A review of Russell Brand

Guido has a good bit:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”

But I think these two are better:

Brand does grandly proclaim that its new democratic-empowered managers could carry on making cars, but only as long as they didn’t export any. After all, the Germans and that make their own, don’t they? You feel like grabbing him by the shiny lapels and shouting: “Adam Smith! David Ricardo!”, and hoping he doesn’t get them confused with the West Ham midfield.

And this:

In the end, this book is a huge wasted opportunity. The breaking point for me – apart from the two passages suggesting 9/11 was an inside job – came when, after hundreds of pages of egocentric meandering, Brand lists his conclusions so far: “We have shown that…” he grandly and repeatedly intones. But you haven’t shown, Russell. You’ve told. And you’ve done a really, really bad job of it.

In short, it’s shite.

39 thoughts on “A review of Russell Brand”

  1. And I will never know just how shite it really is.

    This book currently tops my ‘Don’t you dare give me this for my birthday’ list.

  2. Who would have thought a book about politics and economics by Russell Brand would turn out to be a ridiculous rambling like of shit?

  3. I sort of like Russell Brand. He adds much to the gaiety of the nation, and he appears to be sincere in his beliefs, even though they’re half baked and ridiculous.

    He doesn’t strike me as a spiteful, vindictive sort of lefty. Many on the left are possessed by a spirit of envy, an urge to humiliate – to “rub the noses” of their chosen enemies.

    Not Brand. I don’t think he’s malicious. More of a charismatic hedonistic man-child who is brighter than he appears, but (like a lot of entertainers with little formal education) insecure about his intelligence.

    He wants to be taken seriously. He should be careful what he wishes for. He’s a comedian. Comedy is a serious business that should never be taken seriously. When Joe Public takes you seriously, the laughter stops.

    Plus, many of the points he makes do need answering. Can it really be right that the world’s 85 richest people are richer than the poorest three and a half billion?

    Yes. Yes it can.

    the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari.

    I don’t feel sorry for Hari. He’s the nasty, malicious type of lefty. I hope he ends up living in a grotty bedsit above a kebab shop in Slough, giving lapdances to fat, sweaty Labour councillors for the price of a Cornetto.

  4. The review isn’t by Guido, it’s by some hack at the Telegraph. Do you actually read other people’s posts before you link to them?

  5. I find he does more harm to the cause than help. Calling for an end to capitalism because of the bailed out banks. I doubt any true free market capitalist would agree with the bailout. He also said that everything should run on a resource basis with people only using what they need.

    Again, is that not a perfect definition of a free market; the efficient allocation of resources where needed?

    On newsnight, he went on to call from GM to taken over and destroyed, obviously not knowing that it had already been stolen from shareholders and handed to the proletariat via unions. I guess we can blame that on his researcher, Johan Hari, but still.

    It is a shame, because if he did have an ounce of intelligence, he could actually be of some use educating his sycophantic followers; something like 8 million on twitter?

    God help us.

  6. Amateur authors eh?

    People should stick to what they’re good at.

    Brand – jokes and shagging

    Murphy – model trains, stool examinations and recording carrier bags of invoices and cheque stubs in simple books of account

    Tim Worstall – (from what I understand) digging trenches and holes in the ground

  7. He’s an entertaining twat, a combination of Boy George and Joe Strummer, if George had less talent and Strummer had more cranky politics. He has quite an interesting vocabulary, and is doing a massive service by keeping the worst sort of people from voting.

    That journalists (or anyone) reads his stuff and review it like it might add to serious political debate is just weird. 30 years ago the idiot musings of rock stars and actors was confined to interviews with the NME.

  8. The Laughing Cavalier

    If you want to get an idea as to just how stupid this man is listen to him being interviewed, the inarticulate lout can barely string two sentences together and even when he manages to they make no sense.

  9. “The review isn’t by Guido, it’s by some hack at the Telegraph. Do you actually read other people’s posts before you link to them?”

    I thought it was obvious that Tim was pointing out a “good bit” that Guido had highlighted, but that there were two further bits more worthy of quoting?

    Or am I actually reading someone else’s posts before slagging them off?

  10. Cavalier,

    He’s not inarticulate. One of the things that makes his comedy so good (when it’s good — he’s patchy) is his interesting vocabulary.

    Stigler,

    > That journalists (or anyone) reads his stuff and review it like it might add to serious political debate is just weird. 30 years ago the idiot musings of rock stars and actors was confined to interviews with the NME.

