Today’s post will be quite different to others that I usually do. So instead of me just lecturing or writing on about a topic I thought I’d recommend some educational and lifestyle favourites that I have at the moment.
A while ago I watched an interview hosted by Russell Brand and I assumed that from his previous and most known reputation of being off the rails, I wasn’t to expect anything too intellectual (very presumptuous of me). I immediately regretted basing my expectations on his blown up reputations that aren’t even relevant anymore and that after 15 years of rehabilitation and being clean, he channels himself into recent political, social and popular areas of discussion, making videos on events such as the Grenfell Tower Fire and Brexit, as well as social matters such as depression and addiction, pulling much of his belief from religion and spirituality. He presents himself now as a polar opposite to the image of Russell in, lets say, 2000. This is how I came to truly admire Russell Brand, as he presents himself as a loving person and a seeker of knowledge, shown through his ‘Under the Skin’ series on Youtube. Within the series he interviews other intellectuals about different topics such as ‘God, The Universe and Meaning’, ‘How To Be Spiritually Healthy in Damaged Times.’ and ‘Freedom and Tyranny’. His sheer openness and ability to admit he is wrong, or willingness to learn from his guests is humbling as it is not a common act to see in many people. The videos are in a podcast style, but it is in no means less interesting as Brand has a habit of speaking passionately and expressively due to his extraordinarily creative and comic mind, so his personality is another aspect that makes me enjoy his work so much. From this slight obsession, I purchased his book ‘Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions.’ Where he advises and guides the readers through the 12 steps of recovery as well as speaking of his own experiences. It is likely that there will be a blog post on this once I finish reading it.
Purchase Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions here
Someone who guest stars on Russell Brand’s series, ‘Under the Skin’, is Clinical Psychologist Jordan B Peterson who is also one of my favourite people at the minute. It was through the podcasts from ‘Under the Skin’ that I found Jordan B Peterson. He is likely known for controversy surrounding him, however it is not that, that I gravitate towards. He is a very profound and prolific speaker, with knowledge spanning across many areas such as psychology of course, sociology, religion, a variety of cultures, philosophy, politics and literature. His lectures on his own channel as well as his conversations with other scholars are intriguing and impressive and so I have also been watching a lot of his stuff. He has a book called ’12 Rules for Life’ which I will eventually buy and read when I’m not so poor.
Purchase 12 Rules for Life here
An artist that I am very much enjoying is Logic AKA Sir Robert Bryson Hall II. A very well known song by him would be 1-800-273-8255, but his other songs and albums are even better. He is a rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer, but he is no ordinary rapper as his lyrics and structure are so artistically placed and stands a part from so much other rap in the industry. He also speaks biographically and despite having an extremely tough childhood and youth in general, he remains a loving and gentle guy. Through his music platform he expresses issues concerning identity, racism, bi-racialism and social injustice. As well as his serious and important themes, he is also comedic and playful in his work, especially in his album ‘The Incredible True Story.’ which follows a narrative. My favourite song by him at the moment would probably be ‘Lord Willin’‘ from The Incredible True Story.
The book that I recently finished reading and class as one of my favourite books, is ‘The Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel. I had never seen the movie but of course through its immense success and attention that it got I knew the premise of it, a boy that is stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a tiger. However, there is so much more to the story and the character of Pi in the novel. The most pleasantly surprising aspect for me was the input of religion, Pi is heavily influenced by the three religions Christianity, Islam and Hinduism as well as Indian culture, these themes are consistent throughout the entire book and Pi’s relationship with God is often tested.
I obviously had to watch the movie immediately after I finished the book and a part of the story that I know everyone loves the film for, is the intimacy with the tiger Richard Parker, as well as the tiger I think that all the animals mentioned are very intriguing and informative as Yann Martel pays close attention to detail by including facts that the audience are unlikely to know and become important later on in the book. The book is also much more realistic with the portrayal of wild animals than the film adaptation which is much more interesting to me.
Something that was very interesting about the story of the Life of Pi is that there is a plot twist, and it is up to the reader how they take the plot given and how it is interpreted, I cannot expand on that because it will ruin it if you do not know the story, however, I can say that it made me very reflective of the entire story.
Purchase Life of Pi here
A podcast that saved me
When studying my philosophy, ethics and religious studies A-level course we were given two chunky text books to learn from and revise for our exam and although that was a good source, I knew it wasn’t going to be as effective as it could be, so I turned to podcasts and the podcast channel that was a life saver for me wasThe Panpsycast. Their podcasts cover the OCR syllabus and they present it in a fun but thorough way. A part from their A-level coverage they also do interviews with other scholars, philosophers and authors.
I hope you enjoyed this different sort of blog post, just thought it would be a nice change and more personal than me bogging you down with information, which I love doing also, sorry. I will probably do this again as I both enjoy sharing these bits with you but also it motivates me to find other favourites too.