Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Comic 541: DisinviTED

boooooo
Today's comic gets put in that pile of sadness that I will call "Yes, Randall, it was funny the first time." You see, there is only so much humor to be twisted out of the concept "Randall Says Something Stupid In Front of Important People, And Gets In Trouble For It." We saw it when he got himself kicked out of cryptography conferences. We saw it when he showed us random powerpoint slides (and before you say he didn't get in trouble for that one: read the alt-text). We saw him get his math licsense revoked. And now we see...the same thing. For those of you who think that Randall really isn't out of ideas, can this please be the last straw? Please?

There are, I suppose, two minor, mini-jokes in this comic, neither of which is good. One is the point of his talk, the emoticon-in-parentheses-problem, which is not that funny an issue to talk about, and anyway you're not the first to think of it, sorry. (Thanks, forums!) The other one is the line about being kicked out of furry conventions, which rather than make me laugh made me just wonder, yet again, why the furry obsession, Randall?

Other thoughts: We know you got to talk to the google people once, please stop imagining yourself as even more important. Also, do TED talks count as an internet meme? You never hear about them anywhere else, do you? Alt-text: Wow, a your-mom joke and a three year old pluto joke. You win the shit prize, alt-text.


Update: I am profoundly disappointed that in 195 forum posts, only one person had the decency to point out that we've seen all this before. To the rest of you, who spent 194 posts debating the emoticon-parenthesis question: you are only deceiving yourselves!

Later Update: Come to think of it, does today's comic remind anyone of anything? Say, a recent guest comic over at Pictures for Sad Children?

waaaay later update: Kurt points out this SMBC from 2005. You just try and tell me this idea isn't old.

39 comments:

  1. LOL, CONFERENCES

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wish the conference jokes would just sit on said conferences' homepages where relevant visitors could get a chuckle out of them, instead of on xkcd where his humor isn't subverting anything.

    I relate to Randall's drive to inject humor into situations where everyone's talking about business and being professional, but we're already at xkcd for the silliness. "I made this joke in front of a crowd" doesn't make the joke any funnier. Give us a video of doing/saying something unexpected! It would make up for all the unfulfilled fantasies.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Would even knowing what TED is add at all to the already weak humor?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I /knew/ there was something hugely familiar about the whole "harhar I gots myself kicked outta a conference that usually talks about serious things but HEY WHAT I TALKED ABOUT WAS SRS BZNS TOOOOOOO"

    Leave it to you and your knowledge of all xkcds (a.k.a. OhNoRobot?) to tell me why, hahah.

    Seriously, what is with the furry references? Perhaps there are some furry fanatics that are reading and go OMG XKCD MENTIONED MEEEEE I shall tell all my friends! WELL IF YOU ARE READING THIS, FURRIES, HE IS JUST USING YOU! Probably the next time he brings you up he'll throw in some Terminator reference as well. You will feel used, my friends, USED.

    Anyway. You can generally tell if a comic is bad when the forums are filled with comments of "OMG I WONDER THE SAME THING" or "OMG I DO THE SAME THING" or "GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDALL"... and every comment for this comic was /just/ that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, thank goodness Randall's back to writing self-satisfied shit! I was beginning to worry.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Amanda, I just want to say that I remembered ALL those other comics WITHOUT THE AID of any sort of robot! Though ohnorobot did get me the links.

    I've only read the first two pages of forum comments but so far no one has mentioned any of those comics...unfortunate.

    ReplyDelete
  7. lol sorry Carl. I never meant to insult your extensive xkcd-memory. =)

    Also when I say "forum" I tend to refer to LJ feed because I actually have never gone to the actual xkcd forum unless one of you links me. Alas, I don't think any of the LJers have recalled any of those comics, either.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You know, as weak as the humor was, at least he *attempted* to use the comic medium rather than just typing a bunch of text with a "my hobby"

    When I first read this, I got the strangest feeling that this was a reply to haters like us. Something seemed off: not only did he turn his joke into a comic, but he mentioned his name in a comic. Has he ever done that before?

    ReplyDelete
  9. OK, this one I ohnorobot'd. Yes, he has used his name - but not nearly as much as I would have thought. See also the alt-text on 477. We also have this and this.

