Okay, the inevitable has happened and I have already failed blogmas… but I’m getting right back on the blogging horse with this post.
Those of you from the UK will probably be know the comedian ‘Russell Brand’. Those across seas may or may not. He has starred in movies such as ‘Arthur’ and ‘Get him to the Greek’. He has also made his name as the witty comedian who is a bit of a wordsmith.
I am not here to flaunt his career, or become a ‘fan girl’ who wants to unleash her obsession onto the unsuspecting public. In all honesty, 6 months ago Russell Brand was a person who I knew of but I had never taken much notice of (sorry Russell!). But recently, I have come to realise that Russell Brand is far more than an actor and a comedian. Recently, he has become my favourite person for the way in which he uses his social status to become a mouthpiece for those who need it. Coming from a relatively dire background himself, his political and social movements are particularly potent because they are real. He knows what he is arguing for, because he has been in the situation.
His YouTube videos ‘The Trews’ attempt to uncover the truth behind the news (it seems that comedians and puns are inseparable) by expressing his views on politicians and various aspects of the news . Don’t let his deep Essex accent deceive you- He is actually an intelligent man. I appreciate the way in which he took a risk in creating a YouTube channel which doesn’t promote his career in any way. He must have recognised the risks of potential backlash that arises from creating such a channel, yet he did it anyway. For years, I have waited for a celebrity to make a difference- a real difference. Not just singing a song for charity, or showing their face in Africa to show how desperately the children need money, before getting a first class flight home to their mansions. It turns out I’ve been waiting for Russell Brand.
He recently made a documentary in which he explored the issue of drug wars. It is rare for a documentary to change and alter my very own values, yet this is what the documentary did. A recovered drug addict himself, Russell can now view the issue of the drug war from an objective perspective; he highlights how we should stop treating drug users as criminals, instead see them as humans who are in need of medical help. My initial thought was of derision, after all we were giving the drug users an excuse to use. I could also not fathom how we could eradicate drug use if we treated it as a medical issue. It’s the user’s fault they chose to take the drugs.
But then I stopped and realised that I was regurgitating the views instilled in me. Were these thought my own? Probably not. Thinking about it, why would anyone choose to take drugs if they weren’t desperate? Drug related crimes are higher in poorer families- can’t we see this correlation? Desperation breeds drug users. In order to stop people taking drugs, society perhaps needs to change and take away desperation from the poor.
Some argue that Russell Brand’s sudden increase in political activity only exists so he can sell his new book ‘Revolution’. For some reason, I have difficulty accepting this. There is a sincerity behind his movement which seeks to positively change society. Russell has the social influence that accompanies being a celebrity- it is refreshing to see it being utilised for something other than self gain.