From stand-up act to actor, wherever Russell Brand goes, controversy is sure to follow

By : Kirk Hartlage
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You most likely know Russell Brand from his starring roles in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek, the recent remake of Arthur, and the film adaptation of the 80’s-set musical Rock of Ages. You probably also know him from his televised appearances hosting the 2008 and 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as a 2011 episode of Saturday Night Live. (If you’re from Brand’s UK homeland, you no doubt know him from his work on several Big Brother spin-off shows.)

You may even know Brand from his stand-up comedy act, which is frequently influenced by his prior drug use, alcoholism, and promiscuity. Or perhaps he’s familiar because of his consistent public support of the LGBT community as a straight ally. And, presumably, you know Brand as the likely inspiration behind several of ex-wife Katy Perry’s latest chart-topping hits.

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Monday Ripples: This One’s for Father Mychal Judge

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“I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure” â┚¬â€œ Mark Twain

It's a weird feeling isn't it? Osama bin Laden is dead, our country killed him. I have an overriding feeling of joy, but there is part of me that debates the moral ramifications of taking an eye for an eye. You killed, so we'll kill you.

Whenever I think of 9/11, I think of Father Mychal Judge and I find myself wondering today what he would think of the whole thing.

As you may know, Father Judge is one of the many heroes of 9/11. He lost his life on that terrible day after running in and out of Ground Zero, performing his duties as chaplain to the New York City Fire Department. Even before that day, many people regarded him as a living saint because of his extraordinary compassion for people â┚¬â€œ particularly recovering addicts, AIDS patients, and the homeless. Father Judge was also gay, though that was a matter of his orientation since he was celibate per his vows to priesthood.

Many honors have been given in Father Judge's memory â┚¬â€œ a street in NYC, Pope John Paul II awarded him the Légion d’honneur, and a nomination for the Presidential Medal of Freedom â┚¬â€œ but I bet Mychal's Message would be the one that would touch him most. Mychal's Message carries on Father Judge's work of helping the poor and homeless.

Today's Ripples are dedicated to Father Mychal Judge and all those we lost on September 11, 2001. I think the best thing we can do to honor their memory is to try and do the most good we can. Who's with me?

Put the Pedal to theâ┚¬Â¦uhâ┚¬Â¦Pedal
Life in the Slow Lane
I have a love/hate relationship with Orlando Magazine; one issue it will have great stuff in it and I think I can't live without it, the next issue half the issue will be dentist advertorials. At any rate, this short piece tells the story of a family in Winter Park doing the best they can to park their car permanently.

Ned Weeks on Broadway at Last
You Gotta Have Heart
Larry Kramer holds a special place in my heart. Ever since I saw The Normal Heart in London when I was a wee lad of 18, the playwright has been a hero of mine. In the late '90s I had the chance to actually be in the play and, as publicity for the show, I interviewed Larry for Watermark. That interview started a relationship with Watermark which continues to this day, as you can no doubt surmise. The Normal Heart has finally hit Broadway and POZ magazine sat down with Larry, still raising hell after all these years, to chat about it.

Stamp Out Apathy!
Go Green (Forever)
I had a stamp collection when I was a kid, well I say â┚¬Å”hadâ┚¬Â when actually the collection is tucked in a corner of one of the closets at my Dad's house. I seem to remember my grandparents starting the collection for me and I perceived it as some sort of rite of passage, like my first bike or the first time I kissed a boy. I'm not sure if that collection is where my fascination with the pictures on stamps started, but I still find myself drawn to them. It's also cool when the stamps have activism tied in like these stamps that give people tips on being green. Doubly cool is that they are the â┚¬Å”foreverâ┚¬Â stamps, so you don't have worry about the price of stamps being raised.

Publisher’s Perspective: Uphill in a mudslide

By : Tom Dyer
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TomDyerHeadshotAnother year is coming to an end, but as editor Steve Blanchard’s ‘Big Story’ points out, it is also the end of a decade. The first ten years of the new millennium are now over.

We may resist looking back for good reason. The last twelve months have been, in varying degrees, painful for just about everyone. To consider a decade’s-worth of events that either created—or foreshadowed—our current precarious situation seems almost masochistic. In a recent cover story, Time magazine dubbed 2000-2009 “The Decade from Hell.”

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