Russell Brand, revolution and pragmatism

Russell Brand,  revolution and pragmatism

Today Russell Brand has made the news as he openly calls for revolution. Many comrades have been quick to criticise his statements for vagueness, but does it really matter if his statements didn't go far enough?

Russell Brand has long been a somewhat leftist friendly celebrity who is no stranger for causing some mild controversy. From preaching for a more humane, rehabilitative, caring response to drug addiction to performing hilarious critiques of the media with his appearances on MSNBC and the GQ awards, many people have rallied behind him and perhaps been made to stop and think about certain issues they thought they were sure on.

Though it seems for many anarchists and those on the far left in general, his efforts are hypocritical, in effective and not extreme enough to be worth getting behind. It is my opinion that in light of the state of the movement, if one can be said to exist in a meaningful way at all, these points are at least moot, and mostly counterproductive.

The fact of the matter is that Russell Brand is a celebrity with a huge public following, regular appearances in the media that reaches and influences the public in its millions. He thus has an enormous opportunity to effortlessly sway opinion in a way that we will perhaps never have. And it costs us nothing. He is not in a tiny under resourced political organization that's size dictates its biggest victory to be confined to the realm of distributing agitational propaganda; propaganda which is seen by the already converted, bar a few small gains against individuals bosses in mostly non unionised workplaces.

It hence makes absolutely no sense to only be seen as negative and cynical towards an open call for revolution and a condemnation of government, representative democracy and environmental damage. Yes, in the interview with Paxman he is tactically un clear about what his notion of revolution entails specifically and materially. This is probably because he honestly doesn’t know, but that is fine. Also, as he says the onus is not on him to do so as an individual. Of course Brand is not an anarchist. Of course he is not espousing these ideas from the position of being a proletarian. He is not being radicalised by a life of precarity and fear living on zero hour contracts, or being constantly threatened by benefit sanctions in lieu of finding non-existent jobs or creating them himself. But not only is he plainly aware of this, that isn't really the most important thing at hand.

The reality of our situation as radicals at the moment is that we are isolated and often alienated from the working class, a class we are a part of and a class that we ultimately aim to liberate as members of it ourselves. Our victories are small, our presence is largely misunderstood, limited or even non-existent. This is a truth we must confront if we want the next spontaneous expression of rage towards the status quo to be class conscious, organised, targeted and ultimately politically consequential. If not, it will manifest as it did in the riots of 2011 in the mass theft of consumer goods and wrecking our own communities resulting in imprisonment, repression and being labelled as apolitical thugs; equally condemned by the state and fellow working class people blindly succumbing to calls for draconian and reactionary measures, frenzied by a moral panic engineered by our oppressors.

To put it simply, we need to take what we can get when we are not winning the fight against capitalism in anyway at the moment. I am not calling to strive to become celebrities and to sway public opinion by means of trying to gain access to a platform that will always be against us, no matter how much it tries to simulate a debate and the illusion of alternative available via the ballot box. I don’t want anarchists to try and spread our message by getting spots on political TV shows like Question Time or Newsnight or by writing for publications like The New Statesmen.

We cannot compete with the media and we can’t hope to operate for our own interests using its apparatus which is designed by, and is a tool of those we wish to overthrow. We will never make anarchism a popular ideology by going on the news and whining about the great injustice of words like ‘anarchy’ and ‘communism’ being falsely re associated with notions of chaos and horrific totalitarianism. We can’t hope to become famous and influence public opinion in the way Brand can, or at least aspires to.

But we can influence public opinion by communicating with people on a level, fight by fight, struggle by struggle, conversation by conversation, not closed meeting by closed meeting, not TUC march by TUC march or bookfair by bookfair. And specifically with regards to Russell Brand and others like him, we can do this alongside by using this topical event as an opportunity to talk about our views, an action which does not imply we 100% endorse everything he has ever done or will do.

