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Today Asok the intern came out. Tomorrow he'll have some things to say about the so-called government of India.

Cue the inevitable cries of "Stop being political! You're ruining Dilbert!"

Allow me to address that right now.

It's only political if there's someone on the other side of the debate. In this case, no one favors a government deciding which sexual acts among consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes are allowed and which are punishable by jail.

If I am wrong, and you favor the government restricting what kind of sex you can have with another consenting adult, please proudly state your case. I'm listening.

Cue cricket sounds...

 

 
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+22 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 8, 2014
"The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation."
~Pierre Trudeau, former Canadian Prime Minister

And hbmindia, if you assume that making the Indian character gay suggests that all Indians are gay, should I assume that since Alice, the only female character, has a violent temper, then all women are violent?
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 8, 2014
@Johno_the_teacher

"Disclaimer: I am an evangelical Christian, and as such have views about the morality or otherwise of homosexual acts which you may disagree with. "

It's genuinely scary that morals come into consensual sexual acts between adults. And... apparently you are a teacher. Wow. As long as sex is safe, and all parties know and agree to what they are doing, then it seems about as much of a moral issue as what car you drive.

Living over here in heathen Britain, it's especially weird, as religion is much less a part of life. I can't imagine how you take your morals from a (heavily rewrriten, old) book, not your own judgement.
 
 
Feb 8, 2014
I think it's great... my only question is that our paper is carrying a different theme and not this one. Did you offer two strips for papers to choose so they could decide to print this, should I say, more controversial subject or not?

[It's common practice to offer an alternative strip (an older one or a tamed-down version) to newspapers in case a particular comic is not compatible with their brand. -- Scott]
 
 
Feb 8, 2014
This is a repeat of a comment I made in todays strip comments, for the benefit of anyone who doesnt read those:

You DO realize, Scott, that most countries that got nukes got them at a time when we/they were at least as superstitious/scary as India is today? That joke falls flat.

[Your pointless point is noted. -- Scott]
 
 
Feb 8, 2014
Disclaimer: I am an evangelical Christian, and as such have views about the morality or otherwise of homosexual acts which you may disagree with.

I dislike yesterday's and today's cartoons. But that has nothing to do with my views (which in any case aren't yours; your cartoon should reflect your views, not mine, nor those of anyone else in your target demographic, whoever that may be).

I dislike yesterday's and today's cartoons because they are clumsy. You've got a wonderfully subtle sense of humour, and you can make your point quite skilfully when it suits you. But these cartoons didn't so much as make me smile at the clever wit (of which there appeared to be little). Surely you could have made your point without sacrificing the quality of your writing! You're a clever humourist; surely that was within your skill set!

I'll not be quitting reading Dilbert, of course. One bad cartoon doesn't change the hours of side-splitting joy that you've given me over many years. But these two were not at all your best, and whilst your subject matter RESULTED in two poor cartoons, it wasn't the subject matter itself that was the problem.

Sorry to be harsh with you, and again - you have the right to draw whatever you like. But I figure you'd rather hear honest feedback than someone blindly saying "I love all your work" without actually analysing it.

[Hey, I don't come to your church and tell you how to believe in magic. But I admire your consistency in ignoring reality. -- Scott]
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 8, 2014
I'm not sure that "being political" is only related to whether there is vocal opposition or not to a certain point of view - I can't think right now of a single issue about which you wouldn't be able to find someone who is not against it in some way.

Having said that, I think that you are being political when you put in your strip something that goes against the "artistic spirit" of it for the sake of driving a point that matters to you more than it matters to the strip.

In this particular case: we don't know what's Dilbert's degree, we don't know what he does, or what his company does. We don't know how much he makes. Only !$%*!$%* fans will know whether Alice is married, if Wally is single or, what's the official religion of Elbonia or whether any other character is gay. Of course, all of this is intentional - the strip is vague in this details to be able to reflect on as many industries and workers as possible. Putting a characteristic up and front like this (and I want to note that it would be the same if you had written "Asok loves Mac") goes against the strip (IMHO) in the sense that you seem to put it aside in order to drive a particular point of yours to your readers (and not because you thought the strip would be richer by it).

I find interesting, though, that you have used throwaway characters in the past for addressing particular issues. I'm wondering whether this is intended to be canon (like Dilbert's girlfriend used to be), or whether it will end up in company of storylines such as "the boss is dead/demoted", "Dogbert is king of the world" or "Asok died in space".
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 8, 2014
Scott: Keep it up!
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 8, 2014
Whoops -- I accidentally clicked on the submit button before I had finished composing my post.

Add to the above:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_opposition

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129422524

And I'm sure that with a brief internet search of your own, you would be able to unearth lots more information of this kind.

To sum things up, I must admit, Scott, that I am rather surprised to see you make what I consider was a very poorly-researched and ill-informed assertion when there is so much evidence to the contrary.
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 8, 2014
[no one favors a government deciding which sexual acts among consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes are allowed and which are punishable by jail. ]

If you think that's accurate, then you haven't been paying attention to the virulently homophobic legislation passed, or presented as a bill, in many African countries. (Incidentally, in several cases American fundamentalist evangelists and their front organizations have actively promoted, influenced and shaped this legislation.) See, for instance:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Anti-Homosexuality_Bill

[No one is questioning the existence of anti-gay sentiment. That's like, um, the point. -- Scott]
 
 
Feb 8, 2014
CliffClaven,

Try reading my post again. Tyranny is a bad thing, Cliff, old pal. Whether it's a tyranny by the majority or by the minority, it's still tyranny. When government forces its will upon the people, is that something you champion?

