December 06, 2010

Paxman Interviews Brand

At first blush this interview, coming as it will, with pre-conceived notions of Russell Brand, may not look to have any significance. I think it does. Russell is amazingly intellectual, articulate, and well worth 20 minutes of your time. Park your prejudices (if you have any) for a short time and have a listen. There are some lessons in here which should teach us a thing or two about the (shallow) world we have created for ourselves.

The dross, the crap, the simply unimportant stuff that we all cling to. I gave up television some time ago. My mind has never been clearer, and my thoughts have never been more focussed. I genuinely believe now that the masses are hypnotised by utter shite. But they believe this utter shite is real. I know grown men who are incapable of having a conversation in which football is not mentioned. I know women who cannot talk about anything other than soaps, fly-on-the-wall documentaries or game shows. They have no idea that a world beyond the tellybox even exists. I find this a terrifying prospect. It is depressing and there is nothing I can do about it. I used to think that television was a fantastic invention. It was. But it is now tainted and it is used to push agenda's in almost every programme. It should be used for entertainment and education but it is now a slovenly thing. It is better left switched off.

We all know that we can kill the government by starving it of our cash. We can destroy television by unplugging it. We can decide to unhear the message. The road to recovery is short, and it is blissful once you have escaped its clutches. Give it a go. While you're at it, stop buying newspapers as well. Starve Murdoch, and his den-brothers, and the world really will be better off.

If you dwell on it long enough you find out that life is shit. But in amongst that shit is the odd glitter. The odd golden moment. All we can do is look for the odd nugget in a mountain of slag. We should hang on to them, because these are the rare things that make life worth living.

It sounds gormless but you should try to make someone smile. Try doing a random act of kindness. It really does improve your day and theirs. Once, when arriving at a toll booth in Houston, I gave the lady $5. She was counting out my $4 change and I said, "Tell you what, love, keep it. Use the change for the next four cars". She smiled and gave me a look that suggested I was mentally ill. Pulling away from the toll booth it made my day as each driver slowed as they passed me, all of them with huge grins. Four smiles for four bucks. It was a bargain!

I have digressed mightily. Sorry about that. I don't plan these things, you know. It just sort of....leaks out.

Anyway, have a terrific week.



Katabasis said...

Have to disagree with you there Ranty me old mucker.

Captain Ranty said...


I read your piece back in February. The reason I didn't comment then was because I was halfway through his book and hadn't decided either way.

I agree he has been a weapons-grade cock in the past but I reckon he has re-invented himself. It was probably the Andrew Sachs thing that persuaded him to think again. I think he did and I now think he is OK.

Surely we must allow for mistakes, and equally, we should allow for people to change their minds? I know that I can have my mind changed when something powerful enough comes along to challenge what I thought was an established stance.

Just because he is a sleb it doesn't revoke his right to learn and change.


Katabasis said...

Fair points all Captain.

In which case, I'll repeat my previous action - he's released a second "booky wook" (I feel dirty saying that!), I'll read that too, so if he's genuinely changed in that time he better have expressed it in the new book otherwise I'll make my previous blog entry on him look like a sycophantic litany. ;)

Captain Ranty said...

As long as you allow for the fact that I may be wrong in my assessment!

I don't know the guy. We don't meet up for chats so, to an extent, I either believe or disbelieve what he has to say when I hear him speak, or read what he has written.

I wouldn't, for instance, believe anything written in a newspaper or magazine. Well, perhaps the date. (But I would double-check that as well).


William said...

Starving the beast is very easy.
Here are a few tips to get you started, with apologies to those who already know about these.
Feel free to add your own in as I'm sure CR won't mind.

Always buy winter clothes in spring or summer and summer clothes in autumn winter when they are invariably cheaper, often lots cheaper and therefore you pay less VAT.

Buy a car that can run on veg oil or veg oil/diesel mix and stop paying fuel tax on fuel and VAT on fuel tax.

Make yourself aware of which 'foodstuffs' and 'drinks' attract VAT and but them only when they are marked down 'in store'.

Stop paying your TV licence and ignore the Capita/TVL/BBC salesman if and when they come a calling.

Pay for everything you can in 'legal tender' and always ask for a discount.

Use open fires or wood burners etc because you can buy coal and wood for cash. You will often get wood for free from builders etc because the cost of going to landfill/recycling means they would sooner get rid of it in other ways.

Bin the landline. I know you need one for Internet access but you do not need to have a phone line attached. Only give your number to trusted individuals and even then always use the mobile phone to answer calls not make them, wherever possible. Skype to Skype is free so educate your friends and family, at least those with a computer!
Get a PAYG mobile phone because you can... buy the top ups for cash.

