Russell Brand: O problema são os políticos

, por Alexandre Matias


Há um certo tempo o comediante inglês vem tentando sair de um dos cercados do showbusiness para o outro – quer que sua capacidade de fazer as pessoas rir também possa ser usada para fazê-las pensar. Faz isso ainda pela linha do humor, como quando ironizou, em uma premiação da revista GQ inglesa patrocinada pela Hugo Boss no mês passado, o fato do estilo dos nazistas estar ligado ao fato dos uniformes alemães terem sido desenhados pela grife que bancava o evento.


Agora é a vez da New Statesman dar seu aval ao humorista ao entregar o cargo de editor convidado em uma edição cuja temática era “revolução” ao próprio Brand, que escreveu um longo ensaio sobre a falência do sistema político atual e a necessidade de mudarmos nossa consciência para conseguirmos abandonar paradigmas que estão enraizados em nossa noção de realidade para, aí sim, vermos mudanças de fato que beneficiem a todos. Um trecho:

We are mammals on a planet, who now face a struggle for survival if our species is to avoid expiry. We can’t be led by people who have never struggled, who are a dusty oak-brown echo of a system dreamed up by Whigs and old Dutch racists.

We now must live in reality, inner and outer. Consciousness itself must change. My optimism comes entirely from the knowledge that this total social shift is actually the shared responsibility of six billion individuals who ultimately have the same interests. Self-preservation and the survival of the planet. This is a better idea than the sustenance of an elite. The Indian teacher Yogananda said: “It doesn’t matter if a cave has been in darkness for 10,000 years or half an hour, once you light a match it is illuminated.” Like a tanker way off course due to an imperceptible navigational error at the offset we need only alter our inner longitude.

Capitalism is not real; it is an idea. America is not real; it is an idea that someone had ages ago. Britain, Christianity, Islam, karate, Wednesdays are all just ideas that we choose to believe in and very nice ideas they are, too, when they serve a purpose. These concepts, though, cannot be served to the detriment of actual reality.

The reality is we have a spherical ecosystem, suspended in, as far as we know, infinite space upon which there are billions of carbon-based life forms, of which we presume ourselves to be the most important, and a limited amount of resources.

The only systems we can afford to employ are those that rationally serve the planet first, then all humanity. Not out of some woolly, bullshit tree-hugging piffle but because we live on it, currently without alternatives. This is why I believe we need a unifying and in – clusive spiritual ideology: atheism and materialism atomise us and anchor us to one frequency of consciousness and inhibit necessary co-operation.

In 2013 (another made-up imaginary concept) we cannot afford to giggle, drivel and burp like giant, pube-covered babies about quaint, old-fashioned notions like nation, capitalism and consumerism simply because it’s convenient for the tiny, greedy, myopic sliver of the population that those outmoded ideas serve. I will never vote because, as Billy said, “It encourages them.”

Russell reforçou seu ponto em uma entrevista a Jeremy Paxman, da BBC, que, a princípio, apenas parecia disposto a ridicularizar alguém que se dispunha a uma revolução política sem nunca ter votado em sua vida, mas Russell conseguiu tomar a palavra e a atenção do entrevistador, podendo falar o que realmente queria:

A transcrição da entrevista (em inglês) segue abaixo. Se alguém quiser traduzi-la (tanto a entrevista quanto o artigo da New Statesman) basta colar aí nos comentários que eu subo de volta no post.

Jeremy Paxman – Russell Brand, who are you to edit a political magazine? Is it true you don’t even vote?
Russell Brand – Yeah no, I don’t vote.

Jeremy Paxman – Well, how do you have any authority to talk about politics?
Russell Brand – Well, I don’t get my authority from this preexisting paradigm, which is quite narrow and only serves a few people. I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity. Alternate means alternative political systems.

Jeremy Paxman – They being…?
Russell Brand – Well, I’ve not invented it yet, Jeremy! Here’s the thing it shouldn’t do: It shouldn’t destroy the planet, shouldn’t create massive economic disparity, shouldn’t ignore the needs of the People. The burden of proof is on the people with the power.

Jeremy Paxman – How do you imagine the people get power?
Russell Brand – Well, I imagine there are hierarchical systems that’ve been preserved for generations–

Jeremy Paxman – You get power by being voted in. You can’t even be asked to vote!
Russell Brand – That’s quite a narrow prescriptive parameter–

Jeremy Paxman – In a democracy that’s how it works.
Russell Brand – I don’t think it’s working very well, Jeremy, given that the planet is being destroyed, given there’s economic disparity of a huge degree. What you’re is say is, there’s no alternative. Brilliant.

Jeremy Paxman – I’m saying that if you can’t be asked to vote, why should we be asked to listen to your political point of view?
Russell Brand – You don’t have to listen to my political point of view. But it’s not that I’m not voting out of apathy; I’m not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery, deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations now, and has now reached fever pitch where we have a disenfranchised, disillusioned, despondent underclass that are not being represented by that political system. So voting for it is tacit complicity with that system, and that’s not something I’m offering up.

Jeremy Paxman – Why don’t you change it then?
Russell Brand – I’m trying to.

Jeremy Paxman – Well, why don’t you start by voting?
Russell Brand – *Laughs* I don’t think it works! people have voted already and that’s what’s creating the current paradigm.

