When I think of the people I regard as heroes, at least those of whom have a voice that speaks to me, I'd list people like Doug Stanhope, Louis CK, Stewart Lee, Adam Curtis, Charlie Brooker and of course, Kanye West. A group of sneering misanthropes if ever there was. Or so they tell me anyway. I think it's because they all expose the elements of life that we'd all rather not think about too often or even forget. Which is why I like them all, really. Though none more so than Charlie Brooker. It only occurred to me as I was watching his most recent series how much his way of thinking resonates with me and just how long I've been reading and listening to his furious, bile filed rants. Furious and bile filed perhaps, but always spot on.
I probably first read his work back when he was writing for PC Zone, though at that stage I couldn't care less who was writing the articles in magazines. They were about video games, that's all that mattered. It was only when he started writing his Guardian column and nearing the end of his work on the 'TV Go Home' website that I really started paying attention. His writing was thick with barbed insults and he readily demolished anything he set his focus on. It was great. Funny and insightful. He played for laughs and used language so effectively to achieve this, but he also tapped into the anger that any right thinking person has for so much in this world.
I think why I was such a fan is because he focused on a subject close to my heart- TV (with sly references to video games now and again). He treated it with the disdain it deserved, but was also responsible for championing some of the great moments and shows that do crop up from time to time. Through his show, 'Screenwipe', I learnt about things like Deadwood, The Wire and Rome. Shows that I came to love. He cut the wheat from the chaff like no one else.
His most recent show, and one that feels like the culmination of everything he's done so far is 'How TV Ruined Your Life'. It's exactly what it sounds like and breaks down the various ways TV has irreversibly twisted how we perceive life. Focusing on subjects like Aspiration, Fear and, most recently, Love, it's both funny and chillingly accurate but doesn't tell you anything you probably haven't thought yourself. It's just does it in a much more entertaining package.
But enough of my rambling. I don't want this to sound like too much of a love letter, I just wanted an excuse to spread the word a bit and post some links. So I'll not be pleased if I get any 'Why don't you marry him already?' comments. Besides, I'm too late. The lucky bitch.