Ask for a copy of the contract no matter what the service no matter what the 'loan of credit is' just keep on asking. This one doesn't starve the beast initially but it does prove to a sceptical mind that all is not what it appears to be and to me this is the biggest hurdle to overcome.

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

I cancelled my licence last year and I can thoroughly say my life and blood pressure is better for it.

Yes, I watch a few programmes but mainly DVDs and in my own time.

I hate the dumbed down crap the BBC offers and the subtle AGW and Marxist agenda that taints the once great broadcaster. To find out why this has happened you only need to look at the demographic that makes up the BBC. I should know, I spent time working in the media industry.

Media is changing, the licence fee is an anachronism that is on borrowed time, and the BBC knows this.

However, politically nothing will be done by the coalition or any other government until it becomes an issue. And here is where we play a part in this: we make it an issue by cancelling our direct debits rather than waiting for the political elite to make the first move.

There's plenty of info out there - I've got some on my blog on my experiences - I'm about to put another post out shortly with my experiences - it's fairly entertaining. It is extremely easy to carry on watching live broadcasts without the threats by carrying out a few simple things.

As I said, media is changing. We can watch live broadcast streamed to TVs around the house and there's not a damn thing they can do about it.

Apart from removing the contract with Capita because it will be too expensive to collect the licence fee.

Edo said...

Reminds me of

Anonymous said...

A thought:

My Great, Great, Great Grandad plowed the same fields in south Devon almost all his adult life. He started in agriculture at the the age of 8, cleaning and feeding those magnificent plow horses. He died in 1819 age 49 - an old man in those days.

He was a soldier too, for a while, still with horses pulling the big guns to fire at the French. Above all he was an Englishman, a patriot, an inspiration. Throughout his life he helped feed England. When England was in peril he left his plow and fought the old enemy.

Who the hell is Russell Brand?


will said...

ive been almost tv free for 6 months now.
i was never really that bothered by the goggle box. the only time i would regularly use it would be to have bbc news on whilst getting ready for work just for some 'background noise' whilst i woke up (how unwittingly accurate i would later realise that description to be!).
then about 6 months ago my whole outlook changed. a fleeting reference to an author id never heard of led me to look up ayn rand on wikipedia. the related links contained similarly curious and unknown words, ideas and writers. i hungrily read up on objectivism, individualism, anarchism, libertarianism, rothbard, nozick, hayek, mises, block, rockwell etc.
i subscribed to blogs such as this with their prolific output of both depressing real truth and inspiring hope that it needn't be this way in order to satiate my ravenous hunger for all ideas liberty.
now, with the scales fallen from my eyes, i found bbc news increasingly infuriating. its naked political agenda obvious to me for the first time i couldnt even excuse it as crap dumbed down mass journalism. this was deliberate fabiansim.
i now rely on blogs, podcasts, youtube channels and downloaded books unavailable in even the politics section of university libraries and bookshops for my information and entertainment. the 'news' on tv is at best irrelevant at worst mind control.
im trying to convince my girlfriend to ditch the license fee. she is sadly addicted, like everyone, to at least 4 hours of thoughtless rubbish every night. although she cant watch the 'news' any more because it makes me too damn angry. her intake consists of uk medical dramas and us 'crime procedural' dramas. both glorify the state without question. the 'caring' british medics judgmentally pry into their patients' lives and the 'brave' yank cops prejudicially exceed their already gross and illiberal powers. luckily she doesnt watch the 'reality' cops shite whereby 'our boys in blue' fail to use their millions of poundsworth of paramilitary equipment to even catch the 'criminals' suspected of what are usually victimless 'crimes'.

will said...

i recently had a debate with someone about the bbc. they were pro and i was against the coercive funding of a state controlled broadcaster. they became so agitated by the truth and so infuriated by the logic that they became almost physically confrontational. they perversely agreed with any number of gross statist/socialist ideas that i drew comparisons to merely in order to justify their beloved 'beeb'. in the end, despite leaving them without a leg to stand on, i found it pretty depressing. if the masses are so addicted to violently provided statist 'services' that even questioning the bbc will get you lambasted as a fascist then i couldnt see any hope for challenging deeper assumptions.
i resent tv for the way the state uses it as a tool of indoctrination and control in exactly the same way they do 'education'. the oligarchical media elite do the bidding of our rulers in exchange for scraps from the table. even popular comedians are left wing.
the fact that every single uk living room has all the furniture pointed toward the fucking machine in the corner is indicative of our obsession and the extent of their resultant control.
the internet is one of the greatest hopes for human liberty. it sidesteps the expense of print production and distribution of books, radio broadcasting and tv broadcasting and production. all of these are expensive. to get a return content has to be popular. the status quo is popular. the status quo is slavery. to get ideas beyond this the internet is our saviour. to get ideas of a better world beyond the endless stasis of the status quo you need to ditch MOTD, 'enders and the six o'clock party political broadcast, open your eyes and seek out what you as an individual find persuasive and desirable.

