Monday, March 2, 2009

Comic 550: This does indeed ruin my life

fuck me but this sucks
Today I am happy to say that frequent commenter poore has stepped up to the bat and will knock this ball of shit comic out of the park and into the cesspool in which it deserves to live. I have some thoughts at the end; as usual, interested guest-bloggers should e-mail me. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you....poore!

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Ok, as a former /b/tard and someone who has been called a "meme machine" on multiple occasions, I feel unusually qualified to comment on today's xkcd.

Let me first say that meme humor in general is difficult to replicate in ANY form other than its most common - forum threads. The simple reason for this is that much of the humor derived from memes is the real-time generation of the content, and the interplay between all the posters contributing to a given thread. Like a Tristan Tzara performance, a good jazz set, or Foxy Shazam, it's an experience you can't really appreciate until you get to see it live.

Once you translate the living, breathing concept of meme humor to a static medium such as a webcomic, you've already removed a large part of what makes this particular brand of humor special. That being said, static meme humor CAN be done well; it's difficult, but not impossible.

Actually, let me elaborate: it's not impossible for someone who takes the time to really analyze the nature of Internet humor and then dedicates a large span of time to carefully crafting a joke that fully utilizes the knowledge they've gained.

Randall Munroe is no such someone.

What Randall failed to realize is that just quoting memes is not funny. As it turns out, this fact is part of the genesis of the moniker "/b/tard". While there are a few truly brilliant comic minds lurking in the shadows of Anonymous, most of them are drooling idiots whose only method of communication is "Ctrl+c", "Ctrl+v" and whose pathetic brains are utterly incapable of generating anything vaguely resembling an original thought.

Randall - you just dove headlong into the midst of this pathetic, throbbing mass of humanity, and I (and most of your readers, I should hope) am left wondering,"why?" Is this some elaborate attempt at self-parody? Are you trying to be meta? Are you just throwing a bone to the /b/tards to buy their loyalty?

I suspect the latter, but I digress.

As I said before, just quoting memes at random is not that funny. However, Randall did try to spice it up a bit by making himself (err, the anonymous stick figure in this comic) bring up a bunch of random memes in an inappropriate situation. Unfortunately, quoting memes in inappropriate situations is only occasionally funny, typically when there's a high shock value. While bringing up random memes during sex might be kind of inappropriate, it comes off as more "wow, that guy's dumb" than "oh my god, did he REALLY just say that?"

Think of it this way: it's the difference between saying "So i herd u liek mudkips?" in the checkout line at the supermarket (which is just stupid and not all that funny), and yelling "That's what she said!" during a solemn silence at your grandmother's funeral.

If you want to really be funny with memes, you have to apply them in highly-appropriate, well-timed situations, but these opportunities very rarely present themselves, and even then it requires that everyone involved be familiar enough with the particular meme being referenced to understand why said meme is appropriate and well-timed in the current context in order for maximum humor saturation to occur.

Had Randall spent the time to craft such a situation, this comic could have been great. Instead, it's just retarded.

As a final note, why would messing up a single sexual encounter with a woman completely ruin your life? Do I detect a little bit of insecurity, Randall? Perhaps a sense that yet another failed relationship will cast doubt upon your sexual orientation? Have you just given me another piece of highly-speculative, grossly-misinterpreted piece of evidence for your latent homosexuality?

I THINK YOU HAVE, RANDALL. I THINK YOU HAVE.

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OH NOES PEOPLE poore used all caps at the end there! Attack! attack my loyal commentors, ATTACK!

I'll add just a few comments to the end here:

Part of the issue with the memes, as poore alluded to but didn't, I think, say explicitly, is that they work in conversation, as part of the interplay between people. Part of it is also that it is fun to try to twist a meme into new situations (think lolcats --> lolphilosophers, lolpresidents, lolinsects, etc). this is why I enjoyed rickrolling: people got really creative in terms of how and where and on what scale they tricked people into hearing that song (a meme from 4chan going all the way to a Mets game is freaking awesome).

Putting memes into a comic generally destroys both of those: The conversation is not present, of course, and also the artist can construct however many crazy situations he wants in order to work his meme of choice in. Clearly, this is what happened a few months ago. There's humor in taking the situation you are actually in and applying an outside idea to it; when you create the set up for your own hi-larious punchline, no one cares.

