Sunday, June 7, 2009

Comic 593: Pages of Nonsense

full of giberish

Now a lot of people who are beginning to lean towards the "huh, this webcomic does suck a little" have told me that they like this comic. I don't know why. For those of you silly people who had not heard about the Voynich Manuscript (unlike me - thanks again, Unusual Wikipedia Articles!), I have no clue why you would find this comic funny: It presents a historical oddity and makes a joke off it, which I suppose could be amusing at the Annual Conference of Voynich Enthusiasts but for those of us not plaugued by wondering what this manuscript is, why should we care?

If the comic were about some unsolved mystery that we all actually knew about (I don't know what, but people have heard of Amelia Earhart, so work with that), it would be more interesting.

There's also the fact that Randall twists the truth to make his joke work: People don't know that it is full of recipes, and descriptions of other worlds and stuff. The punchline only works if you assume that the text of the book is something like a D&D manual, and it's only funny if no one has a clue what any of the text is. So the whole thing doesn't work. Commenter Fred put the whole thing very well on the last posts thread:

It is an INCREDIBLE stretch to even imagine that the Voynich manuscript looks like what a 16th century D&D manual would have looked like. It doesn't have any tables, the closest thing to 'lists' are paragraphs marked with a bullet (which -might- be recipes) and there's no telling if it has "long dry descriptions of nonexistent worlds" because NOBODY CAN FUCKING READ IT. How does stickman know the text is dry? Where did 'descriptions of nonexistent worlds' come from? I mean, the only thing the manuscript has in common with a D&D manual are things Randall -imagined- are in the manuscript.

"Hey, I wonder what the Voynich manuscript is all about."
"Isn't that obvious? Look, it's page after page of romance, sarcasm, math and language, surrounded with a lot of crappy drawings."
"Dear lord, it -is- obvious!"
500 years earlier: "Forsooth, if I deconstructeth the intricacies of sexual relations then Megan might still love me."
Alt text: You confuse me! You have apparently crammed two separate ideas right after each other, and made it sound like a question immediately followed by another, but they don't make sense together.


Oh right I was going to say something nice about every comic: Um - I guess I like the drawing in panel 1, it looks pretty accurate. And also the "show us don't tell us" nature of the punchline.


=======

On another note, of late there have been way more comments than there used to be posted on the blog. Generally that is awesome, most of them are good and debate humor from all sides. I want to encourage people who disagree with me to keep posting. As you can see, there are also lots of less, shall we say, meritorious posts, and that sucks, but we will have to do our best. You should know, however, that I am not going to be writing comments for a while. This is a) because it would take too much time to respond to even a fraction of the comments we are getting, and b) so you know anything from "Carl" is not actually from me. I'll use my unobscured space here in the posts to let you know what I think, and whether I, in fact, enjoy sucking ass turds.

97 comments:

  1. But Carl, "present an idea and then make a joke off of it" describes about 60% of Dinosaur Comics. You seem to be implying that anyone who hasn't heard of the Voynich manuscript already must be opposed to learning about it.

    Now that I look at the Wikipedia page, I would guess that "long, dry descriptions of imaginary worlds" is an inference from the illustrations. Actually, the presence of nude women in the drawings makes the case for "it's an RPG" that much stronger.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pat brings up an excellent point. Actually, this comic would transpose pretty well into Dinosaur Comics.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Only if all the problems with the contradictory information about the Voynich were resolved.

    It's not fundamentally impossible to make a clever joke about the Voynich manuscript, I think, but a lot of editing would have to be done to make this one not stupid. Like Carl pointed out, there are two blatantly contradictory elements of the joke.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, the concept anyway. The first two panels feature T-Rex explaining the manuscript and then making some assertion that he's solved the mystery, being corrected by Utahraptor, and then possibly God in the last panel saying that it is something absurd/boring/etc.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I still don't understand why the characters (rather, the Randall stand in onee) in the present have to dechiper what it is. That only fills time and makes the setup more painfully broken down.

    The joke, such as it is, is revealed to the audience through the flashback. For it to have any shot at being funny, the present characters -shouldn't- be able to understand WITHOUT being able to see into the past.

