Monday, June 8, 2009

Comic 594: Hurts

this sucks, period

You see, none of us read xkcd for the clever wordplay and witty social commentary alone. We read it for the art. Look at that art! The female is carefully placed off screen, so we must wonder: What does she look like? But we know the answer: She looks like a stick figure with shoulder-length hair, just like every other xkcd woman. And so the genius of Randall is complete: He has drawn a woman, but only in our minds. He is brilliant like that.

"Ugh, stupid uterus" has to go on our list of Stupidest XKCD Quotes, along with "do me without a condom." Randall just doesn't know how humans talk, or at least human females. He has to quickly get across the point that this woman is on her period, and he can't think of any better ways, and so he goes with the "just come out and say it, who cares about whether it makes sense" method.

He also makes sure that we understand he has made a funny in panel 4, via a similar method of "Have the other character get angry, so you know a bad pun just went down." Randall just because one character says it's a bad pun does not absolve you of the fact that your comic just got its laugh (if the reader laughed) from a bad pun. You can't just replace good humor with bad humor and apologize, expecting that to be enough. It's not.

Also, and again this is one of those things where I'm not a woman, but are women on their period actually incapable of motion as implied by "If I could get up..." ? I have known a small number of women and I imagine they had periods at some point but I don't think any were actually rendered immobile. I don't think.


Guys what else should go on the "dumbest sentences ever uttered in xkcd" list? we can make this a thing.


update: Ah crap, I forgot I meant to say something nice about all these. Um...if I get in the right frame of mind where I like terrible puns, I can vaguely enjoy the feeling where you read the phrase "uterus-hertz" and do that sort of mental double-take and realize its second meaning. Of course that's true for all puns, but still, I promised I'd try.

200 comments:

  1. I wonder what Carl will like (say he likes) about this one. I really do.

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  2. For a laugh, read a thread on the xkcd forums about this blog:

    http://echochamber.me/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=34553

    It's funny how serious they think Carl (and everyone) is about this all. He's accused of basically "cyber-bullying" Randall in one of the later pages even.

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  3. Pluses? They're not so hard to find, just look at that curvy frequency "f": it's bloody excellent!

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  4. At work, so here is a quick fly-by:

    http://i43.tinypic.com/htutrp.jpg

    heheh

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  5. Still suffering from "too much talking" syndrome.

    The "if I could get up, I'd smack you" thing seems like someone would actually say. Which is fine for a drama, or even a sitcom, but it's horrible comedy. distracts from the punchline, etc. Move the "what?" from the bottom of the third panel to the top of the fourth, and move down the pun, and it would be significantly better.

    Hell, take out the comment, add a fifth panel where he's on the ground in the fetal position, saying "ok, no more reproductive jokes.". Something. Anything. But stop having people say shit they don't need to.

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  6. As an engineer and a menstruating member of society, there is so much I find wrong with this comic. To name one: The punchline is sort of funny except for the fact that it is anticipated by the dialogue in the first frame. He should have used a different word there instead of "uterus" (not to mention the idea that not a single woman in the history of the world has uttered the phrase, "Ugh. Stupid uterus." with the sense of resigned dismay implied by the punctuation.)

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  7. Just another xkcd with traces of a joke marred by poor execution and horribly contrived dialogue. I've probably said that about 90% of the last xkcds over the last few months. I don't think Randall is capable of writing believable dialogue. He has never expressed it, at least, unless I'm forgetting a notable comic.

    The joke is very, very lame, unless you like awful puns.

    Also, for as "girl power" as Randall normally is, he has no problem sacrificing it for lame jokes.

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  8. He's not even using the units correctly. "Uterus-Hertz" would be the measure of the number of uteri per second.

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  9. more dialogue isnt always better. more like real life but not better.

    the punchline is uterus-hertz. end the joke at the punchline. no need for useless, untrue, sexist remarks afterwards. unless the joke is actually 'lol @ women they are immobilized every 28 days for a week at a time'

    xkcd is the worst for doing this. PvP used to do it all the time and CAD also does this a lot.

    when writing a comic, see if the comic is still funny and makes sense without the very last line. if it is, then you have a better comic.

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  10. Sarah: I SAY IT

    to everyone in the previous post saying that this was sexist: what?

    okay so I will shamefully admit that I sort of liked this one because I like really bad puns a whole lot.

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  11. I love bad puns, but this was way too labored. Also, why the dicks is the art so lazy? You can't draw a girl laying down? I mean, there is NO ART. You could not draw an extra stick man and a couch. YOU ARE A LAZY, LAZY BASTARD RANDALL.

    Your art is at the bottom of the barrel. It cannot get lazier. Next week, all the talking characters are off panel.

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  12. This guy at xkcd's blog hit the nail on the head:

    http://echochamber.me/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=34553#p1376257

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  13. Man the pun is awesome, but poorly-set-up, and it isn't the PUNchline (see what I did there). This is a comic that easily could have been good, but isn't due to poor thought surrounding the pun.

    In, uh, in my opinion.

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  14. Goddammit Mike you made me read the forum posts >:C

    So condescending! Argh.

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  15. Haha I try to stay away from them too. It just lures me in sometimes. that guy's right tho, a 3 month sabbatical to figure out whats going on.

    I'm looking back at this one again and I dunno, maybe its not so bad. The obvious uterus-hertz has been done before, but theres kind of another layer with the whole period thing too.

    It's just would it kill ya to draw something? Anyone could draw at this quality.

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  16. They even vandalized "Frequency" (redirected from Physics (Period)) at Wiki by adding it (#594) as a citation.

