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Friday, 10 August 2007
Dissing the Dilberts
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Some readers may not be aware that Scott Adams, the guy who draws the Dilbert strip, has a lot less readers now than he had a month ago. There's a Dilbert boycott going on, because of a rather crass statement Scott made on his blog July 24.

It's hard to talk about immigration without sounding like a racist.

So let me just say this and get it out of the way: I think Mexicans are superior to me.

"By 'me,' I am referring to people who are part English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Dutch, German, and Native American. There are three of us that I know of. I think my brother and sister would agree that we kind of suck compared to Mexicans...

And so on. (Well, it gets worse.) I found the whole thing more silly than obnoxious—in the same category as P.G. Wodehouse's much-condemned WW2 radio broadcasts from Germany. The job of a humorist is to make us laugh, just as the job of a plumber is to fix our pipes. If either one has loony notions about politics, I don't much care—just fix the darn pipes, please. I doubt anyone is going to hesitate at the door of the voting booth to think: "Wait a minute—what would Scott Adams do at this point?"

Still, as a specimen of upper-middle-class white liberal self-loathing, I'll agree it's a doozy.

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Posted on 08/10/2007 2:10 PM by John Derbyshire
Comments
11 Aug 2007
Send an emailRob

Good grief, Derb... along with your British passport and your religion, have you also lost your sense of humor? (Your sense of other people's humor, that is.)

I have been aware of Dilbert only to the extent that Dilbert has been thrust upon me occasionally by well-meaning, but not particularly perceptive, friends and/or co-workers. But I've seem enough Dilbert to have a basic idea of how this guy's humor works. I don't find this blog entry to be radically different. Any suburbanite, upper-middle-class twit who takes offense this riff, certainly has deep-seated guilt feelings that he hasn't dealt with, and needs to radically reevaluate his own sense of self-worth.

I find the note that your man had to place below his post to be absolutely accurate:

"[Update: Unlike many of the readers directed to this blog from racist web sites, Mexicans understand satire. If you do not understand satire, I recommend less challenging forms of entertainment.]"

Has it really come to this?



11 Aug 2007
Send an emailReactionry
The Devil & Sibelius Have The Best Tunes
Or: No Man Is A Niemand
Or: Uurainen Cats & Dogs & Solar System Debris
Or: The Rocky Cairn Of Uhtceare
Or: Better Than Ezra Pounding.....
 
 
...this though I've no beef with hard Wellington and am reading Dr. Elias Lonenrot's Kalevala Cantos 31 through 36 and thinking that I should get round to composing a tune about Kullervo.  -Fudgemonkeys -who am I fooling? -Niemand (not an island), that's who - Guilty of being a total fraud, I should fall on my sword and admit to having read Apparition In The Woods (no, VN, it's not a woodsprite) by Alex Ross in the July 9 & 16 ish of The New Yorker.
 
AR writes: "Early in the war, Finland was applauded in the West for its hardy stand against the Soviets, and Sibelius was more popular than ever.  In 1941, though, Finland aligned itself with the Germans, partly because Fascist elements had infiltrated the government and the Army, and partly because the Nazis would have taken over the country anyway.  Sibelius went from being a symbol of freedom to serving as an apparent Nazi stooge.  As a Nordic, 'Aryan'  composer, he had enjoyed glowing notices in Nazi Germany.  Now he became almost an official German artist, receiving as many performances as Richard Strauss.  He allegedly said, in a message to Nazi troops, 'I wish with all my heart that you may enjoy a speedy victory.' "
 
It's not my place to besmirch or bemerd Sibelius nor to indulge in bathroom jokes about Weatherwax's Spaceweather picture taken in Uurainen, Finland, Sibelius' rustic Ainola, nor even, acknowledging the grief before dawn due to a full bladder in the wee-wee hours of the morning after a pissless night of Perseid-watching, to make first light of Bove's publication of a picture of a purported "Norse outhouse" in Rannoch Moor.      


11 Aug 2007
Send an emailMary Jackson

So those radio broadcasts were merely "silly" or at worst merely "obnoxious" and in any case, should be of no concern to us as long as the humorist sticks to his last, unto his last?

Yes. Derb's quite right.

Jeeves and Wooster are very funny indeed.



10 Aug 2007
Hugh Fitzgerald

"I found the whole thing more silly than obnoxious—in the same category as P.G. Wodehouse's much-condemned WW2 radio broadcasts from Germany. "

So those radio broadcasts were merely "silly" or at worst merely "obnoxious" and in any case, should be of no concern to us as long as the humorist sticks to his last, unto his last?

Nonsense. Of all events, World War II was a time of testing. Not everyone had to join the Resistance. But no one had to broadcast come se niente fossi, as if the mixture as before were quite as appetiziing. Wodehouse was tested, too, and found wanting. His later pose -- what me worry? -- the pose of the hopelessly innocent naif, convinced few who lived through that period, and while not nearly as sinister as the pose of the arch-villain Pound (see the just indignation of the psychiarist E. J. Torrey, in his study of Pound's fakery at St. Elizabeth's) it should not be simply forgiven or forgotten because the adventures of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster are found funny by many. As for Wodehouse's behavior during World War II, it should bring out the agelast in all of us.  .