The predictable belittling of Russell Brand begins.

The predictable belittling of Russell Brand begins.
By E.F Nicholson

Is_Fox_News_More_Dangerous_Than_Isis_Russell_Brand__The_Trews__178361I have been following Russell Brand for some time now. A few years ago, I read his book about his struggle with addiction titled “My Booky Wook.”  As someone who has dealt with their fair share of addictions struggles, I found it was a very personable, honest and insightful book. In the book, Brand demonstrated an honesty as well as vulnerability that isn’t too common in the public sphere. The fact that he has been able to remain sober and able to pen a such a relatable book, just for that alone I had some admiration for him. Since making his “comeback” so to speak, I have watched how the spiritualty he seemed to uncover in his recovery, has broadened to include a more critical view of mainstream media as well as our current social and political structures. That coupled with a witty, cheeky and flamboyant personality, his “celebrity” has allowed him a platform to share some conventionally speaking “radical” ideas. None of these ideas are original as such, which Brand would acknowledge, rather in mainstream media they just don’t get discussed. There is a very clear and demarcated line of acceptable debate that various established journalist, politicians and commentators discuss within. What I’ll be interested in knowing is how long within the mainstream media will Brand be allowed to continue to speak of “that which is not to be spoken”. Maybe we could call it the Voldemort factor.

What is most revealing is outlets, like the Guardian/Independent that are in theory the progressive voices, are the nastiest at policing who is and who isn’t allowed to debate what subjects. As we saw this with Julian Assange as he fell out of favour. Over time you witnessed the gradual progression of snarky belittling, all the way to the point that he seems to no longer exist. Julian Assange has been reviled into irrelevance. These Guardian journalists remind me of the “cool kids” at school who turn on the kid who was once cool but is no longer cool. This happens because it turns out he isn’t really one of them. This often entails going after the person’s supposed character defects, rather than the arguments or politics. You see this same thing happening with George Galloway as he is on the receiving end of the same caustic scorn. In Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman’s classic book on media “Manufacturing Consent” , this process is called Flak. It is one of the five filters which ensure the media stays within parameters that the prevailing state and cooperate power allow.

We see the processing happening almost to the letter constantly throughout the media. Now, Russell Brand is promoting his book, we can see the flak in action as various “commentators” start the process of belittling and undermining the person themselves, as opposed to the actual ideas put forward.

piers_morgan      Piers Morgan recently wrote what I would consider a very condescending piece. Piers reminds me of a history teacher with an overinflated opinion of their towering intellect who thinks they are a bit of radical but is actually very conservative. This history teacher thinks his pupils’ idea of a “better world” is admirable but they are in fantasy land, unlike him, they are not grounded in the real world. When in reality the history teacher can’t understand the ideas of the pupils because he can’t see that he himself is part of the very problem they want to overcome. The history teacher can’t comment on the problem, as he is the problem. So we see an authoritative voice of Piers taking Brand down a peg or two, making it clear he is not part of the club, therefore whatever he says has to be dismissed outright with remarks like this

 “I like Brand personally and enjoy his splendidly linguistic comedic romps on the airwaves as much as anyone. For someone with little formal education, he’s incredibly bright and funny. But this whole ‘revolution’ he’s trying to wage is a load of old sanctimonious hog-wash.”

How patronising can it get, as he writes “For someone with little formal education” it’s hard not to read that and think “Go fuck yourself Piers”. When did having a formal education have anything to do with making accurate observations about the problems in our society? In fact a formal education may inhibit the ability to see, as you have spent longer in the brainwashing mill of state approved schooling. Then he points out…

“But this whole ‘revolution’ he’s trying to wage is a load of old sanctimonious hog-wash.”

Piers doesn’t really explain why it’s hogwash or what parts of the argument make it hog wash, rather it is just a blanket of dismissal of the “whole” thing.  Does Piers have any other ideas or alternatives of how to fix our broken society? Probably not because in his position and outlook society isn’t broken, the system is OK because it evaluates him to the top of societies’ best bullshit-artists. So he has no desire for radical change. Then he writes

Brand wants us to believe he’s now trapped in the vice-like grip of a tormented celebrity-loathing freedom fighter … Like most great revolutionaries, he’s quite happy wallowing in his own hypocrisy.”

Again no mention of his arguments or what exactly he is proposing. No explanation of what exactly makes, what Brand is saying, a hypocrite. According to Piers, Brand’s position of celebrity and privilege excludes him from having any real insights as to how to make society more fair and equitable. Yet based on the logic of that argument, Piers own privilege and celebrity status should dismiss him also from any authentic observation. The double standards are missed by Piers. Then the fact that his views and support by douche-bag extraordinaire Donald Trump you think would be serious worry but in fact it’s taken as fellow chums patting each other on the back.

