Sunday, October 27, 2013

RUSSELL BRAND ~ "he's a darling, he's a demon, he's a lamb"

When I read him I'm confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
He's as flighty as a feather
He's a darling! He's a demon! He's a lamb!

He'd outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
He could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
He is gentle! He is wild!
He's a riddle! He's a child!
He's a headache! He's an angel!
He's............... Russell Brand

As I read the New Statesman piece, carried at Common Dreams on Friday, written by British actor/comedian Russell Brand the words of a song from "The Sound of Music" kept floating into my head. I've parodied them above, with apologies to Oscar Hammerstein II .

It's a l-o-n-g piece for ADD-afflicted internet inhabitants, but it's one I couldn't stop reading halfway, as I do so many others. Brand's piece at Common Dreams is headed: "Before We Change the World, We Need to Change the Way We Think.......On revolution: 'We no longer have the luxury of tradition'".

Before I go any further, I'm leaving a link to an antidote for any hint of Brandish hero-worship a passing reader might detect: Douglas Valentine's piece at Counterpunch is a knock-down, drag-out put-down of Russell. I don't agree with Mr Valentine, though do admit that there's an occasional whisper of sense in what he writes as, I feel pretty sure (and this is important) that Russell Brand would too.

Russell Brand: the guy is Gemini incarnate....really! The Trickster, brilliantly fluent, ridiculously talented, flawed mouth-on-a stick. But make no mistake, in this piece Brand is making more sense than any dozen of mealy mouthed pundits you'd care to bundle together. And he's funny with it....that is very hard to do for most of us struggling non-Gemini mortals. Several commenters have described his piece as "stream of consciousness stuff". I've never been reliably sure what "stream of consciousness" looks like until now!

I've chosen a few quotes from the piece to share its flavour, and to spice up this post. It was hard to choose, there are so many quotable chunks. I highly recommend reading the article in full. Sometimes the piece relates to British political figures, but mostly his remarks apply to the USA also, and the rest of the world for that matter.

To give some idea of the subject matter, some random paragraphs - not always chronological:

The serious side:
First, he excuses his wealth:
I should qualify my right to even pontificate on such a topic and in so doing untangle another of revolution’s inherent problems. Hypocrisy. How dare I, from my velvet chaise longue, in my Hollywood home like Kubla Khan, drag my limbs from my harem to moan about the system? A system that has posited me on a lilo made of thighs in an ocean filled with honey and foie gras’d my Essex arse with undue praise and money..............

.......The right has all the advantages, just as the devil has all the best tunes. Conservatism appeals to our selfishness and fear, our desire and self-interest; they neatly nurture and then harvest the inherent and incubating individualism.

I imagine that neurologically the pathway travelled by a fearful or selfish impulse is more expedient and well travelled than the route of the altruistic pang. In simple terms of circuitry I suspect it is easier to connect these selfish inclinations.

These problems that threaten to bring on global destruction are the result of legitimate human instincts gone awry, exploited by a dead ideology derived from dead desert myths. Fear and desire are the twin engines of human survival but with most of our basic needs met these instincts are being engaged to imprison us in an obsolete fragment of our consciousness. Our materialistic consumer culture relentlessly stimulates our desire. Our media ceaselessly engages our fear, our government triangulates and administrates, ensuring there are no obstacles to the agendas of these slow-thighed beasts, slouching towards Bethlehem.

(After a visit to African slums, seeing emaciated children there, and on return home attending a fashion show with stick thin models who deliberately starve themselves):

...I could not wrench the phantom of those children from my mind......I felt the integration; that the price of this decadence was their degradation. That these are not dislocated ideas but the two extremes are absolutely interdependent. The price of privilege is poverty. .....To have such suffering adjacent to such excess is akin to marvelling at an incomparable beauty, whose face is the radiant epitome of celestial symmetry, and ignoring, half a yard lower down, her abdomen, cancerous, weeping and carbuncled. “Keep looking at the face, put a handbag over those tumours. Strike a pose. Come on, Vogue.”

