Tuesday, 15 January 2008

0 points to Brand.

I never wanted to like Russell Brand; the first time I saw him was in an advert for his show Big Brother's Big Mouth, the sort of televisual offering that makes me switch off the Box of Blight in disgust even at an advert for it. Then I saw him with Noel Fielding on The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year at the end of 2006, and grudgingly admitted that he was both amusing and frighteningly quick-minded. So when searching for interesting new podcasts to sample, his show from BBC Radio 2 was one of those I selected.

It started much as I expected: Brand talking in his accustomed manner, with one of the first conversational tangents being in regard to Monkey World in Dorset. Later, he attempted to break the world record for speed-talking (which, despite a valiant and amusing effort, he failed to achieve). Then a certain David Icke made an appearance.

For those who don't know (and I certainly didn't), Icke is one of Britain's more colourful characters: a conspiracy theorist who has declared himself to be the "son of God"[via], and has been seeking the true rulers of the world - lizards, apparently. Oh, and he finds the basic principles of Raelism perfectly acceptable. Apparently the idea that life on Earth had extra-terrestrial help will one day become scientific fact, in the same way that the world was once thought to be flat, and now it goes without saying that it's (more or less) spherical. Yeah, ok. You know what changed our minds about the flat-world thing? Evidence.

My point here is that Russell Brand, through all of this nonsense, basically nodded (verbally, it's radio after all), and said something along the lines of "I don't think we'd dispute anything you've said". Granted it's primarily a variety/entertainment show, and isn't out to promote rationality. I just wish visible people like Brand would use their position to urge the public against this kind of credulity, not make it seem to be the norm.


Andrew said...

Me too - I quite like him despite myself, but I was wincing throughout the David Icke interview.

Russell Brand's strange that way - from listening to the podcast for a few months it's clear he's a remarkably quick and intelligent guy, and he can be pretty insightful on any number of topics. But occasionally he completely goes off the deep end.

Did you hear his Dawkins interview? It was bizarre - he was actually turned around by the professor's arguments and ended up agreeing, but was clearly reluctant and it didn't last long.

He'd be a major force for skepticism if he put his mind to it. Maybe he needs to mentor under Ricky Gervais for a bit.

Darkwinter said...

I've not heard his Dawkins interview, no - is it available as a podcast? I thought I'd downloaded all of them but can't find that. It would indeed be great if he became the popular face of scepticism - it's currently under-represented in most mainstream outlets, I think.

Andrew said...

Yep, it's on the December 4th show. Let me know if you can't find it online and I'll email it over.

Darkwinter said...

I've managed to locate it on YouTube thanks:
Handy that.

I see what you mean - it's a far more reasoned discussion (as far as Brand ever has fully reasoned discussions), and it would have been good to see some of that counter-argument in the Icke interview.