Russell Brand attends the GQ Men of the Year awards at The Royal Opera House on September 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images) Photo: Tim P. Whitby
Last week, dandyish British comedian Russell Brand accepted a GQ Award for being an "oracle" and used it as an opportunity to highlight Hugo Boss's ties to the Nazi regime. Today he writes in The Guardian that it "had the vibe of a wedding dinner where the best man's speech had revealed the groom's infidelity. With Hitler."
With typical eloquence, Brand describes the event in the lead up to his speech. "The usual visual grammar was in place - a carpet in the street, people in paddocks awaiting a brush with something glamorous, blokes with earpieces," and "fabricated fun, imposed from the outside. A vision of what squares imagine cool people might do set on a spaceship."
"I could see the room dividing as I spoke," he says of his speech. Brand describes the absurdity and his own incredulity that many people at the event apparently "regarded [it] as an event with import... a kind of ceremony that warranted respect."
Hearing the event described from his own perspective is interesting in its own right, but even more so as he uses it as an opportunity to discuss the power dynamics and relationships between politicians, big business, and the media. "For example, if you can't criticise Hugo Boss at the GQ awards because they own the event, do you think it is significant that energy companies donate to the Tory party? Will that affect government policy? Will the relationships that "politician of the year" Boris Johnson has with City bankers – he took many more meetings with them than public servants in his first term as mayor – influence the way he runs our capital?"
Read Russell Brand's full account here. It's brilliant.