The imperishable author and raconteur Mark Twain once opined that if you “give a man a reputation of an early riser, he can sleep till noon”.
In a culture which is noted for being meretricious, so called “celebrities” who have the appearance of erudition and speak in grandiloquent soundbites tend to be exulted to a quasi-cultish degree. One notable example of such a trend is Russell Brand.
For one thing, Brand’s characteristically mellifluent rhetoric is underpinned by platitudes; his modus operandi, as stated in an interview with Mehdi Hasan is to instigate a “revolution of consciousness”. What exactly does that mean? It sounds erringly similar to the inchoate ramblings of a LSD induced post-modernist Gallic philosopher.
As a an apparent revolutionary he also to tries to discourage people from voting. Except that by relinquishing your suffrage one is not engaging in a revolutionary act, but is instead engaging in the actions of a reactionary troglodyte; It undermines an essential component of being a democratic citizen and effecting political change.
The most noble and praiseworthy actions of English radicalism was campaigning successfully in compelling Parliament to assign suffrage to all members of society. Arguing against voting constitutes an egregious inversion of such struggles- which made democratic citizenry an inalienable right.
The apotheosis of Brand’s moral retardation however finds form in his contention that David Cameron is a more imminent threat to Britain than the soi-dissant ‘Islamic state’. Not only does this underplay the evident existential threat of IS by framing them as only “abstract” and “conceptual” threats- such a juxtaposition between heinous barbarians and a Tory toff is actually indicative of Brand’s perverse moral calculus.
Mr Cameron, though he has many faults, does not subjugate women to slavery (a significant affront to gender equality), he does not evangelise unrestrained hatred to those who don’t adhere to his religious beliefs ( a significant affront to secularism) and most importantly he does not engage in genocidal practices (which is a significant affront to humanity).
Yet by framing Cameron as more of a threat than IS, Brand is engaging what has characterised the far left since their dalliance with Stalinism: dysphemistic masochism and euphemistic impartiality. “We are responsible for IS and shouldn’t do anything” (paralysing the possibility of any coherent strategy to counter the group and absolving them from any moral responsibility for their abhorrent actions). “The west is a greater threat to the world than IS”, oh really! A coalition of governments which at the very least entertain the realisation of enlightenment values is worse than fascistic, internecine zealots.
My use of collective pronoun above is of course conceptual because Russell Brand is really a narcissist of the worst kind: one who views himself as noble and intelligent and self-effacing. One who is probably all too aware of the sophistry inherent in his polemics but continues to peddle them so as to assuage the spineless status of pretentious, lazy liberals.
One who is devoid of any genuine principle- appearing on Russian state tv propaganda– and one who has the nauseating audacity to inaugurate “the next Orwell” as if he were a notable expert on Orwell- or on anything for that matter.
Oh, and he isn’t fucking funny either.