3 Reasons Why You Should Start Listening To Russell Brand

Ahh Russell Brand, Comedian, Actor, Dickensian (I’m going to pretend I know what that means for the duration of this post), we all know the name, we know the ‘Brand’ (in both its meanings), and we know pretty much all there is to know about his past. But it seems that people these days are a little quick to judge good ol’ Russell and I’m here to tell you why that might be wrong, bear with me, I’m going to tell you…. Now.

He Is The Answer The Left Has Been Looking For

My readers will know that I’m all inclusive on this blog, I don’t care about your ethnicity, sexuality, age, or political leanings, all I care about is page views, because I’m a narcissist. But I’m a lefty; to the point that I don’t understand most of the views of the right, that’s not to say that those on the right don’t come up with good ideas, I just don’t understand them. I don’t understand why ideas of nationality come before inclusion; I don’t understand why ideas about personal financial stability come before social responsibility and I don’t understand the how the value of tradition trumps the value revolution, I just don’t. I don’t want to rubbish your ideals if that’s something you hold true, if it is then that’s cool, your ideals your problem.

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On the left though it seems that we have a lot of different people, each with their own voice (as people tend to have), but it’s to the point that we seem a bit disparate, it’s like we haven’t got a single person we can listen to and say ‘Yep, that dude know the score’.
I think this stems from the fact that us lefties are actually a bit of a cowardly lot, we’re always so accepting of other people right to speak, our own voices get lost in the maddening crowds we’re trying to communicate to. Russell Brand however has the ability to cut through all this with his ‘celebrity’ status. He walks the same path as Bill Hicks and George Carlin, telling you upfront what’s wrong, and he says it in a way that those on the left can emulate, which is the corner-stone of change (in my opinion). In the same way that I write so others will read, he speaks so that others can do

He Is Too Easy To Dismiss

Because he ‘was’ an addict, because he is a comedian, an actor, a ‘long-hair’ a person who says ‘Namaste’ (c’mon dude who says Namaste?) he is easy to write off as another freak with high ideals that’ll never come true.

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FREE THE WEED! You know, if that’s cool with you bro…

But this is the reason you should listen to him, because people on the fringes of society are the people who know it best, in his book Revolution he talks a lot about the establishment and how to dismantle it, and how to bring about a new order (not a New World Order before the conspiracy nuts start hitting the comment section) of things.
The only reason he can do this is because he is not part of the established system, he is not someone who is in the pocket of an organisation that pays his rent and stocks his fridge. Owen Jones (Gawd bless ‘im) is an in-dismissed champion of the left in Britain, he rallies, he writes, he speaks, he does everything a good lefty should do. But at the end of the day, the Guardian writes his pay check. So he can write all he likes about how the media shouldn’t serve the rich but at the end of the day it is that media which fills his fridge with hummus, or nectarines, or pork pies or whatever it is he eats.
I’m not saying that Owen Jones is a slave to the media, but it’s like Bill Hicks once said about Jay Leno “everything you say is suspect, and every word that comes out of you’re mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink”.

My point is (yes I have a point!) that because he is given no credence by the establishment, he is the perfect person to dissect it. Just like the frog in your science class couldn’t dissect itself, so those in power (the establishment) cannot be the ones to dismantle it.

He Sounds Like He Cares

I’m not a guy who trusts easily, I mean if Russell Brand walked up to me in the street and said ‘You alright mate, shut your eyes, fall back and I’ll catch ya’

I probably wouldn’t do it. It’s nothing personal; I just wouldn’t fall back into the arms of some bloke because he looked like someone I recognised from TV again!

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He promised he was the real Mr T… HE PROMISED!

Similarly, I’m not a guy who will trust just because someone says they care about me, or care about my society, or the society of my children. How many times have you heard from New-Age bullsh*ters and snake-oil salesmen that they can show you the way? And all they need is your credit card number!

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Nuff said!

I’d like you to always remember that Russell Brand doesn’t have to do what he does to make a living! He could be doing YouTube video’s about, I don’t know, Hubba Bubba or Turtle sex (if like me you have the maturity of ten year old, for the love of God click that link!) or something else entirely.

But he doesn’t, he produces (almost) daily video’s that help people realise that the world we live in is not one we have to accept. I know that you can counter this argument with the fact that he obviously got paid for writing Revolution, but as he says within the confines of the book, he didn’t have to write it, he could have written Booky Wook 3! (Thanks for not doing that by the way)

 

Russell Brand has recently been shortlisted for World Thinkers 2015 by prospect magazine
His book Revolution (which you should read) is available here

Je Suis Page 3 (Sort Of)

Yesterday we saw the end of Page 3, for those of you who don’t know, Page 3 refers to the British tabloid ‘newspaper’ (I use the term loosely) The Sun and its spread on page 3 of a busty topless girl, its been a cornerstone of The Sun since time immemorable. But after years of campaigning by Women’s Rights groups and activists of all kinds it has finally seen its end, sort of anyway, you can still access all the topless women you like if you subscribe to its new online version.

