I said don’t read this! Look, it’s going to be a massive rant, too many big words like “promiscuous”, you’ll think I’m trying to be funny again or mildly amusing, then when I dumb it down you’ll feel patronized. If that doesn’t get you, you’ll think I’m swearing too much. So, all in all best fuck off now really. No? OK then. Shit – you’re not thinking for yourself are you? You mean to tell me your parents brought you up to realize the difference between “NO!*” (*don’t run in front of that car) and “No.*” (*you may not go to that illegal rave and stay out all night doing heaven knows what). Now, read on.
Blimey, that Russell Brand has poked the hornet’s nest hasn’t he? There’s been mixed views on his apparent ‘rant’ on Newsnight and in the New Statesman. He’s quickly had responses from journalists discounting him and Robert Webb countering him, but again mainly undermining him. I’ve seen open letters to him about it blah blah blah. What appears to be the most controversial thing about his views is his comment about “Don’t vote”. It seems to have struck a chord, and for me, his recent behaviour was very interesting. I like Russell Brand. I like Paxman and Webb, too. However I find I can empathize more with Mr. Brand. Stupid hair cut, cocky bastard, hit or miss in terms of making people laugh, controversial, former prolific drug user and heroin addict, promiscuous and highly sexed, a bit bonkers, we could go on. Let’s just say he’s had his demons (btw Mum, if you’re reading this I never took heroin). But what he’s done the last few days really resonated with me. Something I’ve long suspected about the media and many other things, that have been bubbling along for a while – were just brilliantly agitated by his interviews and editorials. He’s done his bit for now, because all the guy is trying to do is make you think. And think about it I have, and the more people responding to him, attacking him, are frankly exposing themselves as condescending, patronizing wankers, scared that people might take him seriously. Journalists are quick to ridicule him for being verbose – but if he dumbs it down or swears – they attack that. The guy can’t win. For me, it was less of a hornet’s nest and more a cup of tea he stirred. I’m not going to deconstruct or critique him or his detractors, however as I understood it: All he said was there is a ‘revolution’ happening, he wanted to draw attention to humanitarian issues such as the planet, he wasn’t convinced by any particular political party (therefore he doesn’t vote and maybe that shouldn’t be a stigma) and above all else – ‘he just wants to have a laugh’. What’s wrong with that? What’s right with it is it got my attention, and I’ve re-engaged my brain with trying to understand how to solve political issues without politicians. What I think scared people is that he isn’t being so moronically obvious as aligning himself to a party. He isn’t really trying to sway anyone, anywhere, I think he’s just telling us how it is. And it makes fucking sense. Oh my god, but he’s a druggy nut nut comedian Elephant riding fruitloop isn’t he? Well, yes but that was him live, running rings around Paxman on Newsnight. How many ‘kids’ busy twattering themselves over Miley Cyrus are going to be watching that? Isn’t that more important? “Read Orwell” says Webb. Sure. As long as you don’t get upset if we use ‘big words’ like allegorical, quasi-political and propaganda. Why stop at Orwell? Didn’t they have Plato and Socrates in the library at Cambridge? Aesop? Just what are they so offended by? maybe it’s the chaos that will ensue. Maybe he’s actually a plant of Mi6, maybe he’s deluded and mentally ill, or maybe we shouldn’t get so hypertensive about someone’s opinion. Why can’t we all just get along? Brand proves that the nail that sticks up gets hammered down. He’s only saying to me what I want to say to the media bashing conspiracy theorists: “WAKE THE FUCK UP AND THINK FOR YOURSELF”. What seems to being aroused, especially in the UK, especially on the streets of London, especially in the social media fraternity is consciousness. And, joking aside, it’s whatever works for you, as long as it helps you, and makes you more intelligent (in whatever way that means to you). My blog is my personal outlet and although I started to write mainly about design, and still do, these bigger issues are what inspires people the most. I wrote a piece on “Happiness” the other week, and I wrote it for myself but for one particular person who was actually clinically depressed. They loved it, but I was surprised and inspired by so many people who contacted me about it, mostly privately, some emotionally and very publicly. It was touching. And the same goes for this piece. If just one person, mate or stranger reads this and is inspired to think for themselves, even if they disagree. Then the revolution is on baby. It’s that simple. No need to burn down the Reichstag, not just yet anyway.
They say one man can make a difference. I think in politics it’s the fastest way to become assassinated. Luckily Brand is suffering only mild character assassination. I still haven’t heard a solid counter argument to him, but then he’s not actually arguing, he’s just pointing out stuff. There seems to be so much information overload in the media, it’s all about control, and how many twitter followers you have, but really one man can’t do it all on his own, but he can be the change that makes the big difference. I’m trying hard not to get all Deepak Chopra or Buddhist about this – as this is really about political issues, and why some people get their knickers in a twist when things are simply “debated”.
