The Hell of It All, By Charlie Brooker
Sunday 20 June 2010
Charlie Brooker, one comes to suspect, is a bit of a misanthrope. This collection of his Guardian columns of the past three years is an unforgiving rant against the follies of humanity and the ephemeral obsessions of newspapers. His talent is for skewering the ridiculous aspects of modern life – conspiracy theories, new child-centric learning methods, Katie Price – with his own well-honed ridicule.
One essay is about the tabloid uproar after the Springwatch presenter Bill Oddie was too emotive while discussing the sex lives of stag beetles. ("Come on big boy, come and get it," said Oddie, imitating the female stag.) Brooker rebels against the anthropomorphism, pointing out that the glassy-eyed animals are, frankly, unsexy. Some columns – an appeal not to vote for Boris Johnson, for example – fall flat in the face of history. But seek out his timelessly brilliant essay on Unvalentine's Day, a day to vent all the agonies of love without the hypocrisy, roses and silent dinners. Wonder how he feels about that now he's announced his engagement to Konnie Huq?
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 2 Pub landlord captures moment customer falls over on CCTV – just like Del Boy did on Only Fools and Horses
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
Game of Thrones, season 5 episode 4, review: Sansa in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Noel Gallagher 'cannot wait' to hear Oasis-inspired One Direction album but rants about 'pointless' Tidal and Spotify
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show