sep 3


One of the great critical minds of the 20th century, Pauline Kael died today. Expect an outpouring of eulogies from the great, mediocre, and poor film reviewers over the next week.

A special Labor Day entry:

This much is true: Dilbert is an industry posing as a comic strip. It is, however, more debatable if Dilbert is merely another way to placate workers into nudge-nudge comfort with corporate culture. If you read between the cells, the comic strip is surprisingly complicit with the kind of stultifying irony that arose in the 90s, which has a way of making one passive. (I intentionally resisted hyperlinking "stultifying irony" and "passive," because I'm actually a fan of many stultifying pieces of culture. And parsing the effects of this kind of irony is discomforting.)

I'll leave that question open-ended, and point you an interesting Dilbert development:

The Ultimate Cubicle.

 Dilbert's creator, Scott Adams, has finished working with the design firm IDEO on a new project, The Ultimate Cubicle. It looks like a Sol LeWitt Lego set, but includes such comfortably futuristic features as a "Snap Hammock" and a "Wallflower Murphy Seat."

 CNN's tour of the Ultimate Cubicle exemplifies living-as-work.

 The IDEO press release dresses up the Ultimate Cubicle like the Holodeck.

 The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle's-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions by Scott Adams shows he has been a business guru all along.

 The Trouble With Dilbert by Tom Tomorrow and Norman Solomon is a scathing critique of Dilbert culture.

 Or maybe it's Communist propaganda.

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