On 10/28/2014 6:35 AM, TurquoiseBee turquoi...@yahoo.com [FairfieldLife] wrote:
*From:* salyavin808 <no_re...@yahoogroups.com>
*To:* FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com
*Sent:* Tuesday, October 28, 2014 11:32 AM
*Subject:* [FairfieldLife] Re: Revolution by Russell Brand review

Excellent review, I think Brand's revolution will go down well around here: atheists as the enemy of reason because they don't believe in the supernatural!
Needless to say this is another clear example of cognitive dissonance - you either believe Barry is an atheist or not; or sometimes you believe his an atheist and at other times you do not. Or, you're just plain dishonest.

Either Barry is an atheist or he is a poser., but you can't be both at the same time - because that would get confusing.

/"Suffice it to say that over an extended number of years I witnessed almost every siddhi described by Patanjali and quite a few that were not."/ - TurquoiseB

Siddhis -- so what?
It's a nice idea, I think his problem comes from the fact that he's just got into TM and probably believes the promise that it will save the world, but what he doesn't get is that we sceptics have been waiting for the evidence he thinks must be obvious for a very long time.

I can see Brand joining Buck's call for dissenting voices to be silenced, as if they have any power over reality! The world is as it is, our opinions of it change nothing about how it works. I think the fear of criticism is one of losing the underlying point of something and having to accept that it's less than what you thought. This is, or should be, a harmless adjustment that Brand will have to make one day, or fade even further from credibility when people take him seriously and ask what it is that he actually means by embracing mysticism as a solution to society's problems.

But I wonder why he doesn't mention TM by name? Is that a good thing?

I don't pay any attention to Russell Brand (who can take anyone seriously who found Katy Perry attractive or interesting enough to marry?), but I suspect he doesn't mention TM because he's realized that its PR and credibility are even less regarded than his own.

but Brand - and everyone round here- wants to change the political system using meditation at a distance.

---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <no_re...@yahoogroups.com> wrote :

Revolution by Russell Brand review – the barmy credo of a Beverly Hills Buddhist

The comedian’s desire to lead a global revolution is undermined by his smug, shallow manifesto

[‘He discredits leftwing thought’: Russell Brand addresses anti-austerity demonstrators at a rally in London in June. Photograph: Rex Features]

Nick Cohen
Monday 27 October 2014 05.00 EDT

The rich can buy anything in Britain, and they have now brought us their own opposition. Russell Brand is the voice of the discontented wealthy. He tells us that money can’t buy you love – which I already knew – and that only the complete overthrow of the existing system and embrace of mysticism can take us from “the shallow pool of the known” to the “great untamable ocean” beyond.

I was prepared to dismiss Revolution as the swollen ramblings of a jaded celeb. Brand leaves you in little doubt that he is trying to escape the ennui that follows trying everything once except incest and folk dancing. “It’s only because I decimated my life by aggressively pursuing eating, wanking, drinking, consuming and getting famous that I was forced to look at spiritual alternatives.” Inspiring a revolution – for such is his ambition – is one of the few thrills to have escaped him. “The revolution cannot be boring,” he says as he encapsulates his thoughtlessness in one phrase. “We’d all be a bit disappointed if utopia and ditching capitalism boiled down to ‘We want to be a bit more like Germany’ – fuck that.”

His writing is atrocious: long-winded, confused and smug; filled with references to books Brand has half read and thinkers he has half understood. At one point, he discusses whether our perception of reality is a mentally constructed illusion (don’t ask me why). “So,” Brand says in a conclusion worthy of a Thought for the Day vicar, “when Elton John said Marilyn Monroe was ‘like a candle in the wind’ he was probably bloody right, and if he wasn’t we’ll never know.” At another, Brand argues that spirituality is the road to revolution, a belief that would have baffled every revolutionary leader in modern European history. “We’re all doing the same thing, dreaming the same dream, in the words of Belinda Carlisle,” he announces in a sentence that is so syrupy a Barbie doll might have written it, and worse – much worse – misquotes Ms Carlisle.

