From the middle 1970’s and for over 20 years following, the Daily Dose of Doonesbury was required reading for this and many other maturing baby boomers.
A few years ago I noticed that the Daily Dose was almost always Dilbert, and seldom Doonesbury (relegated to the Sunday paper). What happened?
Everyone in and arround Doonesbury grew up, matured, aged, and lost the edge that was so relevant years ago. Today, Dilbert is just relevant to, well, today. The office. The firm. The corporation. Business life. Your other life.
What happened? Garry Trudeau ranted his way into a new millenium. Long gone are the juicy barbs and exaggerated overbites of irreverancy for all things political and societal.
Garry and everyone else’s girl friend next door, Jane Pauley (Garry’s wife of many years), became father and mother and straight-laced adult all too quickly.
For the rest of us, we became the man we spent years cleverly devising subtle and not-so-subtle ways to stick it to. Relevancy was obscured within the pragmatism demanded by the overlords of maturity and our ticking biological clocks.
Every vacuum must be filled. The 21st century may be more or less realistic than the last; given sufficient time and quantities of video tape, we may compare notes and judge accordingly.
For now, Dilbert fills the vacuum. Political pokes are no longer politically correct in this day of barbarous politics extreme, 24/7 news video, and The Global Village.
The age of layoffs, downsizing, corporate ladder leap frog, and no pensions, have bred an office and work environment ripe for the gentle sarcasm of Scott Adams.
Doonesbury, I miss you. Where would you have turned without Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan?
Dilbert, welcome to the new century and the rest of my life. Where would you be without the likes of us and those we slaved for and with for countless years, slowly losing summer tans, in the tanless booths of the cubicle farm?
Internet access has created an information world that’s merely a click away; relagating newspaper and magazine reading to Sunday mornings, or more frequent visits to the doctor and dentist office,
A few years ago, comedian Chris Rock explained O. J. Simpson’s middle age predicament; lamenting the expense he lavished on a flirtatious ex-wife, then keeping company with a much younger crowd, by exclaiming, “I’m not saying he shoulda killed her, but I understand.”
Doonesbury, thank you. You gave us some great laughs during years of turbulent, trying times. I cannot quite explain why Dilbert reigns and Doonesbury is but a fading collection of memories.
But I understand.