Dawn of the Dumb

I finished reading a very interesting book a few weeks ago, but hadn’t got round to writing about it. It’s Dawn of the Dumb by Charlie Brooker, a collection of essays from his newspaper columns for the Guardian. I’m quite shocked that some of these got published – he must keep their lawyers fairly busy. It’s a book that no-one should enjoy, as it is shockingly pessimistic and negative about basically everything that Charlie encounters. I would say that he hates everything, but every so often he unexpectedly admits to liking something, and writes a few warm and enthusiastic words. But it never lasts because he’s a complete misanthrope.

Here’s a quote from the back cover, which is a reasonable summary of the book:

“I don’t get people. What’s their appeal, precisely? They waddle around with their haircuts on, cluttering the pavement like gormless, farting skittles. They’re awful.”

From this, you’ll guess that he isn’t really a people person. Doesn’t he say terrible things about our fellow human beings? Except of course that we all feel that way some days. Well I certainly do anyway.
Here’s the start of the introduction:

Thanks for buying this book. I hope you enjoy reading it more than I enjoyed writing it, because I hated every minute. Well almost.”

I did enjoy reading it. He has some great ideas, and is very witty. Just flicking through, I found his theory about the link between dark matter (which scientists know exists, but can’t find) and Emmerdale watchers (who apparently there are millions of, but who knows anyone who does), who he claims are “Dark matter with shoes”. Perhaps there’s something cathartic about reading a collection of such angry thoughts. Perhaps revelling in irritation, and really throwing yourself into it helps you to let it go. I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to reading his other book Screen Burn, which I guess is more of the same.

But before I go, I can’t resist a few quotes from the essay called “I hate Macs”.

“I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don’t use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper compuers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui”

What a hoot 🙂


One Response to “Dawn of the Dumb”

  1. Geoff! Says:

    Look, see? I’m leaving your flame-bait well alone, ya big troll, ya! 🙂