Xen said...

Last saturday night I attended a 'family' get together at a country restaurant.

Out of the 26, one is a teacher, four are degree holders, working in banking and court services, five are self-employed, two work for Social Services, one is a chef, two were retired and one is a workshy, benefit scrounging, taxpayers liability.

Ages ranged from 22 to 80 years of age.

So, a reasonable cross-section.

The conversation all night long revolved around; 'I'm a sleb', 'Strickly' and 'X facked her'.

All. Fucking. Night. Long.

From 7pm until 11 pm.

I spoke to no-one all night apart from when someone asked, "are you alright?" ("Yes, thanks.") or "you're quiet tonight." (No, I'm fine. Really.")

I went outside ten times to smoke and to try and get the barrage of babble out of my head. Whereupon I was joined by a few of the blokes who promptly started talking about football.

We are so fucked. So very, very fucked.

And to think, I've got to attend a wedding next year with all the above and more. An all day experience to look forward to.

Someone stop this fucking merry-go-round, I want to get off.

Zaphod said...

I'm virtually TV-free. It wasn't a decision, I just got bored with it years ago. I still encounter it occasionally though. I used to enjoy the Simpsons, David Attenborough, and Have I Got News. I won't read papers, and I find excitable radio stations infuriating. Can one be allergic to the "media voice"?

I get my info from Radio 4, Private Eye, New Scientist, and blogs. I don't believe any of them uncritically.

I do undertand the popularity of MSM, though. Most people don't want to think, they only want to "know" what their friends know. And soaps are better than real life, cos everyone knows what's going on, and why, and who fancies who, and who's lying or cheating. How can messy real life compete with that?

At work, I use big headphones with an Ipod, about 1500 albums. It's bliss. How did I survive before the Ipod?

Russel Brand, I suspect, is not the idiot he would have us think he is. I could be wrong.

Dick Puddlecote said...

I watched Brand's interview - with an open mind, as instructed - but he seems to be working far too hard for my liking.

Funny? Yes. Articulate? Maybe, in a kind of 'use long words as often as possible' kind of way. That they were often used out of context or gemmied in irrelevantly to move off at a, presumably pre-practiced (he is a stand up comic, remember), tangent didn't help either.

I'm not doubting the guy's intelligence, nor his summation of celeb culture and the reason behind it. BUT, he still seems to be glued to the idea that a way out is the ingrained 'luvvie' way. More of the same reprogramming of people into an ideological way of thinking which agrees with the kind with which he associates.

He talked of his grim Essex youth, but seems to think that people can't ever be happy with that. Err, some people very much are, and always will be. They don't want to change the world, they just want to be left alone.

So he mentioned 'ecological', about 'choices which affect people's health', about consumerism and all the other currently right-on buzzwords but - most of all - about the Daily Mail, Dacre, and Rupert Murdoch.

He wants a better understanding of how people are being manipulated? How about taking the Beeb to task instead of defending them, and how about calling for real education instead of pumping kids full of the crap his like-minded friends are doing.

I learned about how TV, advertising & businesses are seeking to control our minds when I was 17, in a one year college course. It's not so difficult to see past the bright, airy corn flakes advert (to show how 'happy' a family will be if they buy them) if taught early.

Instead of teaching the guff that Brand has swallowed whole, teach the kids how to stand on their own two feet and the future will consist of a less gullible population.

But then, why would 'luvvies' really want that? We'd all see straight through them then, rather than just the few who now do.

That's why it was easier to bash the Mail (not anything wrong with that per se) rather than talk about getting politics out of our schools, and real education back in.

Trooper Thompson said...


you're being a little harsh, if I may say so. He obviously doesn't have a manifesto, and if he did start banging on about what kids should learn in school I doubt if he'd get far. It would be like Jamie Oliver, but with 100 times more 'who the hell is he to say?'

Personally, when I've seen his stand-up, I've hated 50% and found the other 50% very funny, and I thought he came across well in the interview. What he hasn't noticed,I would say, is that the dumbing-down isn't about just consumerism, as control. A dumbed-down, fluoridated public is like Bertrand Russell said no more able to rebel against the PTB than sheep against the eating of mutton.

As for television, I haven't had one for about seven years, and although I've received scores of letters, they have only come knocking once, and then I was out. It is a drug of the sedative variety, and there are better drugs! Listening to the radio or reading a book stimulates the mind. TV induces an almost hypnotic state. With the internet,no one needs television. The Mises Institute and Alex Jones beat television hands down.

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Ashtrayhead said... do you get your 'w' to be big at the start of your name?