The question of whether Russell Brand can be an ideology was brought up by one of my students in media studies last Friday, when we were discussing the ideology. In order to help and bring you into the picture, ideology is a set of beliefs hold by an individual, group or society taken as granted, but which might not be true at all.
For instance, to give you an example, when I was born, on the 10th of July (which is a month of cancer) during the year of Dragon (I prefer to keep my age as a secret for the time being), it was in the socialist country of the Soviet Union, which was busy building communism at that time. I wasn’t questioning the ideal, of course not, because it was and still is, the best system that a society can have. To each, according to their needs, as Marx would say. In reality, however, this system is the absolute opposite of truth, since humans are too greedy to be able to ever make it happen.
Moving back to the UK, where I am now, we live in the capitalism, which is presented to us as the prefect structure, since we can all try to make money, appear on the X-Factor and try to lure beauty industry into believing that we are the next top model. Do you understand? Total rubbish, in other words.
And so, when the student asked me about Russell Brand and whether he can be analysed as an ideology, I have to say, I was smitten and for a couple of seconds (more like a whole bloody minute) lost my voice (which is rare, as I hardly ever can shut up during my seminars because I simply love teaching).
My first (internal dialogue) reaction was: WHAT? Followed by (still internal dialogue), I have no ‘f’ clue, and then arriving at the obvious conclusion that most of my students are geniuses.
I mean, who could ever think of Russell Brand as an ideology? He is a Brand, not an ideology!
But, that question has been chasing me for the whole week, to an extent that I have been researching it rigorously. The thing is, I was curious about Russell Brand before, because I remember that day when I was skipping some boring presentations at a conference, and since no clothes’ shops were in the proximity I went to the local academic bookshop. And here it was, that ‘Revolution’ book by Russell Brand, occupying the most prominent place, at the centre of the shop, storing hundreds of copies.
In all honestly, I was surprised to see it because I knew of Russell Brand as a comedian, and seeing him getting into politics with some hint at Marxism, stopped me on my track and I almost bought the book, but then remembered that I had to go back to the conference and a bag of purchase from a bookshop would betray me as the biggest procrastinator.
However, I did subscribe to his channel on Youtube and watch him occasionally, because I do find him funny and he has quite refreshing and interesting view on politics. As quoted from Wikipedia, “British commentator Joan Smith dismissed Brand as the "canny self-publicist" who indulges in "waffle about 'revolution'" as "one celebrity, I'm afraid, who's more idiot than savant."
But I disagree with such criticism! It might be that Joan Smith is an idiot herself. For instance, if Russell Brand actually voted (he encouraged sabotaging elections for a number of times), he could indeed become an ideology, especially if he delivers on his promise ‘We’ve got to do something’ and does shake up the current prevailing thinking that we live in some sort of democracy. He is also a very nice and kind man, and all the money from the book goes to charity. And looking at his date of birth, 14th of June 1975, he has all the chances to become a politician. His year of birth is the Rabbit, and according to the Chinese, rabbits can make great career in the political sphere. His month of birth represents Gemini, who are natural leaders and end up with a lot of followers.
So, yes, let’s watch this space in terms of Russell Brand becoming a leader of some new political party.
But coming back to me, and my title, I started to think that I could become an ideology myself! You see, I am mental (officially so) and my belief about madness is that it is not an illness but a gift from God. Some of us are blessed with seeing, and I do belong to the group. I also possess all the necessary narcissistic skills to actually build up on my theory of me being an ideology and will update you on that in my next post.
I am stuck with the ideas about how to call my ideology though, so, please, do comment with some suggestions!
Ekaterina (ideology), PhD