Geek Fight!

Bloody DavinaCharlie Brooker’s zombie opus Dead Set hit UK TV sets last week, to fairly universal acclaim.  He might be on to something – screen the whole thing across a week and get it finished before the trendies realise they’re watching something popular and trigger a backlash.

Simon Pegg, geeky mastermind of Shaun of the Dead fame (and slightly less internationally well known sitcom, Spaced) printed his response to the series in Brooker’s own stomping ground, the Guardian.  To summarise, it’s an interesting if painfully respectful critique of “angry” zombies.  Even if you’ve not seen Dead Set – which I wholeheartedly recommend you do, if you’re that way inclined – the article is a bloody interesting history of the zombie flick.  I’m with Pegg on this one, incidentally.  Zombies shouldn’t run.

Brooker’s response to the response was swift, floating like a butterfly, and stinging like…  well, also a butterfly.  Again, salient points, well argued, and incredibly candid in admiration of the work of Pegg.  The whole thing gives me the impression of watching two championship boxers step into the ring, square off, and promptly collapse on each other in a loving embrace.  But then, so many things make me think of that.

It’s lovely that both Brooker and Pegg respect each other’s work so much.  It’s just this would be a much more interesting post if they could stop flouncing and arrange a bitch fight of some sort.

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Lovely LittleBrooker

I love Charlie Brooker.  As I grew from a spotty, games-obsessed teenager into borderline anarchist whiny liberal, he grew with me, holding my hand as we progressed together from swearing together about Lara Croft’s tits to swearing about idiots complaining about swearing on TV.  And then to swearing on TV about swearing on TV.  Brooker’s probably the only guy who could have this career and look clever, I swear.

His Guardian column’s a regular joy; I read today’s article on the Russell Brand / Jonathan Ross debacle with relish.  And mayonnaise.  Yum.
“So it’s here at last. The dawn of the dumb has broken in earnest”.
“Perhaps next week [The Daily Mail] will produce a free sheet of asterisk stickers for readers to plaster over their own genitals, lest they catch sight of them in a mirror and indignantly vomit themselves into a coma.”

Fuckin’ yeeeeaaahhhhh.

“If something as sublime and revolutionary as Python came along today, the Mail would try to kill it stone dead, and it’d rope in thousands of angry old idiots to help, all of them bravely marching to the Ofcom website to register their disgust. What a rush. Feel that pipsqueak throb of empowerment coursing through your starched and joyless veins! You’ve crushed some fun, and it feels good to be alive!”

Yeah, fuck you, Daily Mail!  We’ll teach you not to create straw men arguments…  to…  further…  your… agenda…?

Hold on, something’s not right here.  I don’t enjoy righteous irrational hatred of imaginary causes, that’s Richard Littlejohn and his audience.  Which is when it hit me.  Dawn of the Dumb.  Political Correctness Gone Mad.  Jesus, Brooker’s turning into Littlejohn’s opposite number.

It’s the exasperation at idealised caricatures of their pariah of the day, feeding on their own fury as they not only spill bitter condemnation for the crimes the smug bastards thought they could get away with, but appropriate verbal thrashing is given for the crimes thay haven’t done but I bet the bastards would, wouldn’t they? Yeah, I know.  It’s a joke.  But read that again, and tell me you’re certain he didn’t want to leave the impression that they’d like to ban comedy.  Fucking They.  It’s fucking Political Correctness Gone Mad.

I know, there’s a difference between the directed xenophobia of the right-wing press and Brooker’s charming grumpy old man routine.  I just really hope he’s not going to turn into the liberal figurehead for directing inordinate bile at the faceless, evil conservatives.  Because I love you Charlie; but I fucking hate Littlejohn more.