Stewart-Lee        This exercise in derision hasn’t been limited to Piers Morgan. Over the last few weeks, the Guardian has given a number of commentators a platform to belittle Brand. From comedian Stewart Lee, whose piece I actually had trouble working what exactly his point was, other than Brand is a person to mock rather than listen to. Unlike of course Stewart Lee himself. A response to the article in the comments section by GiulioSica aptly summed up the function of Stewarts article.

I understand what satire is, Lee is a master of it. But the object of satire is, in this case, someone who is asking us to look at our corrupt rulers and the reasons they remain above public accountability. And the only ones who consider Brand “sanctimonious” are the ones who prefer that these truths he highlights are ignored and that we meekly return to subservience. Brand is using his position to highlight inequality, and some are still preferring to focus on how he talks and how he dresses. That says an awful lot more about the motives of those people than you realise. The focus of Lee’s satire is horribly misplaced here.

Then former Sex Pistols front man John Lydon, who because he wrote a song about anarchy forty years ago (which he made a non-anarchistic fortune from), is somehow the authority to consult on who is or isn’t a real rebel. Listening to his response to Brand, I honestly don’t think he actually has read Brands book or really actually listen to what Brand is saying. We then have the bread and butter Guardian writers such as David Runciman and  Polly Toynbee who add their own two cents as to why Brand needn’t  be taken too seriously. Polly, who happens to “agree with John Lydon”, which says more about Rebel Rocker John Lydon than it does about Polly Toynbee. All these articles, although taking different angles, all come down to the same thing “Who are you to say anything?” or “How dare you say something”.

They are all bringing down Brand not because they are told to from “high above”, rather they have internalised the protocol and standards of debate and they just know instinctively when and who to condemn. As I wrote about a few months ago regarding an article by Deborah Orr about Denis Rodman’s visit to North Korea. There is a certain language of scorn that is only used for those who are considered by an unspoken agreement as “tainted.” She called Rodman “pathetic” and other put-downs that would never be used with respected politicians like Osborne and Cameron, who far exceed Rodman when it comes to being pathetic.

russell-brand-the-trews Now the fact that Brand has his own YouTube news analysis, it shows the “Trews” at least give him some voice outside of what the mainstream permits. Maybe this is part of a character attack, as he is playing outside their means of control. If Brand continues on the track he is on and goes deeper into anti status quo ideas, it’s hard to see him continuing to garner ancillary supported by vessels of the establishment such as the Guardian. Either they will turn on him or he will turn on them, which I hope it’s the latter.

Whatever the case I would like to think Brand’s voice is the start of something. We’re waking up to the way things are and it isn’t just something on the fringe. That a broader base of people see that change will come when we come together in a unified voice against the oppression and deceit that surrounds us. As a heart, it’s not Brand that is the threat, it’s the ideals he is propagating. He’s started stirring dissent, but it not the faux dissent of the Guardian but one that actually has the potential to be  real. I hope it continues and I hope it really gains some momentum. As we know for sure the mainstream media is only built to ensure the status-quo and we need intelligent and charismatic voices speaking of ideas outside of those boring and safe parameters. So I say Go Russell Go!!

94 thoughts on “The predictable belittling of Russell Brand begins.

  1. Great piece. I tweeted the other day my disappointment at the way the liberal establishment was lining up against Brand, and you’ve identified exactly why. They’re all doing very nicely, thank you, so why on earth would they want things to change? When your job is, at it is for the writers of the Guardian et al, moaning about the status quo, you have a vested interested in the status remaining very much quoed.

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  2. This is a great analysis. I was a small-time reporter for a while, and wrote a series about Occupy Atlanta. Their point person was young, charismatic and a soft spoken but undeniable rebel. When I reported on things he had to say, the only response was scorn, snark, and attacks on his character or clothing. In fact, that was pretty much the biggest response to Occupy in general — “Who are they to say anything? Look at how dirty they are! They’re young, they’re aimless, they’re insignificant.” Occupy was dismissed based on basically the hairstyles of its adherents. I’ve experienced it too. Eye rolls, smug smiles, patronizing “hms.” I’m not a particularly offensive or edgy person (really just a boring plain mom), but when I begin to say counter-cultural opinions, it all begins. And of course Russell has it a thousand times worse. I hope he can handle it; I can’t imagine having to deal with such negativity directed at you so consistently.

