Slut of the week: Russell Brand

One of my guilty pleasures is ABC women’s gabfest The View— mainly because of my long-standing girl crushes on Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg. I’m not a regular viewer and I don’t necessarily agree with everything they say or do, but I am a very big fan of people who say what they think with no filter or no shame.

Along that line, Rosie turned me on to comedian, actor and writer Russell Brand who is nothing if not outspoken and unashamed.

Up til recently, my only real knowledge of Brand was as Katy Perry’s former hubby and his playful teasing of the Jonas brothers for their chastity rings.

I’d take [the Jonas Brothers’ promise rings] a little more seriously if they’d wear it on their genitals… [It is] a little bit ungrateful because they could have sex with any woman they want. That is like Superman deciding not to fly and go everywhere on a bus… It’s just, a bit of sex occasionally never hurt anybody.

On the personal side, there’s just a charisma about him that transcends mere celebrity fascination. Nicolle Wallace of The View pointed out he has a way of disarming you by getting right up in your face and sometimes reaching out and touching you while he talks. He basically implodes any awkwardness or air of pretentiousness by “just calling a thing, a thing” (as my aunt calls it) and being extremely real.

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As a result of his charisma, he was named Shagger of the Year by Maxim Magazine (which is kind of, ew, but he really did allegedly “Brand” some lovely ladies). Now he’s not really my cup of tea as I tend to favor more clean-shaven, fair-coiffed gentleman but I can definitely see the appeal.

However, the real reason Russell is my S.O.T.W is because of his general outspokenness. Here are some of my favorite Russell quotes.

This one rather perfectly sums up how I felt (and still often feel) about being an atheist blogger AND the child of very religious parents. It’s difficult trying to compartmentalize who you are so as not to cause conflict with the ones you love.

“From quite early on, I had this idea of compartmentalized identities – ‘this is how you are when you are with your mum, and this is how you are when you are with your dad’ – so it seemed like I could never absolutely be myself. And the image of myself as compromised and inconsistent made me want to withdraw from the world even further. I had a sense of formulating a paper-mache version of myself to send out in the world, while I sat controlling it remotely from some smug suburban barracks.”

This last line especially resonates with me. No one really cares what you’re doing or saying (you’re your own worst critic), so just do whatever the fuck you want.

“It’s difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you. No one really feels self-confident deep down because it’s an artificial idea. Really, people aren’t that worried about what you’re doing or what you’re saying, so you can drift around the world relatively anonymously: you must not feel persecuted and examined. Liberate yourself from that idea that people are watching you.”

Oh my gosh yes. These moments are magical and make you feel so alive.

“For me happiness occurs arbitrarily: a moment of eye contact on a bus, where all at once you fall in love; or a frozen second in a park where it’s enough that there are trees in the world.”

I’ve long heard that the word ‘platonic’ does not mean what we think it means and certainly was not how Plato intended it.

“I hope it is not necessary for me to stress the platonic nature of our relationship- not platonic in the purest sense, there was no philosophical discourse, but we certainly didn’t fuck, which is usually what people mean by platonic; which I bet would really piss Plato off, that for all his thinking and chatting his name has become an adjective for describing sexless trysts.”

And then, he says something so deep and relevant that I have to just stop and consider it for awhile. Perhaps this is the true “immortality” worth striving for rather than a non-existent ‘heaven’.

“I want to change the world, and do something valuable and beautiful. I want people to remember me before I’m dead, and then more afterwards.”

This one just made me chuckle.

“I like threesomes with two women, not because I’m a cynical sexual predator. Oh no! But because I’m a romantic. I’m looking for “The One.” And I’ll find her more quickly if I audition two at a time.”

 

The one area (okay probably more than that) Mr. Brand and I disagree, is religion.

Here is his interview (audio on youtube) with Richard Dawkins. If you’re too busy to listen for 7 minutes, my basic analysis of this clip is:

His approach to theology seems to be the same as his approach to beautiful women, or a 12 year old’s approach to Pokemon—”gotta catch em all”. Why not embrace all manner of spirituality for the specific indulgences it offers you? The more the merrier. He seems so enthralled with the concept of the divine, which he experiences “twice daily” through meditation, that straight up atheism seems too harsh for him.

The thing I disagree with is not meditation ( it really is glorious) but rather that spiritualism is something you can feel, and therefore it has value and is divine. While Dawkins is very black and white about it, he has good purpose in his arguments—to weed out “personal revelation” in favor of “what is fact”. And while you may have a 9 hour orgasm thinking about god and distracting yourself from thinking about heroin, that doesn’t necessarily make it true. The criteria of belief for me, and any rationalist worth their salt, is much broader.

 

 

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7 responses to “Slut of the week: Russell Brand

  1. You are a talented writer. Always enjoy reading your prose, not because I agree with you every time but because you make your point clear and effortless to understand.

  2. “And while you may have a 9 hour orgasm thinking about god and distracting yourself from thinking about heroin, that doesn’t necessarily make it true.”

    I don’t know…having a 9 hour orgasm would definitely promote worship.

    On a less stimulating note, Russell Brand is very outspoken. He’s going to say at least something that people will disagree with. It’s great that he’s saying it, and that he’s not dog-cussing people who disagree with him.

    • Exactly. That’s what I love about him. He’s so delightfully controversial in every way. And a 9 hour orgasm would be the form of worship, the cult following and the deity all rolled into one in my book. If I could manage to kneel afterwards….

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