Boots, Brand, & Banksy: for the Revolution!

(nonviolent, of course, Mr. Brennan)

Yes, Banksy; what the world needs is a righteous, revolutionary, change of perspective. Collective mindfulness, if you will. That’s one kind of revolution Russell Brand’s calling for.

Edgy graffiti artist Banksy has been offering visual commentary on the  zeitgeist on street walls around the world for three decades, enticing us to see it in a new way, as the best art so often does. The truths expressed can burn indelibly into our hearts and souls in ways that even the best prose…cannot. Will you ever forget the image above?

Boots Riley and the Coup have just come back from a European tour that was successful beyond measure. Their musical messages are being heard and lauded globally now by the millennials and even younger kids who will inherit the world. His (and the Coup’s) audiences seem to love that as he playfully turns some of Our Rulers’ verbiage and embedded violence back on them, as they did in ‘We got the guillotine!’ in spirit of Emma Goldman’s ‘If I can’t dance, I don’t want any part of your revolution! While in Spain, he teamed up with Basque songwriter/musician Fermin Muguruza who writes in the Basque language, as he says it is the oldest language in Europe, was outlawed by Franco, and is the language of freedom and revolution. One of the mot glorious features of the anti-oppression social movements is the incredible solidarity at play. This is ‘Black is Beltza’ (in Basque). Get ready to boogie…and laugh.

Show us more, Banksy, that we may grieve, then get angry and fired up to help ensure better lives for all of our global brothers sisters.

The caption underwhelms, given the vast differences in the ebola v. starvation numbers, but I brought it since the image haunts me, and yes, money matters in the ebola health care world, as nurses know. It was also a way to introduce you to Christian Christensen’sFear and loathing in America: Ferguson, ISIL and Ebola: The decontextualized hysteria prevalent in the US is stoked by journalism that favors short-term sensationalism’. Well done, pithy, and necessary.

Likely you’ve already watched Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman speaking with comedian Russell Brand ahead of his guest edit of the New Statesman; it’s had over 10,622,054 views by now. Detractors remain oblivious to the fact that at the start Brand engaged in a bit of sexist self-parody, as he continues to do, given his understanding that after the revolution he espouses, he would be stripped of much of the wealth that insulates him now.

Haunting and disturbing as hell:

And as to his not voting due to ‘…indifference, weariness, and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit from the political class’.

Oh, dear; in his most recent and so poignant, post, Chris Floyd recounts running into an old box of his writings, and highlighted a few lines from a letter-to-the-editor he wrote in 1991 on the occasion of the first Gulf War on Iraq. These words haunt him now:

“Concerning the war, and all the noble-sounding reasons adduced for it, and brutal sentimentality of the propaganda and ‘reportage’ surrounding it, I can say only this: I think we are living in a world of lies — lies that don’t even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies.”
In some ways, that is the sum total of what I’ve been writing all these years, not just about war but other issues as well. There is a despair in it; a despair of ever being able to speak a simple word of truth and make it heard through the lies that have been heaped on our heads — and bred into our bones — since the day we were born. [snip]

But in another sense, nothing had changed; and certainly, despite expending millions of furious words, I had changed nothing, nothing at all.
I sat there with the yellowed papers, my meager share of the “fragments shored against our ruins,” all that was left after the love letters were gone. And I thought of a song I heard an old man sing on a London stage last winter: “So much for tears — so much for those long and wasted years.”

Shed a tear for Chris, shed a tear for your longtime activists selves seeing that the solutions we sought, the words we wrote, the energy we expended… seem to have come to naught (for now). Then remember to imagine that a different world is still possible, and we must help it along in any way we can.

Boots Riley’s central militant message in 1:38:

On RT, ‘’Boots Riley wants a radical militant movement’ can be seen here (from 3 years ago).

But back to Russell Brand. He’s been doing a bit of a media tour for his new book Revolution; from the blurb:

‘You have been lied to, told there’s no alternative, no choice and that you don’t deserve any better. Brand destroys this illusory facade as amusingly and deftly as he annihilates Morning Joe anchors, Fox News fascists and BBC stalwarts.

This book makes revolution not only possible, but inevitable and fun.’ Now, OMG: he’s written a book, and pundits have to shut down this stuff right now, lest anyone take this ass-clown or revolution seriously, you see. The pundit class is after his head! Oh, no, they cannot just ignore him, as Brand suggested that Jeremy Coiffure Paxman might do. Media Lens explains that yes, Brand’s guest magazine sorta sucked, and his off-the-cuff interview with The Hairdo was a brilliant and inspiring cri de coeur, but neither were a problem for the status quo media gatekeepers. But aha: now because: the book: ‘Killing Corporate Power – Humanity’s Stark Choice’. The authors feature outtakes from the book that provide facts and opinions on wealth inequality, tightly controlled media ownership, climate change, and so on. But in Part II, they liken the media’s trashing of Julian Assange to that of Brand. Words like: ‘self-obsessed, annoying idiot’, ‘the winklepickered Jesus Clown who preaches revolution’, ‘…used to drooling rooms of strangers, ‘the clown Messiah’s misogyny’, ‘Pied Piper who Peddles Poison’, ‘Perm-on-a-stick’, ‘rehashed meditation’, etc. Well, you get the drift. They loathe him, despise him and his 8.5 million followers.

So, in the spirit of Gandhi’s oft-repeated socio-political change math:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win’.

