For anyone who’s been completely oblivious to certain aspects of pop-culture these past couple of decades, Scott Adams is the tweaked, odd and very clever mind behind the Dilbert comic strip that has become the epitome of satire on corporate culture. In addition he wrote the best-selling (and quite hilarious!) THe Dilbert Principle too.
But! Those achievements aside, I came across this book by sheer chance while visiting a favourite second-hand book shop that often has little treasures that are hard to find or buy anymore. What intrigued me the most was that this is not a business/work/corporate based book in any fashion and in fact is as far removed from that as possible as he muses on most anything and everything. Containing a veritable slew of short(ish) essays (blog post style) on a multitude of topics ranging from globale politics and conspiracy to the menace of car singing to blouse monsters (yeah, that last one kind of stuck in my brains humour section!) and more, Adams brings a truly unique and refreshing take on things.
What is it that makes him different to others? It’s not just that he’s talking about many things that others don’t between these covers, it’s HOW he does it.
Bringing an irreverant twang to almost everything with a hint of shamelessness here and there, each and every essay is a border-line laugh riot at the least, if not a full-blown one! What I love most I think is that unlike a lot of writers who tend to be more one than the other, Adams has what one would call a hopefully-cynical streak to his writing. This is something that I’ve been told I possess and I think I relate to someone bringing that to such a diverse range of topics and really making you think about them from a whole other point of view. Too often we look at cynics and see only the worst of them, whereas Adams here demonstrates masterfully what a difference a touch of cynicism can make in an otherwise all too serious life and perspective.
I’ve always been one who believes that one should always be able to laugh, even at the worst of times, and Adams here shows how you can do exactly that while never losing sight of what it is you are concerned about. Some things are just absurd and need to be laughed and moved on from, others need some more thought and have more “real” consequence, but we should be able to laugh at them all the same. Of course his own somewhat neurotic nature can at times seem a little insane, reading him find the lighter side of it and other personal shortcomings adds a more relatable quality to whatever he writes. And being a series of blog posts that he’s collected into a book gives us bits from his life that make it more so and a far more enjoyable book (for me anyway) than even the brilliant Dilbert Principle.
Life’s too short to take it too seriously and I’d advise anyone with a healthy sense of humour and desire to flex and grow those muscles to give this book a read. You may not agree with all his viewpoints (I know there were a few I didn’t), but by and large it’s a general enough and diverse range of topics that it rarely ever digs too deep.