    ReplyDelete
  6. But those Dinosaur comics aren't usually that funny - the joke tends to be about T Rex's wacky personality or something, or radically changing the subject to "poops" or something.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Ken -- That makes the joke a lot better, actually. That way we get the wacky true origin of the Voynich Manuscript, exactly as much D&D humor, and none of Randall's psychic ability to decode a famously indecipherable manuscript.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Carl:

    The word "poops" makes just about anything funnier. I giggled just typing it.

    Hehehe..."poops".

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh god, the new comic.

    RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh no...hertz...agh...

    ReplyDelete
  11. I wish I made as much money as Randall.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That was painful. I'm also reminded of the Dilbert where the randomly generated Web 2.0 company names combined astronomy and physics terms to get Uranus-Hertz, har har har.

    Also Randall really seems to be aggressively pushing casual frankness about sex and the reproductive system. Today, we hear women just cry out about their uterus all the time. Wednesday, he advocated probably free love. Back in, what, 583, we got the awesome "do me without a condom" line.

    HYPOTHESIS: He's trying to get Megan to have sex with him.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh god todays comic was painful. I'd use the h word put that'd make it even more painful.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I wasn't that mad about the comic, tbqh, because there really isn't that much there. There's a really basic math formula, and a really painful pun, and a pretty awkward first line. I mean, we could talk about how Randall is being all Cargo Cult Comedy by cramming together any math and sex and pun he can think of, but meh. There's so little to this comic that I can't work up that much anger about it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 594 made me roll my eyes so hard I think I strained a muscle.

    And yeah what the fuck women does he know who are completely debilitated during their period? Is his entire understanding of the human reproductive system based purely on ads for Midol?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Cuddlefish PrimeJune 7, 2009 at 9:49 PM

    Okay, so "Ugh, stupid uterus" is officially right up there with "Hey, can you do me without a condom" on the grand list of lines that make me suspect Randall Munroe has never actually talked to a female.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I liked 594 ;_;
    At its core, it's just a pun, but it's not off-the-wall from nowhere, it had a setup, and it's not one I'd heard before. I tip my hat to Randall. I have bias because I think puns are grand, though; mileage may vary.
    Also, I've heard something similar to "Ugh, stupid uterus," before, coming out of a lady's mouth. A couple, akshully. So, mileage may also vary re: the quality of that sentence.
    So, it is my considered opinion that 594 is one of the better XKCDs I've read in a while.

    Q: A-a-am I out of the cool kids club now?
    A: Emmer, you were never in it to begin with.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It is one of the least terrible xkcds in a while but it is still terrible.

    Actually I didn't think the central joke was too bad, since I'm a fan of groaner puns. It would have been much better if Randall didn't feel it necessary to put on a final punchline after the pun. WAY TO BEAT THAT HORSE, RANDALL.

    ReplyDelete
  19. @Fluffy: Ignoring how terrible and awkward the comic was, I'm incapacitated for the first two days of my period. I have severe cramping of the fallopian tubes. Vicodin makes it better, but I still spend most of the time in bed. Still, those are my tubes. Not my uterus.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Umm, what was the pun? Uterus-Hertz? Somebody explain it to me, I'm not a native English speaker.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Hertz" is a physics term which refers to the frequency with which something occurs. It rhymes with "hurts."

    So, her "uterus-hertz" is the frequency at which her uterus behaves. It also rhymes with "her uterus hurts" which is a true statement, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, that's terrible. I was thinking something in the vein of Uranus = your anus.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Well, the Dilbert example I mentioned above had both "Uranus = your anus" and "Hertz = hurts"

    Let me find a link to it...

    http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/1994-08-01/

    Fifteen years ago!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Man, speaking of comics whose art never improves...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Overrated/unfunny comics which do a disservice to their entire medium, I might add.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This one and the "uterus-hertz" are what I like from xkcd. Randall's earned a Get Out of Criticism Free card from me.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I like the concept of 593! But it is very, very poorly executed. And the Wikiwar was just idiotic.

    fluffy: I am actually one of those unfortunate women who becomes completely debilitated during the first day of my period. Just uhh keeping you informed? Also I say "ugh stupid uterus" but only because I think uterus is a pretty funny word.

    poore: don't worry, "uterus" is still not as funny as "poops."