And it should go without saying, but I am just damn sick of meme comics in general. In addition to all the problems above, Randy just relies on them too damn much.

Also: Dammit randall, we know that you are trying to influence the culture of the internet. You told us at the end of the year that you wanted "yo dawg" and "accidentally ____" to be the New Hit Memes of 2009 so when you jam them into your comic two months later it just reads as transparent and pathetic. We know that you are a 4chan reader randy, but that doesn't make you cool no matter how much you think it does.

77 comments:

  1. OK, I totally agree with poore, but I want to point out that the basis of the comic is that Stick Figure Dude, through some devious means like poking a hole in the condom, forced his sperm upon a woman for the sole purpose of making a stupid joke. The "fucked up his life" part is that he's presuming that a) the woman will get pregnant from this encounter, and b) choose to keep the baby rather than just take a damned Plan B pill.

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  2. It also presumes that Stickman can't say something unless it is true. After all, what's stopping him from saying his damn meme sentence without actually being a jerk and getting her pregnant?

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  3. Brothers in arms! Well done.

    Somebody please edit "buy there loyalty." When I read it, it's like a single firework not going off among an arsenal.

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  4. the_cuddlefish (the all caps cuddlefish called "cuddlefish" from earlier)March 2, 2009 at 3:06 PM

    I have an official complaint, but unfortunately this is pretty much the only comic I can find that it doesn't apply to. But it's the most recent, so meh.

    It be this: it's irritating when the entire space to the left and right of the picture is taken up with a link to the comic. I keep accidentally clicking on them when I'm trying to move the mouse to see the alt-text.

    Anyway, back to calling everyone stupid I guess. GUYZ PUT ON EAGLES GREATEST HITS AND TAKE IT EASY GUYZ

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  5. Cuddle: This annoys me too but I think it's an inevitability with blogger. It wouldn't happen if I didn't center the image (either have it to the left or have it to the left and have the text start immediately next to it, rather than below it) but I like that formatting. I was able to fix it on the one post but I don't know how and I couldn't do it on the last one when I tried.

    if you know how to fix this on blogger to tell me.

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  6. Sarah, your criticisms are more valid than mine (even if he does get her pregnant, it won't necessarily ruin his life), but I promised that if I ever posted on this blog, I would be sure to call Randall a homosexual, and I keep my promises.

    thomas, I apologize for this grievous oversight - it will not happen again!

    Also, props to Carl for letting me post on his blog. You are a cool dude, Carl.

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  7. I have no idea what Carl and Cuddle are talking about, it is fine on my browser (IE) but YOU GUYS I am excited we have one more digg than usual! Am I the only one who always looks at the digg count?

    Anyway. poore today I am extra proud to be your Internet friend! You are indeed unusually qualified to post on this horrid comic.

    just quoting memes at random is not that funny

    That sums up the entire problem with Randy lately. It's like he's got memes-tourettes. And it is not funny, it is a tragic thing.

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  8. YOU SUCK BRING BACK CARL

    (good post actually but shh don't tellanyone)

    So, I feel like a lot of this goes back to what I have mentioned before about Randy. He comes up with his comics at 3 am at the IHOP, where it is a live interchange of words. Ever since his Valentine's Day Heist I've lost all faith that any of his comic ideas are original--maybe this was one of his 3 am conversations. I imagine it going something like this:

    "Man, that's the worst thing you could say to someone after/during sex." (This is, incidentally, the premise of a QC comic a long time ago. The winner was 'Happy birthday, Grandma!') So then they have a discussion. Someone (almost certainly not Randall, but maybe!) eventually throws out the line in the comic. Randall writes it down and is like 'GUYS I AM MAKING THIS A COMIC.'

    Except it just isn't funny anymore, because it was only funny in the moment.

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  9. Wahey! Awesome post poore, good work.

    I nearly giggled at this comic, it must be said, but then I actually read it. It would've been funnier with "I just accidentally your womb" (I know that sucks, but something along those lines)

    In fact, I know the perfect way to make this comic funnier.

    brb mspaint.

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  10. GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDALL

    (dan that is excellent)

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  11. I don't know whether or not to be really annoyed at the fact that this is one LONG ASS fucking complaint.
    Shit. Don't you have anything better to do?

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  12. Common misconception #1: writing these posts takes up a lot of time.
    Common misconception #2: most people do not have any sort of free time.

