Jump to content

Dawn of the Dumb


Hazel
 Share

Recommended Posts

I guess I should have read Screen Burn first, but this book came to hand much easier. Charlie Brooker, in case you have the misfortune never to have heard of him, is the Guardian's amusing TV commentator and columnist. He also has his own show Screen Wipe, where he caustically pokes fun at TV shows and celeb culture.

 

I think, like Michael Moore, people who read Brooker and watch his show are basically the kind of people that agree with him anyway and he isn't going to make his way to an audience that complains about his rhetorical style. Anyway, this book is a collections of his musings Nov 2004 - July 2007, which take in myriad subjects; reality TV, George Bush, Nicky Campbell, John McCririck, Lost, Robbie Williams...

 

It was almost impossible to read this book without laughing out loud and annoying hubby and children. Some turns of phrase are so funny, that you don't even manage a controlled laugh, you kind of snort inwardly which is far more embarassing than anything else.

 

Some favourite bits -

 

On Dog: The Bounty Hunter - "The Chapmans all dress like bombastic 1980s action movie heroes - particularly Dog himself, who stomps about wearing biker boots, leather trousers, open shirts and a haircut that makes him resemble the entire cast of The Lost Boys crossed with a gay lion."

 

On Paul Danan (of Hollyoaks and Celeb Love Island) - "Sob for Danan, who is a bell end of considerable magnitude, and the ugliest person on the island - guly in a unique fashion like as man whose face was heading toward 'handsome' but took a wrong turn at the last minute. He looks like Jude Law crossed with the Crazy Frog, and he's an absolute aching backside"

 

On Prison Break - "Prison Break is possibly the dumbest story ever told. It makes 24 look like cinema verite. It's as realistic as a cotton-wool tiger riding a tractor through a teardrop."

 

On Ray in X Factor - "When Ray sings, music itself throws up. Not just a bit, like when you unexpectedley bring up half a gobful of baby sick and have to swallow it back down, but a lot. When Ray sings, music buckles in two, swings it's jaws open and unleashes an unprecedented jet of acrid vomit. And it doesn't stop vomiting until strips of stomach lining are hanging off its teeth and it's spat its own ringpiece out like a hot rubber coin."

 

Actually, what made me laugh the hardest wasn't some of Brooker's thoughts but email responses he received from the general public after he wrote a piece reviewing the presidential debates between Kerry and Bush. Just a taste, I promise!

 

"We don't give a flying XXXX what you stupid Brits think. There was a reason we kicked your ass in the Revolution...you're all just a bunch of XXXXXXX sissy asses. I can't wait to watch as you and the rest of the European XXXXXXX turn into Third World countries that you all aspire to."

 

"I hope you get jail time...I am complaining to your embassies, businesses that advertise with anyone who consorts with you, and our law enforcement over this matter."

 

"You have been reported to the Secret Service and I have urged that you be placed under arrest upon any entry to our country."

 

And while I don't agree with him about Lost, he is very funny discussing it-

 

"I stopped wondering about the mysterious island and started wondering whether Lost itself it worth bothering with - because it's starting to strongly resemble a load of navel-gazing soap claptrap that passes itself off as something more stimulating by going 'woo woo, I'm mysterious' every five minutes...Lost? They should have called it Metaphor Island."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I really enjoyed this book too Hazel - definately laughed out loud a great deal. The quotes you chose are great.

 

His column in the Guardian regularly makes me smile and laugh too.

 

I think you are right - most reading him would agree anyway.

 

I like it when he picks on makeover shows, like 'Ten Years Younger'. They totally deserve it.

 

The emails from the US will probably be my abiding memory of this book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 9 months later...

I read this recently, having finished 'Screen Burn' earlier in the year. As a fan of Brooker's TV programmes, I knew I'd enjoy these books and they didn't let me down. His scathing, misanthropic rants probably won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if, like me, you've all but given up with television as a means of entertainment, there will be plenty that stikes a chord.

 

Has anyone seen his new Channel 4 panel show 'You Have Been Watching'? I saw the first few and thought they were pretty good, but I can't help wonder what Brooker would have made of such a programme had someone else fronted it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't realise I'd missed this thread.

I love Charlie Brooker's Guardian columns, and I have Dawn of the Dumb on my shelf, although I've only read a bit of it - I found it a bit stale compared to reading the commentary at the time. He is very funny, though. I liked something he used to do and seems to do less now - imply that a minor screen role, like a Big Brother contestant, was played by someone famous, for example, "Chantelle (played by Julia Roberts)". That's a bad, made up example, but it always made me laugh.

I love the new show too. He seems to genuinely enjoy the company of his guests and enjoy it when they have a good rant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Just added this to my reading list for 2010. I actually bought it last year and lent it to a friend as I was studying at the time and would have been distracted by it. I think I shall be paying him a visit.... soon.

 

The man is brilliant though, a breath of fresh air in an otherwise falsified t.v love in of epic proportions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
On Prison Break - "Prison Break is possibly the dumbest story ever told. It makes 24 look like cinema verite. It's as realistic as a cotton-wool tiger riding a tractor through a teardrop."

 

:lmao:

 

Not quite as awesome as an alien space pirate fighting a robot tyrannosaur, then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...