Pity the Sad Rich White Cartoonist
Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams has become a target. In his blog Adams laments, “Late last week my Twitter feed was invaded by an army of Clinton trolls (it’s a real thing) leaving sarcastic insults and not much else on my feed.”
It’s brutal, I know, but that’s not the worst of it. Adams was also the target of what he calls a “hit piece,” a Slate article by Ben Dolnick entitled No One Understands Donald Trump Like the Horny Narcissist Who Created Dilbert, which includes little drops of character assassination like “Dilbert seems to function largely as a business endeavor for Adams. His true calling is advocating on behalf of his own colossal brilliance,” and “This past year, Adams has been taking to his keyboard as often as 10 times a week to remind the world of the scale of his accomplishment.”
Dolnick simply isn’t as impressed by Adams as Adams himself is.
I have, after all my reading, come to be skeptical of Adams’ predictive powers. He guessed that Trump would win the Iowa caucus, and then when he didn’t, Adams spent 1,000-plus words laying out the case for its having been rigged. He predicted that the Democratic Convention, due to its testosterone-dampening effects, would lead to history’s first post-convention anti-bounce.
In a sneaky and unfair move, Dolnick obtained all this information about Adams’ narcissism by reading the Dilbert blog.
To read his blog — and I recently spent a week mainlining the 1,000-plus pages that he’s published in the 15 months since Trump declared his candidacy — is to overdose on a custom blend of testosterone, paranoia, and self-celebration. Here he is explaining that in the event of a Trump victory, he, Adams, “would be a top-ten assassination target.” Here he is lamenting the “humiliation of the American male,” as evidenced by a dishwasher detergent ad. Here he is unforgettably (I’ve tried) attempting to hypnotize his readers into having the best orgasms of their lives.
It’s almost as if Dolnick doesn’t appreciate the fact that Adams uses a “3-D filter” to see beyond the 2-D world in which we mere mortals live. What we perceive as wins and losses are, to a trained hypnotist (NSFW) and master persuader like Scott Adams, evidence of precisely the opposite.
But perhaps Dolnick’s most damning accusation is his claim that Adams’ blog rants are a good proxy of Donald Trump’s own thought processes. Dolnick again draws support from Adams’ own words.
When I observe Trump, I can see the scaffolding of his thinking process because it is close enough to my own that the patterns are obvious. We had similar influences, and our brains got wired in similar ways.
Do you know what flaws people most often accuse me of? Lack of empathy.
And narcissism, obviously.
I can’t imagine why.
Does Scott Adams deserve to be a target simply because he supports Donald Trump? No. Nobody deserves that kind of treatment, regardless of the repugnancy of their views. And if Adams were being treated as unfairly as his overactive imagination would have us believe, I’d be rallying to his aid.
But here in the real world — the one Adams labels “2-D” — what Adams (and Trump) deserve is our pity. That level of hubris rarely leads to a good end.