I try to think each day about funny things, at least for a few seconds. Now while my view of funny might be different than yours, one of the ways I meet that quota is by reading Dilbert and Doonesbury. Are they funny? Dilbert almost every day, Doonesbury rarely if you don’t understand the context. And unless you’re into the silliness of what happens at businesses, maybe not Dilbert either, come to think of it.
Nevertheless, the few seconds I spend on these comic strips help keep me more or less sane, and since they deal with what I do for a living (Dilbert in particular), I get to do two things at once. Efficiency! Hooray!
Dilbert’s creator also writes a more-or-less-daily blog, and I’m not embarrassed to say out loud that I think Scott Adams is one of the smartest guys alive. Today, he’s asking for help deciding what his next product should be, and here’s what he’s written to point out how silly it is to ask people what they want to give him money for:
MY GOD, DON’T YOU MAKE ENOUGH MONEY WITH DILBERT ALREADY?? WHY MUST YOU USE YOUR BLOG FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES? WORSE YET, YOU ARE TRYING TO TRICK US INTO DOING YOUR WORK! YOU SUCK! I WILL NEVER COME HERE AGAIN! AND MUSIC SHOULD BE FREE! RADIOHEAD RULES!!!
Now THAT’S funny.
Is the humor in making fun of his readers (yes), or himself (yes), or the Internet in general (yes) or the way blog readers think (yes)? And that’s the point: we’ve entered a time where you need to have close enough relations with everyone you touch to be able to joke, or you’re doomed.
Laugh. Poke fun at yourself. Do it publicly. And then go on to do what you’re great at. In other words, Change.