Thursday, February 19, 2009

Comic 545: [[humor needed]]


xkcd sure has squeezed a lot of pathetic humor out of wikipedia. Ha ha, wikipedia has useful articles on everything! Ha ha, wikipedia sometimes has too many details and also is written by nerds! Wikipedia can be distracting (ha ha?)! Ha ha, a passive agressive way of challenging facts? I don't quite get what the point is on that last one (fun fact: this was one of the first few xkcd comics I read).

That last one, of course, is basically the exact same drawing as the new comic, and I have to assume it was a deliberate reference. The question is...why? Yeah they are both about wikipedia but, you know, a reference is usually meant to comment on the originial - this is just "GUYS i thought of another wikipedia joke hey hey remember that other one I once made? That one was pretty ok, yeah?"

OF COURSE you can make articles that wikipedia can't cover neutrally! Anything self-referential, like this little plan, is going to be problematic. Its article about itself, for example. The article about Jimmy Wales, which argues about whether he is the founder or co-founder of the site. The article about how to edit wikipedia.

OH ALSO wikipedia has some standards about what kinds of articles get made and sorry Mr. Hat but you sure as fuck do not qualify. Warren Buffet gave away $30 billion and that got one paragraph in his biography page. Not its own article. It got 89 words by my count; at that rate Mr. Hat's pathetic little million dollar donation would generate an article that was a whopping 0.0029666 words WOO HOO plus hey that's not even or odd so FUCK YOU MR. HAT.


You know who made good jokes about wikipedia? You will not be surprised to know that the answer is The Onion. Jokes about how nerds take it too seriously? Check. Jokes about how it's unreliable? Check. Too obsessed with popular culture? Why, check! Besides, Wikipedia itself is a great source of humor - I am continually amused by my favorite WP page ever, List of Fictional Ducks.

This whole comic is just dumb in every way, from concept to execution, from the art to yet another "here, i'll just rephrase my joke" alt-text.

If only I could edit xkcd to improve its quality...

update: Commentors respond with even more far-higher-quality-than-xkcd sources of Wikipedia based humor:
-Stephen Colbert
-Dino saur comics!
-Another, non-Dinosaur comics thing that Ryan North did!


  1. I interpreted [citation needed] one as a commentary on politics, like, "what if politicians were held to the same standards as Wikipedia?" With a touch of "oh, those crazy Wikipedians." I always liked that one.

    This one on the other hand, uh... Zzz. I have nothing to say.

  2. Um no Mr. Hat, it's more likely that nobody will write an article about "this event" than people writing about it for the sake of chronicling. Is it an event that Mr. Hat lowered himself to the public level and spoke directly to everyone? Will the article include the brick thrown at Lord Hattington?

    Boo-ooring, I'll go read about fictional ducks now :)

  3. Oh man Carl I read this xkcd and I was SO EXCITED to read your post and you did not disappoint. I like how you link to funnier things and now off I go to release the laughter that xkcd did not let me.. laugh? Okay I botched that one pretty badly.

    Agreed with Jay.

    Regarding Mr. Hat and that he's "based on Aram," Mr. Hat has NOTHING on Aram! The only similarity is that he wears a hat too and is pretty malicious (or at least used to be). Randy you need to get better at using Men in Hats. Seriously, if Randy had never said anything about Aram and I'd been reading both comics, I probably would not have noticed any sort of similarity. ESPECIALLY with this latest comic. I probably would have thought, "Oh hey he wears a hat too but he is SO MUCH LAMER than Aram there must be no relation."

  4. I would say Stephen Colbert and his legions of fans take the cake for Wikipedia humor. When it came to pass that "I Am America (And So Can You!)" the audiobook did not win a grammy, the Best Spoken Word award page on Wikipedia went apeshit: Every year from 2009 to somewhere in the 2700's was filled in as going to "I Am America", except for year 2103, wherein Colbert abolished all other competitors upon his ascension to the throne of Ruler of the Universe (You see, had had devised a way to live for "over 9000 years") - that award went to his audiobook regarding the conquest.

