The voice of a new sensibility speaking loud and clear. Russell Brand going viral

26.10.2013 - Silvia Swinden

This post is also available in: French

The voice of a new sensibility speaking loud and clear. Russell Brand going viral
(Image by Russell Brand, Picture by Wikimedia Commons)

For a while it was difficult to understand his success. The bad mouthed ex-junkie speaking faster than one could follow his thoughts did not have a very wide appeal but a niche audience kept up, and suddenly he has become a kind of mouthpiece for every person disenchanted with pseudo-democratic lobby-driven politics. His spiritual awakening gave him a language to discuss his own experience publicly, apparently without self-censorship. Controversy is the platform he needed to reach out to the population at large, and he’s going viral. Comedían and actor Russell Brand is discussing politics, he is the guest editor of the political magazine New Statesman, where the full text of his editorial can be read,  he was interviewed by the legendary Jeremy Paxman on the BBC about politics, and he has never voted.

There has been a new sensibility growing amongst young people (but not exclusively), a craving for a revolution, an all encompassing nonviolent revolution with a new social order based on equality, community and solidarity, as well as a new spirituality based on experience rather than dogma and tolerance rather than discrimination and religious violence. Springs, Occupy, Indignados, Indignés, Yo soy 132, all taking to the streets to challenge a system that walks towards disaster. The culture of celebrity normally offers the microphone to people whose opinions are considered interesting just because they are famous, and normally they have very little of interest to say.

Could it be that this time a mistake has been made? Here is a celebrity with a lot to say:

“…I have never voted. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by politics. 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. Billy Connolly said: “Don’t vote, it encourages them,” and, “The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever being one.”…

“…Total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic system is what interests me, but that’s not on the ballot. Is utopian revolution possible? The freethinking social architect Buckminster Fuller said humanity now faces a choice: oblivion or utopia. We’re inertly ambling towards oblivion, is utopia really an option?

“…The London riots in 2011, which were condemned as nihilistic and materialistic … After some draconian sentences were issued, measures that the white-collar criminals who capsized our economy with their greed a few years earlier avoided, and not one hoodie was hugged, the compliance resumed. Apathy reigned.

“…For me the solution has to be primarily spiritual and secondarily political… By spiritual I mean the acknowledgement that our connection to one another and the planet must be prioritised. Buckminster Fuller outlines what ought be our collective objectives succinctly: “to make the world work for 100 per cent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous co-operation without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone”. This maxim is the very essence of “easier said than done” as it implies the dismantling of our entire socio-economic machinery. By teatime.

“…After visiting the slums of Kibera, where a city built from mud and run on fear festers on the suburbs of Nairobi, …This was a nation made of waste with no end in sight. Domestic waste, medical waste, industrial waste formed their own perverse geography. Stinking rivers sluiced through banks of putrid trash, mountains, valleys, peaks and troughs all formed from discarded filth. An ecology based on our indifference and ignorance in the “cradle of civilisation” where our species is said to have originated. … Here and there, picking through this unending slander, children foraged for bottle tops, which had some value, where all is worthless.

“…. A few weeks later I was in Paris at a Givenchy fashion show where the most exquisite garments cantered by on underfed, well-bred clothes horses. The spectacle was immaculate, smoke-filled bubbles burst on to the runway. To be here in this gleaming sophistication was heaven. Here starvation is a tool to achieve the perfect perpendicular pelvis.

“…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. A people without a unifying myth. Joseph Campbell, the comparative mythologist, says our global problems are all due to the lack of relevant myths.

“…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.”

Categories: Europe, Humanism and Spirituality, Interviews, Opinions, Politics
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