There’s a revolution coming and Russell Brand is sure of it. The comedian, actor, radio and TV host and author sat down this week on SiriusXM’s Unmasked with host Ron Bennington to talk about his new book, “Revolution” and the rebellion that he thinks is inevitable.
Russell Brand is from Grays, Essex, England. His off stage behavior has been as well known as his stand up and movie career which includes films like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Get Him To The Greek”, both directed by Nick Stoller and the hit animated feature “Despicable Me” and its sequel. When he sat down with SiriusXM host Ron Bennington, he talked about being in recovery for his addictions, the search for happiness and Hollywood fame, but what was most on his mind is how the systems in America and around the world are broken when it comes to corporations, the environment and treatment of the poor.
Brand feels the right now the corporations have won and he calls them out by name.
“They’ve got what they want. Are corporations in complete control? Yes. Can corporations do whatever they want without prosecution? Yes. Are we making billions of dollars at Exxon, Monsanto, Pfizer? Yes, yes, yes. What’s the fucking problem? There is no problem if you’re them. There is no problem. The problem only begins if you’re taking unnecessary drugs that haven’t been properly trialed. If you can’t get proper cancer care because you ain’t got enough money and they won’t release drugs that cure the disease because there’s not enough money in them. We all know this stuff is happening and we pretend it’s not because it’s too inconvenient to face up to that idea. It’s too painful and ugly for us to face that idea.”
Brand explains that Capitalism will deteriorate if it continues the way its going now, and the alternative is something we don’t want to see. The system, he said, is doing what it was designed to do, and it’s working for the people that are keeping it in place. But, he said, it’s not working for anyone else, and it’s going to fail again.
“It hemorrhaged really badly in 2007 and 08. It’s going to fail again soon. They’re preparing for what follows it. And if we don’t do something, what follows it will be worse. It will be worse than capitalism. That’s why $4.2 billion of military equipment is being distributed among local and national American police forces. Because what’s happening in Ferguson (Missouri) is going to happen elsewhere.”
The events going on in Ferguson, along with climate change and how the world’s poor are being treated are signs that the end is coming for life as we know it on the planet. “There’s evidence all around us,” Brand told Bennington. “It’s clear where this is going. We’re being told there’s 50 to 100 years before the planet’s fucked. We can already see, seeping like a fog, Armageddon all around us. Some people, Armageddon has happened for them already. They’re already on the street.” But, he said, the solution and the revolution will be simpler to pull off than people realize.
“We have the choice now whether or not we want to awaken and participate. And it doesn’t have to be some sort of like devotional sackcloth and ashes deal. We can just sort of – “Right, am I happy with how much I’m paying on my mortgage? Am I happy with how much I’m paying on my tax? Am I happy with how my community is run? If the answer’s “No”, what are you going to do? Talk to other people. Are they happy? No, I’m not actually. Because no one is. And so organize and become active. And more and more, we have the technology for us to communicate on a global level. And we know how to act on a local level. It’s possible. It’s easy in fact.”
A theme that Russell Brand kept returning to on Unmasked with Ron Bennington was happiness. Despite what the corporations and the media offer us to achieve happiness, it’s just not there. “We’re not happy in our cozy, sequin-covered cages. We’re not happy anyway. And being a human being can be magnificent. Joyful. We all know this. We all know this. So for me, it’s a simple and obvious course of action.” Fame, fortune and success are definitely not the path to happiness or else he would have achieved it that way. He talked about going to the 2013 Academy Awards and the Vanity Fair party afterwards, the place to be on Oscar night. It was something he said that he would have given anything to do when he was a kid, but the night turned into a disappointment for him.
“Say, if you’re at the Oscars by yourself and you think – “I’m bored!”. It’s a weird feeling. I’ve watched it on the telly and I’ve liked it, but it’s not right – or the Vanity Fair party after the Oscars. And everyone looks like they’ve been tied up in those tuxedos. Like they were bound. And that Vanity Fair party seemed like a paddock to me, like a farmyard. Like some sort of battery farm of fame. It didn’t seem right. And I could see in people’s famous faces, their trapped humanity. And it didn’t feel right. I felt sad there.”
If fame and success are so great, Brand asked, “”…why are people killing themselves?” He challenged to audience to think about why great personalities like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Winehouse are dead. “Philip Seymour Hoffman – it’s not like he was just famous. He was respected, lauded, loved, adored. It meant nothing to him. Now obviously, the man was a drug addict. But you would think, given the cultural narrative that we’re all buying into, being an Oscar winning, adored actor would get rid of the misery behind addiction,” Brand suggested.
One thing that still does bring Russell Brand happiness is his love for women. Host Ron Bennington noticed that in the hallways of SiriusXM. Brand told him, “I’m not even sure all those people were women. So, one of them was a nun. I, mean, I like a challenge, Ron.” Bennington replied, “Yeah, I know. When someone says to a nun, can I get your email? I’m, like, I have no idea where this is going.” Russell responded with a pick up line that should work on any nun, “Well, well, well, how about picking up another habit, hmmm?”
“Revolution” by Russell Brand is available now at Amazon and at RussellBrand.com.
You can listen to the entire episode of Ron Bennington’s Unmasked with special guest Russell Brand this Friday, October 24 at 2pm et on SiriusXM’s RawDog 99. The Episode will re-air throughout the weekend on Raw Dog Comedy Hits 99. Replays of this episode will run Saturday, at 7 pm et and on Sunday, at 2 pm and 10 pm et.
Unmasked — an hour long interview show talking about creativity with comedians– is taped before a live studios audience. In addition to hosting Unmasked, Ron Bennington also hosts Ron Bennington Interviews and is the primary voice on The Ron and Fez Show weekdays from noon to 3pm et on SiriusXM. For information on how to get tickets to tapings of Unmasked, follow@UnmaskedShow on twitter.