Apathy and the alchemical dissolution: bring on the dancing horses


Hating all the faking
And shaking while I’m breaking

Your brittle heart…

Bring on the new messiah
Wherever he may roam”.  Echo and the Bunnymen

I suffer from the frequent recognition that we are strangers living in a world that is flawed and absurd. Alas, pneumatikoi, to be tragically informed that we are also trapped here in the dark, because of a flawed design, with a duty and hope to nurture a single spark of divine light, so impossibly placed.

I write from hospital, listening to my personal stereo, and here I have a lot of time to think, even when I don’t, I still do. It’s a long-standing habit.

Meanwhile, Russell Brand has a few “revelations”, too, whilst stood on the surface of things. He’s getting down to the nitty gritty, isn’t he?


Brand’s “controversial” self-publicity antics – getting arrested and charged with criminal damage and indecent exposure back in 2001.

I said “dancing horses” Russell, not “prancing arses”.

Mr Brand is a stereotype, not an archetype, although the Trickster momentarily crossed my mind, but no, he’s not as significant as that. Stereotype characters can easily be interchanged from one context (or story) to another without any major impact on the plot. Stereotypes tend to be characters that have little depth or originality, they are like wooden puppets that can move around and be readily utilised.

Brand is such a stereotypical publicity harlot and narcissist. It’s really no coincidence that his new stand-up show is called “The Messiah Complex”, I mean, Jesus, what ARE the media feeding us.

That Echo and the Bunnymen song has always conjured up some identifiable themes of alchemy (to me, anyway), and the true power of alchemy is that it generally remains covert and misunderstood. The general aim is that we are raised and purified to a state of perfect intuitive apprehension of spiritual truths – a direct gnosis of reality: “All obscurity will be clear to you”. That doesn’t mean you clarifying your own intellectual obscurity, by the way, Russell.

The goal of alchemy is to make this golden moment permanent in a state of consciousness called the Philosopher’s Stone. Ostensibly concerned with turning base metals into gold, alchemy was actually dedicated to transmuting the “lead” of self-hood into the “gold” of spirit: it’s about personal transformation. Not personal commodification, Russell.

A great Hindu sage wrote about the spiritual accomplishment of gnosis using the metaphor of the philosophers’ stone. Jnaneshwar the saint (1275–1296), wrote a commentary with seventeen references to the philosophers’ stone that explicitly transmutes base metal into gold.

The seventh century Indian sage Thirumoolar, in the classic text Tirumandhiram explains humanitys’ path to immortal divinity. In verse 2709 he declares that the name of God, Shiva, is an alchemical vehicle that turns the body into immortal gold. Not leather and big hair, Russell.

On a global level, dissolution – the second of seven stages of alchemy – is symbolised by the (archetypal) Great Flood, the cleansing of the earth of all that is inferior. The Dancing Horses may be seen as the four horses of the apocalypse. The Sanskrit Yuga Cycle doctrine tells us that we are now living in the Kali Yuga; the age of darkness, when moral virtue, spiritual capacities and mental capabilities reach their lowest point in the cycle. Well, you had to get something right, I suppose, Russell.

The Indian epic The Mahabharata  describes the Kali Yuga as the period when the “World Soul” is black in hue; only one quarter of virtue remains, which slowly dwindles to zero at the end of the Kali Yuga (some say in 2025). Men turn to wickedness; disease, lethargy, anger, natural calamities, anguish and fear of scarcity dominate our existence. Penance, sacrifices and religious observances fall into disuse. All creatures degenerate. Change passes over all things, without exception. The Kali Yuga (Iron Age) was preceded by three other Yugas: Satya or Krita Yuga (Golden Age), Treta Yuga (Silver Age) and the Dwapara Yuga (Bronze Age). There isn’t a tin god age to be seen, Russell.

Sri Krishna foretold that Kali Yuga will be full of extreme hardships for people with ideals, wisdom and values. I wonder if that also means it will be a breeze for shallow, pretentious hypocrites and fools? Looks like it.