Suffering of this magnitude affects us all. We have become prisoners of comfort in the absence of meaning.

The "spiritual" side:
For me the solution has to be primarily spiritual and secondarily political. This, too, is difficult terrain when the natural tribal leaders of the left are atheists, when Marxism is inveterately Godless. When the lumbering monotheistic faiths have given us millennia of grief for a handful of prayers and some sparkly rituals.

The only systems we can afford to employ are those that rationally serve the planet first, then all humanity. Not out of some woolly, bullshit tree-hugging piffle but because we live on it, currently without alternatives. This is why I believe we need a unifying and in - clusive spiritual ideology: atheism and materialism atomise us and anchor us to one frequency of consciousness and inhibit necessary co-operation.

In 2013 (another made-up imaginary concept) we cannot afford to giggle, drivel and burp like giant, pube-covered babies about quaint, old-fashioned notions like nation, capitalism and consumerism simply because it’s convenient for the tiny, greedy, myopic sliver of the population that those outmoded ideas serve...........

We British seem to be a bit embarrassed about revolution, like the passion is uncouth or that some tea might get spilled on our cuffs in the uprising. That revolution is a bit French or worse still American. Well, the alternative is extinction so now might be a good time to re-evaluate. The apathy is in fact a transmission problem, when we are given the correct information in an engaging fashion, we will stir.

Now there is an opportunity for the left to return to its vital, virile, vigorous origins. A movement for the people, by the people, in the service of the land. Socialism’s historical connection with spiritual principles is deep. Sharing is a spiritual principle, respecting our land is a spiritual principle. May the first, May Day, is a pagan holiday where we acknowledge our essential relationship with our land. I bet the Tolpuddle martyrs, who marched for fair pay for agricultural workers, whose legacy is the right for us to have social solidarity, were a right bunch of herberts if you knew them. “Thugs, yobs, hooligans,” the Daily Mail would’ve called them. Our young people need to know there is a culture, a strong, broad union, that they can belong to, that is potent, virile and alive.

(My highlight)
But we are far from apathetic, we are far from impotent. I take great courage from the groaning effort required to keep us down, the institutions that have to be fastidiously kept in place to maintain this duplicitous order. Propaganda, police, media, lies. Now is the time to continue the great legacy of the left, in harmony with its implicit spiritual principles. Time may only be a human concept and therefore ultimately unreal, but what is irrefutably real is that this is the time for us to wake up.

The revolution of consciousness is a decision, decisions take a moment. In my mind the revolution has already begun.

If I believed in spiritualism I'd suspect that the spirit of comedian Bill Hicks, who left us much, much too soon, had been in contact with Russell Brand....or maybe Bill Hicks and George Carlin got together in the ethers and decided enough was enough, something simply had to be done, a new messenger had to be appointed.


I made a point of describing Russell Brand as "Trickster" at the beginning of the post; astrologically he is. Sun and Mercury in Gemini. I've posted a 12 noon version of his natal chart, no time of birth is known. I'll link, at the end of the post, to two websites where interpretation has already been done. For me, other than his "mouth-on-a-stick" Sun and Mercury in Gemini, I'd focus on the three planets in Aries, (Moon would have been in Aries, whatever time he was born), and on the fact that he's "unearthed" - no planet in an Earth sign unless an Earth sign (Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn) was on the ascendant as he was born....chances of that, I'd say, are slim!

The three Aries planets bring a fresh child-like streak into his nature, enthusiasm for his subject, whether nefarious, sexy, or serious. I like the freshness and a rather strangely innocent feel to him- don't know how else to describe it, but have recognised it in those with Aries strong in their natal charts - a lot, love it! That's not to say he's always all that's wonderful. He's not - far from it. I was disgusted by reports of a mean prank he'd played on a fellow-actor some time ago. Aries childlike-ness can, and does, go right over-the top at times. Because of his writing though, he's forgiven - not forgetting the interview in the video below, from British TV. Interviewer, Jeremy Paxman, well known in the UK for his penetrating interview style when dealing with politicians, took on Russell Brand. I suspect Jeremy has a warm spot for Russell and his views, though it didn't seem so at times.