Posted By

Croy
Oct 24 2013 14:16

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batswill
Oct 27 2013 01:37
Rob Ray wrote:
Brand's quite capable of being a sexist prick as well as a comic, and has been exactly that on numerous occasions. There's absolutely zero point denying it, and coming up with guff like "oh it was all part of the act" makes you sound like an utter fool. Let alone this hackneyed shit about "oh you must have no sense of humour," which became a cliche around the same time as A-Line flares.

I dunno Rob, its more in the delivery and not the actual terminology used. Some dialogue can appear sexist or defamatory because the context in which it is employed is lost and also the nuanced tone in which it is spoken not heard. To a blind person he is sexist, but we can not all be deadpan rationalists.

batswill
Oct 27 2013 03:45
the croydonian anarchist wrote:
For the record I think Stewart Lee is an insufferable, arrogant pretentious dick.

I found George Carlin brilliant, he even eclipses RB. That a satirist and revolutionary stand-up comedian could not find fame and fortune infuriates me, he had the nous to counter-exploit an industry bent on conventionality, and 'celebrity' would have become another cultural icon he could have torn apart in his repertoire of subjects to be critiqued.

Chilli Sauce
Oct 27 2013 07:47
Bunion_on_my_foot wrote:
Stewart Lee, Mark Steel, Geogre Carlin (deceased), Dick Gregory

Stephen Colbert - need to find a website that will show it in the UK...

Worth noting that both Colbert and Jon Stewart scabbed during the writer's strike. I know, disappointing as fuck.

Batswill, that post was way out of line and I think you're coming pretty damn close to violating posting guidelines.

Also, Jesus man, I get that you're responding to a lot at once, but really, the 8 posts in a row?

commieprincess
Oct 27 2013 08:57

batswill, it's interesting that your response to me has been so venomous, nasty and personal.

You're not an anarchist. You might go round calling yourself one, and some people might even believe you, but the fact that you obviously have some deep-seated hatred towards 50% of working class people and passionate anti-feminist rage means it's impossible for you to actually be an anarchist.

Also, I hate to break it to you, but it's obviously your problem if you think good comedy has to include jokes at the expense of women. Guess what? Some comedians are not sexist wank jars like yourself. It is possible to make a joke that isn't sexist. So if a comedian lazily chooses to make jokes about women, why in the name of cock wouldn't anyone with a vague flicker of sense see them for what they are: sexist and lazy.

Also, more importantly, admin: some - very understandable - flaming removed.

Malva
Oct 27 2013 09:09

On this issue of the revolutionary movement being weak. I think that this is only true in a quantitative sense.

It is true that in your everyday life you do not meet lots of people with a critique of capitalism or who are willing to actively engage in such a critique in theory or in practice (let alone both).

However, qualitatively, we have never been in a better position. All the old ideologies of revolution have been exposed as utterly vacuous and, at the same time, our theory of capitalism and what abolishing it actual means and takes (the abolition of all fetishistic social forms value, the state, exchange, work etc.) has never been more lucid. As an historical movement we have been through so much and learned so many lessons. So much is in place for an immediate and massive change in consciousness. If large numbers of people decide to adopt radical theory, discovered spontaneously or what speaks to them in books and conversation, it will not be because we've been super-friendly and oblique with them like some Christian evangelicals looking for huge numbers of converts to their faith, or because the representatives of the mass media give voice to popular resentment. It will be because revolutionary theory (again, spontaneous or otherwise) speaks on a rich, qualitative level to people’s subjective, practical need to realise their desires in a given historical moment.

The fact that taking note of the poverty of Brand’s ideas is implicitly described as a purely academic pursuit by a commentator above and that his accent was used as a measure of the video’s importance is a disturbing sign of how little theory is considered and how a lot of superficial cultural baggage is taken more seriously (including celebrity interviews). And before anyone jumps down my throat for being overly “intellectual”, such anti-intellectualism is just a form of intellectualism in bad faith. We all have ideas about what and how and the reasons why things should be done. This is theory. Everyone is a theorist. It is patronising in the extreme to suggest that you cannot discuss or critique someone’s ideas directly with them because they are not "born a communist” or have not got a fully worked out critique of capitalist society yet. How are they ever to become one or to develop one if they are not challenged on their beliefs? I am grateful to all of the authors and people I have met who have challenged mine. It has helped me be clearer in my own mind and changed my ideas massively throughout my life.

