Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Comedy of Scott Adams: Comic strip

The Comedy of Scott Adams: Comic strip
Scott Adams, the successful author of the Dilbert comic strip and several comic compilation books (and he also owns a food company), actually was Dilbert at one time. In working with telecommunications engineers as a software developer in the eighties and nineties, he had plenty of inspiration for his hapless character, who is at the mercy of corporate American policies and politics as well as management dunderheads.

Adams was interested in cartooning as a child, entering several contests – which he didn’t win. He kept his day job at Pacific Bell for eight years even after he started the strip in 1989 to continue to get good material – and for income security. White-collared workers embraced Dilbert, the sarcastic software engineer dealing with evil consultants (Catbert), annoying co-workers and incredibly stupid managers from his office cubicle.
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Now, his strip is syndicated in more than 2,000 newspapers worldwide in 65 countries and 25 languages; has Dilbert immortalized on t-shirts, calendars, office supplies, dolls and more; and has a string of Dilbert books, in which his satiric attitude toward business is obvious in titles such as: When Did Ignorance Become a Point of View?, Random Acts of Management, Fugitive from the Cubicle Police and Seven Years of Highly Defective People and Clues for the Clueless.

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In an interview with The Celebrity CafĂ©.com, Adams said he gets asked for his opinion on serious subjects such as the economy and technology. “It’s funny that anybody would listen to anything I have to say,” he commented. “Afterwards I often laugh and say, ‘Why the hell am I answering that question?’” His theory is it’s because he wears glasses, but we know the guy behind Dilbert must know something!

Of course, Adams isn’t afraid of getting something wrong. “Creativity,” he says, “is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” He uses his razor-sharp observations to ensure we all see the inanities in corporate-speak and management bullshit. Some examples:
  • Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you're a consultant. 
  • Dance like it hurts,
    Love like you need money,
    Work when people are watching. 
  • No matter how smart you are, you spend most of your day being an idiot. 
  • Normal people ... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
  • Consultants have credibility because they are not dumb enough to work at your company.
  • I get mail; therefore I am.
  • Remind people that profit is the difference between revenue and expense. This makes you look smart.
  • We must develop knowledge optimization initiatives to leverage our key learnings.
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