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    • I think you have written nailed it. It’s like being progressive is a “brand”(excuse the Russell pun) that attracts a certain type of reader, thus a certain type of advertiser. Being just a brand, it can never can go so far as to actually be “progressive.” When faced with insights and views that actually are, they are mocked and ridiculed. Revealing what a veneer their progressiveness really was. Similar to when “Rage against the machine” signed up to a big label and made millions off their anti-status quo songs. Rebellion just gets reduced to demographic.

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  3. Great article, but just wanted to point out where you said “In fact a formal education may inhabit the ability to see”, I think you meant “inhibit”. 🙂

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  4. I couldn’t agree more. The people who criticise his “revolution” do not put forward any explanations or techinicalities. They are mostly people that have not fully caught up with the communications revolution and have limited their knowledge to TV and radio for all their lives. They can be forgiven for this. Having a closed mind and refusing to learn is something else; perhaps and ego thing. A rebuffal of their world vision using research they have never heard of is not going to convince them to turn off the BBC. These are the same people who believe that our antics in Iraq are “mistakes” made by our “incompetent government”; as opposed to a careful design. They know little or nothing of Britains WW1 battles in Iraq and all the others since. They have little or no knowledge of the work that goes behind Brand’s thinking, such as the Zeitgiest project, or Venus, John Perkins, and all the other people that the critics will never see or hear on their TVs. There seems to be three sectors in society now: A class of disenfranchised, confused UKIP followers; a middle class mainstream that has yet to utilise modern communications further than the bbc news website; and the third crew that have accessed a wealth of websites and books that have revealed a level of knowledge never ever seen before by so many people. The third group is still the minority. The othe two groups will battle it out for their ruling parties. The rest of us can only hope that one day they will realise that their most powerful vote is with their wallet, not their voting ballot. As long as the third group is in the minority, renting our money will continue to be the basis of our society and the fractional reserve will continue to rule us. I wonder if J. Lydon didn’t actually know what anarchy was when he was singing about it. By the looks of things, he’s pinning his hopes on the Labour party and says that there is a “massive, huge difference” between the Labour party and the Conservatives. He’s got a long long long way to go.

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  5. Thank you for this fantastic article. Every single one of us struggles with the “Who are you to say anything?” or “How dare you say something” internal voices, don’t you think at some point? They rage especially when what we need to bring forth is deeply important.

    It is so damn heartening to watch Russell keep going. In such a way that inspires we ‘little guys’ to think yeah man, he is bringing up what really, truly matters in this life, the way we are living it, he’s exposing so much bullshit. It’s helped me reflect on what I consume (media wise) and how it is served up/manufactured. Critical.

    I feel the authenticity of it, too. Because even though Brand is rock star status, he touches on the vulnerable yet strong conviction that exists within every single one of us that says “Treat me fairly, tell me no lies, see me. I’m intelligent and I’m watching.”

    Thank you again for this spot on article, I learned so much from it, and I’m with you. Rock the hell ON, Russell. We need you.

    Peace, always,

    Allison

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  6. great article! I love that Brand is speaking out, and for those who haven’t gotten the chance, I strongly encourage everyone to watch his stand up comedy show “The Messiah Complex” one of the finest stand up shows I’ve seen in a long time, and great British Stand up comedy. its nice to see someone speaks out on what’s wrong with the British system knowing all the hostility he is going to receive from it. good on you for defending Brand against the endless flak he’s been receiving.

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  7. great article in defense of Russell Brand against the unanimous hostility he’s receiving. by the way I find it odd that Johnny Rotten who advocates anarchy, was passion in criticizing the Tories, New Labor under Blair, could not see the point Brand was saying in that there is no real difference between the major parties so why vote. Rotten is a hypocrite in that respect. any who great article, and I hope Brand continues speaking out, and makes more epic stand up comedy shows like the Messiah Complex which was one of the finest British stand up specials I’ve ever seen, and urge everyone to watch it.

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  8. I’m all for Russell Brand and his incisive and insightful reflections on modern life and the media. We need more voices like his. However, for all those who like and listen to him, I would say this: please vote! This is the one thing that I strongly disagree with Russell about, although as time goes on I am pleased to see him align a little with the Green Party. Like it or not we have a system of governance. That system is not great, but it is through this system that things change and, i believe, it is through voting for alternative parties that it will be possible for the system itself to change. Not voting is simply giving up and accepting that things will never change for the better…. unless of course you are a true revolutionary and taking action, but alas I don’t see too much of that going on.

