Friday, April 10, 2009

Why I Pick On Randall

One of the more legitimate questions that gets shouted at me is why I hate Randall Munroe so goddamn much. xkcd is far from the worst comic online, and lots of people have had success with less (see: your newspaper's comics section).

Here's why I think Randy deserves more criticism: Given the "requirements", as I'll call them, of his comic, he should be doing much much better.

Think about this: Most newspaper comics have to think of stuff to write 7 days a week. Randy's schedule just gives him 3. Even most of the popular webcomics tend to be daily, if only on weekdays (C&H, Qwantz, Overcompensating, the Natalie Dee and Drew comics, Chainsawsuit, SMBC). That's still more per week than xkcd.

True, some comics publish only once a week - but these (Subnormality, Truck Bearing Kibble when it existed, PBF when it existed) tended to feature pretty complicated art - so at least the artist had to do a lot more work, per week, and you got a much more visually appealing end result. xkcd: not so much.

Even the updates-when-possible comics (Achewood, Kate Beaton) are much longer and have more interesting visuals than xkcd.


But the bigger issue isn't the timing. It's that thematically, Randall has no limits. He has exactly two recurring characters, and they don't even recur that often. He has no particular amount of space he must fill - they can range from tiny to huge. He has no limitation on what he can or can't represent (unlike newspaper comics which probably can't, for example, use the phrase "gosh-darned cunt" or show stick figures having sex and get away with it). Sure, xkcd claims to be about math, romance, sarcasm, and language, but there are tons of examples that have none of those.

For example: If Ryan North, sometime around his 1400th comic, made a crappy comic, I can forgive him. His limitations - self-imposed, but an integral part of his comic - are tough: six panels, only three on-screen characters, a fixed amount of space. Same with Achewood: He's got some well developed characters, but he has to use them. Kate Beaton: She always draws historical stuff in her own completely charming way.

Randy...has none of this. So given that he can write anything he damn wants, I expect a little more. Achewood can't have a long buildup to a painful pun. Moe can't just comment on Final Fantasy VII. Cyanide and Happiness never has subtlety. But xkcd can have all this, and basically anything else. He has no limitations - so it's especially lame when he can't think of anything funny.

Of course, Oscar Wilde might say that this explains xkcd's problems - he wrote that "the absence of limitation is the enemy of art," meaning that by giving yourself totally free reign, you take away the meaning or interest of anything you might produce. Perhaps one way Randall could try to improve would be to limit himself in one of the ways I've mentioned.

102 comments:

  1. Carl, I love you like an acquaintance, but these kinds of posts are tiring to snark at, and I probably won't read any of the comments because, despite your righteous frustration at X duck's suck X-factor, most commenters couldn't find Randall's humongous head in a pumpkin patch with an ego detector that registers nanojerks.

    Carl, I love you like the relief after scratching a mosquito bite, but if this feminine side of you is going to keep popping up so often, you should think about starting a puppysthatarecutebutcouldbecuter blog to air out your vagina in a place cordoned-off from the rest of us.

    I love you like the bucket of buffalo wings dripping with oil that stained the toilet on their way out, but you damn well know that Randall's problem has little to do with limitations on the comic format. In actuality, the lack of limitations is simply a symptom of the fact that Randall knows he's so awesome that he HAS no limitations.

    Please take these suggestions to heart. I suggest printing them out and stuffing the paper in a shirt pocket (left side!).

    Yours,

    Cuddlefish

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  2. It's not really necessary to justify your reasons for picking on XKCD. We all have our roles to play and in this case yours is that of the XKCD-sucks guy... it's important that you exist... for the balance of the universe and all.

    I actually agree with your assessment of many of the strips... but I still like xkcd (in general) because of its clean style, those rare gems and because it's the last part of "internet culture" that doesn't annoy me yet.

    Also not to start a flame war or anything but I think dinosaur comic is kind of lame... it's busy, ugly, and the dialog is like a child wrote it... am I missing something? You should write some posts about why you actually like the comics that you do.

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  3. his limitation is stick figures.

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  4. Stou: I don't think you're missing anything about Dinosaur Comics. The ugly clip-art, crowded layout, and overenthusiastic dialogue are what make it so charming to people who like that sort of thing. It's a sort of camp aesthetic, I think.