    Okay so I think I liked the period/hertz one. It is more like old-xkcd, but that stupid last line is, like fluffy said, stupid.

    Carl I may be forced to email you to get you to make new-comic posts so we can leave comments there >=(

    ReplyDelete
  28. I liked this one. I like puns, though, so I suppose I'm biased, a little.

    Also, I'm a guy who thinks that xkcd is rather "okay". It's not exceptionally good, or exceptionally bad (in my opinion, I stress), simply..."okay". It doesn't really have a constant quality of "okayness"--sometimes it is better than "okay" and sometimes it is worse (and if that sentence didn't make sense for some reason, please chalk it up to my not having any sleep for the last two days).

    However, the whole Wikipedia thing, and also some of the posts that appear in the forums now and then--I can't stand them.

    So, at least on that point, I agree with those of you who hate xkcd with the fury of a thousand burning suns, and all that.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm casting my vote with Cuddlefish Prime. "Ugh, stupid uterus" is one of the worst lines of anything written anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I want to find an xkcd fan who hasn't read today's comic. I'll tell them the pun, and see if they think it's funny when they don't know Randall came up with it.

    ReplyDelete
  31. "It is an INCREDIBLE stretch to even imagine [...] and there's no telling if it has "long dry descriptions of nonexistent worlds" because NOBODY CAN FUCKING READ IT. How does stickman know the text is dry?"

    COME ON!
    I might be batman but man...
    look. if thought it was funny because who the fuck REALLY cares about if it is really close to the reality or not? I don't fucking understand. The man who walk on a banana skin wouldn't fall in reality... but that is still funny.

    :)

    I like to read your blog, every morning I'm thinking "So right wingish" ... damned.

    keep on your work...

    ReplyDelete
  32. stadja have you ever walked on a banana skin

    ReplyDelete
  33. A hertz/hurts pun with an awkward setup? While we're at the bottom of the barrel of puns, let's have a guy get hit in the crotch after mentioning Bangkok.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have no idea what stadja is trying to say, but in celebration of getting as close to a guest post as I'll ever get, I registered an account. Go me!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Amanda, yes. And then i had to wash my shoe.

    And for Fred: What I am trying to say is that I really don't understand the following line "Damned, that is bad cause it is no realistic".

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have no idea where you read that line, but in any case, my complaint isn't that it's not realistic. In fact, I'm baffled as to think how anyone would think that was the point of my post.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Compared to the last two, uterus-hertz really isn't that bad. At least it's a double pun; that requires more thought than I've come to expect from Randall.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I slipped on a banana skin once. Fell over. It sucked.

    Also Malethoth it's not that it rhymes it's more that it's homophonic - sounding the same. But I like how you used "Cargo Cult Comedy." Good on yer.

    stadja: there's realism and then there's viable stretching. Fred's problem was how far the concept had to be changed. For instance, yes, slipping on a banana is viable and can be funny for someone who feels lazy, but if I stepped on a banana and this gave me lung cancer... well, that's just a major stretch. (Also, in before anyone says they'd find it funny if I got lung cancer.) The Voynich Manuscript is unreadable; how would he know? Unless he read it. In which case it's not the Voynich Manuscript.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Now a lot of people who are beginning to lean towards the "huh, this webcomic does suck a little" have told me that they like this comic. I don't know why."

    Well, duh.
    The rest of the criticism was pretty inane as well, and gives me the clear hint that Carl just doesn't care whether he makes sense or not. "Why should we care"? Who knows! What matters is that the comic SUPPOSES the reader cares, but isn't that exactly what xkcd used to do in its "prime time"? I'm also amazed you didn't pan the comic for EXPLAINING what the Voynich Manuscript is. One or two years ago, it'd merrily skip the exposition, guessing people already knew. Maybe Randall *is* trying to broaden his audience a little.
    Either way, asking "Why should we care?" indicates clearly that you're just not part of the target audience.

