Monday, March 23, 2009

559 Guest Post: No Joke Intended

First off, everyone be sure to check out this blog's Exciting New Project, at XKCD: Could Be Better! that is where we are re-writing xkcd comics to be much, much funnier. check it out, e-mail me with any suggestions or comments or stuff.
the usual turd sandwich with a side of shit
Now - about this comic - Commenter Dan got real mad about this comic and e-mailed me about it! Dan is the wonderful human being who started the "xkcd sucks sucks" blog which is lovely. This post is on that blog too but he asked me to post it here and so here we are. DAN, everyone! My own thoughts are at the end.


It must be said that if trolling was the intention of this latest comic, then CONSIDER ME MOTHERFUCKING TROLL'D, RANDY, YOU FUCK.

In a suitably Carl-esque style, I want to relish ripping this one apart, piece by piece.

Well, well, well. As commentor luckykaa mentioned in the previous post: "Hell, why even bother drawing it? At best this is a twitter comment." and I could not agree more. The art is pretty unecessary, and it seems that Randall seems to think so too - just look at that 2nd panel.

Beret guy looks more like he's holding his head on than facepalming.

This, however, is what we've come to expect from Randall now, I won't carry on battering the drawings, because Carl does that plenty himself.

Overall message:
Randall is often made fun of in this blog for attempting to seem all "high and mighty", as it were, and until now, I've believed him to be innocent of this misdeed, but it seems clear to me now that his ego has gone too far this time. Frequent commentor poore noted the fact that the second panel is completely unecessary.
Unecessary as it may be, it shows us that Randall is now a fully-fledged wanker. I shall explain:

He EXPECTS people to be baffled hours later by his incorrect usage of "no pun intended" rather than just fleetingly bemused.

I mean, come on, if Beret guy was any average guy, after three hours, a nonsensical usage of "no pun intended" after a few impressive-sounding words would have faded entirely from memory. Randall seems to be having an "aren't I so clever!!" moment here, and not realizing that normal people have lives, and girlfriends and shit like that.

The Alt-Text:







Yes, this whole post is really just a build up to that rage about the alt-text.
So shoot me.

My own thoughts: The first thing I thought of was "The Producers" because this exact same thing happens there - a character (the director of 'Springtime for Hitler') adds "forgive the pun..." to one of his early lines, prompting confusion in the characters who hear it. Thomas pointed me to the far funnier pun-based screed from Maddox at the Best Page In The Universe. Also, the alt-text is stupid and not related to the comic; no one would actually care that much about a stupid pun, to all you forumites who are ending your posts with 'no pun intended!' or "I'm totally going to do this now...NO PUN INTENDED!!" you are all huge douches, and lastly, like all 'My Hobby' comics, you could change it to "My Hobby: Being Annoying" and it would not be very different.)


  1. Sorry, I checked three dictionaries, and none of them agreed with you about "dammit."



    American Heritage

    None record "damnit" as a real word, but all have "dammit." Of course "damn it" is a fine phrase, but "damnit" isn't a contraction of it, it's just forgetting a space (just like "noone" isn't a contraction of "no one").

    You can rage if you want, but the people who actually document the language disagree with you, not just Randall.

    Of course, this doesn't make the comic better.

  2. you are just letting Randall-Troll win! we can NOT argue about this, it doesn't matter, fighting over the spelling of "Damn" + "It" is just what he wants...

  3. Dan, I'm going to disagree with you here. "Damn it" is two words. You cannot combine them into one word. "Damnit" is just wrong.

  4. I figured beret was meant to be holding his chin / stroking his beard in thought, rather than facepalming, but whatever causes your boat to float.

    I mean, also, if a pun isn't apparent within about thirty seconds thought, there was a problem with delivery, and I'd ask for an explanation? If you're willing to continue to riddle out the pun yourself instead of asking for clarification, maybe you are the kind of guy who'll obsess about it for three hours.

    I want to make a pun and write "no pun intended", but that might not be "ironic" so much as "stupid".

    Until I looked at this captcha I didn't realize how hungry I was for a carnetri.

  5. Okay I am feeling left out because I liked this one sort of.

    But sorry Dan, I also disagree about "dammit." Basically as dolio said... etc etc.

    Anyway now I am thinking I did not like the comic. Damn my flaky tastes.

    Carl, about the xkcd: could be better! blog, how will we know when you add a new "new comic"? Will you post over here as you add them?

  6. ha ha, amanda, I have NO IDEA.

    mmmmm well as it is, it's pretty easy to make them, so I'm doing it as soon as the comic comes out (yes, get your lithium battery fix over there right freakin now) but who knows. The more complicated ones will take some more time.

    honestly i'm pretty sure i'm going to have to get someone else to manage that site before too long.