    Seriously, I can write one of these posts and still do other things, like write other things, do web design, watch movies, go out to drink some form of beverage and eat some form of comestible with some combination of my friends, while discussing various things. I mean, 'don't I have anything better to do?' Yes, but I am not so busy I don't have time to complain about XKCD at length!

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  13. What could be better than complaining about xkcd at length? That's what I want to know.

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  14. xkcd: A webcomic of raptors, Calvin & Hobbes, 4chan and Wikipedia.

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  15. wow this counterargument was way too drawn out. so much so that it actually makes me a little sick. you could have just pointed out that the comic was not funny... but no, instead about 2 pages of non funny counterarguments. this post is so bad it makes me want to start an xkcdsucks sucks blog.

    good day

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  16. @Carl, re: "After all, what's stopping him from saying his damn meme sentence without actually being a jerk and getting her pregnant?"

    BECAUSE IT IS FUNNIER IF HE IS SERIOUS!

    There is a time and place for radical doubt (what if we're all just frogs inside a pinata, man?)... but this is not one of them.

    You can't actually base criticism, even vicious invective, on the assumption that Randall is trying to make the comic unfunny. It's just not plausible. It breaks the goddamn suspension-of-disbelief that we have previously argued about.

    This is pretty much akin to asking, "Well, what if Citizen Kane is really a movie about an actor playing a newspaper mogul?" IT COMPLETELY MISSES THE POINT OF FICTION!

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  17. why do people think that they are being clever when they suggest an xkcdsuckssucks blog? it's been done, people!

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  18. Dear Randy: Just have your imaginary girlfriend get an abortion and stfu with the crappy comics.

    Nobody cares that you read 4chan.

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  19. poore ftw~

    also, carl, that blog is really, really sad. almost as sad as this comic.

    almost.

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  20. some of the readers of this blog would benefit from a little self-awareness

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  21. greg: Feel free to start up "xkcdsuckssuxsucks.blogspot.com"

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  22. i'd like to see you try...

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  23. I don't think this comic is as horrible as it's made out to be, but thats not to say it's good. I certaintly believe that an inherent flaw in this blog is that you're taking 10 paragraphs to explain why it's not a good comic, when all you need is a few sentences, and thats not your fault, if you only put up a few sentences it wouldn't be a good blog. but this means you really have to stretch your critique and you start nit picking at things that aren't necessarily there, such as the last paragraph of this post, something tells me randall didn't actually think back to or base this comic on his other "new hit meme's" comment.

    Now for this comic, i think it's not good for the same reason most of them aren't good, he's taking a half-baked or quickly produced joke that he probably thought up one night and trying to make a comic out of it. I bet he just sat somewhere and said "what if i used a lot of meme's in the same sentence" and he got a giggle at the sentence he produced, because it kind of makes sense and uses all the memes, and he try's to create context for something that isn't funny enough or solid enough to be a foundation for a comic.

    In short, he's lazy, and his jokes are coincidental. he's not good at creating context for jokes and that in itself isn't a good process for a webcomic.

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  24. "As a final note, why would messing up a single sexual encounter with a woman completely ruin your life?"

    Uh, because you might love her?

    Anyway, Poore, what's wrong with homosexuality...?

    "Dear Randy: Just have your imaginary girlfriend get an abortion."

    You do realise that some people are against that stuff? And also that it's somewhat a bigger problem if you can't trust your lover to do the right thing. I think you're underestimating how big a problem this could be depending on your SO.

    On Rickrolling:
    Rickrolling was a really pathetic meme. VERY seldom were 'RickRolls' actual rolls, most of them were just tricking people to hear the song. To actually qualify for being a rickroll it has to be a non-sequitur... It has to be "Oh yeah, you guys were talking about those brain stimulus experiments? Check out this video, it's pretty cool [RickRollLink]" or something similar. Not just "Hey this video is cool [RickRollLink]" or "Here is a remix I did [RickRollLink]"

    And then Pelosi killed off that last 1% that used it right when she destroyed the whole meme.

    Amanda:
    "just quoting memes at random is not that funny"

    I believe the idea is to cause a disconnect between what you expect and what you get. This is a fundamental tool of many jokes.

