Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Dilbert guy credits "powerful and well-made" Joker for Black Lives Matter protests

Illustration for article titled The iDilbert/i guy credits powerful and well-made iJoker/i for Black Lives Matter protests
Photo: Bob Riha Jr. (Getty Images), Illustration: Reid McCarter

Scott Adams, most notable for creating Dilbert, The Dilbertito, and a septic tank explosion’s worth of pop psychology articles about Donald Trump’s political genius, believes he’s figured out why so many people are out in the streets right now.

While most would argue that the horrific police murders of Black Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery, were the catalysts for wide-scale protests aimed at addressing racist policing, legal, and judicial systems, Adams would like to present a different theory: We all had our brains “rewired” after watching the popular scary clown movie, Joker.

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“In 2020,” Adams writes in the first tweet of his mind-blowing thread, “a movie like Joker can rewire an entire nation into seeing things in its frame.” Attempting to prove his point with examples like how often people reference The Matrix (“And that movie is old”), Adams says that what our brains are exposed to makes us all “programmable.” This certainly explains why we’ve seen more than two straight decades of people taking running jumps between buildings and doing cool backflip-kicks to knock out G-Men, but you may still be wondering: How has Joker forced us to accept the Clown Prince Of Crime’s devious logic?

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Well, there you have it. Adams is “willing to bet 90% of the protestors have seen Joker” and that it’s become “a dominate go-to pattern” for, we guess, inventing the idea that people will protest in outrage over wide-scale systemic injustice and state-sanctioned racist brutality. The movie was just so goddamn good—so completely “next level, persuasion-wise”—that the brains of everyone (except Adams who is too smart to support the protests and saw all of this coming when Joker was released) had no choice but to reenact its last 15 minutes in a completely different context.

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Unfortunately, we have no choice but to assume Adams knows exactly what he’s talking about. After all, back in 2015, he wrote an essay extolling Donald Trump’s persuasive brilliance called “Clown Genius.” Clearly, this is a cartoonist who knows a thing or two about psychology, clowns, and, most importantly, clown-based psychology. If you don’t believe us, consider, too, that he ends his landmark treatise by tagging in Mike Cernovich, a thought leader in the areas of racist jokes and rape apologia. The idea that Adams trusts Cernovich’s opinion on anything is a good demonstration that, yes indeed, the Dilbert creator is someone who knows a lot about jesters and general foolishness!

Or, if that’s not enough, consider past clown-based film precedent. Simply put, if the Joker appears in cinema, protests soon follow.

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God help us all if the “insane” Joker scene Todd Phillips cut from the movie ever surfaces—something that even last November we speculated would cause “the basic structure of the society we take for granted” to “completely crumble.”

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Looking for ways to advocate for black lives? Check out this list of resources by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to get involved

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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