Do you guys remember the ’90s? A simpler time. The world’s destruction via global warming was still solidly three or four decades away. Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick were both lovable SportsCenter anchors. Barack Obama was still in Kenya, plotting his eventual hostile takeover of America. Fewer of our dreams were dead.
And Scott Adams? He was just the punchline on a Newsradio episode.
Now, in this decade for which we still have no name, Adams is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Let’s be fair — he was always irrelevant, except to the blandest of office workers: people who own Successories, or cat-of-the-month calendars. Dilbert was a repetitive, unimaginative Peanuts rip-off disguised as irreverent workplace farce.
But now that Dilbert, and his good friend Dogbert (that’s a thing, right?), have become mere cultural footnotes, Adams has gone off his rocker.
The creator of the strip has created an anonymous online account and vociferously defended himself and attacked his critics on a myriad of forums and message boards. Why wasn’t he sitting in a mansion somewhere, counting his gold like Scrooge McDuck and demanding that his slave army of story-writers and animators crank even more subpar Dilbert strips per hour? That’s the mystery.
But when Adams was discovered (and here’s a lesson for you: megalomaniacal comic strip writers who create dummy accounts to attack their critics online always get discovered), he responded by posting an insane screed on his website.
Hold up. HUMOR BREAK!
Delightful! You see, it’s funny because he says something different to his boss than his colleague. Crazy fuckin’ Dilbert! Always doin’ shit like that. Also, that one guy’s hair is pretty hilarious. Anyway, where were we?
Oh yeah, insane screed. Some highlights.
And that leads me to my first point about context: As a general rule, you can’t trust anyone who has a conflict of interest. Conflict of interest is like a prison that locks in both the truth and the lies. One workaround for that problem is to change the messenger. That’s where an alias comes in handy. When you remove the appearance of conflict of interest, it allows others to listen to the evidence without judging.
Holy shit. How does Adams not realize how insane that logic is? You can’t trust anyone with a conflict of interest, but as long that person disguises his conflict of interest, everything’s totally cool and on the up and up. I think Adams has a bright future in negative political campaign ads.
The next thing to consider is that in my line of work, some types of rumors can cause economic damage to hundreds of people in the so-called value chain.
Scott Adams, man of the people. Protecting everyone on the Dilbert value chain. This is so fucking disingenuous, I think I’m going to throw up. Adams is an egomaniac who can’t handle criticism, and is now hiding behind the underlings in his empire to justify his creepy behavior.
The same thing is happening today with a Republican official who emailed some friends a humorous photo of President Obama’s face on a chimp and a punch line about his birth certificate. If your only context is what the Internet says about this story, you assume it’s a typical racist act by a Republican who is already guilty by association. But if I add the context that Googling “George Bush monkey” gives you over 3 million hits, and most of them are jokes where President Bush’s face is transposed on a monkey, you see what’s really going on. Democrats and advocates of civil rights are using the media to further an agenda at the expense of a woman who was probably so non-racist that the photo in question didn’t set off her alarms as being a career-ending risk.
…and we’re officially off the rails. In an effort to defend himself, Adams not only compares himself to the racist old bitch who Photoshopped Obama’s head onto a monkey in an e-mail, he actually attacks people who were upset by that. Yep, good point, Scott. That old lady was so non-racist that it never occurred to her that putting a black man’s head on a monkey’s body could possibly be construed as bigoted. She’s so pure of heart, so innocent of spirit, that she thought all God’s creatures are equal, so why not just mess around in Photoshop for a while. It’s no different than putting a lion’s head on an alligator’s body. Because God loves us all equally. We’re all his children. I’m sure that was it.
In my book The Dilbert Future, published in 1997, I predicted that in the future the media would start killing celebrities to generate demand for their so-called news. That seemed like a stretch when the worst part of the media was the tabloids. Now the Internet has given media power to the likes of Gawker, Metafilter, and any other cesspool with an IP address. When the low end of the media conspired with unscrupulous advocates to label the aforementioned Republican woman a racist, they probably killed her career, and they might end up killing her too.
HA HA HA HA HA! Scott Adams is punking us, right? That’s the only explanation. He’s not legitimately comparing his seer-like powers to George Orwell and then blaming the liberal Internet media for a lady’s crazy racist e-mail, right? Please tell me that he’s punking us.
Hey, when’s the Dilbert movie coming out?