Friday, October 25, 2013

The wrong Brand?

This one is for you serious green intellectuals out there, but with far more than just a pinch of irreverent, vitriolic, and incredibly funny bile.

Consumer Health Warning: Read at your own risk, and don't tweet it or repost it on your FaceBook page, especially if your staid, religious grannie is also your FaceBook "Friend!"

British-American comedian and TV personality Russell Brand has taken an almost revolutionary swipe at the neo-liberal-capitalist-political-industrial complex, in an amazing essay for the New Statesman. Brand is famed for his off-color sense of humor, so this is difficult reading for the neo-Puritans (and neo-Jesuits!) among you.

But he manages a fascinating and almost Orwellian commentary on the sad state of our world, and his underlying humanitarianism shines through.

Like I said, it's a hard read, and I don't agree with all of it or even very much of it, particularly where it goes -- the end game, were we to follow his prescription would likely be another century of socio-political strife like the one that just ended. And even if Brand manages to stoke the revolution, I doubt very much that he'd be in the vanguard. He'll retreat to his gated community with the rest of the uber-rich.

But it is a fascinating piece of writing. If nothing else, it captures the Zeitgeist of our age.

PS: The reaction is almost as fascinating. And just in case you thought I was out-of-line encouraging M. Brand, people I think of as serious people, like Nafeez Ahmed, are taking him seriously.

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