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Charlie Brooker quotes (showing 1-30 of 60)

“Whenever I tell people I'm a misanthrope they react as though that's a bad thing, the idiots. I live in London, for God's sake. Have you walked down Oxford Street recently? Misanthropy's the only thing that gets you through it. It's not a personality flaw, it's a skill.

It's nothing to do with sheer numbers. Move me to a remote cottage in the Hebrides and I'd learn to despise the postman, even if he only visited once a year. I can't abide other people, with their stink and their noise and their irritating ringtones. Bill Hicks called the human race 'a virus with shoes', and if you ask me he was being unduly hard on viruses; I'd consider a career in serial killing if the pay wasn't so bad.”
Charlie Brooker, Screen Burn
“I'm somewhat socially inept. Slide me between two strangers at any light-hearted jamboree and I'll either rock awkwardly and silently on my heels, or come out with a stone-cold conversation-killer like, "This room's quite rectangular, isn't it?" I glide through the social whirl with all the elegance of a dog in high heels”
Charlie Brooker
“Until recently, I was an ebook sceptic, see; one of those people who harrumphs about the “physical pleasure of turning actual pages” and how ebook will “never replace the real thing”. Then I was given a Kindle as a present. That shut me up. Stock complaints about the inherent pleasure of ye olde format are bandied about whenever some new upstart invention comes along. Each moan is nothing more than a little foetus of nostalgia jerking in your gut. First they said CDs were no match for vinyl. Then they said MP3s were no match for CDs. Now they say streaming music services are no match for MP3s. They’re only happy looking in the rear-view mirror.”
Charlie Brooker
“[Worshipping God] is like fellating someone who intermittently stubs fags out on your head for no good reason. And we all know how unsatisfying that can be.”
Charlie Brooker
“Women - why aren't you running the world yet? Frankly I'm disappointed in you. Men are still far too dominant for their own good, and consequently we've made a testosterone-sodden pig's ear of just about everything: politics, the economy, religion, the environment ... you name it, it's in a gigantic man-wrought mess.”
Charlie Brooker
“Why bother with clubs?

"Because you might get a shag," is the usual response. Really? If that's the only way you can find a partner - preening and jigging about like a desperate animal - you shouldn't be attempting to breed in the first place. What's your next trick? Inventing fire? People like you are going to spin civilisation into reverse. You're a moron, and so is that haircut you're trying to impress. Any offspring you eventually blast out should be drowned in a pan before they can do any harm. Or open any more nightclubs.

Even if you somehow avoid reproducing, isn't it a lot of hard work for very little reward? Seven hours hopping about in a hellish, reverberating bunker in exchange for sharing 64 febrile, panting pelvic thrusts with someone who'll snore and dribble into your pillow till 11 o'clock in the morning, before waking up beside you with their hair in a mess, blinking like a dizzy cat and smelling vaguely like a ham baguette? Really, why bother? Why not just stay at home punching yourself in the face? Invite a few friends round and make a night of it. It'll be more fun than a club.”
Charlie Brooker
“proper work" usually involves performing a task you hate on behalf of people you'd gleefully club to death with a bull's knee if only it were legal to do so”
Charlie Brooker
“Many people find bald, unvarnished truths so disturbing, they prefer to ram their heads in the sand and start dreaming at the first sign of scientific reality.”
Charlie Brooker
“In the 18th century, a revolution in thought, known as the Enlightenment, dragged us away from the superstition and brutality of the Middle Ages toward a modern age of science, reason and democracy. It changed everything. If it wasn't for the Enlightenment, you wouldn't be reading this right now. You'd be standing in a smock throwing turnips at a witch. Yes, the Enlightenment was one of the most significant developments since the wheel. Which is why we're trying to bollocks it all up.

