New Orleans: Nashville but on meth

I saw some old woman, (who I’m going to say was at least 80) ride down Bourbon Street in a people bike wearing nothing but a bra and skirt blasting out ‘Move Bitch Get Out the Way’.

NEW ORLEANS, my my myyyyyy, this city is crazy. If I thought Nashville was mad, then this is like Nashville but on meth. If New Orleans was a person it would be that guy in every friendship group who takes it way too far on every night out and who you are low key worried about becoming a serious drug addict or alcoholic. So, you know… the fun one.

Bourbon Street is the infamous strip in NOLA and it’s kind of dirty but in a good way. You’ll see people pouring out of bars at all hours, women (old women) regularly getting their nipples out in exchange for beaded necklaces and you’ll even hear the sweet sounds of jazz music in the midst of the dirtiness.

Let’s get away from the city for a minute. Really do consider getting a tour out of the city whether that be taking a swamp tour or visiting a plantation. I was lucky enough to visit Oak Alley Plantation and was the youngest person on the tour. All in, it was $65 for transport there and back as well as a tour of the house. If you’ve got a good tour guide you’ll even get a short history lesson on the hour or so journey there.

So insta blogger innit

When we got back into the city, we bought a bottle of SoCo and headed for the bars. First one we spotted, ‘Bourbon Cowboy’; it had a mechanical bull so of course that was the first port of call. Rode the bull didn’t I?! Once the novelty of the bull had worn off and bald, military man Ray from Texas started to get a little TOO friendly, we moved on.

Living my best life

Next bar was the home of HUGE ASS BEERS and course we got one. Did I spill mine all over someone on the street from the balcony? Course I did. Turns out, my faux pas did not go unnoticed and the man stormed into the bar, up the stairs and tried to start a fight with my pal Seán. After countless attempts to tell him it was my fault, Blake Ward (so American) would not listen. Imagine an over privileged but really good looking frat boy, yeah… that. Escaping a punch in the face, we ended the night with a pizza from a woman who’s knowledge on local meth dealers could not be rivalled.

The following evening we decided to be a little more cultured and try some of the local cuisine. Draygos in the Hilton was recommended to us and albeit a little pricey, once seeing countless lobster dishes on the menu, I decided that was DEFFO a bit of me. For dessert we headed down to Cafe de Monde to try the infamous beignets and they did not disappoint fellas.

Lobster, oysters, mushrooms, pasta, JESUS

New Orleans is famous for two major things, its food and its music. We couldn’t leave without experiencing some traditional jazz so decided to get in line for Preservation Hall. Preservation Hall is a small intimate venue that was established in 1961 There’s no air conditioning so get ready for some serious bum juice. There’s no photography or recording allowed and there’s no microphone. What there is of course is great jazz music. It feels authentic because it is. At $20 a ticket, it’s worth it.

The hall is just off Bourbon Street so if you thought you were in for a relaxing evening of jazz, think again. As soon as you step out of the building you are once again reminded that you are in the mental district.

A night out on Bourbon Street is like if someone got every single hen party and stag do, every single lads and gals night out, every single addict and vomited them onto the street. Rules don’t seem to apply and you’ll end up appreciating the crazy things in life.

New Orleans is full of characters and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I saw a man go into the hotel swimming pool with a shower cap on. I saw another man sitting in only his dressing gown outside the Ritz smoking a cig and I saw some old woman, (who I’m going to say was at least 80) ride down Bourbon Street in a people bike wearing nothing but a bra and skirt blasting out ‘Move Bitch Get Out the Way’.

New Orleans, you were jokes but I think I would die there amongst all the craziness if you hosted me for more than a weekend.

Next stop ———> Los Angeles, California

Beignet at Cafe du Monde

Try some Alligator Bites, surprisingly nice
Check out Frenchman Street and find some artsy markets along the way

Memphis: the home of nothing except Elvis

People had scooters, bikes, others were simply running for their lives with one guy screaming to his friend in a higher pitch than most little girls, “I CAN’T RUN IN THESE SHOES”.

“You’d be maaaad too if you had to say that thiiiis was your home”.

