I just wanted to collect a few related data points here on the theme of David Cronenberg and Dilbert, the comic strip.
Cronenberg has probably directed more impressive and awesome movies than any living English speaker. Let’s list a few of the standouts, of which there are many: Rabid, Scanners, The Dead Zone, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Crash, eXistenZ, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, Cosmopolis, and Maps to the Stars.
From there we pivot to Cronenberg’s interest in Dilbert—indeed, intense appreciation of Dilbert. The evidence is incontrovertible.
First we have this item from the November 24, 2014 issue of New York Magazine. The heading reads “The Best Gift I Ever Got Was a….” Cronenberg’s answer went like this: “Every year, my kids get me a ‘Dilbert’ calendar. It’s extremely funny and sophisticated and accurate—very philosophical for a daily cartoon. I really need that calendar every year. It keeps me going.”
In this recent interview with Scene Creek, Cronenberg mentioned Dilbert in a positive way. Deflecting criticisms that Maps of the Stars is an “attack” on Hollywood, Cronenberg insists that he did not think of it that way, then says, “That’s not unique to Hollywood. Any human endeavor has those aspects. Look at various forms of pop culture that can skewer any business, be it Wall Street, or Silicon Valley, or Dilbert, the cartoon.” Hmmmm.
Then, just about a year ago, Cronenberg accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canadian Screen Awards, and in his speech, he related the entire content of a Dilbert strip that first ran on February 15, 2001. Here is that strip:
You can watch a clip below of Cronenberg accepting the award—unfortunately, it’s a phonecam video of the user’s TV set, but you can still make it out. After introductions from Jay Baruchel and Viggo Mortensen and a three-minute montage of Cronenberg’s movies that WILL make you want to watch one of his movies, Cronenberg took the stage and eventually mused on the possibility of an Afterlife Achievement Award, and then said this:
So as I would always do in a situation like that I turned to the comic strip Dilbert for guidance. Dilbert has an evil, vicious dog named Dogbert. Dogbert says to him, “The key to happiness is self-delusion, so don’t think of yourself as an organic pain collector racing to oblivion.” And Dilbert says, “Well, actually, I hadn’t had that thought until just now.” And Dogbert says, “Don’t blame me. I said ‘Don’t.’” And suddenly I thought, yeah, if it’s human delusion that allows you to think that there’s an afterlife, well I’m human and I’m certainly deluded.
So David Cronenberg loves Dilbert. I honestly don’t know whether this changes my perception of Dilbert or my perception of Cronenberg…..
via Waxin’ & Milkin’