I finally GOT Russell Brand.

I understand him now. It happened while listening to his appearance this week on the Howard Stern show: as always, Howard delves deeper and more honestly than any other interviewer, and he really got to the heart of who and what Russell is. And what he is is very, very appealing to me.

In an interview for Salon, Russell elaborates on what drives some of his comedy (which, as my friend William Crawley told me, is an acquired taste). And it turns out to be exactly the same thing that drives my own radio career, albeit manifesting in a (mostly) different way. Consider the following quotes:

Witness still the potency of taboo. There are words and language that are unacceptable on account of their impact on you neurologically, the power to induce or hypnotize people through language, to conjure an image in their mind unwittingly. People do it all the time. Women are forever telling you, “Oh, I was thinking about you when I was the shower.” They plant images of themselves in the shower. They do it all the time!

You seem like you enjoy being disruptive.

Well, not of beautiful things. I only like to disrupt the mundane or the unquestioned, the tyranny of the ordinary. They’re the only things I’m interested in disrupting.

I’m more inclined to question things that fit in, and people that fit in, and what their value is.

Part of tyranny is the reduction, the removal of nuance, the simplification of things to make them manageable and pigeonhole-able.

You see the humor in the really dark stuff?

That’s the best place to see it, isn’t it? To illuminate things that are terrifying. When people go, “Oh, don’t make jokes about that” about certain topics … that’s where you need jokes!
‘Nuff said. Brand happens to be very well aware of what he is doing and why it’s useful. And people who don’t agree would do well to engage with the wonderful points he so casually throws out in the conversation above.
They’re exactly why I do radio.