Russell Brand and Nigel Farage on Question Time tonight.

July 2024 Forums General discussion Russell Brand and Nigel Farage on Question Time tonight.

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 92 total)
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  • #106848
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    One thing Chomsky and Brand have in common and i have said that it is a weakness, although others may view it as a strength…they are not members of any particular party. Chomsky is a prime example of some who is excluded from the media (except for rare occasions) because of the content of his message. i find it strange for someone who has written many fine books on the media manipulation, on the US state's nefarious role in world events that you regard it as ineffectual. It is not a question of either Chomsky or Brand – we can have both and do have both. One uses the communication skills of a erudite professor, the other his talent as an entertainer.  Charlie Chaplin used his expertise for being a clown to produce the Great Dictator for political observation and comment.But the more some promote Brand, it leads to people like myself who are sympathetic to him, to begin to criticise and pull him down from his pedestal. Brand has a long way to go before he assumes the intellectual stature of Chomsky. It was not Brand who put the message of revolution on the lips of people but various popular peoples' movements from Arab Spring to Occupy to Indignados. A far as i see he is merely a convert to revolution and perhaps not the messiah but definitely an apostle for it and gets that credit. But let us keep a perspective…Brand is getting over 100,000-to 200,000 views on average to his almost daily videos, (figures Chomsky only reaches when over the course of a year). A great achievement but let us remember he doesn't call for revolution in all of them…in some he offers such reforms such as virtual currency.Again i call for restraint in making the face more important than the case. The messenger will always be different and expressing the message in different forms but it is the message that is the revolution. And it is exactly on this that both Chomsky and Brand (albeit for different reasons and purposes) are vague and present a lack of clarity. Brand has offered no definition of what sort of revolution we should seek and nor has Chomsky. Quite correctly they leave it up to the people ourselves. And alas, despite claims of an open door, i don't see a rush of people through it. Because ..they simply don't know what is behind the door. This is where we should be trying to heighten our influence. the  opened door may well be simply another entrance to another prison-cell…or the gate-way to freedom. It is up to us to ensure people use the door to reach a genuinely new place. But enough of platitudes. We don't possess the power of persuasion that either Chomsky or Brand have. If only we had but we don't. Thats a fact. Our task is to try and acquire it. We won't be given TV interviews or newspaper columns but as the message in #75 suggests we could do more to harness the internet, you tube and social media as the vehicles for our ideas. We need to concentrate on that.I for one see our blogging going to waste in the sense that we have few visitors and few links to it. IMHO, the presentation mars the content. Perhaps 2015 will see an improvement. I hope so.Our website may be having more of an  impact, statistically but it still has a long way to go in terms of being used as source material  and cited as references in footnotes as a sign and signal it is of actual influence.2015 may well be time to consider the unthinkable…making the Socialist Standard fully an e-zine and having simply a hard-copy quarterly magazine, glossier and meatier and marketable at WHSmiths With months to prepare and edit, the content can be more in depth. The figures released by DJP shows it is our Marxist analysis that is the popular top ten. Surely we should take notice of that fact. Bur enough of today's rambling…

    #106849
    ALB
    Keymaster

    This short video is actually quite funny:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDDzlgMrkGM

    #106850
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Brand has a long way to go before he assumes the intellectual stature of Chomsky. 

     I agree, but on reading his book I am surprised by what he does know. More importantly he presents topics – that are usually couched in intellectual and technical jargon – in simple to understand languange. For example, if you want to understand the arguments in 'science for socialists' then read Brand. I think it is wrong to dismiss Brand simply on the grounds that he is a celebrity. He himself tells his readers that 'celebrity' is a load of crap and that we cannot put our faith in some relolutionary leader: we must bring about change ourselves.He also gives a good criticism of religion, tho' he keeps some 'spiritual' belief. He also drifts toward reforms. But to give him credit where it is due, he believes in a majority revolution  and not by a leadership, which is what we have been saying all along.

    #106851
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    A bit like Ben Elton's delivery when he was at his peak, ALB…a gatling gun..Chomsky has a much more deliberated where he makes sure he is saying something of substance and of importance and it is not lost in rapid fire verbiage. In fact i think i remember Dawkins explaining that many New Agers use a technique of a verbal onslaught with plenty of key words , dropped in to make it sound all scientific but out of context and without real meaning to them. I recall saying long ago at the time, that Elton's comedy was counter-productive since it turned Thatcher into a figure of fun to take the piss out of rather than show her as she really was…the serious political representative of the capitalist class in the process of crushing the working class….i don't think the jokes or repetitious chants particularly helped to explain what was happening and her role in it. And it certainly didn't develop into a lasting political critique which led to any changeBut, of course, i have a reputation (some say a well-deserved one) for lacking a sense of humour…and whatever did happen to Ben Elton?….oh he, is in Australia appearing on their version of Question Time, acting out the conscience of the liberal intellectuals rather than calling for real revolution.I'm not dismissing Brand…i simply want to go beyond him…but i'm not sure exactly how to do that and nothing i ever read helps get me any closer to an answer. I'm open minded enough to keep hoping.  