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  9. The sheer number of ad hominim attacks on Russel Brand speaks volumes. In fact Im pretty shocked at the intellectual impotence of these criticisms . Its funny to watch them floundering in illogical puddles. People will always lash out when their strongly held beliefs are challenged not really understanding that the economic, political, religious ‘systems’ they fight over are concepts that exist only in our heads, mostly used to justify our mean-ness to each other. As a lover of truth Mr Brand takes no mental position and cannot be opposed in the left/right paradigm (a self fulfilling argument that keeps people occupied for millennia). Instead of upgrading these paradigms he is trancending them completely and saying hang on a minute these details are irrelevant. Our reality is a moral one. We care for each other and flourish or we harbor and justify endlessly our mean-ness and wither slowly but surely.
    If there is no ego there is nothing to attack. Take Mr Ghandi, a human being, flawed for sure like the rest of us, but his relative lack of ego made him virtually immune to political attack, like water off a ducks back. His opponents resorting to overt violence exposed themselves as possessed and belittled by fear. Which of them is revered by history? The truth will out itself whether we like it or not.

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  10. Great piece, I hope it makes a few people at the Guardian sit up and have a look in the mirror. The Johnny Rotten piece was sad and pointless. I get the debate around not voting. But the point Brand is making is that we continue to vote, yet change never happens – it can’t happen. It’s a controversial line, but therein lies the magic.

    Love the ‘Manufacturing Consent’ reference. That book changed the way I looked at the media when I read it 15 years ago. Brand has been smart, very smart. As you point out, his youtube channel will ensure he’s still able to get heard. Thankfully he appears to be smarter than most of his attackers. I can see no one in the world how is able to pull together all of the threads in such a coherent and heartfelt way.

    Brand’s voice is growing in strength, coherence and impact. It’s an inevitable fact of the current system that he will come under intense personal attack. The question is – are enough of us awake and inspired enough to shine a light on the hypocrisy of the system?

    Thanks for the example. Viva la revolucion!

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  11. The people who criticize Russell Brand are the real hypocrites. Russell is doing something really worthwhile with his celebrity, the rest of those douche-bags don’t want to bite the teat that feeds them.

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  12. i’m not a fan of John Lydon, in fact I think he believes he’s the only honest man in the whole world. However I don’t believe he became a millionaire anarchist from being in The Sex Pistols. He explained his reasons for doing that butter commercial was so he could pay towards the costs of producing and promoting his last PIL album. Only McClaren and Branson made any cash from The Pistols, which is a debate in itself.
    Great article by the way.

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  13. I’m wondering whether his comedy work is in part responsible for his insight, dissonance is one of the things used in comedy to create humour perhaps this work allows a person to see more clearly the cognitive dissonance in our society like with Bill Hicks and George Carlin. Fools used to have a historical purpose of criticising rulers in a way that others were not allowed to.

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  14. “when I was poor and complained about inequality they said I was bitter, now I’m rich and complain about inequality they call me a hypocrite – I’m starting to think they just don’t want to talk about inequality” Russell Brand (jester).

    ——–

    I don’t think that just comes from the mainstream either…detractors in the progressive/radical/activist community also seem to fall into shallow character assassination and myopic obsession with his wealth…maybe there’s an internalised conservative approach to the status quo there too? There are unquestionably things about Brand that need to be confronted, even though he’s always had a political side, he’s acted in ways that are contrary to his current stance, but ffs…someone’s putting radical politics right into the mainstream, taking the narrative to places ‘we’ have struggled to reach; because of his proximity to it (and part in it) he’s able to step between DeBord’s society of the spectacle and those who thus far may have been dazzled by it to their own detriment (and, if we’re honest, who hasn’t?), thus dimming its glare for a crucial moment, so that some may regain their sight…I think radicals need to maintain their criticism of Brand’s inconsistencies (as I tend to think Brand does), but not to the point that they miss the ball that Brand’s nodded over; they should intercept it and instead of dribbling it between each other back to the comfort of their own half, move forward and smash it into the back of the net. We don’t have to make him the captain of the team, we just have to actually play to win; now there’s a revolutionary thought.

    ——–

    “One must try to increase as much as possible the theoretical content of all our activities, but without the ‘dry and shriveled doctrinalism’ which could destroy in part the great constructive action which our comrades are carrying forward in the relentless fight between the haves and the have nots. Our people stand for action on the march. It is while going forward that we overtake. Don’t hold them back, even to teach them `the most beautiful theories’ …” – Francisco Ascaso (prominent Spanish Anarchist militant – anarchism is often referred to as ‘the beautiful idea’)

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  15. So the author has never seen the film The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle I guess? The film is pretty clear who was making the money and it wasn’t the band members.

    There’s no mention whatsoever of other issues which caused people to question their own support of Assange or Galloway, whether you consider those valid or not.

    Finally, I’m personally uncomfortable with Brand recommending that folk put themselves at risk, without him necessarily knowing the consequences for those people. I tend to suspect that whatever happens if folk follow his advice he’ll still live to fight another day, call me cynical.