So if I critique Brand it is because I think people will be excited by what he said because he clearly speaks to people’s real anger but I want to temper that excitement with caution. I don’t critique him because he does not hold a “fully worked” out revolutionary perspective but because he is a theorist, as we all are, and, more importantly, he also spoke publicly as one. So I think it is fair game that I critique him because he voices resentment and then aims it at scapegoats: the 1 percent, public school boys, corporations. If people on this forum are genuinely excited about the expression of this kind of superficial theory that history has shown time and again to be so dangerous and counter-revolutionary then I find this state of affairs deeply troubling. If the “revolutionary” has any kind of a meaningful role then it is precisely preparing the tools necessary for the abolition of the economy (including the rejection of this kind of scapegoating) when the proletariat looks for them as part of its own spontaneous activity. Otherwise, this kind of ideology will intervene instead and history will repeat itself all over again.

It is quite possible that this video is a "sign" of deeper radical currents in contemporary society. That is precisely why Brand’s theory, which did not seem “wooly" at all to me but very clear, is so toxic. The only way I would be dismissing him is if I failed to engage with his ideas at all, which seems to be what most people who found my original post "unbearably pompous" have encouraged me to do. This is based on the erroneous assumption that debates about theory are only for the initiated and specialists of revolution.

Ed
Oct 27 2013 09:07

Batswill, I've just unpublished some of your more sexist posts. Consider this a warning, any more sexist posts on this thread or anywhere else on the site will lead to a ban.

Bunion_on_my_foot
Oct 27 2013 10:43
Quote:
For the record I think Stewart Lee is an insufferable, arrogant pretentious dick.

That's probably true (and it was a stupid thing for me to write in the first place), but - c'mon - you are singing Russell Brand's praises who said this;

“First, though, I should qualify my right to even pontificate on such a topic and in so doing untangle another of revolution’s inherent problems. Hypocrisy. How dare I, from my velvet chaise longue, in my Hollywood home like Kubla Khan, drag my limbs from my harem to moan about the system? A system that has posited me on a lilo made of thighs in an ocean filled with honey and foie gras’d my Essex arse with undue praise and money.”

That is the language of a sufferable, humble, honest comrade right enough. Not pretentious at all. He said a lot using accessible language, a real breathe of fresh air from all the pomposity on telly.

Kureigo-San
Oct 27 2013 10:50

Seems like everyone's drunk on analysis.

Brand's ramblings make it easier for me to start talking about my politics with people who might otherwise have never encountered them. It doesn't matter how off the mark he is, in the context of me just using him to springboard into conversations about anarcho-syndicalism.

Noah Fence
Oct 27 2013 11:08

Fucking hell, this is like pulling teeth. Come on Bunion, just come out and say it - Brand gets right up your nose so you can't bear it that any good could come from a single word that he utters.

Kureigo San - what you said with brass knobs on!

Croy
Oct 27 2013 12:08
Kureigo-San wrote:
Seems like everyone's drunk on analysis.

Brand's ramblings make it easier for me to start talking about my politics with people who might otherwise have never encountered them. It doesn't matter how off the mark he is, in the context of me just using him to springboard into conversations about anarcho-syndicalism.

This. Jesus christ this. Why are people finding it so hard to comprehend all I wanted to say was this.

Noah Fence
Oct 27 2013 12:40
Quote:
This. Jesus christ this. Why are people finding it so hard to comprehend all I wanted to say was this.

I know! I mean, I consider myself right at the bottom of the Libcom league of political understanding but this point was so obvious to me from the first minute!
My mind boggles at some of the mental gymnastics that seem to have been performed on this thread in order to steer around it.

