Saturday, 25 April 2015

Revolution by Russell Brand - Book Review

"I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody is out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. 

We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. 

It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' 

So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: 

                                                                                               -Howard Beale 'Network' 1976

Hard to believe that was written almost 40 years ago isn't it? I could have written that this morning and it would have been timely and just as accurate.

I bought Revolution ages ago but with the impending Zombie apocalypse; I thought I was best off equipping myself like some Dorset equivalent to Linda Hamilton in Terminator and read any rancid, viral, infected pages that fell into my lap first!

BUT as it is of course election day in 11 days the book was calling me from my pile of unread goodness and Thursday I started to read.... today it is complete.

If like me you are a fan of Mr Brand then you can hear him narrating as you turn the pages, the Dickensian-Essex twang exuding from each paragraph. This however is not your average stand -up/personality/celeb biography or crappy attempt at fiction, nope this is a throw open your window and shout I'm NOT going to take this anymore!" at Mrs Parsons whilst she's hanging out her husbands rather yellowy Y fronts on her line - type of book, and a rather bloody good book it is to!

I started reading it Thursday in the sunshine, sat outside a hospital whilst waiting for a friend to have a procedure, I intended to read for 10 minutes until the cafe opened but an hour later I realised I was late getting back to her, so I had to swiftly leave my sun-soaked corner of grass, probably much to the relief of the BT men who must have wondered from where I had escaped as I sat laughing sporadically at the written hilarity on my lap.

I then continued and finished it in bed last night. It really is a book I feel about contentment - something I have always had an issue with (grass is always greener and all that) attainment and peace; with yourself and your immediate environment. About community, friendship, belonging and faith. Yes! I was quite shocked in a positive way to read that Russell admits to believing in God.
I believe in God too, I don't know WHAT God, he doesn't have a beard or sit on a cloud but I do believe in something... I believe there is more, more than this crap we are putting up with.

So with the BIG ONE looming... It is a very important election, one I feel could have been made more interesting had there been somebody....anybody...... Bueller.... with Clout! Gumption! Charisma! Somebody with a realistic view on life as it is, not Etonian boys club elitism that we get all the time.
Somebody that will ANSWER a question, not bypass it or ignore it or answer it with well documented spin...
BUT there isn't anybody...

RIP Lord Sutch

Russell..I know you want us to vote 'None of the above' but damn it you should have run for election, I'd vote for you...but then I can't resist a man in tight black jeans and a white shirt...

Sorry totally off topic!

If you want to laugh, want to think (and BOY! this book makes you think) or you just want to know how to handle a Buddhist at an airport - then grab a copy of this book. It isn't going to cause riots on the streets or change the political landscape but it does have the power to make you want to change - maybe yourself or maybe something bigger and as a collective voice we all then get the power. I don't agree with not using your vote as so many nations do not have that freedom. I do however agree with voting wisely - this year more than ever.

I would like to see this book on reading lists in schools, but I would also like to see more about the Suffragette movement taught too! See 2 days in the company of Mr Brand and I'm Education Minister.... !

Viva la Revolucion!

“I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” 

                                                                                       - Thomas Jefferson 1816

Song for this POST