Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Russell Brand

Russell Brand: How Bush Jr. and Blair represent Christian terrorism?

Russell Brand has said devout Christians George Bush and Tony Blair represent Christianity no more than the Charlie Hebdo terrorists represent Islam.

In a late blog on the killings in France that killed 17 people and three gunmen over three days, Brand said the “bewildered, pitiable” men who carried out the attacks “do not speak for Islam or Muhammed or Allah”.

Russell Brand Says Charlie Hebdo Killer Represent Islam ‘Like Bush And Blair Represent Christianity’

“These men of murder are the symptom of a creed that lies as far away from God as is possible to conceive and do not represent Islam anymore than George Bush, Tony Blair and Halliburton represented Christianity,” he wrote.

“Or ordinary, secular Europeans and Americans when they profited from the bombing of innocent Iraqis.”

CHARLIE HEBDO

One of the gunmen, who took hostages in a kosher grocery, pledged allegiance to Islamic State in a video released after his death, while the two who attacked the satirical newspaper’s offices claimed to be from Al Qaeda, their rival Islamist extremists.

In his blog, Brand said: “How can any spiritual scripture be used as justification for mass murder?

“How can the tenet that The Prophet ought never be depicted ever override Islam’s most mundane greeting AsSalaam alaikum – “peace and mercy be upon you”? It can’t and it doesn’t.

“The young, bewildered, pitiable men that carry out these atrocities probably at the behest of older, power hungry men do not speak for Islam or Muhammad or Allah.

“This language has nothing to do with the God I believe in or the God any of the Muslims I know believe in.”

 

Finally, it’s happening. The waking up of what is Israel and Zionism

Zeina Saab posted on FB this July 31, 2014

“The world is waking up. Slowly. But it’s happening.

Magic Johnson and other NBA players have cancelled their trip to Israel.

Disney heiress has just divested from an Israeli company.

Several Latin American countries, including Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador have recalled the Israeli ambassadors or severed trade ties with Israel.

Major celebrities are speaking out.

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have written an open letter condemning Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Many others, including John Legend, Madonna, Mia Farrow, and Russell Brand are also clearly voicing their disgust with Israel’s policies.

Millions are protesting around the world.

None of these protests have stopped the widespread destruction of Gaza, not yet.

And it won’t bring back all the 1,300+ dead.

But if enough pressure is applied on Israel, eventually we may be able to hope that one day it will be held accountable for its crimes against humanity, so that “Never Again” really will mean “Never Again” for all.”

Tonnie Choueiri shared this

From 1978 to 1994, Rabbi Henry Siegman  served as executive director of the American Jewish Congress, long described as one of the US “big three” Jewish organizations along with the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League:

Rabbi Henry Siegman – a German-Jewish refugee who fled Nazi occupation to later become a leading American Jewish voice and now vocal critic of Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories – says the following on Gaza:

“When one thinks that this is what is necessary for Israel to survive, that the Zionist dream is based on the repeated slaughter of innocents on a scale that we’re watching these days on television, that is really a profound, profound crisis.

It should be a profound crisis in the thinking of all of us who were committed to the establishment of the state and to its success.”

 Responding to Israel’s U.S.-backed claim that its assault on Gaza is necessary because no country would tolerate the rocket fire from militants in Gaza, Siegman says:

“What undermines this principle is that no country and no people would live the way that Gazans have been made to live. …

The question of the morality of Israel’s action depends, in the first instance, on the question, couldn’t Israel be doing something [to prevent] this disaster that is playing out now, in terms of the destruction of human life?

Couldn’t Israel have done something that did not require that cost?

And the answer is, sure, they could have ended the occupation.”

HENRY SIEGMAN resumed:

” It’s disastrous. It’s disastrous, both in political terms, which is to say the situation cannot conceivably, certainly in the short run, lead to any positive results, to an improvement in the lives of either Israelis or Palestinians, and of course it’s disastrous in humanitarian terms, the kind of slaughter that’s taking place there.

It leads one virtually to a whole rethinking of this (Zionism) historical phenomenon

 

Andrew Bossone posted:

Does an entity “release” a statement if it gave the same exact statement two years earlier?
The Pentagon, 2014 on Israel accessing $1.2 billion ammunition stockpile:

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability.”