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    • Hi Tim, even if he didn’t make a lot of money, the Guardian seems to believe he is some kind of authority on judging Brand’s rebel/radical cred, based on the premise that he himself was one. However, John Lyndon’s views(as against his punk rocker rebel image) seem fairly “middle of the road” rather than anything overtly radical.

      His criticism of Brand also completely misunderstands Brand’s comments regarding how worthwhile it is to actually vote. Moreover, how the guardian framed the article, with the title “The most idiotic thing I have ever heard,” I think is deliberately inflammatory. It is part of pattern of belittling and ‘flak; I mentioned in my article. The Guardian seems to happy to ride both waves, of cashing in on Brand’s current popularity, yet at the same time providing a platform for others to undermine and belittle him. This is all done under the guise of “being balanced.” I just don’t know how long that dynamic will last, especially if Brand’s ideas start to point to the Guardian part of the problem.

      Regarding Assange and Galloway I don’t know them personally, so I am no position to comment who they are as people. The people that have known them, and for whatever reason taken a dislike to them, that is ofcourse their personal prerogative. However, you don’t have to like or dislike a person’s character in order to value there ideas or politics. There are far more reprehensible individuals in the public eye who are given a pass or not called out on their personal shittiness. Look at the extreme case of Jimmy Saville. It was well known in the BBC and the media in general, that a minimum he was sleazy but also potential child molester. Do you think if those same rumours started about Galloway, he would have been given that same ‘free pass’? So why have did they give Saville a ‘free pass’ and not Galloway and Assange ? I think the answer comes down to the crux of the article – it is part of gatekeeping process that is enforced by those guarding the gate .At least that’s how I see it 🙂 Anyway thanks for your input, much appreciated 🙂

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      • Thanks for the swift and comprehensive reply.

        I see your point about the language regarding Russell.

        I also have limited knowledge of Assange and Galloway. For the former I’m pretty sure that his support lessened after the rape allegations, so there is some vague correlation with your Saville example. Clearly it’s a different time and the scale of what Saville got away with was extraordinary, but personally I thought it was a shame that Assange wasn’t able to address those two allegations at the time.

        For Galloway I think he’s done some extraordinary things over his time and been a great source of pride and example to many, but by crikey he hasn’t half balanced that with some of his other actions and statements, even just with what’s listed here (which of course is entirely subjective) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Galloway

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      • Hey Tim, I agree Galloway has at times been his worse enemy when comes to creating stuff to have flung back at him. Regarding his statement about rape , it’s the kind of stupid thing my dad would have said and probably far less dismissive than most Tories think – they just have the good sense to shut their mouth. Yet I do think his positive contributions far outweight his fuck up here and there. The example of Saville is on the extreme end but I am sure there are milder version of this – in the press and media there is a MP that everyone knows is an alcoholic, or a celebrity that has reputation of groping women ect.. get covered in this silent pact giving them a pass. Anderson Copper supposedly was well known to be gay but people understood in the media he served that it was his choice as to when to come out. Which I think is the appropriate, however, certain others aren’t given that same cordial understanding. For those ‘on the outside of the establishment’ every detail of their indiscretions will be magnified and amplified in a concerted effort to show how unentitled they are to an opinion. I guess if the media’s nastiness was dished out even handedly, it would be at least fair and consistent but it doesn’t seem to work that way.

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    • ‘recommending’ or ‘suggesting’?…he’s no power of coercion over anyone. The main thrust of his ‘suggestions’ for action is ‘change is possible if you make it happen, do it in your own way, organise with others’. People have different tolerances of risk, it’s up to them

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  16. There are others who seek to shut down Russell Brand from the progressive side of things. There are feminists who dismiss all he says because of his previous misogynistic behaviour and people who revile any celebrity or rich person due to their place in society and inability to see things from a ‘normal’ pointy of view. These are stronger positions then those of Lydon or Morgan, but still don’t hold water with me.

    Brand has done more to inflame political awareness and discussion than most other individuals in the UK today. I saw him speak a couple of weeks back, as he was perched on a fire engine in support of the FBU’s Ring of Fire campaign. It was obvious he didn’t know the campaign too well, but his passion and yearning for a better sovciety shone through.

    Go, Russell, Go!

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    • True and unfortunate about the amplification of different people’s behaviour, particularly unfortunate when every organisation has their own agenda.

      It’s great that someone in the public eye can want to share their views and get actively involved in the issues of the day. As long as folk are prepared to consider everyone’s advice and form their own opinion, that can only be good.

      Personally, having ever tried to encourage other people to register to vote, I just wish he hadn’t given some folk an easy justification to follow the same view, as some of those folk could have voted for causes that he believes in too.

