To Be Fair, You’re Not Funny and You Can’t Draw, Either
Scott Adams, who has a made a career out of being marginally more humorous than the drone in the next cubicle, decided March 7 that it was time to deliver his own very special take on the War Between the Sexes, a topic you might remember as wonderfully fresh before you were born, because you either read Thurber or watched William Windom play Thurber on TV.
(NBC, Mondays at 7:30, right before Laugh-In. But we digress.)
What Scott Adams actually wrote is lost to history, because Scott Adams subsequently deleted the post. But just like one of those hilarious moments in his comic strip that proves talent is irrelevant in America, it turns out somebody helpfully preserved the text. So let’s dip our toes:
According to my readers, examples of unfair treatment of men include many elements of the legal system, the military draft in some cases, the lower life expectancies of men, the higher suicide rates for men, circumcision, and the growing number of government agencies that are primarily for women.
You might add to this list the entire area of manners. We take for granted that men should hold doors for women, and women should be served first in restaurants. Can you even imagine that situation in reverse?
Our best guess is that Scott Adams’ readers were abducted by aliens some time in 1967, then held in suspended animation until the aliens needed to clean out the freezer.
Adams goes on to make the stock case for women — you know, that whole Eighty Cents on the Dollar thing — before dismissing it because, you know, women just don’t have the balls to ask for raises or sacrifice their lives for their careers.
And then he drops this beat:
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.
We’re not quite sure what to make of it, but we have this great idea for a strip about Dilbert going postal. Then the next week could be spent on anecdotes from surviving officemates, explaining how they always thought that quiet nerd was just a bit creepy and simmering with resentment. And think of the merchandising opportunities with Dilbert’s mugshot!
Anyway, turns out Scott Adams is a coward as well as a misogynist hack, so he yanked the post when people who aren’t his readers called him on it. And then on Thursday, he — well, imagine Scott Adams lighting a firecracker up his ass:
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.
It’s probably here that we should mention we have a master’s degree — in philosophy! — and the rap on us is that we were too coldly rational for that crew.
So, as an Accredited Reading Comprehensionist — hey, you try wading through Kant — we offer this Professional Analysis: Scott Adams fully agrees that society treats men unfairly — especially, and this is just a hunch, white men — but argues that men should just let it slide because, dude, it’s not worth the trouble. Let the bitches have their way.
But keep plugging away at it, Scott. We hear Glenn Beck’s slot may be available soon.