Monday, June 29, 2009

603: Idiots

you know what i like i like democracy

oh hello there, look who is posting way crazy early.

I thought this comic was really, really condescending and insulting. Of course, the first time through I was just confused as all hell. I have not watched Idiocracy, and so, like you, I did not understand the premise that we were working from. And there are more ideas being thrown out than people so it got very confusing. And there is a new hat! What the fuck. i don't have time for this nonsense.

ok first off we need a name for New Hat, um...kind of looks like a old british man shooting elephants sort of a hat, the kind of thing teddy roosevelt would wear. Um...huh...you know what, screw it, his name is Mr. Line Through Head. yeah, look at it again, not such a great drawing now, is it? nope.

Ok the comic itself. First off, no matter what Idiocracy reference he made, it would have the tricky task of having to be comedy based on comedy. He had this problem with The Princess Bride and then again, to a lesser extent, with MathNet. If you are going to make a joke about something that is supposed to be funny, something that generally succeeds at being funny, it's hard to make an original joke that is good without just being derivative of the original. It's not funny to quote a movie on its own, it's funny because, and only because, it reminds people of something that already exists and that they already thought was funny. Once again, Randall falls victim to this trap - honestly, the best way to avoid it is to avoid making your comic reliant on someone else's comedy in the first place.

But onto the argument of the comic! Because this is a comic which makes an argument, a very political one.

First off, Stick Figure #1 (no hat) starts with a simple statement: "Idiocracy is true". Nothing too objectionable there. Now I don't know what it means for a movie to be "true" but based on the Wikipedia page, it looks like the movie is a comment on the state of advertising, corporate control, and general stupidity in our society (obviously, taken to extremes for comedic purposes, but clearly meant to show us about ourselves today). That's what I assume #1 means and he is perfectly logical to say so. So then, still in panel 1, Mr. Line Through Head reinterprets the meaning of the movie to be "stupid people have more children, though this didn't used to be the case." Now there is a little about that in the wikipedia page, and maybe it's all over the movie and I should just see it, but given that this is not, by any account, a popular movie, you have to imagine that most readers are in my position. OK - so we've twisted what the movie means. On to panel 2!

Mr. Line Through Head further elaborates, putting words into #1's mouth that he doesn't necessarily believe. Perhaps to continue the conversation, perhaps because he is not thinking clearly, or perhaps just to not be a dick, he agrees with Mr. Line. Fool! You fell into his trap!

Panel 3! The Great Reveal! Mr. Line says "HA HA FUCK YOU" and that #1 is wrong! And then when #1 says "Huh?" as in, "why did you lie to me? What does this mean? why are you such a dick" Mr. Line treats him like a stupid little bitch as though he had said "huh? what does the word 'wrong' mean?" which is pretty clearly not what he meant. Seriously, read that panel again. Doesn't it come off as douchey to the max??

Panel 4 contains perhaps the most morally superior sentence ever created about moral superiority. When I read that sentence, all I could think was, "huh, you sure sound pretty goddamn sure of yourself there, mr. line through your head." For a guy who claims to be decrying those who decry "obvious moral decay" you sure do seem to think that this is an example of moral decay.

in Panel 5 we get the lovely claim that "More harm has been done by people panicked over societal decline than societal decline ever did." That's an interesting one. How on earth do you measure such a thing? If one is in favor, say, of affirmative action, because I think that current non-affirmative action university admissions are racist, does that make me "panicked over societal decline"? Does it do harm, by hurting white people, or does it help the world by stopping racism? Whether you think that person is "panicking over societal decline" or not depends on where you are on the issue and how much you agree with them. So the idea that you can just go about proving a statement like Mr. Line Through Head's is absurd.

In Panel 6 I was hoping for one of those "As the author, I don't actually agree with this" endings that some comics have. Like the sarcastic last panel of 589, where Randall makes fun of the sort of people who act like the characters in the first panels. But alas, no. All we get is "ha ha you are UGLY, man who looks just like me but without a line through your head!" And it's so forced in there, too - what does that even mean? Stupid people have to choose between #1 and sex with stupid people? So does that make #1...smart? Does that make him the only smart person anywhere? but Mr. Line Through Head just finished bitching him out for being stupid. I don't get it.

And then the overarching problem with this whole shit storm of a comic is that no where is there any proof or evidence offered for the claim Mr. Line Through Head makes. Ordinarily claims made in comics don't need them, but in this case, since his whole point is about one guy being too sure with no evidence, I would have like to see something. In the alt-text, on the blog, somewhere. So why should I believe Mr. Line Through Head? He has no better evidence than #1 or anyone else, so who gives a shit what he says?

oh also he spelled "zealots" wrong because he is unprofessional and a hack and only fixed it when people noticed, and he didn't admit he changed it. that's downright orwellian, Randy.

128 comments:

  1. Well, the BASIC premise of the movie was that smart people are having fewer children and stupid people are having more children, and that a thousand years down the line it's gonna be a gigantic pool of retards. So he's not really twisting the film much.

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  2. Yep what Maleth said. Thats the entire premise of the movie. Stupid people have more children than smarter people.

    Some days you complain about his obscure references, other times you praise them. Get some consistency man!

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  3. altho I have to say imo this was the least worst xkcd in a long time

    it's still a bad comic

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  4. Yeah, the last panel made me scratch my head. How in the hell are "sleeping with Lineless" and "reproducing" equal and alternative options for a single choice that multiple people would make? It's like a failed attempt to verbally bitch slap someone that instead causes Mr. Linehead to slap himself in the balls, fall over the railing, and roll into the Valley of Fallacious Bullshit. Fuck this episode.

