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Friday 9 December 2016

Anton Savage: If Russell Brand believes in decency then he'll shut the hell up about Katy Perry

ONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Russell Brand and Katy Perry attend the European Premiere of Arthur at Cineworld 02 on April 19, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
ONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Russell Brand and Katy Perry attend the European Premiere of Arthur at Cineworld 02 on April 19, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Russell Brand has had a go at his ex-wife Katy Perry.

In a new documentary, he's reported to say he's "associated with the very thing I detest: vapid, vacuous, plastic, constructed, mindless celebrity. That's the very sea we're swimming in, 'Oh, who's he?' 'He's married to Katy Perry'."

Russell's a stand-up comic who got a couple of movie roles playing boozy versions of himself. He ain't Bishop Tutu. His choices in life have mostly been in the (successful) pursuit of fame and money.

There's nothing wrong with the pursuit of fame and money, if that's what floats your boat. But making it your life's work somewhat reduces your capacity to climb atop the high moral ground.

Not that Russell has stopped trying. He makes regular Youtube videos, re-hashing his over-verbose quasi-leftie philosophies about complex issues on which he could not possibly have spent enough time to become familiar, let alone expert.

Nothing wrong with that. Free speech does not require that you think through what you say. Any of us can spout any guff that takes our fancy.

But again, possession of the highest moral ground tends to require a track record of some thought and analysis, rather than the knee-jerk vomiting of a thesaurus onto whichever public issue is trendy.

Russell ticks all the boxes which define 'vapid, vacuous, plastic, constructed, mindless celebrity'. He has a carefully constructed image, a lifestyle which requires vast money to fund, a desire to be in the public eye and what used to be called 'a great welcome for himself'.

Where experts seek peer review, Russell finds merit in ideas and views not because they are right, but because they are his.

The only major defining characteristic about him which is not common among the celebrities he loathes is circumspection. Most famous people learn not to make unnecessary enemies. Not Russell.

He had no reason to say anything cruel about Katy Perry. At one point she loved him. And with love comes personal exposure, risk, and vulnerability. She believed he was good. She believed they would spend their lives together. However deluded that might have seemed from the outside, it's not something she needs to be punished for.

Calling her vapid and mindless is punishment. Just like requesting a divorce by text is punishment. He may feel guilty for associating with someone shiny and A-list.

He may think that it weakens his left-wing, common-man pretensions.

He may wish he'd never been wowed and wooed by the bright lights and glam of the Hollywood life. But he was.

That wasn't Katy Perry's fault. Any regret he feels is entirely his. If he believed what he preaches incessantly about decency and fairness, he'd apply it closer to home.

By shutting the hell up. If he can't do that, he can at least make sure something nice comes out of his mouth.

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