Dilbert - C or D?

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Sharp truths about the modern workplace? The same old jokes done by someone who can't draw? Both? Neither?

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:06 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't read it religously, but it's got a true quality to it. Probably what The Office and Office Space are based upon...

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:09 (sixteen years ago) link

The jokes and writing: classic.
The artwork: dud.

n/a (Nick A.), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:18 (sixteen years ago) link

It's funny because it's true etc.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:24 (sixteen years ago) link

I can sort of see a kind of funny in it that I just can't appreciate, which I think is because I've never had anything remotely like an office job. I think it's definitely in that category of "stuff you need to be able to relate to to like."

Tep (ktepi), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:28 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh, very very dud. I sorta blame them for the continuation of office culture, if only we could break free*

*I may be being a little melodramatic.

jel -- (jel), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:29 (sixteen years ago) link

C: occasional strains of rampant surrealism i.e. Hammerhead Bob, Floyd Remora, the Meeting Moth.

D: Elbonia. "It's a meeting - ABOUT MEETINGS!!!!!!! Do you see?"

Vic Fluro, Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:30 (sixteen years ago) link

I think it was more accurate a few years ago than it is now - office culture is a lot less process-oriented and more, uh, Brentian.

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:31 (sixteen years ago) link

I blame Adams' shitty artwork on the proliferation of the auteur theory in types of art over the past few decades. It's not enough to be good at one thing anymore (ie, writing jokes), you have to do everything yourself to be considered an artist. In popular music, this is largely the fault of the Beatles (after which, it wasn't cool for bands to play songs by nonbandmember songwriters anymore, the bands had to write the songs themselves); I'm not sure who is to blame in terms of comics.

n/a (Nick A.), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 17:52 (sixteen years ago) link

Has the non-auteur model ever applied in newspaper strips though?

I read someone (Bill Watterson?) arguing that the rise of non-artist Adams types was down to the space available for a strip shrinking and a (linked) lack of editorial concern/respect for drawing and storytelling in cartoons.

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 17:54 (sixteen years ago) link

I like the really offensive Dilbert knock-offs. Set sail for Dick!

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 18:31 (sixteen years ago) link

With something like Dilbert I don't think it matters at all whether the art's pretty or not. It's just the medium through which the gags reach us, and it serves that purpose fine.

Wooden (Wooden), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 19:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Is that what n/a stands for? "Non/autership"? Wild.
ANyway, uh, out of the 260 strips a year, there are some good ones, a lot of ones I wonder why I wasted 3 seconds reading, and a few I wish I had died before I noticed.

Huk-L, Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:00 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm not anti-auteur, I just with that there wasn't so much shame in hiring someone to write songs for you if you're a good singer but a bad songwriter, or hiring someone to draw your comics if you're good at writing jokes but a bad artist. But I really have to emphasize that I know little to nothing about comics, so this whole auteur thing is just a theory I tossed up here, not really sure if it really applies to comics.

n/a (Nick A.), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:28 (sixteen years ago) link

I think in alternative comics writer/artists are the norm, and in newspaper strips. In mainstream (i.e. Marvel, DC, publishers who want to be either of those) comics division of labour still applies.

Obviously I agree with the pop stuff - outsource stuff you can't do well!

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:33 (sixteen years ago) link

One of the few division-of-labor comic strips I can think of is Penny Arcade. Maybe it's more common in webcomics, for some reason?

I just with that there wasn't so much shame in hiring someone to write songs for you if you're a good singer but a bad songwriter

It's true, you have to form a band with a good songwriter to make it socially acceptable. It would be kind of cool to be the Frank Sinatra of rock bands, though, like a cover band except you'd be playing songs no one has heard yet.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:39 (sixteen years ago) link

There are a lot of the same jokes done over and over but fortunately I still find them funny.

"No way, I've gotta bring this sucker in for a landing! (Can I do that in Excel?)"

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:41 (sixteen years ago) link

Dilbert jokes we still get mileage out of, #1 of ???:

The boss's laptop needs to be shaken to reboot it, because it is in fact an etch-a-sketch.

(I think it captured in detail that weird period when you had to have non-high-tech managers in high-tech companies, because that's all there was.)

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:49 (sixteen years ago) link

#2 of ???

"I was just wondering, if you died, would the coffee cup walk around by itself?"

(this is more universal, I suspect)

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:50 (sixteen years ago) link

#3 of ???