For all that, Brand is worth taking notice of because he is the nearest Britain has to a revolutionary populist. The right and far right have Nigel Farage. The Islamists have George Galloway. Scottish nationalists have (or had) Alex Salmond. These demagogues boom out certainties that make the tentative policies of conventional leaders appear pale and timid. “Get out of the European Union.” “Get out of the Muslim world.” “Get out of Britain.” Get out, and with one convulsive act of renunciation, you can escape the complexity that blights your lives.

Television news producers are as world-weary as any burnt-out celebrity. They want Brand to be their new Farage and draw hundreds of thousands to their failing programmes. I am not saying that there is not a need for a left populism to confront financial power and environmental degradation. But Brand is a religious narcissist, and if the British left falls for him, it will show itself to be beyond saving.

His book tells us much about him and little about the rest of humanity. Brand says that he is qualified to lead a global transformation, not because of the quality of his thought, but because he has transformed his private life. “I may not have overthrown a government. But [I have] navigated myself from one set of feelings where drinking and drugs were my only solution to a state where I never drink or take drugs.” It is perhaps too easy to reply: “Well, bully for you.” I accept that freeing yourself from addiction and finding inner peace can have more beneficial effect than any political programme the powerful can implement. But Brand is offering his Beverly Hills Buddhism as a political programme, not a self-help guide. Everything is corrupt, his theory runs. All politicians are the same. Reforms won’t do, and no one can expect him to relinquish his fortune until there has been “systemic change on a global scale” (a useful condition that last one).

The systemic change that means the most to Brand is an embrace of meditation and pantheism. The greatest villain of Revolution is not a super-rich financier but Richard Dawkins. Brand denounces him as a “menopausal” proponent of “atheistic tyranny” because Dawkins denies the existence of the supernatural. He pulls a succession of shabby tricks to bolster his claim that religion does not authorise oppression. Anyone who claims that Jesus, Allah, Krishna or the fountainhead of any other religion endorses homophobia instead of the “union of all mankind” is “on a massive blag”, he says. Brand has to ignore Leviticus’s edict that the punishment for men who sleep with other men is death, St Paul’s hysterics about lesbianism and the hadiths that have Muhammad saying that the punishment for sodomy is death by stoning. In other words, he has to ignore several millennia of real and continuing religious repression, so he can make his spiritualism sound emancipatory rather than cranky.

Comrades, I am sure I do not need to tell you that no figure in the history of the left has seen Buddhism as a force for human emancipation. If it were, Sri Lanka would be a paradise rather than a site for ethno-religious slaughter. Nor has any revolutionary leader said that atheists will be the revolution’s first target. In our times, only Islamist counter-revolutionaries dream of their suppression.

Brand might have designed the political programme that follows to discredit leftwing thought. The revolutionary state should revoke the charters of corporations with revenues larger than the nation with the smallest gross domestic product. According to the World Bank, that nation is Tuvalu in Polynesia with a GDP of $37m – which means that Brand wants to close all large and many medium-sized businesses. Food production must be localised and organic – which means Brand wants hyperinflation, starvation and the bankrupting of African food exporters. And personal debts should be abolished – which means that Brand wants to crash the credit system and return us to a barter economy.

In an unintentionally revealing moment, Brand describes attending a trade union march against austerity. He complains that the protesters are not like Islamic State terrorists but “flaccid” and placid. He has a case. For all its many faults, the British left does not imitate Isis. It does not commit genocide and practise sexual slavery. Its “revolution”, when and if it comes, will consist of boring, gradual attempts to restrain an economic system that is running amok. Russell Brand will want no part of its tedious reforms and will go off in search of bigger thrills.

The sooner he leaves the better.

Revolution by Russell Brand review – the barmy credo of a Beverly Hills Buddhist <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/27/revolution-review-russell-brand-beverly-hills-buddhist?CMP=ema_565>

image <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/27/revolution-review-russell-brand-beverly-hills-buddhist?CMP=ema_565>
Revolution by Russell Brand review – the barmy credo of ... <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/27/revolution-review-russell-brand-beverly-hills-buddhist?CMP=ema_565> Russell Brand’s desire to lead a global revolution is undermined by his smug, shallow manifesto, wr...

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