Wonder how long before he is found to have relapsed and OD'd on heroine (ie. assassinated)
I do like him, but find he's becoming a bit ubiquitous at the moment.
I don't watch TV particularly often. So I don't see him everywhere. I will watch a Trews every now and then, if the content interests me. But a lot of time I find them boring. I thought he was great on Newsnight, although I don't agree with all that he says. But he has moved into a higher gear with his politics. The people he appeals to, in my opinion, were already politically active and understand the system. I don't think he's reaching anyone new. But he does help bring rebellions such as the occupy movement to more people.
I am a fan of his political beliefs, if not a fan of his comedy, films or his spiritualism.
At times I thought he was being a bit of a dick for talking over Evan before he knew what he was going to ask but the underlying message is stronger and more valid than ever and most of the questions put to him were pointless questions where the purpose was to entertain (9/11) or ridicule (GM). Glad to see he is getting time on Newsnight, hope he keeps it up.
He will always have his haters. He is like marmite. Let's face it we brits love building someone up and then knocking them until they fall right back down again....it is the british disease a bit of the green eyed monster. I don't think he needs any more cash....nor can his career be called anything other than a huge success. He does not even "need" publicity for the sake of it.
So we drill down to what he is upto and he hinted at it in this interview. He uses his persona and his publicity to further good and noble causes. He also uses his voice to keep pointing out the flaws in our systems and how everything is in favour of the top 5%. He even offers up solutions to the status quo....but his detractors hate this and refuse to accept it. The media don't "like" it when someone seems to be getting above their station. The same media is also ultimately controlled by the right wing top 5% so they want to silence and or ridicule him......which they do in heaps. Even the people he fights for don't bloody trust him.......but that has always been the way with the "left"....they could argue in an empty building...coupled with the fact that most people (even the lefties) are media led like sheep.....the message is clear Don't trust him lol. Personally I think his intentions are good and his "work" is of no benefit to him but does benefit the causes he is trying to champion.
Like him or not, you can't really argue the facts. It's not like he diagnosed the issue. We're all aware of it. No-one listens to us. He has a voice.
This is a decent piece on Brand and the furore against him from all angles.
Russell Brand Must Be Doing Something Right
Posted: 28/10/2014 16:39 GMT Updated: 28/10/2014 16:59 GMT RUSSELL BRAND
Russell Brand has stepped into the political arena and is being made to pay a heavy price for it. Ever since his first and by now legendary Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman a year ago, the comedian and entertainer has come under attack from all and sundry, with words such as 'irresponsible', 'naive', self aggrandising', 'incoherent', and even 'bumhole' being thrown at him like verbal hand grenades.
His second and recent Newsnight interview with Evan Davis has resulted in a similar furore, uniting voices of the left, right, and right-on in condemnation. No matter how you cut it this is a remarkable feat for one leather-trousered comedian and entertainer.
Indeed such is the level of anger and indignation levelled at Russell Brand for 'daring' to publicly articulate his disenchantment with the status quo, with the political and economic system, and worse daring to write a book with the provocative title Revolution, you would think he'd just committed some heinous crime. The criticism that has attached to him over his reinvention as a political activist, writer and campaigner says more about those throwing barbs than it does about him, however, echoing perhaps Oscar Wilde's assertion that, "Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities".
When it comes to Brand's dim view of voting, which he articulated in the Paxman interview, he was challenging the received truth that serious politics begins and ends at the ballot box - a ritual that takes place ever few years to elect a government of in the main privately educated, privileged, white men to continue where the previous lot left off in abasing themselves before the market with policies near indistinguishable from those of their predecessors. The point Brand makes is that the political class, establishment, elite - however you choose to describe them - is hopelessly disconnected from the mass of ordinary people and their needs. How else to explain a housing crisis in Britain that is a badge of shame for any industrialised country? Or what about the culture of low pay, under employment, zero hours contracts that exists alongside the obscene executive salaries, bonuses, and tax avoidance enjoyed by a tiny minority? We can trace it all back, via an unbroken thread of Tory and Labour governments, to Thatcher and the war she unleashed to destroy the social justice, solidarity, and collectivism underpinning both the very concept and creation of the NHS and welfare state.
The outcome in 2014 is a British political class wedded to the interests of the rich to an extent not seen since the age of the US robber barons in the 19th century.
When it comes to Brand's statement about being 'open minded' when it comes to 9/11, I disagree with him. But, here again, the very reason such conspiracy theories manage to gain the traction they do is the breakdown in trust in the political class. This mistrust is well placed when you consider the exposes of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden in recent years. But while I may disagree with Russell Brand over 9/11, this doesn't invalidate everything else he says or the questions he is asking about the current political and economic system.
Indeed Brand does not assert that he has the answers to the present crisis in representation and the crippling inequality and social injustice that is the new normal in society. What he's doing is asking questions, and it those very questions that are obviously striking fear into the hearts of the political class and professional commentariat. This is a good thing and more power to the man for stirring things up.
Among the chorus of shrill voices that have denounced Brand in recent weeks, John Lydon and Polly Toynbee stand out. Lydon would seem to have reinvented himself as a professional contrarian, continuing where he left off with the Sex Pistols in embracing form over content. His shrieks of disdain directed at Brand have been notably lacking in anything more than ad hominem attack. Perhaps the real problem Lydon has with the comedian turned political campaigner is more to do with his own personal issues than Russell Brand. I don't know. What is clear is that Lydon comes over as decidedly unpleasant, whose stock in trade is vitriolic abuse.
