Russell Brand seems to have cracked the secret formula for the perfect celebrity career:
1. Talk about / interview celebrities
2. Talk about / interview your own penis
Make sure you get the order right though. If Paxman started commenting on his 'dinkle' and Justin Bieber on next week's Newsnight that would be professional suicide. Or would it? I don't even know any more. Last time I looked Russell Brand was a trash-tv-presenter turned actor-in-shit-films, now he's the voice of a generation.
Thing is though, I like his socio-political musings. I agree with most of the things he says. In fact, as a fan of anti-establishment comics like the late Bill Hicks or the very current Doug Stanhope, I should be delighted that a mainstream celebrity like Russell Brand is out there proselytizing to the masses about the things that really matter to me. The problem is, unlike comedians like Mark Thomas or Josie Long who take their comedy and convert it into activism, there's been plenty of talk from Russell Brand but precious little action.
The first time Brand was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman was three years ago. He was talking about the same sort of stuff back then - the vacuous nature of fame, the distraction of celebrity, poverty, social and environmental injustice, self-serving corporate and political elites, etc. He even said he wanted to "achieve something valuable" and spoke of a documentary he was making which would address these important issues.
I don't know what happened to that documentary but I did see him on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. In the last three years Russell Brand has appeared on more celeb-filled chat shows and star-studded awards ceremonies than all previous years of his career combined. All the while telling us there are too many celebrities on television. We applaud in agreement... and continue watching.
This is why Russell Brand will never be a revolutionary. If you don't back up your words with actions neither will your followers, regardless of how right you are and how much they agree.
Ironic then, that Brand is currently touring the world with a show all about great revolutionary leaders, praising their "willingness to commit" to what they believe in. Is all this talk of revolution just great publicity?
I believed in Brand for a while but now I think he's just a bit of a tit - the same as he always was. He won't be leading the revolution but he knows step four in the perfect celebrity career ladder:
4. Never underestimate the ability of tits to bring fame and fortune.