Russell Brand has been known to be the centre of some controversy in the media throughout his years as an actor and comedian. However, he seems to have now changed his ways, taking up an MA in Religion in Global Ethics at the SOAS (University of London) and most recently, streaming a podcast on iTunes called “Under the Skin”.
This comes after Brand executed plans of a revolution prior to the 2015 general election, calling for young people to refrain from voting, and then encouraging them to vote for Labour. The prime minister responded to Brand by calling him “joke” and further calling out his ignorance to the future of our country by abusing his power as an influence to corrupt young people into not taking their opportunity as a rightful voter.
“Under The Skin” confronts relevant global issues as Brand invites academic guest’s knowledgeable in the subject to enlighten readers on the chosen topic. However, the unique element of this broadcast is its casual nature as Brand attempts to create a friendly environment for listeners as they settle into the sensitivity of the discussion. This makes the podcast ideal for anyone like me who does not know in depth about the philosophy behind politics and is not familiar with erudite vocabulary. This user-friendly approach has led to a 5-star review and comments such as “fantastic and insightful” dominating the feedback. Furthermore, the importance of what Brand is doing is hugely significant as it shows and encourages ordinary people to take an interest in issues and presents the idea that you do not have to be a PhD holder to understand the ins and outs of how the world works.
As of yet, I have only listened to the first episode, but it was already enough for me to establish myself as a fan of the podcast. The first episode, titled “Can We Really Stop Terror” explores the history of terror and how we tend to respond to it as humans. Real life examples are used to the 9/11 attacks. In addition, the issue is unravelled further as Brand and guest speaker Brad Evans from the University of Bristol, discuss the importance of the language and labelling of terror and how seemingly unrelated problems such as the refugee crisis play a big part of the principles and how we perceive terror. This intriguing discussion really opened my eyes to how huge the role is that everyday people play in global politics and made me appreciate just how wide reaching the consequences of politics can be.
Russell Brand has done an excellent job of setting an example to everyone on how the unaware can be educated and ensuring the podcast is relatable by his unreserved questioning of any speaker. “Under the Skin” is definitely worth a listen to anyone interested in global issues and is as equally accessible by those unsure and seeking knowledge around the matter.