– This fortnight’s political opener comes from the somewhat unlikely source of Russell Brand. Following the Newsnight ‘interview’ with Jeremy Paxman, which went viral on the internet over the past two weeks, there have been calls for Brand to be Prime Minister. Here’s why Brand’s outburst was great: it raised awareness of important issues. That’s it. I could spend the rest of the article picking faults with his ‘No Voting’ stance and the call for revolution. He didn’t ‘rinse Jeremy Paxman’ as many Facebook geeks are suggesting. He merely dodged all of his questions, ironically much like a politician. A lovely idea, but unless he is planning to do it on an International scale it will crash and burn (with our economy dying first). My biggest problem however, is the influence the rant will have on young and liberal voters, for that is his audience. Your average Tory will brush the rant off their well to-do shoulders and move on; it is the Labour, Green and Liberal voters that will listen to it and feel it speaks to them. Therefore, his rant has merely increased the gap between the Tories and the (albeit only slightly better) alternatives. Russell Brand may well have just secured us another 4-8 years with David Cameron. Cheers mate.
– Don’t lose hope and faith just yet though for a new atheist church has opened in North London. Religion is, after all, a means of social bonding, sharing (and thus halving, as the saying goes) problems and supporting one another. A modern day church should scrap the deity aspect altogether. A ‘Sunday Assembly’ is a regular gathering for non-religious folk which features storytelling, jokes and live music. Sounds great.
– In much sadder news, The Velvet Underground frontman and rock music pioneer Lou Reed died, aged 71, on 27th October. An unbelievable shock and loss to the music industry, his loss has been felt strongly with many artists taking to fan sites and Twitter to express their melancholy. Morrissey wrote of Reed: ‘I knew the Lou of recent years and he was always full of good heart. His music will outlive time itself. We are all timebound, but today, with the loss of liberating Lou, life is a pigsty.’ David Bowie proclaimed that Reed was ‘a Master’, and Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas tweeted: ‘Still in shock! When I was 18yrs old you forever changed my life and I will never forget that!’.
– After revealing a fairly safe and unexciting shortlist earlier in the year, the Mercury Music Prize Winner was announced as James Blake this week for the producer’s album ‘Overgrown’. For me this is a good choice, the album is great and if Jake Bugg won it I would have shot myself between the eyes. Blake saw off David Bowie, Foals, Arctic Monkeys and hot favourite Laura Mvula amongst others to win the, frankly meaningless, award.