‘As we saw in the first part of this alert, there is a strong case for arguing that mindfulness – awareness of how we actually feel, as opposed to how corporate advertising tells us we should feel – can help deliver us from the shiny cage of passive consumerism to progressive activism. [snip]

Well, for once, we will give the corporate press the last word. On November 7, the Daily Mail reported that Brand’s new book ‘has enjoyed monumental sales – earning the star and his publishers a staggering £230,000 in just 11 days’. The Mail, no doubt reluctantly, cited a publishing expert:

It’s an awful lot of money to turnaround in such a short period.

Unmentioned by the Mail, Brand has said that profits from the book will go towards a non-hierarchical, not-for-profit café and production company managed by the workforce ‘where recovering addicts like me can run a business based on the ideas in this book’. (p.593)’

This video is ‘Mind Shift: Enlightening Our Global Culture w/ Russell Brand & Eve Ensler’ on GaimTV: ‘Is there a way we can reconcile our current systems with the new spiritual paradigms?’ (28 minutes)

Go on; pimp your critics, RustyRockets!

How great that Brand and Boots are out there as inspirations for the un-geezer boomers! It’s indeed down to us, and now increasingly to the generations after ours to build a new and more just world for ourselves and the planet.

Just listen to Boots as he mugs for the camera, and calls out to the kids!

It’s like a hotwire, baby
When we put it together
When the sparks fly
We’ll ignite the future forever
This is the last kiss Martin ever gave to Coretta
It’s like a paparazzi picture when I flash my Beretta
I got scars on my back
The truth on my tongue
I had the money in my hand when that alarm got rung
We wanna breathe fire and freedom from our lungs
Tell Homeland Security
We are the bomb!

(cross-posted at My.firedoglake.com)

9 responses to “Boots, Brand, & Banksy: for the Revolution!

  1. You’ve inserted the same disclaimer as preface on several occasions, and my first thought before getting into your posts usually is that non-violent is NOT any less of a threat to Mr John O B. Artists discussin’ art is going to be official subversion one day, again, as throughout history.

    illegal use of the e-trail mail
    to feed a few souls, fill imagination’s sails.
    conspiracy to joy, beauty to deliver,
    they missed a couple arrows
    when they stole cupid’s quiver.
    with military toys and those e-snoop boys,
    it scares ’em more than stuff
    that’s more easily crushed.

    Music, back beat, and a couple more verses, eh? Coffee first, you have a good day. ;) Sunny and cold. Pulling on the coveralls and unboxed the pac-boots for a couple of chores.

  2. good poetry, nonquixote; thank you so much. no, john brennan et.al. won’t care. gads, i need to ask the wordpress folks if i can alter the css code to reduce the size of these tweeties, eh? i’ll put it on my list….

  3. Wendye

    As ever, you write a stellar piece.

    I am busy plotting and scheming in Minnesot-ah.

    Revolution does seem to be the only real way out now doesn’t it?

    Hope you and Mr Wendye Davis are well.

  4. ah, i was just the scribe to the radicals, michael cavlan; but thank you anyway. ;) hmmm; i just noticed that phoenix woman has a minnesota piece on the front page, although i didn’t read it. not badgers, that’s wisconsin…another critter, lol.

    far as i can tell, it’s the only real way, but over yonder mi amig chePasa said that we’re IN a revolution, but a rightist one. hmmm. devolution, i’d said. but we are well enough for who it’s for, thank you. ;) and the best to you and miz cavlan.

  5. US NotMe’s v. Bush PNACis; when will We OVERCOME?

  6. ROFLMFAO Wendye Dear.

    Pheonix Woman getting front paged at the ‘other place?” Don’t you dare mention it or you will be, well ya know. Carnan the Magnificent and all of that.

    I talked with my friend and ally in Minnesota, Alan Maki. He was in a leadership position with the Minnesota Democratic party. he told myself and others that the Dems “leaders’ activity promote folks to create sock puppets. Aliases which could be used to attack and smear activists from the left. Completely unaccountable. He conjectured that perhaps Pheonix Woman was none other than Jane Hamsher herself. She claims to be from Minnesota, active in the Occupy Movement in Minnesota yet seems to know very little about the Occupy Movement here. her understanding of Minnesota politics is simply Dem party common knowledge and thoughts. With very little real substance.

    Who knows eh?

    I know that the Democrats in Minnesota HATE myself and Alan Maki

  7. bruce: thanks for the baez; so sad to remember all those eaten by the wars and the capitalist system altogether. the slaves to the feudal system, a system that won’t protect what the system was never meant to protect. it’s a hard lesson to see due to our insane indoctrination, and beware those who want to ‘reform’ it.

    michael cavlan: i’m not which ‘she’s’ you speak of in different sentences, but two things: iirc, phoenix woman IS a front page diarist, and holy hell, tell alan maki that he’s trippin’ about them. gads, jane hamsher writes well, and totally differently than phoenix woman. i do accept the sockpuppet charges, though; it’s ubiquitous, and i have one perceptive e-friend who seems to be able to match up language use with different commenters at several sites, and suss out the similarities.

    but no, the dems in minnesota don’t *hate* you two….they just don’t quite *understand* you two. ;) give alan my best, okay?

  8. Will do. Alan is good solid people. But i will lovingly and respectfully disagree with ya. Democrats HATE Alan and myself. Pheonix Woman is an example of that.

    no matter who she is or is not.

    Cheers to you and Mr Wendy Davis.

    Love-respect-Solidarity. Especially when we disagree on a minor point.

  9. i reckon it’s some sort of radical badge to believe they all hate you, and it may well be. PW is just…one person, though, and an obot to boot. ;)

    oppsie: i forgot to say: all my best to you and miz cavlan as well.

    and bruce: i was talking to our daughter today about how grieved i’ve been that mmj legalization went down in florida, and how much i could have helped your health issues. she grieved for you with me.

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