    Immanuel Kant (1790):
    "An Englishman at an Indian's table in Surat saw a bottle of ale being opened, and all the beer, turned to froth, rushed out. The Indian, by repeated exclamations, showed his great amazement. - Well, what's so amazing in that? asked the Englishman. - Oh, but I'm not amazed at its coming out, replied the Indian, but how you managed to get it all in. - This makes us laugh, and it gives us a hearty pleasure. This is not because, say, we think we are smarter than this ignorant man, nor are we laughing at anything else here that it is our liking and that we noticed through our understanding. It is rather that we had a tense expectation that suddenly vanished..."

    And:

    "Edward de Bono suggests that the mind is a pattern-matching machine, and that it works by recognizing stories and behaviour and putting them into familiar patterns. When a familiar connection is disrupted and an alternative unexpected new link is made in the brain via a different route than expected, then laughter occurs as the new connection is made."

    Memes are the ultimate pattern proliferation machine and they constantly evolve and are used in unexpected ways, this is what makes a lot of them funny. In this case, instead of just repeating the meme in an appropriately funny situation the joke is based in what we didn't expect.

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  25. Something I forgot to say: It would have been a better comic if he put the con up the top, before we read the sentence.

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  26. Cuddly-pie: I think maybe part of the problem is that Randy has done this setup before? Hence my comment that as soon as I saw them in bed I knew the joke would be bad. So maybe the "unexpectedness" of the situation is already ruined because Randy has done the hey-we're-in-bed-let-me-be-quirky bit before.

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  27. Why's everybody bitching about this one? I would have called this one among the better writeups XKCDSucks has done, there's definitely easier targets if you want to go after the writing. Not to mention this is probably the worst XKCD comic to date... coming from someone who still considers themselves a (heavily skeptical) fan of the comic.

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  28. Lovey-Dove: Except the joke wasn't that he was quirky in bed. In fact, "I am quirky in bed, look at me be quirky" isn't a joke at all. The "I'm quirky in bed" part is not what I was referring to when talking about the unexpected bit. I was referring to the incomplete memes linked together (which, if you've heard the memes enough, you expect to continue in full).

    Also 'know' is a bit too strong of a claim, don't get me started on that one... Lets just go with 'believed/expected the joke would be bad', that one is fine.

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  29. Man, the Cuddlefish are/is out in force here.

    Loved the dialogue between Adam and Carl in this comment thread.

    And also, thank you Adam.
    Over 9000 hours in mspaint.

    (OKAY NO MORE MEMES NOW)

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  30. Shouldn't you have paired that meme with your image, Dan?

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  31. I really should have but I accidentally the appropriate meme.



    ...GODDAMNIT.

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  32. Gotta say, though, I agree with whichever Cuddlefish called poore out on their being nothing wrong with homosexuality. 'Cause there isn't. (A lesson Randy also needs to learn again, so there you have it.)

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  33. "... highly-speculative, grossly-misinterpreted ..."

    It's like nobody reads anymore. =\

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  34. New thing to hate: whenever Randy does a meme comic, all the forums I frequent are suddenly filled with people spewing memes as if they're trying to get CREDIT for posting on an ANONYMOUS forum.

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  35. Gah, this comic is still pissing me off! Why, Randall, why! Please take some sort of adult-sex-education class, and not the one that involves learning how to pole dance!

    (Also, yeah, I don't know why xkcdsucks has to imply that people are closeted homosexuals all the time. I don't see why it makes a difference.)

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  36. What! I don't imply that. Poore did, but that was only because he promised us a while ago that he would. I don't think he means it seriously. It seems more like Randall is a closeted Super Awkward Heterosexual to me.

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  37. Yes, I did indeed promise to accuse Randall Munroe of being a homosexual if I ever posted to this blog, and I kept my promise. The origin of this promise came from an old comments thread and was meant to be a humorous misinterpretation of facts (a la Stephen Colbert).

    That being said, I never insulted homosexuals, or said it was a bad thing to be homosexual. Accusing someone of being secretly gay =/= gay bashing. It's an insult to the person for being in denial, not for being gay.

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  38. Tell that to the homophobes who read that and have their stereotypes reinforced.

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  39. ok.

    HEY! HOMOPHOBES! listen up, you!

    "Accusing someone of being secretly gay =/= gay bashing. It's an insult to the person for being in denial, not for being gay."

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  40. Also, homophobes, please continue using this site to reinforce the notion that xkcd sucks, but take most other notions, especially those found in the comments section, with a grain of salt.