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  17. Great piece. I have just read the reviews of Revolution and the idea that “nice idea but it won’t work” attitude or the smug “but he doesn’t tell us WHAT to do for the revolution” misses the point so entirely it makes me dizzy. The point is THINK, the point is DO WHAT YOU THINK IS RIGHT. Don’t allow yourself to be spoonfeed “information” by people who don’t want you to know anything. He isn’t an expert, he says he isn’t a leader or an expert. People are looking for a revolution that looks like the systems we know not the ones we can imagine. It is okay not to have all the answers if you are at least asking the right questions

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    • Well said Lucy, Its seems like its goes over their head. I am not sure if this is a question of convenience, or whether they really just don’t get it. It has to start that way, asking the right questions or just questioning in general the common assumption, ” It is okay not to have all the answers if you are at least asking the right questions” I think that’s excellent point , as the answers aren’t a fix phenomena, rather they are this unfolding, evolving truth.I think with the right questions and the basic heartfelt intention of wanting to build something fairer and more compassionate, those answers will arise naturally.I think if you provide the answer first you are then working to squeeze reality into this concept you have come up , that has to discount all the variables that have arisen unexpectedly ,which what is bound to happen.I think some people just have hard time thinking in a lateral sense.Anyway thank for you contribution Lucy 🙂

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  18. Hi there, just became aware of your weblog by way of Google, and discovered that its genuinely informative. Im gonna watch out for brussels. Ill be grateful if you continue this in future. Several people will probably be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

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  19. Youri – thankfully not ‘unanimous criticism’ of Brand, if these comments are anything to go by 🙂 I am extremely heartened and encouraged that so many people do ‘get it’.

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    • likewise my friend! I just hope he doesn’t let the criticisms of the Guardian, Independent and whoever they allow to constantly crticise him to get him down. I think Brand is saying what many people think but just are afraid to say given that political discourse, the media, and the political system in the UK is in such disarrays or has been since the 80s and 90s when Blair transformed Labor into New Labor, a Neo-liberal party.

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      • true but still he was leader of opposition and him along with his spindoctors did change Labor from a socialist party to Neo-liberal one, and with their supporters in the media, not just from the Murdoch press that endorsed Blair but other outlets did I think ruin the political system in the UK where there’s no real difference between Labor and Tories and its dishonest when the press continues to think there is a difference when you only have to look at the record of Blair and Brown.

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  20. I like the article but your punctuation made it a bit difficult and annoying to read when i got into it. I think you need to learn how to properly use commas if youre going to continue writing like this. i think your article hit the nail on the head though.

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    • Thanks Wex, I am working on that, trying to reduce the long sentences with too many or too little comma’s .It’s isn’t one of my strong suites but if you read over past articles you will see it has got a little better but still i admit I have a lot to improve on 🙂 Thanks for the positive feedback.

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  21. Quite agree with this article. The idea is: look Russell you’ve done bloody well out of this shitty unequal system, as we have, so will you please enjoy your money and shut up ?
    A similar sort of thing is happening across the channel with the ostracism of the comedian Dieudonné, his criticism of the ruling class’ hypocrisy over the Middle East, particularly Israel, the ruling media cliques and so on. With him, it is his supposed “anti-semitism” which is used to banish him from the mainstream.
    Interestingly, Russell Brand touched on this with his comments about Gaza and Hamas.

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  22. Absolutely fabulous piece and spot on. Thank you. And thanks for your defense of Brand – a man I particularly like because he doesn’t give a flying fuck about the establishment.

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  23. I’m not with you on this. Brand pointedly refuses to engage in debate, preferring to shout down anyone who questions his assertions. And assertions they are, because they are almost entirely supporting evidence free. He’s becoming a bully, and a childish one at that.

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    • Hi David, Thanks for your input. To be honest i haven’t seen that happening i.e. Brand shouting down anyone who questions his assertions or him being a bully to those who question him. Do you have some links to him doing this? Some of the stuff he is talking about doesn’t requires evidence as such, but rather just taking a look at how things are and proposing how things could be done differently. That the current status quo is unfair and but for privileged few, I think there are facts/evidence to back that up that assertion.Of course his solutions are only theories, but that is true of all theories until they are played out. What I find positive about Brand’s perspective is that it opens up the debate to go beyond just making a better version of the same problem .I don’t know him personally and think it is important to look at what he is saying rather than making judgments about the type of person he is. Anyway thanks David for adding to the discussion. 🙂

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  24. I tried to read this article but half way through all the words just turned into “baaaaah baaa, baaaa baaaa baaaa baaaaa baaaa baaaa baaa baaaa baaaaah, baaaaah baaa, baaaa baaaa baaaa baaaaa baaaa baaaa baaa baaaa baaaaah, baaaaah baaa, baaaa baaaa baaaa baaaaa baaaa baaaa baaa baaaa baaaaah, baaaaah baaa, baaaa baaaa baaaa baaaaa baaaa baaaa baaa baaaa baaaaah, baaaaah baaa, baaaa baaaa baaaa baaaaa baaaa baaaa baaa baaaa baaaaah”
    It’s clear you’re offended by people questioning your guru.