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  5. It seems like Munroe is mainly just recycling old (but usually good) ideas. He doesn't have any new ideas, nor does he try to make up for his lack of ideas by pushing himself harder with his artwork, or anything.

    I mean yeah it's a free comic so it isn't like anyone is entitled to anything Munroe does. But it used to be a good free comic, and now it is a mediocre-at-best free comic. If more people see this, less people will buy his stuff, and perhaps Munroe will be forced to make his comic better, or accept that he is out of ideas.

    On an aside, I am here in part because it makes me sad that Munroe is ruining his otherwise good comic. The PBF archives still stand, mostly unpolluted. I wish the xkcd archives stood the same way. But right now it's like Munroe finished cooking a delicious, perfect meal, and is now adding a teaspoon of salt every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

    That adds up.

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  6. Dinosaur Comics continues to make me laugh, genuinely out loud, on a consistent basis. Its sense of humor actually fits quite well with my own, and, weirdly often, the content or themes of his comics tend to overlap with goings-on in my own life, leading me to believe that Ryan North is a slightly more Canadian me sporting a goatee. Not to mention how important grammar and punctuation are to North!

    That said, excellent post, Carl!!

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  7. I'm sorry carl, but I cannot see how
    you justify it. In short, it seems like its the
    stupid X is popular, let's mock it.
    But, I think you have a different problem.

    You liked xkcd before, right, and you wish
    that it still were about the same topics
    as before. But xkcd have changed, and
    for some people, it's for the better.

    I enjoy xkcd very much now, actually
    more than it did before. And I don't
    want it to change.
    I think you are just a big egoistic
    troll who only think of yourself.
    We have different kind of humor,
    get over it. Myself, I think dinosaur
    comics sucks, but I accept that other
    people have other kind of humor and
    don't mind it.

    It's like saying insisting on that
    Coca cola tastes like shit, and that
    others shouldsame say the same so
    that the company should change the taste.
    Even when the majority likes it the way
    it is already.

    xkcd is not a comic designed to make you
    laugh. It's a comic designed to make someone
    else laugh.

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  8. There are plenty of colas out there that will convince you that Coca-Cola does taste like shit.

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  9. What about Pepsi?

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  10. Pepsi rules.

    And the Anonymous who wrote that poem-like thing there, then xkcd's comic statement should change. It used to actually be about math and science and stuff and that was why I liked it. Now it's so simple my 12-year-old brother *gets every single comic*. This is not Cartoon Network: The Comic; this is xkcd. A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. But it's not that anymore. It's, to quote Carl, a webcomic of "python references, shitty breakups, memes and charts". It's losing all that made it INTELLIGENT humor and just becoming...xkcd humor. And I don't like that.

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  11. All that said, "Urgent Mission" is awesome, and this post would have had more bite if posted on a bad day.

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  12. @Stou: I agree with you on Dinosaur Comics. It's like this: "Topic! Topic is interesting! I need to use exclamation points in most every sentence!" "Well T-Rex, did you know this about topic?" "No, I didn't! BUT NOW I KNOW. CAPITALIZED SENTENCES DON'T USE EXCLAMATION POINTS EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE THE ONLY THINGS THAT SHOULD."

    It's like listening to the same 'tard talk about every topic imaginable. Despite that, I have to give North credit for giving himself such harsh limitations and continuously appeasing his audience. I personally may not enjoy the comics, but many people do. If anything, they're written by an intelligent person, and I can appreciate that.

    I agree with Carl that part of the reason xkcd is sucking now is that there are no limitations. If Randall began doing something as simple as "All comics must be four panels in length", that would probably force him to really think about his comic ideas before just vomiting up the first thing that comes to mind. Limitations can seriously do wonders.

    @Dr. S: Actually, Cartoon Network has some shows now that are far funnier (and more intelligent) than most new xkcd comics. Don't rag on CN! Though on a similar note, xkcd is declining in the same way Adult Swim is (with shit shows like Tim & Eric getting new seasons). Oh well!

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  13. Well, I think criticism is all well and good. I only dislike when it goes from "picking on xkcd" to "picking on Randall Munroe" -- for example, the first comment to this post. For one, extrapolating the artist's personality from his work is necessarily imprecise, and bad criticism.