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  17. http://echochamber.me/viewtopic.php?p=1612180#p1612180

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  18. You know what? Fuck Carl's newfound commitment to positivity or whatever the dick he's been on about. There's nothing good about this strip, and this is coming from a guy who goes out of his way to torment people who hate puns with the worst fucking puns he can find.

    A lot of people have mentioned particular gripes - all of them correct - but when you gather them all together, you realize that 594 is just a big, festering heap of shit on top of a lot more shit. That's been vomited and pissed on. By lepers. With herpes. Poorly-written dialog? Check. Lazy art? Check. Too much exposition? Check. Shitty punchline delivery? Check. Bad pun? Check (though mileage may vary over whether this is a pro or a con).

    And maybe, just maybe, I could forgive all that. Maybe all the shitty strips over the past months could have dulled me to Randall's complete and utter lack of understanding for even the most basic elements of humor, to the point where a simple bad pun, regardless of how fucking terrible the presentation is, would only elicit a half-hearted "Meh," from a jaded cynic such as myself.

    However, when that bad pun is so telegraphed, so contrived, and so unoriginal (as one commenter pointed out, it is a "mature" retelling of the age-old elementary school "Wanna a Hurtz donut?" gag) that it crams it's own throat full of dicks even after I've forgiven all those flaws, I am left smoldering with a rage that burns so hot not even alcohol can douse the flames (N.B. - I realize that alcohol has the potential to just feed the fires more, but I was using poetic license to surreptitiously blame Randall for my pseudo-alcoholism, so you can eat a back of dicks for all I care).

    Jesus Christ, Randall, is this really the best you can do? Fuck yourself and die.

    (Amanda, you are still the only person I don't hate. Rob and Carl are kind of okay, too, I guess.)

    (Actually, fuck Rob.)

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  19. The really bothersome thing here - aside from the fact that it's sort of a mediocre pun - is that he does the same apologetic deal that he always does when he has a bad pun in the comic. For instance, in Organic Fuel or in the alt-text of Boyfriend, the other characters remark, "Ah, that is a terrible pun and therefore we can no longer know each other." The purpose of this, I assume, is that people (like myself) who genuinely like puns can laugh at the pun itself, and everyone else can laugh at how other people hate the pun. But it's lazy, and repetitive, and it detracts from the intended punchline.

    (Actually, I thought it was handled well in Boyfriend, as it made an appropriate alt-text meta-comment without mucking up the flow of the actual joke. In Organic Fuel, the punchline really was how bad the pun was, I think, so it was slightly appropriate there. But here, it doesn't work in the slightest.)

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  20. See, now here's a pun that could have been involved, courtesy of Alex (and no idea if it was intentional):
    "I love bad puns, but this was way too labored."

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  21. @Aisamanra: well, yes, but anyone who makes bad puns can tell you that threats of violence are the customary reply to a good/bad pun.

    It's certainly not necessary to include it, but is it harmful? No more than including an epilogue in a novel, I'd argue. It lends verisimilitude, even.

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  22. I refuse to credit Randall with anything resembling verisimilitude when he opens comics with lines like "Ugh, my uterus."

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  23. And yet! various women have stated that they have said something like this. Believe or not, women are capable of recognizing pain, even when it originates from their uterus. (Yes, it sounds somewhat silly. Some women are capable of saying silly things, even when in pain. This is to their credit.)

    For what it's worth, I dated a girl who had awful menstrual cramps for a while, but I forget if she ever said those exact words.

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  24. wait, right.

    okay can i back up and just bring back the "do me without a condom" line because seriously i'm pretty sure that cancels at least one billion reasonable simulacra of human conversation

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  25. @format:

    You're going to have to explain how "if I could get up I'd smack you" is sexist. My two guesses are the implication that menstrual cramps prevent women from getting up and smacking people, and the idea that women smacking men is sexist through some contortion of the "men should never hit a woman" rule (which is sexist only because the last two words are unnecessarily specific).

    The problem with both of those theories, is that they are stupid. But it's as close as I can get.

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  26. A few points:

    1. I enjoy awful puns, and having not gone through any kind of English-speaking school I haven't heard the Hertz/hurts joke a million times, so it didn't seem stale to me. It's not laugh out loud funny, but I was slightly amused.

    2. The art sucks. That's a minor point, but he could've put a -bit- more effort in it.

    3. STOP ADDING EXTRA LINES AFTER THE PUNCHLINE, DAMMIT!

    4. "Ugh, stupid uterus. If you had done me without a condom, I wouldn't be having this problem."

    That'll be all.

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  27. In this comment thread: Bitching.

    Seriously, do yourselves a favor and stop reading the comic if you're going to nitpick about every thing you don't like about it. Christ, people. Lately, XKCD has really sucked balls, but I actually enjoyed this one.

    tl;dr: Quit your bitching.

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  28. But then surely pregnancy and the actual birthing process are more painful than menstrual cramps?

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  29. this must be how it feels to talk with a really bad case of schizophrenia

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  30. edit: concerning the multiples of amanda. Should have refreshes the (old) tab...

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  31. I like to imagine menstruation-girl is a live by the day type person.

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  32. @Ens:

    The sexism is not found so much in the threat of hitting, but the implication that "women on their period are completely incapable of doing anything other than sitting off-screen and complaining, because they've got girly bits lol."

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  33. @Kobra take ur own advice lololol

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  34. @Malethoth:

    You morons are not the authors of XKCDSucks.blogspot.com. I came here to read the witty, scathing criticisms of XKCD put forth by the author. "This is a placeholder for comic 594. I have been convinced that I should do this," hardly counts. Therefore, you lose.

