Last minute, a friend gifted me a couple of tickets to see Russell Brand. While I am familiar with some of his work, I haven’t yet read his booky wook nor have I seen him live. Goodness he was something to behold. Of course he was funny; he’s a comedian for goodness sake. But he was so much more. When I thanked my friend for the tickets, she asked for four words to describe him. I gave her four paradoxes:
Wicked Sweet. Divine Vulgarity. Embodied Ejaculatory. Present Ethereal.
This dude has got some magic going on. Base, raunchy humour, that’ll getcha every time. But strung between the seemingly unending bit about masturbation, circling through the unmentionables while lewdly riffing off the audience was poetry. Soulful words strung together with elegance that presses into your heart like Rumi and suddenly you’re all ‘wait a minute, was he just talking about anal?’
Joking about death threats leads into the painful reality of impermanence and our collective human denial of the death that awaits us. A graphic montage of perversion acts as the entry way to the seat of all desire being the desire to commune with God.
Beyond his call to the appreciation of literary greats and his demand to acknowledge our interconnectedness is a presence that is at once disarming, cutting and adorable. He’s not just delivering material, but is fully present and engaged. His walk through the audience, his inviting play with hecklers, his respectful regard for women (while talking about the nasty things he wants to do them) and his thoughtful pauses all have a quality of being that shows you what it means to be on a creative edge. He is not merely entertaining us, but is feeling into, moment by moment, what is arising in the space, what wants to happen, and then speaks to it, riffs off it…and air-fucks it.