    For two, hate is stupid.

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  14. I was looking at a thread about this blog on the xkcd forums the other day and I was considering dropping by. (incidentally, does anyone else find it appropriate that the forums URL is 'echochamber'?) You know, talking to the fans on their own terms, bridging the rift between our two great nations and whatnot. Do you think they'd take it badly? Would anyone else be up for it if I did? I'm kind of curious how it would turn out.

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  15. CN promotes TDI and 16 and killed Toonami. They can go fuck a pig in a fire.

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  16. Was it always 'echochamber'? Maybe he's listening to us after all.

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  17. These are such bullshit criticisms. Why does it matter how many comics Randall posts a week--what matters is quality of the final product. It would be better if Randall only posted 1 a week given that only about 1/3 of his work deserves to be published. And the same is true for most of the daily comics you mention. It's not like the internet has a webcomic shortage. What, would you stop critiquing Randall if he posted 7 comics a week of the same worth as his recent stuff?

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  18. He doesn't mean if he posted 7 comics a week it would suddenly be OK. He means that, with only 3 a week, that they're so bad is especially unacceptable.

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  19. A Cuddlefish of Great DistinctionApril 11, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    I never heard that Oscar Wilde quote before, and now I feel like printing it out and putting it on my door or something. I'll show it to my hipster music-major friend who thinks John Cage is better than Mozart, because Mozart is "so formulaic and predictable." ARRGH.

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  20. John Cage is a retard =P

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  21. TDI and 6teen are decent shows (even though they're OMG CANADIAN), and Toonami... okay, I'll give you that one. That was bullshit.

    Regardless, you take your pig and your fire elsewhere, sir!

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  22. TDI and 16 are NOT decent shows. I don't care where they came from. They're STILL shit.

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  23. Oh isn't it nice when everyone is dif-fer-ent,
    It's so very much better that we're not the same,
    But nonetheless we all should get along with-each-oth-er,
    And something something rumpty tumpty Maine.

    Hmm. I got bored with that quickly. But the point still stands: why not concentrate on what you both do like? Being called Anonymous so that people can patronise you and go 'o cuddly cuddlefish, i have so many cuddles for you!;, for instance.

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  24. Pat,

    You have no idea what criticism is, or what "picking" on something actually looks like. Creative work is not something you can conceive of; instead of a volume of imagination, you contain a spectrum of offense. Your inference of Carl's technique is shallow and self-important, projecting some laughable victimization onto your godhead.

    Why am I so sure of this? Because you obviously have no idea what hate is. But let's be clear: I hate you. I hate your implicit insistence on offence as meter of emotion. I hate your insipid schoolyard vocabulary.

    Fuck you and sit on a dick,

    Cuddlefish.

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  25. Just some minor nitpicking. It's patronize, not patronise.

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  26. I wouldn't hate xkcd so fucking much if EVERYONE ON THE GODDAMNED INTERNET felt obligated to link it every 10 seconds on anything remotely related, as if it's something edgy and new. I know this isn't the creator's fault, but people treat xkcd like it's the god damned messiah of comedy. At it's best it's maybe moderately amusing, but on average it's banal, warmed-over recycled tripe.

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  27. "Patronise" = British spelling.

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  28. Dear Realist—see Dresden Codak.

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  29. Fuck british spelling. Nobody else uses it.

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  30. Except India, and they only have like 1 billion people so who the hell cares about them

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  31. Well, this isn't India now, is it?

    Seriously, nobody cares. I doubt they read xkcd over there anyways.

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  32. Of course not. xkcd has no curry in it.

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  33. BRB, registering xkcdneedsmorecurry.blogspot.com

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  34. Why? What is he going to gain from changing his style and format? Your readership? He's already apparently got that. What's wrong with the dude doing what he likes?

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  35. I've noticed an influx of hatespam lately from the cuddlefish masses (whatever happened to the categorization effort?). Which can only mean one thing...

    Congratulations Carl! You're officially influential in the XKCD fanbase.

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  36. Because seeing a clever, adventurous comic become bland and formulaic is sad. It's like seeing a musician switch from unique experimental compositions to shitty pop ballads. It's like seeing a visionary director who throws away his vision and makes subpar action movies with explosion instead of characterization. It's like seeing a beloved child decline into a crippling drug addiction.

