Russell Brand the Epitome of the Fool

Every now and then I find myself infatuated with the mind of a celebrity. Darren Aronofsky is one such person. His films like Pi and The Fountain profoundly impacted my spirituality and raised questions and passions in me that I didn’t know existed. My love of his work is more than just star-worship, I believe his work is inspired by Truth and I am a relentless truth seeker.

Perhaps my thirst for authenticity is what has led to my most recent fascination with the comedian Russell Brand. His wit and charisma are intoxicating, but what is more important are the ideas he is perpetuating from behind the mask of the fool. Here is a perfect example of how his quick-witted humor and brazen honesty allow him to call attention to the total lack of depth and integrity in the morning news in America. Check out his interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe watch and listen carefully.

This man may be a fool, but he is not foolish.

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare

Perhaps likening him to a prophet is a bit much at this point. He is just a comedian doing his job, right? But what is the job of the comedian? As Shakespeare suggests, it is the man who knows not to take himself too seriously who is truly wise. Who better to fulfill the role of a prophet than a comedian?

Let’s take a moment to define prophet before we continue:


1. A person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed.

2. A person gifted with profound moral insight and exceptional powers of expression.

3. A predictor; a soothsayer.

4. The chief spokesperson of a movement or cause.

Given these broad definitions let’s take a closer look at the subtext of Brand’s comedy. At times he is lewd and offensive, but there are moments in which he says things that are utterly profound. Here is one of my favorites:

“It’s difficult to believe in yourself because the idea of self is an artificial construction. You are, in fact, part of the glorious oneness of the universe. Everything beautiful in the world is within you. No one really feels self-confident deep down because it’s an artificial idea. Really, people aren’t that worried about what you’re doing or what you’re saying, so you can drift around the world relatively anonymously: you must not feel persecuted and examined. Liberate yourself from that idea that people are watching you.”
Russell Brand

We are all one. Liberate yourself. Be confident in your self.

These are important messages!

What about this comment:

“Sometimes, as a comedian, a line will come to you, that is so beautiful, so perfect, that you think: I did not create this line. This line belongs to all of us. Surely this is a line of God.”

If we take him literally he seems to suggest that he is an instrument of God and that his gifts are meant to be shared and enjoyed by all. Perhaps he is just arrogant, but something about the way he seems to genuinely love other people tells me that it is something more than that. I mean the guy actually spends time hanging out with homeless people! In interviews he acts as if he truly values other human beings and is more interested in loving them (literally in the case of women) than harming them.

One of my favorite cards in Tarot is The Fool. As number zero in the Major Arcana he is symbolic of  pure possibility.  He represents innocence, spontaneity, new beginnings and urges us to take a leap of faith. The Fool seems oblivious to danger, so pure are his intentions to enjoy himself and live in the moment. One day at a time is his motto.

The Fool represents beginnings, innocence, spontaneity, and a free spirit .

The Fool represents beginnings, innocence, spontaneity, and a free spirit .

As I look at this card it is not hard for me to imagine Russell Brand.  Observe the outrageous outfit he wears, how he seems to prance rather than walk (if you have ever seen Brand’s stand-up you’ll know what I’m talking about), and his open arms embracing whatever the Universe has to offer him.

Free spirited, silly and hyper intelligent...a powerful combination.

Free spirited, silly and hyper intelligent…a powerful combination.

Throughout history the role of the fool, jester, or trickster has served a very important role in society. His job is to make light of cultural taboos and tradition. He reminds us that these boundaries are self imposed. His silliness allows us to laugh at ourselves. Even Kings were fond of their jesters because their wit and honesty gave them valuable perspective. We no longer have kings who control us, the media has replaced the monarchy. We are blind and loyal subjects to the glowing screens we willingly allow to fill our heads with beliefs and attitudes focused on money, power, greed, violence and materialism. Some argue that these things are part of human nature, I argue that nothing is inherent to human nature except free will.

Russell Brand is a spiritual gadfly. He is here to help us wake up and remind us of our own power to determine the way we live for ourselves.

“Rebel children, I urge you, fight the turgid slick of conformity with which they seek to smother your glory.”
Russell Brand

His message is not original.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12: 1-2

It is an ancient, but important message.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Matthew 7: 13-14

It is a message that exists beyond the boundaries of culture and religion.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. – Buddha

Russell Brand may be a Fool, but he may also be exactly what we need.

Laugh at him. Laugh with him. But heed his words of wisdom. I know I will be keeping a closer eye on him from now on.



10 responses to “Russell Brand the Epitome of the Fool

  1. After watching the clip, I really think that you’re on to something. It’s striking how Russell Brand’s persona exposes the inauthenticity of the interviewers, as he refuses to conform to the expectations of superficiality upon which the questions are based. It is the role of the fool in that he’s not literally giving them a philosophy lecture, but rather playing a mischievous game with the interview itself. (That’s not to say it’s not philosophical–I think Socrates was up to something similarly “foolish” in playing with the prosecutor in the Apology.) It leads me to think that Brand would be ingeniously cast as one of Shakespeare’s fools.

    • It seems you may be right, blkbrook. I haven’t seen the Tempest yet, but this clip leads me to believe Russeel Brand understands this character deeply and is capable of fulfilling the role on and off stage…

  2. I recently watched this news clip when my friend posted it to facebook. I have never been a huge russell fan but this really got me going. The news crew doesn’t know what to do. They literally look ridiculous. I think it is funny that the “interviewee” turns into the one with the power over the whole program. It is amazing what having the right presence can do to a whole crowd of people. There is definitely something to be examined in his mannerisms.

  3. Did you watch the video I posted in the comments where he literally becomes his character. That wasn’t scripted, that was just him being “the fool”. I think he is a very important person right now and I’m willing to bet that he is going to rise to a new level of fame. I’m very intrigued by him at this point, I’m glad you are curious about his mannerisms, too Sara because now we can chat about it! hehe

    PS I see a bit of us in him…the way he feeds off of making others laugh…you and I used to really get into our characters if people seemed amused by it. Remember those times and how freeing it felt to be able to pretend to be someone else? I think its a great skill to hone…

  4. Hey! First off, love your vibes and what you are putting out there. Great site! We see eye to eye on Darren A..the man is brilliant. In regards to Russell B, once again we share the same perspective. Another brilliant individual who sees right through the fluff in our world today. So many comedians are very aware of what’s going on, George Carlin, being one of my favorites. Keep on sharing the great things you are. You definitely know what’s up!

    • Thanks David! What a compliment! I agree 100% Carlin too! These are our modern day prophets. We should heed their words. I’m happy to ride the coattails of these great minds. I think that delivering truth has to be done artfully. That’s why humor is so crucial. How can you stone a man to death when he wears such a ridiculous hat? I’ve always loved the fool/jester characters in literature, theater and film. They are the ones who really speak to me. I try to be silly, quick and witty when I can, but mostly I’m just slow and kind and polite haha. Thank God for the Carlins and the Brands, eh?

      Please stop by anytime David!

  5. I was more than happy to discover this website. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new information in your website.|

    • Hey ddos vps! I really appreciate the kind words and enthusiasm! I hope to hear more comments from you in the future. I’m always happy to engage in discussion and really enjoy the interaction with other bloggers. Have a great day!

    • Oh hey, so what do you think of Brand? Do you see his genius, too? I am reading his autobiography, My Booky Wook right now and I’m loving it. There is also a great youtube series hosted by Rayne Wilson, Metaphysical Milkshake. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out his interview with Russell! I also REALLY enjoyed his interview with Serj Tankian from System of a Down. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these topics! Cheers!

  6. Pingback: no higher than your heart | Wonderlust·

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