We see this word a lot in our lives, and although not generally in our everyday vocabulary, we are happy for REVOLUTION to occur all over the place; in hair-care, tooth-whitening, and hand dryers. Even Argos have recently used it to justify the end to their catalogues and pens, and we still refer to revolutionary when talking about weight-loss, and vacuum cleaners, and sanitary towels. It’s just one of those words that we seem to have allowed to become gradually modernized and sanitised into becoming part of our mainstream language.
Russell Brand used this word a couple of days ago. when he took the opportunity as guest editor of the New Statesman to bring forward his ideas at great length of his views on British politics and the inequalities of wealth distribution; and then spoke to Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight to elaborate upon on his ramblings.
I wonder, is he only doing the same as others who have gone before him? Great leaders who have spoken about freeing the masses from the inequities of oppression.
Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama?
They all pressed their respective and destructive buttons, ensuring that they were far enough away from the explosions and repercussions to claim or regret the outcomes of their actions inciting REVOLUTIONS in far flung countries without actually even holding a banner let alone getting kettled. Is Russell’s idea of REVOLUTION going to be as destructive and as remotely controlled as theirs?
As much as I admire his linguistic rhetoric and complicated combinations of clever words; and as much as I find him entertaining and humorous. Is his call for a REVOLUTION just a soundbite, a headline grabber, a firework he can watch from a distance? Does he have a DVD coming out soon, or does he really believe in his words? Will he follow up on his actions, maintain the responsibility he has taken on and lead the REVOLUTION from the front?
I hope so, I really do, but I think he needs to have a sit down and a think about how it’s all going to work, because to be honest, as much as REVOLUTION sounds like a great idea, without some form of collective agreement on which direction to travel in, and consensus on what the overall goal of the action is going to be, it could all turn out badly, or not at all.
One of his ‘REVOLUTIONARY’ ideas is that we shouldn’t vote, because it is a:
“tacit act of compliance” and “there is nothing to vote for”
He thinks that by not voting we would be sending a message out. A message of defiance? Or a message of laziness?
I think he is absolutely wrong on this.* Surely by not voting are we not allowing our ‘determined’ efforts against the system to be registered as the apathy, and ignorance he protests against?
Perhaps we should follow the example of my father in law*.
At the grand old age of 76, having been an active voter his entire life, he is now so utterly disillusioned by the political system that at every voting opportunity he gets, he takes the time to make his way to the voting office, collects his paper, heads to the booth and then writes across the paper- although I have never seen them – words that portray as much contempt and disgust towards the political system, as Russell advocates with his abstinence:
“WANKERS ONE AND ALL”
He signs his name, and gives his phone number just in case they want to question his thoughts, before depositing his slip into the box.
Perhaps he has a better idea than Russell?
It is too easy not to vote, enough people do that already without Russell’s advice; all we have to do is stay in bed. In fact whilst we are lying in bed we can be signing up to email global campaigns against poverty – liking away on Facebook wildly under the covers – solving all sorts of world problems without leaving the comfort of our duvet.
If it is a REVOLUTION you really want Russell, then why not instead of not voting, let’s all get out there, get away from our duvets, and do something destructive yet productive, like my father in law, lets spoil our ballot papers and be counted for our disgust (counted as people who made the effort to be counted), and show our willing towards a REVOLUTION rather than be included (with those that aren’t counted, as Russell suggests) by our apparent apathy.
“WANKERS ONE AND ALL”
*Thanks Fay for bringing this to my attention!
*Thanks Sarah for pointing out my mistake regarding your father!