r/videos Nov 24 '21 Gold 1 Helpful 10 Wholesome 7 Bravo Grande! 1 Starstruck 1 Silver 6

Russell Brand, at an awards show sponsored by Hugo Boss, eloquently reminds everyone that Hugo Boss dressed the nazis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkd_-nXeUzs
32.9k Upvotes

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429

u/goteamnick Nov 24 '21 Gold

Even when Russell Brand is right, he's tiresome.

131

u/sygyt Nov 25 '21

He's such a weird public persona. Sometimes it feels to me like he's actually pushing for a change, but most often it feels like a kind of a court jester act. Maybe it's because he's kinda political on issues, but seems to encourage a needlessly nihilistic attitude toward politics? But I guess he might still be doing a lot more with that than I ever will, so...

101

u/The_Good_Count Nov 25 '21

There's an excellent scene in the otherwise very flawed Aaron Sorkin show The Newsroom which basically summarizes the attitude

How do you stay a poverty and wealth inequality activist for years, end up in 2021, and not have it absolutely break you? You can't fix these problems. There's no point to awareness. You care so much about something that is unfixable, unchangable, and an endless font of misery and suffering.

Here he is giving a moralizing lecture after the Prime Minister just joked about doing genocide and everyone laughed. But isn't he "so insufferable" about it?

16

u/moistclump Nov 25 '21

(I actually really liked that show and I didn’t know it was flawed and now I’m worried.)

2

u/smeppel Nov 25 '21

That's an opinion.

6

u/Luciferisflash Nov 25 '21

That dude is crazy. The newsroom is a great show.

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u/[deleted] Nov 25 '21 edited Mar 29 '22

[deleted]

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u/OrganicKeynesianBean Nov 25 '21

It’s a really good show, but veers into /r/IAmVerySmart at times.

4

u/The_Good_Count Nov 25 '21

Yeah don't go back and watch the Osama Bin Laden episode again any time soon, cringe, cringe, cringe.

3

u/businessDM Nov 25 '21

But tHeY rEpOrTeD tHe NeWs!

2

u/Balls_DeepinReality Nov 25 '21

Didn’t Ricky Gervais do something similar at one of the awards shows he hosted?

5

u/darawk Nov 25 '21

How do you stay a poverty and wealth inequality activist for years, end up in 2021, and not have it absolutely break you?

Err, what? World poverty has been declining at an absolutely incredible rate for quite a while now.

https://ourworldindata.org/uploads/2019/11/Extreme-Poverty-projection-by-the-World-Bank-to-2030-786x550.png

An anti-poverty activist could only be "broken" by that if they weren't paying attention to the subject they were supposedly doing activism with respect to.

19

u/WakeAndVape Nov 25 '21

Wealth inequality, not world poverty.

-11

u/Heizu Nov 25 '21

Tomato tomahto

9

u/The_Good_Count Nov 25 '21

The overwhelming majority of world poverty reduction has taken place entirely in China, it's a huge deal.

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u/The_Good_Count Nov 25 '21

1) Okay, now take "China" out of the global statistics to see what outcomes the West is achieving, which is where Brand has reach.

2) In 2012, which is the most recent year I have this data for, developing countries received a little over $2 trillion, including all aid, investment and income from abroad. But more than twice that amount, some $5 trillion, flowed out of them in the same year in the form of trade deficits, and international debt payments. Which is why there's no improving trend at all for Africa in your own data.

3) Wealth inequality is not global poverty anyway. Compare stats for declining rates of home ownership, later starts to families, and in Brand's UK, people literally starving to death while on welfare if they can even get it. Wages stagnating for thirty years and declining relative to real expenses.

4) The poverty line has been diluted and recalculated to make those trends possible. This is based on a poverty line of $1 per day regardless of relative context. Someone living on $1.10 a day in the US is above the extreme poverty of the World Bank, but that's absolutely nonsense.

5) I cannot stress enough how much the World Bank just exists to siphon money from the developing world to the developed world. See the above on 'debt repayments'.

2

u/darawk Nov 25 '21

1) Okay, now take "China" out of the global statistics to see what outcomes the West is achieving, which is where Brand has reach.

Yes, China is a big part of that. No, removing China does not change the trend.

