Russell Brand and the #ReLOVEution
Russell Brand is at it again, rustling up brands, governments and economies alike from their cushy gold-encrusted, a million odd thread count Egyptian cotton thrown cushions. Brand’s latest reinvention manifested itself into political activism and it has rustled many feathers (okay that’s the last rustle-Russell reference!) and has been the target of those who’s truths he challenged.
One of Brand’s main points was that the political class/ elitists are “hopelessly disconnected from the mass of ordinary people and there needs” – (Wight. J., 2014). The disconnect has played a major part in Britain’s housing crisis; something that you wouldn’t expect to come across in a first world country. Brand also drew attention towards the culture of low pay and under employment. Crippling inequality and social injustice lead to Brand’s disenchantment of what is deemed as “normal” in today’s society. He doesn’t claim to have the answers to fix the crisis but what he is doing is making people aware about the sheer inhumanity of it all.
I watched Brand’s stand-up comedy show, the Messiah Complex a couple months ago, and to be honest, the #ReLOVEution reminds me of an excerpt from the show. Brand began to tell a story , a memory about a particular school day, It was just an ordinary school day, Brand sitting in class, his head parallel to the chalk board, his eyes firmly locked on the window.. He was daydreaming. His stare, towards the abyss, unflinching.
Suddenly, a dog ran into the school yard.
THERE’S A DOG IN THE SCHOOL YARD! Brand quite enjoyed the unexpected pandemonium that ensued from the activities of the trespassing pooch; the once silent classrooms, now echoed like a cave harbouring the shrills of excited kids. The teacher tries to restore some order back into her classroom. But alas, Miss Lady, the attempts at restoration were not strong enough to quieten down the excitement. What uproar! It got hearts beating fast, ignited conversations and brought about a sense of togetherness from sharing this same experience.
I’d imagine that this series of events culminated in the entire classroom gathering in a specific wing of the classroom, with noses pressed firmly against the window; watching, talking, laughing and giggling. Frantic children all hyped up on 70cc’s of unadulterated excitement, blatantly ignoring the instructions to return to one’s seat. The excitement of a dog being in the school yard was so overpowering that for that brief moment, it was almost as though the student’s fear of getting punished, for defying authority, had simply vanished in the ethe.
The intense feelings of passion, awe and excitement created by this unexpected occurrence, this unexpected change in the norm, completely overshadowed any fear that may have arisen.
Brand had likened his scholarly canine experience to the concept of impermanence.
Impermanence, the beautiful concept of change, that things are not in fact set in stone, and forces/people or even dogs can disrupt the still waters of the super wealthy. They say still waters run deep, very deep pockets with very large bank accounts.
Russell Brand: The dog in the school yard
It had dawned on me that Brand, was in fact much like the four legged antagonist, happily trotting along, creating a bit of a stir and whilst Brand may not have noses pressed against classroom windows; Brand fashioned a weapon from the hashtags of the social media universe, he has been using the power of social media to make people aware of this harsh reality, he also has rallied up quite a significant amount followers. in his gallant attempt to change lives, Brand may be the catalyst in a social revolution; a revolution comprised of warriors who became more aware, conscious, considerate and awakened . An army of thousands could be a step in the right direction towards a sustainable social culture.
The hashtag is stronger than the sword.
While Brand’s antics may have been frowned upon by some, his general disdain toward the propagation of mass media and it’s facilitation toward the mindless consumption, is admired by many. I don’t, in my opinion, think that Brand is doing anything remotely ‘wrong” , much to the dismay of all those who are opposed to his #ReLOVEution and are probably part of the UK’s richest 1% who have as much as the poorest 55%.
Brand brings quite an interesting dynamic to the #ReLOVEution: he’s a well-recognised, and much loved actor, he has the ability to captivate an audience with his stories and charismatic staccato English accent, his eccentrically fabulous attire and his incredible brain.
He. Is. Just. So. Smart.
Now Brand is famous and fabulous, he could use his celebrity status on something lame like a reality show called Rustling up with the Russell, like other celebrities who are famous for no other reason than just being “famous”. Brand could charge outlandish appearance fees (I’m not sure what he does charge for appearaces) – I do, however, know that charging an obscene amount of money to talk about the income disparities in the UK would be rather counterproductive innit?
Brand released a new book called #RevLOVEution and since the book’s release Brand’s #ReLOVEution has had thousands of people feel like that kid, with a nose was firmly pressed up against the window. That kid who vehemently ignored the authoritative commands to return to his seat:
NEY I SAY! There’s a dog loose in the school yard! Geometry can wait!
