I'm trying to keep my cool here.
You have to understand something -- I hate Scott Adams and his Dilbert comic strip. Hate it with a passion. Now, I have an opportunity to pull out the weapons and attack, and I'm trying to keep my response reasoned. I don't want to pick on him just to pick on him. He's done something that DEMANDS response, and I want my response to be proportional and about what he did, not about my feelings over him and his strip.
I liked Dilbert when it first debuted. Had the first few books and laughed really really hard. But eventually, the strip just made me angry as it not only celebrated the rotten treatment of working people, not only did it keep repeating the same joke over and over, but Adams would say things in interviews that made it clear he did not sympathize with his working class fans (he said he liked downsizing because it meant fewer idiot bosses for him to work with. When you consider most of the people who get laid off are people who would work under him and that lay offs happen based on time of service instead of competency, it's really galling). When a book of critical essays about the strip called The Trouble With Dilbert was being readied for release, he tried to stop the book's release. He's a hypocrite who can dish out all kinds of ill will and smack talk, but he sure as hell can't take it.
As I've mentioned, Adams has a nasty tendency to shoot things off in interviews and such that, if it weren't for the blind devotion following of his strip, would have people coming at him with guns and knives. When Adams got a blog, people like me winced. Writing opinion is always dangerous because of the potential to be misunderstood or that maybe your opinions aren't all that smart and you're going to show the world what an idiot you really are (let's face it, some things aren't opinion, they are just self-aggrandizing or stupid). And Adams was a ticking time bomb.
Adams went off the other day.
On March 7th, Adams made a post to his blog called "Men's Rights." (He's since deleted it. Duuuuuuh, what's a Google cache? Some techie you are, you dipshit.) It's been mirrored more than a Doug Henning magic act. Now, I want to emphasize that, while arguing about men's rights is trendy among Internet chatters right now, that isn't what this is about. For it or against it, that isn't the stupid part. The stupid part is this bit from Adams' post:
The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It's just easier this way for everyone. You don't argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn't eat candy for dinner. You don't punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don't argue when a women tells you she's only making 80 cents to your dollar. It's the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.
Congratulations. You have just won one (1) planet-size ass chewing. Please see the attendant to claim your prize.
Given the series leading female character is Alice (possessor of the Fist Of Death, prone to emotional outbursts and overreactions and hyperviolent behavior, and selfish interactions with her coworkers), this suddenly moves the character from "cliche joke" to "a peek inside how Adams' mind works". Now, here's the bad part -- that's not the worst of it. You would think that Adams basically saying women are retarded children is pretty bad. Nope, Adams was just getting warmed up! When the web site Feministe picked up on this and wrote a rebuttal, Adams jumped on the forum and opened his fool mouth once again.
This got picked up by Comics Alliance and it's spreading like kudzu.
On March 27th, Adams decided to post a sort of apology to his blog. Long story short? He'z trollin', he did it for teh lulz:
I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I was enjoying all of the negative attention on Twitter and wondered how I could keep it going. So I left some comments on several Feminist blogs, mostly questioning the reading comprehension of people who believed I had insulted them.
A few people appreciated the meta-joke of removing the post. If you didn't get it, read the deleted post, consider the feminist backlash, then think about the fact that I took down my post and ran away.
And to those of you who triumphantly scrounged up a copy of the deleted piece from Google's cache, republished it, and crowed that I don't understand how the Internet worked, I would politely suggest that perhaps I do.
Ye-aaaah. Sure. GBTB.
Adams claims the original piece was actually a satire of the men's rights movement. Yeah, when you post something that basically says women do not have the mental capacity to be reasoned with, how can you possibly come to any other conclusion?
I'm not expecting much to change. Dilbert fans tend to be rather smug, insulating themselves from the world with their perceived superiority and the crumbs of affirmation their leader gives them. They'll just go with the "Adams is a master troll" argument and stay in their little pocket realm. Feminists will complain for a while, then find other targets with real world repercussions that demand their attention.
And Adams will say something stupid later on. He'll be careful for a while, but trust me. He'll break.