    ReplyDelete
  40. COVIZAPIBETEFOKYJune 8, 2009 at 4:22 AM

    "I'll use my unobscured space here in the posts to let you know what I think, and whether I, in fact, enjoy sucking ass turds."

    So...

    Do you enjoy sucking ass turds?

    (sorry)

    ReplyDelete
  41. It's both that the subject had to be stretched, and the fact that panel 5 directly contradicts what panels 3 and 4 have established as truth. The joke is based on the fact that nobody can read what's in the manuscript, and that everyone can read what's in the manuscript.

    The more I think about it, the more I think he simply shouldn't have used the Voynich manuscript. The joke is based on the fact that nobody -understands- what the the text is about, whereas with the Voynich manuscript nobody can even -read- what it's about, let alone understand it.

    If he had used some other mysterious text that's at least written in a language people can actually read, the joke would've worked.

    Other people can no doubt come up with better examples, but take, say, the Book of Revelation. It's full of weird names, descriptions of bizarre events, prophecies, visions, artifacts, et cetera. We know this because we can actually read it. Therefore, presenting the Book of Revelation as a D&D scenario works much better than presenting the Voynich manuscript as a D&D manual, because the former actually has appropriate content for the context of the joke, whereas with the latter it's made up.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think Randall was right to make that comment about non-existant worlds. If you've ever actually seen the manuscript (not the actual vellum just photocopies of it, it is available online) and look at the third section (apparently biology) or parts of the second section (astronomy) you will notice that, although some plants and planetary signs suggest earth events (there IS a calendar that resembles ours) there are many... odd plants in there that DO NOT by any stretch of the imagination exist on earth, and many astronomical chart's that don't really seem to match any astronomical bodies. However I do think that this ISN'T a made up world, however I think Randall did a great job with this comic...

    ReplyDelete
  43. I dislike puns in principle, so I doubt I am capable of enjoying the uterus one. Nonetheless, shoving a bad pun onto something as awkward as menstruation is the sort of thing that could work as groan-inducing humor. That is, if the female had done it. Megan reducing her own discomfort to a bad pun = comedy go... bronze.

    I realize that I complain about this frequently -- a joke is ruined because Randy needs to have his stand in both setup and deliver it. But it's true, a lot, including here.

    ReplyDelete
  44. COVIZAPIBETEFOKYJune 8, 2009 at 6:11 AM

    Unrelated notice:

    I will not be posting again on this forum for a while, during which any post under my name is an impostor.

    See my google site for more information. I will place a note there when I decide to start posting again.

    ReplyDelete
  45. If I could smack randal though the internet, then I'd do it too.

    The pun is not so bad it's good. It's so bad it's horrible.

    He's hit the bottom of the barrel, let's hope he picks up something better another day.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Remove the first line, remove the last line, maybe put the girl in the shot so we have some context and you're left with a half-decent comic.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Carl, could you please include the alt-text when you criticize it? Maybe after the thumbnail or something. I tend to remember what the comic was about, but I forget the alt-text.

    ReplyDelete
  48. "I stepped on a banana and this gave me lung cancer"

    THIS ONE IS REALLY FUNNY! don't you find? come on. A banana? A Lung cancer? Briliant.

    Monty Pythonish...
    I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  49. But... I'm dying...

    ReplyDelete
  50. From their forum:
    "That sort of pun is what separates xkcd from all those other, less enlightened, webcomics."

    xkcd-fan-in-a-nutshell?

    ReplyDelete
  51. @Rehoboam's last post: You are William Shatner and I claim my five pounds.

    ReplyDelete
  52. @anon "That sort of pun is what separates xkcd from all those other, less enlightened, webcomics."

    I just can't believe people think this way. What's enlightening about "uterus-hertz"? Seriously? What is it? This is the type of joke that goes around a grades school science class.


    What did the sound wave say when it hit the brick wall?

    That megahertz!

    ha ha ha. I face palmed after reading this.

    ReplyDelete
  53. @Ken -- that was my thought exactly. Sure, the pun is unoriginal and groanworthy. There's a place for that in the world. But something about the delivery just SCREAMED "sexism" to me.

