Had a long, enjoyable discussion with the inestimable Russell Brand last week, part of which is shown in his free preview above. It’s been amazing to watch his show expand since we last spoke, a testament to many things I think, two in particular. He obviously has unique wit and enviable communications skills, which can take anyone far in a YouTube-driven media landscape, but his secret sauce is the easy, accepting vibe of his politics. When talking about issues he focuses on whether he finds humility, honesty, or joyfulness in the picture and celebrates accordingly, but if he finds nothing but meanness and narrowness, he just makes a note of it and moves on.
The old, dead measuring sticks of left and right are mostly left behind, and you don’t miss them. The sheer cheerfulness of his show has made it difficult for critics to pigeonhole him as any kind of reactionary, and the ballooning growth of his following is an amusing poke in the eye of traditional media that still tries to corral audiences with fear and division, a strategy that’s not just wrong but has a built-in ceiling.
We talk a little about censorship here, but the full discussion ranged all over. If and when that’s posted, I’ll let you know. You can find his podcast, Under My Skin, here.