We put the hashtag #ReLOVEution into our social intelligence tool Tracx, to track the online progress of the cause. We wanted to see just how many noses have been pressed firmly against the looking glass of social media because of Brand. We want to see how many conversations he has started, how many people he has made aware of this crisis, how many people he had inspired enough to want to get involved, to want to take action, to be a part of change. The dates we tracked were 1st October 2014 – 29th October 2014.
During the specified time period, there were a total of 374 posts related to the #reLOVEution hashtag. The posts generated 82 691 interactions, now an interaction can be a like, comment, a retweet or a favourite. What’s interesting to note is that the 374 posts generated 440 conversations.
This means that all of the original 374 posts made during that were created during the period of the 1st October 2014 – 29th October 2014. and more were pulled in that fell out of the specified time frame resulting in an astonishing 118% engagement rate.
These posts reached over 62 000 people, (real reach), with conversations having a density of 174.5 people per conversation! Brand makes for an extremely engaging brand!
While many ridicule his approach, likening him to a “Christ-like wannabe who happens to be on an insane ego trip, all in the attempt to be perceived as the next messiah” or whatever other hogwash people can come up with now a days.
Whatever the reason behind why a celebrity of his stature is more focused on addressing the inequalities of the world?
Whatever his reason, he is standing tall and firm in a boxing ring up against the “undefeated” political heavyweights and fighting for the little guy, speaking on behalf of the voiceless.
Brand has given humanity the opportunity to take a step back and shift their focus, gain some perspective and new insights into the to help people come to the realisation that: “hang on a second, I don’t have to be a cog in the murder machine!” Much like the dog running around in the school yard, Brand has given us the ability to participate in the pandemonium of uncertainty.
Nothing is permanent, things can always be changed.
Will he succeed in his brave and gallant attempt to thwart the money hungry passengers on their gravy train on a nonstop trip to greedstown?
Perhaps! I certainly hope so! His passion and deep seated sincerity to help make the world a better place, to fight against the tyranny of a system that is no longer sustainable for its residents.
If anyone has a chance of really making a change, it’s Brand. This isn’t just a publicity stunt that just so happens to coincide with a book release. His goal is not to sell lots of books to make more money, No! This is the beginning of a revolution and his book is but a weapon that can be used to gain awareness, insight, and a deeper understanding of the cause you want to join.
Brand reminds me of the protagonist in My Chemical Romance’s song The Black Parade:
“Son when you grow up,
would you be the saviour of the broken,
the beaten and the damned?”
He said “Will you defeat them,
your demons, and all the non-believers,
the plans that they have made?”
“Because one day I’ll leave you,
A phantom to lead you in the summer,
To join The Black Parade.”
Will the revolution change the income disparities and unjust social cultures in the UK? To be honest it seems like a long shot. The political class are not going to part freely with their well horded mountains of money in the name of Ubuntu, much as it wouldn’t be fair to pay someone well over their earning potential just because the CEO makes a mini fortune every month. Unfortunately the sword is never one sided, there will always be Scrooge McDucks hording every last penny for themselves, whilst the Gollum characters, always searching for the horde of The precious,
Whilst Scrooge and Gollum may not be impressed, # reLOVEution has ignited the sparks of those who want to make the world a better place.
- Those the the people who want to live in a world of sharing and giving, where people no longer take and horde.
- Those are the kids that cannot stop watching that darn dog!
- Those are the humans who have become awakened to the unjust culture,
- Those humans have been inspired by Brand, whose passion is so infectious that it’s actually quite hard to not want to just down your work tools, make a dash for the nearest exit screaming RELOVEUTION at the top of your lungs.
Aaaaaah that Brand! Always getting me pumped up for life!
So whilst Brand may not single-handedly overthrow the unequal Lorenz Curve of the UK, it’s important to acknowledge that Brand is in fact the trespassing dog in our story, the solitary pebble in a still lake.
Brand forms part of the catalyst to an awakened, more enlightened and aware state of thinking.
Ode to reason and logic, to his witty retorts and incredibly vast memory banks of knowledge and wisdom.
Ode to a more conscious and aware society that facilitate oneness.
Ode to Russell Brand, may you continue to be the spark that ignites a change of mind-set and a shift of focus. So as the thousands of awakened human beings slowly start emerging, and putting their foot down against an unjust society, they will paint themselves in black, and they will take their lives back.
“Defiant to the end we hear the call
to carry on”….
“Do or die, you’ll never make me,
Because the world will never take my heart,
Though you try, you’ll never break me,
We want it all, we wanna play this part,
Won’t explain or say I’m sorry,
I’m unashamed, I’m gonna show my scar,
Give a cheer for all the broken,
Listen here, because it’s who we are”