In the song (and please forgive my overly hermeneutic tendencies here), there is reference to the many lies surrounding us, and a description of why we become broken in spirit. Well, it was written during the Thatcher era. At one time we may have believed these lies to be true, but at the end of an age, all things change. Perhaps we may call it end-stage conservatism, it was always going to be terminal. But we do have a choice here in the outcome, and we can vote them out – making it terminal for them, and not us. In fact we really MUST.

All of those lies are brought out into the open for everyone to see. This may bring about a sense of hopelessness and apathy within us. The gravest danger is that our faith is completely smashed, the order of things decays, the world falls down, yet the grand stage is set to build up an entirely new world. Many don’t seem to mind either way because they no longer know what to believe in. Trapped in a state of cognitive dissonance. So they fall asleep to escape the pain. But that is an act of cowardice that leaves others to face the onslaught increasingly alone. We must face this as a society, and we must organise and act together.

Meanwhile, apparently we stand in anticipation to hear the gospels of a new messiah.

But seriously, folks, Russell Brand??

Gosh, and we all assumed everything was fine and dandy until dandy Russell stuck his narcissistically-fashioned oar in. It’s good to know that when asked to edit an issue of the New Statesman,  Randy Brandy Wandy, who usually writes booky wooks, said:  I said yes because it was a beautiful woman asking me.

How about that, Mr Brand is such a political creature, and in no way a part of the patriarchal establishment when he can muster such un-sexist responses off the top of his head. I’m convinced that his rampant sexism was just a blip, really, I am.

Here’s an extract from the Booky wook:

I love poor people … they know where the drugs are.

I stayed in touch with James after the show and used with him quite a lot. We only fell out after I gave him £100 to get me some heroin and he fucked off and didn’t come back.

It’s obviously difficult to have a genuine friendship when one of you is on the telly and the other is a tramp: “He’s a homeless person and I’m a glamorous TV presenter – we’re the original odd couple!” Still, the fact that I had a drug problem meant that wherever I went in the world, from Havana to Ibiza to the mean streets of the Edinburgh Festival, I always had to seek out the poor and the dispossessed, as they are the people who generally know where the drugs are.

Brand clearly regards poor people as a means to his own exploitative, narcissistic ends, and there is not one ounce of compassion, empathy or sign of a genuine personal connection with any of the people he describes with such cold detachment in his writing, and even worse, he forces these reduced and superficial characterisations to perform obscene stand-up comedy. He parodies their misfortune. I was half-expecting to read “a homeless person is someone you step over coming out of the club”.

If his infamous conservative patriarchal inclinations haven’t convinced you that Brand is a screaming Tory with big hair, then surely his tendency towards exploiting the poor, having them run his drug errands, using them as reduced fictional devices to promote himself does.

He talks about himself in the New statesman article with free-ranging grandiosity, and from such a small confinement, although he chucks in an occasional observation that many of us have already made from the sharp-end – that’s the frontline, and not a fix before the pub, Russell –  he goes on to elaborate a shabby, nihilistic view that leads us to the almost predicable cul-de-sac comment: I don’t vote because to me it seems like a tacit act of compliance. My word, what a radical chap.

Right ho, Russy Wussy, my darlink, because not voting is going to achieve what precisely? You big ole revolutionary, you.

Ah. Tory supporters always vote, don’t they? So, what do we get with the Brand plan of action none action? Oh, more of the same utter battering we are currently getting, ultimately, a never-ending Cameron yuga. It’s the end of the world, as we know it, but Brand feels fine, so he wants us to do nothing. And that is the real act of compliance.

Well done Brand, champion of the status quo, he doesn’t give a flying one because, well, he’s a multimillionaire. He isn’t going to starve or become homeless any time soon, so he does NOTHING but spout meaningless regurgitated Tory-shaped pap from the pre-pubescent, tacky camp of scwweamy weamy, preening and very superficial, bouffant, leather-trousered faux-angst. Brand is a comedian (allegedly), not a politician or a social commentator.