    Exactly. What’s wrong with people?

    I suspect part of the problem is that our current political class are so pathetic. There was never any doubt about whether it was better to interview George Formby or Winston Churchill about the poltiics of the day. But Brand or Cameron? Tough call.

  11. @GlenDorran

    You are correct, it’s obviously ‘has’ in the sense of ‘has linked to’, and passer-by is a cretin.

  12. >The review isn’t by Guido, it’s by some hack at the Telegraph. Do you actually read other people’s posts before you link to them?

    Guido only quotes the first paragraph that Tim reproduces. So Tim had to have read Colville’s review to have obtained the other two paragraphs.

  13. “There was never any doubt about whether it was better to interview George Formby or Winston Churchill about the poltiics of the day.”

    Yes, there’s truth here I think. Political hacks and the nerds who follow them aren’t given the best material to work with. It’s hard to make the junior minister for paperclips interesting no matter how you try to spin it.

    So when a dandy movie star like Brand blesses us with his theories of the world the acting junior assistant political editor of the guardian becomes all moist.

    But outside of this rarefied bubble? No, I don’t think people are really paying attention. I suspect theres very little crossover between Brands existing fan-base and the Dave Spart balls he and Hari have produced.

  14. If under Russell Brand’s brave new world countries can’t export things then would the rest of the world be spared him?

  15. So, since I won’t be giving in to his rentier capitalism by buying his book, lemme guess – rehashed 19th-century bunkum?

  16. Am I the only person here who thinks this sounds like a brilliant read? In a Rocky Horror “so bad its good” way?

    More worrying is the Telegraph’s comment that “In the end, this book is a huge wasted opportunity” – does the Telegraph really employ somebody who thinks a book by Russell Brand represents not just an opportunity, but a huge one?

    Presumably in future millennia this era will be looked at as the second dark age for missing such opportunities.

  17. Ac1:
    “Would you buy “David Cameron’s Big Book of Jokes”?

    We are living in Camoron’s Big Book of Jokes–and they are all on us.

  18. Dan,

    Yes, there’s truth here I think. Political hacks and the nerds who follow them aren’t given the best material to work with. It’s hard to make the junior minister for paperclips interesting no matter how you try to spin it.

    But the junior minister for paperclips isn’t supposed to be interesting. He’s supposed to make sure that the paperclips come out in ever increasing numbers at lower costs.

    And that’s part of the problem. The media are obsessed with interesting politicians rather than capable ones, to the point where they’re now not bothering with politicians and instead just talking to ignorant comedians, ignorant actors and ignorant rock stars. I love PJ Harvey’s music, but she doesn’t deserve a political platform any more than Michael Gove deserves to be singing Big Exit.

    Government isn’t supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be about getting hip replacements done, potholes filled and rifles into soldiers hands, and done as efficiently as possible so that we have lots of lovely money left to have fun with.

  19. “If under Russell Brand’s brave new world countries can’t export things then would the rest of the world be spared him?”

    We in the States can only hope. Fortunately, not even the sort of pinheads who watch MTV awards shows warmed to Russell Being Russell, so I think we’re safe either way.

  20. Steve
    “Not Brand. I don’t think he’s malicious. More of a charismatic hedonistic man-child who is brighter than he appears, but (like a lot of entertainers with little formal education) insecure about his intelligence.”

    Funny, I had always assumed Brand was an intelligent Oxbridge grad playing the hedonistic man-child with limited education, I had never realised that’s what he really was.

  21. Dennis

    Don’t joke about such things – you might incur the wrath of the sage of Downham Market, or have to endure his whingeing about ‘age discrimination’.

    In fairness, both Murphy and Brand lack any knowledge of economics, politics, history or indeed anything of note, so the similarities are extant…

  22. I think the best page in Russell’s book is that one at the start, where the fucking revolutionary cunt asserts his rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

  23. “I think the best page in Russell’s book is that one at the start, where the fucking revolutionary cunt asserts his rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.”

    I laughed more than was probably healthy at this. Thanks.

  24. I think the worst part, for me, is how he’s co-opted Ron Paul’s campaign slogan graphic for the cover of his book.

    Ron Paul who Brand would most likely despise for his support of free-markets and less government (if he knew who Paul was).

  25. In my fifty years on this earth, why still does any essay with the word revolution in the title end up spouting the same old lefty bullsh*t we’ve not only heard a million times, but seen the piles of corpses it accrues when put into practise?

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