  7. Hahah. Well all right, I wouldn't mind helping manage, I'd just need to know how you'd wanna keep it up I guess. Maybe a new post on the actual site to say "new comic added here" and link to some backdated post? Like you do with the recurring xkcd themes?

    Sorry to bring up problems lol I don't mean to be so negative!

    CAPTCHA: buriewor, which sounds an awful lot like "worrywart." Which is me! Apparently.

  8. Yeah, "dammit" is in fact how "dammit" is spelled. Which is actually why the alt text annoys me. Randall actually thinks he's especially smart for knowing how to spell "dammit"? Anybody who reads books in English knows how to spell "dammit," dammit. Anybody with an English dictionary can find out how to spell dammit, dammit! If Randall's going to be condescending (and I suppose he is), he should go back to obscure computer coding references, instead of insulting his readers with spelling.

  9. Your argument is that Blink 182 isn't a reliable source? Isn't that a ridiculous strawman... there are only hundreds of other sources that verify it.

    Of course you're trying to be humorous, but it fails in that regard too.

  10. I just wanted to tell Dan that his second example of Carl tearing apart the art was actually a post by Rob. Sadly I don't have time to read the rest of the post right now :(

  11. Wow! Name-checked after my first ever comment here. I feel honoured:)

    Honestly, I think this one is based on a potentially funny idea but the execution is lacking.

    All the humour is in the first panel, and it's just not interesting enough for it to be a joke. The second panel just exists to explain the joke. the fact that this is needed (and it really is needed) suggests that the joke isn't very good in the first place.

  12. Didn't beret guy used to be some huge badass hacker-on-steroids? Why does he give a shit about the stupid pun, or about the unseen third party's girlfriend.

  13. Did anybody actually look at the links dolio posted? Wiktionary says that dammit is and incorrect contraction for damn+it, and that damnit is a misspelling of the incorrect contraction.

    Let's try this analogy:
    dammit:ain't::damnit:ai not

    Dammit ain't exactly something you'd use in formal speech, but if you want to appear quasi-literate, go for it. If you want to look like an asshole who's picking on the quasi-literate, go for damnit.

  14. Okay, it's a pet peeve of mine when people comment early on future material, but I just HAD to say something about today's comic: so, Randall was a little kid back when pacemakers came out and is an old man now? I don't see what stops him from buying a $10 cheap helicopter now and still enjoy a pacemaker later on in life.

  15. As far as the current comic goes, it's an awkwardly told joke that even if timed effectively, wouldn't be that funny.

    Sepia: Click the "dammit" link on Wiktionary, and you'll see "unacceptable" nowhere on the page. Make sure you do the research before berating us for not doing the research.

    fluffy: Not to mention he could have just namedropped Benjamin Button and have it be somewhat timely. I'm unfamiliar with any other notable examples of "those guys who age backwards". (I am willing to be educated on the subject, though)

  16. The only ones I can think of are Mork from Ork, and the LOL ZANY parallel universe in Ozy and Millie which I used to read for some reason (I stopped after one too many "DCSimpson has a shaving fetish" arcs).

  17. @Backwards Discussion: The Incarnation of Time from Peirs Anthony's "Incarnations of Immortality" exists backwards in time and therefore ages backwards. Though he also controls all time and can therefore reverse or stop this effect at will and as such wouldn't really worry about what time things happen.

    @this comic: fuck you, Randall. Someone should change "My Hobby" to "My attempts to emulate Black Hat Guy, one of my own characters."

  18. "He EXPECTS people to be baffled hours later by his incorrect usage of "no pun intended" rather than just fleetingly bemused."

    Yes. Yes, he EXPECTS people to be baffled hours later by his incorrect useage of that phrase, just like he ACTUALLY glues captions to cats and stands in the produce aisle with a bottle of KY jelly and jumps through windows when he sees cute girls quoting firefly and so on.

    You are fucking delusional. Fucking. Delusional. You may as well say that Bill Watterson was an arrogant fucktard because Hobbes was always spouting wisdom so CLEARLY it was an author stand in.

    The joke here is that some people are extremely gullible to particular things that most people would shrug off. Like literature majors who fancy themselves poets. The ones who are really into it, and wear beanies- you know, like the guy in the comic.

  19. Oh man, I'm getting raped.

    I'm still clinging on to "damnit" but now, the more I look at it, the more "dammit" looks more right :(

    But, can we all agree that "dammit" is LOGICALLY wrong, whether it's widely accepted or not?
    It came to be spelled phonetically, which i one of those things that bugs me.

    Lint: Well, shit. Didn't really check that one. (This post was written at an ungodly hour)

    If I e-mail Carl my rage again, I shall ensure it is better researched, and much funnier. Forgive me, xkcdsucksians, I was blinded by my ungodly rage.

