This week, Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip “Dilbert,” inserted into his strip the character of “Jesus.” Surely no one would notice.
Let me admit that I’ve always found “Dilbert” to be as bland as a cold, baked potato. The drawing could be significantly improved and the humor is usually lacking. The character Dilbert somehow speaks while lacking a mouth and his tie looks like it’s in a state of perpetual erection. Perhaps Viagara has expanded its clientèle.
The office where Dilbert works employs a talking dog. Talking animals in comic strips is not an original concept.
This week, Adams caught on to the old idea that if one wants instant publicity and fame, he could do no better than mock Christianity and Catholicism. (For an example of this, see the band Marilyn Manson.) Adams spends the week inserting a character named “Jesus” (but pronounced Hay-soos — get it?) into his strips. (I guess it’s routine for the founder of Christianity to help smooth things along in your local cubicle.)
Below is “Jesus” making himself useful:
Surprisingly, Adams received quite a response. At his website, Adams wrote:
My favorite rhetorical question, which I received an alarming number of times, was “Why don’t you mock Mohammed next? Huh? Why not?”
Well, aside from the blindingly obvious reason that I prefer life over death, I didn’t realize I was making fun of Christianity this week. It’s a standard cartoon practice to take well-known historical or fictional stories and put other characters in those roles. I did the same thing with The Wizard of Oz, and no one thought I was insulting Dorothy.
Jesus. Dorothy. Same thing.
I am not so much bothered by Adams’s use of Jesus in his strips so much as the double standard he employs. (And if you’re resorting to drawing “Jesus” with a tie at the local office, then you’re probably lacking in good judgment and running out of ideas very quickly.)
At a time when Adams wisely acknowledges the sensitivity of mocking the founders of religions, he safely selects the one which will generate the least amount of problems. Perhaps next week, Adams can begin
drawing writing strips about Dilbert’s courage. Certainly Dilbert must be more courageous than his creator.
~ Sisyphus, cross-posted at The Sisyphus Files.