For those of you who are unfamiliar with Russell Brand, he's a sort of actor, stand-up comedian, hybrid who has become a household name by being as outrageous as possible in his movies and public appearances and having once been married to singer Katy Perry.
Brand is one of those celebrities who thinks he's far more intelligent than he actually is. But he's not being funny anymore. Brand believes his celebrity has given him authority on political matters and is now under the impression that he should lead a worldwide socialist "revolution."
In a recent interview with the BBC, Brand defended the fact that he was asked to edit an issue of the New Statesmen. A British political magazine. This, despite the fact that Brand has never voted in an election.
In the interview he promotes what appears to be an anarcho-socialist agenda reminiscent of the one promoted by the base of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He believes in massive redistribution of wealth. That there's no good reason for people to vote and that the planet is being destroyed. His primary political objective however is to spark a "revolution" that would supposedly usher in a world that resembles his idea of "utopia."
He lays all of this out in a barely readable, rambling, 4,500+ word manifesto on the New Statesman website.
Let me save you some time. Don't read the article. It doesn't say a damn thing. It's just one socialist cliché after another. He's disgusted with politicians and seems to think that this viewpoint is unique to him and a handful of his like-minded revolutionaries.
He rails against our "materialistic consumer culture" despite the fact that Brand is estimated to be worth roughly $15 million, much of which was earned performing in big Hollywood films, which many would consider the epitome of modern consumer culture.
He rails against big banks ripping people off, despite the fact that he starred in a abominable remake of the film "Arthur" and allowed movie theaters to charge people $16 a pop to see it.
It would be easy to brush Brand off as another celebrity kook who is using his b-list name recognition to promote an agenda that he hasn't entirely thought through. The problem is, he is promoting violence. In his manifesto, he encourages leftists to "Revolt in whatever way we want, with the spontaneity of the London rioters, with the certainty and willingness to die of religious fundamentalists or with the twinkling mischief of the trickster."
Sounds a lot like terrorism to me.
Typically, I wouldn't waste my time with this type of celebrity nuttery. But, Brand is a more volatile individual than your typical celebrity activist. His history as a heroin addict and the fact that he once filmed himself masturbating a man in a public restroom, also raise some questions about his judgment.
It's important to keep in mind that there are some disturbed individuals out there who find the idea of city streets overflowing with the blood of capitalists to be not only acceptable, but preferable.
The Occupy Movement may be long dead, but it's important for us be aware that it lives on in the minds of guys like Brand. Who may be one Geoffrey away from starting trouble himself.