I don’t hate Russell Brand as a person. I just hate the monotonous crap that he comes out with. From what I’ve seen, Russell Brand has become a spokesperson for an Internet culture that rallies around populist pseudo-intellectual babble. A culture that encourages the use of flowery language over cold hard facts and statistics.
Unfortunately, there are many people out there who are taken in by Russell Brand’s passionate speeches about evil corporations and the benefits of wealth redistribution. These people seem to love his anti-establishment stance and his repeated calls for revolution, despite the fact that he never seems to be able to offer up any specific details about how this “revolution” of his will be implemented.
It is no surprise that his book Revolution was badly received by critics, considering the fact that his blueprint for change is nothing more than a tedious rant about the evils of capitalism. Nick Cohen from The Observer described it as “atrocious: long-winded, confused and smug; filled with references to books Brand has half read and thinkers he has half understood.” Robert Colvile from The Telegraph called it a “rambling, egocentric mess.” Nick Cohen wrote in The Guardian that “the comedian’s desire to lead a global revolution is undermined by his smug, shallow manifesto.”
Not only was his book full of vague and populist rants about the powers that be, it also contained a number of glaring errors (as well as the insinuation that 9/11 was an inside job). For example, in one part of his book, he talks about how George Orwell (who he greatly admires) was a fan of collectivization, despite the fact that Orwell wrote the following back in 1944:
It cannot be said too often – at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough—that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamed of.
Nice one, Russell. I also love how he paints Cuba as some sort of utopia, despite the fact that the country still has George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm on its list of banned books. A great example for us in the west, no doubt.
When the Irish Water controversy was brewing in Ireland, Brand decided to provide a commentary on the situation. That would have been fine had he actually put some research into what he was talking about. In his video, which he uploaded to Youtube, he claims that people in Ireland were arrested for protesting. This is simply not the case, as they were actually arrested because of allegations that they had falsely imprisoned Ireland’s Tanaiste, Joan Burton. There have been plenty of peaceful protests against the upcoming water charges in Ireland, and all of them have been accommodated by our police force. In the same video, he also makes the claim that 40% of all of Ireland’s income tax revenues are being spent on sovereign debt. Again, this is false, as the percentage is actually closer to 12%.
But who cares about facts, right?
Whenever I hear Brand going off on one of his long-winded diatribes, I can’t help but cringe at the fact that he thinks he is bringing something notable to the table. The arguments in his political manifesto remind me of the shallow meandering nonsense that I used to talk about when I was a teenager; back before I realised that true change requires a lot more than just a few emotive rants.
But hey; people are suckers for that kind of crap.