Like him or loathe him, I am thankful there are popular figures like Russell Brand* to kick up some much needed debate and discussion, to re-engage people with politics (oh the irony!):
“imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way I can be enthused about politics.”
Russell’s article in the Newstatesman magazine (Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition”) and his interview with Jeremey Paxmann (video below) has sparked many a political commentator to completely miss the boat.
UPDATE: The interviewer himself has now chimed in with his thoughts on Brand’s premise – “Paxman: Brand was right over public’s disgust at ‘tawdry pretences’ of politics”
Brand’s article is lengthy and filled with some words I would need to google (but didn’t). He talks like that too: At least with a strong interviewer, he can be interrupted and pushed to reveal more (or less, whatever).
Take him seriously!? (insert joke about comedian / taking-seriously here). That’s not the point; He is this: the whack on the side of the head. Sure your head hurts and has a bit of a buzz [like that time tripping up the stairs coming out of the London nightclub escorted by the bouncers; and man, can things be seen in a whole new light and damned be sure that girl is GORGEOUS]. It is not about Russell; it is about us.
To me, it’s not about whether to vote or not (I do); it is about seeing the situation we’re in with a new perspective, to engage with society once again – to define where we want this country to be – for even Brand said he would vote, once something he liked came along. [pulls self up from pavement, stumbles towards Tube station, evenin’ offucur…]
I’ve so missed Spitting Image and Monty Python; comedy kicks the mind into action. As the book title reads (I can’t remember its contents): a wack on the side of the head.
By coincidence (shurely!) the Monster Raving Loony Party** posted an article today containing a music video that is sure to go viral. Come on, sing it all together now: “This that this thing this it this he”…
I particularly liked this comment on Brand’s statements, made by the journalist Jonathan Cook:
“What excites me about Brand is that this is the kind of stuff many of us have been thinking with varying degrees of sophistication and articulateness for a while. But most of us – me included – felt too embarrassed to say it out loud, for fear that we would sound silly or be ridiculed. Now that someone hip and fearless is saying it for us, we are lapping up the sound of our thoughts turning audible. The noise is only going to get more raucous.”
* Brand self-described as “a glistening pink pony trotting through your mind shitting glitter”
** Full disclosure: I went to a beer launch drinking party in September at the Longdog Brewery where I and others enjoyed
a pint several pints with Alan “Howling Laud” Hope, the leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party.