I'm not a what could be called a "big fan" of British comedian Russell Brand. Let me rephrase that: he is the embodiment of everything that I dislike about pop culture at the moment.
That may sound a little extreme but you'll have to cut me some slack, I have way too many hipster friends and constant Anglophenia really wears on a person after a while. While I may dislike his comedy and style choices (too much fedora for my taste) I cannot deny that Russell Brand is talented and, on occasion, reveals a little more of himself than he may have intended. Comedic genius usually lies dormant under the consciousness. The truth is hard to tell and when a comedian is comfortable enough with himself/herself and begins to share the truth with the audience, genius is created (see Louis C.K., George Carlin, Marc Maron, and Maria Bamford). Russell Brand may be scratching the surface of true comedy, and I am eager to see if he taps into his potential and stops annoying the crap out of me. Here are four quotes that make me think he just might do it:
1. Russell Brand's view on his publicity:
"I enjoyed having a reputation as being wild, but these days I try not to worry about what people think in the privacy of their own brain or what they write in the bizarre publicity of their own newspapers, because all of those things are meaningless."
2. The Russell Brand Joke Writing Methodology:
"Sometimes, as a comedian, a line will come to you, that is so beautiful, so perfect, that you think: I did not create this line. This line belongs to all of us. Surely this is a line of God."
3. Russell Brand Gets Greedy:
"I recognize that I have the ability to be selfish, but I also recognize that you can't be happy if you only care about yourself at the expense of other people."
4. Russell Brand Touches On Self-Confidence:
"No-one really feels self-confident deep down because it's an artificial idea. Really, people aren't that worried about what you're doing or what you're saying, so you can drift around the world relatively anonymously: you must not feel persecuted and examined. Liberate yourself from that idea that people are watching."
5. The Circle Of Life and Russell Brand:
"It's difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you."
6. Eternal Optimism From the Mouth of Russell Brand (After His Split From Katy Perry):
“You can’t absolutely make everything the way you want it to be in life. Sometimes thing are just different and then you to just move with that and try and remain in contact with what is beautiful about yourself and each other with any situation.”
7. Russell Brand On Drug Laws:
"The status of a drug is irrelevant to a drug addict. If you're a drug addict, you're getting drugs. That's it. So in way, it's probably best to make it simple."
8. Russell Brand On His Own Mortality:
"I want to change the word, and do something valuable and beautiful. I want people to remember me before I'm dead, and then more afterwards."
9. The State of Russell Brand's Mental Health:
"I've never had a sustained period of medication for mental illness when I've not been on other drugs as well. It's just not something that I particularly feel I need. I know that I have dramatically changing moods, and I know sometimes I feel really depressed, but I think that's just life. I don't think of it as, "Ah, this is mental illness," more as, "Today, life makes me feel very sad." I know I also get unnaturally high levels of energy and quickness of thought, but I'm able to utilize that."
10. Russell Brand's Life Advice:
"Be led by your talent, not by your self-loathing; those other things you just have to manage."
Russell Brand is about a wardrobe change and a network show away from being an Andy Kaufman-esque figure for this generation, and I'm very interested in seeing if he pulls it off.