Narcissists facing major widespread scorn often compare themselves to historical firebrands. Libya's embattled Col.Moammar Gadhafi
last month compared himself toQueen Elizabeth
compared himself toGandhi
. But no one can beatGlenn Beck
, who has famously compared himself toPaul Revere
andMartin Luther King Jr.
Strangely playing a different self-comparison game is Dilbert cartoon strip creator Scott Adams, who just compared himself to embattled teabagger Marilyn Davenport, the Obama chimp family emailer.
The comparison is made on the Scott Adams Blog, where the cartoonist muses about heat he received for defending himself online not using his own name but, as he put it, "under the name PlannedChaos and pretending to be the only person in the world who doesn't hate me."
Adams continues, "According to the wise and fair denizens of the Internet, this behavior is proof that I am a thin-skinned, troll, asshole, dick, fame-whore, ego maniac, douche nozzle, misogynist. That list might sound bad to you, but keep in mind that I was starting from a pretty low base, so I think my reputation is trending up."
Sounds like someone needs a hug, no?
Anyway, from this intro Adams slides into an interview between himself and his alter-ego PlannedChaos, which ends suddenly before picking up again with it about three-quarters of the way down. Anyone who finds Dilbert clever might feel the same about the mock interview.
Sandwiched between the shtick are a couple long paragraphs that reference the Davenport controversy. Adams begins by mentioning he is being targeted by "Men's Rights advocates, Feminists, and one bearded taint who is leading an anti-creationist movement" because things he has written were, he says, "taken out of context," presented "to the lazy Internet media who doesn't check context" and used to "demonize" him and "gain publicity for their respective causes."
It is how advocates get free publicity, according to Adams, who then claims that is what is happening to Davenport.
The same thing is happening 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.
In my book The Dilbert Future, published in 1997, I predicted that in the future the media would start killing celebrities to generate demand for their so-called news. That seemed like a stretch when the worst part of the media was the tabloids. Now the Internet has given media power to the likes of Gawker, Metafilter, and any other cesspool with an IP address. When the low end of the media conspired with unscrupulous advocates to label the aforementioned Republican woman a racist, they probably killed her career, and they might end up killing her too.
Mercy, this fellow should draw a cartoon called "Gloomy Gus."
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First, I don't think of Orange County Republican Party Central Committee representative as a career, but I suppose career politicians have to start somewhere. Still, Davenport, a retiree and grandmother, does not strike me as the type that sees her post as a career.
I would assume from this one post of Adams' writing I have read and Davenport's professed teabaggy political view that they would deplore someone sticking up for their race, gender or (non-Judeo-Christian) religion as "playing the victim."
And yet, notice how Adams makes himself and Davenport out to be the victims. He even props ol' Marilyn up for a sniper's bullet.
As Ronnie Reagan put it, "There you go again."