    #106852
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    To be fair on Brand , Alan, drawing parallels with other outspoken comedians is like our opponents pointing to the various socialist parties and countries as proof of socialism's failure.  I remember Ben Elton and his delivery was not good. Never understood a word he was saying  

    #106853
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Wasn't Ben Elton a Labour Party supporter or member?I know he was part of the comedy contingent of Red Wedge in 1987.

    #106854
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    This short video is actually quite funny:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDDzlgMrkGM

    Alan, I hope you didn't think that this was Brand himself speaking. It was another comedian doing a take-off of him.

    #106855
    jondwhite
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Wasn't Ben Elton a Labour Party supporter or member?I know he was part of the comedy contingent of Red Wedge in 1987.

    He was one of the biggest private donors to the Labour party election campaigns.

    #106856
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    JDW,Have you any idea for how long he was a big Labour Party donor?

    #106857
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    Alan, I hope you didn't think that this was Brand himself speaking. It was another comedian doing a take-off of him.

    I might be aging but my eyesight hasn't got that bad, ALB I simply wanted to make a point that this stand-up comedy style of message isn't exactly well suited for our purpose which is to convey and communicate our case. Chomsky is far batter with his slow, clearly articulated and information-filled conversational manner. Brand, et al, reminds me too much of people in the pub, making some good points but it's hidden in a load of other shit and the nuggets of gold and the real gems often gets lost. Once again, i do think Brand serves a purpose, IF it gets us thinking about how we should be advocating and advancing our own ideas, breaking the old moulds and  thinking out the box…trying new things, experimenting, and discarding what doesn't work or is too time/cost expending and building on initiatives that do seem to have a resonance with people.And once more i confess my own personal lack of inspiration. I do believe we need group-think. These workshops last year were i think very promising….but was there any follow-ups in concrete terms. Did they actually result in any related action? I am a bit out of touch as people know. Obviously the election seminars gives the participants increased knowledge on the procedures would be a great aid but has the propaganda and promotion suggestions begun? I think they might have but perhaps they still remain low key and not reached the higher priority yet. Like other comrades i am a strong supporter that we should be using the local press more, not only is it easier to gain a voice in them and cheaper to place ads but in my experience people actually read their local paper closer and more intently. I noted one branch's well designed ad didn't bring in the crowds but we should not place too much importance on one introductory effort…a series of ads …a campaign of public meetings…often has better effect. I joined in the 70s when we had the '7 Days For Socialism' campaign so i may be biased, but saturation propaganda may be the way to go, leaving trails of titbits for people to track and trail towards the Party. Anyways, lets make it a good new year for all of us

    #106858
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    An example of the depth of Chomsky's analysis in an interview with the  impressive journalist Chris Hedges with an opening question about the nature of wage-slavery.A rather long video …an hour…but i think well worth a watch and demonstrates Chomsky's wide-ranging scope that introduces vital concepts that are no longer discussed or debated. http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/chris_hedges_interview_noam_chomsky_on_empire_liberal_class_20141231One thing i full-heartedly share with ex-comrade Stuart Watkins is his respect and admiration of Chomsky. 

    #106859
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Democracy Now and interview with Russel Brand (20 minutes in) who does a very piss-poor impression of Chomsky talking in an attempt to be humourous but a great song from Leonard Cohen as an intro to the interviewhttp://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/2/russell_brand_on_revolution_fighting_inequality

    Quote:
    AMY GOODMAN: Might you run for mayor of London?RUSSELL BRAND: I don’t think I would really want to be part of that political system. What I’m interested in is ordinary people being engaged, whether it’s for union activity in their workplaces, new coalitions or people that are taking control of the places that they live, Amy.

    i think the interview shows what i previously said about Brand…great insight but marred by his need to fall back into clown persona. 

    #106860
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Alan, I agree with you about Chomsky. I've a lot of time for the bloke and he does indeed know a lot of stuff, as you would expect. Unfortunately he isn't all that exciting to listen to. Always reminds me of the old BBC Open University  programes that were shown late at night. A bit harsh perhaps.Like it or not, these days packaging is as important as content when it comes to getting peoples attention. The desperately needed new audiences won't be turned on to revolution with old Open University style packaging. It doesn't matter whether or not the content is sound, if no one is listening.I've done some searching on YouTube for stuff from the SPGB and I was quite shocked at what I found. Unfortunately most (not all) of the stuff I found was in the vein of old Open University lectures. The viewing figures for most of the the videos are embarrassing. No one is watching. Brand may never reach the intellectual level of Chomsky and he may never join us lot, but he is grabbing the attention of an audience who would probably not normally be interested in revolutionary politics.

    #106861
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    EDL disrupt book reading of Brand's Revolution thinking he was going to turn up …but alas…Worth watching the video.'This could have been so easily posted on the Charlie thread as a sign of the beginning of the reactionary back-lash…http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/edl-members-crash-a-book-group-because-they-thought-russell-brand-would-be-there-9974257.html

    #106862
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Here's Brand's take on the Charlie Hebdo massacre:https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dg8Y0WpbfZwNothing special, but he makes a few good general points.

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