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  41. Also homophobes: why are you so homophobic? Is there something you're not telling us? Been doing a little cruising in the Minneapolis airports?

    do you want a kiss

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  42. I suppose if you took my comment to mean, "Oh man, all homosexuals are like Randall Munroe," then I can see why it would be considered an insult.

    If any homosexuals are reading this and took it that way, I apologize. I am sure you are much cooler than Randall.

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  43. But, wait, poore! What if Randall is reading? In being much cooler than himself, we have created a paradox.

    I find your words dangerous and frightening.

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  44. Regarding the new comic:

    NEW FLASH, RANDALL! YOU CAN DRAW DIAGONALLY ON ETCH A SKETCH ARGH DAMMIT

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  45. Have you even ever used an etch-a-sketch? You can draw diagonally...

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  46. So. A 1,006 word post in order to say "this was just another meme comic."

    Thanks, Carl and poole. Man, what would I do without you guys to explain this stuff?

    As for "ruined life," anybody who actually knows all those memes in order to run them together has indeed wasted a large part of their life.

    This probably includes many of us.

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  47. Latest comic: I kind of thought that the second-to-last panel was depicting some kind of stick-figure clitoris or boob.

    That is all.

    Well, that, and HEY THERE IS COLOR

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  48. You counted, Demetrious? FOR SHAME.

    What would I ever do without you?

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  49. I suspected that the simple, (and stupid,) one-panel meme comic was going to have an incredibly excessive amount of text devoted to expressing the fact that it was a simple, stupid, meme comic.

    I was right. I copy and pasted it into MS word to do a word count (for the lulz, of course,) which took me about two seconds.

    Without me, you'd cry yourself to sleep and sadly remember the good times.

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  50. You're only being figurative about the 2 seconds, or do I need to fear you?

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  51. Demetrious you should add that to the list of complaints at xkcdsuckssucks!

    Also you misspelled poore's name, I do not believe he will be pleased.

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  52. Demetrisux: Okay, so that's about 500 words per writer, and both of them said different things--most of Poore's post was exploring the nature of meme humor and not talking about the comic, except tangentially (ie by saying 'Randall's comic does not fall under X category but rather Y.'

    Carl was also talking more about theory than the comic. (Incidentally I disagree: setting up your own elaborate punchline can be quite funny, but I'm not really going to go into that right now.)

    500 words, by the way, is about two pages double-spaced, which is not very long at all--a good length for a blog post is about 250 words, because that is short enough that everyone will read it.

    Perhaps you should go back and read it again, but I think you're not so much bad at reading comprehension as you are someone who thinks he's clever when he really isn't, and thought he could come up with a contrived way to make the intrepid bloggers of XKCD Sucks look pathetic.

    To be fair, the post was a little Poore-heavy. So let's call it 750 by Poore and 250 by Carl. That's still a reasonable length on both counts, especially since most of their posts consisted of theory, which one can elaborate on at great length.

    Consider, further, how much text is generated in the discussion about each post, which is mostly related to the comic--well in excess of a thousand words on a bad day--probably approaching more like 2000 on our least-commented posts. On threads like this one you're getting up to 4000+ words of text, all discussing comics which very frequently are one panel and have very little text.

    As any good student of literature will tell you, it's quite possible to write a great deal of text about something very small indeed--a single poem or even a single line from a play or novel can be the topic of several pages of analysis. There are a number of reasons for this. The first, and most obvious, is that language and art (even stick figure art) have nuance to them--between a word's denotative and connotative qualities, it packs a much greater information density than it appears on the surface. (Consider the amount of text that has been written on the four letters of 'love.') This is ignoring the interplay between multiple words--how their connotations and denotations overlap and play off one another.

    The second, related to the first, is that no text is an island. If I write a poem it becomes a part of the greater body of poetry; if I write a comic it becomes a part of the greater body of comics. So it is perfectly legitimate to compare my poems to the overall theory of poetry, to discuss why what I'm trying to do with metaphor doesn't work, and in what situations it might work, and why I didn't meet those criteria.

    In fact, I'd say it's not just legitimate--it's a natural and desirable part of human dialog. We speak at length about it not just because we care, but because we want to explore the realm of art with others who care--it allows art to become a community-building, conversational thing--something that others can get involved with. It even allows us to derive positive value from something which is otherwise shit, id est, XKCD.