I was going to find a picture of a Page 3 girl but then my Mrs walked in, so here is another kind of tit.

Now I’m not going to sit here and say how upset I am that Page 3 has gone, because I’m not, I think its archaic and mis-representative of women, and actually does harm to the progress of women’s rights everywhere. That’s not to say though that I’m offended by seeing semi or even fully naked women, I am a great admirer of the female figure in all its forms, but I don’t think that it has any place in a newspaper in the 21st Century. I’m also not going to sit here and talk about the shocking way women are represented in the media in general, that’s another topic for another day. What I am going to talk about though is the right of The Sun to print whatever the hell it likes, regardless of our opinion.

I do understand that a newspaper has a moral obligation to print the truth, and we all know that The Sun can sometimes be a little ‘economical’ when it comes to that, but moral obligations aside. The Sun, just like The Guardian, BBC News, even you and I, live and operate in a free country, and we are free to write, print, or shout about, anything we want. If The Sun wants to print a full-page picture of a topless woman, who are we to say that they can’t? It’s not like these women are being exploited, they choose to pose for these shoots, they get paid well to do it, and as far as I’m aware they go into it with their eyes open. Their body is their business as far as I’m concerned.

But let me illustrate my point with a quote from Harriet Harman MP

“I’m proud to have stood with thousands of women who fought to see the end of page three and today I’m delighted its gone” – 20th Jan 2015

That quote came 13 days after the horrific mass shooting at Charlie Hedbo’s offices, a shooting that happened because a group of people chose to express their freedom of speech by printing a picture that gave offence. I’m not in anyway trying to say that the cowards who shot up Charlie hedbo’s offices and the activists who protested Page 3 are the same! I want to make that very clear, but you must be able to see that there is a parallel there.

Once the world heard of the attack we all stood together, Celebrities, Politicians, Muslims, Christians, Old and Young alike, all marching under the banner of ‘Je Suis Charlie’

and advocating that publications right to print what ever it wanted, and now, not even two weeks later we have people like Russell Brand saying.

“It’s good that page 3 has been dropped it was demeaning and daft. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.”

In France too, I saw a report of a sixteen year old lad getting arrested for posting a picture satirising another Charlie Hedbo cartoon, although the picture was in very poor taste, where was that lads right to print whatever he liked?

I think there are two ways to look at all this, one way is to just get all cynical and say, ‘Oh yeah, well, your only free to do as your told.’ I think this is a cop-out and is counter productive if anything.

Personally I think that freedom of speech is great, but that freedom must go hand in hand with responsibility, Nick Clegg said the other day,

“at the end of the day in a free society people have to be free to offend each other. You cannot have freedom unless people are free to offend each other. We have no right not to be offended.”

And while that is true, we have a responsibility to minimise that offence, it’s not good enough to say ‘this offends me stop doing it’, and its also not good enough to say ‘I’m free to say what I like, it’s your problem if it offends you!’. It’s everybody’s responsibility to find a middle ground, if you find something offensive, don’t look at it, if you are creating something offensive, you need to ask yourself why you’re doing it. And you have to be aware that some people won’t like it! Anyone with even a modicum of knowledge about modern Islam knows that by printing pictures of the Prophet Mohammed you are going to cause deep offence. I really hope that this goes without saying, but here we go anyway, THAT DOES NOT ADVOCATE THE KIND OF VIOLENCE THAT WE SAW THIS MONTH AT CHARLIE HEDBO! What we saw in France was a backlash so extreme that no one could have predicted it, but that being said, they had to expect a reaction.

If I can draw another parallel, people who read this blog will know that I censor my more colourful language, if I use the word c**t, I will asterisk the f**king s**t out of that c**t, that’s because although I am free to swear my filthy mouth out, I know that people may be offended by it, so I have taken responsibility to minimise that offence by way of self censorship.

So to bring this all back to my original point of page three, The Sun (as I said before) have moved their page three online, but that hasn’t stopped the activists from trying to get it banned all together. But maybe instead of pushing harder for the eradication of page three, maybe they should just be celebrating. They have achieved their goal! By page three moving online, only people who want to look at it can/will, The Sun has self-censored itself. Just like I do with my swearing. You can read my blog, and if you don’t know what c**t stands for, you haven’t seen an offensive word, if you do know what it stands for but it offends you, you can pretend I’m saying cost or something, and if you do know what it stands for, and you’re not offended, then you know I’m really saying Jeremy Clarkson.

A rare image of his face literally being crushed by the weight of his own ego!

Obviously this is far too complex an issue to be sorted out by little old me, but I just think that it’s a little soon to be celebrating the demise of Page 3, especially given the current contextual backdrop of the Charlie Hedbo shooting, and that we all need to have a really good think about what freedom of speech really means and how we can work together to minimise its ramifications.