And isn’t he dating Jemima Khan (nee Goldsmith)? Jemima’s father was Sir James Michael “Jimmy” Goldsmith, a billionaire financier and tycoon. Jemima has two brothers; Zac Goldsmith, a Tory MP who is married to Alice Rothschild, and her half-brother owns a little £1,500-a-year membership nightspot in London’s Mayfair – where various members of the royal family are regulars. You know, for a guy claiming to deplore the establishment, Brand sure likes to hang out with the wrong sort. An anti-establishment establishmentarian, if you would. He has the multi-faceted, remarkable intricacies and complexities of a stifled yawn.

If those who advocate a no vote or a spoiled ballot paper heard the archive interviews with women from the imprisoned suffrage campaign hunger strikers describing how they were pinned down and force-fed, with nasal tubes brutally forced all the way down into their stomachs, perhaps they would feel shame enough to change their mind. Or perhaps they ought to read about the Peterloo Massacre. They suffered so that we may have the right to vote. Use it.

Most people who read this already feel the crisis facing us, many of us have spoken about it in depth, for some time. We know already about the profit-driven corporations that are raking in vulgar levels of profit and contributing to impoverishing and killing people, and to the destruction of the planet, there is nothing we didn’t know there. And many have articulated and analysed in depth, and with depth. Campaigners with integrity, who care about what is happening under this authoritarian nightmare, many directly affected themselves, yet some shallow publicity whore comes along, and suddenly he’s the guru of the moment. Meanwhile, those who have worked hard to publicise the information are forgotten by a public that prefers style (well, allegedly) over content every time. Brand the celeb gets on the telly after all, he must be important (sorry, typo there: I meant “impotent”). I mean Jesus, just what is the media feeding us?

Authoritarian governments depend upon an apathetic, disengaged public, to emerge and to remain in power. If not voting worked, we wouldn’t be facing the crisis that we are now because of this opportunistic regime that are currently running this country and its people into the ground. And they are doing everything they can to continue to do so. That includes employing celebrity propaganda spokespersons. (See Jamie Oliver.) But we have to change the cycle, and the only way to do that is by gnosis, by taking responsibility for informing ourselves, our knowledge, political participation and actions.

Russell Brand isn’t waking people up – he is lulling them back to sleep.

Without our constructive acts of engagement through organised and intensive, grassroots campaigning, lobbying and dialogue with key political figures we will remain ignored and nothing will change, the never-ending kali yuga of the Tories, with no social progress, ever again. Only further descent and dissolution.

It is precisely this nihilistic and reactionary disengagement from political process, which is what Brand is advocating, that allows powerful corporate lobbies to corrosively influence our democratic process, and enables proto-fascist parties like UKIP to increasingly shape political discourse, it’s a condoning of apathy – and of course, apathy fuels more apathy.

What really concerns me is that there are many people under the impression that not voting, or spoiling their ballot paper will somehow shame the Tories into decent behaviour, and force the Labour Party to do their precise bidding, personally tailoring policies to suit just them, because that happened the last time a lot of people didn’t vote, and the time before, they sure got a “clear message” then, and were SO bothered by that, weren’t they? Meanwhile Tory sponsors, donors and supporters won’t ever allow THEIR votes to be split, spoiled or wasted, you can bet on that.

The Tories don’t give a f*ck if you are apathetic, feel alienated, don’t vote, spoil your ballot paper, feel disenfranchised, or want to protest, they just simply want to rule you, pillage your country, continue to exploit you and take your money. In fact, by not voting or spoiling your ballot paper, you may as well hand Cameron your vote, and everything else you have, too.

And far too many people are prepared to allow that to happen, one way or another. Again.

Brand is not waking people up, he is lulling them back to sleep. He’s a pro-Tory fop and irresponsible pseudochristos, without conscience or grace.

One thing is for sure, five more years of the Tories and it really will be the end of the world as we knew it. Cameron yuga.