So, what all this “DON’T VOTE” malarky got me thinking was quite a lot of things, but mainly the way it works with the media. We used to call it reverse psychology. The Americans (I think) developed Neurolinguistic programming. One could also consider it Socratic thinking, that is to say after Socrates who unlearned the truth by eliminating all other possibilities or something. (I’m paraphrasing, and not using Wikipedia so this is also a mini experiment in thinking for myself and not relying on the media, just my memory.)
By saying “don’t vote” and uttering the words “revolution” makes him dangerous then does it? So the Sun or Daily Mail coercing you to vote that’s better and more honest is it?
Or maybe he’s just encouraging people in or out of politics to discuss stuff. I don’t buy that people are that ignorant they would be swayed either way. What sort of morons are the ‘public’ after all? But this is delicious thread that Brand has pulled. It opens up all sorts of questions. Who is ‘allowed’ to have a view. He’s a comedian, right? but also NOT a politician. So if he aligns himself to a particular party existing or not he forfeits his objectivity doesn’t he? Errr…. So who decides what the right thing to do is then, in an expansive way? Government? (Cue the read Orwell quote again) But what sort of government? We live in a democracy, right? So is the house of commons really proportionate to the total percentage of votes made by the country? Well, no, it’s made up of constituencies, so your local authority who you voted (or not) is what makes up the battle for a majority in a general election. Phew. Anyway let’s not go there, but all that kind of waffle about that is really reserved for TalkRadio in the back of a black cab for me. It’d give an asprin a fakkin headache mate. Where as the not so really verbose but articulate and oh so dandy and eloquent Brrrrand clicks on my frequency. And that’s an important lesson again, getting someone’s attention. Part of that, in the media with “experts” is assuming a role, again. Now, in a business, it is important to have roles and responsibilities, otherwise you get politics and blame. You need accountability, authority, but in most normal businesses you need happy* workers (*valued, motivated, etc etc) to be the most productive. But society is not a business. Anyone that’s worked in management will have come across the politics of the work place, them and us, and misinformation that gets fed to the floor. You can’t ignore it, but it’s not always as simple as doing the right thing. A government ought to therefore be accountable to the shareholders, and investors. You’d THINK that would mean the taxpayers, ie the public. But in reality we know that’s bollocks, and resources are what create revenue, where do those resources come from? That’ll be the middle east etc. War is good for business. Where do you think all the technology comes from you use? Easy one – the military. The thing that makes you play games on your iphone in a gyroscopic manner – it’s called an accelerometer, which is used to help guide cruise missiles. Think about it, it’s only one component in an iPhone, made in China for sod all before being shipped and packaged and sold to you, actually for free* now if you upgrade. So how many do you think these guys made or how old is that technology for it to be so cheap? Get it?. I’m not going to edit this post on purpose, because this is why I don’t normally start thinking about “politics”. But I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, just to think for yourself. All it takes is a cup of tea. Like in Boston, back in 17-something (sorry Mr. Lively never was that inspired in your history lessons). I do remember that the premise for that particular revolution was “NO taxation without representation” Sound like we have that in this country, right here, right now?
Do you feel represented? In government, locally, nationally, Europe, have you ever met your local MP, do you even know their name? Do you follow them on twitter?
So, Webb, I’ve read Orwell, now go get your fucking shine box.
Government. Authority. Power. Control. Force. Agreement. Revolution.
They are only words, not especially big ones, but really important in that
they can be extremely positive or extremely negative.
Good or Bad. Good or Evil. Chelsea V Man U.
One thought good, a million followers – bad.
Wishing for world peace then is impossible. By our very nature, sub atomic particle molecular make up we are essentially made of the same cosmic dust that fights itself in reactionary opposition. But as Adidas says “Impossible is nothing” which comes back to mindset. The mindset of a person, a human, your own consciousness. And the empathy of others that may have a different, even diametrically opposing view to yours.
And maybe, if we slowed down a bit, and stopped and thought, we’d think differently™.
We might listen and learn and do it your way, even have it your way.
I’d like to believe in humanity, I’d love to believe that everyone is
doing the right thing.
This whole Brand debate, debacle, diatribe, discussion, load of old bollocks, whatever it is, is a stark reminder that those in the media and those in ‘authority‘ or even those who assume to be an authority on something are stuttering for a sexy response. It tells you that most people (not getting into demographics today) don’t like it if you ‘over step the mark’. But what does that mean? Surely the outcry about voting ergo affiliating oneself to politics is everybody’s business, right and legal whatnot (yeah my grandparents fought in the war too, I think most people’s did, around the world, at that time, that’s why it’s called a world war). So why can’t a comedian talk about it? Ricky Gervais did a show about Politics. He twatted on about atheism for so long on twitter that, I un-followed him (Orwell? get it get it). I really hope Brand doesn’t hobby horse this, but does something else. The point is when we are not assuming roles of this or that, but just accept we are all people.
Not subjects, not voters, but people, first. Surely that’s the first step.
I was going to launch into the media conspiracy theorist shit about advertisers, but as I reach far too many words for one post, thanks for not reading, and don’t forget to think™.
I’d like to leave you with a song by the not so illustrious Dan le sac & Scroobius Pip, who sum it up much better than me.