Yes, I used to think Dilbert was funny before I became radicalized and until recently I still felt it had some funny moments but, like South Park and Family Guy, it’s a franchise that has deteriorated over time.
I wonder how Matt Groening avoids it.
Still, I thought he was smart, or at least savvy enough to avoid a debacle like this-
Dilbert creator’s ever-worsening P.R. crisis
By Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon
Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 11:29 AM EDT
“It’s fair to say you disagree with Adams. But you can’t rule out the hypothesis that you’re too dumb to understand what he’s saying. And he’s a certified genius.” How fortunate for Adams there are people in the world not “too dumb” to understand the certified genius. It just happens that they’re all Scott Adams. On Friday, the cartoonist admitted on MetaFilter that he and plannedchaos are one and the same. My tie! It’s curving upward in astonishment!
In Adams’ case, his exposure as a self-aggrandizing Internet troll who enjoys talking about himself in the third person brought no apologies or admissions of shame. He instead rationalized his stunt, pouting to the MetaFilter community, “I’m sorry I peed in your cesspool,” and adding, “smart people were on to me after the first post. That made it funnier.” Ah, yes, like when he posted, “I hate Adams for his success too,” when he really was that awesome, successful Scott Adams in disguise – hilarious! It’s like when Lois Lane gets all worked up about Superman, and Clark Kent is just standing around like, awww yeaaaah.
As MetaFilter moderator Cortex gently explained to the certified genius, “If you wanted to sign up for MetaFilter to defend your writing, that would have been fine. If you wanted to sign up for MetaFilter and be incognito as just another user, that’d be fine too. Doing both simultaneously isn’t; pretending to be a third party and high-fiving yourself by proxy is a pretty sketchy move and a serious violation of general community expectations about identity management around here.”
Adams further countered on Monday with a fabulously self-congratulatory blog post account of his actions, explaining, “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.” Oh, it was about the evidence! The evidence that, as plannedchaos wrote, “Everyone on this page is talking about him, researching him, and obsessing about him” – especially plannedchaos. Adams also draws parallels between his situation and that of Orange County Republican Party central committee member Marilyn Davenport, who has been attacked for forwarding an email with Obama’s head Photoshopped onto a chimp. (Both she and Adams, he argues, were victim of the Internet’s lack of “context.”)
Anyone can be anyone on the Internet, and for many, anonymity offers a freedom and safety necessary for self-expression. But when someone deliberately misrepresents himself, because he claims his own adoring “invisible friend” is an “unbiased messenger,” when he lies about who he is because it’s “fun” playing the “vigilante,” it’s a profound statement of cynicism about the nature of online community and contempt for his readers. Adams is right when he says his actions were funny, but I doubt he meant they were so funny-strange, instead of funny-ha-ha. He did, however, get one thing right in all of this. Writing on the nature of his little sock puppet, he said Monday, “A hammer can be used to build a porch or it can used to crush your neighbor’s skull. Don’t hate the tool.” Whether you’re hated now for your ego and dishonesty is up for grabs, Scott Adams. But I’m glad we can all agree you’re a total tool.
Which, my friends, is why while we allow and encourage anonymity here, sockpuppetry will get you banned.