Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Russell Brand has been taking a beating from all corners over his most recent book, Revolution. Critics have called it naive, muddled, hypocritical, filled with factual errors and -- worst of all -- not funny. I haven't read the book and probably won't, so I can neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of these criticisms. Except for the factual errors. That is both demonstrable and pretty inexcusable. It happens: I once claimed Josemaría Escrivá was buried in Torreciudad and was corrected in a comment -- he's buried in Rome. While to my discredit, hell, it happens. We've written a lot on this blog; stands to reason mistakes will be made. But a major publishing firm should be better-equipped with editors and fact-checkers and someone who's plunged head-long into attacking basically everything the West stands for -- capitalism and democracy -- should come well-armed with a good grasp of the facts. Because if the facts are wrong, no one's gonna really listen to your opinions.
I kind of like Brand, and I'm sure he means what he says and just because the guy has "made it", it doesn't mean he's lost his right to critique the culture he's a part of. That said, he's clearly pissing in the wind and in the clips I've seen of him....well, let's just say he's not doing us any favors. (Which is a pity, because articles I've read by him are pretty engaging). A suspicious mind might even think that "they" have chosen the most likely candidate to bring discredit upon the large global phenomenon of "occupy"-style discontent....what reasonable person will be swayed by this hyper-kinetic ex-junkie?
I think the photo above doesn't require being an art critic in order to "get". Brand's beard, flowing hair, beads as vague spiritual accoutrement, his upward, somewhat beatific gaze....ok, ok, we get it. Just in case we missed it, we've got Jesus over to the left to hammer the point home.
So, Brand is out to save the world, he's got a messiah complex. Any message except for that he may in fact have something reasonable to say.
We've discussed the juxtaposition of public figures with Jesus or Christian symbolism quite a bit on LoS. The list and links at the end of America's Half-Blood Prince of Darkness contains the best summary of these articles; I will avoid repeating myself refer you to that article. You'll find that this kind of photo is fairly common.