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    • I have to say that, as you may have seen above, I disagreed with E.F Nicholson and their responses to me (and to anyone else who questioned the analysis) was an open and constructive discussion.

      Indeed, I’d have preferred if Russell had commenced his appearance on the TV last night in a similar vein, rather than blocking any attempt at discussion.

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    • Hey Eratz, That a lot of Baaaa’s and Baaaah’s. It must have taken you a while to write all of those. So thanks at least for the effort. Sorry my article bored you into a bleating sheep but to respond – I am not offended by people questioning him and Russell Brand is certainly not my Guru. Maybe your baaaa effect prevented you from reading the argument in full. I wasn’t defending Brand or criticizing his detractors, rather I was suggesting that the way Brand has been belittled is part of a wider process of ridiculing anyone who starts to present arguments outside of the unspoken agreed parameters of media hedgemony. So whether I agree with Brand, or even like him as a person is irreverent to the argument, as its more about how discussions gets policed and censored – often by a section of the media that is meant to be “progressive.” Does that make more sense for you now?

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  25. Fantastic article. Glad people are seeing the Guardian for what they really are, and it certainly isn’t a voice of the left. They’re just establishment that recycles.

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  26. Julian Assange is wanted in two countries, in the USA he is wanted for questioning over his espionage, in Sweden he is wanted for questioning over one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation, and one count of lesser-degree rape. But I wouldn’t expect a self proclaimed “follower” of Russell Brand to care about such ‘trivialities’.

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    • Being wanted by the most violence terrorist state in the world, the USA, probably says something noble about a person. He is wanted for questioning in Sweden (no formal charges have been made) and while I can’t comment on the details of the case I understand he was happy to be interviewed via video and at the embassy. The Swedish authorities declined even though in more serious cases they have used this method. Once again, I am not standing up for the character of Assanage, Brand or Galloway.Instead, I am illustrating 3 examples of how ideas get knocked down by going after the person and not the ideas, which is in fact exactly what you seem to be doing. Please give the ” self proclaimed “follower” of Russell Brand” a rest ,these childish taunts don’t help your argument.

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      • Well in the case of Assange it’s clear why nobody except the most ideologically blinkered support him in his quest to completely undermine the intelligence agencies and military of the USA; because he’s too scared to go and defend himself in court on numerous charges of sexual indecency, implying guilt.

        Galloway has throughout his long career as radio talkshow host, media figure and politician continued to hold insidious, illogical and distasteful views, and like Brand is merely an ideologue harbouring questionable ideological beliefs so inevitably he get’s up people’s nose.

        It’s clear you don’t follow Brand personally so I apologize, rather you’d follow anyone who confirms your personal anti Liberal Democratic cognitive bias.

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      • I wouldn’t call Glenn Greenwald and John Pilger “the most ideologically blinkered ” who have come out in Assanage defense. Regarding all the other thing you have to say, you seem to be the expert on understand the psychological underpinning of all those you don’t know but interact with, hence you under-covering (what I thought was actual well concealed) being my colossal inferiority complex. Well at least its finally out in the open, thank you wise Ersatz. I don’t think I have been rude or defensive with anyone on these comments who hasn’t shared exactly the way I see things, including yourself. Yet you seem to be a person that has all the answers, to all the questions,a walking , talking Wikipedia of insight and political strategy.So I humble myself before you Ersatz and hope that one day to I can be just like you. The ability to be so full of shit but to unable to see that,it is a gift that only true geniuses like yourself can possess. Good luck my friend. 🙂

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  27. Great piece. I really never liked Brand until last year as I used to think he was just another spoilt celebrity. I really think he is talking a lot of sense at the minute at the risk of actually destroying his career. Hate to come across as a ‘grammar nazi’ as my own grammar is pretty poor but seems the below doesn’t read quite right.
    ‘No explanation of what exactly makes, what Brand is saying, a hypocrite.’
    I would think ‘No explanation of what exactly makes, what Brand is saying, hypocritical.’ or ‘No explanation of what exactly makes Brand a hypocrite.’

    Anyway, well done. I shall be reading more of your pieces from now on.