The Pentagon, 2012, on selling $647 million precision bomb kits and munitions to Israel:

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability.”
http://cynicalidealism.tumblr.com/post/93392109742/does-an-entity-release-a-statement-if-it-gave-the

Note: Evo Morales, Bolivia President lambasted Israel and the US as terrorist States.

Did a Revolution start Last Night with Russell Brand?

On last night’s edition of the BBC’s Newsnight (Oct 26, 2013), viewers may have witnessed the start of one revolution.

Russell Brand May Have Started a Revolution Last Night

The revolution itself may not be televised.

Actor/comedian/Messiah Russell Brand, in his capacity as guest editor of the New Statesmans just-published revolution-themed issue, was invited to explain to Jeremy Paxman why anyone should listen to a man who has never voted in his life.

“I don’t get my authority from this preexisting paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people,” Russell responded. “I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity.”

And with that, the first shots of Russell’s revolutionary interview were fired.

Over the course of the following 10-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 crescendo.

“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.”

[H/T: Reddit, video via BBC Newsnight]

Note 1: Henry Flocken (Giniwgiizhig) in “An Analysis of Traditional Ojibwe Civil Chief Leadership” wrote:
 “Chief leadership lies nested in the Anishinaabe Constitution. It is clan-based and value-based. It includes all of creation. Leadership is emergent and symbolic. Chiefs symbolized and are spokespersons for the will of the people.
Chiefs were selected based on their virtues. The real power is in the people, in clans in council. Hunting groups had spokesmen in clans. Chiefs were chosen from the clan …headmen in council. Larger area councils selected a chief from the chief-council. This system is spiritual, holistic, consensual, and egalitarian. It empowers the people.
Colonial oppression has transformed what was a bottom-up structure to a Western top-down structure often filled with nepotism, favoritism, and corrupt and coercive leadership. Coupled with historic trauma, this engenders self-oppression and social dysfunction.”
Note 2: Pierce et al., 2001 wrote:
“The investment of the self comes in many forms, including investment of one’s time: ideas; skills; and physical, psychological, and intellectual energies. As a result, the individual may begin to feel that the target of ownership flows from the self.
The more individuals invest themselves into a target, the stronger their psychological ownership for that target will be.” (p.302).

‘It’s amazing how absurd it seems…’  Russell Brand and the GQ awards…

Russell Brand was ejected after cracking a joke about sponsor Hugo Boss

He gives his side of the story in The Guardian, this September 13, 2013

“I have had the privilege of scuba diving. I did it once on holiday, and I’m aware that it’s one of those subjects that people can get pretty boring and sincere about, and sincerity, for we British, is no state in which to dwell, so I’ll be brief.

The scuba dive itself was nuministic enough, a drenched heaven; coastal shelves and their staggering, sub-aquatic architecture, like spilt cathedrals, gormless, ghostly fish gliding by like Jackson Pollock’s pets. Silent miracles.

What got me, though, was when I came up for air, at the end. As my head came above water after even a paltry 15 minutes in Davy Jones’s Locker, there was something absurd about the surface.

How we, the creatures of the land, live our lives, obliviously trundling, flat feet slapping against the dust.

Russell Brand at the GQ awards at the Royal Opera House

Russell Brand at the GQ Men of the Year awards at the Royal Opera House. Photograph: Richard Young/Rex Features

It must have been a while since I’ve attended a fancy, glitzy event, because as soon as I got to the GQ awards I felt like something was up.

The usual visual grammar was in place – a carpet in the street, people in paddocks awaiting a brush with something glamorous, blokes with earpieces, birds in frocks of colliding colors that if sighted in nature would indicate the presence of poison.

I’m not trying to pass myself off as some kind of Francis of Assisi, Yusuf Islam, man of the people, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

I ambled into the Opera House across yet more outdoor carpets, boards bearing branding, in this case Hugo Boss, past paparazzi, and began to queue up at the line of journalists and presenters, in a slightly nicer paddock who offer up mics and say stuff like:

Who are you wearing?”

“I’m not wearing anyone. I went with clobber, I’m not Buffalo Bill.”

Noel Gallagher was immediately ahead of me in the press line and he’s actually a mate. I mean, I love him: sometimes I forget he wrote Supersonic and played to 400,000 people at Knebworth because he’s such a laugh. He laid right into me, the usual gear: “What the fook you wearing? Does Rod Stewart know you’re going through his jumble?”