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  35. Then why are you reading the comments?

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  36. What, so we're not allowed to use this space to discuss how gobshittingly terrible #594 is? Why else would Carl have even put the placeholder up?

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  37. http://yukyukinc.blogspot.com/2009/06/back-on-wagon.html
    Comics like this should be on popsicle sticks!

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  38. @Kobra:

    Welcome to Web 2.0 - the audience IS the author.

    Also, eat shit and die.

    :D

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  39. Wow Kobra. You...

    Epic fail. Period.

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  40. Carl: You should delete the troll posts.

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  41. But then what would we have left?

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  42. Another CuddlefishJune 9, 2009 at 8:13 AM

    But what would be the fun in that?

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  43. "edit: concerning the multiples of amanda. Should have refreshes the (old) tab..."

    what?

    also if he deletes the troll posts won't we just have a lot of "this comment has been deleted by a moderator of this blog"? and that would possibly be worse.

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  44. @ ens

    what anon said:
    "but the implication that "women on their period are completely incapable of doing anything other than sitting off-screen and complaining, because they've got girly bits lol.""

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  45. @ real Amanda

    I believe that guy was clarifying what his previous post meant, because when he made it the multiple Amanda posts were the latest (he hadn't refreshed to see like 5 new posts).

    Also, leave the troll posts. If we removed all the troll posts, there wouldn't be much left. And we wouldn't see any more posts by poore again. (YEAH I SAID IT)

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  46. Leave it, poore, 'e's not wurf it!

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  47. Dan! It was intentional. You caught it! You win the prize!

    The CAPTCHA was memes. It's like Blogger KNOWS what's wrong with XKCD.

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  48. Here's what the dialogue really means, or: the reason I dislike this comic--

    girl: I am in a lot of pain. I would like sympathy
    Randull: (from far away) hey, this relates to an equatio.? Wait, wait! I can make a pun!
    girl: I am in too much agony to move.

    yea um, that's hilarious.
    you know, if the last sentence were only removed, i don't think it would come across as quite so unsympathetic?

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  49. I hated this comic, but I think that's a kinda strange reason to dislike it. I mean, plenty of comedy is based on outright violence.

    I hated it because it's boring. Randall, you are boring.

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  50. is 'Ugh. My uterus.' a good reason to hate it?

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  51. i quoted it wrong, but the original is stupid too

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  52. Had an idea for an edit. Probably sucks. http://i39.tinypic.com/2e68n5h.png

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  53. Nice one. Horrible pun. You owe me a new monitor.

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  54. There are, like, fifty imposters now. So I guess I'll fall back on my google account.

    This is the real poore, btw.

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  55. So hay guys what is our imposter-hertz lol

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  56. @Rob:

    Eh, it's easier to identify me this way, anyhow.

    @Lint of Death:

    I will stab you with bullets.

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  57. Heh. Nice edit.

    HELLO POORE

    (why didn't you always sign in)

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  58. @Amanda:

    Because I was embarassed that I have NO BLOG POSTS and am a lazy, drunk motherfucker.

    I'M SORRY

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  59. I has no blog posts either! I am not sure I forgive you!

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  60. But he said he would fuck your mother! :(

    Will nothing satisfy you?

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  61. Amanda, if you do not forgive me I will cry.

    Like, for serious. With tears and everything!

    *makes puppy dog eyes*

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  62. I, too, have zero blog p-ARRGH I'VE BEEN STABBEDDDDDddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

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  63. So, does this Android Girlfriend count as quirky relationship comic?

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  64. I think you've missed the point on the "people don't talk this way!" thing. The point is actually that Randall has such quirky and exceptional relationships, he and his hypothetical girlfriend can say completely lewd, inappropriate, or awkward things and get away with it--because they're that quirky! The point (to Randall) is that nerdy social ineptitude defeats artificial social boundaries, and that it's better that way.

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  65. @Kevin

    Is having a fetish for welding quirky? (Or dating a sex bot? :P)

    Also, a comic about a robot is quite appropriate right after Carl and some commenters have criticized that Randall can't write believable dialogue for human beings.

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  66. Android Girlfriend: Here, Randall is continuing his fine tradition of upholding gender equality.

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  67. pre-poore cuddlefish: I AM INSATIABLE

    poore (do i still call you this): okay okay fine if you're gonna be all sad and stuff i suppose i can forgive you (what was i mad about)

    linty: does each "d" represent a bullet

    okay i totally do not understand the latest comic

    p.s. carl way to read NONE OF MY COMMENTS because i 1) do in fact say "stupid uterus" and 2) am rendered immobile by my period.

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  68. Guys, I don't get the new comic at all. At first I thought she was doing something to the guy's head. I had to look twice at panels two and three to realise what went on there, and then it didn't become any clearer. Arc welding a cherry stem is a fetish? Is there something non-android humans do with cherry stems that this is the hilarious android equivalent of? -Can- you arc weld a cherry stem? Are they made of metal? Can you only arc weld metal? I'm so confused, it's making me angry. Also the alt text wasn't even a joke. I think.

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  69. I think it's a play on the old weird... myth? I guess? that if you can tie a cherry stem in a knot with your tongue you are good at making out with people. This just makes it even more confusing though.