Bunion_on_my_foot
Oct 27 2013 13:56
Webby wrote:
Fucking hell, this is like pulling teeth. Come on Bunion, just come out and say it - Brand gets right up your nose so you can't bear it that any good could come from a single word that he utters.

Kureigo San - what you said with brass knobs on!

However well meaning, I just do not see how someone like Russell Brand will do any good particularly if he becomes some sort of spokesperson for all those 'quirky' radicals out there.

commieprincess
Oct 27 2013 14:35

Great so this has all been helpful and wonderful for anarchist men? Ladies, don't get your knickers in a twist because a sexist man's lefty ideas have given some men the opportunity to talk to some other men about The Anarchy.

Just to reiterate, I don't expect RB to be this faultless bastion of morality and righteousness. I expect him to have inconsistancies and flaws - and he's completely honest that he's hasn't got all the answers and isn't perfect. He says some fun things, and some things which make sense. And is hilarious.

It's just that in the midst of all this, he's saying things which are alienating and disparaging towards 50% of working class people. I'm just not sure how people can be quite so excited about him when this is the case. He's being a wanker about your comrades. That seems like a big deal.

I think it's great that he gave Paxman a rattling. But I'm just not sure I buy the argument that this is useful for anarchists or working class people. I'm not saying we shouldn't engage with it at all, I'm just saying that his rampent sexism (which the more I find out about him, the more unpleasant it gets) is quite an important, central part of what he's saying - for me anyway - and it shouldn't be overlooked when responding to 'lefty' things he says.

Noah Fence
Oct 27 2013 16:04

Commie Princess - I really hope I'm not going to come across as a schmuck here and I'm saying this with full awareness that I have no idea what it's like to be on the receiving end of sexism on a daily basis.
I don't know much about Brand. I watched a TV show about drug treatment etc and was mildly impressed by his attitude but not by many of his solutions and I am led to believe that he can be a pretty intolerably sexist sleaze by people who's opinion on such matters I trust. If I could have chosen a celeb to make a reasonable job of exposing the failure of parliamentary democracy on national TV he would have been way down the list, I mean, imagine if David Attenborough or Judy Dench had done it, then there really would have been a debate! The fact of the matter is that HE came out with this stuff and I would far rather he said than it not have been said at all. I admit that I am taking this in isolation but I feel in these circumstances that is ok. He has put an idea in a public arena and I'm glad of it. Similarly, many of the men that I work with are so horrendously sexist, vocally as well as inwardly that it makes my toes curl, but if one of them did a Brand and got the idea being talked about around the building site I would grab the opportunity with both hands and try to keep the idea personality free.
This has been a gift to me - I don't move in political circles and I'm not always too hot at explaining and idea from scratch but with this a springboard I have had a number of fruitful conversations including one with a women I know that has been a staunch advocate of parliamentary democracy and is now seriously reconsidering her views. This is probably due mostly to general disenchantment but I think me sending her link to the interview and our subsequent chat has had at least some impact.
So, do I sound like a schmuck? Am I still missing the point? I know it wouldn't be the first time.

Noah Fence
Oct 27 2013 18:10

Could it be that RB is already a Libcom poster? Reckon so. I don't think that last post will be around for long Russ. Well done all the same - you must be very proud.

Edit - admin beat me to it. I'll just say the removed post scraped the very last dregs out of the shock jock wankstick barrel. What a fucking jerk.

Soapy
Oct 27 2013 20:09
Webby wrote:
Edit - admin beat me to it. I'll just say the removed post scraped the very last dregs out of the shock jock wankstick barrel. What a fucking jerk.

Guy comes off as a complete ass in his interviews, you can just tell how phony he is. "People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints - such people have a corpse in their mouth."

Noah Fence
Oct 27 2013 20:28

Soapy - I don't agree that RB is a phony but I don't really give much of a shit. I am however, rather curious as to the connection between the quote from my post about Batswill and your assertion that RB is an ass and a phoney???

