Occupying Russell Brand
Not to be confused with Being John Malkovich. This is a haphazard reality riff, written with a poetic license while riding a whirlwind media storm through the streets of New York City with Russell Brand. Starring the usual suspects…
To kick things off and give you a feel for what’s happening as I’m writing this, here’s video from inside the car. At this moment, we’re discussing why we feel revolution is inevitable…
Now for some historical context, going back to when we first met…
Flashback: The Mysterious Man In The Garbage Bag
Three years ago, on October 19th 2011, a long-haired bearded man wearing a plastic garbage bag walked up to me and whispered in my ear. It was pouring rain and the wind was howling. I had no idea what he was saying, and somehow this didn’t phase me in the least. Odd occurrences like this were common in Liberty Park, as the Occupy Wall Street movement was beginning to spread throughout the world. He wouldn’t leave me alone; he kept shifting from ear to ear, muttering something in a British accent. Every sentence sounded like breathy gibberish and ended with an emphatic “mate!” It went from a faint indecipherable whisper to an ear-piercing roar. I couldn’t take it anymore, “Don’t you see I’m working here, mate!”
At the time, I was obsessively determined to rally a group of people together to speak at the next General Assembly; to stave off a co-option attempt by the Democratic Party. They were angling to turn us into their version of the Tea Party. As far as we were concerned, neither wing of the Two-Party Oligarchy was going to co-opt The People’s Uprising. We had a beautiful General Assembly that evening, in the driving rain, we made it clear that we were inclusive and open to working with anyone, but if the left hand of the Global Bankers thought they were going to “lead” us or use us to support their agenda, it wasn’t happening.
Later that night, the mysterious man in the garbage bag suddenly reappeared. This time he had a camera crew with him and the bright light beaming off the camera made him appear, in the misty night, as if he had just transported via vortex from another dimension. Out of the glaring light he extended his hand, looked deeply, intensely into my eyes and said, “Well done mate. I’ve been waiting to speak with you. Sorry to interrupt your diligent, admirable efforts. Do you mind if I do an interview with you? My name is Russell Brand.”
My reactionary Occupy consciousness immediately thought, ‘Shit, another ego-driven celebrity trying to get an Occupy photo op.’ At that brief point in time, fame whores were showing up left and right to ride the Occupy bandwagon and get some press for themselves, as if they truly gave a shit about economic inequality. Kanye West was recently strutting through the park wearing Armani, or whatever oh so trendy designer corporate stooge GQ jumpsuit was in vogue at the moment. He had a big entourage of lackeys and security guards. I got caught up in Kanye’s spectacle of bullshit and it made me feel dirty and used. I didn’t want to make that mistake again.
When it came to Russell, I was impressed by his tenacity. It was well into the night and he had been wandering around the park all day. He seemed sincere and much more dedicated than the others.
Russell and I had a long, deep, penetrating conversation that night. Orgasmic mental fornication ensued. Little did I know then, it was the beginning of what has become one of the most significant relationships in my life. Thus far, our plan is going well – more on that later.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have an intimate view behind the scenes of his evolution over the past three years, from “mindless comedian” to “legitimate revolutionary.” Russell has come to occupy a vital space at the nexus of spirituality and political activism. He’s the embodiment of where we need to go as a culture, if we are going to avoid a collapse into chaos and violence.
Back to the Present… Sense of Urgency
I’ve written endlessly about the corrupted economic and political system (read here and here for starters) so I won’t bore you with more statistics. I’ll just sum it up by saying that after extensive research, I am overwhelmed by a sense of urgency. If we want to change things through nonviolent methods, the window of opportunity is closing fast. Dire economic conditions within large segments of the population will soon lead to rioting. The militarized police force will escalate violence and our nation will be torn apart. (See also #Ferguson.)
I can hear The Dude from The Big Lebowski saying, “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, ah, your opinion, man.” I hear ya, Dude, but my opinion is backed up by serious data. The statistical evidence is overwhelming. My mind is running on overdrive trying to figure out ways to avoid a descent into societal upheaval…
We need to crash through the gates of the mainstream media. We have to jam the low frequency conditioning and repetitious propaganda that has mesmerized the masses. The mainstream media marginalizes voices for change. They limit public debate to a Republican versus Democrat parameter that upholds the interests of the richest .01% of the population at the expense of everyone else. After Occupy originally broke through, the corporate puppets working in the media have ignored our protests and rallies. Even when we get thousands of people to turn up at the “news” media’s offices they don’t cover us. We have been locked out of the political system and the mainstream media.
We’ve built up impressive online media outlets that are working hard to fill the void by doing real investigative journalism. We are giving a genuine voice to the people. There is organic change emerging all over the planet. Decentralized systems are undermining consolidated and centralized power in all aspects of life. However, as I can’t seem to say enough, the hour is late! We don’t have much time left. Even with all the exciting evolution that is happening, I don’t see how we are going to affect the needed change on a mass scale quickly enough to prevent a much larger collapse. Therefore, we need to urgently infiltrate the mainstream. My mind can’t see any way around that… and that mysterious man in the garbage bag, he may very well be our best hope.
Sodomy on Wall Street
My cell phone rings, I’m exhausted after several long work days. A loud frantic voice erupts out of the speaker. About five sentences are rattled off before I say anything more than “Hello.” It’s Russell… [paraphrasing] “Dave, I love the way you talk about Quantitative Easing. It sounds like a lubricant that the Federal Reserve puts on the people’s ass right before they shaft them economically. Can you get a puppet of a Wall Street exec or something like that and I’ll sodomize it on Wall Street after we march there from Liberty Park tomorrow? It will symbolize us quantitatively easing them. I can be there around 3:30. How are you doing mate? How’s the family?”
