Hypnosis has brought me to the latest addition to our blogroll of well-written sites — The Dilbert Blog — and I must say that I am mesmerized by it.
Not that I am fanatic about the Dilbert comic strip — I find it amusing, although I’m not a huge fan — but I am bowled over by the writing of its creator, Scott Adams.
In fact, I am so impressed with the quality both of his blog and of the voluminous comments it draws that I have a fleeting suspicion: Is it all being done by a team of writers?
That aside, what I find appealing about Adams’ writing is that it covers a wide range of topics — everything from God to evolutionary theory to male-female relationships to a dwarf with his penis stuck in a vacuum cleaner — with a broad diversity of tone. Adams’ writing can be humorous, irreverent, philosophical, profane, silly and, at times, dead serious (we think).
And prodigious. Although the blog archive goes back only to March, there is an entry every day since then. This from a guy who’s doing a daily comic strip for 2,000 newspapers, plus all the spinoff products, plus all the personal appearances.
The dwarf? It’s a true story, according to a French news agency, about a performer at a fringe festival in Scotland, prompting Adams to reflect in his Aug. 22 entry:
I suppose no one’s career goes exactly the way he plans it. I studied economics and ended up drawing cartoons. I’m guessing the dwarf went to law school and ended up having hot monkey sex with household appliances in front of drunks. That was my backup plan too, in case the comic thing didn’t work out. But now it would just seem like copying.
Adams is a skillful observer of people — I should say, he skillfully describes people and their imperfections, as in his March 12 entry:
For example, . . . people who don’t know that other people hate spending time with them. I see these defective people all the time, endlessly jabbering at trapped victims. The defective people think they are having a great personal encounter. The victim feels like he has an SUV parked on his chest. Rubberneckers can identify this sort of tragedy by the fact that one person is smiling and doing all of the talking and the other person is squeezing his own thigh to cut off blood to his brain.
And Adams is aware of his own frailties. In his March 4 entry, he discusses looking at the moon with his newlywed wife:
There are many romantic things that you can say when looking at the moonlit sky. I decided to go with ‘It looks like the moon is going to crash into the Earth and annihilate us.’
‘What?’ said my wife, still lost in the magic of the moment . . . ‘I think we would have heard something on the news if the moon were heading toward us.’
‘Not necessarily. The government might have decided there was nothing we could do about it, so there’s no point in ruining our weekend,’ I countered.
When it comes to romance, the important thing is to win the argument. So at this point I was committed. I was going to make the best possible case I could that the moon was going to kill us. I continued, ‘Besides, how competent is our government anyway? It’s not as if this would be its first big mistake, or the first time they didn’t tell us the truth.’
Shelly got quiet after I made that excellent point. That’s how I know I won. And it felt good because I know she was thinking how lucky she is to have married a man who knows so much about moons and governments.
Now, not everyone will find this weblog appealing. But if you like Dave Barry and Gary Larson — and you know who you are — you’ll like The Dilbert Blog.
By the way, I got there by looking for ‘mesmerist blogs.’ The practice of mesmerism, as you may know, derives its name from Franz Mesmer, an 18th century Viennese physician considered one of the pioneers of hypnotism. Among other things, Adams is a trained hypnotist, and Google took me straight from Dr. Mesmer to Dilbert, both of whom are shown at the top, Dilbert being the one without the powdered wig.
– Sid Leavitt
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