"40% of sick days are taken on Friday and Monday; this is unacceptable."

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 21:00 (sixteen years ago) link

I find it pretty funny now and again, and hopeless other times. Yeah, the art is very weak. As for the auteur theory in comic strips, it's more honoured in name than fact, as loads of people have 'assistants' who actually draw the strips. This is generally but not always a good thing.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 21:55 (sixteen years ago) link


Chriddof (Chriddof), Wednesday, 20 October 2004 02:50 (sixteen years ago) link

The art suits the subject, I think - monotony, focus shifted to the banality of hte conent and so on. Its also standard for the medium and does that understated line art trick of conveying a great deal through very little.

As for the comedy - sometimes stomach creasingly funny, innevitably suffers from massive production targets, of course. And the material, as pointed out above, IS dating, alas.

The books are plenty of the notions formalised and expanded to complete theories, and I'd hazard form a decent insight into employee motivations.

That Slazberg, Tuesday, 26 October 2004 22:05 (sixteen years ago) link

(I think it captured in detail that weird period when you had to have non-high-tech managers in high-tech companies, because that's all there was.)

but there is nothing weird about that... bosses have boss skills, which are entirely different to doing things skills, so small wonder that bosses become head of the World Wide Wicket Corporation when they don't really know what a wicket is and whether you can eat it.

anyway, this is what you should be looking at: http://pied.nu/banned/the_Dilbert_Hole/tn/14.gif.html

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 18:12 (sixteen years ago) link


(the best part is how Wally is virtually unchanged from the real comic strip)

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 18:24 (sixteen years ago) link


David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 18:26 (sixteen years ago) link

"I thought he said cake boat."

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 18:28 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm amazed that the rude Dilbert cartoon is still on the web (given that THE MAN made them re-draw Marxbert so that the characters were just square blocks).

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 19:43 (sixteen years ago) link

more here (for those who can't trace back links): http://pied.nu/banned/the_Dilbert_Hole/

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 19:45 (sixteen years ago) link

four years pass...

this guy is a right wing creationist douche

it's darn and ielle is hot (and what), Wednesday, 25 February 2009 18:39 (twelve years ago) link

Isn't he a Satanist?

Britpoppage (The stickman from the hilarious xkcd comics), Wednesday, 25 February 2009 18:45 (twelve years ago) link


^^^this is some high-end useful idiocy

Britpoppage (The stickman from the hilarious xkcd comics), Wednesday, 25 February 2009 18:46 (twelve years ago) link

If you let a guy like that express his views, before long the entire world will want freedom
of speech.

Um, is this sentence a joke?

chap, Wednesday, 25 February 2009 19:01 (twelve years ago) link

OK, the whole thing's a joke.

chap, Wednesday, 25 February 2009 19:03 (twelve years ago) link

I was gonna say!

Lots of praying with no breakfast! (HI DERE), Wednesday, 25 February 2009 19:03 (twelve years ago) link

Doesn't sound like a right wing creatonist here:


Tuomas, Thursday, 26 February 2009 14:35 (twelve years ago) link

Actuallt, if you read his blog, he sounds more like a science geek with some libertarian leanings rather than a right wing creationist. Where'd you get that idea?

Tuomas, Thursday, 26 February 2009 14:44 (twelve years ago) link

A cartoon engineer, that's what he is.

M.V., Thursday, 26 February 2009 15:47 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...

Scott Adams, feminist

Ah, Dilbert. For so long, you have lingered there on the comics page, always ready to barrel-shoot the inanity of office culture with your humorously-coiffed characters and beleaguered engineers, locked forever in a corporate development hell that your humor at first mocked, and then later resembled.

Mostly, though, I haven't really paid attention to you at all, at least until today, when the internet discovered a post where Dilbert creator Scott Adams gave us all a piece of his mind in a post (since deleted) about men's rights, and the fact that he thinks men suffer a level of social injustice equal to women.

After all, women might get paid less than men in our society, but men die earlier, teen boys have to pay higher car insurance, and sometimes women want men to open doors for them, so it all comes out in the wash, right? I'm not making those examples up, either; those are his examples.

And then there's this:

"The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It's just easier this way for everyone. You don't argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn't eat candy for dinner. You don't punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don't argue when a women tells you she's only making 80 cents to your dollar. It's the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles." -Scott Adams

Wow. Just wow. To recap: He's comparing women asking for equal pay to the selfishness and unreasonableness of children asking for candy, or mentally handicapped people lashing out violently. He's saying that women's concern for pay equity is a petty desire levied by an irrational group of people, and he's also suggesting a very specific strategy for the men in the audience: Remember not to care.