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  5. William M. HughesJune 29, 2009 at 11:38 PM

    Ah, Mr Carl "Ugly" Wheeler has decided to finally put down the cheetoes and get to work. IN THE DEVIL'S SMITHY. Clearly you cannot bare Randall Munroe's immense talent you jealous plebian.

    -William M. Hughes
    IQ 124
    "Cogito ergo sum"

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  6. @Kobra -- Smart people reproduce less often because if they did reproduce, it would have to be with OTHER smart people, like (foulness of foulnesses!) Lineless.

    CAPTCHA: lingus ;)

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  7. Yeah, fair enough that you didn't get the reference, but white hat guy isn't feeding any lines or making any strawmen. There's basically only one reasonable meaning to "idiocracy is so true", and he nailed it. Run in the right (read: wrong) circles, like slashdot, and you'll see this claim argument constantly.

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  8. Indeed, it was this comic that made me seek out this blog. Randall Monroe used to charm me with his wonderful comics and ideas. Nowadays he just comes across as a dick who thinks he is superior to everyone else with his "enlightened" attitudes and hippy bullshit.

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  9. Props to Carl, by the way, for posting on time! This is why we love you.

    (Even if I'm going to refer to you as Carl "Ugly" Wheeler from now on.)

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  10. The unintentionally hilarious part of this comic is its juxtaposition with the previous one. #602 demonstrates Randull's I'm-better-than-you-because-I'm-a-nerd attitude. But in #603 he is busy making fun of that same attitude in other people. (The belief that the Earth will be covered with only stupid people soon is an example of the I'm-better-than-you-because-I'm-a-nerd attitude because it goes hand in hand with the belief that nearly everyone else is an idiot. And if you believe nearly everyone else is an idiot you are an asshole.) At this rate in #604 he'll be making fun of people who have ordinary daydreams when trapped in a party with boring people who only want to talk about internet memes, ex-girlfriends, and a small selection of sci-fi movies.

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  11. William M. Hughes is my favorite thing about this blog (this is not a pejorative against you, Carl: William M. Hughes is simply hilarious).

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  12. William M. Hughes posts are like little presents. I love them.

    On a side note, this comic is a little irritating. I see this argument just like:

    A: Global warming is a real problem
    B: No it isn't, we'll all be fine

    There's no actual debate here because there's no supporting evidence for either side. I'd love to argue this with Randy because I felt idiocracy was a pretty interesting concept that could in fact theoretically happen.

    That and it's a fucking social satire by mike judge (Beavis and Butthead, Office Space, King of the Hill...) Arguing against a social satire and ending it with an insult like this just comes off embarrassing.

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  13. Yargh, by all meaningful measures, the intelligence of humans is increasing over time --- if not in the US, at least across the whole world. We know more, we use better technology, and solve problems more efficiently. Randy is right, people have worried forever about breeding destroying intelligence. You can find English writing around the time of the enlightenment saying that we're decaying intelligence-wise over time, and that the Greeks were a smarty pants golden age. Likewise, look at the etymology of the word "regression" : It comes from some Bacon's studies on how genetics have a tendency to push towards the mean anyway. The only way dark ages happen is through political/economic disaster, not "stupid people having too many kids yar yar aren't us elite intellectuals soo awesum?"

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  14. Was anyone else reminded of Isaac from Children of the Corn when they saw the new hat guy?

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  15. I don't understand what's actually enjoyable about this comic.

    There's no joke, no art, no insight.

    It's just... there.

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  16. We already have a system in place that prevents stupid people from having too many children. A system that rewards the productive and intelligent with social and monetary incentives.

    It's called society.

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  17. The Temptation of Juan Valdez IIIJune 30, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    It worries me how much Randall is becoming (or has become, depending on how you look at it) the Dane Cook of the webcomics world.

    Consider:

    * He makes pointless observations that resonate with a certain crowd for no reason other than shared experience.

    * He is of the persuassion that if a joke isn';t funny the first time, it must be repeated.

    * He laughs at his own jokes before he tells them (his writing style lately has reeked of this).

    * He often replaced humor with writing of the "I totally did this... you probably have too - HILLARIOUS!" style.

    * He has an appetite for uncomfortably stupid sex jokes

    * Most irritatingly, he manages to feel that he has a certain moral high ground, even though he obviouslyu has no reaosn to feel this way.

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  18. Snark David ChapmanJune 30, 2009 at 8:33 AM

    To the Anonymous individual whose post dealt with "society" having checks and balances to ensure that dumb people don't have too many children. I'm not sure I've heard a dumber arguement in my entire time on the Internets, congratulations. Which society are you a part of that prevents stupid people from having too many children. There's literally nothing about what you wrote that is in any way correct.

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  19. @The Temptation of Juan Valdez III:

    The difference between Dane Cook and Randall is that Dane Cook's presentation of "Hey I totally did this" can be entertaining more often than Randall's presentation of "Hey I totally did this"

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  20. Carl, you have destroyed everything I held dear. I feel like I should be discussing 604 now, but I can't.

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  21. its ok 604 sucks too

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  22. this comic sucked. it was just.. preaching. randall could've just written a three line blog post somewhere saying the same damn thing.

    @Juan Valdez: roffle, that comparison is all sorts of win. and so very true.

    oh, and major thumbs up to carl for getting this post out before 604 came out.