Wise, wise words from a recovering drug addict/Uber driver. Her name? Couldn’t tell you, was far too focused on her raspy southern accent and her disdain for Memphis and men, not in that order by the way.

I got the impression that her number one hate in life was men not texting her back. Why do I get that impression? She told us. Second thing she hated, Memphis. And while I don’t want to disrespect the people of Memphis, your city was so shit.

Perhaps it was coming from the previous life of the party that was Nashville but Memphis was like stepping into Nashville’s deathbed. The only thing I knew of it was that it was home to Graceland and it seemed as if that was the only thing it was home to.

So, only go to Memphis if you are an Elvis Presley fanatic, are in the area or it’s a stop over for you. Even as an indifferent fan of Elvis, I have to say that Graceland was pretty cool, the tour is good and it’s just a cool house. Cool is definitely the word to describe everything there. Ahhhh Elvis, what a guy.

Elvis’ COOL pool table
Elvis’ COOL dining room
Elvis’ COOL house

As for my house or rather my air bnb, not so cool. We stayed with a night nurse and his dog. His house was cute from the outside and every house in the neighbourhood looked like it was part of a film set. Inside however, not so pristine. I was just there eating my quesadilla when a cockroach crawled across the floor, niceeeee.

Air bnb looks nice from the outside…

The area had a weird, eerie feel to it. No one was around and nothing was there. It was recommended to us that we visit the massive pyramid in the centre of Memphis. What was inside this pyramid you ask? A massive shop. Classic Americans. And, not just any shop, the world’s biggest Bass Pro Shop; they sell a range of fishing, hunting and boating gear. Lol, the South.

To be fair, the shop is an EXPERIENCE. It’s also a hotel and restaurant with a viewing platform at the top. Pay something like $10 and go up to the top and have a panoramic view of Memphis. The restaurant looked peng but unfortunately we had already indulged in what looked and tasted like a prisoner’s meal at Graceland.

Have you seen anything more Southern?

All in all, Memphis just seemed to be empty; it was weirdly quiet. We had been told to walk down Beale Street, THE street in Memphis. Whilst it was filled with characters including, bikers, trucker guys and alcoholic women, I wouldn’t walk down it again.

Having taken a Greyhound for 4 hours after getting a solid 2 hour sleep the night before, we were in no mood for an even more dismal place than what our heads were already in. We sat in a park for a bit and suddenly saw a rush of people running from all over the place. Turns out Jailbreak had hidden hundreds of dollars all over Memphis and were releasing coordinates throughout the day as to where the money was hidden. People had scooters, bikes, others were simply running for their lives with one guy screaming to his friend in a higher pitch than most little girls, “I CAN’T RUN IN THESE SHOES”. An entertaining spectacle but still didn’t make up for the fact that all in all Memphis was shit.

One thing I would say is definitely ask your Uber drivers for recommendations wherever you go because they are the best for it. If we didn’t ask, we would never have gone to the Pyramid and would have had to have found something else to occupy ourselves for a couple of hours… god.

So folks, avoid Memphis and stay tuned for the next blog somewhere which is set not to disappoint.

Next stop———> New Orleans, Louisiana

Nashville: Cowboy Maga

A word to describe Nashville? Fun. Two words? Guiltless fun.

If you’re like me and not super knowledgeable on the topic of the South then you’ll associate Nashville with great country music, hot chicken and dreamboat accents. After reading this, you’ll still associate it with all of those things because it was exactly like that.

I got a flight from New York and as soon as I entered the terminal I could feel I was in the South. Probably because they had country music blaring out. Anyway, I stepped out of the airport to be greeted by Jennifer driving my Uber. Jennifer, lovely name, lovely lady but also bat shit crazy. My Uber driver was either completely trashed or absolutely bolted. She was flailing her arms everywhere, head moving frantically from side to side, eyes darting whilst telling us how much she loved Princess Diana and hated Camilla — (read in deep southern accent) “Oh we all lurrvveee Diana; we hate Camilla, she can go dieeeee”. Ok, hun? Still trying to decide whether her being binned was funny or not; I’ve come to the conclusion it’s all just banter innit.