If the above block of text reminds you of Dave Sim at all, that's because this rhetoric does exactly the same thing as Sim's in terms of infantilizing women and casting them as primarily emotional and irrational beings that men can only deal with by ignoring them most of the time, or sighing bitterly while turning up the volume on their sports game.

Women, amirite? To his credit, he recognizes that this is basically an insane comparison to make, but then not to his credit, makes it anyway. (Note: Saying something and then saying that you're not saying it doesn't magically unsay it.) He continues:

"I realize I might take some heat for lumping women, children and the mentally handicapped in the same group. So I want to be perfectly clear. I'm not saying women are similar to either group. I'm saying that a man's best strategy for dealing with each group is disturbingly similar. If he's smart, he takes the path of least resistance most of the time, which involves considering the emotional realities of other people. A man only digs in for a good fight on the few issues that matter to him, and for which he has some chance of winning. This is a strategy that men are uniquely suited for because, on average, we genuinely don't care about 90% of what is happening around us."

Adams' original blog entry (since deleted): http://tinysprout.tumblr.com/post/3713649989/scott-adams-dilbert-deleted-post

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 19:33 (ten years ago) link

haha omg

I can never tell when Scott Adams is serious and when he's trolling

whelping at his sandpapery best (DJP), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 19:37 (ten years ago) link

If the above block of text reminds you of Dave Sim at all,

this was my first thought actually

in my world of loose geirs (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 20:41 (ten years ago) link

Practically everything Scott Adams writes is dripping with about five levels of bitter, self-hating sarcasm, though, which makes it difficult for me to take this completely at face value.

Like, I would not at all be surprised if he was taking a Neanderthal tone in order to set up and pull the rug out from underneath people, which seems to go along with the shellshocked reactions some of these critiques are posting.

Having said that, I haven't read it yet so maybe the whole piece really is way out of step with his usual steeze, or just an epic failure in conveying appropriate tone, or maybe he is Dave Sim 2.0.

whelping at his sandpapery best (DJP), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 21:09 (ten years ago) link

A woman had a show about bible secrets on the BBC the other week which was basically Chasing YooWHoo.

I said Omorotic, not homo-erotic (aldo), Thursday, 31 March 2011 18:02 (ten years ago) link

Adams since reposted the deleted blog entry and a "you are all idiots" followup. Perhaps downgrade from Dave Sim to Lileks territory?

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 1 April 2011 01:20 (ten years ago) link

what a weird guy

call all destroyer, Friday, 1 April 2011 01:30 (ten years ago) link

If any of you have a Salon account, could you do me a favor and head over to the articles by these binarian unibators and provide a link to my explanation of the Men's Rights controversy in its proper context?

difficult listening hour, Friday, 1 April 2011 05:30 (ten years ago) link

I write material for a specific sort of audience. And when the piece on Men's Rights drew too much attention from outside my normal reading circle, it changed the meaning. Communication becomes distorted when you take it out of context, even if you don't change a word of the text. I image that you are dubious about this. It's hard to believe this sort of thing if you don't write for a living and see how often it happens. I'll explain.

(emphasis scott adams')

difficult listening hour, Friday, 1 April 2011 05:32 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Dude has not been helping his case lately.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 15 April 2011 20:43 (ten years ago) link

hoo boy

fat fat fat fat Usher (DJP), Friday, 15 April 2011 20:50 (ten years ago) link


mh, Friday, 6 November 2020 21:50 (five months ago) link

To avoid getting bogged down on the main US politics thread about yesterday's news, just wanted to share my overly generous take on "weaponized autism". I think the idea is that Trump has an army of rain men who are going to sweep into contested cities and use their super counting skills to refute the reported ballot data.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, 6 November 2020 22:00 (five months ago) link

No, it's a chan thing.


emil.y, Friday, 6 November 2020 22:02 (five months ago) link

Thanks, I wish I never read that

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, 6 November 2020 22:04 (five months ago) link

Sorry dude ;_;

emil.y, Friday, 6 November 2020 22:05 (five months ago) link

Not your fault, just that it was predictably far shitier than my imagination allowed.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, 6 November 2020 22:17 (five months ago) link

now he says that Trump is polling badly bcz Trumpsters are collectively playing "the most epic practical joke" by pretending not to be voting for him, so that they will prove the polls wrong

