Monday, March 16, 2009

one big xkcdsucks family

yeah so I am not sure what to say about the current comic. It didn't make me laugh, just because the whole situation was so horribly contorted to make Don Quixote make sense as a punchline that the comic was lame. But that's just me. So I think I'll ask all of you out there to do my work for me: if you are so inclined, send me an e-mail with a paragraph or two about what you think of this comic.

think of this as a bold new experiment in collaborative blogging.

your ticket to fame.

41 comments:

  1. Here's the problem. It doesn't go anywhere. All the elements exist for a good joke--wind power is kind of like windmills, and kind of like tripods, and Don Q. attacks wind mills, haha--but they're just placed together in sequence without actually doing anything funny.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A recurring... I don't want to say "theme", it's more like "habit".

    A habit xkcd now has is to set up this weird situation, and then treat that situation AS IF IT WAS REAL, then say something weird about it.

    "Hey, here's a though I had... and hey, here's a thought I had about that thought!"

    Boring.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's another xkcd where the reference itself is supposed to be the joke. Nothing clever is done with it at all.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm lazy too, so I'll just repost what I wrote before rather than trying to find ways to make it better or more fleshed out:

    Dammit, Randall, Don Quijote de la Mancha doesn't speak English! ¡¿Y dónde coño está Sancho Panza?!

    Anyway it's stupid because it's the barest minimum Don Quijote reference. No Sancho Panza (whose imagined reaction to ACTUAL walking windmills could be hilarious), no indication that he thinks the windmills are giants, not even a comment from the other people like "We're screwed" (remember that Don Quijote utterly fails at tilting windmills)!

    The new strip is even more lame and bogus than surfer Hell.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wind turbines could, maybe, look alien. But they don't look like tripods. That Randall has to cheat and make them grow extra legs is only demonstrative of this. So, the War of the Worlds reference is forced.

    The problem with Don Quixote is that he is introduced as answering the question "Who could stop them." Now, while Quixote may be inclined to tilt at wind turbines, he won't be any good at fighting them. He lost to a windmill, after all.

    It's all bad, it's all forced, and ruins whatever inherent creepiness that wind farms do have.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Alright, honestly, I'm having difficulty understanding why you are coming down on this one.

    Part of my confusion may stem from the lack of any analysis in the main post, which usually has a decent framework, even when I don't agree with it.

    I think the problem Carl is having is, the tried and true criticism that xkcdsucks pulls out don't apply.

    This comic is not merely a variation on a theme that Randall has done many times before, it's not sappy, or preachy, or stuffed full of memes. And there isn't even a colorable argument that it is creepy and begging for approval.

    My experience with this comic was that it bent my world view for a moment. That was a very cool experiance.

    When I began reading it, I had no idea where it was going. I certainly never would have thought that wind turbines were going to start ravaging the countryside ala war of the worlds.

    Right about the time I got to "Al Gore, you've doomed us all" I was ready to write this off as an attempt at surreal humor that just wasn't going to work for me.

    The inclusion of Don Quixote salvaged the comic. When I saw Randall's version of the Picasso drawing the comic snapped into place. Suddenly, we had the man who was perfectly equipped to fight windmill-like monsters.

    Ken and Lint of Death bring up a valid point about Quixote's record with the windmills. I don't know that I can argue for Don Quixote's effectiveness against these creatures with a straight face. (Although, now that the world actually is how he perceived it to be, it seems like he might have a shot....Okay, not Cervantes' Quixote, but maybe the one from Man of La Mancha? Yeah probably not.)

    Honestly though, I don't know that Quixote's effectiveness matters. For me the enjoyment came from the movement nonsensical wind turbine monsters to what my mind was willing to accept as their natural nemesis, at least before I thought about it in any detail.

    Ultimately, it is a matter of opinion. But for me, this comic exemplifies a lot of the things I like about xkcd.

    Full Disclosure: I like Don Quixote in general and that may be coloring my opinion of the comic.