    If the *girl* had turned her pain into a physics joke, that would've been decent. Then female readers could identify with her and take some enjoyment out of their next periods. But as it is, she is quite literally exploited for the sake of a juvenile pun. Randall is too squicked out by her bloody anatomy to even have her appear on screen, but he can still make jokes at her expense. Not cool.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Puns are the lowest form of humor. It's a fact.

    ReplyDelete
  55. ...OK, this is all going way above my head. Bad pun? Yes. Sexism? Free love? Paedophilia*? Could youse people just calm down for once?

    *i admit that i added this interpretation myself. think - you don't see how old the girl randy is perving over is, do you? she's twelve.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I wonder what would happen if this blog were plugged on the XKCD forums.

    ReplyDelete
  57. There was a thread about xkcdsucks in march. They trotted out all the usual cuddledish crap and went back to striking each others' egos.

    ReplyDelete
  58. 594 is like the old Hertz donut joke, but slightly more sexual (in that it's talking about a sex organ).

    ReplyDelete
  59. fun fact:

    if you google image search "uterus" you will cry

    ReplyDelete
  60. You mean stroking, not striking?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Cuddlefish PrimeJune 8, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    Rob that is extremely squicky

    y u do dis

    ReplyDelete
  62. I'm hoping that in time, XKCD will become CAD 2.

    A popular but extremely mediocre webcomic completely undeserving of its fame and loathed by most of the webcomics community.

    ReplyDelete
  63. "You are William Shatner and I claim my five pounds."

    Now I'm dying and my secret's out.

    ReplyDelete
  64. "But as it is, she is quite literally exploited for the sake of a juvenile pun."

    Yeah, like, that's, like, soo much worse than cutting a guy's arm off because of a silly riddle, like.
    Besides, the fact that the girl is off-screen, I suppose, is to illustrate how much of a wuss the guy is -- he certainly wouldn't crack that joke if he were face to face with her. It's a slimebag attitude, and... well, fuck that "polictically correct" bullshit. We already have idiotic censorship on TV, we don't need that garbage on webcomics too -- ESPECIALLY on a webcomic that has always been so sympathetic and full-of-worship towards women (maybe even exaggeratedly so).
    In terms of contriving mathematical concepts in the name of awful puns, Randall already "lampshaded" that (fucking TV Tropes lingo) on the "imaginary friends" strip. It's awful on purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  65. "A popular but extremely mediocre webcomic completely undeserving of its fame and loathed by most of the webcomics community."

    It basically is. The only people who get on well with Randy are Wacky Ryan North (who is just too friendly to not get on with people, really) and that Jiff Janks... Jaff Jonks? Yiff Yanks? That Questionable Content guy. It's like how B^Uckley is buddies with talented comic artists as well as Terracciano.

    Fans-wise? Only a small population of webcomic readers like xkcd. The others just don't get it. Well, or used to not get it... now it's tard-friendly.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Yeah, I meant stroking. I typed that comment on an iPhone and didn't notice it "corrected" my spelling.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Eh, the bulk of the Topatoco webcomics artists seem to like Randy. Ryan North, Joey Comeau, Jeffrey Rowland, Jeph Jacques, at least.

    ReplyDelete
  68. All the Js and Rs. Any other letter and he's fucked. (and I know his name is Jeph Jacques but where's the fun if you don't joke about his name? Jab Jicks)

    ReplyDelete
  69. With the exception of John Allison I haven't known of any webcomic artists that have said negative things about Randy. Are there any? I MUST KNOW

    ReplyDelete
  70. Well, I have a webcomic, but I also only have like 50 readers so that's not really saying much.

    ReplyDelete
  71. John Allison was spot on. xkcd enjoys a wealth of success for one of the laziest webcomics out there. The writing, the art, the frequency of spelling/art errors that get corrected sometime later on (or not).

    Credit to Randall for finding and exploiting a niche to its full extent, yes. But xkcd is still at its heart just lazy nerd-pandering.

    I can understand how it would irritate other webcomic artists who pour themselves into their work to see Randall succeed so easily and with so little effort.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I think John Allison is one of the few webcartoonists who is successful enough to be able to say negative things about xkcd without coming across as jealous, while also being serious enough about the art of comics that he'd have a reason to actually say anything negative.