    Okay, maybe it's not quite so melodramatic. But most of the people here - in my experience, anyway - are here, not because they hated xkcd from the beginning, but because they used to like it before it jumped the webcomic shark. And furthermore, there is a difference between someone doing what they like and someone wanking, and it's seemed like xkcd has been filled with a lot more of the latter lately.

    PS. You guys ever heard of Australia, or New Zealand, or Ireland? You know, those countries where they speak English, but it's not the same as in the States? And they use the British spellings?

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  37. yes yes also Canada

    but India is bigger population-wise than all other English-speaking countries combined which made it a convenient "hey!" thing

    also i am slightly drunk

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  38. the_cuddlefish! I take offense when you call me patronising! Not because it is a British spelling but because I indeed have many cuddles to give! And much offense to take, apparently?

    Latest Cuddlefish! I actually have no cuddles for you. "What's wrong with the dude doing what he likes?" could be asked of... a serial killer? Obviously Randall is most likely not comparable to a serial killer but I am saying your argument is less than invalid.

    DON'T BE MEAN TO PAT he is actually pretty cool. And no more idiotic and unnecessary paragraph breaks, it does not make you an individual, it makes you a dumbass.

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  39. If I wanted to present myself as an individual worthy of individualistic individualism, and all the entailed scorn that the social Darwinist collectivists would heap upon for daring to interpret myself as a thinking human being instead of a jizz sock whose African-state ruling party witch doctor has decided that the moral purview of the state is to punish the people who offend the ruling party because the latter is composed of incompetents who define themselves and celebrate as true-to-roots the unwillingness, never mind inability, to risk success lest they be humiliated in front of their God, the Holy Masses, I assure you that I would. What's more amusing, my dear: the impotent spittle splashed across the internet from a player of checkers who didn't know kings can go back across the board, or kill-file suggestions loaded down as if from JournoList on High intended to nip at the roots imagination as if it were itself offensive?

    Finally, lovely Amanda, have you seen the text boxes down here? I admit that I bear the drudgery of typing my own messages. They're scarcely fifty characters wide. Forgive a gentleman if after several sentences he deems a newline character or two necessary to prevent that glassy-eyed dog look on consumers of what would otherwise present as an impenetrable wall of text. (We can't blame Randall for having to worry about that one, can we?)

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  40. So uh, raise your hand if you skipped through that comment?

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  41. I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about, if that's what you mean.

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  42. "Obviously Randall is most likely not comparable to a serial killer but I am saying your argument is less than invalid."

    Haha, that's class. It's the "most likely" that makes it for me.

    "I indeed have many cuddles to give!"

    Then why do I never get any? *storms off in a huff*

    (Also: happy Easter, everybody!)

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  43. Um WHERE IS THE THREAD ON THE FORUMS

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  44. That quote is by Orson Welles, not Oscar Wilde.

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  45. No, he just ripped it off.

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  46. @Cuddlefish:

    You are a pretentious dumbfuck. Your writing style is like a retarded monkey doing a bad impersonation of the Time Cube guy proofread by a high school English teacher who smokes too much weed.

    Write what you know, and write to suit your audience. Trying to sound smart and extending yourself beyond the bounds of your actual intellect only makes you look stupid. Attempting to write stylized, florid prose on an Internet comments page makes you ignorable. Write simply, and only add some grammatical flair when you can pull it off without looking like a supreme douche (which, for you, is never) and people will actually respond to you in a positive way.

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  47. For people who discuss about xkcd it most certainly seems like you never read #438.

    Just a wink...

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  48. Cuddlefish: okay I was mistaken, it wasn't the paragraph breaks that make you a dumbass.

    the_cuddlefish: CUDDLESSSSSSSSSSSSSS happy egg hunting!

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  49. Also winky cuddlefish.. yes, we have seen it.

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  50. @Winky Cuddlefish
    If ladies with no regard for basic physics forced me to meet Randall in person, I'd still tell him that his webcomic feels shallow and derivative. I'm not to worried about impressing people if I don't care for their work and do not have to deal with them on a personal level with any regularity.

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  51. We HAVE read 438, and (naturally) it kind of sucks.

    386 is slightly better, and more fitting.

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  52. 386 is better but not fitting.

