Russell Brand: Don’t blame Muslims
So what in the name of Four Weddings does Jemima Khan, ex-wife of dishy Imran Khan and ex-squeeze of Hugh Grant, see in the loudmouth Lothario ? Well, sorry about this, chaps. He may dress like an S&M Willy Wonka. He may boast about his promiscuity and look like hes been marinating in his own bedsheets for a month. But, as with Kate Moss and Geri Halliwell, he had Jemima at loudmouth. Related Articles Tom Odell: my heroes and heroines 16 Sep 2013 For all his faults and there genuinely are too many to list the presenter-cum-actor-cum-comedian-cum-author has one key attribute that leaves lesser (nicer, kinder) men in the shade and casts an irresistible spell over women: the gift of the gab. Think Cyrano de Bergerac and all is explained. He, you may recall, from the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand, was the talented but ugly French nobleman whose large nose made him self-conscious. Although himself in love with Roxane, he agrees to court her with witty, intellectual letters and mellifluous verse on behalf of his handsome friend, Christian. It later transpires that Roxane was so moved by his lyrical poems that love blossomed despite his unfortunate physiognomy. In the original, Cyrano dies before she can tell him her feelings. The Hollywood version, with Steve Martin, had the obligatory schmalzy ending tacked on. And what about real life? Will Russell and Jemima, 39, the heiress to a 20 million fortune, live happily ever after?
politics Russell Brand: Blame mental illness for England hacking attack, not Muslims Hoover, Obeidallah, Avlon offer advice for class of 2013: Success needs hard work Editor’s note: John Avlon, a CNN contributor and senior political columnist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, is the author of “Independent Nation” and “Wingnuts.” He won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ award for best online column in 2012. (CNN) — This week on The Big Three we say bye bye to Michele Bachmann; comedian Russell Brand joins us (naked, apparently) to talk about his column condemning group-blame in the wake of the brutal beheading of a British soldier; and Dean and Margaret offer their take on a commencement address for the Class of 2013. First, one of the most polarizing figures in American politics decided not to run for re-election this week. I think I heard church bells ringing in reaction. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was briefly an icon of the tea party movement and even pursued an ill-advised presidential campaign that resulted in numerous — and ongoing — ethics investigations. Bachmann used her 15 minutes of fame to divide and demagogue our national debates, routinely accusing opponents of being anti-American and parroting conspiracy theories from her congressional pulpit. Her frequently fact-free accusations made her a favorite on the far-right, but interestingly it is liberal Democrats like Dean who already think they’re going to miss her the most, while Margaret sees her departure as a win for reforming the Republican Party. Russell Brand is best known as a British comedian and TV/film star, who, in addition to co-starring in the upcoming animated film “Despicable Me 2,” is also a Solzhenitzyn-quoting, part-time essayist. In the wake of the barbaric beheading of a soldier in London, Brand wrote an essay in The Sun called “Blame this on madness…not Muslims.” Big Three podcasters John Avlon, Margaret Hoover, Dean Obeidallah Click here to hear podcast Dean was particularly touched by the effort to defend the Muslim community from the ugly passions stirred by group blame. Brand’s perspective is that mental illness is more at fault in the attack than the influence of radical Islam and that root causes must be analyzed, as well. While I agree with Brand’s assertion that we can’t let extremists determine the terms of debate for the rest of society, especially when their goal is to take us off center by inspiring further hate and distrust, I’m not convinced that taking troops out of Afghanistan would stop terrorism — and, unlike Brand, I think that evil exists. But it’s a lively, thoughtful conversation — especially considering that Brand informed us afterward that he conducted it naked looking in a mirror. Which is a sideways segue to commemorating the end of another college year. Yes, its commencement address season and already words of wisdom are being dispensed on college campuses across the country by the likes of Stephen Colbert, President Obama and Wolf Blitzer. The millennial generation is coming of age and we debate whether the “everybody gets a trophy” ethos (plus the uphill economic climb) has left them well prepared for life after college.