“I’m dying to paint myself as a lowborn, Wat Tyler, Essex messiah; fortunately I’m not quite that mad. I know that heroic myth is part of my programming. That I’m quite a funny, normal bloke, that there’s a bit of bad in the best of us and a bit of good in the worst of us, that any centralized power structure with an ego-centric figure at its helm will become corrupt. The only solution is to develop a template built on ecological responsibility and equality.
“It could be that our longing for Revolution is like our longing for perfect love, the impulse we all have for union that was for so long met by religion. However we assign these yearnings, it is difficult to ignore the obvious need for change. Some of us will ascribe it to romantic love, some to consumerism, some to utopianism. It doesn’t really matter. What is important is that for the first time in history we have the means to implement a truly representative system, the means to globally communicate it, and the conditions that require it.
“Whilst a mystical and faith-based component may be helpful in bringing about significant change in consciousness and the planet, we must remember the objective is simple: to make life on the planet, and for the planet, better.”–Russell Brand
Here is the Russell Brand we know from his popular show “The Trews”: astonishingly loquacious, able to riff on a theme at a moment’s notice, deft at delivering nuggets of wisdom diluted with roundabout turns of humor and, as usual, itching for sex so much that he can’t stop himself from inserting his penis wherever it may fit like an eager comma.
What Brand’s book Revolution isn’t: Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, a coherent, elegant and heartfelt argument for an ecologically sound mass social movement that will overturn capitalism and redistribute wealth, transforming the world as we know it.
What Brand’s book Revolution is: an account of a man from a “modest background” who wins the big pinball game of fame and fortune and realizes that these things mean nothing compared to connecting to other human beings on an emotional and spiritual level. This might sound somewhat suspect, so he dresses it up in hot pants and well-groomed facial hair.
At the heart of the book is his recovery from drugs and alcohol–an essential step in the formation of his revolutionary ideals. When he stopped drinking and drugging “one day at a time,” he stopped numbing the pain and found other ways to deal with discomfort–such as taking part in the community support of other addicts and setting off on a search for god. Most importantly, he is someone who questions most everything–from the governments that serve the world’s wealthiest one percent to his own skewed portrayal of himself to the ability of human beings to see anything with any degree of clarity. At the end of the book, to illustrate just how much he is dedicated to the recovery process, he outlines a blueprint for a revolutionary movement based on the Twelve Steps.
Perhaps much of this would go over better as a monologue on “The Trews.” In print, many of the sentences are serpentine and confusing, though I can hear his voice very clearly in my head as he mixes big ideas and official opinions with a bumpy free association of sorts.
“Hey, Russell, you have three hundred pages to riff on revolution!” “Thanks, mate! I’ll take you up on that.”