Russell Brand, that controversial, formerly drug and sex-addicted, adolescent funny man, who was spawned from UK “reality” television, became a movie star with roles in mindless comedy blockbuster hits and was briefly married to a pop princess, has evolved into one of the world’s most important radicals.
In this modern age, where the spectacle of celebrity is used to distract, bamboozle and pacify the masses, where ignorance is placed on a pedestal and repetitiously rammed down our throat, raping our young minds, enslaving us in the all-consuming cult of consumerism and a never-ending narcissistic rat race to the bottom, Russell Brand has emerged as an enlightening force.
Behold, Russell Brand: comedian / trendsetter / thought-leader / revolutionary / spiritual guru. The more you pay attention to him, the more you realize that he is a madly brilliant critical thinker, a prophet of sorts, a spiritual sage, a shaman of radical positivity. Russell knows how to dance with fame, as he sprinkles subversive mind-opening truths like pixie dust.
He is currently on a whirlwind worldwide comedy tour, fittingly called Messiah Complex. His performance weaves through famed radical icons such as Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Gandhi and Jesus. Yes, Jesus the radical, the man who cared about the poor and chased the moneychangers from the temple. Russell makes you yearn for a modern day messiah who can chase Wall Street from our lives and deliver us to freedom. Alas, as Che said, only you can liberate yourself. There is much truth to Che’s words. However, as Brand makes clear, we are bred to follow false idols and live in a “cult of the hero.” Famed social psychologist Jacques Ellul summed it up:
“The cult of the hero is the absolutely necessary complement of the massification of society…. This exaltation of the hero proves that one lives in a mass society. The individual who is prevented by circumstances from becoming a real person, who can no longer express himself through personal thought or action, who finds his aspirations frustrated, projects onto the hero all he would wish to be. He lives vicariously and experiences the… exploits of the god with whom he lives in spiritual symbiosis.”
Knowing that we have this ingrained bias built into our cultural programming, it seems clear that the propaganda-addicted masses need icons, now more than ever, who can help expand their consciousness and inspire them to new ways of thinking and living. As Brand jokes about being the second-coming (in bed, not in the biblical sense), you can’t help but think to yourself; is Brand evolving into one of these very icons he pokes fun of? It may seem like a stretch, and it is extremely high praise to even playfully ponder such a question. That being said, I see Brand as a seriously liberating force with limitless potential as a counter-cultural radical iconoclast.
As he masks his message in an intense, quick-witted, relentless rapid-fire torrent of self-deprecating humor, it subversively slips through your habitual thoughts and hits home in a profound way. Amidst all the laughs, I decipher and sum up his message this way: we are all distracted, dumbed-down and mentally conditioned by mainstream media, while corrupt politicians have been paid off by a small group of shortsighted, greed-addicted billionaires and multinational corporations, who are consolidating wealth and resources on an unprecedented scale, and destroying our future in the process.
This may be commonsense to anyone paying attention to the true state of the world, but for the overwhelming majority, to the propagandized masses, he delivers this eye-opening message in bedazzling fashion, with humorous, disheveled sex appeal, which makes him irresistible to the people who need to hear this message the most. The talented trick of it all, he does it all in a very compassionate, fun-loving, and, most importantly, non-preachy style. As Oscar Wilde once said, “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” Brand lives by that quote, he even has it tattooed on his arm.
Above all, Brand’s spiritual vibe comes through, radiating love and empathy for humanity as a whole. That may make the cynical among us roll their tired eyes, but he pulls it off in a genuine way. Celebrity, sex, spirituality and humor are all highly infectious. These days, they are most often used to manipulate, deceive, divide and disempower us. Brand is now flipping that script, he is using them to empower, enlighten and unite us. His hilarious and controversial bad boy attics have slipped him into mainstream consciousness, and his ever-growing celeb status ensures he will stay there for a while to come. He’s a Trojan horse inside the gates of mainstream media. The soldiers are only just beginning to sneak out, freedom seems within reach.
I don’t want to over-hype the guy, any more than I already have, and put too much pressure on him. After all, he’s just a comedian… but there is a strong sense that this is an opening act for what is to come. As Brand matures, grows wiser, gets in tune with his inner-self and aligns with the zeitgeist, he is using his fame to fill a cultural and spiritual void that far too many of us need filling, sexual innuendo aside.
Even the mainstream trendsetting magazine GQ recently gave him the “Oracle award.” Upon accepting the award, he humbly mocked himself and used the speech as a platform to call out the award show sponsors, Hugo Boss, for designing the uniforms that Nazi soldiers wore. Have a look at Russell’s wicked writing talents, as he riffs on the event after being kicked out of it for his “impolite” comments:
“I could see the room dividing as I spoke. I could hear the laughter of some and louder still silence of others. I realised that for some people this was regarded as an event with import. The magazine, the sponsors and some of those in attendance saw it as a kind of ceremony that warranted respect. In effect, it is a corporate ritual, an alliance between a media organisation, GQ, and a commercial entity, Hugo Boss. What dawned on me as the night went on is that even in apparently frivolous conditions the establishment asserts control, and won’t tolerate having that assertion challenged, even flippantly, by that most beautifully adept tool: comedy.
The jokes about Hugo Boss were not intended to herald a campaign to destroy them. They’re not Monsanto or Halliburton, the contemporary corporate allies of modern-day fascism; they are, I thought, an irrelevant menswear supplier with a double-dodgy history. The evening, though, provided an interesting opportunity to see how power structures preserve their agenda, even in a chintzy microcosm.
