Saturday, February 8, 2014

Re: Russell Brand's Article on Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death

Russell Brand wrote an article for The Guardian in which he addresses the tragic, pointless and untimely end to Philip Seymour Hoffman's life. You can read it here: Another Victim Of Extremely Stupid Drug Laws by Russell Brand

Russell's open letter is a passionate and unapologetic indictment of current drug laws and is buoyed by his own personal struggle with addiction and recovery.

And I agree with much of what he has to say.

Firstly, that Philip’s death was indeed, tragic and avoidable.

Secondly, that we need to de-criminalize drugs and address the ways in which addicts are perceived and treated. History has painfully illustrated the pitfalls of prohibition and common sense dictates that we are very much in need of regulations for safe access, education for proper care and compassion for understanding.

But, in tandem, I feel we should also address the condition of what Russell describes as “…the unrelenting echo of an unfulfillable void”…beyond the cause and effect of addiction.

I believe addiction isn’t just a physical/biological condition. I believe it starts when intelligent, sensitive observers seek refuge from unrelenting, meaninglessness and injustice.

Isn’t it time for an acknowledgement of the crisis of culture?

Isn't it time to recognize and reject the endless forwarding of the cult of personality, spectacle and crisis to divert human consciousness away from awareness and justice - toward complacency, inequality and resignation?

It’s time to identify the real enemy. The Masters of Diversion and Misdirection - the owners, the oppressors and the geopolitical planners.

It’s time to call these entities out. It's time to call them what they are...the architects of power, the engineers of economic inequality and the perpetrators of social injustice. 

If not now...when?


it’s not about the bulge in his pants
or, the rose beneath her lace
it’s not about the property lines
or, lovers losing face
it’s not about who’s right or wrong
or, who will win the case
it’s about the roles we play
and the lies we’re told
that keep us in our place
those who print the money
rule by phones without a trace…
while poets
vainly soliloquize
on the lack of human grace


At least, that's the way it seems to me,



  1. I found this interview of Hoffman on happiness to make some important points about the "unfullfilable void". Hoffman seems like he thought deeply about this issue: "happiness for him has always been such an elusive phenomenon and detailing how an excess of pleasure always turns to pain, how self-doubt quickly clouds out unconditional love, and how the past has a tendency to creep back in to ruin the present"

    1. Thank you for the url, Kevin. I've read excerpts from that interview but hadn't yet read it in its entirety. I'll check it out...and thank you for the comment:)

    2. Kevin, I just watched the full interview. Thank you again for sharing it. I'm so glad it was felt so much more impactful and intimate to hear the words issue forth from his mouth, rather than reading his words with my own inner voice as filter.

      It was interesting to see Philip almost, out-philosophize the philosopher. I thought the most poignant moment came when Philip dropped his head in his hands and asked "What is philosophy?". I felt it was almost a prescient moment as Simon answered Philip's question by relating the story of Socrates, whose musings about the meaning of life as he lay dying from self-inflicted poison, as the generally accepted birth of philosophy.

      The thought that occurred to me was this: maybe, there isn't much difference between the poison swallowed as a punishment for unapproved thought in ancient times and the poison injected into an arm because critical thinking has been silenced by conformity and distraction in modern times.