Â (photoÂ from Contra Costa Times)
Is Dilbert creator Scott Adams under evil influence ofÂ office cat?
Last week IÂ wrote aboutÂ two prominent online publishers (twins separated at birth) whoÂ had throttled back theirÂ new media theirÂ activities because they were money-losers.Â One of theseÂ was Dilbert cartoon strip creator Scott Adams* who had written in own blogÂ posting titled, â€œGoing Forward:”
â€œItâ€™s hard to tell the family I canâ€™t spend time with them because I need to create free content on the Internet that will lower our income.â€
After writing that post, however, I found a newspaper articleÂ in whichÂ reporter Susan Young revealsÂ that Adams has his hands full runningÂ two restaurants.Â 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.”
FinallyÂ theÂ truth!Â AdamsÂ sacrificed theÂ free amusement that thousands derived fromÂ his blog not toÂ feed suburbanites who probably need to miss a meal or two.
This newspaper article revealsÂ Scott AdamsÂ as a man whoÂ 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 ofÂ him and his brood) or overseeing his restaurant empire thanÂ continue the uncompensatedÂ humorÂ onÂ whichÂ his blogÂ readers had come to depend. (Here’s aÂ thought: is there an equivalent concept in intellectual property lawÂ to “adverse possession” in real property law; adverse possession is squatters law; ifÂ youÂ squat long enough onÂ a property owned by someome else,Â you canÂ lay legal claim to it;Â is there a legal theory under which browsers who have becomeÂ accustomed to free entertainment through Adams’ blog might compel him to continue being funny on the Web?)
While legal mindsÂ wrestle with that I look for some rational explanation for Adams’ abandonment of hisÂ blog fans and in the photo above I see it. Note the black cat. NowÂ think about what we know of his comic strip.Â 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!Â Scott Adams is in thrall toÂ a blackÂ cat who has long directed both his cartoonist’s pen and now his blogger’s keypad. Now this feline intellectÂ has ordered AdamsÂ to focus on his restaurant. Why? ItÂ probably has something to do withÂ dust, as will no doubt become clear to millions of Americans later this week with the opening of the movie, Golden Compass.
Â But never you mind. As one of the last free bloggers I plan to remain alert — because, as we all know, the blogosphere needs moreÂ lerts.
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* The other publisher, Steve Outing, who had shut down several outdoor sportsÂ Enthusiast sites, thought it “odd” that IÂ considered his entrepreneurialÂ undertaking comparable to Adams’ blog –Â which is the kindest possible way to have characterized such a remark.