    Attempting to find other ways to award Colbert's book, the content of An Inconvenient Truth's book page was replaced with that of "I Am America"'s page. Other books started being converted as well, and the original "I Am America" page was appended as having won the award, rather than having been merely nominated.

    Furthermore, Dinosaur Comics, with its Fictional Jimbo Wales and Dudes Already Know About Chickens, has done some other great stuff that completely outclasses xkcd's Wikipedia humor.

  5. Well at least a few of them have necks in this one...

  6. I should probably provide a link as evidence. Comedy gold alert!

    Perhaps the funniest bit is that the page has a chronological history of the renaming of the award. For a while it was appended:
    "From 1997 to 2008 it was awarded as Best Spoken Word Album.
    Since then it has been awarded as Best Stephen Colbert Album"

  7. Well, he's going to give the money to pro-choice activists, definitely, 'cause the word count for this event will be a nice, even 0.

  8. My roommate is trying to say this would be an interesting thing to do in game theory. No, roommate. No it wouldn't. It'd be a very simple thing.

    It also doesn't make it clever.

  9. Game theory? More like lame theory! Am I right, guys? Guys?

  10. Oh man I totally forgot all of Stephen Colbert's 'Wikiality' humor and Fictional Jimbo Wales from Mr. Ryan North. I should add those to the post.

    Just so you know, Randy admits that Mr. Hat is based off Aram: "The black hat symbolizes [being an asshole] for me because Aram from the now ended webcomic Men in Hats also wore a hat." --Wikinews Interview

  11. Wait Carl I know he's based off Aram. I'm just saying Randy did a terrible job of it. I'm wanting to make a Simpsons-->Family Guy comparison here but I'm not witty enough to make a sensical one.

    And Cuddlyfish, yay they have SO MUCH NECK that that one girl's is actually POKING THROUGH HER HEAD! Jesus Christ you think he would have some sort of eraser or something.

  12. I didn't read 'this event' as to mean just 'Black Hat will give away a million'. There could be any kind of event going on since there is a big audience there and Black Hat would be more likely to hijack an audience than create one of his own. Plus all the reasons for why a articel 'Black Hat will give away a million' would never be allowed on wikipedia, as mentioned in the blog.

    I could be wrong, though.

  13. I kind of loved this comic. I am a shitty xkcdsucks commentator.

    Today's,the DRM one, was terrible though. Self reference fail.

  14. Another example of Randalls ego. He now thinks a single comic is worthy of its own Wikipedia article, despite Wikipedia's ridiculous notability rules.

  15. I'm disappointed.

    I kept checking this blog in the hopes that it would criticise the crowd drawing.

    Mr Munroe only draws stick figures for his characters. They don't even have facial features.
    Why he can't draw a decent looking crowd in a one panel comic, I do not know.

    I was actually enraged. He can't even take the time to draw more than one stick figure properly.

  16. True. I guess when I looked at it I was mostly just comparing the art to Wikipedian Protester.

    While we're at it - it's not a big deal but why is the "Trivia" text blurrier than the rest of the comic? Or if it's not blurry, why is it grayer?

  17. I didn't think that this one was THAT bad, probably because I sat through to may intarnetz abortion arguments.


  19. Enraged Cuddlefish, I think what our good friend Randy was going for here was the "blurred" effect of a crowd. That doesn't excuse his shittastic drawing but I think that's what he was trying for. Also if you are looking for complaints about his drawing I am always here. *cuddles*

  20. This comic was alright, actually. Not bad. BUT, READ ON:

    I went to the forums on a quest for ducklooping, and man, they didn't disappoint!


    BTW ducklooping is when forumites do exactly what Randall does, or says. I am trying to get this to become a Meme such as what cuddlefish is, so I would appreciate your support in this. Please use this word as much as possible, but be aware: if you use it an even number of times, I will donate $5 to anti-Carl activists (I will hit him with a five-dollar wrench); if you use it an odd number of times, the money will go to pro-Carl activists (I will buy the wrench, but not hit him with it).

