Friday, August 12th, 2011
39

Huge Tosser Makes Sense: Russell Brand on UK Riots


Why am I surprised that these young people behave destructively, "mindlessly," motivated only by self-interest? How should we describe the actions of the city bankers who brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? Mindful? Kind? But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that's why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.

These young people have no sense of community because they haven't been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron's mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there's no such thing.

—The shock of last night was ludicrous comedy-remake offender and general prat Russell Brand making sense of England.

39 Comments / Post A Comment

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

OK, but water cannons or rubber bullets? You don't want to lose the attention of the practical thinking conservative readers, Choire. Learn from CNN.

coalbaron (#11,105)

Saving London as a financial capital was obviously a huge mistake. Think how many Dr. Who episodes and Gordon Ramsey cooking specials they could have filmed with just the billions given to RBS.

hockeymom (#143)

Tosser? What does that even mean?
Please talk more American.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

American: fap

Rod T (#33)

My question is why there isn't rioting here in the US. Is it that we're more refined? More complacent? Or is it that we're still working our tits off trying to pay off our debts that we're simply too occupied to riot or even vote in our own interest?

These are the years of bank slavery, and if it takes a Russell Brand to get that point accross, fine. Hell, his ladyfriend Katy Perry could maybe write one of her shitty songs about it. If it rallies the sleeping masses, then I'll learn the words and sing along.

ejcsanfran (#489)

@Rod T: I chalk it up to the lack of class consciousness in the U.S. Seriously, I've been carting out that soapbox for years, but no one listens! As long as the vast majority of Americans (including the wealthy and the poor) believe that they are middle-class and are unable to comprehend or defend their own economic interests, they'll continue to be distracted by red herrings like same-sex marriage, abortion and Sharia law.

@Rod T Maybe it's because the police fire things like wooden bullets and "sting bags" at anti-war protesters in this country?

@ejcsanfran Exactly. Steinbeck had it nailed: "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

@Rod T you on the soapbox will always have a tough time out-shouting those who make billions off the myth of the American Middle Class. It's like poor white people voting Republican because they like to think they're part of the in-crowd. When you convince a people that poverty and unemployment are their personal failures, it's especially easy to keep them from fighting the disparity of wealth (and then funnel their anger into dead-end, manipulative bullshit like gay marriage, as you said). "I just have to try a little harder today. If the government would just stop taking my money and telling me what to do, I could work hard and get everything I want."

@Clarence Rosario Oh, that's a great quote

hockeymom (#143)

@Clarence Rosario Exactly. I think one thing that makes Americans "American" is our belief that at any moment, any one of us can be the next Mark Zuckerberg, if we just try hard enough. To stand up for the poor….or even the middle class…is an acknowledgment that maybe that dream is not realistic. That for some people in America, it will never get better. And the thought that it might actually get worse is something that happens to other people, not us.

City_Dater (#2,500)

@hockeymom

And the people here who would most benefit from class-consciousness are too often those who are most easily distracted by religious and "values" nonsense.

(Could there even be a UK equivalent of Michelle Bachmann or Rick Santorum?)

ejcsanfran (#489)

@City_Dater: One of my favorite British slang expressions is "God botherer."

lempha (#581)

@Everyone: ALL OF THE ANGRY POOR PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES ARE INCARCERATED.

DMcK (#5,027)

@hockeymom And if it happens to somebody else, it's their own damn fault, obviously! That's what really disturbs me the most about American culture: the mainstreaming of the attitude that people who are suffering deserve what they're getting.

HiredGoons (#603)

@City_Dater: he mentioned Margaret Thatcher.