As for the Guardian's Polly Toynbee, this is someone who extended herself in laying into Tony Benn upon his passing before the man's body was cold in the grave, intent on rubbishing his legacy. In this she was carrying on her feud with the Labour Party she left way back in 1981 to form the breakaway SDP, paving the way for Thatcher's re-election in 1983. As such her criticisms of Russell Brand merely validate the man.
I like Russell Brand. I believe him to be sincere, passionate, and committed to fighting the corner of those who have been marginalised, disregarded, and alienated by the status quo. When it comes to the eruption of criticism he's attracted in the process, the inimitable words of Lance-Corporal Jack Jones of Dad's Army spring to mind: "They don't like it up 'um"!
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To be fair, Mehdi Hasan - the Political Editor of the Huffington Post, is a Brand backer. So the piece written above is not without prejudice.
But... I agree with the sentiment. He is a comedian. The main argument against Brand is that he doesn't have an alternative plan. Well... The greatest human minds have been trying to come up with a utopian way of living and we haven't found the perfect ideology yet. What Brand says is right. People are getting fucked while an elite few cream all the wealth. Just because he is well off, doesn't mean he can't have a voice. If one of the elite had Russell's money, he'd kill himself. He'd be broke. That's the level of wealth we are talking here.
I don't have the answers either. But I like the question and Russell is raising it loudly.
I like this one...
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This week, by law, I have to deride Russell Brand as a self-obsessed, annoying idiot. No article or comment on Twitter can legally be written now unless it does this, so by the weekend the Sunday magazine recipes will go, “Goose and marmalade paella, serves six – unless one of the six is Russell Brand in which case he can make his own dinner as he’s such a rebel I suppose he doesn’t agree with ovens.”
One of the common objections to his book Revolution – for example from columnist Craig Brown – is that while he claims to be anti-Establishment, “the book is published by Penguin Random House”. Well you’ve got him there, because if he was a proper rebel he’d have written the book in crayon on his ceiling, or spelt the words out using fallen cooking apples so as not to damage the environment.
All these so-called lefties are the same. Look at Tony Benn, who said he was a socialist but didn’t mind drinking tea, which is made by PG Tips, who are a capitalist company, the hypocrite. Similarly, if Brand is such a man of the people why has he still got both his kidneys? I don’t see him giving those away to a family in the slums of Mexico.
Another observation made by the witty is that “he’s only going on about all this because he’s got a book to sell”. This is another fair point, because the genuine radical writes a book, then puts it in the bin so no one can ever read it. Truly great figures in history declare: “I have written out my manifesto, but now the task is to make those views known to as few people as possible.”
This is why the most honourable people don’t need a book to promote their ideas. For example you won’t find any book that’s all about Jesus, because he’s above all that.
So, as many people have pointed out, Brand’s call to revolution is a ploy to boost his career. Because if you want to become accepted in Hollywood and creep round the people who run the media in America, everyone knows the first thing to do is write a book called Revolution and support strikes by the staff of Walmart. Doris Day was exactly the same.
This also explains why he went to a picket line of striking firefighters in Essex, because of the unsavoury and dominating influence in Hollywood of the Essex region of the Fire Brigades Union. Poor Tom Hanks was told his career was finished unless he signed a petition supporting regional walkouts over shift patterns in Southend, and daren’t whisper a word of complaint to anyone.
But it may not be just the haphazard and scatty call to rebellion that upsets his critics. What appears to have annoyed many writers is that the book isn’t proper writing. Nick Cohen in The Observer calls the style “long-winded, confused and smug”, concluding that Brand and his book “discredits the left”.
So it’s a shame Brand didn’t learn from Cohen, whose own book was in no way confused, insisting the left should have supported the war in Iraq, deriding anyone who didn’t as an “apologist for fascism”. It would bring much more credit to the left if it followed people like George W Bush instead of idiots who opposed the war, such as Nelson Mandela.
Other columnists agree that lines such as the one referring to the Deputy Prime Minister as “Reneggey-Cleggy” makes a mockery of genuine political writing. Because proper writing about politics is the sort of article that starts: “As we enter an uncertain pre-election period, one is drawn inexorably towards the dilemma of the Liberal Democrats as outlined to me by a spokesman for their senior adviser on geology,” until you’re in such a trance you wouldn’t notice if it went, “so a two per cent swing in the Cotswolds amongst those with erectile dysfunction towards a left-of-centre cautiously pro-Europe agenda could result in a coalition between the Conservatives and the Provisional IRA.”
This is why Brand’s book will engage young people in political ideas less than other publications, such as A Compendium of Daily Telegraph Columns That Refer to Danny Alexander, and My Forty Days Working in a Nearby Office to Iain Duncan Smith – the Official Story. It’s also why the correct way to inspire young people is to follow the Labour model. Poor Ed Balls can hardly get out of his car in a town centre for being mobbed by youth, eager for him to sign their copy of Why We’re Sticking to Tory Spending Plans for the First 250 years of a Labour Government.
The most effective complaint about Brand’s call to arms is that it’s confused. Of course it is, it’s all over the place. “He poses only questions but has no solutions,” it’s claimed. Which is also true, but in a world in which it’s accepted by all major parties that banks and giant corporations and vast inequality are inevitable and can’t be curtailed, the most radical act can be to ask why. Similarly, if the house is burning down, you can yell, “Oi! We need to scarper from the smokey-wokey or we’re destined to become victims of the old asphyxiation my lovelies!”, or you can reply, “Oh how long-winded and confused. In any case I don’t see you offering any solutions as to how you would wire the electrics more safely. Sod you, I’ll stay here where it’s cosy.”