Monday, September 8, 2008

Comic 473: Still Raw

it's ok, nothing to see here you can't see on Comedy Central's End of 2006 special

There's really nothing wrong with this comic if you think about it totally on its own. I mean, most of me was expecting the last panel to be "true love is still possible in this world of sorrows" or some other lame unfunny shit that would make me, yet again, want to punch someone in the face. So that's good, at least this comic didn't move me to violence.

But ultimately all I can find myself thinking is "Ok, the pluto thing was 2006." Summer 2006 I believe. The facebook groups, the mock-serious newspaper editorials, the jokes, the altered textbooks, the thousands and thousands of cafepress shirts. I mean that's clearly the point - he says it's been two years and they still care about it. Which might be funny....if any of us still cared about it. Which we don't. Why not choose a more recent controversy (oh, I dunno, maybe Chrome vs. Firefox...) and make the joke "ha ha, these people care so much about this debate that they broke up over it" which is better, I think, than "ha ha, these people care so much that they are a) still talking about it and b) broke up over it" which is too far removed from reality to make me laugh.

It breaks down when you think about it - did they break up two years ago? In which case, why are is he bringing it up now? Or did they just break up, in which case what was going on for two years? A more civil debate of the issue?

And to the alt-text - "we actually divorced once over the airplane/treadmill argument" - how many times, exactly, has the couple gotten divorced?

Also, I just can't help but notice we have another end-of-relationship comic. I am starting to think something is wrong. It's been a while since there was an even remotely positive relationship comic and it's been four months if you don't count Mr. and Mrs. Hat exploding the other's car as positive. We've had maybe a dozen negative relationship comics in that time. I am worried.

update: Discussing, in the comments, whether the Pluto joke is too old, I realized that a long time ago, when xkcd was less desperate, it actually had a comic dealing with people who try to wring too much humor out of too-old memes:

All Your Base

Sometimes I wonder if Randall Munroe ever reads the archives of his comic, alone, and cries.


  1. It's a cheeky punchline at the end of what appears to be a fully understood situation. A bit outdated, perhaps, but this one feels close to the early strips, and I like it for that.

    The one after this? Oh, you thought Randall could mess up a science/romance combo before...

  2. Hey, you know what also sucks about this? It looks like the same panel copied and pasted three times, except more zoomed in, except for that one paper that is floating down. The fact that the lines get thicker is a dead give-away. If he had drawn the panel four times the lines would ahve the same thickness because you would draw the panels as zoomed in as needed. Why didn't he set the lines to maintain a constant thickness in illustrator? I'm guessing he doesn't know how or that is looks wrong in the most zoomed out view because there is too much detail for the standard line thickness.

    Is it really that hard to draw four panels of stick figures?

  3. Maybe... maybe he wanted it to look zoomed in? Maybe it's a new style or something?


    Maybe this is because I am largely isolated from most memes, but I don't feel like jokes necessarily have an expiration date. Also I did a presentation on how Pluto got the shaft. I had to present the presentation, even.

    Some jokes can still make a comeback. But there is definitely that risk with any topical humor of it becoming dated. This is why I am making fun of Sarah Palin's voice as much as I possibly can, because soon it will just be a horrible memory...

  4. Oh god, it's another boomerang comic.


    There is dissatisfaction in the latest xkcd forum thread!

    It's sad that I'm so excited about this.

  6. Thomas - I guess it's better than some recent ones but I really thought it was just boring. Oh well.

    Anon - looks like you're right. I zoomed in on it and every detail looks identical. If I were predisposed to like him, I would let it slide, but I'm not...

    Rob - I think it's pretty clear that some jokes stop being funny. The Office, actually, it great at finding pop culture jokes that are just a little too old and having Michael refer to them in an attempt to look cool. In fact, I think I once read a comic along those lines...

    Jay - just wait, my friend. Just wait.