Soapy
Oct 27 2013 20:33
Webby wrote:
Soapy - I don't agree that RB is a phony but I don't really give much of a shit. I am however, rather curious as to the connection between the quote from my post about Batswill and your assertion that RB is an ass and a phoney???

I am the night

Bunion_on_my_foot
Oct 27 2013 20:51
Quote:
Edit - admin beat me to it. I'll just say the removed post scraped the very last dregs out of the shock jock wankstick barrel. What a fucking jerk.

You have to be more specific... I missed it!

Serge Forward
Oct 27 2013 21:18
Quote:
The fact that taking note of the poverty of Brand’s ideas is implicitly described as a purely academic pursuit by a commentator above

That'll be me. Hmm... the fact that you use the words "the poverty of Brand's ideas" actually shows your own pompousness and the poverty of your grasp of reality roll eyes

For the record, I'm not anti-intellectual or anti-theory, and as I've said on more than one occasion, from the little I've seen, that Russell Brand strikes me as a right annoying div. However, I can't be doing with smacked arse whinging about his politics not being 100% anarcho/libertarian/left/council communist and fuck "the poverty of his ideas and piss poor theory." Who really gives a toss about him? Yes, his ideas are feeble but they're really not worth the criticism. Yet if his half-arsed ideas manage to get basic revolutionary politics and the notion of anti-parliamentarism out of the anarchist ghetto and into wider public discourse, then we'd do well to make hay out of this instead of bellyaching about what bits we disagree with or how much we don't like him.

commieprincess
Oct 28 2013 08:25

Webby, I don't think you missed the point or were being schmucky at all - great post.

I definitely see where you're coming from. Like I say, I think Brand said lots of good things, and if that's given you an opportunity to open up conversations with people you know, that's great.

But in terms of what he said resonating with people, I'm saying that's problematic. His sexism certainly gets in the way for me. I think when we're discussing his supposed egalitarian ideas, its essential to discuss his sexism. Ignoring this hypocracy, or downplaying it's importance seems utterly bizaare to me. It's a huge elephant in the room, and I don't think RB should get away without criticism because he's lefty and funny. Saying it engages working class people without mentioning that he has absolutely no respect for half of them carries the implication that women aren't really proper, effective or important members of our class.

Anyways, my main point was just that we shouldn't overlook the sexism when discussing his lefty ideas. But I think I've made my point...

Alf
Oct 28 2013 08:39

None of you have any right to say anything about politics because you don't vote....

I finally got round to watching the video and I thought Brand did OK answering that question, which was after all the central point of Paxman's attack and is still a major plank of bourgeois ideology. Also agree with Mikhail some time back when he said that the emotional honesty was probably the main strength. I wasn't looking for a clear exposition of the communist programme, but some knowledge of what previous revolutions have created in opposition to parliamentarism would not have been beyond him.

Malva
Oct 28 2013 08:52

@Serge Forward

I feel like you did not even bother to read my post. I said that his ideas were not wooly but clear and not in anyway shape or form revolutionary. My entire point is that Brand does not get our ideas outside of any ghetto because he does not express our ideas. If I am wrong about this then perhaps I have the wrong idea about libcom.org. I literally saw very little in terms of revolution in this video that could not have equally come out of the mouth of a member of the far-right in the 1930s or a Bolshevik. How easy it was for so-called communists to cross the aisle to fascism when they shared so many of the same ideas! How easy also for so many "revolutionaries" to rally to the cause of Bolshevism in Russia. And yet, I am the one you present as dismissing Brand by engaging with his theories, not you, who seem to ignore them because ... what? He got up the nose of a bourgeois in the mass media? Because he has a working-class accent? Because he is a celebrity?

So it is pompous of me to try to use a language that is a bit strange to you and that was being used to make a point about quality? I'm sorry but you in turn sound like some boring, pusillanimous communist bureaucrat. I look forward to reading the official anarchist regulations on approved stylistics that you are no doubt drawing up right this moment to ensure we all articulate our ideas in a way that is acceptable to the man in the street.