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  70. @Adam

    Which aspect(s) in the new comic you find sexist or otherwise problematic? I was curious about how the forumites interpret the alleged sexism, here's one opinion about objectification:

    "Objectification needs the portrayal of a realistic woman in a objectified role.
    What we have here is a robot (not human) stick figure (also not actually human) and finally a comic (satire).
    We also have said female-robot-stick assuming a perversion of sexuality objectification to the point were men are cringing at the idea of using her. This in fact does the complete opposite of subjugating and objectifying her. She is sexualised, but she is furthermore empowered through her sexualisation."

    I'm not totally convinced though. The man presents his girlfriend (as he calls her) like a toy, with whom his friend refuses to play. How's that empowering, "Sorry, I won't have sex with you, I only fuck girls(/bots) with normal sexual preferences"?
    Also no one seemed to pay attention to the portrayal of the man in the comic, which implies that the man finds a sex bot a partner who is emotionally satisfying companion for him (since he calls her a girlfriend), which makes him either an idiot or someone who cares about only sex.

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  71. (sorry for doubleposting) Or maybe I'm just paying too much attention on the word "girlfriend", actually the noun phrase is "android girlfriend", which is probably just an euphemism for "sex toy". But his friend asks straight out "oh, a sex bot", so why would the main guy have to use such an euphemism.

    And if he had said "check out my new android fuck toy", it would have been just another "do me without a condom" moment resulting in comments "Yes Randall, we know you're an adult and you have sex, but sex in context of stick figures offends us".

    Also if the genders were reversed, you(plural) could just go on complaining "yes Randall we know you like to emphasize the fact that girls can do just the same as boys", whereas now it works as an example of reinforcing the existing gender stereotypes.

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  72. Amanda! I say it too! Though there's usually much more cursing involved, heh.

    And for the questioning males, yes, it's very possible to have debilitating, terrible cramps.

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  73. @ M

    i thought randall did a good job with 594.

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  74. I honestly don't get 595. Normally I get what the joke is supposed to be, or I understand the reference, but this one... I don't even understand it. I have no idea what he's trying to go for. Whatsoever. It completely baffles me.

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  75. 595 is a play off the "tie a cherry stem with your mouth" thing. It's supposed to mean that if you have that great amount of dexterity with your tongue then you'd be good at giving blowies.

    sorry for the candor but here hes making a joke about how his android gf can arc weld a cherry stem, so shes really a sex bot.

    There is 0 humor in this, 0 I say but I'll wait till the new post to give my complete thoughts.

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  76. Okay, um, even if I had heard of the cherry stem thing, I don't think arc welding would actually be related, unless this is just another "oh ho ho i am blurring the line between human and machine--but sexually now!!!!!!"

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  77. I know enough women who have said some variation of "ugh my uterus" enough different times that I have a hard time believing it's that rare a thing to say. You'd say "ugh my stomach" if you had a stomach ache. Well maybe not "ugh," perhaps you'd say "ow my stomach" or "my stomach hurts." Why should the line change if a girl is in pain around a guy she's comfortable with? It's not like we don't know they have one.

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  78. Maybe because Randall has really been pushing his "Everybody should be comfortable about sex and talk about sex and their organs around me freely and probably have sex with me."

    I mean, here's a comic where the first question the guy asks when he hears that he's dealing with a lifelike gynoid is whether or not it's a sex bot.

    His first reaction to seeing something out of Bladerunner or Terminator is "Will it let me stick my dick up ins?"

    Soon, every comic will just be about Randall finding a new way to destroy both prudishness and every other societal norm regarding courtesy and sex, and it will just be non-stop fucking, interrupted only by the monthly ravaging vileness of a woman's uterus.

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  79. I wish I could smack Randal too.

    Bad puns are enjoyable when the delivery is flawless. It's all about the damn delivery, which randal fucked up completely.

    The whole idea behind the comic seems last ditch.

    Oh, and as for the art critique, LETS START A MOTION ON THE XKCD FORUMS TO GET RANDAL TO ACTUALLY DRAW SOME THINGS FROM TIME TO TIME, LIKE HE DID IN THOSE FIRST FEW SKETCHES AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE COMIC.

    The stick figures are obviously here to stay, so let's get him making half decent backgrounds at least.

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  80. "CURSES, MY UTERUS!"
    "INDEED, YOUR PERIOD IS EVERY 28 DAYS, NOW ISN'T IT?"
    "WHY YES, YOU ARE IN FACT, CORRECT!"
    "PERIOD IS MERELY EQUAL TO T, WHICH IS IN TRUTH: 1/ƒ"
    "HOW NOW, WHAT ARE YOU RUMINATING?"
    "MY FINE CALCULATIONS SHOW YOUR UTERUS HERTZ"
    "I AM IN DESPAIR AS TO YOUR TREACHERY, AND QUITE COMPELLED WITH A DESIRE TO WRECK HARM UPON YOUR PERSON!"
    "AND NOW I AM COMPELLED TO LAUGH MOST VILLAINOUSLY! MWAHAHAHA!"


    Seriously, push for better art on randal's part, either in the comics, or posted in the forums.

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  81. I've specifically heard a woman say "Ugh. Stupid Uterus." before in real life. In fact she said this almost everytime she was on her period. A lot of good it does coming from an anonymous comment on the internet, but still.

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  82. Let's be clear here, since this has come up a few times in this comment thread.

    Just because someone has uttered a particular phrase in the history of the world does not make it good or believable dialogue. Someone has probably said "do me without a condom" before too, but that doesn't make it any less horrible.

    As for 595, I had to go over the second cluster of panels several times several times just to figure out what was going on. It seemed to me like she punched in his head and was eating his brains at first.

    It's a big problem when the reader can't even tell what is going on thanks to the crappy art.

    Also, there's no humor. There's a vague implication at the end I guess, but it's definitely not funny.