I try to remain composed and give as good as I get, even though the paddock-side banter is accompanied by looming foam-tipped eavesdroppers, hanging like insidious mistletoe.

In case you don’t know, these parties aren’t like real parties. It’s fabricated fun, imposed from the outside.

A vision of what squares imagine cool people might do set on a spaceship. Or in Moloko.

As we come out of the lift there’s a bloody great long corridor flanked by gorgeous birds in black dresses, paid to be there, motionless, left hand on hip, teeth tacked to lips with scarlet glue.

The intention, I suppose, is to contrive some Ian Fleming super-uterus of well fit mannequins to midwife you into the shindig, but me and my mate Matt just felt self-conscious, jigging through Robert Palmer’s oestrogen passage like aspirational Morris dancers.

Matt stared at their necks and I made small talk as I hot stepped towards the pre-show drinks. Now, I’m not typically immune to the allure of objectified women, but I am presently beleaguered by a nerdish, whirling dervish, and am eschewing all others.

Perhaps the clarity of this elation has awakened me. A friend of mine said: “Being in love is like discovering a concealed ballroom in a house you’ve long inhabited.” I also don’t drink, so these affairs where most people rinse away their Britishness and twitishness with booze are for me a face-first log flume of backslaps, chitchat, eyewash and gak.

After a load of photos and what-not, we descend the world’s longest escalator, which are called that even as they de-escalate, and in we go to the main forum, a high ceilinged hall, full of circular cloth-draped, numbered tables, a stage at the front, the letters GQ, 12-foot high in neon at the back; this aside, though, neon forever the moniker of trash, this is a posh do, in an opera house full of folk in tuxes.

Everywhere you look there’s someone off the telly; Stephen Fry, Pharrell, Sir Bobby Charlton, Samuel L Jackson, Rio Ferdinand, Justin Timberlake, foreign secretary William Hague and mayor of London Boris Johnson.

My table is a sanctuary of sorts; Noel and his missus Sara, John Bishop and his wife Mel, my mates Matt Morgan, Mick and Gee. Noel and I are both there to get awards and decide to use our speeches to dig each other out. This makes me feel a little grounded in the unreal glare, normal.

Noel’s award is for being an “icon” and mine for being an “oracle”.

My knowledge of the classics is limited, but includes awareness that an oracle is a spiritual medium through whom prophecies from the gods were sought in ancient Greece. Thankfully, I have a sense of humor that prevents me from taking accolades of that nature on face value, or I’d have been in the tricky position of receiving the GQ award for being “best portal to a mystical dimension”, which is a lot of pressure.

Me, Matt and Noel conclude it’s probably best to treat the whole event as a bit of a laugh and, as if to confirm this as the correct attitude, Boris Johnson – a man perpetually in pajamas regardless of what he’s wearing – bounds to the stage to accept the award for “best politician”. Yes, we agree: this is definitely a joke.

Boris, it seems, is taking it in this spirit, joshing beneath his ever-redeeming barnet that Labour’s opposition to military action in Syria is a fey stance that he, as GQ politician of the year, would never be guilty of.

Matt is momentarily focused. “He’s making light of gassed Syrian children,” he says. We watch, slightly aghast, then return to goading Noel.

Before long, John Bishop is on stage giving me a lovely introduction, so I get up as Noel hurls down a few gauntlets, daring me to “do my worst”.

I thanked John, said the “oracle award” sounds like a made-up prize you’d give a fat kid on sports day – I should know, I used to get them – then that it’s barmy that Hugo Boss can trade under the same name they flogged uniforms to the Nazis under and the ludicrous necessity for an event such as this one to banish such a lurid piece of information from our collective consciousness.

I could see the room dividing as I spoke. I could hear the laughter of some and louder still silence of others. I realised that for some people this was regarded as an event with import.

The magazine, the sponsors and some of those in attendance saw it as a kind of ceremony that warranted respect. In effect, it is a corporate ritual, an alliance between a media organization, GQ, and a commercial entity, Hugo Boss.

What dawned on me as the night went on is that even in apparently frivolous conditions the establishment asserts control, and won’t tolerate having that assertion challenged, even flippantly, by that most beautifully adept tool: comedy.