Which kind of dictatorship do you prefer, Cliff? Tell me what country you'd like the US to emulate. China? Russia? Greece?

I humbly submit that you only support majority, or minority, rule when it agrees with your position. The people be damned, as long as your government forces people to do the things you approve of.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 8, 2014
Scott,

Today's strip is good.

You're wrong in the first frame ofcourse. The supreme court doesn't decide what is legal or illegal. The house of representatives does. The SC only enforces the law.

But that's irrelevant.

The joke is in the last frame. Asok has no clue about what Taj Mahal is about. He's the type of anti-social Indian who migrates to the US.

[You're a bit lost in the weeds. -- Scott]

.
 
 
Feb 8, 2014
Politically, I'm somewhat to the right of Atilla The Hun, but I have to agree with Scott. The Indian government coming up with an off-the-wall law like that is definitely fodder for the comic's pen.

The Boss' reaction is classic, too.

And, I think, that's why it belongs in a Dilbert strip.

[I like you. -- Scott]

 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 7, 2014
Democracy is individual people giving some of their power to a government. In a true democracy, one or many individuals cannot give away power that they do not have. I cannot give away my neighbors right to X. I can give away my rights.

In my opinion, the government MUST treat the individual as paramount while the individual SHOULD treat the whole as paramount.
 
 
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 7, 2014
Scott,

You are NOT listening.

Listen,

India is the world's largest democracy. Americans have no clue what that means.

The Supreme Court does NOT vote. It simply gives a verdict based on the prevailing law.

The prevailing law is passed by the house of representatives elected by the majority population of the country. That is democracy.

If the majority call gay sex a crime, it is a crime. Individual votes are for the count. The largest number wins.

Get your politics right. India needs public reform. Not governance.

Mocking a democratically instituted judiciary will get you a few street smart cheers. Not a new law.

American racism is not an answer to Indian culturalism. You are not even qualified to comment on India.

[One word: Lincoln. -- Scott]
 
 
Feb 7, 2014
@Reekrend

[Everyone who has tried pointing out "flaws" in Scott's question/premise and/or certainty that these people exist has completely missed the point.

The question, strictly as worded, cannot be favored by any non-mentally ill human....]

So Scott gets to declare himself the winner of the argument because he demanded the opposition come to him and debate him on his home turf and on his own terms and noone took him up on it? Sorry, not buying it.

[I didn't declare victory. I declared that everyone was already on the same side. -- Scott]

 
 
Feb 7, 2014
Everyone who has tried pointing out "flaws" in Scott's question/premise and/or certainty that these people exist has completely missed the point.

The question, strictly as worded, cannot be favored by any non-mentally ill human. Favoring this would mean the govt can restrict anyone (including you) in any sort of sexual manner, not necessarily of your presupposing. Before the religious nutjobs say yes: they must understand that means if the govt made it illegal to have heterosexual human sex, in fact made only sex with your dog legal, they would approve of and happily abide by it. Just an example - anything is possible. Absolutely no remotely rational person would favor this mentality.

The nutjobs might favor something else entirely (a theocracy of their favored religion comes to mind) but they do not favor what Scott asked.
 
 
Feb 7, 2014
Phantom II and others who are so upset about the Tyranny of the Minority: May I assume you despise GOP congressmen with a white-hot passion for rejecting the majority mandates given to Democrats in the Senate and the White House?
 
 
Feb 7, 2014
"Consenting Adults" is the challenge in my mind. There are various grey areas when it comes to consenting adults...

When you mix alcohol with this, you often get situations that some (including those involved, after the fact) would consider date rape. Add to that the other sorts of abusive dating relationships where it's hard to say how much consent is happening, and you have a serious problem.

When you introduce money into the equation, the end result is human trafficking. (interesting to note that there are more slaves today than in the rest of human history combined -- there's lots of money in the sex trade, and to meet the demand, human trafficking happens all over the world at a massive scale.)

As far as I'm concerned when the two adults are truly of sound mind, and there is, and never has been any coercion involved, it's none of my business what they do behind closed doors. But any time it's connected to any sort of abusive situation, I'm all for the powers that be doing what they can to help the abused.

[Most people agree that governments should put limits on commerce for lots of good reasons. And abuse of any kinds can and should be illegal. So the sex trade would be properly banned by a government whereas two consenting adults who do not exchange money should not be government's business. -- Scott]
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 7, 2014
@Kingdinosaur

I would just like to congratulate you on the best collection of whataboutery, straw men and sheer bad logic I have seen in a long time. And I waste a lot of my life on the internet.

I'm genuinely hoping you are trolling, because if you think, deep down, that everything you wrote there makes genuine sense, something is badly off with the moist computing unit.
 
 
Feb 7, 2014
To the people who downvoted me:

So it's okay for LA to force !$%* stars to wear condoms when they are being taped in the privacy of someone's home but it isn't okay for a country to decide what happens within its own borders? Isn't that a little hypocritical?

Both LA and India probably have reasons for their laws even if you disagree with them. Both are largely democratic (and the other Democratic in LA's case ;) ). Why shouldn't they be allowed the freedom to self rule according to their own standards?

In India's defense, considering they have so many people, maybe trying to get a few to voluntarily leave isn't a completely awful idea. I mean occupy wall street wanted all the rich people to pack up and go to Texas because rich people are a disliked minority as well and in a lot of liberals' eyes it is a crime to be born into a rich family.
 
 
 
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