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article imageRussell Brand: 'What are the politicians selling?'

By Alex Allen     Sep 26, 2013 in Politics
After poking fun at fashion company Hugo Boss for supplying uniforms to NAZI soldiers, British comedian Russell Brand wrote an op-ed piece in which he criticized the relationships among governments, media outlets, and big businesses.
Russell Brand has been gradually becoming a ray of light in the otherwise drab and mundane world of popular culture. The 38-year-old British comedian has been very outspoken recently about his political and cultural views, criticizing the status quo and the establishment. He shocked millions with his recent appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe program when he attempted to derail the conversation from its usual low-frequency attitude by talking about the superficial agenda of the media and the manipulation of information in society. In addition to this, Brand also recently appeared on the BBC program Question Time where he talked about the relationship between politicians and bankers and on The Alex Jones Show where he talked about several topics, including the manipulation of the consciousness and the media revolution.
Now, Brand is receiving a lot of both criticism and support after getting kicked out of the after party at the GQ Awards Ceremony for taking a humorous stab at Hugo Boss, one of the main sponsors of the event, for supplying uniforms to NAZI soldiers. "The NAZIs did have flaws," Brand said during his speech at the event. "But they did look fucking fantastic while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality." Brand also mocked the ceremony and the award itself during his speech, with one of his first comments being "Thank you for me oracle award, which to me sounds like something that has recently been made up." He also suggested that the event was "not designed for sincerity" and that they would "struggle" if they "started bringing sincerity into the situation."
In an attempt to further explain his speech and his criticism of the entire event, Brand released on op-ed piece through the London Guardian on September 13th. In it, he not only talked about feeling out of place at the event but also addressed the relationship between the media outlets, the sponsors of the event, and the event organizers, comparing that relationship to the much broader relationship between government, media, and big business.
"Now I'm aware that this was really no big deal," he wrote. "I'm not saying I'm an estuary Che Guevara. It was a daft joke by a daft comic at a daft event. It makes me wonder, though, how the relationships and power dynamics I witnessed on this relatively inconsequential context are replicated on a more significant scale. For example, if you can't criticise Hugo Boss at the GQ awards because they own the event, do you think it is significant that energy companies donate to the Tory party? Will that affect government policy? Will the relationships that "politician of the year" Boris Johnson has with City bankers – he took many more meetings with them than public servants in his first term as mayor – influence the way he runs our capital?"
Brand also brought up the point in his op-ed piece that he had no intention of "destroying" Hugo Boss by bringing up their history with the NAZIs. "They're not Monsanto or Halliburton, the contemporary corporate allies of modern-day fascism," he said. "They are, I thought, an irrelevant menswear supplier with a double-dodgy history."
Russell Brand is currently on his worldwide tour called "Messiah Complex." He is scheduled to be in Austin, New Orleans, and Atlanta within the next few days. According to the event schedule on the official website, he will wrap the tour up in his home country on April 6, 2014.
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