We have to admit, we steered clear of Russell Brand’s reading at Strand Book Store last night. Had we gone to see the hyperactive, hyperbolic comic-turned-crusader, we probably would’ve been the guy mentioned in this tweet: “Huge line outside the Strand; I ask a man what for, and his voice is noticeably ashamed as he says, ‘it’s for a Russell Brand reading.'”
The Brit actor, activist and lover of scarves and necklaces definitely isn’t for everyone. While some know him mostly as that spazzy leather-pantsed dandy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, he’s become an object of fascination for the likes of Gawker thanks to his marriage and divorce to Katy Perry; his run-ins with the authorities in Canada, New Orleans, and Japan; his gonzo talk show and award show appearances; and, most recently, his calls for a revolution and a “fucking bukkake” of change. The guy is basically Johnny Rotten meets Michael Moore — except that Johnny Rotten recently called him a bumhole.
Brand was originally slated for just a signing at Strand, but he “basically took over” the store, according to a rep. Apparently he led fans up to the second floor of the shop, climbed up a ladder, and read from his new book Revolution, 200 copies of which were sold last night. (Will that unseat Lena Dunham as Strand’s #1 best seller?)
There were hugs.
And Brand took at least one woman into his chest hair.
There were also selfies…
That probably looked a bit like this…
And light sabers(?)
And at one point Brand took off his shoes and socks. We’ll never know why.
We’re not sure what exactly the hirsute hero told his minions at Strand, but RT’s video from yesterday’s earlier reading at Zuccotti Park should give you an idea.
After the obligatory mic check, he told fans and Occupiers that he plans to spend the book’s profits creating non-profit social enterprises that will “represent a demonstratable alternative to some of the systems that we currently labor under.” He also spoke about the benefits of organizing and collectivizing: “If one of us refuses to pay our mortgage, we can be in trouble; if a lot of us refuses to pay our mortgage, less trouble.”
No disrespect to Mr. Brand, but if we had gone out last night, we would’ve gone to see Neil Patrick Harris at Barnes & Noble — even if B&N is an evil chain operated by The Man.