(photo from Contra Costa Times)
Is Dilbert creator Scott Adams under evil influence of office cat?
Last week I wrote about two prominent online publishers (twins separated at birth) who had throttled back their new media their activities because they were money-losers. One of these was Dilbert cartoon strip creator Scott Adams* who had written in own blog posting titled, “Going Forward:”
“It’s hard to tell the family I can’t spend time with them because I need to create free content on the Internet that will lower our income.”
After writing that post, however, I found a newspaper article in which reporter Susan Young reveals that Adams has his hands full running two restaurants. She writes:
“A decade ago . . . Adams was flush with Dilbert dough and looking to invest. A waitress at his favorite eatery had a dream of opening her own restaurant, and Stacey’s in Pleasanton was born . . . in July. His restaurant partner Stacey Belkin was overwhelmed with running two restaurants so she handed over management of the Waterford location to Adams.”
Finally the truth! Adams sacrificed the free amusement that thousands derived from his blog not to feed suburbanites who probably need to miss a meal or two.
This newspaper article reveals Scott Adams as a man who would rather spend time with his new family (if you click on the link in the above photo, it will lead to a slide show of him and his brood) or overseeing his restaurant empire than continue the uncompensated humor on which his blog readers had come to depend. (Here’s a thought: is there an equivalent concept in intellectual property law to “adverse possession” in real property law; adverse possession is squatters law; if you squat long enough on a property owned by someome else, you can lay legal claim to it; is there a legal theory under which browsers who have become accustomed to free entertainment through Adams’ blog might compel him to continue being funny on the Web?)
While legal minds wrestle with that I look for some rational explanation for Adams’ abandonment of his blog fans and in the photo above I see it. Note the black cat. Now think about what we know of his comic strip. It has human characters. It has dog characters. It has rat characters. But it has no cat characters!
Put it all together and it’s obvious: the cat in control! Scott Adams is in thrall to a black cat who has long directed both his cartoonist’s pen and now his blogger’s keypad. Now this feline intellect has ordered Adams to focus on his restaurant. Why? It probably has something to do with dust, as will no doubt become clear to millions of Americans later this week with the opening of the movie, Golden Compass.
But never you mind. As one of the last free bloggers I plan to remain alert — because, as we all know, the blogosphere needs more lerts.
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* The other publisher, Steve Outing, who had shut down several outdoor sports Enthusiast sites, thought it “odd” that I considered his entrepreneurial undertaking comparable to Adams’ blog – which is the kindest possible way to have characterized such a remark.