    Anyway, that's my two cents.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Once again, flying in the face of all of those annoying fucks who think that we are incapable of liking the comic, I actually did kind of like this one. It's a cute concept.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I mean, it had art, it had a neat sepia effect, it had a story. It had a joke, with a punchline. I want to encourage this sort of behavior in Randy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I as usual have nothing original to say so here is a handy-dandy link from the LJ-feed! User arremmmdee is wondertastic and I always appreciate his/her comments when I see them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. On the same note, user uniheliodem is an arrogant prick who is pretty far up his own butt.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It made me smile, but it's not original, even for Randall. I mean, the setup is the same as the cuttlefish one. "You know ___ are really strange almost like OH GOD RUN AWAY THEY WILL KILL YOU." This arguably applies to the spork one as well.

    The dialog is kind of clunky, too. "Woo boy, I sure am scared of wind turbines, because I'm afraid of OH GOD IT IS HAPPENING THEY ARE TRANSFORMING NOW WHO WILL SAVE US?" Comics are a visual medium, and the rule, for all intents and purposes, is show us, don't tell us - and if wind turbines are so creepy, can't they be made creepy in a visual way without resorting to spelling it out?

    Obligatory quote:
    We can't be silent
    'cause they might be giants
    and what are we gonna do unless they are?

    ReplyDelete
  12. HOLY SWEET GODDAMN. uniheliodem is, like, the embodiment of... something really fucking annoying. Jesus Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  13. ...this spork one is what I meant. Copy-paste failure.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know right, did you read it all? I bet if he looked up "internet jackass" it'd be his face as the defintion.

    I mean it's not like arremmmdee is a god or anything but at least he argues normally. uniheliodem is like ha ha let me call you stooooopiddddddd ha ha i will use big terms and define them for you how you gonna argue with that hmmm?

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's just... so 'I'm super intelligent because I get an A in Debate class, and also am autistic.' He knows he's not actually saying anything substantial. He just thinks he's winning debate points by making his 'opponent' 'look stupid.' He still thinks that debating on the internet is something you do in order to 'win,' and that 'winning' is something you do by making the other guy look dumb. But he's not good at making the other guy look dumb, either, because it's so obvious to everyone that he's not saying anything or even attacking the argument. It's pretty much a textbook definition of a strawman argument. He just sets up strawmen and beats the shit out of them, and isn't even pretending to do otherwise.

    The problem is he's already breaking so many rules of basic courtesy it's an unassailable position, because he can just keep breaking them if you try to attack him.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I liked the first panel. It's a nice drawing. I don't have any fancy-dancy criticisms, though; that's it.

    Although complaining about the fact Don Quixote doesn't speak English leaves me a bit cold. I mean, he's not contemporaneous with wind turbines, either.

    Also, have I heard the name Sancho Pansa in a Beatles song? 'Cos I think I have.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sancho Panza in a Beatles song? Lies.

    This is umm, actually as good strip. I do hope that whatever faults the updater finds with it coexists with its good qualities.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Without the 4th to last panel (the one with the Al Gore reference), this would have been a pretty good strip. As it is, it's not great, but it's decent.

    ReplyDelete
  19. the_cuddlefish - drive by cuddlefish beatles anorak action... yes, you have heard those words (or their phoenetic equivalent) in "Sun King" from Abbey Road.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree with Rob. In the end, I was pleased, I chuckled and there was no give-up-sigh xkcd has made me accustomed to making.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The joke was meh, the setup was contrived, but I was impressed with the art. The sepia tone was nice, the silhouette style landscape was ACTUALLY KINDA COOL, and the stick figure horse was stark and creepy in a good way.

    On a scale of 1 to awesome, I give this a "kinda okay".

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just realized that I would love this comic if there were no dialogue.

    Granted, some artistic changes would be required, but only minor things.

    ReplyDelete
  23. ...oh man, that would be so much better.

    Maybe keep a little bit. Drop the War of the Worlds and the Tripod Gimmicks references. Just "Man, wind turbines always make me kind of uneasy..."

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think you hit the nail on the head Rob. A little less talking would improve this comic. Complete silence could work, but would require a serious overhaul of at least 3 panels.

    Although, I still think it is fine as is.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Far from perfect, but I think people have highlighted a lot of the good points of the comic. I also happen to agree with some of the criticisms, so on the whole, good job guys.