    Most webcartoonists seem to be very insecure and don't want to come across as infighting or assholes, unless that's their Thing (e.g. Kurtz), and also don't want to make enemies since that could potentially alienate readers and reduce their profit margins and so on. So there seems to be a lot of sycophantry in the community as a result.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Xkcd593 in Dinosaur comics for your consideration;

    P1: Trex: boring blather about the manuscript.

    P2: 'No one? Its obvious!'

    P3: drome: 'it could be a hoax, a lost language, a cipher, an alien text, gossolatia, how can you tell?'
    trex: dudes its so obvious!

    P4: utah: obvious? linguists and cryptographers have been stumped for decades.
    trex: they forget human nature doesnt change

    p5: trex: imagine someone found a book from our time... etc etc.
    utah: dear god it IS obvious.

    p6: 500 YEARS EARLIER
    off panel: FOrsooth! i concot an elixir of courage!
    trex: NAE! the source bookesayeth that requires wolfsbane! your druid doth lose two points.

    ReplyDelete
  74. "With the exception of John Allison I haven't known of any webcomic artists that have said negative things about Randy. Are there any? I MUST KNOW"

    There's a plethora, but they haven't publically declared outright hatred. Having seen the cryfest that spawns over on Wikipedia with each xkcd I can respect their decision to not get their own sites covered in stickyfingered whinebabies.

    ReplyDelete
  75. What did John Allison say about xkcd?

    And I completely agree with fluffy. I have a fledgling web comic and while I do hate xkcd for the obvious reasons, I'm not about to draw a parody strip mocking it or writing about how lazy it is. A lot of my readers come from Reddit or Digg and I would completely lose that :/

    ReplyDelete
  76. So, I don't know how many of you recall Mr Allison's original post complaining about XKCD, but in many ways he was jealous--and not really in a bad sense.

    Basically, it went like this: "I really dislike that there are certain webcomics out there that can get by drawing stick figures and writing dialogue that goes 'I am in love with you . . . and maths!'" except far more eloquently stated.

    But yes, he is in a position where it's not that he's jealous that Randall is successful, he's jealous that he is successful without really putting a lot of effort forward--that essentially dumb luck and a slightly cynical awareness of an audience achieved him the status of an internet luminary. Perhaps it's more resentment than jealousy--but that's more semantic than I'd care to be in.

    Contrary to what certain internet-famous people believe, the internet isn't a meritocracy. Sometimes (often) it's about having the right people link you, and having content that is easy to consume. I read a few mediocre webcomics because the time investment required is low--and I have yet to encounter someone who doesn't produce a gem from time to time.

    Some people are legitimately awesome and famous, and deserve it; some people are awesome and obscure; some are neither awesome nor famous; some are not awesome but are famous.

    I've been doing research for a group that is studying the way ideas spread on the internet; we are nearing publication of white papers, but something we have definitely seen and are looking more into is the fact that the internet basically has certain influential people, and that's how ideas spread.

    ReplyDelete
  77. For those who missed it, here is John Allison's original rant, although note that John Allison did later post a sort-of apology.

    Personally I have done two direct parodies of xkcd and one very subtle one (poking fun at the "my hobby" ones) and haven't gotten a single peep out of the xkcd crowd (not even a "they're just jealous" response). Clearly I need to do something to encourage Teh Drama or something.

    ReplyDelete
  78. The guy behind Girly also openly hated on xkcd two years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  79. @fluffy: that last one is just "guy is a twat to random people for kicks", which is hardly Unique to XKCD. If it wasn't for the alt-text, it wouldn't be an xkcd parody at all.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Like I said, it was very subtle. xkcd was the direct inspiration for it though.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Fluffy, there's only so much you can do with blue whatever the hell that is drawn with a kindergartener level of effort.

    ReplyDelete
  82. ...Well, that's one way of putting it.

    ReplyDelete
  83. How is that a rant? It was like, what, three sentences plus two one-panel stick figure comics?

    ReplyDelete
  84. That's a week worth of xkcd.

