The Enabling of Russell Brand
I am worn down by Russell Brand. Maybe that was always his modus operandi: the hyper-verbosity, the black flash in his eyes, the messianic fervour. No one else could ever get a word in edgeways. Especially when that word was ‘no.’
‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,’ as Aleistair Crowley, another charismatic but “flawed” man (and that’s to put it mildly), famously said. The old sex magick involved abuse. There is no question about that in Crowley’s case.
Having written about Brand since the story broke, I have since read just about everyone else writing about him and I am, frankly, exhausted. Exhausted mainly by the same arguments being repeated over and over.
First, there is the passing the buck. Some say it was the fault of the comedy circuit. Female comedians knew he was a predator and tried to call him out – notably Katherine Ryan – but we now hear that Brand is but one among many. I have my own theories about this, as the blanding-out of ‘alternative’ comedy into some kind of liberal orthodoxy has not touched the sides of this misogynistic oeuvre. Female comics talk about menstruation (is this still radical?) and they all, male and female embrace trans rights, ignoring and mocking women’s concerns about safeguarding children – which strikes me as being as conservative as it’s always been.
Sexual openness does not mean sexual equality.
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