NEWSNIGHT Jeremy Paxman Vs Russell Brand Full Interview
Wherein Brand begins a new leg of this Grand (R)Evolution we are all taking part in.
Here he is again in his debut as guest editor of The New Statesman: Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition”
For me the solution has to be primarily spiritual and secondarily political. This, too, is difficult terrain when the natural tribal leaders of the left are atheists, when Marxism is inveterately Godless. When the lumbering monotheistic faiths have given us millennia of grief for a handful of prayers and some sparkly rituals.
By spiritual I mean the acknowledgement that our connection to one another and the planet must be prioritised.
This is what is being exemplified by the Occupy Movement, what the hippies brought into mainstream consciousness in the 60s, and most importantly, how the indigenous peoples of our planet live. What is happening in New Brunswick Right Now is a huge illustration of this, where the Mi’kmaq are taking a literal stand against fracking and are blocking roads. They’re being painted as terrorists, of course, because they’re brown and because they’re standing against Big Oil and standing against multinational corporate interests, which are antithetical to the interests of humanity and life in general: Elsipogtog Protest: We’re Only Seeing Half the Story
“…[W]e are faced with a choice. We can continue to show the photos of the three hunting rifles and the burnt out cop cars on every mainstream media outlet ad nauseam and paint the Mi’kmaq with every racist stereotype we know, or we can dig deeper. We can seek out the image of strong, calm Mi’kmaq women and children armed with drums and feathers and ask ourselves what would motivate mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters and daughters to stand up and say enough is enough.”
This little girl is tired of your shit, Oil People.
When Brand states that we no longer have the luxury of tradition, he is referencing, in part, the suffocated politics of snuffing life in myriad ways in order to pad the bank accounts of a tiny elite because hierarchical politics is just how it’s always been done. He’s referencing all the ways in which men and patriarchal political structures work to maintain their (perceived-as-being) self-serving way of life and notion of being in and remaining in power, without regard to the rest of us who live on this planet. With increasing frequency, the idea of maintaining tradition is being pushed around in many ways across the world. This recent news story from Botswana about four sisters who took on Botswana’s chiefs and won has a beautifully apt pairing of quotes illustrating this tug-of-war that Brand alludes to.
On the one hand, we have 80-year-old Edith Mmusi and her three sisters having successfully fought a 5-year legal battle in order to gain legal rights to their family home:
“Customs and culture have no place in the modern world because women are still oppressed in the name of culture.”
“What makes men [especially the staunch traditionalists] think they have power over us? We are all equal in God’s eyes,” she adds, the smile now gone.
On the other one hand, we have a chief, who was not impressed with the idea of women getting said legal rights, something that is traditionally reserved only for men:
“Yes culture is dynamic but tradition is important, the role of tradition is to preserve our identity. We would like to preserve our culture and live in the way that our great-grandfathers lived,” says Chief Gaseintswe Malope II.
Earlier today, I watched the following conversation between RuPaul and Marianne Williamson. She’s considering running for public office. RuPaul, initially, was completely against it, but after she explained why she felt the urge to do so, he understood and agreed. What she wants to bring to the table is something, I think, that Russell Brand could appreciate. Have a look/listen:
RuPaul Drives… Marianne Williamson
It’s exactly along the same lines as what Brand is aiming for. Williamson says we do not have time to indulge in our mistakes. Brand says we do not have time to indulge in tradition. Go-time is now. It is always now. We are building momentum in this revolution. Brand continues in his article:
Buckminster Fuller outlines what ought be our collective objectives succinctly: “to make the world work for 100 per cent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous co-operation without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone”. This maxim is the very essence of “easier said than done” as it implies the dismantling of our entire socio-economic machinery. By teatime.
Colonialist implications and associations aside, there always needs to be time for tea. I’m not being flippant or ironic, frivolous or sarcastic. I’m being 100% earnest. I know that Brand is saying that we need for things to happen yesterday, if not sooner, and I agree, but this notion of teatime is not to be dismissed. It seems a small, insignificant digression at first, but it is, in fact, enormous. Taking time to sit and drink is deeply important and deeply vital to being able to discern if we’re heading where we want to go. It is one of the many tools we have available to us to more effectively achieve Buckminster Fuller’s collective objectives. Tea time is not ‘thinking’ time. It is ‘being’ time.
When I began the Reiki-leg of my journey this past summer, it was reaffirmed for me through my instructor and what his mentor had taught him that we always need to make time to sit and drink tea. Just sit. Just be. Just tea.
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” ~ Thich Naht Hanh
“A cup of tea is a cup of enlightenment.” ~ Gassho
We need to remember to sit and be. Doing so will help us reconnect with each other, with ourselves, with the earth. This is what this (r)evolution needs more of: sitting and being, being present. Feeling the warmth of the tea, noticing the nuances of flavour, learning to pace ourselves, so our mouths don’t get burnt. There is a vast amount to be learnt that is applicable for all aspects of life in the acts of making and taking tea. We no longer have the luxury of many many kinds of tradition; we need to be able to discern in a heartbeat what traditions serve us and all our relations and which do not. Teatime, taking tea, tea ceremony is traditional, yes, but it is not a luxury; it is a vital and necessary spiritual act that calls us to be present in the moment.
I am signing on wholeheartedly with the zest and vigour of what Brand is aiming for, and I don’t give one drop of dribble piss about the stereotype — Essex breeds good people. I am thrilled with what Brand envisions. He is so keenly spot on in so many ways that I can’t help but feel successive ripples of joy course through me as I read his article in The New Statesman and listen to him banter with Paxman.
Enjoy this unfolding revolution with me and have some tea: