Generally I don't like ranting about individuals. Individuals aren't generally bad things. People aren't bad in themselves; you have to harbour some kind of hope that people are good and they're just made bad by life, or society, or... but I can't really find any excuse for everyone's favourite faux-Dickensian streak of paralysed piss, Russell Brand.
His book is called 'My Booky Wook'. Just take that in for a moment.
Think about it again. Clear your mind. Try to approach the words as if you've never seen them before.
'My Booky Wook'.
'My Booky Wook'.
'My Booky Wook'.
You can imagine him saying it, can't you. Either in one of Brand's two gears: 1) Tart-with-a-heart from some Victorian era South East London knocking shop: 'Five bob to you sir, ooh I didn't arf nearly choke on it sir.'; 2) Bellowing cockernay geezer shouting like one of those tiny scooters you see kids buzzing round on when you're going for a walk after dark. 'Yeah, tell you what, right, call it "My Booky Wook" and put a picture of me, and my dinkle, on the cover, that's a bit saucy for the ladies innit, ooh no sir I couldn't possibly lower meself to that sort of thing, what do you take me for?'
'My Booky Wook'.
Let's start with the 'My'. We needn't get too far into the booky wook itself, given that I've done my best to plough through the treacle-thick midden of chopped-up thesaurus and cod pop psychological bollocks in the Grauniadserver - and failed. Oh I tried. I looked at bits. I tried dipping into various passages, but I just plunged straight into the utter wankery of it all; Brand writes like every sentence has to be a guitar solo of self love. It's almost as if he's taunting you, trying to make you begrudgingly think: Well, he might be a rake-thin beardy cunt whose only contribution to world culture will have been to have knocked off a few slappers who've giggled their way into the News of the World, but at least he can write a few decent sentences to raise a smile. Not for me, matey. Not when you've given the game away with the temple to cracking one off in the mirror that is 'My'.
Just in case you were ever under the misapprehension that anyone else in the world might possibly come up with the title 'Booky Wook', other than a three-year-old child, Brand has to tell you - in ink, that costs money - that it's his book. Why? What? The boggle-eyed joker's gazing out at you; of course it's him. But that's not enough for Brand. 'My'. My! As if there's anyone else in the world capable of concocting such utter narcissistic drivel. All hail to Brand, Rumpelstiltskin of shit.
You want a quote? A quote? You really want me to try and dive into the fucking mess again? All right, I will, but I'm doing this so you don't have to. Hold onto the rope and don't let go, for fuck's sake...
The first time I realised I'd become addicted to heroin, I was staying with Amanda, the woman I've come closest to loving, in a risible 70s-style hotel in Ibiza. We lived together for six years, on and off, sometimes in Spain, where she came from, and sometimes in Britain, but there was never any prolonged period when we were what you'd call comfortable together. I'd go to see her in Ibiza, and we'd just ricochet from argument, to sex, to argument. (I remember chasing her down the street in nothing but a towel once, shouting, "Please come back!") Then I'd return home to London, to a life of whores and heroin.
Drag me back! Drag me back! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Fucking hell, that was close. And that's not even the whole fucking paragraph. There's more of that shit if you want it, but please don't: it's like 2 Girls 1 Cup; all the mindbleach in the world won't get that stain off your memory, so it's best you just don't go there in the first place if you can't handle it.
'Booky'. Not 'My Book'. That would have been execrable of course, but no, we must go further into the cartoon character of Brand. Booky. Hee hee! Booky?! Not a book, but a booky. It's as if he doesn't even have the confidence to think, no I'll try it, I'll try to come through this, I'll present myself as an adult - this is, after all, someone who's supposedly trying to talk us through his addiction to heroin - and if people deride me for it, then fair enough. But no, not Brand. He has to get the denigration in first himself, by calling it his 'booky'. Yes, he's saying, I'm childish really, I'm not really good enough, look I'm just a TV presenter and you can take this whichever way you want, but don't take it seriously; don't criticise it in a fair way, whatever you do, I have to slip into my persona so it won't hurt so much when you come and say the bad things. Look, just don't write a fucking book if you can't take it; if you're fragile, that's fine, that's understandable, probably that's why you take drugs. But don't wank us off with the promise of a book and then fail to see it through by pretending it's not really a book in the first place. Just make your mind up.
Wook. My Booky Wook. Infantile, deliberately infantile. Yet stops short of being totally naive, which would have been 'Wooky' of course. Why not? The three Ys might have looked nice on the cover. This is something that costs nineteen quid, not a ladybird special in the kids' section. This is, to all intents and purposes, a serious proposition. Yet even when faced with the conceit of making it seem to juvenile that it's self-subverting, Brand can't even face going through with it. Jesus wept. No wonder he can't hold down a relationship, drifting from one meaningless sexual encounter to another.
Look, I'm not saying that Brand deserves to die for calling his shit-shower 'My Booky Wook'. Though that said, I would chuckle if it turned out he had AIDS. I would! I know that kind of sounds bad, but I'm not sorry really. I just think that books are such precious things, so much more valuable than the ephemera of a blog for example, that each one that gets approved and commissioned should be something more than an am-I-joking-or-aren't-I drift between supposed biographical truth and the search for a cheap punchline. It saddens me, with Christmas coming up, to know that this kind of utter balls is going to be creaking off the shelves in Waterstone's - I may even receive one myself from a well-meaning friend or relative, in which case I shall promptly do a turd on it and fling it out the window into the canal - rather thans something that could really enrich someone's life: a nice travel book, a good detective story or a genuinely good biography. Oh well. I just hope that no-one buys it, but of course they will.