I have recently finished reading Russell Brand’s book, Revolution. I devoured it all in a car trip to Vancouver.
I gathered some of my favorite quotes from the book. You will instantly get the sense of how funny he is and how well he combines an intelligent tone with funny illustrations to appeal to his readers.
“For a Buddhist monk to be suspected of terrorism required a pretty radical misinterpretation of the nature of Buddhism. Given their doctrine prevents them eating sausages, it’s unlikely they’d endorse a policy of hijacks and tower toppling” (22).
“It’s a bullshit gesture, the equivalent of the salad they sell in McDonald’s” (11).
“ ‘Do you accept Jesus Christ?’ he says again, like Jesus Christ is a credit card and I’m an unhelpful waiter” (45).
“I’m too English to blaze out onto a dance floor or altar and start flinging my limbs around. The second voice, the fearful me is not going to stand for that” (44).
“When you get Richard Dawkins yapping menopausally at some poor hamstrung old archbishop, while we dismantle our environment due to the materialistic, pessimistic principles that the atheistic tyranny of the day is tacitly sponsoring, it is time to look for a new story” (58).
Intelligent/ Encouraging Quotes (BOOM!)
“I chatted to the two men about their lives as top-level athletes and they both agreed that the most important component in their success had been mental strength, the ability to focus the mind, literally, in their case, on the goal, excluding all irrelevant, negative, or distracting information” (30).
“Without codes that emphasize our unity and the presence of a sacred consciousness, it seems that we become dominated by materialism and individualism” (28).
“The stuff I learned in order to make me better at my job has taught me that my job doesn’t matter, that no individual job matters when compared to our common good. When we as individuals collectively access this frequency, we will realize that we have a shared destiny and that we can design a fair and rational system that does what it’s supposed to do: enhances the whole and respects the individual” (32).
“I’m not a total idiot: If taking drugs worked, I’d still be doing it; if promiscuous sex was continually fulfilling, I’d’ve carried on; if fame and money were the answer, I’d hurl this laptop out of the window and get on with making movies. They don’t work, in spite of what I was told, and there’s a reason for that, as we’ll discover” (39).
(speaking about meditation) “At first when you close your eyes, the mantra is like a thin thread, continually interrupted by other thoughts. A mantra is just a word, a thought vibration, repeated in the mind. At some point in the past, the mind has for some reason taken on the duty of trying to solve every single problem you are having, have had, or might have in the future, which makes it a genetic and restless device” (39).
“We need to focus on relevant truths, the truths that will aid our survival. Not the temporary truth that we are dislocated, mechanical blobs motivated by our cocks and guts” (52).
“You have to forgive everyone for everything. You can’t cling on to any blame that you may be using to make sense of the story of your life” (56).
“If all there is is only that which we can prove, then we live as disconnected, condemned animals” (59).
“If we want a society in which people with insufficient resources are given what they are owed, where are we to look for recompense? . . . Or ought we be looking to organizations that have abundance? . . . There is no great mystery to unravel; the solution is quite simple. We must spontaneously cooperate; we must immediately overcome our superficial differences of accent and lexicon and come together to organize society efficiently” (63).
“David explained from beneath my towel that debt repayment has a powerful moral charge in our culture, that people feel ashamed about debt and guilty about nonpayment. Seventy-five percent of Americans are in debt, 40 percent owing more than fifty thousand dollars, whilst an estimated 9 million British people are in ‘serious debt’ ” (76).
“The mind is a machine that registers difference. I suppose we become inured to anything if subjected to it for long enough - poverty, or extreme privilege. Fame after a while seems ordinary. The accumulation of a million easy treats, a license to speak your mind or sulk. It is possible to retreat into a cell of comfort, ceramic stillness. I am grateful for the disruptions that come and remind me of the shallow impermanence of fame as a condition” (86).
“The poor enslaved by desperation, the rich imprisoned by luxury” (88).
“Humankind’s innate expectation of fairness. We have an instinct for it, and instinctively we reject unfairness” (89).
“When I was poor and complained about inequality they said I was bitter; now that I’m rich and I complain about inequality they say I’m a hypocrite. I’m beginning to think they just don’t want to talk about inequality” (92).
“Know, too, that I am prepared for change, that I have seen what fame and fortune have to offer and I know it’s not the answer. That doesn’t diminish these arguments, it enhances them” (92).
“America employs more private security guards than high school teachers. States and countries with high inequality tend to higher proportionally more guard labor” (93).
“It actually gives me a little rush if I do a kind thing, like just phone someone up, someone who I want nothing from, and check if they’re okay. After I’ve done it, I get this little tingle and I think that is a small synaptic reward for reconnecting with truth” (120).
“My personal daily program includes all three: I pray, meditate, and try to be kind - not generally, particularly. If I feel sad or agitated, I check myself and think, “Hang on, Russell, have you done anything for anyone but yourself today?” Shockingly, the answer is sometimes “No,” then I immediately hurl myself into enforced altruism, inflicting my aid on anyone in the vicinity” (121).
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