After not dying on the journey, we checked into our hostel. My man Ted gave us a little tour round the place and reminded us of the ‘no hard liquor’ rule. I met some great people in this hostel, it was really close to the main strip and wasn’t super spenny (details at the bottom). We met a low-key country music producer and violin prodigy as well as a singer who had just decided to stay in the hostel because it was “more fun”. Aside from them, you’ll probably bump into LOADS of English people if you go during the summer as they’ve all just flooded from summer camps. You just can’t leave the English behind… shoutout to my boy Max.

Although the hostel wasn’t too spenny, going out definitely was. The plus side is that almost every bar along Broadway (main street in Downtown) is open every day of the week til late and has a live band. There’s no cover charge for watching artists you’d normally pay for anywhere else in the world. The only down thing is that it means drinks are pricey. The bands take requests if you tip them and will interact with the customers. Ever listened to a country song ironically at pres? Think of how everyone goes mental for it and times that by 100. It’s a fun vibe, a mix between an authentic American city and a strip on a lads holiday.

Luke Bryan’s Bar (Huntin’, Fishin’, Lovin’ Everyday – that guy)

That’s not to say that every bar pounds out the same thing because they’re all different and there’s something for everyone. Choose between learning to line dance, attempting karaoke in the ‘Music City’ of America or dancing on the bar at Coyote Ugly. Ticked something of my bucket list with that last one for 20 seconds of fame on the bar before being told I couldn’t do that… and then realising I’d left my credit card in another bar… the good times just kept on flowing. Ultimately, the going out scene in Nashville was like Cowboy Maga (N.B. Seán came up with this and wants credit, write your own blog lil bitch).

Prime example of a Maga Cowboy

If you’re not into going out and getting drunk, don’t go to Nashville. Ahhh, I’m being superficial but also not, don’t go. Sure, there are things to do in the day but the main attraction is the amazing music. If you’re into country music then check out the Johnny Cash museum; read his personal letters, listen to his songs and watch clips of his movies. At $20 a ticket I wouldn’t recommend going unless you REALLY like Johnny Cash. Alternatively you can go and visit the Parthenon in Centennial Park, a replica of the one in Greece or maybe you could just go to Greece? On the plus side their food is just as big as the music. Try their hot chicken and for the best mac ‘n cheese eat at The Stillery.

The Parthenon
The Parthenon

The Stillery

Mac n’ cheese at The Stillery

Go to Nashville for the music, good food and people. You’ll be surprised at how into country music you’ll get. It’s an infectious atmosphere filled with carefree, outgoing and friendly people.

A word to describe Nashville? Fun. Two words? Guiltless fun.

*Hostel: Nashville Downtown Hostel, 177 1st Avenue North

Next stop —-> Memphis, Tennessee

Buy 1 pair and get 2 free – great deal fellas
Not quite Coyote Ugly but no one got a pic so enjoy this other cute one of me
Diabetes in a photo

New York: a haven for the confident, not the shy

Even in the bouji-est of yaaassss queen bouji places it was happening…

Hello friends, here we are again, your ol’ pal Jen has re-started this blog after HUGE demand for the international blogging sensation —cheers to all you sarcastic pricks.

For those of you who don’t know I’ve gone on a jaunt round America for the next month, where I will be aiming to provide you with a run down of the enigma that is the USA.

First stop: New York

I’m sure many of you reading this will have been to New York and yeah, I could just reaffirm that all the touristy things you did were worth it but cba. Go to the Met, see the Statue of Liberty, get in a yellow cab etc. but get out into the boroughs and listen to a guy tell you about how he lived in a cult for almost a year or how some guy got scammed into going on a tinder date with 200 other guys.

I stayed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, edgy and try hard I know but ya gal needed some free accommodation so stayed with a friend. Think of Williamsburg as the Shoreditch of New York, loads of artisan coffee shops, overpriced craft beers and unfairly good looking people. If you find yourself there, go down to Smorgasburg, a food market next to the water. Think of Camden market but less shitty and with people taking insta pics with watermelons and drinks served in pineapples, that kinda thing. Good food though and you get a fab view of the skyline.

