Work and the order have kept me running very ragged of late. I like to joke that we have I have 4 checkpoint blocking bugs and checkpoint is 2 weeks ago. Which I guess is a good thing because 2 weeks ago I had 15.
Corporate calendars and reality.
Which gets me on to today's topic. Entertainment vs. reality.
I've discovered that I like my reality delivered in allegory and symbolism when presented by entertainment. I don't like it shown to me as reality. I don't need that. I get enough reality in the time that I am not in front of the big or little screen.
Reality is a sharp edged sword that is dulled by entertainment. Allegory is a concealed weapon that goes deep to the heart.
Walking into the office I noticed that our manager of marketing for consumer based products had put up several Dilbert cartoons.
I stopped reading Dilbert in 1998.
For someone in the IT industry and software engineering in particular. This must seem an odd statement. The explanation is simple...
After 17 years in the software engineering field... Dilbert isn't funny anymore. The occurrences are too accurate and true to life.
One of my two theater professors in college made a comment in class about the masks of tragedy and comedy.
Tragedy occurs when the central character can't simply step away from the fantastic situations that inevitably will doom their life. The situation becomes so impossible it's almost laughable.
Comedy is our gut reaction to the truest situations that leave our only defense as to find humour. When in truth the absolute highest from of comedy is often a topic we should cry at.
Dilbert isn't funny. When in my career I have watched employees (in past jobs)
- steal ideas and present them at their own to obviate co-workers positions,
- get laid off because their employment made it harder for a floundering management to show revenue liquidity,
- misrepresent technology in the name of sales and appearance
It becomes harder to read these and laugh, "Ha... that's just like my life."
Maybe I've become an idealist. But personally, I'd like my entertainment to be fantasy based on allegory because I'd like to hope, that in the long run there is a chance that in 'the real world' it could never get that bad.
Dilbert reminds us that in the I.T. industry. It does get that bad.
Strange idealism coming from my little windowless office. Especially from one who considers his full-time conversion to cynic (give your self to the dark side) complete.
But the idealism stands. I live by the tenants of my religion and ethics that maybe.. just maybe... it's not a Dilbertain world. So I don't read it.
Side note: for similar reasons, I could never watch "Married With Children"