Jeremy Paxman – When did you last vote?
Russell Brand – Never.

Jeremy Paxman – You’ve never, ever voted?
Russell Brand – No. Do you think that’s really bad?

Jeremy Paxman – So you struck an attitude before the age of 18.
Russell Brand – Well, I was busy being a drug addict at that point because I’m come from the kind of social conditions that are exacerbated by an indifferent system that really just administrates for large corporations and ignores the population it was voted in to serve.

Jeremy Paxman – You’re blaming the political class for the fact you had a drug problem?
Russell Brand – No, I’m saying, I was part of a social and economic class that is underserved by the current political system, and drug addiction is one of the problems it creates when you have huge underserved, impoverished populations. People get drug problems, and also don’t feel like they want to engage with the current political system. Because they see that it doesn’t work for them. They see that it makes no difference. They see that they’re not served.
The apathy doesn’t come from us, the People; the apathy comes from the politicians. They’re apathetic to our needs. They only interested in servicing the needs of corporations. Aren’t the Tories taking the EU to court because they’re trying to curtail bank bonuses? Why am I gonna tune in to that?!

Jeremy Paxman – You don’t believe in democracy; you want a revolution, don’t you?
Russell Brand – The planet is being destroyed, we are creating an underclass, we’re exploiting poor people all over the world, and there are genuine, legitimate problems of the people not being addressed by our political class.

Jeremy Paxman – What will a revolution be like?
Russell Brand – I think what it won’t be like is a huge disparity between rich and poor, where 300 Americans have the same amount of wealth as their 85 million poorest Americans, where there is an exploited and underserved underclass that have been continually ignored, where welfare is slashed while Cameron and Osbourne go to court to defend the rights of bankers to continue receiving their bonuses. That’s all I’m saying.
I think a socialist egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution wealth, heavy taxation of corporations and massive responsibility for energy companies and any companies exploiting the environment. I think the very concept of profit should be hugely reduced. David Cameron says, ‘profit isn’t a dirty word,’ I say, ‘profit is a filthy word,’ because wherever there is profit there is also deficit and this system currently doesn’t address these ideas.

Jeremy Paxman – You’re calling for revolution.
Russell Brand – Yeah, absolutely! I’m calling for change. I’m calling for genuine alternatives.

Jeremy Paxman – There are many people who would agree with you…but if they were take you seriously and not vote–
Russell Brand – Yeah, they shouldn’t vote. [*Looks directly at camera*] Don’t bother voting. You see, these little valves, these sort of like cozy little valves: recycling and Prius. It stops us reaching the pit point. This is enough now. Stop voting. Stop pretending. Wake up. Be in reality. Time to be in reality now. Why vote? We know it’s not going to make any difference. We know that already.
So let’s approach this optimistically. You’ve spent your whole career berating and haranguing politicians, and then when a comedian like me says, ‘They’re all worthless. What’s the point of engaging in anything,’ you have a go at me because I’m not poor anymore. I’m sorry.

Jeremy Paxman – I’m just asking why we should take you seriously when you’re so unspecific.
Russell Brand – Firstly, I don’t mind if you don’t me seriously. I’m here just to draw attention to a few ideas. I’m saying, there are people with alternative ideas that are far better qualified than I am and far better qualified, more importantly, than the people who are currently doing that job. Because they’re not attempting to solve these problems. They’re attempting to placate the population. Their measures that they’re currently taking around climate change are indifferent, will not solve the problem.
We can no longer have erroneous, duplicitous systems held in place unless it’s for the service–only systems that serve the planet and serve the population of the planet can be allowed to survive. Not ones that serve elites, be they political or corporate elites. And this is what’s currently happening.
What I’m saying is that within the existing paradigm, the change is not dramatic enough, not radical enough, so you can well understand public disturbances and public dissatisfaction, when there are not genuine changes and genuine alternatives being offered. I say, when there is a genuine alternative, a genuine option, then vote for that. Until then, don’t bother. Why pretend, why be complicit in this ridiculous illusion?

Jeremy Paxman – Because by the time somebody comes along you might think it worth voting for it may be too late.
Russell Brand – I don’t think so, because the time is now. These movements are already occurring. It’s happening everywhere. We’re in a time when communication is instantaneous and there are communities all over the world–the Occupy movement made a difference even if only in that it introduced to the popular public lexicon the idea of the 1% versus the 99%. The people for the first time in a generation are aware of massive corporate and economic exploitation. These things are not nonsense, and these subjects are not being addressed.
No one’s doing anything about tax havens. No one’s doing anything about their political affiliations and financial affiliations of the Conservative Party. So until people are addressing things that are actually real, why wouldn’t I be facetious? Why would I take it seriously? Why would I encourage a constituency of young people that absolutely indifferent to vote? Why would we? Aren’t you bored? Aren’t you more bored than anyone?

Jeremy Paxman – I’m surprised you can be facetious when you’re that angry about it.
Russell Brand – I am angry. I am angry because for me it’s real. Because for me it’s not just some peripheral thing…for me, this is what I come from, this is what I care about.

Jeremy Paxman – Do you see any hope?
Russell Brand – Yeah, totally. There’s gonna be a revolution. It’s totally going to happen. I ain’t got a flicker of doubt that this is the end. This is time to wake up.

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