― Covidiots from UHF (sic), Tuesday, October 20, 2020 8:22 PM (three weeks ago)

let’s see how Dilbert guy is coping pic.twitter.com/7sSLDBzQiG

— wario cuomo (@ooofwowza) November 15, 2020

@oneposter (💹) (sic), Monday, 16 November 2020 11:18 (five months ago) link

Sad that Kim Thompson is no longer around to debate this with Groth

Ward Fowler, Monday, 16 November 2020 12:10 (five months ago) link

Woodland camouflage is not very effective in downtown DC, btw. You'd blend in better in a giant pigeon costume.

coupvfefe (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 16 November 2020 13:25 (five months ago) link

the guy is a narcissist prick, but that was clearly a joke.

assert (MatthewK), Monday, 16 November 2020 19:41 (five months ago) link


DJP, Monday, 16 November 2020 20:12 (five months ago) link

it's about as funny as the average dilbert was

Four Seasons Total Manscaping (forksclovetofu), Monday, 16 November 2020 21:05 (five months ago) link

honestly it's a better joke than any of the last 7,000 Dilbert strips

frogbs, Monday, 16 November 2020 21:13 (five months ago) link

66% narcissism meaning he needs to say something, anything, to have people watch his livevlogs; 24% grift, hoping to convert his viewers to buy his books or subscribe to his "microlessons" app; 10% more narcissism making him think this is a functional joke.

@oneposter (💹) (sic), Tuesday, 17 November 2020 00:08 (five months ago) link

two months pass...

oh he’s a take buffet pic.twitter.com/nxGLxPINUi

— Luna (@romcomoftherose) February 8, 2021

shivers me timber (sic), Monday, 8 February 2021 05:19 (two months ago) link

never trust anyone who blinks as much as dilbert dude

Ray Cooney as "Crotch" (stevie), Monday, 8 February 2021 08:15 (two months ago) link

I actually read a few Dilberts today because I saw this strip on Twitter and wasn't sure if it was real:


reading the last month or so worth the strip kind of resembles those auto-generated Garfields - it's just a bunch of words with no identifiable punchline. in January alone he seemed to recycle the exact same 'joke' several times, a joke that, if you didn't know who wrote it, you'd think was a criticism of Trumpism. its weird because I remember him being funny and when I jump back to 1997 you can see actual cleverness and wit. and its not like he's simply gotten less funny over the years, it's more like he can't even identify what a joke is anymore.

frogbs, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 20:06 (two months ago) link

Reminds me of one of my old weird internet faves, Nutz: https://web.archive.org/web/20050403182604/http://home.earthlink.net/~wrmbero/

Vladislav Bibidonurtmi (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 20:14 (two months ago) link

i see the commenters on his cartoons are brain-damaged shit-sacks one and all

Ray Cooney as "Crotch" (stevie), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 21:17 (two months ago) link

I mean he's spent the last 5 years cultivating that exact audience so yeah

frogbs, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 21:21 (two months ago) link

ha, the comments don't even display for me

shivers me timber (sic), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 21:30 (two months ago) link

Please stop asking me to form an opinion around your hallucination that someone "incited an insurrection." That only happened in your imagination and was created by the Fake News Industry. I don't form policy opinions around the hallucinations of strangers.

— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) February 10, 2021

shivers me timber (sic), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 21:32 (two months ago) link

whoa there are over 100 comments on every dilbert strip

treeship., Wednesday, 10 February 2021 21:34 (two months ago) link

the idea that Adams views Trump as just a figment of his own diseased mind actually makes everything he's written the last few years make much more sense

frogbs, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 21:40 (two months ago) link

President of Elbonia

4 QAnon Blondes (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 21:59 (two months ago) link

have any papers dropped him?

mookieproof, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 22:04 (two months ago) link

good question

Zach_TBD (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 23:10 (two months ago) link

He hasn’t spent months whining about it on Fox News so I would assume not

frogbs, Thursday, 11 February 2021 01:21 (two months ago) link

he clearly thinks he is a genius (he is not a genius)

I don't know how well Trump's legal team will do today, but if I were them I could easily win from today's field position. The other side handed them a clean path to victory.

— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) February 12, 2021

Bastard Lakes (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 12 February 2021 15:17 (two months ago) link

PLEASE let him take over

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Friday, 12 February 2021 15:31 (two months ago) link

also lol that hes so dumb he thinks the trial is some kind of battle of ideas

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Friday, 12 February 2021 16:09 (two months ago) link

I'm sure Adams could get Trump acquitted by the Senate GOP, as could anyone, as could I if I chose to not mount a defense but freestyle over the "Push It" beat for 6 hours straight

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 12 February 2021 16:15 (two months ago) link

Yeah the path to victory was foreordained. When you need two thirds of the jurors, simply have half of them be spineless pieces of shit. Simple.

4 QAnon Blondes (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 12 February 2021 16:20 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

uhh if those were the parties involved in texting then the story is pretty much “Scott Adams sent us these screenshots” right? Or am I misinterpreting the chain of communication?

mh, Thursday, 8 April 2021 02:21 (one week ago) link

To be fair, surprised if Adams could send a screenshot without accidentally doxxing his own weird porn fetishes in another tab

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 8 April 2021 06:46 (one week ago) link

looooooooooooooooool what is going on here

Dana Jel Pey (DJP), Thursday, 8 April 2021 13:41 (one week ago) link

you’re entering the pearly gaetz of hell

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Thursday, 8 April 2021 14:31 (one week ago) link

i foolishly looked at Adams's twitter to see if he might be posting about this, but no --- it's all godawful posts in defense of George Floyd's murderer and the Georgia voter suppression law, with his stupid cult eating up every line. barf.

sgt. pepper's one-and-only bobo honkin' band (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 8 April 2021 14:33 (one week ago) link

its hard for me to even process the idea of someone dumb enough to be texting buddies with scott adams. someone actually having the thought "this confidential info, i wonder what scott adams' take on it would be?"

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 8 April 2021 14:52 (one week ago) link

he's definitely positioned himself as the idiot's idea of what a smart person sounds like, it's not really a surprise that conservatives think his insights are relevant

frogbs, Thursday, 8 April 2021 14:54 (one week ago) link

godawful posts in defense of George Floyd's murderer and the Georgia voter suppression law,

Crowing that nobody can show him a single case of a person wanting to vote in 2024 who has been unable to, therefore people have been hypnotized by the media into believing there’s a problem.

armoured van, Holden (sic), Thursday, 8 April 2021 17:31 (one week ago) link

as usual the question is "is he just pretending to misunderstand the problem or is he actually that stupid"

frogbs, Thursday, 8 April 2021 17:48 (one week ago) link

I think at this point it's self-evident that that question isn't worth asking

Dana Jel Pey (DJP), Thursday, 8 April 2021 18:10 (one week ago) link

true there is possibly no one on the planet (besides maybe Trump himself?) who exudes more of that rich old white guy "don't actually care about a single issue because this is all a game to me" energy

frogbs, Thursday, 8 April 2021 18:16 (one week ago) link

at some point it doesn’t matter if you’re disingenuous or just an idiot

that point is as soon as one person finds you credible imo

mh, Thursday, 8 April 2021 20:17 (one week ago) link

every time I look at his twitter he seems to be ranting about teachers' unions, just seems like such an odd and stupid thing to get worked up about

Bastard Lakes (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 8 April 2021 20:27 (one week ago) link


One way to eliminate police shootings during traffic stops is to allow only Uber-like self-driving cars (no other cars) in urban areas. If a perp is in one of those, police can override its controls, lock in the perp, and make it drive to police headquarters for safe handling.

— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) April 18, 2021

mookieproof, Sunday, 18 April 2021 18:47 (one hour ago) link

Dude is a living breathing galaxy brain meme

frogbs, Sunday, 18 April 2021 19:16 (one hour ago) link

If the self-driving car has committed a traffic offense, then the car is the perp. Scott would need to coax the car to drive inside a much larger and better-behaved car that will then lock the perp car inside, and wait for the police to make it drive to police headquarters.

Obviously regular police stations are far too small to accomodate these car-eating transporters, hence going to "police headquarters." We will need to build all-new giant police headquarters in the suburbs where the cops live, not in "urban areas."

Of course, roads in both cities and suburbs will all need to be widened in advance to accomodate these monster cars that can fit whole other cars inside them. But at least since we're starting from scratch, they can be standardised, and all cars built to the same model in order to fit inside the perp-capturing megacar. 100% of American car manufacture will need to be nationalised in order to achieve this.

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Sunday, 18 April 2021 19:36 (forty-one minutes ago) link

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