Venetian Sandwich
Venetian Sandwich
View from Smorgasburg

If you’re looking for something to do in the evening, get yourself down to Barcade (yeah, it’s an arcade in a bar). If you hate people, like me, then you’ve found a place where you can appear to be social without actually socialising with anyone. All the games are individual player except maybe one or two so, grab a beer and indulge the inner child with retro arcade games.

After that, we headed to a bar called Union Pool, which I was told was notoriously known as a ‘hook up bar’ (sorry mum and dad). I’M JOKING, relax. Just having some good time fun with friends. It was here in a relatively sober state that I realised how non-subtle New Yorkers are. People are definitely on the prowl. The two girls next to us immediately started flirting and talking to the two guys I was with. Girls!

And yeah, sure this place was kinda sleezy but it was happening in the nice places too. People just accept that they’re at a bar for one reason only, to “hook up” and they’re so blatant about it. Even in the bouji-est of yaaassss queen bouji places it was happening— rooftop bar, Mr Purple in Lower East Side. Imagine your typical wealthy guy in a shirt and chinos combo, drink in hand, surrounded by 5 women; he had his eye on the blonde but she was playing it coy. Next thing we know she’s gone and he’s onto the next one. Literally on… as soon as the blonde left his hand wormed it’s way down to the arse of the brunette next to him. No subtlety, just went for it. If you want this classy experience visit Mr Purple. Nah but seriously, if you love the high life vibe, do check out Mr Purple, totally instagrammable with a pool, good view and everyone pretending they have the money to spend on $16 cocktails.

Mr Purple Lower East Side
Pretending to enjoy myself drinking the cheapest thing on the menu

If you’re looking for something more chill and less alcohol focused then head on down or rather up, to the High Line. It’s a 1.45 mile walk along greenery on an old New York railroad. You’ll get a nice walk, see some contemporary art along the way and feel healthy. Or, get away from the crowds and go to Union Square. Not much to do but it’s a nice small green space and there are plenty of shops about. When we went, we arrived just after the aftermath of something ridiculous.

A half torn down stage was lying on the ground with the remnants of DJ equipment next to it. Alongside the equipment were a bunch of big cue cards. One of them said ‘Trump supporter’ with another saying ‘If you’ve ever been in a long term relationship’. A girl had matched with over 200 boys on tinder and asked them to meet her at Union Square at a specific time. When they showed up, she held up cue cards with conditions to eliminate them so she could find the right suitor. Who does that? To be fair, I think it was some publicity stunt to gain followers but still, WHAT?

Americans are so ballsey, New Yorkers especially. So, if you want in yer face experiences, definitely hit up New York.

Next city ——> Nashville, Tennessee

NYC High Line
Mural along the high line

Americans’ Ridiculous Zest for Life

Everybody gathered round waiting for the momentous occasion of opening the box. The man opened the box and the animals attacked.

You know how Americans are super loud and annoying? Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that they just love life and you know what, that’s kind of refreshing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the screeching that comes along with the American accent will be the death of me but they have this weird zest for life that frankly I’m just jealous of.

This all started when I went to my residence hall’s boat party in San Francisco. It was an end of year semi-formal event with students from all residence halls. Get this though, NO ALCOHOL. They made it very clear that no alcohol would be served on the boat, no one would be allowed on the bus if they had drunk alcohol and all bags would be checked for alcohol. All in all, I won’t lie, the night was pretty dead for me. It was like being back at a school disco– awkward dancing, children pretending to be adults, atrocious kissing. Seriously, I saw two people who were just holding their mouths against one another for ages, no movement, no passion, no love. But you know what, good for them, they were happy. That’s the thing, everybody was having fun because they didn’t care about anybody else. I needed alcohol to be fun, what does that say about me? That’s pretty sad. My parents have drilled it into me that if someone doesn’t like what they see then they can look the other way; I should really start listening to that.

