Scott Adams has taken a decidedly political turn with Dilbert lately, and it saddens me. Lately, his “Dogbert for President” theme is a pointed attack politicians. Not that they are my favorite group. In fact, one thing I don’t particularly like about politics is that it is full of politicians. So, my sadness isn’t that Scott is attacking politics (and, the Bush Jr. administration?), but rather his departure from the recipe that has made Dilbert work for so many years: the vagaries of corporate life.
Here’s last Friday’s Dilbert Strip:
What’s really sad is that it is not even that funny (not by Dilbert’s usual standards, anyway). It’s a ham-handed commentary about politicians only telling us exactly what we want to hear/pandering to big business/politicians are all cameleons. I would wager that the average Dilbert reader is someone who works in an office, probably has a college degree and even votes once in a while. So, do we really need to be told that politicians are all liars? Granted, part of humor is pointing out something that is obviously true, though maybe something we don’t always talk about. Like politicians telling us what we want to hear so we elect them (though on the flip side there is that rare politician who is such a complete simpleton – and therefore exudes a strict adherence to his/her principles that the common man just LOVES him – that he is really a tool of those around him to further their own agendas).
Sorry, Scott, it just ain’t that funny.
What I fear is happening here is a departure from the tried-and-true Dilbert forumla. In corporate America we call it a “departure from core competencies.” Remember that, Scott? It’s one of the only things of value I ever picked up in countless hours of corporate bulls— training sessions. When an organization (any organization) strays from the core set of things it’s good at (which, not coincidentally, is largely responsible for its success to begin with), it begins to whither and die.
I’ll miss Dilbert. If you’ll all join me in a moment of silence…