This is meant to be a fiction blog, but I can’t resist recording some of my thoughts on Russell Brand and his new book, ‘Revolution’. It’s brilliant.
Russell Brand is a caring, intelligent man and an engaging writer. He says that we have been brought up to believe that we are powerless to change the system, so most of us don’t try. He says we can change the system.
Here’s a peculiar thing which challenges my faith in certain sections of society. When he was busy being a rebel and pissing everybody off, he was an urban hero to all those who claim to despise the system. He’s still the same person, but he has looked and questioned and listened and thought and learned and worked. Now his many of his erstwhile followers declare him a waste of space because he’s not a loser any more. If they only admire losers, they’re clearly not looking for change in any positive sense.
So, Russell Brand does a really heavy kind of yoga. He practices Transcendental Meditation. He’s a Christian. He’s no longer a nice friendly gearhead, and he’s kicked alcohol out of his life. In spite of the naughty words he comes out with he’s the sort of bloke I could have taken home to meet my mum, because she knew a good thing when she saw it. He openly admits that he hasn’t yet dealt with his desire for the finer things of life, but he reckons that will come. He believes that He wants a cleaner, safer, freer, happier and more equal world for everyone to share, and he believes that he has collected up some of the answers, so he’s written a book about it.
Oh, and he also believes that the cheesey thing we call love holds the key. He doesn’t mean the sexy squidgy kind that you find one drunken night in a club, and wake up the next morning hoping it has slunk away. He means the kind that you feel for your family, friends and the person who this Christmas generously bought you Revolution by Russell Brand. He believes we should love everybody in the world. Everyone, not just the man whose skin is a different colour or the woman with an unfortunate odour about her person, who grabs your arm in the street and pulls at you because she thinks she’s been robbed again and she wants you to find a policeman. No, he even thinks we should love the supporters of the opposing football team and the neighbour who keeps parking his second car outside your house. I wish I hadn’t come up with that last example; it’s a really tricky one. Maybe you could tackle him last.
In the book, Russell Brand offers us tools to help us to get the job done. These are manual tools, so you need to put a bit of work in.
Love? How Embarassing. Work? If that’s what it takes to change the world then hand me my crack pipe, a Molotov cocktail and the money I stole from my sister. I’m going to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe to watch the destruction. And if you can’t beat ’em……. Forget that Molotov cocktail, where did I put my nuclear missile?
Putting aside the sarcasm; don’t knock it until you’ve read it. Don’t read it if you’re not prepared to shed your prejudices, and don’t say it’s bollocks just because you don’t think that a change for the better is worth the effort.
I am disappointed by the attitude of those who have turned from Russell Brand because he no longer fits into the standardised niche of cute bad boy comedian. The only tag he’s dropped is ‘bad boy’, the least attractive of the three.
On the other hand, I am impressed by the hordes of people, probably mostly in their fifties and above, who without prejudice have set aside all that they knew of him, and all that they felt about him, to look again and appreciate the work he has done, and continues to do. He doesn’t claim the ideas as his own, he has just compiled them and set them out in an interesting, amusing and accessible way, and he tries to live by them.
I love his comedy, and I admire his mission.
Oh yes, and he hasn’t stopped being funny, so no worries there.
Definitely one to read unless you; hate obscene language/think the world is fine as it is/dislike reading/are too tired by the time you’ve finished your day’s work at the Ebola clinic/are a bit of a dick.