Louis Fyne (#2,066)

@HiredGoons Agree with the class issues, the equivalent brits self-identify as the underclass and there is more race intermingling. The economic issue is austerity – UK zigged towards austerity two years ago when the US zagged towards stimulus. Assuming the US is now stuck with austerity the parallel would be a two-year ticking clock on our equivalent riots.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

The main problem with America is that it's so isolated from the rest of the world that the loonies who populate the middle and the south of it think that their model choices are USA or Iran (or Soviet Union before that). Therefore whenever anyone talks about changing anything, these people think it's the coming of Sharia or Communism. They refuse to consider the examples other democratic, developed nations because they think they are too little (in size and population) to be worthy of comparison, and couldn't even exist if USA was not there to protect them. In other words, for this country to improve, it would need to shrink and move to Europe. More realistically, I'd be quite happy if CSA just broke away already.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@Rod T Guns. Way too many guns and a perceived willingness to use them. It creates a fear of mutually assured destruction, a sort of .45-caliber nash doctrine.

City_Dater (#2,500)

@HiredGoons

Thatcher was Reagan in a dress, not a Fundie delivering coded messages to her fellow Christian Conservatives and actually getting significant media coverage, rather than being treated like the lunatic fringe. I, too, love the phrase "God Botherers."

fayrene (#23,555)

@Abe Sauer I absolutely agree. Perhaps it is because I live in Texas, but it is hard to imagine that your local shopkeeper wouldn't be waiting with a firearm by the time day 2 or 3 of riots rolled around. Or hour 2, for that matter.

Jared (#1,227)

I think this is what's called knowing your audience.

He made eloquent remarks on Amy Winehouse's passing and all it involved than anyone else, too! Why are you trying to make me like you, Russell Brand? Stop!
http://www.russellbrand.tv/2011/07/for-amy/

@HeyThatsMyBike ugh, *more* eloquent

r&rkd (#1,719)

"But what if you're wrong?"

deepomega (#1,720)

Russell Brand, on the other hand, is always making non-selfish decisions and engaging in all KINDS of communities. Just the other day he told a ribald joke to a busker as his way of giving back.

City_Dater (#2,500)

As if the riots themselves weren't enough of a distressing sign of The End Growing Near.

LondonLee (#922)

He's actually, dare I say it, quite a good writer as his Guardian columns in the past prove too. I'd be tempted to pick up his autobiography if it wasn't called 'My Booky Wook'

GailPink (#9,712)

@LondonLee – it's a stupid name for a really good book.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

That was great. I especially like the reference to Old Bill, but from what I learned this week, the youths over there have taken to calling police "The Feds" which I find kind of fascinating.

LondonLee (#922)

My favourite Brit-slang for coppers (well, apart from 'The Filth') is 'The Dibbles' after the policeman in Top Cat.

Phil Koesterer (#2,708)

They're looting because of something Margaret Thatcher said in 1987?

barnhouse (#1,326)

Not a bit surprising. Underneath all that hirsute tosser is a very serious person. I've been a huge fan for ages. Check this out if you doubt it. (@LondonLee it is a good book and so is the second one, Booky Wook 2.)

p is for pee (#900)

@barnhouse At first, when he talked about achieving fame as "ashes in the mouth," I was kinda like, wha? Google searches on the phrase showed its provenance in the book of Isaiah, referring to false idol worship, pursuing things that are ultimately unsatisfactory, etc. Neat.

GailPink (#9,712)

Don't Hate on Russell Brand just because he's better looking than you and has a pretty pop star wife who makes lots of money.

JoshUng (#11,371)

Don't really agree with the first part ("they did bad stuff too" should not be an excuse), but the second part hits the nail on the head.

r&rkd (#1,719)

@JoshUng Of course you're right that two wrongs don't make a right, but I'm not sure the statement is so much an excuse for the rioters as it is an attack on Cameron (and similar others) for being hypocritical, more specifically, for being disingenuous in claiming to be interested in protecting voters from vandals.

dontannoyme (#24,319)

p is for pee – agree. He is surprisingly articulate. He puts this down to being what he describes as a "nan kid" – a child brought up by grandparents and so at home with the mannerisms and ways of an older generation and thus familiar with phrases such as "ashes in the mouth" (which is a great phrase). My own test for nan kids is: do you know what an antimacassar is and do you understand the importance of not letting it get spoilt? If yes, there's a high chance you are a nan kid.

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