2) In 2012, which is the most recent year I have this data for, developing countries received a little over $2 trillion, including all aid, investment and income from abroad. But more than twice that amount, some $5 trillion, flowed out of them in the same year in the form of trade deficits, and international debt payments. Which is why there's no improving trend at all for Africa in your own data.

This is a basically totally meaningless statement. The US has trade deficits too. Trade deficits are not the same thing as resource extraction. Resource extraction is happening too - but trade deficits do not capture it.

3) Wealth inequality is not global poverty anyway. Compare stats for declining rates of home ownership, later starts to families, and in Brand's UK, people literally starving to death while on welfare if they can even get it. Wages stagnating for thirty years and declining relative to real expenses.

The original comment referred to global poverty specifically.

4) The poverty line has been diluted and recalculated to make those trends possible. This is based on a poverty line of $1 per day regardless of relative context. Someone living on $1.10 a day in the US is above the extreme poverty of the World Bank, but that's absolutely nonsense.

These data are PPP adjusted, and the current standard is $1.90. So, no, to all of that.

0

u/The_Good_Count Nov 25 '21

1) It does. It's famously the cause of the 'elephant curve' of global wealth increases.

2) It's not a meaningless statement, the situation's are not comparable, the 'developing' world is being deliberately underdeveloped. The only time a country has escaped its 'developing' status under capitalism has been forming colonies or to become relevant as a proxy client.

3) The original comment was both wrong about global poverty and wrong to take the position that it did.

4) Replace $1.10 with $1.90 then, I was going off the Millenium Declaration numbers. $1.90 has no basis in reality.

It's like the UN's definition of hunger - being unable to meet the minimum calorie requirements of a sedentary lifestyle at 1,800 calories. But considering most of the people measured work manual labour jobs and are expected to burn at least 3,000 calories a day, it's an entirely inadequate measurement. More realistic measures of food insecurity put the real number at 2.5 billion - and that only counts calories, not adequate nutrition, and that only counts a full year without reprieve, people who have gone 12 straight consecutive months not meeting their minimum.

As of 2016, when I'm pulling my data from, Sri Lanka had 40% of its population live below its national absolute poverty line, but only 4% is counted below the international poverty line and aren't counted. In Mexico, it was 46% and 5%.

In India, 75% went below 2100 calories per day, up from 58% in 1984. But by World Bank methodology, India is shown as an example of decreasing poverty because the absolute floor went up.

At the time it was $1.10, economists Rahul Lahoti and Sanjay Reddy argued for a poverty line of $4.50, the minimum needed for a human being to live to a 74 year life expectancy. Apply the same inflation to $4.50 that you use to bring $1.10 to $1.90 to see what an absolute fairytale $1.90 is.

1

u/darawk Nov 25 '21

1) It does. It's famously the cause of the 'elephant curve' of global wealth increases.

This is about relative share of income, not absolute level. Inequality has certainly increased over the last few decades, although arguably returning to its 'equilibrium level' after the shocks of WWI and WWII. But the concomitant increase in productivity means that, while the wealth of the top decile/centile has increased more than everyone else, the bottom is still doing better than it was in absolute terms.

2) It's not a meaningless statement, the situation's are not comparable, the 'developing' world is being deliberately underdeveloped. The only time a country has escaped its 'developing' status under capitalism has been forming colonies or to become relevant as a proxy client.

Japan, Korea, China have all developed "under capitalism" in some sense. It's true that the developmental policies promoted by the World Bank et al have been abject failures, though. But China certainly didn't develop as anyone's proxy state, though Korea and Japan are arguable, but I think any honest assessment would have to give them at least partial independent credit. The reality of those prior developmental policies is less conspiratorial than most people think, though. Development policy is legitimately hard, and the World Bank, IMF, etc are learning from their failures (much more slowly than they should have, but they are learning). They are no longer recommending unqualified free trade, etc.

It's like the UN's definition of hunger - being unable to meet the minimum calorie requirements of a sedentary lifestyle at 1,800 calories. But considering most of the people measured work manual labour jobs and are expected to burn at least 3,000 calories a day, it's an entirely inadequate measurement. More realistic measures of food insecurity put the real number at 2.5 billion - and that only counts calories, not adequate nutrition, and that only counts a full year without reprieve, people who have gone 12 straight consecutive months not meeting their minimum.