Welcome to a dangerous new era - the Unlightenment - in which centuries of rational thought are overturned by idiots. Superstitious idiots. They're everywhere - reading horoscopes, buying homeopathic remedies, consulting psychics, babbling about "chakras" and "healing energies", praying to imaginary gods, and rejecting science in favour of soft-headed bunkum. But instead of slapping these people round the face till they behave like adults, we encourage them. We've got to respect their beliefs, apparently.”
Charlie Brooker
“Everyone had clearly spent far too long perfecting their appearance. I used to feel intimidated by people like this; now I see them as walking insecurity beacons, slaves to the perceived judgment of others, trapped within a self- perpetuating circle of crushing status anxiety.”
Charlie Brooker
“Must be frustrating being a scientist. There you are, incrementally discovering how the universe works via a series of complex tests and experiments, for the benefit of all mankind - and what thanks do you get? People call you "egghead" or "boffin" or "heretic", and they cave your face in with a rock and bury you out in the wilderness.

Not literally - not in this day and age - but you get the idea. Scientists are mistrusted by huge swathes of the general public, who see them as emotionless lab-coated meddlers-with-nature rather than, say, fellow human beings who've actually bothered getting off their arses to work this shit out. ”
Charlie Brooker
“Parties somehow represent the rationing of fun, and that very concept depresses me. You're allowed to act like a tit at parties; therefore by implication, you're not allowed to act like a tit the rest of the time”
Charlie Brooker
“It's spider season. Every year, right about now, thousands of the godless eight-legged bastards emerge from the bowels of hell (or the garden, whichever's nearest) with the sole intention of tormenting humankind.”
Charlie Brooker
“Being slagged off is good for you. It thickens the skin and strengthens the backbone.”
Charlie Brooker
“I'm convinced no one actually likes clubs. It's a conspiracy. We've been told they're cool and fun; that only "saddoes" dislike them. And no one in our pathetic little pre-apocalyptic timebubble wants to be labelled "sad" - it's like being officially declared worthless by the state. So we muster a grin and go out on the town in our millions.”
Charlie Brooker
“There's a characteristically brilliant Peanuts strip which opens with Linus sitting on the living-room floor, anxiously clutching his mouth. Lucy enters and asks what's wrong. "I'm aware of my tongue," he explains. "It's an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up... I cant's help it... I can't put it out of my mind... I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren't thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth."

Loudly declaring this the dumbest thing she's ever heard, Lucy scowls away. But a few steps down the corridor, she stops dead in her tracks. She clutches her own mouth. Suddenly she's aware of her tongue too. She runs back and chases him round the room, shouting, "You blockhead!" with her gigantic booming gob.

Occasionally, late at night, while I'm trying to sleep and failing, I experience someting similar - except instead of being aware of my tongue, I'm aware of my entire body, the entire world, and the whole of reality itself. It's like waking from a dream, or a light going on, or a giant "YOU ARE HERE" sign appearing in the sky. The mere fact that I'm actually real and actually breathing suddenly hits me in the head with a thwack. It leaves me giddy. It causes a brief surge of clammy, bubbling anxiety, like the opening stages of a panic attack. The moment soon passes, but while it lasts it's strangely terrifying.”
Charlie Brooker, The Hell of It All
“The internet. Can we trust in that? Of course not. Give it six months and we'll probably discover Google's sewn together by orphans in sweatshops. Or that Wi-Fi does something horrible to your brain, like eating your fondest memories and replacing them with drawings of cross-eyed bats and a strong smell of puke. There's surely a great dystopian sci-fi novel yet to be written about a world in which it's suddenly discovered that wireless broadband signals deaden the human brain, slowly robbing us of all emotion, until after 10 years of exposure we're all either rutting in stairwells or listlessly reversing our cars over our own offspring with nary the merest glimmer of sympathy or pain on our faces. It'll be set in Basingstoke and called, "Cuh, Typical.”
Charlie Brooker
“On clubbers: They were all photographing themselves. In fact, that's all they seemed to be doing. Standing around in expensive clothes, snapping away with phones and cameras. One pose after another, as though they needed to prove their own existence, right there, in the moment. Crucially, this seemed to be the reason they were there in the first place. There was very little dancing. Just pouting and flashbulbs.”
Charlie Brooker
“Hi-def is merely the latest in a string of evolutional leaps that have transformed the way we sit slumped in front of a box wishing we were dead.”
Charlie Brooker
“Who do hats think they are? They contribute nothing to society, and don't even display basic manners. Has a hat ever held a door open for you? No. It hasn't.

