The news piece I’m about to link to is my favorite thing on the Internet right now. But first, a little background.
This time last year, comedian Russell Brand was encouraging people not to vote, partly because he never has, but largely, he claimed, because voting effects no change. Well, I can predict one change for sure: If you don’t vote your interests, the votes of other people, with interests opposed to yours, will count for more. Because there will be more of them. So let’s say you’re concerned about climate change and would like to see more research and funding, but you decide that your vote doesn’t count, so you don’t show up, and that all of your pals — the cultural elite who will even know who Russell Brand is — don’t show up either. Guess who will still be coming out. I think you see where this is going.
Anyway, here’s Brand’s infamous interview from last year:
Now, a year later and in an election season, an unlikely voice of tradition and reason has shown up to give Brand the finger. Yes, I speak of none other than Johnny Rotten. Mr. Rotten, whom some of us know as probably the most influential singer of the latter half of the 20th century, and who came to prominence in a band called The Sex Pistols (still an unbeatable band name), declaims that Russell Brand is a “bumhole,” and provides the public this seemingly rather un-punk-like advice: “Get smart, read as much as you can and find out who’s using you. I did. What’s wrong with you?”
Here’s the whole story. This makes me gloriously happy. The Sex Pistols were punks because of the failure of the establishment, just as Jonathan Swift was making a moralist point when he advised that the Irish end the famine by eating their own children. Mistaking The Sex Pistols and their ilk as stupid louts always reminds me of the line Joey Ramone shared about the Ramones, who right from the start were profitable and who always, always made money: “We’re dumb, but we’re not stupid.”