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  23. This comic plays out like this:

    stick#1: claim with no evidence
    stick#2: you are totally right!

    Stick#2: if by right you mean wrong, totally wrong then yes!

    Stick#2: another claim with no evidence! but i am right because you are ugly!

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  24. I -still- think it's a high point that for once Randall isn't pandering to the "people are stupid" aspect of geek culture, but refuting it. Even if he does do so by calling somebody stupdid.

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  25. Yeah, in retrospect, the more I thought about the joke in 603, the less funny it became. I was just surprised because I expected Randall to take the "Everyone's Dumb but Me" stance and use Idiocracy as the case that all the ladies should want to have casual sex with him all the time. When he didn't do that, I mistook it for humor. But upon examining the joke, Mr. Line Through Head makes absurd claims and really gives the first stick guy a tough time for no reason.

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  26. @Snark
    People who are more intelligent are generally more wealthy (because society values productive people) and can afford to have bigger families and better nutrition and health care. On the other hand less intelligent people are generally poorer and cannot afford to have as many children.

    Do I have to spell it out for you further?

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  27. Except that is not and has never been the case.

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  28. It's not like the Mathnet or Princess Bride things. He's not making fun of a comedy film, he's making fun of people who take the premise of a comedy film too seriously. And they do exist.

    And if you haven't watched Idiocracy, I'm going to start chalking up a lot of your complaints to you just not being a member of whatever subculture does like XKCD. Maybe you should start writing a blog complaining about how French movies keep using words you don't understand, or something.

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  29. In my experience, it's the low-IQ, uneducated people who end up with higher paying jobs (usually in the trades). The intellectuals with Bachelor's degrees end up working at McDonalds.

    There just isn't demand for critical thinking or abstract reasoning in the workplace.

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  30. Snark David ChapmanJune 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    @Anon

    Correct in theory - in practice, totally, utterly wrong.

    Thanks for playing.

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  31. Snark David ChapmanJune 30, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    Sorry, that's in reply to the condescending, somewhat ill-informed Anon who keeps to the opinion that rich people have more kids.

    Sorry for any confusion.

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  32. @Anon 10:25

    The 'trades'? Are you kidding? Did you major in history and are jealous now that engineers make more than you ever will?

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  33. William Monty HughesJune 30, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    "It's not like the Mathnet or Princess Bride things. He's not making fun of a comedy film, he's making fun of people who take the premise of a comedy film too seriously. And they do exist.

    And if you haven't watched Idiocracy, I'm going to start chalking up a lot of your complaints to you just not being a member of whatever subculture does like XKCD. Maybe you should start writing a blog complaining about how French movies keep using words you don't understand, or something."

    Ah, greetings Ryan. I believe we may be kindred spirits. It's nice to meet a fellow "norm" in this...this... despicable congress of INBREDS and FAILURES. Of NERDS and RETARDS.
    Your post may be only two paragraphs long, but it simply SCREAMS "brilliance". Are you a scholarly individual? I hope so. Whilst I am usually correct in my assumptions (I have been told that I have an exceptional ability to judge the character of a person) I have, on occasion, made slight errors in my reasoning. This is uncommon but within the realm of possibility.
    You DO however appear to be an intellectual such as myself. My IQ is 124 (genius), what is yours? If you don't mind my enquiry, of course. I have an unquenchable thirst of knowledge, you must understand. It would be my pleasure to converse with you further, perhaps on the Fora (username: Mathstar) or maybe this very blog?

    Enough about you. I'm going to assess your (extremely valid) criticisms. I agree with them all. Every paragraph, sentence, word and letter. Every single minute pixel.
    Now to expand:
    Most of Carl's points are nihilistic (meaningless). There is no point to them. He is merely CYBERBULLYING Randall to mask his own insecurities. He thinks he is so very clever, but he is not. I see the writings on the walll. I know that he is an unremarkable simpleton. I know that Randall Munroe is mentally, physically and spiritually superior to him in all aspects of reality.

    I do not expect this comment to survive the night. I am casting the Liberating Light on Satan (Carl), his daemons (You monsters) and Hades (the xkcdsucks blog). Mr. Carl "Ugly" Wheeler or one of his sycophantic minions will delete this post, to conceal the truth. This cannot happen. You must know. You must know the truth. You must all know the truth.
    This is unjust. By removing this post, he will have broken the Right to Free Speech. If you are unaware, the Right to Free Speech is an American doctrine, whereby all citizens of the glorious United States of America have the privilege to voice their opinions freely and without fear of prosecution. Our forefathers fought for our rights, and today Carl will easily take that right away from you. He doesn't care. HE DOESN'T CARE!!!
    Well, I will not stand for this. Carl Wheeler, you are a TERRORIST and a CYBERBULLY. And nothing more.

    The Truth Will Set You Free, Carl
    The Truth Will Set you Free

    -William M. Hughes
    IQ 124
    "Cogito ergo sum"

    PS I do not believe in Satan, Demons or Hell. They are ludicrous concept and I am not a moron. Religion is for mentally challenged sheeple and paedophiles.

    CAPTCHA: Chessinc. I like chess.

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  34. This comic sucked in a very generic, boring way, such that I have nothing much to say about it. The only thing that did strike me as odd is that I had just seen Idiocracy for the first time 2 nights before this comic was posted, which evoked a minor "get out of my head" reaction, but otherwise I greatly disliked it.

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  35. At Ryan:

    You're not the first person to walk in here and say we don't think the jokes are funny because we're "just not being a member of whatever subculture does like XKCD."