In baffled bewilderment, I reply, “Um… so let me get this straight. We are going to organize a rally in Liberty Park, a march to Wall Street, and some puppet theater, by tomorrow afternoon?” He replies, “Yeah mate, you said you wanted to do something in Liberty or march to Wall Street.” Alas, yes, I did. A few hours before this call, it seemed like a cool thing to do with Russell while he was in town on a media blitz promoting his book, aptly titled Revolution, but now I’m realizing that this has turned into a massive undertaking, as panic and stress begin to take hold.
That voice in my head knows that this will attract some mainstream press, and the Federal Reserve printing up trillions of dollars through “Quantitative Easing” to give to their friends on Wall Street is something that the mainstream should know about. I doubt the press covering the event will actually mention that point. However, ultimately, it will help get the Occupy Wall Street meme back into mainstream consciousness a bit. Okay then, time to get to work and contact some of my old Occupy allies. If anyone is going to help me pull off a job this big this quickly, it’ll be those lazy anarchists.
Co-Option Is Not An Option
I’m fully aware that some people will consider this type of action to be shameless self-promotion, some rich celebrity trying to use us to sell his book. However, Russell is not co-opting us, we have co-opted him!
Granted, he’s been a more than willing co-conspirator in the process. Hmm… I really want to cover my bases on the ever-present, ever-annoying, yet important, issue of co-option. I feel pretty confident that we have co-opted Russell… but perhaps… has he actually co-opted us? Oh no, maybe he’s co-opted me into thinking that I’ve co-opted him. Wait, no, clearly I’ve co-opted him into thinking he’s co-opted us when in reality we are really co-opting him. Right? Whoa, I’m starting to feel dizzy and faint, I’m falling into an Illuminati trance of some kind. Help!!
Let me call my boss, George Soros, and see if he’s okay with all this. Hold on… (Note to saboteurs who like to make up bizarre stories, I’M JOKING!!)
Alright, I’m back, let me try this…
Keyser Soze-esque Plot Twist
Do you recall the movie The Usual Suspects? It has a great closing scene. The part where the detective drops his coffee cup on the floor as he realizes the main character of the movie, Verbal Kint, was in fact the mysterious Keyser Soze all along.
Well, this is something like that… I’m not sure if I’m Keyser Soze or the mysterious man in the garbage bag has been Soze all this time. Shit, this is getting confusing again…
To get to some kind of point here, you see, three years ago, at the height of Occupy Wall Street, in the driving rain, as howling winds were blowing through Liberty Park, we started planning a covert op.
Shh… don’t tell anyone. Especially the NSA!
I’ll release this classified info through WikiLeaks, anonymously. Wait, have WikiLeaks and Anonymous been co-opted by the CIA? Or did they do it for the lulz?
For the love of God! Who can a poor peasant boy trust around here these days?
This is becoming an epic Elizabethan tragedy on a Shakespearean scale in a Kubrickian kinda way.
Anyhow, here’s the inside scoop, here’s the true Trews…
Russell wanted to dedicate his fame to espousing our message. He was tapped into the source flow and aware enough to know where the zeitgeist was going. We were vibrating on the same frequency. We were both riding the same wave of transformation. He had a taste, he bit into the forbidden fruit, just as all of us in Liberty Park did. Freedom was in the air. Russell knew what he had to do. We’re all in the cosmic movie, everyone has a role to play. He was ready to become our Trojan Horse; a glitzy glittery sexy (Russell made me add in “sexy”) famous actor/comedian, our irresistible gift to the gods of mass media.
We couldn’t have found a more charismatic mate than we found in the mysterious man in the garbage bag. In interview after interview, he’s been lovingly eviscerating mainstream pundits and spreading the revolution meme. He turns the spectacle on itself. We are now inside the machine. With every talking point and brilliantly witty retort Russell launches, he gives us a flicker of hope. Spark after spark, he lights brush fires in the mass mind. All is not lost.
No, no, the first rule of Revolution is… No Advertisements!! We need to transcend conditioned consciousness. But this is an advertisement to end all advertisements… Okay, carry on…
Go buy Russell’s book! You will find that it’s filled with radical thought from many powerful revolutionary minds, all wrapped up in Russell’s affable comedic wit.
Go buy Russell’s book! Russell is using the money he gets from the book to fund revolutionary activities. (Ha! I knew we co-opted him! But wait, who’s going to decide how it’s spent? Shit…)
Go buy Russell’s book! We don’t have much time left and revolution is coming one way or the other. So let’s create change in a loving and peaceful way while we still have time. (Well, we all agree on this. We must have all co-opted each other! It’s an orgy of co-option. We are now one. Imagine… Wisdom at last!)
Well, we are far from knowing how this magical mystery tour will turn out. Hop aboard, it’s only just begun. Got to run, the car just came to a screeching halt, no time to type up a clever ending… there’s an incredibly long line of people stretched around the block. They’re waiting to get a copy of the book, to meet the mysterious man, and the paparazzi are closing in.
It seems everyone wants a piece of this revolution.
The rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.
View more photos from Erik McGregor, Cat Watters and Stacy Lanyon.
P.S. If you would like to get a copy of my new book as well, The Economics of Revolution, here ya go…