Sunday, November 06, 2005


I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before on FinS. Given its apparent remoteness from what this blog is supposed to be about, I probably haven't. Anyway, I'll say it, and you can make the connection or not. Charlie Brooker is a quintessential evil genius. By which I mean someone who affectionately traduces the insanity of media-driven culture with his vicious-but-fair sense of humour, not the kind of person who goes around invading countries or stringing people up by their genitals. Important to clear that one up.

Now Brooker's weekly Screen Burn column ("television with its face torn off" -- collected into a fab book last Christmas) is being supplemented in the Berliner-format Guardian by a weekly column called 'Supposing', where his gloriously odd mind is given the freedom to roam over life's manifold peculiarities. What makes it work is a unique combination of genuine empathy, unrestrained scorn and sheer dadaism - a real antidote to things that, er, need a real antidote. Friday's piece was about the search for the perfect excuse.

Q: When is a lie not a lie? A: When it's an excuse. I love excuses. They represent the human imagination at its finest. A good excuse hovers somewhere between plausible and absurd - credible enough to be thoroughly believable, daft enough to sound like it couldn't possibly have been invented. It's important to choose your excuse carefully. [cont'd...]

See? Evil genius. And so much better than bombing people to make them good, without any obvious sense of irony. (On a related issue, see Giles Fraser on Blessed Are The Jokers.)

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