    Nothing interesting to add, really. Be pleased with yourselves, in the most unpatronizing way it is possible to make that statement.

    David

    ReplyDelete
  26. I need to pay attention to the comments on this blog more, I had no idea this blog actually paid attention to the LiveJournal feed.

    As far as the uniheliodendum fellow goes, I really try to at least pretend to be patient and civilized in my disagreements, but here you have a guy who is mentally stuck in high school debate club, or some customer service representative who's about to screw you out of your warranty simply because you didn't check the box on the contract that says "I promise to speak in overly formal language and pretend I am a United Nations ambassador" or something else entirely ungrounded in reality. And he wouldn't shut up. I flipped out at the guy, because as much as we both know he's wrong, the way he talks means he'll never actually be proven wrong.



    ANYWAYS, I sent in a really long e-mail for AER (I guess I had to get a ton out of my system); it honestly seems like one of the absolute emptiest xkcd's he's ever put up dressed up with a simple Photoshop gradient ever, but it's apparently everyone's xkcd ever. When you ask people to actually explain it, it seems to boil down to nothing more than 'more references than usual :))))'. Really disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hello and welcome Mr. Arremmdee! We sometimes venture to the LJ feed or the forums to see how Randall's army react. And I have a soft spot for people who do battle with crazy people on the internet.

    So, the only reference I really cared for was the Don Quixote reference, which, in fairness, I think is actually legit and not just name dropping. The rest could (and SHOULD) have been done away with.

    In Washington state, between Ellensburg and Moses Lake, around the Ryegrass pass, there are hundreds of wind turbines. They're huge. It's a really cool sight, actually. Mankind harnessing the wilderness. It's also a little unsettling though. Is this hubris? Are we flying too close to the sun?

    Have we created a monster?

    Then they walk and come alive and the heroes are running away--we're doomed! When the one man who might be qualified to do battle with wind turbines arrives.

    That's why I liked it, anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  28. arremmmdee! Comments by you and teapotdome are the only reasons I dare venture into the xkcd LJ-feed!

    As for uniheliodem, would you like it if Rob and I took our viking friends to attack?

    well actually rob and i have no viking friends we're actually kind of like mortal enemies so nevermind

    Is this hubris? Are we flying too close to the sun?
    Have we created a monster?


    Ahahah. ilu rob

    Actually I think the comic would have been better if, as Lint said, he'd had someone say something like "aw man we are in doody now." Also support the idea of less dialogue

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ohhhh, it's supposed to be Don Quixote? I still don't get it, but whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh man, after you mentioned that, I read this comic without the words and it was actually awesome. I still liked this one better than usual, but without words, it's a legitimately good comic. (Though, of course, there would have to be changes in the first three panels or so.)

    ReplyDelete
  31. XKCD minus XKCD: a good idea, or the best idea!?

    ReplyDelete
  32. The more that I think about it, there are a disturbing amount of developing parallels between Garfield and XKCD.

    ReplyDelete
  33. that is BRILLIANT rob can you get on that? i will be happy to link to each xkcd - xkcd that you/someone makes.

    ReplyDelete
  34. So should it be XKCD without dialogue? XKCD with one of the characters removed? XKCD with the stupid bits removed? All of these? (someone recommend me a good free program to do this for Macs)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hahah. I mean we sort of have a few "fixed" xkcds right? Those ones that Carl MS-Painted?

    anyway I dunno if it is good for Macs but GIMP is a free program that is basically the hobo's Photoshop.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I went ahead and removed the words from #556, I hope I'm not too late.

    ReplyDelete
  37. And a very nice job you did! No, you are not too late.

    ReplyDelete
  38. well done. Should we collect these somewhere and have people make their own versions of the comic based off them? that could be fun.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I mentioned this to some of my friends, who have started working on a whole bunch of xkcd comics. We should set up a repository somewhere...

    ReplyDelete
  40. OK, here's what I think we should do: i made a spin-off blog, over at http://xkcdcouldbebetter.blogspot.com/ i have a basic outline up there now of how the process will work. Let's get cracking. this will be FUN

    ReplyDelete