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The writers over at Media Lens have really outdone themselves. This will be in the next edition of the textbooks about media analysis and what happens once you go against the status quo. Russel Brand has made the mistake of categorizing and identifying what is wrong with our economic systems and society. Watch as the liberal press rallies against what can only be a threat to the system they inhabit.

Part 1 – The Fun Bus

 

 

“Brand’s Newsnight performance, then, was an inspiring cri de coeur. But a 10-minute, impassioned, ill-formed demand for ‘Change!’ from a lone comedian is not a problem for the media’s gatekeepers. It makes for great television, enhances the illusion that the media is open and inclusive, and can be quickly forgotten – no harm done.”

 

Brand’s new book, ‘Revolution,’ is different – the focus is clear, specific and fiercely anti-corporate. As we will see in Part 2 of this alert, the media reaction is also different.

Brand begins by describing the grotesque levels of modern inequality:

‘Oxfam say a bus with the eighty-five richest people in the world on it would contain more wealth than the collective assets of half the earth’s population – that’s three-and-a-half billion people.’ (p.34)

And:

‘The richest 1 per cent of British people have as much as the poorest 55 per cent.’ (p.34)

But even these facts do not begin to describe the full scale of the current crisis:

‘The same interests that benefit from this… need, in order to maintain it, to deplete the earth’s resources so rapidly, violently and irresponsibly that our planet’s ability to support human life is being threatened.’ (p.36)

For example:

‘Global warming is totally real, it has been empirically proven, and the only people who tell you it’s not real are, yes, people who make money from creating the conditions that cause it. (pp.539-540)

We are therefore at a crossroads:

‘”Today humanity faces a stark choice: save the planet and ditch capitalism, or save capitalism and ditch the planet.”

‘The reason the occupants of the [elite] fun bus are so draconian in their defence of the economy is that they have decided to ditch the planet.’ (p.345)

And so ‘we require radical action fast, and that radical action will not come from the very interests that created and benefit from things being the way they are. The one place we cannot look for change is to the occupants of the bejewelled bus.’ (p.42)

The problem, then, is that ‘we live under a tyranny’. (p.550) The US, in particular, ‘acts like an army that enforces the business interests of the corporations it is allied to’. (p.493)

But this is more than just a crude, Big Brother totalitarian state:

‘A small minority cannot control an uncooperative majority, so they must be distracted, divided, tyrannised or anaesthetised into compliance…’ which means ‘the colonisation of consciousness by corporations’. (p.165)

Brand notes that 70 per cent of the UK press is controlled by three companies, 90 per cent of the US press by six:

‘The people that own the means for conveying information, who decide what knowledge enters our minds, are on the fun bus.’ (p.592)

He even manages a swipe at the ‘quality’ liberal press:

‘Remember, the people who tell you this can’t work, in government, on Fox News or MSNBC, or in op-eds in the Guardian or the Spectator, or wherever, are people with a vested interest in things staying the same.’ (p.514)

Thus, the ‘political process’ is a nonsense: ‘voting is pointless, democracy a façade’ (p.45): ‘a bloke with a nice smile and an angle is swept into power after a more obviously despicable regime and then behaves more or less exactly like his predecessors’. (p.431)

The highly debatable merit of voting aside, anyone with an ounce of awareness will accept pretty much everything Brand has to say above. Put simply, he’s right – this is the current state of people, planet and politics. A catastrophic environmental collapse is very rapidly approaching with nothing substantive being done to make it better and everything being done to make it worse.

Even if we disagree with everything else he has to say, every sane person has an interest in supporting Brand’s call to action to stop this corporate genocide and biocide. A thought we might bear in mind when we subsequently turn to the corporate media reaction.

 

Part 2. – Backlash.

Read the rest of this entry »

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