    It is not about wether someone is wrong on the internet. It is about the tone in which you tell said person.

    So do continue to tell each other that xkcd sucks or does totally not suck or blows or whatever.

    But why so rude?

    Also you suck balls.. hard... wink,wink

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  53. @Winky Cuddlefish:

    We're so rude because a) we're on the Internet, b) it's cathartic, and c) most of us aren't so fucking uptight that a few curse words or insults will turn us into emo kids.

    Also, I find that I'd rather be direct and honest than beat around the bush - if I think, "Wow, you're a fucktard," I'm going to tell you, "Wow, you're a fucktard." Trying to dress that sentence up to be more polite is a waste of time - both mine and yours - and on top of that, I still won't have actually told you what I think. I'll have given you a half-assed pseudo-expression of my feelings, and that's stupid.

    By the way, the "wink" thing doesn't make you sound clever. It's makes you sound like an idiot.

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  54. poore you are just the coolest

    I gotta say, I'm getting horrendously confused by the Anons who argue with each other. Please get some names =(

    yeah and um I think I am at the point where if Randy were to ask me in person if I liked his comic I would genuinely answer him with "no actually I think you kind of suck now. You used to be pretty great, though!"

    I mean I think people who tell us we wouldn't dare say what we say here to him in person is the same as us calling Randy a creeper based on his creeper comics, which is WRONG WRONG WRONG we are so wrong why are we extrapolating on ONE ASPECT of what we see?

    carl if blogger doesn't work ONE MORE TIME i am going to KEEP COMMENTING ANYWAY

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  55. "and people will actually respond to you in a positive way"

    Carl, are you paying attention to this? As soon as you stop receiving positive feedback, that means that you have no reason to continue. How could it have been so simple, yet inarticulated for so long?

    God, how many sleepless nights you must have spent, wondering whether your children's children would appreciate your contribution to art and criticism, and fearing that your muse may never get the hint. Fret not, for the ideas are transient and unimportant in our soft, pink thinking organs! Words are a material thing; they can be denied and ignored. If people don't like you, just change until they do.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Amazon. There's a page of search results for "habits of highly successful people" with my name on it.

    Yours,

    Cuddlefish

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  56. "I mean I think people who tell us we wouldn't dare say what we say here to him in person is the same as us calling Randy a creeper based on his creeper comics, which is WRONG WRONG WRONG we are so wrong why are we extrapolating on ONE ASPECT of what we see?"

    I just can't get my head around what this sentence means. I know it has a sensible meaning, it's just... perhaps that fact it's 2.16am has something to do with it.

    Also, @poore, glad we got that cleared up. Can I call you a twat now?

    (Seriously, I don't think I can wait much longer. I have work to do.)

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  57. (I was actually going to call poore a supreme douche, but then I realised that a) he probably isn't and b) i'm a coward.)

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  58. okay sorry hon that was quite the run-on sentence

    So you know how we call Randall a creeper right? Cuz he writes creepy comics? And then you know how the cuddlefishes attack in waves of "WELL THAT IS JUST A COMIC you have no idea how much of his personality is in the comic itself"?

    Okay now new subject, where Cuddlefishes wink and tell us that we would not dare say what we say here to Randall's face? That we hide behind the mask of the internet?

    Okay I am saying those are on the same level of assumptions. Like us assuming that Randy is a creeper is the same as them assuming we are pussies. Us assuming Randy is creepy is based on his comics. Their assuming we are pussies is based on the fact that we use the Internet as our medium for complaints.

    I feel like I am making even less sense now, even though it's 6:22 pm here! I did just wake up like four hours ago though, so...

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  59. @the_cuddlefish:

    Actually, I am a supreme douche. I pride myself on the fact that I am an unashamed asshole. IF you tell me I'm a dick, I'll say, "Yep," because I have no problems of self-delusion. I prefer to be honest about my incredible lack of tact and decency, because those are ideas I actively scorn. Fuck everyone's false modesty, masks of kindness, and attempts to appear more agreeable than they actually are - I'll shit all over your ideas and smile while doing it, but at least I'm honest about it, goddammit.

    @Amanda:

    No, you're right to assume things about someone based on the media artifacts they produce. It's impossible to create an entirely impersonal work, as even the way in which you think about not making the work to unique to yourself will, inherently, be unique to yourself. It's the inescapable subjective nature of reality and existence.

