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This Will Be All Done – Russell Brand and Nihilism

First Disclaimer: this was written before The Trews and before everybody else got wind of his revolution. I’m not interested in discussing the Russell Brand we see today in 2015, for good or ill. I still love him, but it’s a love based on the old radio shows, on which this essay is focused.

Second Disclaimer: where possible I’ve tried to suppress my urge to plant appropriate references that only the hardcore fan would recognise. Sometimes however, this is not possible. My language may seem different to usual; that’s normally one of said references, or similarly me adopting one of ol’Russ’ distinctive turns of phrase. Hopefully the post can be read by all, but there should be a few more chuckles in there for my fellow members of the Matt Morgan Appreciation Society.

Before the whole Sachsgate hoopla back in 2008, Russell Brand used to (co-)host a radio show on BBC Radio 2, and before that on BBC 6Music (and before that on XFM but I don’t have access to those shows). It was a weekly meandering through the mind of a former drug addict with an outrageous wit and childlike insecurities.

Alongside him was his oaf of a sidekick, everyman’s Matt Morgan: a snivelling wretch with a silly Dartford voice and a penchant for embarrassing himself in trivial yet memorable fashion. In the 6Music days they were also joined by small-faced, walking dog’s bed Trevor “Cocky Locky” Lock. As far back as I can remember they’ve also had resident poet Mr Gee on board each week, who would write and recite a poem (virtually) from scratch based on the show’s events (all on the mic!). His poetry would gain more prominence, and improvisation, as the shows went on and he became an integral part of the team. Regular guest contributors included roving reporter and wrinkly rocker Noel Gallagher; monkey-botherer and melon-untwister Paul McKenna; and later the other half of the rather niche genre of foppish goth comics, Noel Fielding.

But I haven’t come here today to give you a (BORING!) run-down of the show’s logistics. The thing that concerns me is the underlying philosophy (to crudely use that grandiose word) of the show. Read the rest of this entry »


Je soutiens: On Contemplating our Blindness and Wretchedness

On contemplating our blindness and wretchedness, and on observing the whole of the silent universe, and humanity with no light abandoned to itself, lost in this nook of the universe not knowing who put us there, what we have come to achieve, what will become of us when we die, incapable of all knowledge, I become frightened, like someone taken in his sleep to a terrifying, deserted island who wakes up with no knowledge of what has happened, nor means of escape

So wrote Blaise Pascal in his famous Pensées (1669). His analogy here is with existence, and the quest for meaning in life, and this image of being stranded on a desert island without answers is one which led him to frustration and fear, but which sent Montaigne down the path of relaxed scepticism. Here we have two contrasting responses to the same timeless mystery. Read the rest of this entry »

Is this a cliche I see before me? Your classic existential crisis

I’m going to die.

I’m scared of death.

I feel like I’m getting as close to understanding that as I ever will. But of course that’s nonsense. I’m 22, in good health, and in no immediate danger. Most likely estimates would say that I have another 50 years to go at least. But then, in fifty years will I really feel this scared of death? Will it by its very proximity make it scarier, or easier to contemplate? I have young person’s solipsism: I have my entire life ahead of me, and an ocean of potential, so anything less than fulfilment isn’t good enough. Maybe that’s why I fear death. The loss of opportunity, the death of chance and possibility and experience. Read the rest of this entry »

The blog

This blog will be very occasional thoughts on the nature of consciousness, life, death, god, the self, the mind, all that sort of stuff. They’ll most certainly be as incoherent as my sporadic ideas and be filled with all kinds of vulgar naiveties.

Please feel free to dip in and out as you like, you might find something that interests you.