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  28. Dear editor, thanks for your response.
    Your personal infatuation with Brand (apparently for the superficial ideology you both share) is highly relevant, not only because your opening paragraph repeats it over and over again in a number of ways, but also because it is obviously the basis of the entire article, rather than think critically of Brand yourself, or engage critically with criticism against him, you attempt to suggest there is a conspiracy to try and silence him ie that line “they are told to from above”…hence the allusion to the rest of the article being ‘bleating’ nonsense.

    You are seriously misguided, most people with radical views aren’t on TV or constantly in the media in the first place, they are also not addicted to adoration or the kind of wife swapping Brand indulges in which get’s media attention these days, any publicity is good publicity, have you heard this maxim of marketing gurus?

    His role serves at least two obvious purposes, one; he provides an extremely easy target for conservative establishment reactionaries to dismiss, any talk of revolution or popular anti-capitalist sentiment as poorly thought out utopian drivel.

    Two; he obscures a very genuine lack of participation by the majority of people in the cultural narrative by
    providing a safe form of rebellion they can easily appropriate from television and mass media, reinforcing the very forms of alienation he apparently rails against, encouraging the negation of more significant human thoughts and lives than his own.

    Kind Regards

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    • Hi Ersatz ,
      I would suggest you re-read what you read. I actually said “They are all bringing down Brand not because they are told to from “high above.” The word NOT is an important aspect of that point. There is NOT a conspiracy against him, rather media criticism reflects a rather predicable process of how certain ideas get shut down and left out of public debate. I wonder, seeing as you got that point wrong, are the rest of your conclusions incorrect as well?

      I have in fact engaged with your criticism, as your original post accused me of “Brand being my Guru.” I responded to those criticisms and explained in detail how the article wasn’t about “Brand” himself, but instead about the way certain ideas get dismissed within the liberal press. You seem to be doing the very thing you are accusing me of doing, which is not responding to the criticism of the criticism. Your rants seems entirely independent of the points I raised!

      It’s all well and good what you’re saying; Brand just isn’t hard-core enough for you it seems. Yet what do you think he should be doing? How could he be doing what he is doing any better? What is it exactly about yourself that elevates you to make such harsh judgments? From my perspective, he is doing his best for where he is at and the place he has got to in his life? What more can anyone do? If that’s just not good enough for you, then fair enough but there is no need to be self-righteous and spout contempt for anyone that doesn’t adhere to your high standard of radicalism.
      Thanks
      EF

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  29. Apologies, apparently you did ‘say’ “it is not a conspiracy” however still obviously meaning that actually it is a conspiracy.

    How can anybody derive anything other than the accusation of a hidden agenda to stringently rid the media of anything you personally regard as revolutionary, from this: “it just the predicable process of how certain ideas get shut down and left out of public debate”, how does that happen if not by a coordinated, combined effort that you can only vaguely allude to?

    I never accused you of anything, i just offered you my perspective, that there’s an obvious case of Brand fetishism in your article, I assume you want feedback, despite apparently treating everybody who disagrees with him in the Mainstream as part of a coordinated attempt to “shut him down”.

    “certain ideas get dismissed with in the liberal press” so is it “public debate” or the “liberal press” you’re talking about here, they’re not the same thing, public debate occurs in the House of commons, it occurs in councils, meetings, on the internet and on the streets everyday, it’s know nothing celebrities being thrust into the media spotlight (public debate?) given book deals and so on that discourages public debates, or sadly define the parameters along increasingly inane, mystified, unimportant and insignificant lines.

    I’d rather hear from people living in the poverty Brand pays lip service to, speaking about their situation themselves instead of another celebrity blabbering about all these utopian solutions, it’s nothing to do with how “radical” or otherwise he is, I don’t care what he or other celebrities are doing and don’t understand why the masses of desperate people who see in his sloganizing and cheaply spoken idealism some form of solution for all their problems (implicitly: not having to think about them at all) seem to.

    He’s basically glamorizing and popularizing an ugly form of politics and discourse, where lot’s of words devoid of content are thrown around in order to appeal to people’s sentiments and emotions, he’s an ideologue.

    You’ve clearly also got an inferiority complex judging by the way you get uptight over people expressing their opinions openly and honestly.

    Kind Regards

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  30. It’s easy to see Brand as the new mesiah, however, as one false prophet once said;
    “look, you don’t need to follow me, you don’t need to follow anyone. You have got to think for yourselves, your all individuals”

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    • I would agree with Brian on that one scooble. I don’t see Brand a new Messiah, as I state in the article, most of his ideas aren’t even new or original ,but they are ideas that don’t often get discussed in the MSM. It for that very same reason they get slowly ridiculed, as we see an other hit piece from the Guardian today from Hadley Freeman.The sharks are circling.

      Like

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