Views from an audience

This is a great day! Today I got confronted with John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) having a go at Russell Brand. I grew up in the age of Rotten, so the few times he speaks out, I will definitely listen. So seeing Mr Lydon speak out against Mr Brand and the politics of today, you are in for a treat (at His quote to the working class is “get smart, read as much as you can and find out who’s using you!“, a better statement regarding politics has not been made in 2014!

He was also outspoken against Ukip, whom he referred to as ‘You Kip!’ (So whether he refers to them as a herd following untanned pieces of hide, you the person asleep or a useless piece of weight (1000Lbs), it could even be all of the above!

Watching the interview was great fun, not just because I saw Johnny Rotten, but because the man is sharper then a razor, he sees anarchy in one way, me I always saw it a little different, but his view is great none the less. At the end he gives us this jewel “If you don’t contribute, or in some way try to reshape the society around you, you will have no effect and therefor become ignored, condemned“. He ends up seeing Russell Brand as a lifestyle of cardboard boxes by the river, making the others homeless whilst he preaches from a mansion. It is a strong view, but how did this get started? We need to take a look at the other side of that table.

I have seen Russel primarily as a comedian, yet his show trying to imbue ‘social awareness’ with his dormant style of subtlety tended to have an effect on me. He was at times a little too loud for me, but he did make me want to listen to it a little more, which means that there is something in what he claims or proclaims at times.

So what is this about?

Well, Russel Brand has been promoting his book (at and as he occupies Wall Street we see a person who is trying to say as much as he can as quickly as he can, but is this wrong? Russel states: “creating social enterprises that are not for profit and represent people“. This is nice, to create a book not for profit, yet the man is already wealthy, so does that influence things?

Here my view personally skews a little. We see how Bill Gates is pouring millions into all kinds of philanthropy and social programs. Yet, we seem to forget how he got there! It did start with an idea that caught on, yet over time, the use of monopoly approaches to prevent growth and stop innovation has been on his record too. Yet, if we paint with a large brush we tend to not see the details of the events, which is ultimately dangerous. This latter part becomes visible when we look at the 2001 Cartel charge against Microsoft when we see the Microsoft v Palm issues rise. In the Dutch Newspaper we see “In advertenties prijst Microsoft de kracht aan van organisers die van zijn besturingssoftware zijn voorzien. ‘Kan uw Palm dit?’, wordt de lezer gevraagd. Die lezer kan alleen in de kleine lettertjes onderaan de advertentie lezen dat de Microsoft-organiser alleen tot de kunststukjes in staat is dankzij extra voorzieningen. De handhelds van Palm beschikken daar standaard over [translated] “in the advertisement Microsoft praises the power of their organiser using Microsoft operating systems. ‘Can your Palm do this?’ is asked of the reader. Only in the small print at the bottom that Microsoft can only do this with additional accessories, whilst the Palm can do these things in a standard configuration“.

Here we see not the works of Cartel, but the use of quality advertising. The fact that this is brought in this way gives in my view weakness to the papers, as they could have shown in clear detail what Palm vs. Microsoft achieves in a tech article. This is not what I regard to Cartel acts. When I spoke out against the monopoly acts of Microsoft, I referred to their acts versus Netscape with the first browser war. There we saw clear Microsoft monopoly in action, Netscape lost and would become the foundation of Firefox, which is still around today. All that happened in the age of Gates!

So is Brand the new Internet Explorer? No, he is not, but as Johnny Lydon shows us, it could be stated that Russel Brand is going around it the wrong way and as such will cause more harm than good. Can I agree? He speaks a few things that seem to make sense to us all, but does that give him more strength in his convictions? It might on a personal level, yet it also comes fraught with dangers. I agree with Johnny Lydon 199.5%. This makes sense if we consider the Dutch proverb ‘A warned man counts as two‘, or ‘Warned is forearmed‘, which now gives me an unweighted power of 200%. Johnny states the reasons, as I quoted quite clearly, find out who is using you least, see if you can live with that (what does the politician do that helps you) and if not, go for his opponent. That seems to be clear and makes a good call. When we see Russel Brand in BBC Newsnight (at, we see a view it is hard to agree with, but Russell does make one point, the current system is NOT working. As we see governments enabling big business, leaving more and more issues out of bounds and as they are less about budgets and more about debt driven spending, we see that the new powerbase is not of votes, but by those who holds debt markers, yet not voting seems to be a radical (a train Johnny Rotten knows), yet non workable solution.

You see, in my view, as I have stated it before, when the budgets collapses, and the debt are accounted away (likely not by Pricewaterhouse Coopers), when as a result currency collapses, the new currency will be in hands of the owners of the Intellectual Properties, which currency has but one master, the company that holds the IP and it subjugates all others to these services. And consider that IP is for 99% in hands of non-governments. Yet at times Russell does make good points, which makes his approach so appealing, yet he seems to forget that he is now in a largely comfortable life with a large bank account. Jeremy Paxman shows a good deal too, he is on Russell’s case without letting up, it is quite the interview. So even though facetiousness is funny (at times) as Russell correctly points out, he missed the point, one massive point as I see it, not once did he call for accountability of large business and politicians. There is a second part where Russell loses out. I think in the end, these cases are an interesting topic. Yet, does a more radical solution work? Russell does show vigour as he brings his case, yet it is the pragmatic view of Johnny Lydon that makes Russell lose out. I reckon that Jeremy Paxman had Russell figured out after 10 seconds, you see, the speed Russell talks at is so high that not unlike the passing Ferrari, we see something gorgeous and we desire it, but then when it strolls by, we notice the seats to be not comfortable, no extra’s and then we see the price tag. Russell is the same, we see him fly by with a 150 words a second dictionary and the words we hear seem to make sense, yet when he slows down and we take the words in the proper speed, we see the issues that Russell is indeed very intelligent but his view is not an effective one, his revolution (or revelution) makes sense, but it requires the machine he opposes and that cannot be avoided, no amount of intelligence will ever change that.

So I would take sides with Johnny Lydon, yet there is no denying that Russell Brand offers an appealing view, but there is no current way that his view can work, even though his views are whacky, they are stated in a very passionate way. There is one guarantee that I can give, if Russell Brand ever gets elected to parliament, there will not be a sleepy person in the entire House of Commons, which would be a unique event to say the least.

If there is one part that is in favour of Russell Brand is that although the pragmatic approach of Johnny Lydon is pragmatic, I give one additional marker to Russell, because the current system is not working, yet I feel that in the end that unless the system changes, we are all pretty much screwed (Johnny Rotten would have used the ‘F’ word). My opposing view is that I believe that the system can be improved if we are not just a nation of Laws, but also a nation of accountability, that last word is the one that will give us either an improvement, or the exploiters will leave and we can put people in place that will improve our world, yet this path of change will not go fast.

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Filed under IT, Media, Politics

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