    In short, fuck everyone who thinks that you can't make assumptions about Randall's personality based on the comics he writes. You are deluded, naive dickwads and you annoy me.

    And Amanda is still awesome.

    :D

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  60. No I actually do think Randall is a creeper based on what I've read in his comics and what I know of people who think they're nerdy. But I'm saying that the people that accuse us of not being able to tell Randy his comics suck are being hypocritical if they don't think the slightest possibility exists that Randy's creepy.

    But yay for honesty! I too believe in presenting myself as a huggy person who is very bitchy when tired or hungry. In short, I am a really tall baby.

    poore you fill me with feelings of happiness.

    A comment on the actual post: I am amused that I think it's okay for C&H to churn out shitty comics and I'm not sure why? I think because it's a daily webcomic and also because the guys are pretty upfront when they make comics while drunk and/or five minutes before midnight. Plus they were never like truly great, that I remember, just a webcomic with a few really unexpectedly wonderful strips...

    god you guys I'm going to kill blogger

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  61. Alright, fine. You can make assumptions about an artist's personality from what they write. But you're fairly likely to be wrong. XKCD might even be more personal than a lot of things, since it's the work of one man, and it's verbal. I suppose what I really don't understand is making petty negative assumptions about someone based on tenuous evidence. It seems, well, a bit petty.

    I mean, all the "Randall is egotistical" talk seems to stem from "this stick figure character has a positive quality and doesn't wear a hat. It must be Randall, and the point of the comic is that he's awesome. What a jerk."

    Granted, I may have simplified that a touch. And I've been assured several times that I don't understand the cathartic vision of the blog. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

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  62. @Pat:

    Well, if he only occasionally produced comics featuring characters that demonstrated creepy/egotistical/annoying personality traits, or that implied the author possessed such traits, or that the author, at the very least, approved of such traits, then I would agree with you.

    Unfortunately, in his blog, through his comics, and, if Rob's testimony is to be believed, in real life, Randall has demonstrated the personality traits we here at "xkcd sucks" often criticize him for on a fairly regular basis. That's what we call "evidence", and if you believe that assertions backed up with evidence are petty, then...well, you're wrong. I don't know how else to say it.

    That being said, I'm glad you agree that just because you understand something doesn't mean you have to like it, because that's about 90% of the reason this blog exists. We understand xkcd, and I believe I understand Randall as well, but I don't have to like it/him.

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  63. Wow. This basically was my core objection, and now I totally understand and empathize with what you're doing. Before, I was all, "why the hell is this guy putting so much effort into commenting on a bad comic?" Now, I understand where you're coming from.

    Unfortunately, now much of the entertainment in reading this blog is lost -- I'm the sort who enjoys reading things he disagrees with or doesn't understand. It's funny, because after xkcd became too boring to read, I still kept up with it via xkcdsucks. Now, I think there's really nothing encouraging me to follow any of this anymore.

    Congradulations, carl, mission accomplished! With one person, anyway.

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  64. Pat, when no characters have an actual identity of their own (beyond what's on their heads), it is pretty much assumed that they all speak for the author.

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  65. poore: Mostly the creepy ones. The arrogant ones come mostly from the comic, though, especially the obvious "I made this to sell a poster" comics. We think he is arrogant because he acts arrogant, with his comic, and he has an echo chamber where people do nothing but praise him. Which I don't consider a character flaw: most people get a sort of power trip when they are roundly admired.

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  66. @Amanda

    I am not saying you would not dare to tell Randal that his comics suck. I´d say you would come to his face and tell him that he is a godamn creeper who gets an orgasm everytime someone mentions python and sucks so hard that the air around him is basically absent etc.

    So be as direct as you want but no one of you can convince me that they would insult people this hard in real life everytime someone has a different opinion.

    Although the new comic sucks hard and Randall is a dip shit for using the same lame idea.

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  67. I meant of course "I´d say you would NOT... etc."

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  68. @Winky:

    You obviously don't know me in real life.

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  69. @poore

    What a shame, you should visit me sometime. I am a psychologist so we could talk about your supressed feelings of anger^^

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  70. @Winky:

    They're not very suppressed. Also, I think you're a pretty terrible psychologist if you believe assessing someone's personality solely through a few blog comments will produce accurate results.