 Thanks to Robert Livingstone for his excellent, spot on memes


Related posts: How to deal with an Atos mole and cunningly fake, complex Messiahs.

This article started life in the comments I made, in anger, here

25 thoughts on “Apathy and the alchemical dissolution: bring on the dancing horses

      1. Yes – people say “wake up”, in fact they have woken into another dream,
        another trap, another “save me, Mummy!”.

        Not many people would go into the gnostic and alchemical aspects of this particular very false messiah, and his chums the archons running our country with their dissolution of decency.

        You have done so brilliantly.


      2. Thank you, Robert.

        Thinking about what you say – waking from dreams into other dreams – well, I guess “The Pied Piper” is a powerful archetype and will most certainly prove to be ultimately so very destructive if we never learn to stop the lulling and enchanting music he weaves that makes people fall into dream after dream. Now I cannot un-see that in our current social, political and economic situation.

        No “soothing” music for us, then.

        And of course, he who pays the piper also calls the tune.


  1. No one who’s had anything to do with a sure start centre, a school capital budget, the rough sleepers’ initiative, loads more cash via tax credits, new deal for communities thinks all politicians are just the same. I’m still fighting cancer, and am glad that i’m doing so while increased nhs funding under labour is still making a difference. Most of the good things labour did went completely under the radar of rich lefties. I’m watching, from the estate where I live, so many of those 97-2010 gains fall away. Yes, labour did many stupid things too. But what’s the difference Russell? Would love to show you.


    1. The families and loved ones of the 11, 000 dead sick and disabled victims of this government’s brutal cuts and persecution know the difference, as you and I do, Jesse

      And yes, I suspect the gains were unravelled by a design that was planned for some time, because it’s a very co-ordinated attack on the same social groups over and over, and my word how quickly our State with all of it’s supportive mechanisms put in place by Labour for the most vulnerable has vanished, only to suddenly expand for the very wealthy.

      Sorry to hear of your fight Jesse x


  2. Brilliant article Sue.

    When I saw the argument between he and Paxo, there were things he said that were clever,and which I liked and there seemed to be a real passion.

    Apart from the not voting,I thought, I couldn’t agree with that.

    And apart from the revolution idea. a) they are bloody ,b) you don’t know who’ll you’ll end up with in charge (you may even lose the vote), and c) we have the vote.
    If there were enough of a groundswell of anger about how we are being treated for a revolution, then it would show in how people voted (and how we campaigned). We’d vote out the bastards without needing a revolution !

    I still liked some other things he said. Apart from the implication that the parties are all the
    same. That’s the kind of thing you hear from most of the ”cutting-edge”(aggressive and politically ignorant) stand-ups on TV panel shows etc.and celebs guesting on Question Time.
    Sadly, this blanket cynicism
    tends to win-over the politically illiterate of the crowd.

    Eventually I realised that there wasn’t really anything much in his statements apart from a certain confident,elloquent style.
    I’m left confused by this, wondering why his Newsnight interview was so sensational !


    1. Thanks Charles.

      Ha ha, that’s definitely how propaganda works! But you worked your way through it, by thinking critically, and that’s a good one to you, because it’s not as easy as you would think when it’s delivered with care and concealment. It was delivered by someone who I am repulsed by, but apparently many are not immune to him at all – he has a charisma that comes with the nastier end of personality-disorders.

      He chucked a few things out that we already knew, and somehow manipulated it into a big pile of un-enlightening bullshit didn’t he? In fact he made the overall message harmful to our cause, whilst at the same time, thinking about it, he has disarmed us by firing a pretty but useless rocket that was packed full of the same shit you’d expect in a trojan horse.

      Now WHY would he do that, I wonder.

      Who is paying the piper?


  3. This is such a well-thought blog and entertaining along the way, Brand needs to butt out of the political arena to give us a clear shot at the beasties that I think he is shielding, but incompetently.

    I love the Pied Piper reference 🙂 Well love all of the references, it’s refreshing to read as well as an informing essay.


