Brooker, King of Simile
You’re probably familiar with Charlie Brooker, the former games writer turned TV writer and host, newspaper columnist and general scourge of the entertainment world. He was in large part responsible for Nathan Barley (which pointed and laughed at hipsters before pointing and laughing at hipsters had become a thing) and Dead Set (which I guess was a showcase for Brooker’s feelings about reality TV – they all got turned into zombies).
He uses his Guardian column to talk about current events, especially focused on technology (what with his background in games, and everything). He once did a memorable takedown of Apple computers, although he admits that later he relented and got a Macbook (I have ambiguous feelings about Apple, but those are for another day).
Anyway, his latest one is really good:
Charlie Brooker: Your brain may control your computer, but who’s controlling your brain? | Comment is free | The Guardian.
It provides and excellent showcase for his talent with simile, as in:
Everyone’s opened a drawer and been startled by the unexpected discovery of an old mobile phone that now resembles an outsized pantomime prop. To think you used to be impressed by this clunky breezeblock. You were like a caveman gawping at a yo-yo.
[on trying to control a computer with your brain]: But practical use is severely restricted thanks to the human skull, which muffles some signals and amplifies others. It’s like trying to work out what your neighbours are up to by pressing your ear against the wall: fun, but often wildly misleading.
I am highly excited by the whole mind-controlled computers thing: it really doesn’t seem implausible that we’ll at least be doing some computer control mentally in the next 20 years, if not actually being able to dictate messages with our thoughts (although, god… if we could, the implications for literature would be huge).