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  71. Haha, "I'm a psychologist." What are you, a first year psych student? Second year? Doesn't whatever shitty school you went to teach you that you NEVER EVER EVER diagnose people casually? That is the first thing every psych student learns. Did you skip that day? Or are you just starting spring quarter and you haven't gotten to that yet?

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  72. It is an important rule.

    "sorry, sir, you can't have your money back."
    "well in that case, i'm sorry, sir, you have psychopathia."
    "erm... no I don't."
    "everyone STEP BACK FROM THE MADMAN"

    (also: contrast the "everyone learns this stuff" message of this thread with the "not everyone learns this stuff" message of today's thread)

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  73. I would say that people who voice their opinions outright have much less hidden anger than people who don't voice their opinions...

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  74. Oh also what the hell kind of a shit psychologist uses it as a weapon in arguments on the internet? "Ha ha, I am a psychologist, I am using this knowledge to point out that YOU HAVE SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU." I mean, seriously, if you were actually a psychologist there are so many ethical violations going on here--you should not be doing therapy. And if you're a research psychologist you really don't have any sort of special knowledge. Basically you're an idiot and also a dick.

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  75. It kinda reminds me of the Yggdrasil-worshiper or whatever he was a few months back.

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  76. Yes! Except the Yggdrasil worshiper was just a comical neo-pagan, this fellow is actually loathsome. Yggdrasil was like foreshadowing or some such

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  77. So, the way I see it, judging an author/artist's personality (especially in negative terms) through their work is not that different than making psychological diagnoses based on someone's blog comments. XKCD provides a larger sample, but it seems to me a difference of degree. Blog comments tend to be more direct than a comic, at least.

    Now, since Rob claims more personal knowledge of Randall's creepiness, I have nothing to dispute that. I don't read it so much from the comics, although some of them are creepy. He may well be a bit of a creep, although I still maintain it's bad criticism, in a formal sense. There have been plenty of good artists with major personal flaws, after all, and most likely plenty of lousy artists who are great folks to hang out with.

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  78. "Haha, "I'm a psychologist." What are you, a first year psych student? Second year? Doesn't whatever shitty school you went to teach you that you NEVER EVER EVER diagnose people casually?"

    Hate to bring this up, but seriously do you guys ever heard of irony or humor something like that.

    I mean why on earth would you think I meant that seriously?

    But thanks for proving my point anyway, because there is no way in hell no matter what you say that you would call me a dick and an idiot just because I tried to be ironic and failed in real life.

    Most certainly you would say "I don´t get that" or "Is that supposed to be funny?".

    But in the internets you say things like these because you don´t see the real person behind the comments.

    You just hate away not seeing that I actually agree with you about creepy Randall and what not.

    And although I am an economical psychologist and do not fucking care about other peoples feelings, I just fire their asses.

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  79. @Amanda

    Not necessarily if you voice your oppinion but fill it with profanitys and overeact to a degree not appropiate to the matter you are obviously angry about something but not about the matter at hand. Thus you are not releasing really releasing your anger. Supressed anger can only be vented by adressing the matter that really causes you to be angry not by venting it at totally unrelated things.

    Keep in mind though that this is still not diagnosing poore but just a random observation because I am a douche who needs things to be correct. Story of my life keep correcting people and one day you will be hanged but never thanked.

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  80. Maybe you should stop correcting people.

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  81. You would think it´s that easy, but it aint.

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  82. First law of the Internet: It is impossible to say something so stupid that people won't believe you are serious. Irony is a matter of expectations, and the bar for anonymous Internet discussion is very, very low.

    More succinctly: "Shitcock!"

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  83. Actually I have a visceral loathing of psych students who believe they have special insight into the human condition and start psychoanalyzing people in the midst of a conversation and I usually start cursing at them and telling them they are useless pieces of human shit, in person, when they make their little "ha ha only serious" jokes. It is one of the most loathsome things it is possible for a psych student to do, and this is choosing from a very large pool.

    Pat: there is a difference between casually analyzing someone and claiming special insight because of your psych studies or other special skill you have. Nobody on here is really claiming special insight. Even I'm willing to give Randy the benefit of the doubt--he might not actually be a creep so much as he just happens to write a famous webcomic obviously inspired by people he knows--obviously that will make people uncomfortable.