The beginning of the night when I thought it was going to be fun…

It’s not just the way they seem to be more carefree, they just love celebrating everything; BIGGER AND BETTER. Take 420 for example. Sorry, what? That’s not even a real holiday and it got so much attention here. Classes were cancelled, people skipped class (including me because I’m cool and rebellious). I just wanted to see what the big fuss was about. Hundreds of students gathered on a grass area on campus called Memorial Glade. There were food stands, ready and waiting and I shit you not, at 4:20pm, everybody blaaaaazed on the glaaaade. Everyone was SO happy… mad.



The gladeeeeeeeeeee @ 4:20pm

A few days later and it was the infamous Cal Day that I had been warned about. In short, Cal Day is basically an open day for prospective students. For current students it is an opportunity to drink for the whole day whilst adopting copious amounts of school spirit. Everybody in sight was wearing Cal gear, from Cal temporary tattoos to Cal pinstriped dungarees. I won’t lie, it was really funny. Everybody was just going crazy and it felt like exactly what I thought a frat party would be like when I first came here. It was like something out of a film. Inflatable slides, kegs, people posing for pictures with empty champagne bottles… (??????) At one point, a guy brought out a box of beer to the bar and the anticipation was real. Everybody gathered round waiting for the momentous occasion of opening the box. The man opened the box and the animals attacked. The beers were gone in two seconds; it was like animals at the watering hole during feeding time. I love it.

What a fucking lad.

FullSizeRender 8


Calday came to a close, I got some Chinese food and napped for three hours; I regret nothing. An unnecessary celebration but a celebration nonetheless. That’s my point, Americans just love to celebrate everything but with no shame about the excess to which they do. Take this weekend for example, my residence hall is hosting a carnival with photo booths, bouncy castles, games etc. For literally no reason???? What I’m trying to say is, yes, Americans may have this weird zest for life but you know what, if I could have even the smallest fraction of that, I’d be ten times happier.

My Alternative Spring Break

…one of the first things someone said to them was ‘Y’all foreigners aren’t ya?’ Followed by, ‘So how much American pussy have y’all got?’

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase ‘SPRING BREAK WOOHOO’ numerous times in American college films but I’m going to tell you why my spring break really was like that. And no, I didn’t go to Mexico and have a blast with the girls whilst downing a shitty vodka lemonade. In fact, I went on a road trip through California with 4 guys. So, immediate reaction, you probably think I’m a raging slut. Just to clarify, I’m not. It was genuinely like being with four brothers. We started our road trip by heading to Santa Barbara. Stopped at Monterey on the way. Saw some rocks. Good crack.

We got in our Dodge car and drove down to Santa Barbara. We decided to visit the university the next day. For those of you who don’t know, the stereotype of UC Santa Barbara is the ‘party school’ with surfers and perfect bodies everywhere. Think of the image you have in your head of the typical Californian and Santa Barbara literally embodies that. It was so odd how everything looked like something out of a film. We were walking along what we assumed was frat row and guys roll past on skateboards while another passes with a surfboard in hand. Walk a little further and you see a bunch of college students on the roof of a house overlooking the beach listening to music and looking genuinely happy unlike the rest of us at university who are on a slow march to death. Santa Barbara served us well. We got into a bar fittingly named Sandbar, with 3 of us getting in on one id… I love America. I’m sure you know what a night out is like, I’m not going to bother explaining how cool I am going to bars, getting in underage, drinking Satan’s nectar etc.


The next day we drove down towards San Diego, our next stop, but got distracted by the serene views of Malibu. We stopped off in Malibu. I can’t explain how nice it was, couldn’t even do it via Facetime. I tried to Facetime my dad overlooking the beach with this view:


His exact words were “Yeah yeah, looks like a shithole”. It wasn’t a shithole but do you know what was? Our airbnb in San Diego.

San Diego was one of the weirdest places I’ve ever been. Again, hard to explain but this would be a terrible blog if I didn’t try. We drove into downtown San Diego and just so many odd characters presented themselves. A surprising amount of homeless people were situated literally opposite our airbnb. I was later informed by my friend that the homeless problem is such a big issue that there is even a conspiracy surrounding people trying to physically burn the homeless in San Diego. Sorry, WHAT? After spending years trying to find a parking space we unloaded the car and were let into the apartment block by a limping man and his dog. The door was unlocked and there was one bed for five… Someone found a mattress in a cupboard but essentially, five of us were sharing a small room. Sleeping like sardines was an absolute treat.

