It can take a village to raise an idiot, and there appears a space in Britain into which sometimes witty, constantly preening and narcissistic performance artist Russell Brand has plopped himself.
After much shameless celebrity-seeking and many attempts to plop himself over here as well (through manic, self-absorbed word and idea play, the performing part, apparently), Brand has also trafficked in thera-speak, victimology, and making self-piteous demands for inclusion of former drug addicts like himself into society through social programs (though, hats off to anyone who’s kicked such habits).
Michael Moynihan reviewed his book so you don’t have to (no, please don’t get up). ‘Russell Brand’s Revolution For Morons‘
‘These are sentences that stupid people think are smart; a simple concept brutally assaulted by a thesaurus. When he hits upon a phrase he likes, the reader should prepare to be smothered by it. Scattered throughout Revolution, Brand denounces “the occupants of the bejeweled bus,” “the bejeweled fun bus of privilege,” “the eighty-five occupants of the bejeweled bus of privilege,” “the occupants of the bejeweled bus,” the “bejeweled bus with eighty-four other plutocrats,” and a “bejeweled misogynist making money by moving ice.” The writing isn’t just excruciatingly bad, but exhaustingly repetitive.’
On that note: It’s not the vapid, radical chic Leftist ideology that Brand tries to wave around without much reason…however…Lena Dunham seems at a crossroads of feminism, the celebrity cult of Self (complete with knowing meta-winks at fame), the inwardness of the writer and artist confessing away, as well a lot of wannabe radicalism and warmed-over 60’s bohemian counter-culture.
Kevin Williamson wasn’t too impressed with all the posturing, holding Dunham to her own standards: “Pathetic Privilege.”
I can’t speak to her art, but I think I know why she’s been feted in many quarters.
Moving along: Should the culture drift further Left, perhaps one could expect the rather lonely Peter Hitchens-type conservative arguments brought against Brand’s bathos.
Perhaps you don’t entirely agree with Hitchens, but if fewer people believe in the spirit of the laws which criminalize drug-use and possession, and fewer believe in the prosecution of those laws (War On Drugs over here), then a lot of the authority based on the presumption of free will and responsibility aimed for in the law-abiding (applying pressure to never use drugs in the first place, especially the hard ones), is likely significantly eroded.
Russell Brand’s arguments aren’t particularly well-made, but I suspect there’s much more space for them, and for compassion without, perhaps, full consideration of the consequences and a lot of other costs besides.
So, this is just liberalism, right? It’s not race, it’s class. It’s not ideology, it’s only science. Look at all this equality!
See Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic: That Party At Lenny’s… for a rich account of the times
Which Way, Venezuela?-Michael Moynihan At The Daily Beast: ‘No Mas Democracia’Who Needs A Growing Economy, When You’ve Got Solidarity?-Michael Moynihan At The Daily Beast: ‘The Death Of Stalin’s Songbird’
A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea…as a more entrenched radical British Left and Muslim immigration don’t mix too well: From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’…