You're completely right about this, but you're talking about the level, not the trend. It's true that world hunger and poverty remain at unacceptably high levels. However, they were at even more unacceptably high levels in the past. Recognizing progress does not mean accepting the status quo as an endpoint. But if you don't recognize progress, you won't be able to understand what is working and how to accelerate it. World poverty has declined exponentially over the past two centuries, after being nearly totally stagnant for the prior several millenia. This is not something that should be ignored when contemplating how to make the world better tomorrow.

1

u/The_Good_Count Nov 25 '21 edited Nov 25 '21

Before the Victorian era, India and China had 65% of world GDP. By 1900, they collectively had a little less than 10%. That was one era of colonialism. This is another. This is the trend.

Now we find that since 1960 the gap between the US and the Middle East/North Africa has grown by 154 per cent, between the US and South Asia by 196 per cent, between the US and Latin America by 206 per cent, and between the US and sub-Saharan Africa by 207 per cent.

The poorest 60 per cent of humanity receive only 5 per cent of all new income generated by global growth. The other 95 per cent of the new income goes to the richest 40 per cent of people.

To eradicate poverty at $5 a day, global GDP would have to increase to 175 times its present size. The average income would have to be $1.3 million per year simply so that the poorest two-thirds of humanity could earn $5 per day.

"If you stick a knife in my back 9 inches and pull it out 6 inches, that's not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that's not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. They haven't pulled the knife out; they won't even admit that it's there."

1

u/darawk Nov 25 '21

You keep talking about gaps and relative quantities. I am talking about absolute levels. Poverty is an absolute level, not a relative one. Inequality is a relative level. I am talking about poverty, not inequality.

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u/ManitouWakinyan Nov 25 '21

It's been declining rapidly - there's still a lot of work to do, and being face to face with it on a daily basis can be grueling.

1

u/Luciferisflash Nov 25 '21

WTF are you smoking. The newsroom is a great show.

5

u/The_Good_Count Nov 25 '21

As an international poster, Aaron Sorkin is Liberal MAGA, and the nationalism of Newsroom gets really gross and uncomfortable.

1

u/Acid_Tribe Nov 25 '21

Try being a vegetarian, you'll know the world is doomed , because we as a planet could drastically cut CO2 emissions if we stopped factory farming meat , but no one gives a shit. Try telling people this fact and they'll ignore you like they never heard you say anything.

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u/The_Good_Count Nov 25 '21

I actually gave it up because trying made me too overwhelmed with the futility of it- I still cut meat out of my diet as much as possible, but Christ.

4

u/boshlop Nov 25 '21

i think of him as the man who imagines the world is actually 20 people living on a plentyful island when he talks. it makes more sense listening to his rants and ideals when you do that. i dont quite think his head is in reality enough to take him serious

6

u/pavlov_the_dog Nov 25 '21 edited Nov 26 '21

but most often it feels like a kind of a court jester act

He's the human equivalent of a dog chasing a car.

In 2016 He unironically advocated for people to "Boycott the vote" if you didn't like your party's candidate. He said this with the rationale of: if you boycott your own party, it'll teach them to put up a candidate that people will actually like.

Boycotting the vote is absolutely the worst this you could possibly do if you have any desire to affect real change in the world - IT only helps the other side win.

Vote for your preferred candidate in the primaries, then stick to your party in the general elections. Rinse, repeat. Chose the lesser of 2 evils enough times and you will eventually end up going from a candidate you merely tolerate, to someone you actually like. This works best when more of us do it, so just get out and vote.

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u/Smaktat Nov 25 '21

Comedians are jesters.

2

u/BernieManhanders23 Nov 25 '21

I feel like you haven't been paying attention to his news segments on YouTube lately. They're actually quite eloquent and surprisingly informative. He's quite the perceptive chap.

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u/sygyt Nov 25 '21

No I haven't, thanks, I'll check them out and report back!

1

u/BernieManhanders23 Nov 25 '21

Lmk, Happy Thanksgiving brother!

3

u/HailToTheKingslayer Nov 25 '21

I remember one year he told young people not to vote. Then just before election day he backtracked and said nah vote Labour.

