A few years ago I realised, sadly, that Charlie Brooker has had an indelible impact on my life. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Mr Brooker, but I’d just hoped that I would have a slightly more socially acceptable role model. It all started with things like Dr Helmut Werstler’s Cruelty Zoo in PC Zone, then to his column in the Guardian and now Screenwipe which have all had me nodding frantically in agreement with his rantings. Ironically, it is Booker’s miserable and slightly depressed attitude that became utterly appealing to me. It wasn’t that I enjoyed his suffering; it was because I identified completely with it.
His sense of humour (describing George W Bush as a dot eyed locust for example) strikes me as his essential shield against the utter retardness that happens in the world. The master-stroke of mixing Big Brother and Zombies in Dead Set a perfect commentary on our self-obsessed, vacuous times. There is literally nothing that Brooker has produced or written that I haven’t, at the very least, simply ‘enjoyed’.
Brooker’s writing is scathing, witty and most importantly true. Reading back through my own work it is quite evident how influential his writing style has been (right down to the punishing graphic descriptions Brooker sometimes unloads on his readers like a digitally based bukkake). I know I have my own passions that direct my writing but I often refrain from writing exactly what I want to because I fear that I may well end getting killed by some primordial toss-muffin that simply cannot open their mind up to other views and opinion.
So thanks Charlie Brooker. You may not realise it but you are a champion to many people. Keep writing, keep inspiring and I hope that if you ever read this it makes you wince with that weird emotion that you seem to never be blessed with in your writing – Pride.