In the following essay I will analyze Russell Brands commentary “Big Brother isn’t watching you”. I am going to deal with the style and the authors attitude, furthermore I will look at the texts composition, look at certain quotes and look at the title. Being neglected, feeling no one cares about you, these are feelings everyone has to deal with at some point in their lives. The feeling that society does not care for you, that society does not give anything back, society does not give the opportunity to fulfill your dreams and become a success. Exactly this is what happened to multiple people in the summer of 2011 in England.
The feeling of being neglected and overlooked in society drew the government’s attention, by rioters causing problems all over England. In the commentary “Big Brother isn’t watching you” by Russell Brand, Russell explains the rioters motive for doing the things that they did. Though Russell when writing this commentary lived in Los Angeles he still sees himself as a proud British man, with a strong connection to his country, and therefore he believes he has the rights to comment on the situation, this of course means that his commentating on the situation is seen from his point of view.
In the commentary, Russell uses an extreme amount of sarcasm and irony to explain his feelings regarding the riots, he uses a lot of sarcasm when commenting on in which way the riots have been handled and uses this method to point out his extreme frustration with the government. He believes that the problem behind the riots is a common problem, and that it has to be solved together. He agrees when the rioters are described as “unacceptable” and “unjustifiable” but he also believes that the government should have their focus on why these riots have started, and why people are doing the things that they are doing.
He does nothing to try and “hide” his attitude, he is very direct and says things the way they are, nothing is holding him back, no restrains what so ever, and as mentioned earlier a lot of sarcasm is used. An example of sarcasm can be found in lines 51-52 “Wow! Thanks guys! What a wonderful use of planet’s fast-depleting oxygen resources” The sarcasm comes through very clearly in this sentence and it really isn’t hard to see that he is not happy regarding these statements people from the government has made.
It is also quite obvious to see that Russell feels a bit of sympathy with the rioters, and he is able to relate to feelings that he has experienced earlier on in his life. He himself felt the so called void when he was young, he was not sure what he wanted to do, and therefore enjoyed the occasional riot or demonstration as well when he was in the rioters age. He then managed to choose another lifestyle, he says that he was privileged by having a mother who loved him deeply, and a father that told him that he could become anything that he wanted.
He believes that this is the difference between his life and the life the rioters live, they do not live under the same circumstances as he did when he grew up, they do not have a strong family or an education, they do not have a lot of money and they have few to none bright moments in their life, as well as there is no prospect of improvement. This is how Russell explains the motive for the riot, he believes that the riot has started because they see no improvements in their life, the government does not care for them, and no matter what they do nothing helps, therefore they choose to demonstrate.
This means that in order to stop the riot and stop the risk of future riots, the government as to make changes in favor of the young people in society. Russell furthermore believes that they are demonstrating directly to the political decision making progress, he believes that the politicians only care about getting votes and only cares about their voters, and even them they does not care that much about. He blindly admits that he does not know anything about politics, and that he just wishes that something would change in order to make things better for the English people.
To end of with he uses a more poetic way of describing the situation, he Russell Brand criticizes the government in his native country. “If we don’t want our young people to tear apart our communities then don’t let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together” (lines 105-106). This quotation exemplifies the motive for the riots. From Russell Brand’s point of view the government is the rioter’s motive.
But at the very end of the text he says that the solution is all around the Englishmen – and it is not political, it is spiritual. In this case Russell Brand has chosen to quote Ghandi by saying: “Be the change you want to see in the world” (lines 112-113). This is exactly what the rioters have done. They were being ignored until they started to burn down houses and shops – this was their way of telling the government that they wanted to be heard. They were the change