AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: Our Minds Work In Mysterious Ways DATE: 12/17/2004 01:52:00 PM ----- BODY:
Dilbert. You of course know who I mean. That flip-tied little cartoon avatar for the modern white-collar working stiff, whose office surroundings are outlandish, nonsensical--and devastatingly accurate. The other day when I had the "exchange" with the PWSRU, I thought of Dilbert. Yesterday Tim told me about visiting the office at the company he just started working for (he's doing security and thus has no cubicle), and described it as "a cubicle wasteland...there was even a little Dilbert doll at one desk." Which got us to talking about the essential nature of Dilbert. The Tao of Dilbert, if you will. The essential problem with Dilbert's popularity is the fact that his misery--while humorously portrayed--fails to induce much cognitive dissonance among his target audience; that is, beleageured office drones just like him. The question you wish would be asked is, why are we identifying to such an extent with someone who is so patently miserable, whose world is so heinous? How can someone bring a Dilbert-doll to their Dilbert-like cubicle and live with themselves? How can you look your own pointy-haired boss in the eye and deal with it every day if the subversive humor of Dilbertian situations is not lost on you? Then it occurred to us: the answer to the seeming disconnect. Dilbert's nothing more than a tool of the Man--meant to make us feel subversive even as we continue to obey the directives of the soul-killing office environment. Damn the man! Down with Dilbert!