    So you can only criticize XKCD if you know where the jokes are coming from? Fair enough. Except people who have seen the movie are still pointing out the comic's bullshit.

    Therefore, the "whatever subculture" you were referring to is anyone who likes the comic and only the people who like the comic can criticize it.

    Bullshit. You came to a url called XKCD sucks, so don't expect us to think any different if some of us don't get the reference to a movie we've never seen.

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  36. I -still- laugh out loud whenever I read that 'in the devil's smithy' line.

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  37. "In The Devil's Smithy" is the name of the first single from my latest album. Should be available now, if Parlophone have correctly gotten themselves in gear.

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  38. Haha, breeding control!

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  39. I do not expect this comment to survive the night. I am casting the Liberating Light on Satan (Carl), his daemons (You monsters) and Hades (the xkcdsucks blog). Mr. Carl "Ugly" Wheeler or one of his sycophantic minions will delete this post, to conceal the truth. This cannot happen. You must know. You must know the truth. You must all know the truth.

    William M. Hughes (IQ 124), I commend myself to your all-encompassing intellectual brilliantness. With one paragraph, you have demonstrated a stronger grasp of the intricacies of the universe than Carl "Ugly" Wheeler has in an entire billennia of insipid posting. Truly, the hand of God (who is Randall) has touched you, and elevated you to the didactic position of rhetorical unassailable fortitudinous you so righteously hold.

    I submit myself to your tutelage. Can you teach me the ways of glorifying Randall, who is the Christ?

    --Malethoth J.M. Kazyanenko
    IQ 168
    "Heresy grows from idleness"

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  40. William Monty HughesJune 30, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    Malethoth J.M. Kazyanenko:
    Please do not simply devise a random number and refer to it as your Intelligence Quotient. You may be ignorant of this, but the IQ is derived from an actual intelligent test. YOU CANNOT MAKE IT UP. I suggest you take the test. What you are doing is FRAUD and it belittles those of us who have had genuinely exceptional scores. My gratitudes.
    Also I'm elated that my considerable persuasive prowress has convinced you to cease your Randall abusing ways. I may one day tutor you, but not now. Currently fatigue saps my intellect. Farewell, Malethoth!

    I sincerely hope the rest of you heed my message. Carl Wheeler is a purely malevolent force and must be destroyed for the common good of all humanity.
    THIS MESSAGE CANNOT BE IGNORED. THIS MESSAGE MUST NOT BE IGNORED.

    -William M. Hughes
    IQ 124
    "Cogito ergo sum"

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  41. I hope Munroe doesn't fall off of that soapbox and smash his big head on reality.
    Idiocracy is one of my favorite movies because it's just so ridiculous. We're talking people who get their law degrees from Costco, are named Velveeta, and only wear crocs. Justin Long is a doctor. Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph are the smartest people on the planet. This comic sucked hard and even someone who generally likes xkcd can see that this comic is going downhill fast.

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  42. @Snark
    You're as insightful as you're condescending.

    Thanks for playing. Try again another time, durr.

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  43. William James SidisJune 30, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    You're all faggots. Except for William, whose name I like.

    Yours,
    William James Sidis II
    IQ 283

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  44. You totally showed him, little dud!

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  45. Carl, the movie was about stupid people reproducing more while the smart ones don't just "fuck" but make a conscious decision, and thus wait till it's too late. So basically these two people are in the future where thanks to the stupid people reproducing and the smart ones not, everyone is retarded. You could just have asked us. I think you need to accept help from your trusty helpers more.

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  46. @ the idiot Anon who thinks society has balances that ensure that the wealthy have more children:

    Once again, I feel it's worth pointing out that this has never been the case. Indeed, poor families have always had many more children, for a number of reasons. Education, wealth, et cetera are inversely correlated with the number of children a family has.

    It has always been this way.

    (Also, nations with better health care have lower birth rates. True facts.)

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  47. Snark David ChapmanJune 30, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    @Condescending point-dodging Anon

    Give me some information to back up your claims. Until you can, please stop acting like you know what you're talking about.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb092/is_7_33/ai_n28960545/

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  48. Basically, Idiocracy's general tone is what XKCD's tone would be if it were a movie. I don't think that this ia good comic strip, but I can't see how you can bash it's premise since it has the same premise as this entire blog and quite frankly it's a point that needs to be made. While Munroe's rendition was his typically hamfisted way (honestly, this is almost the same style as the "Girls on the Internet" comic from a while back) the POINT that he's making isn't really that far off the mark.

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  49. Masticore RandallbaneJune 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    William Monty Hughes, return to the private hell you escaped from.

    I'm on my pilgrimage to slay the one they call Munroe. And I'll find you next.

    Yours in the Carl,
    Masticore Randallbane
    IQ Infinity

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  50. Anti-hipster to the max. Unexpected, strong, but ultimately failure.

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  51. WILLIAM. I must alert you that I take the highest possible amount of umbrage with your slanderous comments! In every possible case your facts are the very opposite of reality: I prefer (greatly) sun chips to cheetos, not a single charge of terrorism against me has ever (EVER) held up in a court above the district level, and while my smithy does have a stylish black and red flame-based design scheme, it is hardly the devil's.

    Further, your IQ test results to not impress me, as my IQ is 124.3, making me in fact more intelligent than you good sir! I am most egregiously offended, and I would like to settle this argument with you via a commonplace pistol duel. We shall meet in the town square at Noon and then we shall see who indeed has the facts on their side.

    Good Day-
    Carl Ugly Wheeler.