    We're here to entertain ourselves. When you claim special insight you are a dick and should die, in a fire.

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  84. @Rob
    I actually share your sentiment about psych students who just "know" that you want to shaq your mama because you like tuna sandwich. Or some shit like that. I am an economical psych and as said I dont care to analyze others and their problems and anyone who does clearly has no life of his own.

    So yeah I wish them a life of pain too but I am just too nice a person to actually say it.

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  85. What the merciful fuck is an "economical psychologist?" Is that just a fancy term for someone who misapplies psychology to explain peoples' bad monetary decisions?

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  86. The worst part was almost dating a psych student. (A few, actually, because I never learn.

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  87. @Fluffy

    If you really wanna know google it but just to help you out here, it means that people like me try to apply knowledge about human behavior and group interactions to improve certain structurs and procedures in companys. Human resouces is the main field.

    @Rob
    You should never ever do that. The girls are the worst most of them want to become therapists so they constantly try to change and analyze you and to top it of they have most of the problems they see in others themselves.

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  88. Winky Cuddlefish: sweetheart, I would have called you a dick in real life. I am being totally honest and totally serious here, I would probably have said "ha ha that was a dumbass thing to say, now stop being a dick."

    I feel like there are two Winky Cuddlefishes? One who tries to speak English and fails, and the other who tries to mistakenly assume we are not as obnoxious as we seem despite all other claims to the contrary.

    Well anyway the idea of what is "appropriate to the matter" is subjective, no? Like who decides how mad you are allowed to become? And also I feel like you trying to continuously correct people can't be any healthier than overreacting. Aren't both just issues with not being able to let things go?

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  89. In my case it is an issue with being bored and stubborn, also feeling like it is rude to ignore someone even when they are a jerkface jerk.

    Yes, I believe it is more rude to not respond than to say "YOU ARE A FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT WHY DO YOU SUCK SO MUCH THE WORLD WOULD BE BETTER IF YOU DIED."

    sometimes i have problems

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  90. rob i agree and do not think you have problems

    okay maybe a few but not in this regard?

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  91. I got 99 problems but drawin' a stick figure pseudo-humor webcomic ain't one

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  92. @amanda

    There is just me, I fail at english because well that is not my native language. And I try to think you are not as obnoxious as it seems you are because I am naive.
    Not two pretenders just one German cuddlefish who likes things to be exact.

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  93. You did not just compare me to Wanky Cuddlefish and William Faulkner at the same time, did you? I am not your two-douche salad, ma'am.

    Good day.

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  94. "In my case it is an issue with being bored and stubborn, also feeling like it is rude to ignore someone even when they are a jerkface jerk."

    I like to imagine that you gradually ran out of power as that sentence wore on, with you typing away madly and then slloooowwwlllly fffaaadddiiinng to a diminuendo with "...jerkface jerk."

    I have problems too. Sometimes I write about them on the Internet.

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  95. Cuddlefish are you talking to me? I am wondering because you say ma'am but uh someone compared you to William Faulkner? I CAN'T EVEN TELL WHO YOU ARE so that makes no sense to me.

    "I am just too nice a person to actually say it."
    "And I try to think you are not as obnoxious as it seems you are because I am naive."

    Comments like that let us all know you are not nice at all, nor are you naive. You are hiding your feelings and being condescending.

    the_cuddlefish, writing about your problems on the Internet is always the best idea.

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  96. Amanda is always right and if you don't agree with her you're probably uncool to the extreme. Or a huge gay.

    (Note: if you don't click the link, then the seemingly prejudiced statement will make less sense. So you should click it. Stupid.)

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  97. Of course, you could just be an attention whore, whoever-is-writing-this-blog.

    I'm done.

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  98. Dear Krums: there is this wonderful thing called a byline. It tells you who wrote a post.

    THE MORE YOU KNOW

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  99. have I not told you I am an attention whore before? ok well whatever I AM AN ATTENTION WHORE but also I am not sure if this internet-attention actually counts.

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  100. "Carl" needs some timeoff. WHY MUST YOU PEOPLE DEMAND SO MUCH FOR SO LITTLE FROM HIM? WHY?

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