NOT Another Brick In The Wall
FANGIRL FRIDAYS : RUSSELL BRAND.
I'll admit, lately I haven't been much for fangirling. The world around us has been depressing me to no end, and I've struggled to see the silver lining in everything. So I was kinda lost when it came to who or what I would feature in my Fangirl Friday post.
Until of course, I went back to my youtube history and rewatched a few videos. Russell fucking Brand. The man and his ideas. That's what brought a flicker of hope to my heart when I felt like humanity was beyond redemption for those few dark hours late at night. And that's what I'll share with you today.
|Just look at that delightful laugh...|
Now, as always, I'll try not to talk about stuff you could just read about him on Wikipedia or IMDB (Not that I know all that stuff about him anyway... sorry! I don't keep track of stuff like what anyone's star sign is or where a celeb likes to take walks.) Yes, he's pretty. Yes, he's hilarious. Yes, I loved Get Him To The Greek, and Aldous Snow is my favorite fictional singer of all time. Yes, I absolutely adored him in Rock of Ages and TOTALLY shipped his and Alec Baldwin's characters more than any other couple in the movie. Was I gutted when his show in Abu Dhabi (barely an hour away from me) was canceled because some twats had issued death threats against him? Yes. But he's so much more than just a sexy, funny, hilariously inappropriate man. (And we will just ignore the fact that he's a West Ham supporter!)
|I felt like I had to add this VERY distracting|
gif after talking about finding him sexy.
I believe the best of us, are those who have faced adversities and difficulties, who still struggle every day, and yet.... don't lose hope. Don't give up. And don't let others give up, and encourage them to do better, to BE better, for all of us. Russell Brand does that.
HAVE YOU LOOKED OUT OF YOUR WINDOW LATELY?
We are living in a sequin-encrusted virtual prison where an economic elite can hog along in plump luxury – destroying the planet as they go. We must stop this. Our initial targets are corporate tax evaders, environmental desecraters and perpetrators of the drug war against the sick and poor.The biggest obstacle to Revolution is your belief that it's impossible. So start believing. Together we are the solution. Get your boots on. Pack a sandwich.
I fervently wish people would LISTEN to him on the topic of drugs and addiction. He KNOWS. I have seen firsthand the dismissal of people when it comes to other people's drug "problems". Their incessant blabber of it being because of laziness, bad habits, selfishness, just not caring about the people around you who you hurt. Their refusal to acknowledge it as a legitimate illness, and to treat it like one. I've seen people who should know better, doctors at a hospital I worked at, talk about a patient,who was so desperate to somehow leave the hospital for his next fix of heroine that he physically assaulted his aged father, like he deserved every bad thing coming his way... instead of understanding at that moment, that he deserved compassion, and support, and help.
We've all seen the horrid things people have to say when celebs like Amy Winehouse and Philip Seymour Hoffman lose their daily battle with addiction. The cruel things people have to say, famous people even. Up from their high horses, where they've probably never had to struggle with anything quite as devastating. Which is why I fell a little more in love with Russell Brand, his articles about Amy Winehouse's tragic death (which you can read here) and Philip Seymour Hoffman's (read here) conveyed even to the most petty & judgemental of us that it would be a disservice to dismiss their deaths without so much as attempting to rethink our society's views on drug addiction and the laws that govern it (for the rest of us, if not the rich and famous.)
"We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalization doesn't even make economic sense. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call."
"Addiction is a mental illness around which there is a great deal of confusion, which is hugely exacerbated by the laws that criminalize drug addicts."I would strongly suggest reading his article My Life Without Drugs for more of his insight into what people who battle drug addictions go through on a daily basis.
I also adore his unfailing politeness in the face of even the worst interviewer (or tweeter!). I don't know why, and this infuriates me, but some people tend to not take him seriously. Perhaps it's because they are the kind of fuckwits who judge people for dressing a certain way? Perhaps because he has had problems in the past they feel like he has nothing interesting to say. Or others, I'm sure, think he speaks from a place of privilege now, and therefore nothing he says counts. Whatever the case, and regardless of which kind of terrible behavior he is faced with, the man handles himself like a pro. And I love him for it. He is brilliant. And isn't afraid to tell it how it is.
Jeremy Paxman interviewed Russell Brand about voting, politics & drug addictions. Brilliant video, and it applies to the problems faced everywhere, not just England. Just watch it and see how lovely Brand is in the face of Paxman's condescension. Watch it and tell me you don't want to stand up and shout HEAR HEAR at the end of the video.
"The planet is being destroyed. We are creating an underclass. We are exploiting poor people all over the world. Genuine, legitimate problems of people are not being addressed by our political powers."
A personal favorite was how he treated members of the Westboro Baptist Church on his show. I mean.... can we just nominate him for sainthood already?
You know, people say it all the time, all mouth and no trousers; Love, it's all about love. All about treating people well. Put out a little positivity in the world around you. But I have never seen any person back it up with the right behavior like Brand does. And that's something to admire (and aspire to.)
Something else I feel very strongly about, that Brand also talks about is the drone attacks in the region I'm from. And the very human consequences of those attacks.
Lastly, one of the most important things he often talks about, that I firmly, wholeheartedly believe in. Change. Revolution. Call it what you will. But it is high time the people rally for it. The insane imbalance of power and wealth in our world today, everywhere, needs to change. And he puts it better than I ever could (without swearing like a sailor and basically losing my temper..) Russell Brand on Revolution is a must read.
"The price of privilege is poverty. David Cameron said in his conference speech that profit is “not a dirty word”. Profit is the most profane word we have. In its pursuit we have forgotten that while individual interests are being met, we as a whole are being annihilated. The reality, when not fragmented through the corrupting lens of elitism, is we are all on one planet."Sigh... it makes me so glad to see people like him talk about all of us being on ONE planet. And responsible for each other to a certain degree. I have had it up to here with people who believe "individual responsibility" is all that matters and that everyone should basically make decisions that suit them and what is most convenient to them and their "special snowflake" families while turning a blind eye to the fact that that is NOT how human beings should function. Especially if we want to survive and thrive as a species. Forget just each other, every other living being on the planet is our collective responsibility. And I'm glad Brand talks about that again and again.
Do yourselves a favor, follow him on twitter and facebook. Join the revolution in his website. Read his books if you can (you can purchase them on amazon here & here). Subscribe to his youtube channel and watch the Trews (here's episode 1) where he (in his own words) "analyses the news, truthfully, spontaneously and with great risk to his personal freedom." The videos are bloody brilliant. And well worth the watch.
I might not agree with him on EVERY single thing (which is fine), I might be a slightly more angry and embittered person than would likely be a fan of his. But make no mistake, I deeply admire and respect him, and his attempts to make the world, our world, which we all share, a better place. Please, please keep calling out the hypocrisy of the people in power, their selfishness and exploitation of the poor and the destruction of our planet. Please keep spreading your message of love and compassion and understanding. Keep being your sexy, funny, saucy self. (I am sorry if I have missed out any of his awesomeness!)
|Last piece of advice! (VERY catchy song)|
We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
Like love and law and poverty
These are the things that kill me.
PPS- I also want to take this opportunity to mention another man I know I would have respected and admired and loved to meet, Head Wench Barb's dad, a wonderful man, and an amazing father, today, on his birthday. You are missed & loved.