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  52. Alternate premise: stickman realizes that fans of 'Idiocracy' merely recognize the truth of its premise but fail to act on its value as a warning to society. Stickman rushes out the door, promising to improve moral and educational standards throughout the land.

    ...then he rushes back in and slams the door behind him, explaining, "You guys! People are COMPLICATED!"

    Second alternate premise: Hank Hill does a cameo and shuts down Stickman's stereotypes of rednecks with a lengthy explanation of yard engineering, propane, and propane accessories.

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  53. Dearest William M. Hughes,

    I resent your accusations that I have fabricated my Intelligence Quotient (IQ) results! I'll have you know that I was tested in the fiery forges of the greatest psychologists of this, or indeed any, epoch. My intellect is a beacon of grandeur, and though I had hoped you might see a flicker of recognition and camaraderie in a fellow Carl "Ugly" Wheeler hater, it seems that you have NOT. While I respect our mutual love of Randall, King of Kings, I fear that your intolerance of my intelligence has rendered me marginally hostile toward you.

    With the most sincere beatitudes,
    Malethoth J.M. Kazyanenko
    IQ 168
    "Heresy grows from idleness"

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  54. devil's smithy + highest possible amount of umbrage = best comment thread ever.

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  55. William Monty HughesJune 30, 2009 at 2:28 PM

    Philistines.

    -William M. Hughes
    IQ 224
    "Cogito ergo sum"

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  56. You're all fucking retarded.

    -Poore
    IQ Suck My Dick
    "Sic Semper Tyrannosaurus"

    P.S. - Except Amanda.

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  57. Normally I like xkcd. I like this blog as well, as Carl does have legitimate criticsm that nobody else has the guts to say. But 603 was terrible? Where's the funny? It's just Randall getting preachy about some random movie plus a tacked on "joke" at the end.

    CAPTCHA:difyin (as in Randall difyin actuall humor)

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  58. Tomical: I've no doubt the "maybe this comic's not FOR you" argument has been trotted out before, but in this particular case, it seems appropriate. The first stickman says "Idiocracy is true" and Carl makes up his own assumptions as to what the character means, and then is shocked, shocked, when the second stickman takes it to mean something else.

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  59. Happily, the comic is still terrible regardless of whether or not Line Through Head is correctly interpreting Idiocracy.

    (Furthermore, interpreting Idiocracy to mean that America is a country dominated by idiots, consumerism, and fast food is a perfectly legitimate way to view the movie.)

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  60. @Carl:
    I got half a bag of Sun Chips as a birthday present today. KEEN, HUH?

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  61. Ugh, this has to be my least favourite xkcd for quite some time. It's so condescending and crashingly unsubtle that it may as well have begun with sentence: "Hey kids! Can you spot the HIDDEN MESSAGE in today's xkcd?!!"

    Maybe it's because I've never heard of Idiocracy either.

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  62. After reading 603 I decided to watch Idiocracy. So I guess XKCD could be called funny because it directed me to that.

    Maybe.

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  63. I love this blog. I love it more than I dislike XKCD.

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  64. Does anyone else see the irony when compared to 169?

    Notice that Mr. Hatless said only 3 things before being called a zealot:

    "Idiocracy is so true."
    "Depressing, huh?"
    "Huh?"

    For all Mr. Headline knows, he could be making an innocuous comment about the commercialism in Idiocracy and then agreeing half-heartedly with Mr. Headline so that he'll shut up. To be fair, Mr. Hatless is not entirely blameless, as shown by his seeming advocacy of negative eugenics in the last panel, but there's no way Headline could have known this at the time when he went on his long tirade against zealots and doomsayers, drawing sweeping generalizations from a single example.

    Hatless: Lousy weather today, huh?
    Headline: I know, right? I hate it when it rains. I can't go outside without getting all wet and muddy.
    Hatless: Depressing, huh?
    Headline: EXCEPT EVERYTHING I SAID WAS WRONG! DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT THE WORLD WOULD BE LIKE IF IT NEVER RAINED? PLANTS WOULD DIE, FOLLOWED CLOSELY BY ANIMALS AND HUMANS!!! YOU'RE LIKE ONE OF THOSE RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS WHO THINKS THAT THE FORCES OF NATURE SHOULD BEND TO MEET HIS NEEDS, BEING TOTALLY IGNORANT OF THE UNAVOIDABLE REALITY THAT HE IS NOT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, AND THAT OTHER ENTITIES EXISTS WHOSE NEEDS AND/OR DESIRES MAY CONFLICT WITH HIS OWN...
    Hatless: *takes out dagger*

    Remind me never to attempt casual conversation with a pith-helmet-wearing stick figure.

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  65. Ryan:
    Saying this particular comic's not for people who have never seen Idiocracy is legitimate, but what you said was:
    "And if you haven't watched Idiocracy, I'm going to start chalking up a lot of your complaints to you just not being a member of whatever subculture does like XKCD."

    A subculture is not a group of people who have seen one specific movie. "You've never seen The Crow? Sorry, you're not allowed to be Goth anymore."

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  66. By the way, anon above: Brilliant.

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  67. @Tomical:

    If you've never seen "The Crow", the restless ghost of the 90's will rise from it's grunge-filled grave and, along with the spirit of Brandon Lee, cock-slap you into the last century.

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  68. Yo Poore. I've seen the Crow. Wait, are you the real one or the troll?