    And the alt text is just lame.

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  83. I don't what kind of drink Randall was trying to draw. It's a martini glass, but garnished with a cherry. It's either a sweet martini (which makes the guy a pussy/huge douche), or a StevieKumptini (which makes him Liberace). Either way, neither drink is very common, and I doubt Randall is enough of an alcoholic/drink connoisseur to be aware of the existence of these drinks, and probably just has a cherry there for the purpose of the joke, and a martini glass to imply alcohol, and therefore a party, which makes the whole premise even more contrived than the setup for 594's terrible pun.

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  84. @The_P

    You really think that a drink in wrong kind of glass makes a setup more contrived than non-believable dialogue? That's same kind of wankery than with the Voynich comic, "boo hoo you don't lose points for that in Dungeons and Dragons, therefore the comic sucks".

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  85. @John: Now, "Do me without a condom" is a terrible line, we can all agree. It jars especially with the workplace setting, it's unnecessarily precise, it's just weird.

    "Ugh, my uterus" isn't Shakespeare, but it's pretty much how people acknowledge pain: "{interjection}, my {part of body}!", e.g.
    "Ow, my spleen!"
    "Ack, my thumb!"
    "Erp, my arthritic joints."
    "Spork! my uvula!"
    "Ugh, my uterus."

    Obviously, "believable dialogue" is subjective, but I think this is just a case of being predisposed against Randall's writing.

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  86. @M:

    As the blog's resident alcoholic, yes. Yes I do. Putting the wrong drink in the wrong glass is blasphemy, as any bartender worth his salt will tell you.

    Martini glasses are for martinis (of all varieties), and about 99% of those cocktails do not use cherries. Not to mention that, when using media artifacts (in this case, the glass), an author has to take into account what the average reader associates with said artifact. The vast majority of people associate OLIVES with martini glasses, because most martinis (and esp. the ones often seen in popular culture) are garnished with olives.

    When I did the first read-through of the comic, I had no idea what the panel with the cherry stem being pulled out was, because when the android chick reached for the glass, I was expecting her to grab an olive on a toothpick - the obvious assumption to make when you see a small round object on a short stick protruding from a martini glass. Then I read the line about cherry stems and was like "WTF just happened". Then I re-read the comic and discovered it was a cherry. And then I raged, in my heart-of-hearts, at Randall's lack of knowledge of the most basic of cocktails, and hated him for it.

    The dialog was also extremely unnatural, but that's such a common complaint that I expect people to take it as a given for every xkcd strip. Perhaps the normal lack of verisimilitude was unnaturally compounded by Randy's martini faux pas and that's why I found it so annoying, but I stand by my statement that the vast majority of the readership will expect there to be olives in martini glasses.

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  87. I'm not particularly against that line (the uterus one). I mean, I do personally think it's a bit contrived and unbelievable, but more so I just don't like the defense that because people have said something before its necessarily good or believable dialogue.

    And usually I'm willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt in situations like this, but considering Randall has proved time and again lately that he is bad at writing human dialogue, I'm a bit more skeptical. That condom line just pushed it over the edge.

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  88. I have to agree with Pat. My girlfriend has said "stupid uterus" at least once a day for the last three days :/

    She has never, however, said "do me without a condom." That is indeed horrible and unbelievable dialog.

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  89. @M:

    "I mean, here's a comic where the first question the guy asks when he hears that he's dealing with a lifelike gynoid is whether or not it's a sex bot."

    I could also point out that this is a literal objectification of the female gender... but I'll pass.

    @ "Ugh, my uterus":

    The actual line is the significantly worse "Ugh, stupid uterus."

    ReplyDelete
  90. My Internets prevented me from posting earlier - or was it all the stabbing? Mysteriously, I cannot recall - but I wanted to say that there are definitely women who have that problem.

    That and Evilagram's dialogue is waaaaaaaaay better than the original strip's.

    ReplyDelete
  91. @Adam. I don't see how it's that much worse. It suggests a frustration with one's malfunctioning organs. But I have to change the pattern. It's properly:
    {interjection}, {negative adjective} {object that does not work as desired}!

    Speaking of which, I'll bet y'all could work up some really stinging XKCD mad-libs if you were so inclined.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Thanks so much!

    Honestly I don't think it makes the joke much better, but I can't stop chuckling about, "CURSES, MY UTERUS!"

    I knew I had to say something entertaining if I wanted the idea of PUSHING RANDAL TO ACTUALLY DRAW SOME REAL ART FROM TIME TO TIME to get noticed.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I could almost accept 595, but the first panel is just terrible. I mean, this person has an android which is so advanced it can even be assigned a gender, yet the first thing the other person asks is if it's a sex bot. I mean, not only is it ridiculous as to even acknowledge the rest of the comic we have to assume androids are exceedingly common as its existance, technology and gender aren't questioned, but also we have to assume it's not at all offensive to ask if the android that someone called "girlfriend" (a title which should have emotional bearings attached to it) is a sex toy.

    The joke itself isn't well delivered, but it's not awful. The premise is pathetic however.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Yeah. Imagine if he'd just been introduced to a human.

    GUY: "Hey, I'd like you to meet my new girlfriend."

    RANDY: "Is she a prostitute?"

    GIRL: ::makes out with Randall's dick::

    THAT IS HOW THIS COMIC WENT

    ReplyDelete
  95. xkcd is weird in that sometimes the setting needs to be explicitly stated(mal from firefly) while 595 waits until the alt text to infer that this comic takes place into the far future.