You might say that you are not anti-intellectual, in the negative sense (there is a good way to be anti-intellectual), or anti-theory, but your actions say otherwise.

commieprincess
Oct 28 2013 09:04

Oh yeah, forgot to reply to this -

futility index wrote:
Since you can't be arsed - the article only refers to women in the first sentence that you took issue with and indirectly in a crap metaphor halfway through.

If you look at my later post, I found the bloody "evidence" of sexism you needed (because of course you should never believe a woman when she says something is sexist. Best way to deal with that is say she's either lying, has misunderstood, or is overreacting and demand evidence.) I couldn't be arsed to re-read a 4500 word article at that particular moment. But I'm not sure why some supposed comrades think I should be shot down and treated like shit until I can prove the sexism I'm saying exists.

For that you massively owe me an apology - I know I'll never get it because you'll justify your behaviour to yourself. You'll never feel guilty about being the kind of ballsack who, rather than believing a comrade against some distant, sort of leftyish celebrity, or perhaps finding the evidence yourself, stubbornly disbelieves them as hard as you can.

futility index wrote:
I think its fair to say most men and women have related more positively than average to a person they've found attractive. I don't see how a comic making that explicit is sexist.

I get you don't see it. That is crystal clear. Have you heard of this thing called patriarchy? Maybe you've picked up that women's attractiveness is discussed really quite a lot. And perhaps you've picked up (but this is the really advanced stuff) that men's really isn't as much? I know, it's a lot to take in. Perhaps now you can begin to see how making a joke about how a woman's persuasive power not coming from her brain, personality, intelligence etc, but from her looks is kind of shitty and insulting.

Guess what? This judgement of worth based on looks happens to women 100 times a day. And guess what else? It doesn't happen to men 100 times a day. Yeah I know! Shocking! This bit's gonna blow your mind - capitalist institutions reinforce this difference because it's very economically useful. So our entire economy, culture, society, political structure is constantly reinforcing this stuff. I think some people have, like, written some books about it or something.

Surprisingly, this can become quite irksome for women and certain pesky, shouty feminists sometimes even complain about it.

Malva
Oct 28 2013 09:13

I should add that Brand's misogyny is also implicitly part of his theory too. Again, something he would have shared with a number of so-called revolutionaries in the past. It is funny how describing yourself as a revolutionary can get you off anyone actually having to look at what you say!

Serge Forward
Oct 28 2013 09:31

Malva, I apologise if I misunderstood any of your earlier post but it's as if you don't read what I say either. I never mentioned RB's accent once and I am 100% opposed to representations of class as another form of identity politics, which is what you seem to be suggesting with your cack-handed straw manning. Surely you can see the 'sublime to the ridiculous' bathos of a statement such as "the poverty of... Russell Brand's ideas," as if we were dealing with a real political heavyweight here. And I'm not arsed about that Paxman either. Hey, I don't even disagree with all of the points you make, although frankly, saying RB's views are a whisker away from the far right demonstrates a debatable grip on reality. You say my actions demonstrate that I am anti-theory. You are very much mistaken (though I wish I was better at it). I'm only anti rubbish theory that does not relate to social and economic reality but seems to be based on a dislike of someone (in this case, Russell Brand) as a person or as a duff celebrity.

Edit in response to your second post
I don't know if he is a misogynist in the sense that he hates women. But then I've never really watched him for more than 5 seconds before changing the channel. I'd hazard a guess he's probably sexist, his routine seems to be tinged with casual sexism and he seems to base his 'humour' on a moronic lowest common denominator bullshit. Anyway, you seem to be implying that I support his sexism and am therefore, by further implication, sexist (or even a misogynist?). When did I support his sexism Malva? Or is this another one of your whisker away from fascism analyses?

Malva
Oct 28 2013 09:58

To be fair to you Serge, although the general thrust of the first post was directed at you, many of my comments, such as the one about misogyny and accent, were more general statements about what has been said before.