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  69. Aha! So the "z" in "czwheeler@gmail.com" stands for "ugly"! Finally my curiosity is satisfied.

    you guys we have 69 comments

    well not anymore, once i post this comment

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  70. Amanda, that is a very Randy thing to notice.

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  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  72. @Tomical:

    That troll left a while ago. I am real. You can tell from the pixels, and from having seen quite a few Poore's in your day.

    (I used to be a /b/tard, but now I'm a goon. But I've always been an alcoholic :D)

    Captcha: calrfpqf - why would they do this to a drunk man?

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  73. Okay, wow, it took me, like, three readings to understand what the hell was going on in 604. Maybe because for some reason, he put the last line in a narration box thingy, when it's what the guy said. And it doesn't have anything to do with the first narration box.

    Also, alt text, I AM ON TO YOUR TRICKS. SMBC is awesome and SPOILERS you are not.

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  74. Heyyy! Now we can complain about 604!

    Something tells me Randy was typing on AIM pleading with Megan while in his IRC chatroom. They were seriously talking about animal hookers. Randy was pleading for Paypal donations for another night with his long-necked favorite when Megan rejected him again, forcing AIM to pop up and causing him to type that message to her. To hide his disgusting accident, he made up this whole situation to her about someone cleaning their closet and being too stupid to stop typing when someone is talking to hide his message. Megan of course did not believe him. He then decided to make this into a comic, so then it would seem believable or at least too pathetic to be a lie. Of course, since he must appear godly on the internet, in his comic it is Megan asking him out and him refusing. But we know the truth, Randy! WE KNOW THE TRUTH!

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  75. Who WOULDN'T appreciate those long necks? So slender.

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  76. Well 604 is refreshing. That last one was horrible and I normal enjoy xkcd. This is something I can relate to and it gives me a bit a smile, my smiles are equivalent to a normal persons giggle.

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  77. Tomical is what people commonly refer to as retarded.

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  78. At least I didn't make a comic about giving oral sex to a giraffe.

    I made a movie.

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  79. Better Alt Text: If this were SMBC, there would be a funny joke somewhere in the comic!

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  80. 604 is funny 'cause it's a thing that happened!

    urgh.

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  81. 604: Better than 603, but giraffe cunnilingus is not really my thing.

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  82. I don't think giraffe cunnilingus is anyone's thing. Well, anyone's thing who is normal.

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  83. 603 could've been pretty good, but he screwed it up (again):

    - Mixing narrator with an actual character. This works okay for the first part, but the "I meant FREQUENTLY" should instead be another panel where awkwardness ensues in the chat session and he attempts to correct his mistake. Instead he just fell back on the narrator to explain the joke.

    - Giraffe cunnilingus. Seriously, what the frak is WRONG with you, Randall.

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  84. Another comic that could've come from bash.org

    yay?

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  85. Also, 604 is basically both of Randy's Calvin and Hobbes comic, in that the only basis of humor is derived from a better cartoonist.
    "But Tomical, you retard! That's the alt-text, not the joke!"
    As soon as I see the joke in the actual comic, then I'll agree with you, anonymous strawman.

    Bye the way, this was the closest I could find: Link

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  86. #604 is just another one of Randy's pathetic attempts at creating a situation people can relate to in lieu of telling an actual joke. OH MAN GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDYPOO I LOVE YOU

    And shit, he actually referenced SMBC for lack of something witty to say in the alt-text. That just pisses me off for some reason.

    Yeah, and that giraffe thing... Wow. Randy is sexually frustrated that's for sure. Maybe the Internet should pitch in and buy a hooker for Randy so he can finally unload his repugnant semen in something other than stray dogs for a change.

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  87. Tomical I thought that SMBC was really good.

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  88. dear Randall
    in re xkcd #604

    FUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUU

    also dear carl the text box brokenness appears to be if you visit the entry from the entry permalink instead of from the comment link because BLOGGER FUCKING SUCKS

    IT IS SHIT

    also in this spot the text box is done as an iframe and even cursor keys don't work

    also i just got home from karaoke and it was AWESOME and i had absinthe

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  89. also wow until i viewed smbc's page source i had no idea there were the little attempted popup graphics. do they only work in msie or some horseshit?

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  90. WEB SHIT IS HARD is what i'm saying

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  91. Wow, the comic was better than I thought it would be.

    Mostly because I read the comment thread here before the comic and assumed it was a single panel of Randy-Sue just eating out of a giraffe.

    Thank God.

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  92. also wow until i viewed smbc's page source i had no idea there were the little attempted popup graphics. do they only work in msie or some horseshit?

    i'm running firefox 3.0.11 on windows xp sp3 and the popups work for me

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  93. What R. said. I blame you guys for my feeling slightly better about the comic.

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  94. I too am bothered by his explicit mention of SMBC. Has he ever referenced an actual comic before? I know he said something 'bout Bill Watterson before.

    Also agreed with whoever said this was basically a bash.org comic again.

    I don't understand the copy/paste problems you people are having with the comment box. My problem is that it makes me enter captcha twice...

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  95. He did a Penny Arcade parody once.

    But now I have to retract my comment from the low-bandwidth-porn comic. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and figured he might've come up with that joke without having seen SMBC. Now, though, I consider that he's fully aware of SMBC and that he did, in fact, rip it off.

    This makes me feel good. Also: the joke in 604 was pathetic. I'm not bothered by giraffe cunnilingus, but yeah, it was basically "OMG I ACCIDENTALLY TYPED SOMETHING I WAS SAYING ONCE SO IF I MAKE A CONTRIVED JOKE ABOUT IT PEOPLE WILL THINK IT'S GREAT BECAUSE THEY'LL RELATE AND NOT CARE ABOUT WETHER THE JOKE IS ANY GOOD."