  4. Am tired and not read all the article as yet but it is made more interesting for me in that I watched an interview with Brand yesterday.
    He talked confidently about spirituality, quoting Joseph Campell.
    Yet it didn’t feel right. I always got the sense that the latter not only had an intellectual grasp of his subject, but had personal experience as well.

    On the other hand, Brand despite the bravura performance, and it was a performance, was more about the display than any form of relaying spiritual truths. Brand is clever,

    Brand is about franchise, marketing and surface appearance.
    This is why he is dangerous. It is seductive, sexy image making that is in tune with the times.
    The empty gesture is sovereign


  5. Well written sue and I agree with you completely re Mr Bland ; but there is a real difference between not voting and spoiling your ballot paper. Spoilt papers get counted and can result in no one winning the seat, if there are enough!

    Hope you’re recovering nicely xxx


    1. Thanks Jayne

      Spoiled ballot papers may get counted, but they make no difference at all to the Tories approach to ruling the Country, Tory supporters don’t spoil their ballot papers, and of those many on the left that have – and I have spoken to a LOT who have done this – as we can see, it has made no impact whatsosever on the left parties, except for perhaps fuelling a fragmentation of them, but we now have an authoritarian regime running our Country into the ground, along with most of its citizens


  6. Thanx for this piece of enlightenment Sue. Like others I found the pied piper reference very valid. I went along with Brand ‘s views to an extent apart from not voting. Then I saw him on newsnight again the other night and while enjoying the informal performance was left with the impression who is taking him truly seriously? Yes he’s right about the system but has no real alternative to it. He is publicising injustices and getting the young invigorated with the issues, but it’s a lose lose situation ultimately. Get them interested but don’t vote, Revolution without anything to fill the space other than chaos. I think he maybe understands that not voting is a mistake, that not voting means 5 more years of hell, but like anyone with a political stance he can’t stand up and say “no I was wrong that was a bad idea not to vote”
    I know it means trouble when my stepson, a recovering drug addict and severely ill who has to use food banks and cannot work tells me he s not going to vote, Russell Brand is right.


  7. I am very shocked and rather disappointed at this post.
    I have always looked up to the author as someone fair minded .
    I personally find the attacks on Russell Brand way over the top.
    You may have a point here and there, but I think much of what you say is insulting to the guy. To describe him as a narcissist, is insulting to all people with mental health problems, People naturally become narcissistic when they are constantly under attack and are living in fear. etc. Thats part of the symptom, its not a natural personal state of mind.

    We all, every one of us have Narcissistic traits and tendencies, its just how we react to how we have or are being treated which compounds them.

    Russell Brand is no bad guy.

    I hope you don’t fall into the same trap as the tories, ie demonising people you don’t agree with.


    1. I have qualified everything I’ve said about Brand with evidence. I continue to be ‘fair- minded’ as I ever was.

      Narcissism is not a mental health problem: it’s classified as a personality disorder. I suffer from depression myself, and don’t insult people with mental health problems, only people with large egos who make money and try to gain status from spouting what they think others want to hear.

      He’s always been a narcissist and it’s nothing to do with being under ‘attack’. I managed to survive domestic violence without becoming grandiose and egotistical, and I am also under constant attack from the government, because I am disabled.

      I’ve worked in mental health services, my degree and Masters include psychology and social psychology, so I can tell you that narcissism is on the same continuum as psychopathy, the two often overlap.

      People are responsible for what they say and do. We make allowances for times when people are under strain. This man is consistently a wanker. I don’t care if the establishment agree with him, or like him or not, I don’t, nor do I have to.

      If that shocks and disappoints you, there’s not a lot I can do about that. A large part of being ‘fair’ is basic honesty and critical thinking. It’s nothing to do with who you like or agree with.

      I rarely trust celebrities who claim to be activists, with few exceptions. I do trust JK Rowling, Stephen Fry, and a small handful of others. Not many though. I value integrity, coherence and consistency.


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