  21. DoubleBlackbird: No. That isn't how memes work, go away. You're no better than Randy when he pushes memes.

  22. Zero is an even number!

    *hits Carl*

  23. No, actually, upon thinking upon it it's even worse. Guess who started the whole d***l*** (HA HA WHAT NOW?) business? Randy. In an alt text. Mimicking other memes.

    So you're just carrying out Randy's goddamn wishes.

  24. Dammit DB, that fucking hurt. You and your stupid wrench-based shenanigans.

  25. It's finally been done, Carl. It's all over for you now:

  26. Dude, I will totally read that blog. As long as you don't overdo it with the e-slang. Every time I see the word lulz I want to vomit.


    oh i am so excited. Did you make this or do you know who did? I can give you the xkcdsuckssucks spelled right url if you want.

  28. Metahumor go go go!

  29. metahumour, no, no, no! It burns.

    As for the comic, this was actually one of the ones I liked, then again my tendency to slap people with the WP:NPOV stick on wikipedia may have something to do with that.

  30. I've registered xkcdsuckssuckssucks, xkdsuckssuckssux, xkcdsuckssuxsucks, and xkcdsuckssuxsux. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in any of these, Carl. (Or anyone else, really.)

  31. (Contrary to my previous comment, I believe I spelled "xkcd" correctly in all of them, although I'm pretty drunk so I can't be sure.)

  32. Enshoku, what is "the WP:NPOV stick"?

  33. It means "Wikipedia: Neutral Point of View" or some such and it's when you add a tag to the top of the page saying "woah guys this article is totally biased make it neutral." So being very familiar with it would mean that this xkcd hit much closer to home because it's dealing with a topic you deal with a lot.

    Don, I think I would like, and I will use it to defend my honor from your scurrilous attacks.

  34. The WP:NPOV stick is a magical legendary weapon one can only wield after doing 100 hours of clerical training on the wiki. Its allows you to deflect any edit made by an anonymoose IP if you find even the slightest bit of POV pushing. It also functions as a ban hammer in extreme cases.

  35. Ahhh. I am enlightened, thank you both.

    Also, Don, since you are drunk am I correct in assuming that you are in fact Dan from the xkcdsuckssux blog?

  36. Heh. No, I have no relation to Dan or xkcdsuckssux. As such, they are not my scurrilous attacks. =)

  37. Ah. Then based on the fact that I assumed incorrectly that you might be Dan because of the similar pronunciations of your names, I suppose I was also incorrect in assuming that "scurrilous" means "squirrelous." Perhaps I should make better use of the online dictionary.

  38. Actually, you were quite right about that latter assumption, Amanda.



    On an unrelated note, I can't wait to see what Carl has to say about the current xkcd. It's one of the most blatant recent examples of "HAY GUSY I'M RANDALL MUNROE AND I KNOW ABOUT THINGS ON THE INTERNET LOL," and of rehashing subjects that have been way overdone in previous xkcds, without even any semblance of a new joke.

  39. Well excuse me, Dan, I don't know what dictionary you use but mine tells me that "scurrilous" is an adjective used to describe things that are of or relating to squirrels! Proof: scur⋅ril⋅ous   /ˈskɜrələs, ˈskʌr-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [skur-uh-luhs, skuhr-] Show IPA Pronunciation

    –adjective 1. grossly or obscenely abusive: a scurrilous attack on the mayor.
    2. characterized by or using low buffoonery; coarsely jocular or derisive: a scurrilous jest.

    Tell me, have you never heard of a squirrel attack that is not grossly or obscenely abusive? Or low buffoonery that has not involved squirrels?

    I THINK NOT thank you

    I also am looking forward to Carl's post. I feel like it's another one of Randall's "oh man I am so great that I will claim to have started this movement and now I will take credit for it but I will not explicitly say any of this but you will feel my smugness pouring out of your computer screen"

  40. I've read quite a few xkcd strips that did not involve squirrels, thank you. =)