For more on Brand's astrology:
See Adam Sommer's article at Reality Sandwich
My Encounter with Russell Brand  by British psychic Michelle Knight.  


mike said...

"Tis rhubarb!" Russell Brand

"I've always had this impulse to be destructive. I have to say to myself, 'remember, you've got all these things to do - don't ruin it just for the moment.'" Russell Brand

I'm not a big fan of Brand...I like his ex, Katy Perry...they had a strange relationship from what I've read, but star-gossip is fiction-prone. Brand seems to be talented in several fields, which is difficult for most.

Brand reminds me of a cross between John Stewart and Howard Stern. A bit manic! A bit maniac! It will be interesting to see how transiting Uranus and Pluto affect his natal planets in Aries, Cancer, and Libra. He's currently in the process of change.

I do believe there are many, many interesting individuals inhabiting our planet that are very intellectual and brilliant in their own ways, but not famous, hence unknown and silent. The Hollywood set, in particular, can surprise me...they're known for their image and acting and it can be a bit unsettling to realize how far from reality their image is.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I wasn't a big fan either - until now. Don't know anything much about Katy Perry, except that she sings.

That's a spot-on description:
Jon Stewart/Howard Stern! A younger version of that hybrid. :-)

I get the feeling that Russell Brand is 100% genuine - not done for publicity or effect (as in some celeb+politics mixes).

We need someone to fill the slot left by Bill Hicks and George Carlin, a 2013 version - and here's a contender!

It'll be interesting to watch the ways his career develops from here on.

Diane said...

Read the article in The New Statesman and watched the Brand/Paxman video, both of which I loved, but then I'm a fan of Mr. Brand whom I believe to be sincere. Isn't it rather ironic that an Essex comic performer in America exhorts its citizens to rebellion? Fervently hope our masters don't disappear him. And I commend your idea that "Bill Hicks and George Carlin got together in the ethers" and appointed Brand as the peoples' spokesman. If only!

Diane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LB said...

Twilight ~ I'm neither a fan nor a critic of Russell Brand, having only recently become aware of his views. Having said that, several of his thoughts echo my own:

1) "For me the solution has to be primarily spiritual and secondarily political." and 2) "The revolution of consciousness is a decision, decisions take a moment. In my mind the revolution has already begun."

I'm not a "follower" of Russell Brand and don't consider him to be a spiritual leader. I have no idea whether or not he tries to walk the talk and so far haven't heard any of his *practical* suggestions - has he made any? If you know, I'd be interested.

What I do know is that I agree with at least those two statements as well as some of his other general observations.

The problem is a spiritual (moral/ethical) one, not only having to do with the way we think, but more importantly, how we choose to *act* on those thoughts.

And the "revolution" (whatever that means) has begun. Instead of waiting, there are positive steps we can take now, things we can do. Many of us are already making the effort. There's nothing to wait for. The time is now.

I was going to say more or less the same thing in response to your GMO post.

Twilight said...

Diane ~ Ironic indeed! ;-)
If RB intends to continue in this vein, back-watching ought to become a big part of his plan. I hope he has a sharp-eyed minder!

Twilight said...

LB ~ I hadn't been aware that Russell Brand held these types of views at all until recently. He drew my attention some weeks ago, when I read that at some fashion or awards shindig run by Hugo Boss (men's fashion) he made a few "pointed" remarks.

When his New Statesman piece and the Paxman interview appeared during this week more pieces of the jigsaw fell into place.
I'm pretty sure that the same applies to many in the USA. Whether peeps in the UK are better informed about him, I don't know.