Also, I said that Brand's comments could be associated with both far-right and far-left discourse because, disturbingly, they have very much in common. This is really the point that I have been trying to make throughout. I appreciate that maybe these arguments are not familiar and perhaps I could have been clearer on that point. If we are going to "strong" as a movement it means not having any time for these ideas - misogyny, scapegoating, only critiquing the sphere of circulation and exchange, voting when people you like are standing for election in a parliamentary democracy etc. - whoever is saying them.

Finally, I do not think that it is only "heavyweights" who should be engaged with. This, again, is an expression of the idea that theoretical discussion is for specialists only and that thinking is something only academics do.

Serge Forward
Oct 28 2013 10:28

I understand how certain aspects of Bolshevism can (and did) have strong echoes in fascism and national socialism, just as I am aware of the role social democracy played in ushering in the Hitler regime. What I am not sure about is how this all relates to Russell Brand's comments. I honestly don't see the similarity. And if we are going to ruthlessly critique Brandist Theory - sorry, couldn't resist it grin - for all its woolliness, then we'd also have to ruthlessly critique the shit out of everyone who was in the process of arriving at revolutionary and anti-parliamentarist ideas the moment they first introduced themselves on Libcom's 'say hello' page. I don't have a problem with criticising aspects of what RB said but I do have a problem with some of the knee-jerk vitriol against his views because of who he is. This basing our theory on personality is just sloppy.

Malva, I accept you may have been referring to others about sexism and misogyny and, indeed, there was one poster in the discussion who definitely did cross the line. However, in your earlier post, you implied that I supported sexism or was possibly a misogynist. You can see why I wouldn't be happy about that and a retraction would be nice.

Steven.
Oct 28 2013 10:32

Right, a few things:

Firstly, batswill posted a massively misogynist comment above (to which webby was responding) which we removed and he has now been banned permanently.

Secondly, on this point (and everything else she said for that matter) Commie Princess is entirely correct:

commieprincess wrote:
Oh yeah, forgot to reply to this -

futility index wrote:
Since you can't be arsed - the article only refers to women in the first sentence that you took issue with and indirectly in a crap metaphor halfway through.

If you look at my later post, I found the bloody "evidence" of sexism you needed

Every mention of women in that article treats them as objects for his enjoyment. Which is fucked up, especially in article supposedly preaching egalitarianism and revolution.

In general, I would agree with Mikhail's point above, that the strength of the interview is in its genuine passion and emotion.

Unlike some people I do think it's genuine. Bit of a disclaimer here, I love Russell Brand. I think he is extremely funny and intelligent. Knowing him vaguely from Big Brother's big mouth etc I always just thought he was really obnoxious and annoying. However, I then watched the documentary Russell Brand - Naziboy, and thought he came across as a really genuine, passionate and decent bloke and anti-racist.

So then I bothered to watch some of his stand-up and it's actually very good, the over the top thing is basically just a showbiz persona.

Now, none of this is to say that he isn't a sexist. Which he clearly is (although not to downplay its importance I think he's probably about as sexist as your average young UK male, or probably a bit less so, at least ideologically. I'm not saying this to try to play down his sexism, just pointing out how widespread it is).

However, I was still pleased by the interview (a lot of my apolitical friends, male and female, were sharing it on Facebook, talking about etc). I think for me he is an entertainer, not a political activist or theorist. So if Noam Chomsky wrote an article talking about women like that it would be completely outrageous.

Russell Brand doing it would be more equivalent to someone like Jay-Z going on the news and saying the same thing. I would be glad that he said that, but still it would be worth criticising his sexist views, and pointing out that they conflict with the supposed egalitarianism.

Malva
Oct 28 2013 11:04
Quote:
you implied that I supported sexism or was possibly a misogynist. You can see why I wouldn't be happy about that and a retraction would be nice.

If I implied it, this was by accident only. I certainly don't think anything you said was misogynist. So I am sorry if I gave that impression.