This article was published in the South China Morning Post’s Post Magazine
“Neat little ejaculations of like apparent power”. That is how the comedian Russell Brand – a man much-loved by women who take delight in the haphazard use of such words as “paradigm” and “hegemony” and have low self-esteem – last year referred to the act of voting. Mr Brand was urging people not to vote – “it just encourages the bastards” – explaining that he does not indulge in it himself. But the thing is, you see, he does. It may come as no surprise, if you are familiar with what goes on in Hollywood, that he is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which votes on The Oscars.
Ooh, The Oscars you say, if you … well, if you what, exactly? If you actually like films, The Oscars has nothing to offer; indeed, when this year’s awards are broadcast tonight you must avoid them – tuning in only encourages the bastards. If, on the other hand, you applaud shlock, canting humbug and the neat little ejaculations of like apparent (and what beautiful ambiguity resides in that grammatical double qualifier) power then by all means do tune in, and keep the world updated via social media with your thoughts on the contenders and the speeches and the dresses while you’re at it, for that will please Mr Brand and his cohorts very much.
Those cohorts, those august fellow Academicians do, of course, include many talented writers, directors, actors and people who can apply make-up. That is granted. But for the most part they are cranks, divas, studio presidents, drug addicts, sex addicts, Woody Allen, Bryan Adams, television pageant winners, Oprah, egotists, fops, public relations executives, deviants, Meat Loaf and Russell Brand. And often they are several of these things or people at once.
No, don’t encourage them.