    Furthermore... oh fuck it i'm just going to have these guys kick your ass:
    http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/7/2008/12/494x_topof2008.jpg

    Schadenfreude: Word has an auto-wordcount feature.

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  53. Holy crap Schadenfreude, you are like making out with your computer screen because you are :O instead of :*

    CAPTCHA: olops! The sloppy form of the word sloppy, which describes the kisses that be goin' on here.

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  54. I thought it :O was shock?

    Well, nevermind, extra emphasis!

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  55. this blog is hilarious...

    If you all know it so much better... why not write your own comics?

    I think xkcd is still way above average!

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  56. I'm glad you asked! There's a number of reasons we haven't made our own comics. Not all of them apply to all of us!

    (1) We aren't comic artists, just fans of comics who think XKCD is shit.
    (2) We'd love to write a webcomic, but can't find any artists/writers to join our endeavors.
    (3) We do, in fact, make our own webcomics.
    (4) It's more pleasurable, and easier, to criticize than to produce.
    (5) Doing better than XKCD is not an accomplishment, so it does not drive us to do so. I'm more inspired by comics I like than comics I think are terrible; XKCD serves as a horrible warning to those who think they are good enough to make webcomics.
    (6) You suck and I hate you.

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  57. Great idea, fretje - only webcomic artists/writers can criticize or discuss webcomics! Let's apply that to everything, shall we? Only novelists can talk about novels, and only directors can talk about movies. Oh, and only hair stylists can talk about hair cuts. And only politicians can talk about politics. AND ONLY BLOG WRITERS CAN CRITICIZE BLOGS.

    Oh wait...do you have a blog? If not, then I think you should go write your own blog before you criticize this one. Otherwise, you are what is known as a hypocrite.

    Please follow the ideas you espouse through to their logical conclusion before cluttering up the Internet with your stupidity.

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  58. Errata:

    How the hell did you get my name wrong, Demetrious?

    D:

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  59. Rob, you make me feel dumber than any cuddlefish ever will.

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  60. "but I think you're not so much bad at reading comprehension as you are someone who thinks he's clever when he really isn't,"

    Rob, I think you substantially over-estimate how much I care about this, and just how much effort I expend writing these comments. I find it amusing that you read too much into my comment in an attempt to portray me as a fool- which consisted of accusing me of reading too much into the blog posts in an attempt to portray others as fools.

    You've chosen the wrong person to lecture about length of discussion. I regularly write columns for my university's student newspaper, and I am usually limited to about 600 words. Now, I am naturally an incredibly long-winded writer given to meta-analysis (as any who have seen my non-journalistic work can attest to,) but I learned quite swiftly the value of condensing a lot of myriad topics and points into only 600 words. It's a skill that's important, I think, because even though I have no inherent problem with long posts (one of my OWN COMMENTS on comic 548's post was 938 words!) lots of perfectly intelligent people get bored with long blocks of text. Communication meant to reach a wide audience is best served by being concise.

    Personally, I'm not so sure that a one-panel comic that just ran some memes together for quick lulz was really worthy of 1006 words explaining how Randall's implementation of meme comedy was not exactly a masterpiece. I freely agree that poore's larger analysis of the nature and proper implementation of meme comedy has merit as a stand-alone discussion, but it wasn't terribly relevant to the comic.

    Poore was flat out saying that these stick figures are not the Mona Lisa (It's not impossible to make excellent meme comedy... Randall Munroe is no such someone, etc.) Well, no shit. I mean, really. Really. Randall makes a one-panel, one sentence agglomerate of memes, and he writes 600 words explaining how this is not a masterful implementation of non-sequitor comedy? I never would have guessed.

    Normally I wouldn't mind much, since I'm always up for excessive theoretical discussion (I'm a polisci minor and all I take is theory classes,) but in this case all that theory is being used to say "look at how stupid Randall is," and for that to work there has to be a stronger link between the theoretical discussion on the proper implementation of non-sequitor comedy and Randall's work.

    Which is the fancy way of saying that the post was criticizing a biplane for not being able to fly to Mars. Technically all true, but a rather pointless discussion insofar as establishing why biplanes suck.

