Typically, this blog is a lovefest. I mean, that’s the point isn’t it? To revel in the bits and bobs that make up my pop-culture obsessions. It just doesn’t seem right to be critical or negative in these pages. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty that I’d like to bitch and moan about. I read the papers after all. It just seems contradictory to do it here. Plus, it’s February–a month that Hallmark tells me is designated for nothin’ but love. But, now that Valentines Day is just a blip in the rear-view mirror, maybe I can at least celebrate someone that really excels at hating things. That counts as positive energy doesn’t it?
73. Charlie Brooker
He hates things so articulately. I could never ever compete with his cynical skills–or his carefully inserted f-bombs and. I love reading his bile. The art of hating something is a delicate one, you understand. Hate, as Yoda knows, can cloud your judgement–make you stumble over your words and leave you–the hater–in a vulnerable position for retaliatory attacks. But Charlie Brooker has proved himself to be one of the most erudite misanthropes to hit the airwaves and the papers.
Charlton Brooker, a uni dropout originally from Reading, England–began his career in media as a cartoonist for Oink! comic magazine. He also penned and illustrated a strip called “Cybertwats” for PC Zone magazine. I wish I could type both the words “Oink!” and “Cybertwat” into my resume.
He’s since moved on to satirizing worthy targets in both The Guardian newspaper and his own television show “Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe”. Charlie Brooker is a recent find for me. I remember that a friend of mine, Paul, actually recommended that I check out some episodes of “Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe” about a year ago and I never did. Finally, one day, an episode of “Harry Hill’s TV Burp” came on and I confused that terrible program for “Screenwipe”. It was shit. Hammy shit. It actually made me second-guess Paul’s sense of humor. It was only recently, when my pal Stu also recommended Charlie Brooker to me that I connected the dots. Paul didn’t recommend Harry Hill…it was this guy, Charlie Brooker! Paul, who never knew that his taste in the comical had been knocked down a peg in my estimation, is back in the upper echelon of my ‘funny’ friends. I’m sorry that I ever confused your predilections, Paul–if you’re reading this. Meanwhile, just because I enjoy “You’ve Been Framed”, as narrated by Harry Hill does not make me a hypocrite. The laughs there belong solely to the water-skiing squirrels and the trampoline accidents and NOT Harry Hill. I think that clears my name of any inconsistency relating to this past I Love Things That Are Great entry: Exhibit A
Anyway, Charlie Brooker also has a hand in producing other shows like the recent “Dead Set”. Unfortunately, I can offer no commentary here as I haven’t seen that. My romance with Charlie Brooker is fairly new. Give me time, people.
A collection of Brooker’s Guardian columns can be found here: Brooker Columns
I’ve been enjoying the backlog of them during breaks between actual bits of work at my day job.
Here’s a couple of clips from his television program. A pretty decent library is available on Youtube. It was very difficult to make selections as I was greatly amused by most of the videos I’ve seen thus far. But, after much deliberation with my desk-mate, here are two pretty excellent clips. This first one examines one of my most favorite shows to hate on and seethe at, MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen”:
This next one is perhaps a bit more Brit-centric as some of you Yanks won’t have seen the ads that he is raging at. Still, trust me when I say that you’ll get the gist.
Just because I was so torn, I’m going to give you a link to a third clip. It’s a bit longer than the other two (which are a tasty morsels, running about 3 minutes in length). But, I’d like to share it with those of you who might now be smitten with Charlie Brooker.
This clip holds special appeal for me. I’ve been trying to write a bit in my stand up for years about how British people will watch anything. I just can’t make it work. And yet, the joke practically writes itself. I mean, BBC runs a show called “The Trees That Made Britain” in Prime-time. Prime. Fricking. Time. And yes, it’s just about trees. That’s not a metaphor for a colorful family or a codeword for a special section of law enforcement, or a sit-com about park rangers or anything. Just trees. So, your guess is as good as mine as to why I can’t write a flippin’ decent joke about it. Mercifully, Brooker has done it. Now I can put those efforts to bed as this subject has been sufficiently mocked. Bad British telly, you are in good hands.
Clip found here: British Telly Exports To US