TEDxTuesday is a weekly installment featuring a different TEDxSFU 2012 speaker leading up to the annual conference on September 22nd at the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. For week #3, we decided to go against the grain by having Vancouver-based freelance journalist Luke Brocki write his own bio, because no one can explain his antics better than himself!
Luke Brocki is a journalist, essayist, broadcaster and agitator. He hates being asked to pen personal bios because publishers and presenters inevitably slice and dice at them, removing their sassy innards in the name of some sort of misguided congeniality. As a Warsaw transplant, Brocki understands these acts as personal attacks and as strikes against free speech everywhere, his only recourse to write increasingly insolent briefs in the hopes of one of them eventually making it into a pamphlet somewhere. He loves innovative curse words, ethical dilemmas, foreign accents and the dirty realism of Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski. His work appears on CBC Radio, The Tyee, BCBusiness, Open File and in street screaming matches on the other side of the tracks. For frenetic dispatches from the field, follow him on Twitter @lukebrocki.
TEDxSFU: Why speak at TEDxSFU?
LB: I’m particularly high on the TEDx series because its “Ideas Worth Spreading” maxim already guides my day-to-day affairs as a journalist and curious person. I’m honoured to be invited to inspire (and possibly enrage) fellow idealists who believe that ideas can change the world even as much of it spirals into certain uncertainty. On a selfish note, speaking gigs are also incredible fun because they allow me to gauge audience reaction instantly, positive or negative. When I write something, I don’t generally get feedback unless I mess something up real bad, at which point I hear about it days later via relentless passive-aggressive attacks on my integrity and intelligence. I say don’t wait that long: In the name of meaningful dialogue, I encourage attendees to rudely shout over me the second my talk stops making sense.
TEDxSFU: Who is your biggest inspiration?
LB: Kurt Vonnegut. He’s one of the greatest Americans who’s ever lived. It’s thanks to this man’s delightfully cranky disposition that I became a writer. He taught me the most important things in life: how our biggest problem on earth is that most people don’t like being alive, how the main role of the artist is to make people like life better than they have before and how, broadly speaking, we’re here on earth to fart around… and don’t let anybody tell you different.
TEDxSFU: Dogs or cats?
LB: Cats. No contest. They’re cleaner, quieter and generally go about their own business. Perhaps more importantly, they don’t mess around: say you’re a pet owner who dies inside your apartment and because you’re an annoying bastard, no friends or family check in on you for a while. If past is prologue, your dog would lie down next to you all sad and loyal and what not until it starved to death or someone broke down the door, whichever came first. Your cat, meanwhile, would proceed to tear bits and pieces off your lifeless meatbag for sustenance as soon as it got hungry. I can respect that.