    OH NO I DIDN'T

    ReplyDelete
  85. Another crudely drawn anthropomorphic comic. I've been biting my tongue about that one since you first referenced it. The first and last actually made xkcd seem good again in comparison, and the middle was just that crippling neutral that tried to survive on a few already trodden references. It didn't manage to be ironically funny, sorry.

    There wouldn't be a shitstorm when the xkcd forums has a thread which routinely lampoons xkcd harder. "Making xkcd Slightly Worse" - the only thread with a low moron count. And no, before you accuse me of an ego boost, I do not post and have not posted in it.

    Ann you cruel minx.

    ReplyDelete
  86. The quantum email thing was intended to specifically ridicule the "can't reproduce" pun. Reading email already does change the state of the message (from unread to read), and changing the "state" as in "Iowa" is about as funny as having a joke about "reproducing" an error being sublimated into "reproducing" a human being (which is to say, not very).

    Basically I was specifically going for anti-humor, not ironic humor. I was demonstrating the problem with xkcd, not making a joke.

    ReplyDelete
  87. stadja: then you are much more fortunate than i was, i nearly died. (this is an exaggeration.)

    yay Fred! Welcome.

    Mike G.: heehee. I giggled after reading it, but silently as I am still at work.

    And you guys are all so sweet for pointing out how to discern real/fake Carl/Amanda! I feel loved. But perhaps more obvious is that fakey-doo likes to suck ass turds whereas I do not (though I suppose I have never stated this before). I dunno about Carl, he has not clarified this yet. Also I think I have a sense of grammar! An extended also is that I do not think I have a dick.

    Cuddlefish who keeps egging on the spammer: "Why set up a fake account and not link to real Carl's account?" I think because then the little "B" icon for blogger would not show up, and instead it would be the icon for "linked user." Creating a fake account means that we need to actually click on the username to see if it's really Carl.

    Rob: I may have to hate you forever because you sparked my curiosity with your image comment and that is all your fault. And I think you meant more "resentful" than "jealous," for anyone who cares about the semantics (me).

    ReplyDelete
  88. But yes, he is in a position where it's not that he's jealous that Randall is successful, he's jealous that he is successful without really putting a lot of effort forward--that essentially dumb luck and a slightly cynical awareness of an audience achieved him the status of an internet luminary. Perhaps it's more resentment than jealousy--but that's more semantic than I'd care to be in.

    That's how I feel about a lot of guys like Buckley and Terracciano.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I love how the xkcd-fantards are so butthurt they have to resort to this to vent their frustration.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Wow, there's a show on TV right now that has Summer Glau guest-starring in an episode where a nerd hits on her almost incessantly for 29 minutes. There should be an xkcd strip on this.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Your initial argument here boils down to "this joke is obscure, therefore it's not funny". Buh?

    ReplyDelete
  92. Why do people keep saying that? It's clearly not true. My argument is that with an obscure joke like this, most people won't care. Also that he had to lie about the manuscript to make his joke work.

    ReplyDelete
  93. To the original writer.

    While I do see that you are somewhat correct in your rants, tell me, have you tried creating a comic every x days for some x years?

    No person is a comic mastermind able to come up with something extremely hilarious and witty so often. You have to see that while some of his comics are kind of effortless, he does this often.

    So unless you have a brilliant comic you update regularly, why not keep your, to quote, "Iron Finger of Mockery" to yourself?

    It's just a comic.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I thought that the mention of the D'ni in the comments made a much better joke.

    Then again, that's hardly saying much.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Aether: No (though I would want to try sometime, but with other people). But I'm also not forcing myself to, like Randall with his ridiculous "updates every monday wednesday and friday WITHOUT FAIL!" Yes, writing a comic that often for a long time is hard. Really really hard. That's why Randall is bad at it - it takes more skill and humor than he has. It takes more than I have, too. Does that mean I can't call him out for sucking? I hope not.

    Saying "Oh it's bad but just because it happens so often" is a terrible logical pitfall. That's like the old saying that "The food at this restaurant is terrible...and they have such small portions."

    ReplyDelete
  96. Maybe if Randy were the only person on the internet to put out a comic regularly. But he's not. He's one of many, and he sucks compared to all of them, most of which have better art and put more effort into it than he does.

    ReplyDelete