:35:55:19 - 01:36:36:02 Gabrielle: It’s a really nice review, but it’s so affirming that people read the texts that we write no matter what we write them about, like that is so nice. Because it is, it means like people just enjoy the actual craft of the writing. It literally sometimes does not matter whether I’m writing about Red Dead Redemption or a Liverpool Biennial Festival, institutional critique, like people just want to read the the writing. that is like the biggest review that I could get.

01:36:36:03 - 01:36:38:12 Gabrielle: That’s so nice.

01:36:39:03 - 01:36:42:04 Zarina: I can’t bend my head around that. Like that doesn’t make any sense to me.

01:36:42:14 - 01:36:43:20 Gabrielle: It’s so nice.

01:36:44:08 - 01:36:55:19 Zarina: I don’t understand. How does that actually does that actually happens? People actually do that. I’m not being funny. I’m really not being funny. Yeah, they do.

01:36:57:08 - 01:37:23:19 Gabrielle: That’s crazy. Because there’s like there’s different categories of people being nice and it’s like: I really enjoy this. And then there’s, I really enjoyed this because. And then I really like this, even though this isn’t something I usually enjoy. And then there’s the people who often get in touch with the white pube to say, like, you know, I used to hate going to exhibitions and because of you I feel more empowered to go to them.

01:37:24:08 - 01:37:49:19 Gabrielle: And a lot of people have actually been sending in praise for you because of the Friday gallery visits that you do when you go around Instagram and like see stuff because like 1. a lot of people aren’t in London to see the big shows but also 2. a lot of the people in London don’t have the means to go to the exhibitions because like they’re sick or they’ve got caring responsibilities.

01:37:49:19 - 01:38:18:18 Gabrielle: they’re parents, they’re just fucking busy. So loads of people are seeing you as a friend that goes for you and lets you know how it is. And that’s so nice. And the messages that we get about those gallery visits are like, oh, like, I’m glad that we’ve got these different avenues of writing, but also of showing and sharing. It feels really nice to be able to do that.

01:38:19:09 - 01:38:20:03 Zarina: That does feel really.

01:38:20:03 - 01:38:21:02 Gabrielle: Special. Yeah.

01:38:21:03 - 01:38:34:19 Zarina: Oh I don’t, I don’t want to like sound like I’m being obtuse but it just, it really feels like something I cannot get my head around that, like, yeah, I’m not being, I’m not being obtuse. I really just do understand that.

01:38:34:19 - 01:38:42:13 Gabrielle: People read what we write. Still. After 7 years.

01:38:43:04 - 01:38:58:17 Zarina: I don’t get it. I’m not big. I really don’t get it. And I’m not I don’t understand when it’s going to click. And I don’t think this is a good thing. I don’t think this is me being like hashtag fake humble. It just doesn’t make sense.

01:38:59:02 - 01:39:27:04 Gabrielle: That might be why I’m scared that no one will buy the book because, like, sometimes I forget that any of these people are real. There’s a twitch streamer that I really like called HisWattson, and every so often you’ll see, like, you know, he’s got like 10,000 viewers every day now, but you’ll just see comments sometimes that are copy and pasted from people saying like, like, hi, Wattson, like, I’m really sorry to break it to you, but, I’m actually your only viewer.

01:39:27:12 - 01:39:53:01 Gabrielle: I’ve built all these – I’ve made all these Twitch accounts. So it seems like you’ve got a bigger audience, but it’s just me. Like, I feel like that’s the same with the white pube sometimes. Like 30,000 people. That’s bullshit. That’s like, that’s a bot. You’ve made bots. You’ve got bots visiting the White Pube and like refreshing the page because that’s not real.

01:39:53:16 - 01:39:57:24 Zarina: Did you not see my face when you said the number. I haven’t heard the number. Yeah, I didn’t know that number.

01:39:58:10 - 01:40:08:12 Gabrielle: It’s just been consistently 30,000 for like the last four years. It’s so weird and I’m conscious of the time.

01:40:09:05 - 01:40:11:01 Zarina: And also the fact the zoom clock is.

01:40:11:01 - 01:40:39:09 Gabrielle: That’s what I mean. We’ve got one minute 48 seconds to wrap this up. Thank you for listening. And if you enjoyed this episode, please share or you know… I don’t know. And if you want to support the white pube, maybe consider donating on PayPal or KoFi or becoming a regular subscriber on Patreon. And we have a Discord Server that you can join if you do any one of those things We are on Twitter, Instagram and the website.

01:40:40:02 - 01:40:54:15 Gabrielle: But ultimately, thank you so much for being one of the 30,000 people and for keeping us in business and for reading all the things and taking the time to send in messages that make us feel like we are good at something.

01:40:55:08 - 01:40:56:19 Zarina: Absolutely. Thank you.

01:40:56:19 - 01:41:01:06 Gabrielle: Thank you. It’s very emotional. Really emotional.

01:41:01:06 - 01:41:03:17 Zarina: Can’t comprehend it. You’re the only one, though.

01:41:04:03 - 01:41:07:23 Gabrielle: You listening, you’re the only person who listens.

01:41:07:24 - 01:41:08:22 Zarina: Thanks so much.

01:41:08:23 - 01:41:17:19 Gabrielle: Thank you to our one reader. You.

01:41:18:06 - 01:41:20:11 Zarina: Okay it’s going to boot us in a minue. I love you.

01:41:20:16 - 01:41:35:13 Gabrielle: Byeeeeeee.