Love him or hate him, Russell brand knows how to do one thing very well: make people laugh. Second only to this is his ability to piss them off.
And he’s been doing quite a bit of the latter over the last few years, unabashedly espousing his views on everything from spirituality to psychology to the democratic process.
Brand has been spotted in places as diverse as Good Morning America (where he really took everyone for a spin) and anti-establishment protests in London, wearing an anonymous mask.
All of this is good (because he could be using his considerable wealth and status to do nothing), and really, we shouldn’t expect any less.
Growing up in Grays, England and enduring a challenging (to put it lightly) childhood and drug addiction, Brand had to overcome both himself and many aspects of a system that seemed built to marginalize his talents and considerable zeal for life.
But he didn’t give up, fighting his way to a place on the global stage where his often unpopular and intense views are now demanding an ear.
Intelligent, insightful and sometimes downright polemic, here are 24 Russell Brand quotes sure to make you hold your chin and go ‘hmmmm…’
- 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. 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 you.
- Rebel children, I urge you, fight the turgid slick of conformity with which they seek to smother your glory.
- For me happiness occurs arbitrarily: a moment of eye contact on a bus, where all at once you fall in love; or a frozen second in a park where it’s enough that there are trees in the world.
- From quite early on, I had this idea of compartmentalized identities — ‘this is how you are when you are with your mum, and this is how you are when you are with your dad’ — so it seemed like I could never absolutely be myself. And the image of myself as compromised and inconsistent made me want to withdraw from the world even further. I had a sense of formulating a paper-mache version of myself to send out in the world, while I sat controlling it remotely from some smug suburban barracks.
- A Halloween-haired, Sachsgate-enacting, estuary-whining, glitter-lacquered, priapic berk… How dare I, from my velvet chaise longue, in my Hollywood home like Kubla Khan, drag my limbs from my harem to moan about the system? A system that has posited me on a lilo made of thighs in an ocean filled with honey and foie gras’d my Essex arse with undue praise and money.
- Materialism and individualism do in moderation make sense. If you are naked and starving and someone gives you soup and a blanket your happiness will increase. That doesn’t mean that if you have 10,000 silken blankets and a golden cauldron of soup… your happiness will continue to proportionately increase until you’re gouche-d out, swathed in silk, gurgling up pearlescent froth.
- 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.
- You can’t absolutely make everything the way you want it to be in life. Sometimes things are just different, and then you to just move with that and try to remain in contact with what is beautiful about yourself and each other with any situation.
- I just try to see the beauty in things and people as often as I can. I know that’s a challenging way to live your life sometimes, but mostly the world is beautiful and people are beautiful.
- In the same way my cat can never accurately describe the internet, we can never accurately describe the unknowable consciousness of the universe.
- We all place ourselves in danger to one degree or another when we stand up, but we place our children and grandchildren in even greater danger when we don’t.
- There is no heroic revolutionary figure in whom we can invest hope; except for ourselves as individuals together.
- You cannot define yourself in reference to other external coordinates, you must define yourself internally with a relationship with a higher entity. Think of yourself as a manifestation of some higher “thing”, some higher frequency [from which] this is the visible realization. And you know that because you can’t see atoms can you? You certainly can’t see the forces that hold atoms together. There in the micro quantum world… live the answers to everything. We can understand it with our logical rational minds, but we feel it, intuitively. Get yourself in alignment with that stuff and you beam like the sun.
- 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.”
- Say I feel all sad and self-indulgent, then get stung by a wasp; my misery feels quite abstract and I long just to be in spiritual pain once more – ‘damn you tiny assassin, clad in yellow and black, how I crave my former innocence where melancholy was my only trial’.
- 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.
- I think many of the boundaries that convention has placed upon us are arbitrary, so we can fiddle with them if we fancy. Gravity’s hard to dispute, and breathing, but a lot of things we instinctively obey are a lot of old tosh.
- Perhaps if we could popularize through the techniques of branding and consumerism, a different idea, a different narrative, perhaps the world can change. After all, it changes constantly and incessantly, it’s just the perceptions that we have are governed by people with self-interest and are not in alignment with the health and safety of us as individuals or as a planet.
- I missed him, of course, but sometimes close friendships have a tidal beat that pulls you towards different shores, though the ocean that connects you remains.
- The need to find out what will happen if I don’t relent or moderate my actions has been a constant source of difficulty and discomfort in my life.
- You’re all beautiful, both inside and out. You mustn’t worry about anything; nothing is important except finding love within yourself and being all honourable and glorious and beautiful. Take things dead slowly ’cause nothing you can attain externally has value, only that which is within yourself already is valuable.
- Life is not a theme park, and if it is, the theme is death.
- What I think, whilst human beings are diverse and different, ultimately – everyone knows what it is to be in love. Everyone knows what it is to find something funny. Everyone knows what it is to hate or to be jealous or feel insecure. We’re made from the same basic stuff: 30 per cent of DNA the same as bananas, 60 per cent the same as worms and 98 per cent the same as chimpanzees, so we can’t be that different from each other.
- How we treat the vulnerable is how we define ourselves as a species.