Saturday, 8 November 2014

Me and Rusty Rockets (part1)

When I see Russell Brand, I see myself. Admittedly, it is a more handsome me with more hair, a higher sex drive and a big load of cash - me with most of the bad bits removed. 

The first time I saw him doing his thing - he was on Big Brother's Whatever They Called It - and I was blown away by his speculative use of language, wobbling on his spindly legs while his sentences spanned the gap between cock-er-nee parody and academic precision. When he started banging on about being on the town with Dean Gaffney, I was convinced he was an ironic take on celebrity culture. He had slipped under the radar, and was mocking the absurdity of human fascination with the chancers who flopped into public consciousness and stayed there, unsure of what to do with the attention.

Because there was no way that anyone would be boasting about a lad's night out with Robbie off Eastenders...

Brand might have a sense of humour, but I reckon that 'being famous' is the antidote to 'getting irony.' I half-follow that news thing he does (The Trews, a portmanteau word that recalls his ability to mash up language in an intriguing manner, only to come up with bollocks), ponder whether the hate spat on him by journalists is a turf war or an ideological battle (the right to express uninformed opinion is usually the prerogative of big name journalists who have been so important in reducing the newspaper industry from an investigative adjunct to democracy into a snivelling lap-top of the military-industrial complex).

Brand's political stance is the news, this month. He's been lumbering about the internet lately, having gotten around to reading No Logo a decade late, and having realised that, like, capitalism is a bad thing. He added a reasonable distrust of democracy to spice up his cold dish of chic radicalism - then hammed it up until he resembled a revolutionary thinker in the same way that Donald Sinden resembled an African that time he did Othello. 

Rather like Eminem and Peaches, Brandy-Wrandy was aware that
his public persona was an ironic act at some point (in My Booky-Wooky 2, he talks about giving birth to the character. I think he compares it to a big fart, or something). And just like them, as he gained attention, he seemed to forget the irony, the theatricality and become convinced of his genius. And, exactly like them, became as creatively relevant as a dog-shit eating contest.

I read like a hater, so you know I'm gonna hate but... I am quietly
Dead eyes. Look at them. 
compromised. I think Brand has a flair for language - just so long as he doesn't expect it to read well. His banter, his chat, combined with his frame, his outfits, the wild glare that hasn't managed to leave his system after he went straight edge: they lend his monologues a charm, a wit, a veneer of intelligence. But, as his books and various articles in The Guardian make clear, he is a terrible writer. Rather than shouting PARKLIFE after every sentence when I read his football column, I want to shout WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

'Well, Viley-Wiley, it's simple, weally weally. The content may range across topics, from Occupying the places where the military-industrial-media-illuminati lizards gather in their ritual demonic rites to wrong the working man and the student who has read Marx for Beginners, but that's just the context. It's all about little old me, and my winky.'

'Just like your bloggy-oggy posty-wosties.'

Yeah. When I see Russ B, I see myself, only successful. 

Thank God I am a failure. 

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