Charlie Brooker
“Extremist material of any kind always looks gaudy and cheap, like a bad pizza menu. Not because they can't afford decent computers - these days you can knock up a professional CD cover on a pay-as-you-go mobile - but because anyone who's good at graphic design is likely to be a thoughtful, inquisitive sort by nature. And thoughtful, inquisitive sorts tend to think fascism is a bit shit, to be honest. If the BNP really were the greatest British party, they'd have the greatest British designer working for them - Jonathan Ive, perhaps, the man who designed the iPod. But they don't. They've got someone who tries to stab your eyes out with primary colours.

Charlie Brooker
“jittery, neurotic parents don't need any more false scares to piss their pants over. They're already raising their twatty little offspring like mollycoddled prisoners: banned from playing outdoors in case a paedophile ring burrows through the pavement and eats them, locked indoors with nothing but anti-bacterial plasma screens for company, ferried to and from school in spluttering rollcaged tanks. . . Christ, half these kids would view choking to death as a release.”
Charlie Brooker
“Heat magazine - the tittering idiot's lunchbreak-pamphlet-of-choice -
has caused a bad stink by printing a collection of comedy stickers in its latest issue. Said stickers are clearly designed to be stuck round the
fringes of computer monitors by the magazine's bovine readership in a desperate bid to transform their veal-fattening workstation pen into a miniature
Chuckle Kingdom and thereby momentarily distract them from the bleak futility of their wasted, Heat-reading lives”
Charlie Brooker
“One of the benefits of aligning yourself with an indistinct cluster of people is that claiming to feel their pain is often enough.”
Charlie Brooker
“Your beautiful password is dead. It was simply too complex and too damned exquisite to live in your humdrum world, your humdrum mind. Now you must face the ignominy of clicking the password reset button for the 58th time this year. And as you trudge dolefully toward your inbox, waiting for the help letter to arrive, the cruel laughter of His Computerised Majesty rings in your ears. You have failed, human. You have failed.

Charlie Brooker
“Actually, using the Daleks would be a masterstroke. Everyone loves Doctor Who - who wouldn't be thrilled by the sight of a real-life Dalek squadron rolling down the high street, glinting in the sun? The sheer excitement would genuinely make the accompanying loss of liberty seem worthwhile. To liven things up even more, our rasping pepperpot overlords would be colour-coded. Blue Daleks would deal with minor infractions, and would spend most of their time issuing warnings and administering minor shocks - but they'd also be chummy and approachable, and willing to pose for photographs with your nephew. Red Daleks, on the other hand, would be emotionless killing machines. Imagine the atmosphere outside a pub on a hot summer's day: a Red Dalek trundles past, and the convivial hubbub suddenly fades to a whisper. Everyone stiffens. And then he turns the corner and a communal sigh of relief goes up, and the drinking continues and the jukebox plays louder and louder... community spirit lives again. Admit it: it'd be fantastic.”
Charlie Brooker, Dawn of the Dumb: Dispatches from the Idiotic Frontline
tags: humour
“Society? Can we trust us? Doubt it. We're probably not even real, as was revealed in the popular documentary The Matrix. That bloke next door? Made of pixels. Your co-workers? Pixels. You? One pixel. One measly pixel. You haven't even got shoes, for Christ's sake.”
Charlie Brooker
“She’s got zero interest in honest-to-goodness human-on-human action. No. It’s magic farmyard creatures or nothing for her.”
Charlie Brooker, I Can Make You Hate
“Don't vajazzle our memories”
Charlie Brooker
“At the other end of the spectrum, George Gideon Oliver King Rameses Osborne, the fourteen-year-old novelty Chancellor and future baronet of Ballentaylor and Ballylemon - a man so posh he probably weeps champagne.”
Charlie Brooker, I Can Make You Hate
tags: humour

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