  20. Whodunit: The problem with your analogy is that Hobbes was a fully developed character, with a distinct, mostly solid personality. This comic, however, only has "me" (my hobby). Randall has not established a narrator with any kind of distinguishing characteristics, so it's not unreasonable to think that "me" means the author.

  21. Just to be picky, I believe Beret Guy is supposed to be grasping his chin in thought, not facepalming.

  22. @Whodunit:

    Also, if you think that authors never use their characters to vicariously voice their own thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc., then I think you're the one who's *ahem* "fucking delusional".

    AND if you believe that Randall Munroe's Illustrated Blog never makes use of this technique, you're DOUBLY fucking deluded, as he often does the things the characters in his comic do in real life.

    That's what we call concrete evidence. And you're what we call an idiot.

    Thanks for playing, though.


    (P.S. - Yes, I know I should technically have an opening tag, so don't jump all over me about it. Using unopened tags for rhetorical effect at the end of a post is something that people on forums occasionally do, and I was reproducing that mode of communicative interaction here on the "Comments" page. DEAL WITH IT.)

  23. "But, can we all agree that "dammit" is LOGICALLY wrong, whether it's widely accepted or not?
    It came to be spelled phonetically, which i one of those things that bugs me."

    Wait... what? It's logically wrong to spell things the way they sound. I thought that we the point of an alphabet. Maybe, I just have a different outlook since I also know a language that is very regular in its connection between grapheme and phoneme (not perfectly though). I'm also a very auditory person and love the sound of my native language (and second too even if I'm not as good at pronouncing those sounds), so that could effect it.

  24. On the Alt-text - Kudos to Randall for the "dammit" Troll. He's managed to get us arguing and looking like idiots over something totally trivial.

  25. Get out of my head Randall!

    lol, god the past couple of comics have sucked (I would have liked the windmill comic sans the Gore line)

  26. *titters at the line "He's managed to get us arguing and looking like idiots over something totally trivial."*

    No, no, I'm gonna be a man and not make anything of it... erm... the current comic kinda sucks, but no-one's reported that it killed their children yet. Which is good.

    Also, I thought Beret Guy was just an idiot. He eats bolts, chrissakes.

  27. I don't think Randall can take that much credit for getting us to argue, considering some of the ridiculous debates which have happened here on their own volition (like the occasional "what is a comic?" thing that seems to keep on coming up).

  28. Out of curiosity, how many of you knew about this?

  29. Wow he owns more than one domain name and is able to point them all at a single site

    Truly he is far too brilliant for the likes of us

  30. Yeah he also likes to shove the fact that he knows about sex in our faces. Our down our throats. Problem was, the person who discovered it was all like OMG RANDALL EXCELLENT EXCELLENT MOVE ONCE AGAIN

  31. It's not even a very clever pun domain. There are lots of words and phrases which end in "us."

    Meanwhile, years after I registered it, I still get compliments on my silly domain name ( that I now use for most of my creative output.

  32. That might be the most forced domain pun that I've ever seen. Pretty much par for the course for Randall.

  33. @Ian

    That's the template from the "xkcd could be better" blog without that line, or the redundant one about Tripods/War of the Worlds. The idea is that you add your own text, but I think it works perfectly left as it is.

    @lots of others - I guess stirring up arguments here is kinda shooting fish in a barrel...

  34. But it turns out that when you shoot fish in a barrel, it's not the bullets that kill them, it's the shockwave from the bullets impacting on the surface. Clearly that expression is flawed!

  35. @Poore: Comics that regard things Randall does in real life are rather straightforward about such things: like the recent one where it states flat out that "I still have this dream years after I'm done with school." If not there, then it's stated in the alt text, like the comic you linked.

    The difference is, where any reasonable person would say "no, I doubt Randall would actually sit around and fuck with baby ducks, or that he really wishes there was a girl hiding in his etch-a-sketch," you knuckle-dragging fucktards go for this as your first conclusion, because you operate from the base assumption that Randall is a puppy raping pedophile from the planet Mars. Thus, anything, anything in the comic that could possibly be used to slander him is interpreted in that light, and then you tell other people to disprove your entirely slanderous bullshit claims, offering as proof only the fact that sometimes Randall tells Real Life stories in his comic, so any outlandish shit you wish to attribute directly to him, you can.

    You are so full of shit it's unreal.

  36. fluffy! Your bizzy buzzy site is creative! And cute! And not just a random thing like "haw haw I do know about sex and look it is a nerdy site!"

    Whodunit, you are so weirdly angry that I don't really know how to regard you.

