Scott Adams (Dilbert creator) has gotten into quite a bit of hot water recently, and his attempts to backpedal and promote his geniusness have just made him more and more of a jerk, as he rapidly becomes a living example of the people he mocks in his strips.
It all began with an essay Adams wrote about Men’s Rights where he goes on the attack against women. Partially reprinted below:
Now I would like to speak directly to my male readers who feel unjustly treated by the widespread suppression of men’s rights:
Get over it, you bunch of pussies.
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.
How many times do we men suppress our natural instincts for sex and aggression just to get something better in the long run? It’s called a strategy. Sometimes you sacrifice a pawn to nail the queen. If you’re still crying about your pawn when you’re having your way with the queen, there’s something wrong with you and it isn’t men’s rights.
It was quickly deleted, but reposted all over the place.
Scott Adams’ comparisons of women to the mentally handicapped or children caused quite a ruckus. Several feminist blogs reposted his essay and began the bashing process, causing Scott Adams himself to pop in on one and defend himself:
Is this an entire website dedicated to poor reading comprehension? I don’t think one of you understood the writing. You’re all hopping mad about your own misinterpretations.
That’s the reason the original blog was pulled down. All writing is designed for specific readers. This piece was designed for regular readers of The Scott Adams blog. That group has an unusually high reading comprehension level.
In this case, the content of the piece inspires so much emotion in some readers that they literally can’t understand it. The same would be true if the topic were about gun ownership or a dozen other topics. As emotion increases, reading comprehension decreases. This would be true of anyone, but regular readers of the Dilbert blog are pretty far along the bell curve toward rational thought, and relatively immune to emotional distortion.
I’ve written on the topic how you can’t mix incendiary images in the same piece without the readers’ brains treating the images as though they were connected, no matter how clearly you explain that they are not. My regular readers understand that I do that intentionally as part of the fun. When quoted out of context, the piece becomes dangerous.
You can see that the comments about the piece were little more than name-calling. When confronted with that sort of reaction, would it be wiser to treat the name-callers as you might treat respected professors with opinions worthy of consideration, or should you treat the name-callers as you would angry children, by not debating and not taking it personally?
You’re angry, but I’ll bet every one of you agrees with me.
But Scott Adams didn’t stop there. He was only warming up. He then went over to MetaFilter and created a sockpuppet named PlannedChaos to defend himself against attack there. And to also call himself a genius like a billion times.
4. As far as Adams’ ego goes, maybe you don’t understand what a writer does for a living. No one writes unless he believes that what he writes will be interesting to someone. Everyone on this page is talking about him, researching him, and obsessing about him. His job is to be interesting, not loved. As someone mentioned, he has a certified genius I.Q., and that’s hard to hide.
The same handle was used on Reddit:
If an idiot and a genius disagree, the idiot generally thinks the genius is wrong. He also has lots of idiot reasons to back his idiot belief. That’s how the idiot mind is wired.
It’s fair to say you disagree with Adams. But you can’t rule out the hypothesis that you’re too dumb to understand what he’s saying.
And he’s a certified genius. Just sayin’.
Bafflingly, Scott Adams then takes to his blog again to write something completely ridiculous:
The next thing to consider is that in my line of work, some types of rumors can cause economic damage to hundreds of people in the so-called value chain. The stakes are high. I know from experience that when a rumor flares up that says, for example, I’m affiliated with one particular interest group or another, the people who hate that group will stop reading Dilbert comics. And they will aggressively warn everyone who will listen to do the same. This was a small problem in the pre-Internet age. Today, a rumor will send an army of advocates to vote down your products on Amazon.com and defame you on every blog and web site that allows comments. It happens in hours, not days.
Scott Adams waxes on about how rumor can cost tons of money and therefore he needs to go out and defend himself anonymously, otherwise he’ll be perceived to be biased for himself.
Of course, if he was really caring about protecting his image, he should have shut the fuck up, instead of saying this next:
The same thing is happening today with a Republican official who emailed some friends a humorous photo of President Obama’s face on a chimp and a punch line about his birth certificate. If your only context is what the Internet says about this story, you assume it’s a typical racist act by a Republican who is already guilty by association. But if I add the context that Googling “George Bush monkey” gives you over 3 million hits, and most of them are jokes where President Bush’s face is transposed on a monkey, you see what’s really going on. Democrats and advocates of civil rights are using the media to further an agenda at the expense of a woman who was probably so non-racist that the photo in question didn’t set off her alarms as being a career-ending risk.
Yes, a Birther crazy teabagger sending around images of Obama as a chimp’s kid is so non-racist! Too bad Scott Adams’ certified genius IQ couldn’t be bothered to compute the historic racism of comparing blacks to monkeys. And I don’t know how anyone, anywhere, including so non-racist Marilyn Davenport, could not see this image as racist:
FYI, Marilyn Davenport has not resigned, only issued a half-assed apology “if anyone was offended”
I know when I’m being so non-racist, I excuse myself with “Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people—mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.”
But Scott Adams is only defending himself and his product so he doesn’t take an economic hit..
If you’re rumored to be anti-science, you’re dead to them, and so is your product. That’s a rumor with economic consequences.
He did so by picking the worst example anyone anywhere could ever pick as their example. Then he spends the rest of the post complaining about how he’s going to be taken out of context again and calling himself a genius half a dozen more times.
I own several Dilbert books. I won’t be purchasing any more. I won’t be alone. Thanks to the power of Scott Adams’ genius.