Oh, one thing I do want to say is that my experience in San Diego taught me that people are such liars on social media. So our airbnb claimed to have an ‘AMAZING rooftop’. The rooftop was a few tables and chairs and some outside heaters and a bbq that didn’t work. Hardly ‘AMAZING’. Nonetheless we took advantage of this and invited some other Berkeley students to join us who were conveniently in San Diego at the same time. They stopped by for about an hour maybe tops, don’t think I could tell you more than 3 of their names, socialised amongst themselves and the next day one of them posted on Instagram a mediocre picture of the view from the roof with the caption ‘Rooftop party last night #ifiwasarichgirl’– everything you see on social media is a lie kids. We were on the top of an apartment building surrounded by homeless people; we were not in some millionaire’s penthouse. What a knob.


San Diego was pretty average but before we left we wanted to go see the Mexican border. Not as thrilling as one might expect, just a fence really and some grassland. Border patrol were pretty scary though. A bunch of men in black riding around on quad bikes with masks on, how could that not be threatening? We left quickly and made our way to LA.

LA traffic is no myth. The thing about LA is that you can be in a completely impoverished area and then 10 minutes later be in one of the richest areas in the world; it was jarring but also what I was told to expect. LA was cool; I highly recommend it. Did all the tourist things like spend the day on Venice Beach, go on a Hollywood Studio tour or walk along Hollywood Boulevard. However, the highlight for me was definitely looking across LA from Runyon Canyon Park. It’s about a 1.5 mile hike in the Hollywood Hills and is full of runners and dog walkers, so don’t go in flip flops like I did.

Big city life was too much and we left for Sequoia. Saw some trees. Good. Let me backtrack though. So we left LA quite late and ended up arriving at our airbnb when it was pitch black. I had booked for us to stay on a citrus farm in the middle of nowhere. We were driving amongst orange trees and could not find any sign of life in the dark. I called Diana (our host) who was only too happy to help and she came out from amongst the trees with her hubby, Tim, in a golf cart and led us to our cabin. The woman had thought of everything, different types of tissues in the bathroom, sweet sweet citrus fruits and even turned on the fire for us. God bless Diana. Literally, God bless her.

Guestbook Entry
Citrus Farm Airbnb


Had to leave our citrus farm early the next day in order to see the biggest tree in the world, General Sherman. Just when I thought I had seen the best scenery California had to offer, we made our way to Yosemite. We ended up staying in another airbnb that was an old antique shop/ horse supply shop or something. There were hardly any doors in between rooms and the decor was a mixture of Native Americans and cowboys. Odd to say the least. We were in the middle of nowhere. Literally, in the exact centre of California. We obviously visited the National Park and it was beautiful but what struck us most were the people who inhabited the town where we were staying. Pick up trucks everywhere, American flags everywhere, characters everywhere. The further inland we went, the further I felt like we were stepping into redneck territory. Although I didn’t personally experience this my pals went to a bar right next to where we were staying and one of the first things someone said to them was ‘Y’all foreigners aren’t ya?’ Followed by, ‘So how much American pussy have y’all got?’ I’m just going to leave it at that.

Seeing the difference between inland California and Berkeley was mad. So much variety in one state. But it all felt so real and genuine. California is the only place I’ve been where the stereotypes live up to expectation. Isn’t that weird? That never happens. Every place we went excited me more and more and I’ve only just touched the surface in this post; I could talk about this trip forever! If you ever have the opportunity, visit California, you won’t regret it.

Am I a blogger yet?

The Intelligentsia.

I’m going to tell you what happened from a student’s perspective. From an honest and real perspective.