    A future where sexbots have been invented, perfected, and evolved to a point where they have developed their own fetishes including arc-welding.

    While explicitly stating the premise is a bad comic(mal from firefly, ugh stupid uterus), leaving it completely up to the reader doesn't work well either, as evidenced by these comments). My guess is Randall had the idea of sexbots evolving their own fetishes including arc-welding and created the comic backwards. He started at the alt-text and ended up with one panel left(the very first panel) and had to introduce the android girlfriend and the fact that she is a sexbot in two sentences.

    Randall thought it was obvious that the setting is the far future, but he forgot that it was only obvious to him because he wrote the 'joke'.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Maybe he should explicitly state the premise when it's something obscure or far-out, like the Voynich or a utopian version of Blade Runner, and he should assume his readers aren't retards when it's a reference his entire fanbase ought to get, especially considering his three thousand other comics on the subject, like Firefly and velociraptors.

    Alternately, he could actually SHOW us what the setting is, rather than trying to cram the premise in via infodump, but that would probably require artistic talent and actual writing.

    ReplyDelete
  97. It is a situation that exemplifies the statement 'if it is worth doing it is worth doing well'.

    If this is the best Randall could come up with, then maybe he should have scrapped the idea entirely. Or developed some writing skills or talent.

    ReplyDelete
  98. my post above could be copy and pasted to, at the very least, 593 and 594.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Poore: a Manhattan comes in a cocktail glass and is frequently garnished with a cherry. I also thought maybe it was an olive at first, but really, it isn't that implausible--I order Manhattans all the time. What it was is poorly drawn. I couldn't tell it was a cherry for the longest time. I thought she was breaking the stem off the glass or something, except for some reason the glass is shaped in a weird way, maybe that's the base and Randy can't draw?

    I would seriously fuck someone up if they stole my damn cherry, though. I was saving that.

    ReplyDelete
  100. From another forum:

    A woman tying a cherry stem with her tongue suggests talent at fellatio, and it can be considered an aphrodesiac. The sexbot, when asked if it's a sexbot, wants to prove she's better than average, or more talented. In the robot mind, what's stronger than a knot? A weld. So, that's what it does. Presumably with an acetylene torch in her head, which is perfectly acceptable if you consider that robots are chock-full of toys, whether they're sexbots or not. To the human, however, a stronger bond =/= sexier. The robot didn't understand why it was sexy, because it's a robot.

    It makes sense.


    Maybe I'm just retarded, but there are at least four connections in there that I absolutely DID NOT get from the comic itself.

    ReplyDelete
  101. @Rob:

    Drat! You're right!

    However! Manhattans are pretty dark, but the glass in the comic appears to contain a clear liquid, which suggests a martini!

    Which is, I guess, the same criticisms as "it's poorly drawn". Which it is. Still, I'd wager more people associate the cocktail glass with the martini than the Manhattan, so I stand by my criticisms.

    ReplyDelete
  102. i don't think the point of the comic was that the sexbot wanted to prove that it was better than average. the alt text makes me believe that the arc welding is a sexbot specific fetish.

    and it was not sexy to the guy because of the torch in the mouth area.

    so that poster was on the right track but drifted pretty far.

    there is also the fact that there is to much inference involved just to get the joke.

    ReplyDelete
  103. He is INSISTING that he didn't infer anything, and that it was all obvious just from the text of the joke.

    ReplyDelete
  104. @poore

    If you took that type of glass to any random person and asked them what type of drink goes in this glass they would say martini.

    Randall needed to lazily portray that they are at a party. He also needed a cherry in the scene. So he drew a martini glass with a cherry in it.

    The fact that a martini doesn't come with cherries in it is a factual error stemming (pun!) from the fact that Randall is either unable to do better or unwilling.

    ReplyDelete
  105. @ malethoth

    In the robot mind, what's stronger than a knot? A weld. So, that's what it does.

    that is inference, there is no text or an image that shows the positronic brain computing weld > knot.

    it makes more sense however to infer that the sexbot has been programmed to weld cherries into knots. the same as it has been programmed to attack dudes demanding they take off thier pants.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I have only ever drunk (drunken? drank?) vodka and a few sips of other things (beer, wine, champagne) and uh dunno any other drinks so I also assumed that the glass represented a martini. My TV-knowledge was like wait why does that olive have a stem holy shit she is pulling off his.. arm? what the hell is going on

    P.S. Carl I will get around to emailing you, I apparently decided to nap yesterday and ended up not waking up until today. But I has a (short) list!

    ReplyDelete
  107. also a comic that requires such an exhaustive explanation based almost entirely on inference is not a good comic.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Re: "Period". Maybe it's a naïve reading again, but I assumed that the "punchline" of the comic is NOT the pun itself, but the completely slimebag attitude of the guy to come up with such a massive mathematical contrivance to deliver that abhorrent pun. And the pun is awful enough, but xkcd has had fun with awful puns several times before (though I wish we'd have more of the clever linguistic jokes like the "escaping handcuffs" and the "pointers").
    And epic fail for Carl's utter lack of knowledge of menstrual cramps. And then he criticises Randall for not knowing females... :(

    ReplyDelete
  109. You know, it isn't implied in the comic in any way, but every time I read that "If I could get up, I'd smack you." line, I read it as "If I could get up, I'd smack you, even though you know that's not true because actually I find you so lovable and secretly I giggle at your witty puns." It SICKENS me.

    ReplyDelete
  110. @ fernie

    i don't think that Randall put as much thought into the comic as you did in that post.

    all randall did while writing the joke was realize that the word period can refer to both menstruation and wave functions, and that Hertz sounds a little like hurts.

    and a question to ladyfolk, can you really feel your uterus during menstrual cramps?

