Russell Brand is a bit like Marmite isn’t he? You either love him or you hate him, well this is certainly the impression I get when I read through comments on popular blog posts regarding Mr Brand. I don’t agree with every single idea that Russell proposes, but you can clearly see that one thing he doesn’t lack is passion. Yes his methods are a bit ‘out there’ but the message he spreads is only one of good intentions.
His recent appearance in the media is an example of those good intentions, Russell Brand is interviewed by a Channel 4 reporter about his latest protest in support of the New Era Estates residents in East London. The local residents are facing possible eviction and fearing uncertainty over their futures after US investment company Westbrook Partners bought out the estate.
The interview has been shared across social media because Russell has another one of his famous rants but I completely resonate with him on this occasion. When interviewing Russell about this social issue that real people are facing, the reporter resorts to asking Russell how much his house is. I fail to see how that has any connection with the real issue at hand. Regardless of what you think of Mr Brand, why is there a constant need to undermine him, even when he is just supporting a cause?
Being wealthy doesn’t make you evil you know
The most frustrating viewpoint people are adopting is that because Russell is rich & famous he doesn’t have a right to protest, because it seems if you are successful and or wealthy or in the spotlight then you have absolutely no right to support the working class, because you left the working class behind. It’s such, as Russell says, a snide outlook to have that just because Russell Brand may live in an expensive house, so what? Where is the cut off then I ask, when do I stop having the right to care, how much money or recognition do I need to have before doing a good thing becomes unacceptable? Here’s the thing, you can still have anti-capitalist views and earn a living, you don’t need to be in the lower class and you don’t need to be poor.
I can see how people may find it hypocritical, perhaps it is, but who really cares? He’s doing more good than bad! It seems that people won’t be happy until he is living in a shack somewhere, that only then will he have the right to care about the working class. Why don’t we just focus on the overall message he promotes rather than worrying about whether he is promoting it in an expensive home or not? Yes he does have a lot more than the working class people in terms of opportunity, wealth etc. But the fact is he has all this and he is still standing beside them. It’s not just Russell who is a target either, recently I saw a post by comedian Jason Mamford where he had ever so kindly donated hundreds of advent calendars to a local food bank, urging others to do the same. This act of kindness was met with so many snide remarks that it left me thinking that people really cannot win. The comments Jason received were along the lines of:
‘They are only £1 each – you could have donated more’
‘You’re only doing it for publicity’
‘Try donating something a bit healthier’
And many more un-called for comments. So what if they are only £1, the price shouldn’t matter! Just because he has a bit of money it doesn’t mean that he has to donate mountains of gold! The fact is that he donated something that he thought would bring a smile to children’s faces at Christmas time. So what is it about that good intention that people have to find a negative in?
If you don’t believe in random acts of kindness, or you don’t want to support a certain cause, that is your choice, people are not forcing you to do anything by expressing their views. We don’t need constant discouragement in the world, we have enough of that. I don’t need to be Russell Brands biggest fan to see that he has a good heart and whether he was still a drug addict in a dark place or a successful comedian, actor and activist, it shouldn’t determine his right to support a good cause.