    I seriously doubt that a man who draws stick figures and makes penis jokes has any delusions of grandeur. You folks, however, do, and that ties into to the real problem that I have observed here at xkcd-sucks. I will wait for a post that better showcases these problems before elucidating on them, however.

    tl;dr SUPRISE, Rob, the cuddlefish can talk fancy too!

    -Yes, my bitching about the excessive analysis on this one does not quite escape the realm of personal preference insofar as writing goes. I found it amusing, not evidence of the very rot that infests the core of xkcd-sucks, etc, etc.

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  61. Errata: Because this cannot be said loudly enough:


    As any good student of literature will tell you, it's quite possible to write a great deal of text about something very small indeed--a single poem or even a single line from a play or novel can be the topic of several pages of analysis.


    Another stellar example of true theory that has no application to the topic at hand. If you are seriously suggesting that "SUP DAWG, I HERD U DIDN'T LIEK FORMING BABBY, BUT I ACCIDENTALLY IN YOUR BASE" deserves even a billionth of the discussion merited by "And so does conscience make cowards of us all," then I just don't know what to say.

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  62. maybe we enjoy using each comic as a starting point for discussing broader aspects of comedy?

    Poore's 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 11th paragraphs are not about this comic specifically; they are musings on what makes memes funny and what makes jokes about memes funny (and of course, what makes them not funny if they aren't). None of what I wrote was about this comic specifically; it was either more on the topics poore raised (and commenting on his ideas, not the original comic) or connecting this comic to a string of other shitty comics from xkcd.

    So in short, trying to portray us as having written a long commentary based on a dumb comic is completely wrong.

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  63. Or maybe I just decided to explore the nature of meme humor, a topic I find interesting, when Randall gave me a stellar example of how not to do it?

    The value of any work is not intrinsic, but perceived. There is no objective standard for determining what is or is not worthy of analysis and criticism. This is especially true now that the Internet has made sharing one's work with a large audience much easier than it once was. By virtue of it's popularity alone, xkcd merits

    However, I find that your actions are highly inconsistent with your words, as you've just spent a fair amount of text criticizing a post that you say has little value because said post was...criticizing something with little value. Either everything is worthy of criticism, or nothing is. Any other stance is hypocritical and/or arrogant.

    Finally, if you enjoyed writing that comment as much as I enjoyed writing my post, what the fuck does it matter how much value or merit it has? Who cares if it completely meaningless? It was fun! Fun things don't have to be useful in any way other than allowing you to have fun. That is their merit, and they don't need anything more.

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  64. Demetrious:

    I stopped reading at "I find it amusing".

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  65. Demmy: You said Another stellar example of true theory that has no application to the topic at hand. If you are seriously suggesting that "SUP DAWG, I HERD U DIDN'T LIEK FORMING BABBY, BUT I ACCIDENTALLY IN YOUR BASE" deserves even a billionth of the discussion merited by "And so does conscience make cowards of us all," then I just don't know what to say.

    First, this is an obvious strawman argument, and your mother and I are very disappointed in you. It is just as easy to spend great amounts of text analyzing the depth and nuances of something which is bad, and here you are trying to make it sound like I'm comparing it to something which has something insightful to say.

    No, if you were to read further, you would find that I declared that it is equally possible to derive value from something which is shit, id est, XKCD--and discussing why something sucks can be just as fruitful, if not more, than discussing why something is good. I certainly am far better at telling someone why their poetry is terrible in detail than praising them in the same detail.

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  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  67. I'm hoping no-one has yet made this point:

    It amuses me that so far, beloved Demetrious has written 805 words (so says MSword) complaining that this post was too long.

    (Yeah, I was sad enough to copy and paste all his posts into Word.)

    I'm hoping he's being ironic.

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  68. For once, I agree with the author of this blog. This has got to be the worst xkcd since the random-drawing days ended. Self-parody? Maybe. That's the only way this could make sense.

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  69. Its a bit strange a one-panel comic needs this level of analysis (its actually quite a shallow comic I think, if mildly amusing). However I was amazed that this blog actually exists:
    http://xkcdsuckssuxsuckssux.blogspot.com/
    Nice work!

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  70. "As a final note, why would messing up a single sexual encounter with a woman completely ruin your life?"

    Whoosh.....

    I think this one went right over your head 'poore'

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  71. i just reread this post and was like "wow, I wrote some funny stuff" but then saw it was poore and not me. DAMN.

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  72. Internet humor is srs bzns. You guys fail at life.

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