On Russell Brand…

So I’m sure many of us have seen the video, and heard various opinions from both sides about the validity of Brand’s arguments for ‘revolution’, whatever that may mean these days.  Personally, I can’t help but feel immensely menial every time I watch it.  Here is a man, an actor and comedian, who was brought up in Essex and is open and frank about his drug abuse as a youngster, debating (really rather intelligently) with Jeremy Paxman, a man who has been interviewing politicians for thirty years.  Ok, some say it wasn’t a debate, it was an interview – but have you seen Paxman’s interview technique?

A lot of the opinions I have heard have centred around Brand’s career and whether or not that qualifies him to have an opinion on such topics as politics.  Here I refer you to, America (and I don’t do this too often).  We have governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor Clint Eastwood, and President Ronald Reagan.  All actors who know a thing or two about politics.

As to Brand’s claims about revolution and Paxman demanding to know the outcome of said revolution – of course Brand does now how it will turn out.  He doesn’t even know when it will happen (though he is certain that it will, and I have cause to believe him there).  Just because he believes something is inevitable does not mean he knows the whys, whens or wherefores.  He cannot see into the future, he only knows something is happening as – and I dare to say this – he is somewhat more in contact with ‘the common man’ than any of the politicians in Downing Street.  I don’t want to begin to rant here, but Mr Gove is my prime example (but more on him in another post).

Another point of contention – can Brand have a political opinion despite the fact he cannot vote?  I say yes, a thousand times yes.  I myself do not vote – not out of apathy, but like Mr Brand because I have no positive feelings towards any of the political parties.  Since I have been old enough to vote all I have got from my government is higher university tuition fees, a higher retirement age and very little chance of a graduate job.  So no thanks, I’m not choosing a single one of them.  I say well done to Russell for having the guts to admit he doesn’t vote.  When I have explained to friends my apathy towards politics I receive the same, or at least a very similar response, every time.  “But women fought for you right ton vote.”  Well my friends, the right to vote also includes the right to not vote.

I feel now I am beginning to lose sight of my original point, but this is a subject which many people feel passionate about one way or another.  What I am trying to say is that Russell Brand is, to me, a very brave man for sharing such controversial views on television with no concern for the responce he may recieve.  I wish I were more like him, and perhaps here I can be.  To me, he is somewhat or an inspiratinal figure who I would like to be a bit more like.

Which side of the argument are you on?  Is he a revolutionary or a fool?  Please share your views below.

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2 thoughts on “On Russell Brand…

  1. I think the “You can’t talk, you’re a [non-voter, celebrity, damn foreigner, kids these days…]” argument is a total cop out. I guess I’m the opposite of you in that I have VERY strong political opinions and I’d never NOT vote, but I also recognize that there are many, many things – and probably many are even more important than casting a ballot – that go into making change.

    You could be an activist who gets the boots-on-the-ground to make change in the world….. and not vote. You could be a community organizer who shapes the future of your city…… and not vote. And yes, you could be a – *gasp!* – ACTOR and rally people with your words to go out and make change…….. and not vote.

    All of these people are making very real change in society, perhaps in an even more crucial way than the people who feel supersatisfied with themselves for participating in politics for one day in November.

    • Yes Aelish, that is pretty much what I am getting at. There are so many ways in this day and age that a person can make a change to things they are unhappy with that don’t include voting for things they disagree with, or are ambivalent towards. I strongly believe that an ignorant vote is worth than no vote at all. I know people who vote for parties ‘because my father did’ who still complain every day that nothing is changing. Knowledge really is power.

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