    ReplyDelete
  111. Normally I would appreciate Randall not broadcasting the joke, but I think all the subtlety is hard to swallow after, "Check out my new android girlfriend." "Is she a sex bot"?

    ReplyDelete
  112. format: During my period I feel intense pain in an area below my stomach and near my bladder. I am going to assume this is my uterus.

    If I try to exert myself, the pain intensifies and usually spreads.

    ReplyDelete
  113. while reading through the comic thread on xkcd's forums a lot of the people posting had the same reactions we all have. and the people who post in those threads are like the most fanatical fans.

    if those ultra-fans are becoming disenchanted there is something seriously wrong

    ReplyDelete
  114. ON A COMPLETELY UNRELATED SIDENOTE

    http://www.xkcd.com/427/

    Now there is a good comic. It validates all the previous 'red spider' comics which stretch way back to the start, it has a visual punchline that made me laugh out loud for once, and the alt-text was worth another, entirely separate, laugh.

    Plus - 427. It's still a relatively new one. Ignore me if you wish, I had to tell the world somehow.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Not really new when you consider there's been 166/7 comics since then.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Hey, can you guys report the double? I'm sure that's illegal or something.

    ReplyDelete
  117. little over a year old?

    ReplyDelete
  118. I agree 427 is pretty good.

    I was about to suggest that in the low 400s is when xkcd began its decline, but looking back at the previous few before that one, they pretty much suck too. But I'd still wager they're better than this high 500 crap.

    If only we as a community could somehow score each comic and plot the scores, we could narrow down its decline on a chart. It'd be only fitting for xkcd.

    ReplyDelete
  119. the comic could still be in decline even with the occasional good one.

    552 for example is pretty good, all things considered. and depending on your definition could be 'recent' and 'high 500'.

    ReplyDelete
  120. I did like 552. It was simple, it was straightforward, and it was clever. It didn't try to be anything more than a clever way to poke fun at correlation-doesn't-imply-causation, and I didn't mind that.

    ReplyDelete
  121. 552 shows that sometimes xkcd can be good, maybe randall is just out of ideas. I agree with whoever said that he needs to just take some time off and refocus, or shift to a weekly format or something.

    the good comics are being watered down by suck

    ReplyDelete
  122. however, things will never be the same now that i actually read the line 'do me without a condom'

    ReplyDelete
  123. I've said "stupid uterus" before. I actually say it all the time.
    Love, Cuttlefish Alpha

    ReplyDelete
  124. Who cares? It's still stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Poore: yeah I also initially assumed maybe it was an olive. Cherry was pretty much the last thing on my mind until I read the words 'cherry stem.'

    ReplyDelete
  126. I said stupid vas deferens once. I said it then I died a little inside and it was kinda bad you know kinda like XKCD

    ReplyDelete
  127. John I am not condoning Randy's bad dialogue but I am saying that those people who say "no one ever says that" are WRONG and we all know we can't have all that wrong on these here internets

    ReplyDelete
  128. HAHA DISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS
    wait

    ReplyDelete
  129. heeheehee

    captcha: emiss

    something is emiss here

    ReplyDelete
  130. Okay I just thought of something horrible, she could either be in bed with cramps or on the toilet :( The latter makes this comic probably the most disgusting thing on the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  131. @Yuk Yuk

    You haven't been online very long have you?

    ReplyDelete
  132. Have you seen Electric Retard?

    ReplyDelete
  133. Don't ever mention electric retard. that needs to go away, and it needs to go away forever.

    ReplyDelete
  134. can we please delete the last two comments so that we can wipe the slate clean i never want to think about electric retard again

    okay great now we have to delete my comment too

    Yuk Yuk: uhh I gotta say being on the toilet does not imply grossness. She could just be on her period and also peeing.

    ReplyDelete
  135. That's not much better.

    Also, ELECTRIC RETARD.

    ReplyDelete
  136. It's gross, if she's using it..

    ReplyDelete
  137. @Amanda that's a little goofy right? If she can't get up, because he's asking her about her period while she pees, well, it doesn't make any sense. Why would she be yelling about her uterus while she pees?

    http://yukyukinc.blogspot.com/2009/06/period.html
    I re-imagined his work. Maybe you'll see what I mean.

    @anonymous
    Electric Retard was an exception. Though it was a gross to be offensive. It wasn't a guy talking to his girlfriend about her period while she's tending to herself (is there a non-gross way to describe this)?

    Randall really doesn't understand why he shouldn't talk about this stuff, like he's the fucking kid from Mercury Rising or something. That's what makes it gross.

    ReplyDelete
  138. ITT: Periods are icky.

    Pro Tip: Girls have cooties, too.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Uh...pee is kinda gross. Period pee is, like, double gross. Triple, even.

    That being said, can we get off the "periods are gross" thing and get back to the "Randall sucks chode" thing?

    ReplyDelete
  140. List of things that every person has:
    - Pee
    - Blood

    ReplyDelete
  141. So? They're still gross.

    ReplyDelete
  142. every dude has a scrotum, but i don't go around to girls' houses and go "MAN MY BALLSACK HURTS SOMETHING FIERCE STUPID NUTS"

    ReplyDelete
  143. OH HONEY YOU HAVE TO SHAVE YOUR BALLS ABOUT EVERY FEW DAYS HUH? LETS TALK ABOUT THE RESULTING MIX OF SHAVING CREAM AND BLOOD!

