Scott Adams’ public professional suicide
The last time I was ensconced in the corporate world, the buttoned-down, BMW-driving, lanyard-sporting, canonical corporate world, was back in the mid to late 1990s. Every office and every cubicle sported at least one “Dilbert” cartoon on its wall. Back then I was a nascent liberal, a fifth columnist, a cosseted and closeted anti-corporate mole in a seething ocean of yuppies. And I detested Dilbert.
My detestation stemmed, I think, less from the humour per se, which I admitted wasn’t too bad, and more from the kind of person who loved the cartoon proper, the corporate weenie and the corporate culture that weenie represented. It was a time of sick-making corporate phrases: “helicopter view of deliverables moving forward” and other brackish stuff. Then there were the coffee cups with “clever” corporate messages. Yuck.
I know, it was largely harmless. But there was something phoney about it all the same. And it put my teeth on edge. I just couldn’t stand it and I couldn’t precisely put my finger on why I couldn’t stand it.
Well now I can. Now I have a proper excuse to despise Dilbert. Scott Adams, the cartoonist responsible for Dilbert, is a seething, unapologetic racist, and he just committed public and professional suicide on YouTube.
Adams has taken the standard wingnut grievance bubble and inflated it to new extremes with a kind of skewed logic that was once sometimes found in Dilbert cartoons. I’m not going to spend any time quoting what Adams said. It would mean having to watch his damnable rant a second time. And I can’t bear to do that.
So I’ll summarise it briefly. Adams claims that if you’re black you’re a member of a hate group. Because of that he doesn’t want anything more to do with “them” (i.e. people of colour). He goes on to say that he lives in a white neighbourhood for that reason. And so on. I’m going to stop there because I’m starting to REALLY get pissed off.
Did I mention that since the 90s I have hated Dilbert? Perhaps I was on to something back then. Anyway, prior to the airing of the racist video I was willing to chalk up my disdain for Mr. Adams’ cartoon panel as part of that thing for which there is no accounting: taste. Now I think maybe I had a touch of second sight.
Whatever the case, as I say, Scott Adams just committed public professional suicide. Newspapers all over America have dropped him. And as the final imprimatur of MAGA racism and bad taste, Elon Musk has come out and defended him! If that isn’t the final epitaph for a once famous cartoonist, I don’t know what is.
There are eight million stories in the naked city MAGA world of racism. This has been one of them. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.