ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)



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Entertainment Media Analysis Report

Dilbert (1/25/99) TV-PG
CAP Score: 45, CAP ID: 1.83

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

Executive Summary / Commentary
Findings / Scoring

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NOTE: This analysis is going to separate the so-so readers from the true-blue readers. Please bear with me and let me "defend" the CAP analysis methodology for a couple paragraphs before you read the analysis.

For three years I resisted applying the CAP analysis model to animated features. Then several readers and some of our Board members strongly suggested that I try it. I did. After four animated features confidence was high that the CAP analysis model worked as well for animated features as it did for movies with live actors and photography as long as the assumption was made that anything a cartoon character said or did that could be duplicated by a human was equivalent in influence. With that assurance, I took another plunge with Dilbert (1/25/99). The results are alarming to say the least.

Understand that the CAP model incorporates running time (as well as several other factors) because ten examples of ignominy in one hour will have stronger impact than if the same ten examples are presented over two hours. Most movies are at least 90 minutes, many are over two hours. Dilbert was only 20.75 minutes of actual running time. Thus the final score of a short feature is more sensitive to each example of ignominy. The accuracy is not compromised. Dilbert of January 25, 1999 deserved its score.


"Dilbert (1/25/99) -- and his glutei maximi. Plus a boy's glutei maximi. Plus adult underwear. Plus a man in a shower and with only a towel wrapped around him. Yes, full rear nudity of Dilbert and of one of his bosses as an adolescent, just like Homer Simpson. Also, the top of Dilbert's glutei maximi fissure was broadcast for your family viewing enjoyment. Some more "quality family-hour" programming included theft, looting, arson, gunfire, and a gunfire injury with blood. There were lies to deflect accountability, sensual necking (twice), death by poisoning, reference to male gender-specific anatomy, and dead bodies strewn on a city street. And, to top it off, was "A mouse pad [is] feminine protection for mice."

FINDINGS / SCORING: Dilbert (1/25/99) CAP Thermometers

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) lost intermediate level points four times due to street strewn with dead bodies, a sequence of theft / looting / mayhem / fire / gunfire / gunfire injury with blood, and arson. Wanton Violence/Crime lost no maximum level points level points.

Impudence/Hate (I)(1) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Sex/Homosexuality (S) lost intermediate level points twice due to scenes of group multiple adult underwear and group multiple suggested nudity. Sex/Homosexuality lost no maximum level points.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Offense to God (O)(2) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Murder/Suicide (M)(3) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Other examples of entertainment ignominy, each warranting the loss of the minimum point level, included

  • "...out of a chicken's ----."
  • full rear male nudity (twice)
  • a man in a shower
  • partial nudity with the top of the glutei fissure showing
  • portrayal of evolution with Dilbert as a link in the chain
  • hair on fire
  • lies to deflect accountability
  • giving souls to the company with a shelf of many "souls" in jars
  • death by poisoning
  • blase talk of product killing many people
  • sexual innuendo/reference (mouse pad = feminine protection for mice)
  • cheating
  • sensual necking (twice)
  • threats of violence
  • reference to male gender-specific anatomy
  • exposing others to nudity
  • general nihilistic and bickering theme

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain, whether literal or euphemistic.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Presentation of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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