Russell Brand Interview
I found this interview with Russell Brand from Salon very interesting. That’s not to say that my reposting of it is a rubber stamp for everything he says, but I do find him to be intelligent. He is willing to look beneath the surface of our, and England’s, national bullshit story. A sample:
Why do you think it is that your message can get applause on the Letterman show — which is probably American tourists from all over the country — and yet the revolution that we have had most recently is a Tea Party revolution, that essentially started with CNBC and a talking head who was outraged that homeowners were getting bailed out. He blamed all the wrong people, and we’ve not exactly had the equivalent revolutionary movement on the left.
I think I understand. Could I borrow your paper? (starts drawing) I think it’s because of the way the energy must move. I think it’s selfishness. Say that Republicans run on selfishness and greed — which is in all of us — I think the way that that energy travels is fast and in short journeys. I think altruism might have a longer journey. I think it might move more slowly. So I think if you’re trying to fire people up on this sort of fear circuit – these ancient systems of anatomical survival, of selfishness and greed, they’ve been functioning for a long, long time. Now we have a culture that is predicated on those things. We’ve acculturated aspects of our nature that are required only for our survival. And if they are overstimulated, fear and desire create a kind of primeval prison.
So I think why it’s easier to get a Tea Party message, a Republican message, across is because they function on fear and desire. These are fast-moving circuits. It’s very hard for me to motivate myself to meditate and do yoga. It’s very easy to motivate myself to eat chocolate or pursue attractive women. There is a lot of fire for those things. So I suppose what we have to do is look at the methods of communication. That’s why I have to go on “Today.” That’s why I have to talk a certain way. That’s why, I suppose, I haven’t yet left, entirely, this aquarium or arena. Because it’s not time yet.
The always brilliant John Oliver on the wage gap from his show Last Week Tonight.
“If you want to know how fucked up this country is, know that we give the best speed available to our children (adderall), and we don’t allow adults to smoke pot.” – Lewis Black in Old Yeller*
If you want a good laugh watch Lewis Black’s comedy special Old Yeller. It starts a little bit slow but builds up steam as it goes along. As usual, Black is spot on in his comic observations of American life. I was thinking about how I have to go out canvassing this afternoon, after just getting back from the road yesterday, and I started thinking about how it would be nice if I had some speed, and therefor…
*This may be slightly paraphrased. I searched the internet for awhile trying to find the quote, but I couldn’t. There are some other blogs/websites that use this quote, but it didn’t look to me like they were accurate in what he actually said. So I went as best I could from memory.
This video from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is must see. He is taking on the Supreme Court for not allowing cameras in the the court. They release audio, but do not allow video. The team at Last Week Tonight has created its own footage by using dogs as visual stand ins for the Supreme Court. It is amazingly hilarious. John Oliver is somehow always able to pull back the curtain and show the absurdity lurking behind.
A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fucking cross? It’s like going up to Jackie Onassis wearing a rifle pendant. - Bill Hicks
I’d be lying if I said I knew Hicks work that well, though I certainly have heard of him. Mark, our saxophone player, tipped me off to this quote last night. I have always thought it strange that many people’s symbol of hope is also a symbol of one of the most excruciating ways to die possible. Do some reading on crucifixtions sometime, it’s horrible! If you really wanted to follow Jesus wouldn’t it be better to wear some kind of symbol of love or peace or understanding? That is why I find things like The Passion of the Christ so wrongheaded, it dwells on all of the wrong things. But then again, I guess most churches do the same….
This is an absolutely excellent on The United States drone program. While most news is entertainment posing as news, this is news posing as entertainment. You will see a far more in depth discussion on our drone program than you will see on almost any cable news channel. It just happens to be delivered by someone that can pepper the information he is delivering with some great jokes. Our use of drones is one of the moral and ethical dilemmas of our time. The fact that we are not having a greater discussion on this is troubling. I have admitted to supporting Obama in the past. This is one issue that he is terrible on and should be held accountable for.
The above video is comedian John Oliver talking about the worst time he bombed onstage. It is truly hilarious. It’s short and I don’t want to ruin anything by telling you what is in the clip.
As someone that makes his living on stage there is definitely an element that I can relate to in it. There are good nights, bad nights, and nights in between. So much is out of your control. As a musician a terrible sound man can make your best efforts futile. One time on my birthday I drunkenly fell off the stage. These things happen. The only difference between an amateur and a pro is that the pro gets back up and just keeps going. Over time you learn not to be embarrassed or defeated. We are all unfailingly imperfectly human.