    I can't say I felt like this comic was about haters, though. Closest we got on that front was I think 438, which there is a small chance was written around the time Randall learned about this blog, but was probably written a little bit earlier.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm going to go ahead a default to my incredibly inaccurate assertion that all things Randall does are simply cleverly disguised attempts to hide his own dark secrets, and thus his increasing number of furries references is due to the fact that HE IS SECRETLY A FURRY HIMSELF.

    Or perhaps the "girl" he is currently dating is a furry and he's trying to justify continuing their relationship even though his extreme cognitive dissonance about the whole thing continually manifests itself in his so-called "webcomic".

    P.S. - On a bizarre sidenote, one of my friends from New Hampshire apprently thinks that Duck Sauce is dark brown, not translucent orange. Is this a northern thing? DO NEW ENGLANDITES REALLY NOT KNOW WHAT DUCK SAUCE IS?

    Please help me, I am confused.

    ReplyDelete
  11. poore - I am from California and do not know what duck sauce is! That is probably not helpful, but good to know, I suppose.

    Carl, please tell us someday about how/when Randall found out about this blog. My curiosity is seriously eating me alive and my eye twitch gets a little worse every time I see that question in the FAQ (okay not really but I am hoping the exaggeration will appeal to some part of you that will pity me).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Seriously, Carl, about the incident with Randall and the finding out, it seems interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  13. oh well I am going to disappoint you then, as I don't know how he found out about it. I just know that he did, and that he does not particularly appreciate my work.

    ReplyDelete
  14. WAIT A MINUTE I just realized I am Chinese! I have definitely had that sauce before and it is derrishus!! But here we call it plum sauce. =)

    OKAY CARL at least tell us how you know that he knows and is unappreciative of your genius.

    ReplyDelete
  15. First off, I don't care how good duck sauce is, it's not as good as Duck Soup.

    I know that Randall knows about this site because he e-mailed me about it a while ago. I told him I wouldn't write too much about it though, which is why I haven't mentioned it. It wasn't really that interesting, to be honest.

    Now when I meet him in person, that will be fun.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dammit Carl and here I was thinking "man I hope it wasn't anything like Randy e-mailed Carl cuz then that would have to be confidential... nah Randy wouldn't confront someone criticizing his comic strip."

    BUT I WAS WRONG IN MY OPINION OF YOU RANDY.

    ReplyDelete
  17. With any luck, Randall just sent a tidy message like, "have fun being a dick about my creative expression," and we can continue judging both sites without worrying about authorial intentions/communications.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Waitaminute, you're keeping a promise you made to Randykins? Fuck that.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Carl.

    I <3 you for Duck Soup.

    I HAVE NEVER USED THAT TERRIBLE HEART EMOTICON BEFORE. I HOPE YOU REALIZE HOW MEANINGFUL IT IS.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It means exactly less than three!

    Oh man, I am such a clever fellow.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I don't care if he makes a hundred kicked-out-of-convention jokes as long as they're half-decent ones. I enjoyed the imaginary friends pun! Math puns are easy, but fun. The emoticon parentheses, not so funny. Furry references, also not funny anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Aww, a bad comic lined up with Carl's return.

    I was really hoping it'd be a good one so I could outline why your writing is funny when Rob's isn't.

    I sense conspiracy. TO THE HILLS.

    ReplyDelete
  23. the new conspiracy should be that I am really Randall in disguise, and Rob is secretly Carl Wheeler.

    PS Steve I can't tell if you are complimenting me or insulting me PLZ TO BE MORE OBVIOUS

    ReplyDelete
  24. Carl: I'll take you at your word that you're Mr. Wheeler, but I am prepared for the day that Randall pulls the blanket from what could be a massive experiment in reverse-trolling and is filled with satisfaction at having us eat from his hand.

    I'm also prepared to vandalize the Wikipedia version of said event, especially when it refers to "another display of heroics and charm from one of the funniest authors on the web."

    ReplyDelete
  25. I hate how Randall thinks he's important enough to talk at these kind of occasions; and _then_ have the audacity to insinuate that should he be invited to do so, he's so important he'd make a mockery of it by filling his speech with in-jokes and memes.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Stevie Wonder: go back to December and make your helpful outline, there were ample bad comics back then (around the xmasses).

