Written by: MIT Alumni Association
Cornell’s Sideshow Mel supporters mounted a strong offense and defense this week, and in the end, slide whistles won out over spreadsheets in the battle between two characters who endure despite demanding and sometimes degrading managers.
For every MIT assertion that Dilbert keeps unstable coworkers from going postal and staving off “mayhem, outsourcing to Elbonia, and the end of American technological hegemony as we know it,” according to a vote submitted by Chaz, there seemed to be a counterargument from Cornell about Mel’s ability to amuse on a universal scale.
Mel won an Entertainer of the Year Award for his role in Death of a Salesman, as voter Keith noted, and “he performed for the masses, going out on a limb and leaving himself vulnerable to critics and a live audience. He gave back to his community!”
Says Aron, “A simple look at the wardrobe shows that Mel is a world traveler. He interacts with people, learns from them, and influences others on his mass media platform. Dilbert wears the corporate uniform, is locked in a cubicle, and talks to a dog. He’s a small step away from sad, lonely Jon Arbuckle” (Garfield’s owner).
Another exchange the judges liked:
Dilbert: 11,300,000 hits
Sideshow Mel: 973,000 hits
Dilbert: 16,182 people like this
Sideshow Mel: 0 people like this
Yes, if ’nuff is short for Nuffin!
Hitler: 25,300,000 hits
Louis Pasteur: 5,650,000
Five Brand Gum: 5,375,438 people like this
Cure for Cancer: 406 people like this
The judges did appreciate many of the MIT votes:
“Dilbert. He makes things, that work.” —Duncan
“Dilbert strives tirelessly against all of the clueless managers in the world and helps the rest of us nerds, tools, and grinds make it to Friday as well.” —Bill
“Dilbert, with no mouth on his face and a tie shaped like a parabola, obviously is a man whose actions speak louder than his words.” —C
But even MIT acknowledges the importance of the arts in society. Case in point—in the opening days of voting, Dilbert seemed to take an early lead thanks to MIT votes written in haiku:
thwarting pointy haired bosses
one snark at a time
Sideshow Mel might seem
erudite but he’s just Bob’s
A number of people pointed to fashion with Twitter’s draaawesome noting that “bone accessories are so 10,000 BC” only to be refuted by Mayra that “Bones are vintage! Vintage is in! (I work in retail).”
Both characters are able to lift the spirits of those around them. In this round, Sideshow Mel’s appeal had a slightly broader reach. As one voter said, “Dilbert’s ‘humor’ and ‘wit’ are confined to the walls of his office. His sarcastic comments, while sometimes a humorous anecdote of the office hierarchy, do nothing for society because 99% of society exists beyond his stale cubicle.”
Finally, in response to one voter’s assertion that since “the winner here will face Lex Luthor, we might as well skip this match and announce Lex an instant winner”:
There are no givens in the fictional alumni face-off. The judges are completely open-minded. Impress them with your logic and wit.
The week 3 match-up will be announced on Monday, October 10. Check this website as well as your respective Facebook page and Twitter for the big unveiling. It’s a good one—some people have even been calling for this battle.
Twitter hashtag: #MITCU
Cornell Facebook: http://on.fb.me/kOEvxp.
MIT Facebook: http://on.fb.me/w1qwP.