Russell Brand is my hero
I already loved the guy for his comedy. Now, well now I'm not sure what the right word is. I...adore him? Maybe. I maybe adore him.
Do yourself a favour and watch the whole thing.
Originally Posted by Tiny Vessels
I've watched videos of Russell Brand debating like this before. He's pretty engaging and well-spoken. I just wish Katy Perry would quit writing stupid songs about him.
I wonder what's so special about the video. It jumped on me from 3 sources, Enter Shikari, 1 friend and now you.
I don't like that he doesn't vote. Paxman rules.
He makes a great argument for not voting though. It's not merely laziness or even apathy. He disapproves of the entire system and believes that voting makes him complicit. I agree and also have never voted.
I used to think everyone should vote because potentially making a tiny difference is better than making none at all. But I eventually reached the same conclusion as Russell. I could perhaps even make the argument with almost as much eloquence as Russell displayed, as long as I had an hour to prepare and could submit it in writing. Maybe.
Originally Posted by Tiny Vessels
Not voting is statistically impossible to differentiate from apathy. What would happen if the entire nation didn't vote? Now, I'm not saying everyone needs to VOTE, but to go to the polls, fill out a form, and not choose an option, or cross them all out, or write in a "none of the above" somewhere on the form... that shows that you are abstaining and have a problem, whereas not going looks statistically like apathy, even if it comes from a different place. I don't agree with Brand on that one.
Originally Posted by jsmak84
It statistically looks like apathy because it is a method of counting formulated to gauge engagement with the system's dominant political processes. Of course it's going to look like apathy. I'd argue that it doesn't matter if it does or not, because apathy is exactly the same problem approached through a different mental mechanism.
In the one you're failing to engage with political process. In the second you are explicitly choosing non-engagement while attempting to start discussions about different methods of embracing political or parapolitical communication. Within the confines of a static system they're going to look the exact same, but one is looking to engage on a broader level, one that quite often isn't even represented at a local, let alone a national level - the barriers to entry into the political process are quite steep. And I don't mean the literal barriers, I mean the coverage barriers - the manner in which dominant ideologies are recirculated in everyday life. You could see it during the Occupy movement especially, when the protesters were villified for being non-voters when part of the Occupy substrata were members of older generations who had voted in several local and federal elections and who were sick of blanket non-representation.
Look at the American political system - I think it's pretty easy to explicitly state that President Obama has completely failed to live up to any sort of ideological billing he previously embraced. It's the same in France - people voted for an alternative to Sarkozy and after speeding down the highway like a lunatic Francois Hollande came to a carefully controlled stop firmly under Angela Merkel's wing. Perhaps he took a wrong turn somewhere, because it certainly wasn't where he was headed when the French voted him in.
The majority of political systems in the West or elsewhere don't seem to reflect any but the smallest trends of voting blocks. Considering you might get to vote ten to fifteen times (assuming a four-year cycle and not longer), watching things get worse and worse over three or four of those is a perfectly legitimate reason for disgust and a desire for non-engagement. Shit, look at Iceland. Two or three years ago progressives were applauding them for throwing out the political party that allowed their market collapse and jailing some of the more prominent bankers involved. Finally, some real change! Fast-forward to today and who is back in power in Iceland? I'll let you guess.
The real problem, of course, is that no one has a full solution - and this admission is frequently denigrated by the opponents of any political activists or progressives who dare to bring it up. It happens in that very video. Talking about revolution is dangerous, of course, because we saw exactly what happened the last time that utopian movements came to fruition - the best example is probably what happen to the USSR after Lenin's death. There are classes today, all over the world, on the failures of utopian movements - contemporary progressives are usually very silent when the idea comes around. But the current global structure isn't working either, just knocking a couple of zeroes off the countdown to when Earth will be reduced to a lifeless rock (or, if the global ecosystem is lucky, a human-free rock).
So people are organizing and yelling and raising hell and saying "look at these fucking problems you bunch of elected twats" and when what they get back are disparaging remarks and "well what do you propose we do about it" it becomes very difficult to have faith in the current power structures because the only answer to give is "the fuck do you mean I propose I elected you specifically to dedicate your days and nights and part of your life to these issues while I pay my taxes and expect them to help me out somewhere down the line instead of paying to ship my job packing ammo from Norway to South Africa". And what's the answer to that complaint? "Sorry, that's not my job, I'm really just going to make sure that the market goes smoothly and get held up about whether gay people can marry or not."
As usual I think that there are a few points in there somewhere that might be worthwhile, but I may have casually overshot my initial point as I thought of others.
I'm not sure if he cares what it looks like. Caring about the appearance of things is still sort of engaging with the current system. If everyone stopped voting there wouldn't BE a current system so appearances wouldn't even matter. He's not merely advocating sending a message to the establishment after all, but actually changing it.
Originally Posted by Llamas
It was a great post.
Originally Posted by T-6005
I'd consider voting for you.
Originally Posted by Tiny Vessels
I think it's retarded and weird. Imagine that he will pinpoint another bunch of obvious global problems in 2050, while still not having voted.
Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black
I don't think that everyone should vote, but someone like him should set an example for people by voting.
I love Russel Brand. He's inhumanly witty, so I'm convinced he's invented a time stopping device that gives him extra time to think of clever jokes on the spot. If he really wanted to improve humanity, he should release this amazing technology to the rest of us.
I see nothing wrong with not voting, but at the same time, I'm going to go with Churchill's view about democracy being the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried. . I'm not as pessimistic of some of you and I think we're better off than what we were 20 years ago, and better off than the 20 years before that. There's been plenty of improvement over the years, albeit in a gradual and non-linear fashion.
Problem is that one man's utopia is another man's nightmare, so I automatically discount Brand's Utopian socialist egalitarian non-proposal. What's the point of calling for revolution right away when no one will be able to agree on what to do right after the democratic governing system has been toppled? When the time comes to decide who to listen to, are people going to go "Uh, lets take a vote on it."?
As a non-politician, I would still like to hear in what way Brand's specific ideas would be an improvement to what we have. His answers of "what it won't be" annoyed the hell out of me. I need something more concrete. I'm just not impressed with vague calls of revolution without any details.
He comes off like some douchebag home from his first semester at college and thinking he's smarter than all the lowly peons. The whole "aren't my professors all so alternative and cooooool? Where's the hackey-sack?"
Plus, he has zero problem with making a profit when it's him making it. Google says he's apparently worth $15 mil. If he gives away, say, $14.8 million of that and lives a more or less lower-middle-class/comfortable-but-not-wealthy existence like the majority of the people making up his audience, he might be worth listening to.
But yeah, basically fuck him. At least Tom Shadyac isn't mere talk.