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Calling something mainstream is not the same as calling something passe. "Passe" usually refers to some inconsequential piece of BS that has fallen out of favour with a bunch of shallow morons. If something has GENUINELY become passe it was inevitably not worth a damn in the first place - "anachronistic" "outmoded" etc, these words refer to things that once had actual merit.
Interestingly, perfectly good quality ideas/modes/genres etc are also inevitably labelled "passe" by these same posing dilletantes. e.g. command-line interfaces, Joe Satriani, Jean-Michel Jarre, socialist politics etc etc These are the people who have decided that Phil Collins and Paul McCartney are "bland", while going out and buying Toploader records. They deserve to be executed.
But I digress..
"Mainstream" simply describes something that has gained mass acceptance. This is not necessarily a pejorative term (although the "mass" are usually heavily influenced by the "passe" form of non- critiquing). In the case of Dilbert, however, I feel that it is. If you think about the fact that all Dilbert's co-workers are inept/corrupt etc, the fact that the "mass" identifies with him must mean that some of his readers are mistaken. Either that, or their workplace is exactly like Dilbert's except for the fact that it is ENTIRELY staffed by Dilberts. The strip purports to be an in-joke - this notion is at the root of much of its humour. Trouble is, in-jokes don't go mainstream, if that is what they are. I refer the reader to the following pages for a more thoroughgoing analysis of the situation. If nothing else, one should be given pause by the fact that "pointy-haired" types love Dilbert as just much as the oppressed workers he supposedly represents. If everybody gets a joke, maybe its on all of them. Go figure..