Since Russell Brand came to America, he has been a controversial comedian from his jokes as MTV Movie Awards host to his short-lived marriage to Katy Perry. That’s nothing. In the UK, he’s pulled stunts as outrageous as dressing as Osama Bin Laden on September 12, 2001. He’s always been open about his addictions and struggles in his personal memoirs and stand-up act. Now he has a talk show on FX, where he can speak his mind every week.
Introducing Brand X to the Television Critics Association, he said that all media coverage is a distraction from what’s really important. Of course he said it hilariously. “Like it's so easy to whoop up hoopla over nothing, over nothing,” Brand said. “That's what I mean. It's vacuous. It's nonsense. It's as sort of a pink gas being fired into our eyes. I consider contemporary culture to be like a sort of a pink pony trotting through the world sh*tting glitter into our minds. Glitter affects the synaptic firing of our brains because there's glitter sh*t all in the middle of our neurons. We can't think. They're filling our minds with sh*t glitter. A glitterating thought. So we talk about that nonsense, that rhubarb.”
One distraction that got Brand’s attention was Newt Gingrich’s criticism of Mitt Romney speaking French during the Republican primaries. “Newt Gringrich ‑ which is a ludicrously amphibious bizarre name for anyone to have - he attacked Mitt Romney because he talked some French, like that's really amazing. Like he said that makes him elitist and like a bit of a whoopsie. Like he was sort of speaking French in a boudoir, in a homoerotic fashion.
It's all right that there are other languages, and people say different stuff. This is so extraordinary to me that someone would be criticized for that. I love it. Just for using a different lexicon. It's more important what someone says rather than the language they say it in, isn't it?”
Of course, were Brand hosting Brand X during his divorce, he might be the news of the day. Brand cautions viewers against following such insignificant news.
“This show is about authenticity. We live in a time where we're stupefied by plasticity, where we have this toxic sequined wave of vapid culture polluting our minds, denigrating our consciousness, detracting us and removing us from our spirituality. So gossip‑based stories would have less value other than in an analytical context. I don't want to further celebrate the overly elaborate brittle plastic structures of nonsense that are constantly fired into our minds to distract us from what's really important. So like if I had done something actually newsworthy, in some bizarre world, then I would cover it. But if it was just more lacquered nonsense designed to distract us from truth, then I would wisely ignore it.”
With the election heating up this summer, Brand says not to worry about who actually gets elected. “It’s irrelevant. They’ll all just shift about for a little while and then they’ll disperse and there’ll be a cultural revolution.”
Brand X premiers June 28 on FX.