The jokes about Hugo Boss were not intended to herald a campaign to destroy them. They’re not Monsanto or Halliburton, the contemporary corporate allies of modern-day fascism; they are, I thought, an irrelevant menswear supplier with a double-dodgy history.

The evening, though, provided an interesting opportunity to see how power structures preserve their agenda, even in a chintzy microcosm.

Subsequent to my jokes, the evening took a peculiar turn. Like the illusion of sophistication had been inadvertently disrupted by the exposure. It had the vibe of a wedding dinner where the best man’s speech had revealed the groom’s infidelity. With Hitler.

Foreign secretary William Hague gave an award to former Telegraph editor Charles Moore, for writing a hagiography of Margaret Thatcher, who used his acceptance speech to build a precarious connection between my comments about the sponsors, my foolish answerphone scandal at the BBC and the Sachs family’s flight, 70 years earlier, from Nazi-occupied Europe.

It was a confusing tapestry that Moore spun but he seemed to be saying that

a) the calls were as bad as the Holocaust and

b) the Sachs family may not have sought refuge in Britain had they known what awaited them. Even for a man whose former job was editing the Telegraph this is an extraordinary way to manipulate information.

Noel, who is not one to sit quietly on his feelings, literally booed while Charles Moore was talking, and others joined in. Booing!

When do you hear booing in this day and age other than pantomimes and parliament?

Hague and Johnson are equally at home in either (Widow Twanky and Buttons, obviously) so were not unduly ruffled, but I thought it was nuts.

The room by now had a distinct feel of “us and them” and if there is a line drawn in the sand I don’t ever want to find myself on the same side as Hague and Johnson. Up went Noel to garner his gong and he did not disappoint: “Always nice to be invited to the Tory party conference,” he began, “Good to see the foreign secretary present when there’s shit kicking off in Syria.”

Noel once expressed his disgust at seeing a politician at Glastonbury. “What are you doing here? This ain’t for you,” he’d said. He explained to me: “You used to know where you were with politicians in the 70s and 80s cos they all looked like nutters: Thatcher, Heseltine, Cyril Smith. Now they look normal, they’re more dangerous.”

Then, with dreadful foreboding: “The dangerous politicians move among us.”

I agree with Noel. What are politicians doing at Glastonbury and the GQ awards? I feel guilty going, and I’m a comedian. Why are public officials, paid by us, turning up at events for fashion magazines?

Well, the reason I was there was because I have a tour on and I was advised it would be good publicity. What are the politicians selling? How are they managing our perception of them with their attendance of these sequin-encrusted corporate balls?

We witness that there is a relationship between government, media and industry that is evident even at this most spurious and superficial level. These three institutions support one another. We know that however cool a media outlet may purport to be, their primary loyalty is to their corporate backers. We know also that you cannot criticise the corporate backers openly without censorship and subsequent manipulation of this information.

Now I’m aware that this was really no big deal; I’m not saying I’m an estuary Che Guevara. It was a daft joke by a daft comic at a daft event. It makes me wonder, though, how the relationships and power dynamics I witnessed on this relatively inconsequential context are replicated on a more significant scale.

For example, if you can’t criticise Hugo Boss at the GQ awards because they own the event, do you think it is significant that energy companies donate to the Tory party? Will that affect government policy? Will the relationships that “politician of the year” Boris Johnson has with City bankers – he took many more meetings with them than public servants in his first term as mayor – influence the way he runs our capital?

Is it any wonder that Amazon, Vodafone and Starbucks avoid paying tax when they enjoy such cosy relationships with members of our government?

Ought we be concerned that our rights to protest are being continually eroded under the guise of enhancing our safety?

Is there a relationship between proposed fracking in the UK, new laws that prohibit protest and the relationships between energy companies and our government?

I don’t know.

I do have some good principles picked up that night that are generally applicable:

the glamour and the glitz isn’t real, the party isn’t real, you have a much better time mucking around trying to make your mates laugh.

I suppose that’s obvious. We all know it, we already know all the important stuff, like: don’t trust politicians, don’t trust big business and don’t trust the media.

Trust your own heart and each other.

When you take a breath and look away from the spectacle it’s amazing how absurd it seems when you look back.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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