I go to Berkeley now, which means I have an unfathomable amount of work to be doing but I thought this was more important. As I write, I can hear the monotonous whirring of helicopters above me and it is so bloody annoying. But, do you know what is even more frustrating? The violence I saw at UC Berkeley earlier this evening. I’m going to tell you what happened from a student’s perspective. From an honest and real perspective.

Today, at about 6pm, well over 1000 students and members of the public gathered in Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley to protest the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos. He was due to give a speech after being approached by the UC Berkeley Republicans but after violent actions he was forced to leave; this comes straight off the bat of his unwanted presence at another UC campus earlier this month. He’s a pretty controversial guy but what I saw this evening does not justify that in any way.

You’d think only being here three weeks, it would have been surprising to see a protest of this size in the middle of campus but think again! I am living in the heart of where the free speech movement began in the 60s. I have seen more protests here in the last three weeks than I have in the last three years in London. It started off as a peaceful protest with a few witty signs but as it turned dark, this was mirrored by a group of masked, darkly clothed strangers who entered the crowd and caused havoc. They removed all the barricades that had been set up earlier that day and used them to smash the windows of the ground floor of the building where Yiannopoulos was. They set off smoke bombs and aimed fireworks at the police who were located on a balcony. It was only when a fire started that we felt it was time to leave. Police were firing rubber bullets and despite news reports and over dramatic protestors, tear gas was not used. It was still scary, a man was bleeding after having a brick thrown at his face.

Predictably, there are already a few sensationalised news stories floating about. I found this image from BBC news particularly impressive:


I don’t know what angle this was taken at but the fire was the equivalent to a small bonfire that your enthusiastic uncle sets up in your garden on Fireworks Night. Here’s a more accurate, REAL photo:


What I don’t understand is that even when Yiannopoulos left, the violence spread and worsened. The masked individuals went to the streets. ATMS were smashed, banks were attacked with all the windows smashed and even a Starbucks was looted. Why? Why? Why?

These masked individuals have been linked to an anarchical group from Oakland called Black Block but no one can be sure as to their identity. Whether or not Berkeley students were involved in the violence, there was still mass cheering and celebration when windows were broken, police targeted and fires started. People were taking selfies in front of the fire for their Instagram. And although BBC would like to present this photo as a GREAT FIRE or BLAZE the only ‘blazing’ going on were from the guys behind me getting high. Sorry but what? Is a protest just another recreational activity now? People are stupid. They took this as an event of self-indulgence, whether this be simply to have fun or make themselves feel as if they were ‘making a difference’. We seem to think that because we go to prestigious universities that we are exempt from irrational behaviour when in fact, university students are more disconnected from the real world than ever. Protests have turned into a fashion. People revel in the theatrics of protest. It saddens me because I know that the majority of students will agree with me in condemning the violence of this evening but we will be forever branded as raging hypocritical liberals who do not practise what they preach.

The problem is, especially after this evening, I’m finding it more and more difficult to defend this view. I cannot tell you how many people I have spoken to here, who just want to live in their liberal bubble. People keep telling me that there is a difference between free speech and hate speech but they are one and the same. There may be bad people in the world but tough shit, there are horrible things in the world and you denying that is ignorant. This protest is exactly what Yiannopoulos wanted. Your redundant and violent protests are affirming the radical right’s views of the left. It pains me to say that when Yiannopoulos said tonight’s behaviour was ‘a horrible spectacle and very humiliating for American higher education,’ I can’t help but agree. I wonder how much support he would gain if you simply left him alone. You are fuelling the fire for his ridiculous views and giving him validity he doesn’t deserve. I’m fed up of my fellow students continuously denying that the right exists whilst burying their head in the sand. It is not enough to hold up a cardboard sign every once in a while to make yourself feel better. Engage with the other side in actual debate and then maybe something will change.

I understand that protests are a sure fire way of showing solidarity and you have every right to that, but burning a mobile light or to graffiti on an ice cream shop the words ‘kill fascists’ whilst documenting it all on Facebook live feed for the ‘likes’ is not what your ancestors had in mind when they were protesting for the free speech movement. To all those who went out and destroyed buildings or even stood back and cheered, you have marked yourself as idiots and brought shame upon your accomplished past.