The top three loves of my life are my wife, my children and my scooter. I’m still working out the precise order. There are a multitude of things I love just beneath this top echelon: sights, sounds, smells, art, other scooters etc., and to this group has just been added the writing of Charlie Brooker.
I first discovered Charlie Brooker (real name Charlton. I’d change it too.) when I saw him on TV as a panelist on Have I Got News For You, shortly after we returned from Riyadh. Subsequent research revealed that he’s had his own TV show entitled ScreenWipe, and is a regular columnist on The Guardian newspaper. All of which we missed because we were in Saudi Arabia for the last two years and I don’t read The Guardian.
Charlie is grumpy. No, grumpy doesn’t say it properly; he’s angry, outraged, flabbergasted, spiteful, bullying, insulting. What does it take to get him going? Pretty much any aspect of life today really, but in his column (and TV show that was) it’s other TV shows that receive a good kicking.
Anyone can moan into a word processor — I’m living proof. But the true artist softens the blows by making you laugh. Charlie makes me laugh. Out loud. He’s pissed off with the world and lets you know in no uncertain terms, but he’s also aware of his own weaknesses and isn’t afraid to joke about them. Combine all this with a vivid imagination and an original, concise style of writing, and you’ve got… erm… imaginative, original and concise writing about stuff that pisses him off, that makes you laugh. Out loud.