We shall see whether anything develops, in coming months - if he suggests ways forward, walks the walk etc.

Even if he simply continues writing and speaking in this vein (given the platform) it will be very helpful in making a different segment of the people begin to really open eyes and take notice. Many will listen to him who wouldn't bother to listen to Sen. Bernie Sanders.

JD said...

Reading that overblown and meaningless drivel from Brand I begin to lose the will to live.

"Russell Brand is a pseudo-intellectual, overpaid, middle-class, media luvvie"

...just trying to provide a bit of balance for you, young Twilight :)

mike (again) said...

My Sunday (October 27, 2013) newspaper's "Parade" magazine insert, pg 2, asks how Julianne Hough liked working with Russell Brand on the movie, "Paradise". She responds, "He's almost too brilliant to be socially normal."

Twilight said...

JD ~ Hi there young JD! (I've been steering clear of N.O. of late to help maintain reasonable BP levels ;-) )

I'll accept RB's piece was bit "overblown" but meaningless it certainly ain't!

What's a pseudo-intellectual then?
someone who doesn't speak in an upper-crust accent, didn't go to Oxford or Cambridge? We peasants have brains too, and common sense - a combination which is seldom found in what you'd term "true intellectuals".

Thanks for the balance, however, I did provide some within the post - 3rd para which begins "Before I go any further...."

Twilight said...

mike(again) ~ That kind of sums up Gemini-plus (as you might term it?)

I'm pleasantly, very pleasantly surprised in fact, at how he's presenting himself right now. Those in the know - bosses of The New Statesman for instance - obviously had inside knowledge about his abilities, or they'd never have given him the serious task of editing their mag.

R J Adams said...

"A trickster, brilliantly fluent, ridiculously talented, flawed mouth-on-a stick..."
'Ere! I'm a Gemini!
Ah, well, you're probably right.
He certainly appears to have matured a little since his disgusting escapades with Jonathan Ross. Like you, I was compelled to read his NS piece to the end, and he definitely had old Paxman run out for nought. That's not easy. We'll have to see whether he can put his money where his mouth is, though. Plenty of would-be revolutionaries have come and gone in my lifetime without making any lasting impact.
Sadly, my feeling is that were he to end up a politician, perhaps endeavoring to change the system from within, it would only be a matter of time before he was rubbing shoulders (and sharing brandies) with the corporate and corrupt. Not because he's Russell Brand (or a Gemini!) but simply because he's a human.

R J Adams said...

Not wishing to hog the comments page, but I agree with your opinion of the Valentine article in Counterpunch. My slight sense of unease with Brand's piece in NS began when he mentioned the word, "spiritual". No amount of meditation, prayer, or New Age shenanigans will make an iota of difference to the corporates and politicos who are out to shaft us all. It's one of the great failings of the young - belief that some 'Higher Power' will somehow do their work for them. The Beatles were prime examples, though at least we got Sergeant Pepper out of it. If you want change, you need revolution. And as the French learned in 1789, it's bloody.

Twilight said...

RJ ~ Ah - here's another "mouth on a stick"! Welcome! LOL!

I doubt he has any ambition to enter politics proper RJ. I hope not, anyway. That'd be exactly the wrong path to take. I shall hope he'll continue writing and speaking whenever someone offers a platform.
I wonder if Bill Maher would dare to do so -I bet not!

The spiritual, in his case, is a rather more mundane kind of spiritual, I suspect. This is what reminded me of Bill Hicks about him - Bill had that flavour too. It's not as way-out as in the 60s with gurus and stuff (as in Beatles' escapades), but still a wee bit concerning, yet in some ways still very necessary as an under-pinning for those who seek one.

Vanilla Rose said...

I think the "foie gras" was a figure of speech.

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~ It's the first time I've seen it used as a verb! LOL!
Only Gemini could do that! ;-)