and rightly so! Full of hypocrisy, narcissism, self deprecation, and altruistic sarcasm the Messiah Complex was the expected Brand of delight.
Brand moved seamlessly from the great Messiahs of the world, who have been systematically misused, mistreated, and misrepresented for the personal gain of the people that claim to worship or admire them. He gave examples in each case which showed that these historic figures were just people, who also had their own vices even if outbalanced by an all-encompassing sense of virtue.He framed such examples against elements of his own life. Brand once moved a whole crowd by one simple move of the hand like Malcome X did (only when Brand did it the crowd
moved as he appeared to be masturbating into them, not signalling all is well like Malcome. He also like Jesus is the ‘second cumming’ – smut personified.
Brand is a disgruntled ex heroin addict, from an ‘underclass’ that is excluded by the political system. That much is inarguable, and makes him a fine choice for a Messiah of the 21st century. His points are well articulated and encased in satirical context which makes an otherwise frightening message palatable.
The audience gasped as he showed two of his hero’s used as marketing for multi-national corporations Mercedes and Apple (see images). This is the kind of propaganda that we allow to happen – as Brand asked; “would Ghandi really approve of Apple and the work practices of Foxconn?” no. Would Che, a figure of the communist movement (which according to Brand simply means sharing) endorse the decadence of the Mercedes business saloon? No.These two images along speak enough of our system to demonstrate that something is deeply wrong.
“If there is an advert for it…. you don’t need it” – giving the whole audience a complex of their own as they sit there sneakily taking pictures on their iPhones. This was the pinnacle of the hyprocracy of the evening as of course it was advertising that got us sat in front of him; but to be fair he did acknowledge this awkward juxtaposition of ideals and reality which we all fall victim to.The consumerist culture and the fact McDonalds is now most people’s Messiah was a consistent undercurrent – abashing capitalism on every level. “How can a system which by definition has to have poverty be right?”. It can’t be.
Surprisingly after the Paxman interview, Brand’s revolution rhetoric and political discontent was kept to a minimum.Although he talked around the subject, and on issues which are inherent parts of the problem – he wasn’t trying to mobilise the audience – instead simply bringing some issues to the foreground and letting them make up their own mind – inspiring active citizenship. A true lefty. Although given the opportunity I would have liked to ask him if he thinks enough people will ever abstain from voting to make his idealistic model plausible… surely it is better to have some say in it even if you don’t believe in the system to try and vote in people who also believe in systemic change? Use the system to break the system I say.
There were a series of jokes that when taken out of context could be viewed as grossly inappropriate, including black women, paedophiles, Dianna, and Hitler. But in context it was a very intelligent way of proving his point about media representation, and the sphere of control elites have over us. He also used some Katy Perry lyrics in a rather demeaning way which I found hilarious, but many other people appeared to miss.
A lady from the audience who had the pleasure of having Brand on her lap spoke some brave words into the microphone basically summarised as “stop being such a misogynistic prick and get on with what I paid to see”. This was after Brand had joked about ejaculating all over the front row. Although I admired her gumption, and kind of sympathised with the feminist undertone I fear she missed the point. All people have their vices, and Brand’s has always been sex (and drugs – which sex arguably is to some degree). Most of us probably have the same vice and are just too damn prude to admit it, so I for one admire him for breaking the stigma and attempting to normalise the natural act which should no longer be a taboo.
I would vote for him any day.