    In my world, Randy thinks out loud, in all caps.

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  96. Everyone on the Internet thinks out loud. I use small caps in Futura.

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  97. People we've got a new addition to the crappy dialogue list! "Aww, what an adorable stuffed giraffe!"

    Any normal person would be like "Aww, that's adorable." They wouldn't shoehorn in the fucking substitution-insert blob about the giraffe. And if Randy changed the comic to "type what you're thinking," the joke would still work. As much as it could anyway.

    We also have another instance of Randy's Manic Pixie Dream Girl satellite. For a comic that claims to be all pro-women and stuff, he does this all the fucking time.

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  98. Fred, funny you should mention Penny Arcade. Seems like xkcd and PA have something in common now.

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  99. @Wilhelm:

    I was about to point that out. Sexual attraction to giraffes is a running joke (guess what the "g" in "m4g" stands for) at PA

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  100. I've been reading exclusively xkcd so long anymore that I forget that some webcomics actually have art.

    Anyways, 604 is just a bash, again. And the less said about the alt-text the better.

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  101. @tomical

    You can criticise the comic if you don't know where the jokes are coming from, but merely not knowing this is not a valid basis for criticism.

    Pick at the lack of logic of the argument or the lack of evidence used to back it up (assuming Randall was trying to make a serious point here), but xkcd makes cultural references all the time. It's part of what the comic is about. There's always going to be a fair number that some of the audience simply don't get.

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  102. luckykaa:

    If you've looked at my last few posts, I agree to this.

    But I think your post touches on one of my personal major issues with XKCD and any number of popular unfunny shit. Notice you say "xkcd makes cultural references." References. In no way does references have anything to do with humor. What Randy does is reference something we all know about (GOOMHR) and make a crappy sex joke. Verifying your existence on the internet is no excuse for ignoring bad humor.< /soapbox>

    Sorry about the rant but I was hoping I wouldn't have to turn on my computer but since I did I figured I'd make the most of it.

    By the way, you can't copy-paste if you're anonymous or just posting your name but you can if you're logged on to Blogger or Google.

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  103. You made me love this comic, Carl. Condescending and insulting -- isn't that what YOUR blog is?

    Notice that I'm not criticising you and Randall for that -- I actually we need MORE of that in art. Enough with the polictically correct bullshit; people are afraid to find honesty and directness in the things they see and the only consequence of that is MORE fear of honesty and directness. Keep on shoving shit on their faces, and if they complain, shove MORE shit. It's Randall's comic, he does what he wants with it. It's your blog, you do what you want with it. Condescend. Insult. You're not doing a goddamn self-help book (or whatever you call it there).

    Besides, the comic is not merely "condescending and insulting"; it's condescending and insulting towards people WHO ARE EXACTLY THAT towards about 90% of the world. Unfortunately you can find WAY too many people who claim THEY are aware and smart, and are along in a world of stupidity. Just look at the xkcd forum! People like that should go take a walk. I have no patience for that, and I'm glad Randall hasn't either.

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  104. Randall sure had patience for that sentiment in his other comics, though.

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  105. lifehacker apparently likes 603:

    http://lifehacker.com/5305295/aviarycom-creates-edit+ready-web-screenshots

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  106. OMG I accidentally clicked a link in Randy's blog and found this god-awful comic: http://blag.xkcd.com/2008/03/

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  107. @Fred:

    That's what xkcd should be. Randall's illustrated picto-blog. All this forced humor gets us contrived sex joke after sex joke.

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  108. Fred: I'm not talking about parodies, though... I'm talking straight-up references. Clearly if he parodies another comic he is talking about another comic, but I don't think he's ever actually named another comic within a non-parody.

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  109. @Fred
    Facepalming so hard at his skateboard comic. You cannot pull a horse anywhere with 80% of a horsepower. That's not what horsepower means.

    1 hp = 550 ft*lb per second

    You cannot pull a 1000-1500 lbs animal with a force that weak, that's just common sense. Apparently Randy got his degree from a diploma mil.

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  110. Amanda: He explicitely mentions Men in Hats in one of the earliest strips with Black hat guy

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  111. oh damn. okay all right I am less bothered I guess

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  112. 604: MORE SEX! MORE CUNNILINGUS! HA-HA-HA, Randall, you are one funny bastard!

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  113. @Wilhem: I don't know a thing about physics, so it's your word against Randall's, and because Randall is a tool that means you win. I guess that's another reason to hate that comic, beside the "electric skateboard + science = LOVE!" message.

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  114. I think Mr Line Through Head's hat looks more like a Brodie helmet.

    Maybe he time-travelled from the First World War, or he's into First World War re-enactments, or maybe Randall is just shit.

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  115. it's probably supposed to be a white hat or some shit

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  116. I actually didn't think this one was that bad. I wonder if Randall realised that he was mentally punching himself in the face with it, though.

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  117. Terrible. Carl, the fact that you haven't seen Idiocracy would be fairly obvious even if you hadn't admitted it. You obviously don't understand the strip; your counter-argument makes no sense. Affirmative Action? What the fuck?

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  118. Maybe that's why I admitted it? To be honest with people?

    I am sorry that you do not understand my reference. I will make it simpler: A statement like the one Mr. Line makes in Panel 5 is not only stupid and not based in fact, but it is so open to interpretation that it is not possible to even decide how one would prove or disprove it.