Subsequent to my jokes, the evening took a peculiar turn. Like the illusion of sophistication had been inadvertently disrupted by the exposure. It had the vibe of a wedding dinner where the best man’s speech had revealed the groom’s infidelity. With Hitler.”
Then, in riffing on the fact that several politicians were there hobnobbing at this GQ gala, Russell delivers the deep unfashionable truth in style:
“I feel guilty going, and I’m a comedian. Why are public officials, paid by us, turning up at events for fashion magazines? Well, the reason I was there was because I have a tour on and I was advised it would be good publicity. What are the politicians selling? How are they managing our perception of them with their attendance of these sequin-encrusted corporate balls?
We witness that there is a relationship between government, media and industry that is evident even at this most spurious and superficial level. These three institutions support one another. We know that however cool a media outlet may purport to be, their primary loyalty is to their corporate backers. We know also that you cannot criticise the corporate backers openly without censorship and subsequent manipulation of this information.
Now I’m aware that this was really no big deal; I’m not saying I’m an estuary Che Guevara. It was a daft joke by a daft comic at a daft event. It makes me wonder, though, how the relationships and power dynamics I witnessed on this relatively inconsequential context are replicated on a more significant scale.
For example, if you can’t criticise Hugo Boss at the GQ awards because they own the event, do you think it is significant that energy companies donate to the Tory party? Will that affect government policy? Will the relationships that ‘politician of the year’ Boris Johnson has with City bankers – he took many more meetings with them than public servants in his first term as mayor – influence the way he runs our capital?
Is it any wonder that Amazon, Vodafone and Starbucks avoid paying tax when they enjoy such cosy relationships with members of our government?
Ought we be concerned that our rights to protest are being continually eroded under the guise of enhancing our safety? Is there a relationship between proposed fracking in the UK, new laws that prohibit protest and the relationships between energy companies and our government?
I don’t know. I do have some good principles picked up that night that are generally applicable: the glamour and the glitz isn’t real, the party isn’t real, you have a much better time mucking around trying to make your mates laugh. I suppose that’s obvious. We all know it, we already know all the important stuff, like: don’t trust politicians, don’t trust big business and don’t trust the media. Trust your own heart and each other. When you take a breath and look away from the spectacle it’s amazing how absurd it seems when you look back.”
Now, that’s how you awaken the masses. How many celebrities do you know who can turn a glitzy GQ swank-fest gala into an easily understood rant on the corrupting influence of money in politics? The GQ controversy was just one of several recent bursts of radical enlightenment to come from Brand. (See him school MSNBC “news” anchors here and watch this compilation of clips here.)
Russell is the editor the latest copy of the New Statesman. His theme is Revolution of Consciousness; the magazine features the work of some of the world’s most radical thinkers. In a new must see BBC interview discussing the release of the magazine, Russell is in affable battle mode matching wits and mental jabs with veteran “newsman” Jeremy Paxman. (Watch the video below to see one of the most radical interviews you will ever see on mainstream television.)
He opens the New Statesman magazine with a manifesto of sorts, featuring gems such as these:
“Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites….
I don’t vote because to me it seems like a tacit act of compliance; I know, I know my grandparents fought in two world wars (and one World Cup) so that I’d have the right to vote. Well, they were conned. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing to vote for. I feel it is a far more potent political act to completely renounce the current paradigm than to participate in even the most trivial and tokenistic manner, by obediently X-ing a little box.
Total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic system is what interests me, but that’s not on the ballot….
Apathy is a rational reaction to a system that no longer represents, hears or addresses the vast majority of people. A system that is apathetic, in fact, to the needs of the people it was designed to serve. To me a potent and triumphant leftist movement, aside from the glorious Occupy rumble, is a faint, idealistic whisper from sepia rebels….
Along with the absolute, all-encompassing total corruption of our political agencies by big business, this apathy is the biggest obstacle to change…. We have succumbed to an ideology that is 100 per cent corrupt and must be overthrown. The maintenance of this system depends on our belief that “there’s nothing we can do”…
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….
The revolution of consciousness is a decision, decisions take a moment. In my mind the revolution has already begun.”
In my mind, Russell hits the nail on the head when he speaks of a revolution of consciousness in political and spiritual tones with an emphasis on propaganda. To create the revolution that we need to get us off of this disastrous path and out of this obsolete paradigm, people must become aware of the processes that condition our consciousness and contract our awareness. Even the most independent minded people vastly underestimate how propagandized we all are. Just because we have repetitiously been told that we are free, doesn’t mean that we are. We live in a mental prison that we have all been bred into.
As the old line goes, you must first see the walls before you can free yourself. In this regard, Russell is a gladiator of the mind, exposing walls that the propagandized masses have rarely seen. Perhaps his dedication to meditation and yoga has tapped him into a truly divine realm. Just get within his presence, frequency, wavelength and watch him flow ~ he radiates a contagious, shockingly uplifting energy ~ and you will feel your own frequency and vibration elevate you into another dimension.
Indeed, the revolution of consciousness has already begun. Enough with the reading, let’s see the mystical maestro work his magic…
In spirit of full disclosure, Russell is a brother and co-conspirator. I’ve had the great fortune to collaborate with some of the most inspiring people on the planet, from activists and thought-leaders to celebrities and artists. Everyone has their areas of strength, but when it comes to waking up the masses, which to me is the most vital thing to do right now, Russell has emerged as a mystical force of nature, a true divining rod. This post is more of a tribute and love letter than a critical review, yet it contains my true feelings. It is the first in a series of posts that I will be publishing in tribute to inspiring people who I have developed meaningful relationships with and have earned my respect. Subscribe here to keep in touch.