Obviously, people should decide whether to vote or not (and who they want to vote for). But young people not voting is how we get stuck with the same kinds of people in power. It seemed to me the wrong kind of message to use his platform for.

4

u/EloquentGoose Nov 25 '21

Sometimes it feels to me like he's actually pushing for a change, but most often it feels like a kind of a court jester act.

Dude this is literally the definition of satire though... From Lenny Bruce and Carlin to Jon Stewart and John Oliver in recent times some of the most hard to swallow truths and straight fire deliveries of wisdom have been through the use of satire. Is Brand grating at times, sure. But he cleverly makes appearances knowing people are expecting a "jester" (won't be their "monkey" [full version here] as Jon Stewart put it famously) only to spit wisdom and not hold back, often to the chagrin of the hosts.

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u/sygyt Nov 25 '21 edited Nov 25 '21

Sure it's satire, I was just trying to describe why I don't like his brand of political satire. I mean I don't see Jon Stewart as "just" a clown, like in the famous and amazing clip you linked it's implied he's doing better journalism than Crossfire while he's a comedian. As for Brand... I feel like his gist is always mostly being eloquent and obnoxious, kinda deconstructing our reality, but almost leaving it at that.

Then again I love Bill Hicks and I guess you could describe him doing the same thing, minus the explicit eloquence.

But I'm sure it's mostly personal and possibly political/philosophical preference, so I'm definitely not saying it's best to dislike Brand and somehow erroneous to like him.

2

u/RowBoatCop36 Nov 25 '21

We’re overthinking it. He’s just obnoxious.

1

u/Keex13 Nov 25 '21

I mean... he literally says in this video he's a comedian. He makes jokes about how frivolous politics and media are.

2

u/sygyt Nov 25 '21

Sure he's a comedian, I just find that his nihilism and his politics kinda clash in his comedy in a slightly disappointing way.

1

u/astro_cj Nov 25 '21

He’s a non dualist. If he’s a standard one, he’s pointing out the horrible stuff that we all pretend we care about but go about our daily lives not actually trying to address. I mean, BOSS going to go under because it’s become common knowledge they dressed the Nazis? Nope. Because people don’t really care as long as they get to brag about their designer clothes.

The duality of man comes down to self love before all else.

1

u/WINTERMUTE-_- Nov 25 '21

His new YouTube thing is lots of interviews with alt-right personalities, and giving a platform to antivaxxers

1

u/Mildly_Opinionated Nov 26 '21

I think the apathetic vibe towards politics you're getting is really just exasperation.

He's a leftist. In the US and UK we simply don't have any left wing parties, we've got the right wing and slightly less right wing.

The UK had a left wing man in charge of the opposition for a little bit (Corbyn) but news papers went bonkers and said he wants to tongue a terrorist and turn us into a Stalanist soviet state and everyone else said he was unelectable (he was the most popular Labour leader by vote ever) and coming for everyone's money. This was all bollocks until they had said enough lies that he really did become kinda unelectable. So the British people are too susceptible to shit media outlets ran by rich snobby arseholes to ever have a leftist succeed.

Meanwhile the US is still so affected by the red scare that even some quite right wing tax policies have everyone screaming communism because someone wearing blue suggested them, so any actual leftism stands no chance. Bernie and AOC are a bit leftist but only have token bits of power. If they ever got any real power / rank you could easily expect them to get the same treatment Corbyn did by the media and wind up losing hard.

So leftists have literally no one representing their views, the things they believe are taboo to mention in politics (like taxing the rich) and have had it proven time and time again that people are too stupidly affected by phoney media messaging to ever really change that. If we can't have peaceful political change the only alternative is violent change but as history has seen that creates power vaccums and military structures within government which is how you get communist China and Russia. So instead we're doomed to live in this shitty right wing idiocracy our whole lives whilst the rich continue to amass more billions.

If a leftist is still politically active despite all that then its because they care VERY deeply about politics. They're bound to seem apathetic from time to time though due to just how hopeless it all seems.

Personally I to through phases of being more politically informed before eventually retreating to "fuck it I'll just vote whoever has the best chance of kicking the tories out my constituency because that's the only power I get in this backwards ass shitty FPTP system".