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Ear to the Ground

Revolution a la Russell Brand (Video)

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Posted on Oct 24, 2013
Screenshot/YouTube

Russell Brand gives a colorful interview on “Newsnight.”

The actor-comedian-turned-revolutionary tells Jeremy Paxman of the BBC’s “Newsnight” that a change is on the way in a 10-minute interview that will have you up in arms about the current state of democracy.

Brand, who recently edited an issue of the New Statesman—focused on the concept of revolution—was asked Wednesday night what political authority he possessed when he’s “never ever” voted before. The question spurred a debate about the “preexisting paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people” in which the comedian discussed his painfully impoverished roots and his sense that the current political systems in place have abandoned the planet and its people. According to Gawker:

Over the course of the following ten-or-so minutes, Brand and Paxo volleyed back and forth over subjects ranging from political apathy, to corporate greed, to gorgeous beards.

Throughout the interview, Brand repeatedly dodged Paxman’s efforts to trivialize his message — at one point Paxman literally called Brand a “very trivial man” — until finally, even the entrenched newsman appeared to relent against the rushing tide of Brand’s valid arguments.

After Brand reminded Paxman that he cried after learning that his grandma too had been “fucked over” by aristocrats, the Newsnight host was stunned into silence.

“If we can engage that feeling and change things, why wouldn’t we?” Brand crescendoed. “Why is that naive? Why is that not my right because I’m an ‘actor’? I’ve taken the right. I don’t need the right from you. I don’t need the right from anybody. I’m taking it.”

Brand writes in the New Statesman that he chose the theme of revolution because “imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way I can be enthused about politics.” And though Brand isn’t going to “devise a global utopian system” to replace the current conditions, or lead the revolution himself, he says he doesn’t have a flicker of doubt. “This is the end. This is the time to wake up,” he argues.

Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara once said, “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.” Brand may not be making the apple fall all on his own, but his insightfully facetious quips are sure making quite a splash.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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