    Okay the thing about this most recent one is that yeah, probably Randall has not done this in real life. I mean you're saying he's only ever done it if he explicitly says so, right? Well it does kinda say "MY HOBBY" but in the case that he is just imagining this, the problem is that he still thinks that, when he imagines this scenario, that whoever he does this to will indeed think about what he's saying for three hours! Do you see what I'm getting at? Like the cat captions, okay obviously that is not real. He is also not mailing cats. But he is imagining what would happen if he did! And in this case he is also expecting his cleverness to keep someone confused for three hours rather than cause a simple "huh well you are an idiot because there was no pun."

    You are right, though, I do assume that Randal rapes puppies from Mars. Doesn't everyone that criticizes him? If not, my world has come crumbling down!

  37. Oh man, there was a fucktard and I wasn't paying attention to the comment threads for once! WHODUNIT I HOPE YOU ARE NOT GONE YET I WANT TO MAKE HUGS WITH YOU

    Okay so, let me tell you a fun fact! Yesterday I had someone tell me, perhaps hoping to earn my approval (despite being an XKCD SUCKS blogger but okay!) that he had 'totally gotten someone with the No Pun Intended thing from XKCD.' And it confused the person right enough! But not for terribly long.

    The point is not that I have a friend who thinks strange things about what I will approve of, however. It is that real people can do this easily! They can do it easily without any real effort, without being clever, and without alienating their friends.

    Let me tell you another story! I write a fiction blog. While the characters presented are fictional, it is still reasonable to expect that when I write about something that one of the characters might think is cool, that I, also, endorse that thing. Indeed, the author is always present in his works. If there is a wise character, it is safe to assume the author thinks that character wise. If a character is meant to be clever, it is safe to assume the author thinks him clever. In something so bereft of characterization as XKCD, it is fairly reasonable to assume that, unless someone is clearly a different character, Randy is talking about himself when he uses the first person. He does not just write a comic, he writes about things he thinks are funny or cool or clever.

    And violating Gricean maxims is the sort of harmless fun a lot of people do, especially me. It's hardly a stretch to assume Randy does this himself, and imagined a scenario where this thing is so clever people think about it for three hours.

    It's not that clever, nor original. It's a very, very easy mental hack, because of Gricean maxims: be truthful, be relevant, be clear, don't say any more or less than is necessary. This joke hinges on violating the maxim of quality. (Incidentally, Grice himself found the violating of these maxims interesting, so it's not new in any sense of the word.)

    It doesn't take too long for someone to figure out that you are violating a maxim, either intentionally or unintentionally. The problem here is not that Randy thinks that he, personally, is likely to baffle people for three hours, but that he thinks he can come up with a 'clever hack' that would baffle someone for three hours.

    Also Whodunit! You are an idiot and suck at everything, ever.

  38. Lol. He clearly is holding his face, not facepalming. Makes you look pretty stupid.

    And your insane inferences that he actually does these things in real life- has no bearing on how funny the comic is... so FTF for you.


    In "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd"


    it's the nSaPrOrIaLtEoRr what done it. Not Agatha Christie.

    Not saying Randall is as good at writing as Agatha Christie (not that I've read any of her work - I got halfway through 'The ABC Murders' before getting distracted). But hey. Make of that what you will, or won't.

  40. To be honest?
    I'd think the realization would be it suddenly hitting your brain - I will, often, hear something weird and it won't immediately make me go 'Wha?' until hours later.
    That was my take on it, anyway.

  41. Hours-later cuddlefish: No, it's a Gricean maxim thing. 'No pun intended' is used to draw attention to a pun, so people will immediately try to find it (and, obviously, fail). Then, depending on how much they believe you, they'll either be deeply confused for a moment, assume you're an idiot, or assume you're messing with them.

    But that sort of confusion is not likely to last for more than a minute or so, and that is assuming you are masterful at playing them for all it's worth. It goes like this.

    FREDERICK: "Oh yeah, they broke up about a month ago--no pun intended."
    JOSEPHINE: "Huh? What's the pun?" JOSEPHINE tries to work it out. "I don't get it."
    FREDERICK: "Come on, do I have to spell it out for you? Month?"
    JOSEPHINE: "...yes, yes you do."
    FREDERICK: "Well, too bad."
    JOSEPHINE: "Whatever." JOSEPHINE figures that FREDERICK is either an idiot or a douchebag, and leaves it be.


    FREDERICK: "Well, too bad."
    JOSEPHINE: "No, tell me!"
    FREDERICK: "Nope."
    JOSEPHINE drops it, assuming it is a pun based on some obscure fact she doesn't know and that FREDERICK is too much of an arrogant bastard to admit that his joke was too obscure or idiotic to be effective.

  42. oh, just shut up. you're not funny anymore, carl

  43. Anon who the hell are you talking to? This is pretty clearly titled "Guest Post"...