    (ps HI)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Rory: You know, I wonder about that. I mean, I don't think Randy is actually a megalomaniac. But at the same time, does he really think he's TED talks important? Would he really make bad in-jokes and memes in it, even if it was about serious things? THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW.

    ReplyDelete
  28. RE: later update!!!

    Normally I'd be all like 'I'm sure it's just a coincidence' but given Randy's proclivity for cryptamnesia (or outright plagiarism) I'd give it a 'highly likely' he was inspired. Not that this really bothers me--I've written much more 'inspired' pieces before!--but I guess you could say he probably read it and accidentally stole the template without sounding crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wait Carl I have no idea how this is reminiscent of pfsc.

    Also did you ever do Hourly Comic Day? I did it, but ummm I got the day wrong and did it the day after. And since my day was quite boring I quit at like 4pm. Not a trooper.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Truth be told, I never quite understood your 'Randall stole from Penny Arcade' argument, either. It's not like that map comic was a recent PA, and come on, no-one remembers every comic Gabe and Tycho have ever done. There's, like, ten billion of them.

    And 'stealing' jokes like that is very easy to do accidentally. Gabe acknowledges that (when Jon Stewart appeared to have stolen a Penny Arcade joke, Gabe pointed this out in the newspost and stated that he was not accusing Stewart of stealing). Really, the similarity is in the setup - map program gives strange directions - but the joke was different - the PA one was a sort of far-out stoned guy dialect, if I recall correctly, whereas the XKCD one was more mythical-questy.

    Also, why is the alt-text for your thumbnail the same as the actual comic alt-text? Is this a sign that xkcdsucks is... running out of ideas? (GASPS)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anyone else think he might be referring to the whole thing about Bill Gates releasing mosquitoes into the audience at TED recently?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Amanda: I did not do it. I was all ready to and then my computer died for a while and I got busy and stopped reading the hourly comics (I'll go back and read them soon) and wasn't sure how I could scan them in anyway. Anyway, my 2/1 turned out to be really, really boring so we're all better off that way.

    DoubleBlackbird: As I recall, I gave Randy the benefit of the doubt on the penny arcade thing - all I asked for, as you say, was an acknowledgement (and just so you know, I asked Randy for one in our brief e-mail correspondence and was DENIED). As to the alt-text, that would be due more to my forgetfulness than anything else. As you may know, I love alt-texts and if I made a webcomic it would entirely be so that I could write more of them.

    One thing I won't fault Randy for on this one is imagining himself at TED - I don't think he's seriously suggesting that he deserves to be there (in fact, I think he's saying he would be seriously underqualified for it) and we all like to imagine ourselves in unlikely situations. Me and Randy on a panel together at some comic convention is one situation I think about sometimes...

    ReplyDelete
  33. I say Carl's parody img title attribute wins the comedy gold prize.

    ReplyDelete
  34. thank double blackbird for reminding me to write it.

    also, thank you

    ReplyDelete
  35. OK, OK, people, normally I agree with you but this is just stupid. Either Randall's copying his own jokes or copying Pictures For Sad Children. It CANNOT be both. It's logically impossible.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ok, I'm not an expert in writing comics buuut...
    1. Seriously? One can't write about adding things to lists because it's copying absolutely every other similar joke? I mean, it's a pretty common one.
    2. Copying himself? It is not like the "My hobby" series? I mean, not really a copy but just like an on-going theme?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey whendja change the title of the page?

    Agreed with cow_2001!

    Ramsey, I think he's just saying that the similarity to pfsc is the list business. The actual idea (like of the conference and the emoticons) is Randy's,though. In other words, if he were indeed copying that guest comic, then that means Old Randy probably would have just drawn the first four panels and then had the alt text read: "this is why I'm banned from so and so many conferences, not including some from around the world too!"

    ReplyDelete
  38. Regardless of specific complaints about minor similarities to past jokes, or reuse of past themes, this comic was not funny. It was lame. It was an impotent rehash of a tired semi-meme within the xkcd universe. Reading this comic was like watching Jerry Seinfield do stand-up and having some idiot in the crowd ask him to do specific jokes ("Do the cottonball joke!") and Jerry sort of sighs to himself and goes through the motions, but his heart isn't really in it. Not only is it not funny (except to the vapid lemmings who will laugh at anything their particular idol produces), it's also kind of depressing.

    ReplyDelete