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  119. I must admit I wasn't expecting a response. Let me explain and retract a little.

    Well, ok, you were honest, but it doesn't really cancel out the fact that your lack of familiarity with the movie and with attitudes like the hatless guy's really impairs your criticism of this strip.

    I was confused by your reference to affirmative action, because that has nothing to do with the type of social decline that idiocracy discusses (Yes, I get it now, it's all relative.)

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  120. Particularly good analysis this time, Carl. I usually like XKCD, but I think you were on point on this one.

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  121. Of the criticisms I've read on the xkcd blog, this one seems to miss the mark.

    It's referring to the "everybody knows what's best for you" crowd that ends up ordering people how to live because they're the "smart ones".

    It's not so much Idiocracy as it is the response from individuals about it - because that last statement from hatless is often what the type of folks who really liked Idiocracy say.

    Regardless of the social satire of the film, it's used as a plank for elitist misanthropes to go on about how much humanity sucks, often with their own ideals about who should live and how.

    It's almost a given that xkcd (and xkcd sucks) readers are smarter than the average bear (sans satire here), but this seems only to have touched on those who exhibit knee-jerk reactions to their basic view on humanity.

    Randall's romantic look at humanity, love, life, and all that mushy side of life indicates a side that wishes for the best, but he's tempered by sarcasm and cynicism. Sarcasm in inherently negative and mocking humor that builds nothing.

    In this case, it looks more like xkcd has hit a sore nerve with people who share values with hatless than anything else.

    It's like "stuff white people like" making fun of white urban hipster trendy liberal's personal sacred cows.

    ---

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  122. ---
    in Panel 5 we get the lovely claim that "More harm has been done by people panicked over societal decline than societal decline ever did." That's an interesting one. How on earth do you measure such a thing? If one is in favor, say, of affirmative action, because I think that current non-affirmative action university admissions are racist, does that make me "panicked over societal decline"? Does it do harm, by hurting white people, or does it help the world by stopping racism? Whether you think that person is "panicking over societal decline" or not depends on where you are on the issue and how much you agree with them. So the idea that you can just go about proving a statement like Mr. Line Through Head's is absurd.
    ---
    Yes, more damage has been done by those fighting against supposed moral decay and societal decline.

    Attaching it to affirmative action is absurd. How does affirmative action fight societal or social decline? Or how does the absence of it preserve societal or moral rectitude (unless you're Robert Byrd)?

    If one is pro-aa, then it's supposed to swing the pendulum the other way to make up for historical injustices.

    If one is anti-aa, it not only gives unfair advantage based on skin color, but it also diminishes the accomplishments of those who succeed. It's assumed they've benefited from the new power structure, and therefore aren't as qualified.

    It's also criticized because it can't change the past, it can only favor those in the present and discriminate against those born with the wrong skin color based on their ancestors' perceived advantages. Rather than bury the past, it nurtures old wounds, allowing one party to claim greivance, while it actually can create new ones by causing injury (through quota admissions, etc.) or otherwise nursing negative perceptions and creating new grievances.

    Perhaps Carl's analysis works better than he intended, as his example illustrates EXACTLY the harm done by well-meaning people panicking or introducing their plans for an ideal world. It also indicates a lack of ability to see that history existed before the 1960s.

    This just happens to be attacking his own sacred cow of believing things are good because they are, despite the facts. His example is inadvertently an excellent one.

    If one were to look at history and the neverending schemes of people who know what's best and right - from phrenology to socialism - and the "people's revolutions" - xkcd is spot on. Those preaching moral decline are invariably those who step in with "the answer" - and often it involves killing off "the stupid" - sometimes quite literally killing retarded children as in Scandinavia from the 1930s-1970s, sometimes it simply involves displacing those perceived as "stupid lower classes", sometimes it's a lot worse.

    Regardless, this comic takes a strong swipe at elitist snotty know-it-alls, illustrates that Randall can hold tea and no tea (even if he used to be funnier), and illuminates a lot more closed-mindedness than one would expect from people who by their very associations and such claim to be smart.

    Someone on the internet is wrong.

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  123. http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.com/2009/07/lets-all-take-break-for-two-seconds.html

    Aha. TNR. As I said, sacred cows.

    ---
    The comic isn't bad, but it highlights Randall's romantic side against his cynical side. And much more importantly, it attacks sacred cows. That's why it's harder for folks at xkcd sucks to deal with, and why it's rejected on emotional grounds.

    ---
    Panel 3! The Great Reveal! Mr. Line says "HA HA FUCK YOU" and that #1 is wrong! And then when #1 says "Huh?" as in, "why did you lie to me? What does this mean? why are you such a dick" Mr. Line treats him like a stupid little bitch as though he had said "huh? what does the word 'wrong' mean?" which is pretty clearly not what he meant. Seriously, read that panel again. Doesn't it come off as douchey to the max??
    ---
    That's not analysis. Particularly the "treats him like a stupid little bitch". This says a lot more about the author of the review than it does about the comic.

    Perhaps, to bastardize a phrase... "your dad!"

    There are so many good criticisms of xkcd here, this one stood out as a terrible, emotionally based, unwarranted criticism.

    I'm reminded of punks calling other punks sellouts at this point. (Again, even if there are plenty of unfunny xkcds, or ones with bad or unnecessary math... and the reverse polish was still unfunny.)

    Oh well. Someone on the internet was wrong.

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  124. i don't know what the hell you are saying. write it in 100 words or less and I will respond more.

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