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Underestimate the Intelligence of Russell Brand at Your Own Peril

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | October 24, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | October 24, 2013 |

Most of the time, we know Russell Brand as the goofball douche-monster best known for his (former) drug use, promiscuity, and obnoxiousness (oh, and his brief marriage to Katy Perry). But when the guy gets up on his soap box, he can be lethal, as these MSNBC anchors found at in June when he humiliated them on live television. The guy can display moments of pure brilliance, and when he gets a head of steam behind him on social and political issues, he’s one of the most charming, eloquent, and thoughtful guys in the entertainment industry.

Take, for example, this interview with Russell Brand with Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman on the BBC yesterday. Paxman basically tries to shame Brand for broadcasting his political opinions despite the fact that Brand doesn’t vote, and Brand does a brilliant job of upending his argument, demonstrating why voting in this system doesn’t amount of a hill of goddamn beans given all the injustice of the economic disparities we are facing.

“It’s not that I am not voting out of apathy. I am not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations.”

Speaking to Newsnight, he suggested that politicians were only interested in “serving the needs of corporations” and that a administrative system based on the “massive redistribution of wealth” should replace the status quo.(via)

Brand is basically pushing for a revolution, and his opinions might otherwise teeter on the edge of nuttery, except for the fact that there’s thought and substance behind what he’s saying. In the last two minutes of the interview, I also think he also does an admirable job of making Paxman feel very small for essentially defending and playing into a broken system.

I think the interview is great in its entirety (warning: politics), but you’re on the Internet killing time on your coffee break, so I suggest jumping to nine-minute mark if you need to get back to your spreadsheets.