    ReplyDelete
  144. ONE TIME I GOT KICKED IN THE BALLS AND IT HURT FOR LIKE THREE DAYS

    ReplyDelete
  145. @Fred:
    I apologize, but this conflict you mention between threatened violence and real intentions -- it is the only reason I am still alive today. Hell, I invented the Viking long-pun (extensive, carefully-crafted, and yet ultimately barbaric).

    As Arlo Guthrie would say, "I'm not proud... or tired."

    ReplyDelete
  146. i still don't get it? i am going to assume you are in the "ew feminine hygiene" school of thought, or else why would she be yelling about her uterus if she's... pooping? This is confusing me more than it should.

    ReplyDelete
  147. // This will not compile unless you have assturds.h in your header files.
    // Compile with Dev-C++ 4.9.9.2 please.

    #include <iostream>
    #include <assturds.h>

    using namespace std;

    int main()
    {
    if(AssTurds->DoExist(_argc))
    {
    cout<<"I found ass turds!"<<endl;
    cout<<"Converting ass turds to DLL..."<<endl;
    if(AssTurds->ConvertToLib("C:\assturds.dll")==0)
    echo<<"Ass turds were converted to DLL!"<<endl;
    else echo<<"Error 0x02: ass turds could not be converted. :-("<<endl;
    }
    else echo<<"Error 0x01: ass turds could not be found."<<endl;
    echo<<"Press any key to exit ass turd converter...";
    cin.get();
    }

    ReplyDelete
  148. Maybe she's pooping FROM HER UTERUS. That'd be pretty stupid. And undoubtedly quite painful. I think? Maybe it's easier that way.

    On the positive side: no ass turds.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Fred I have never laughed so hard in my life

    okay maybe i have but omfg

    god i can't stop

    ReplyDelete
  150. @The P: echo is PHP syntax, C++ needs a cout which you have in there. that would never compile.

    i kinda wanna see assturds.h now

    ReplyDelete
  151. no love for linux assturd lovers?

    ReplyDelete
  152. @Mike G:

    That was imposter me, not real me.

    I'm a Java developer. A good impersonator would have done a little research before posting code (Protip: Java beats C++ server-side in terms of speed when instantiating objects and calling methods).

    My join date is February '09, not June.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Check out the poll here on if women say "Stupid uterus":

    http://echochamber.me/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=40506

    ReplyDelete
  154. Funny that the first reply on that thread comes from Belial, the biggest sycophant on that board, who assures us that the phrase is perfectly acceptable and all too common.

    ReplyDelete
  155. The forum just fills me with RAAAAAAAAAGE.

    Couldn't tell you why.

    ReplyDelete
  156. @ Mike G:

    Oops... you are right. I've been working with batch files and GUI apps for too long. Haven't compiled an good 'ol console app for a while. LOL :D

    @ Real The_P:

    What makes you think that I'm trying to be a good impostor?

    ReplyDelete
  157. I always loved input/output stream api. They should have some classes like that for message boxes. You know, with the bitwise left shift and everything.

    ReplyDelete
  158. // What the ideal msgbox class could do:

    #include <windows.h>
    #include <imaginarymsgboxapi.h>

    int WINAPI WinMain(
    HINSTANCE hInstance,
    HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
    LPSTR lpCmdLine,
    int nCmdShow)
    {
    ombox.set(OMB_OK, OMB_INFO_ICON);
    ombox<<"Hello world!!";
    ombox.set(OMB_YES | OMB_NO, OMB_QUESTION_ICON);
    ombox<<"Do you want to suck ass turds?";
    if(ombox.reply() == OMB_YES)
    ombox<<"Mmmmmmn... assss turrrdssss :-P";
    else
    ombox<<"Fuck you.";
    exit(0);
    }

    ReplyDelete
  159. Fake The_P: You are a fail troll.
    Never admit anything, don't quit, be original.

    You are none of those.

    ReplyDelete
  160. @ Mike G:

    You know what?

    #define echo cout

    Happy now?

    ReplyDelete
  161. @ Anonymous Cuddlefish Guy

    My goal is to be as annoying as possible. Being anything more than a fail troll would completely miss the objective of this exercise.

    ReplyDelete
  162. At the very least, you are the most amateurish of trolls.

    ReplyDelete
  163. I find that amateurish trolls are the most annoying.

    ReplyDelete
  164. 8 year old kids with keyboards.
    "Look Mommy I'm trolling the xkcd-sucks blog!"

    ReplyDelete
  165. i for one welcome our new amateurish troll overlords.

    its really like double ironic that someone is doing a bad job trolling dudes who like to do a bad job trolling a comic doing a bad job.

    maybe xkcd is so bad because randall is trolling us. it would complete the circle.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Carl can't be trolling himself.

    ReplyDelete
  167. That's just what he wants you to think.

    ReplyDelete
  168. http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.com/feeds/1070513855560224569/comments/default

    ReplyDelete
  169. You know when in highschool everyone made fun of the sped class? Apparently, we were all getting trolled! Neat huh?

    ReplyDelete
  170. Post a new comic thread already, I hate it when the comments get paged.

    ReplyDelete
  171. I dunno, my girlfriend says "stupid uterus" quite often, about ever 26-30 days.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Who would troll a website that critiques a semi-popular webcomic? It's not like we're lampooning the Penny Arcade guys here.

    ReplyDelete
  173. I think xkcd is more popular than Penny Arcade now, actually.

    On another subject: we broke the comment record talking about trolls and people's uteruses.

    ReplyDelete
  174. This site would be better as a forum actually...

    Just throwing that out there.

    ReplyDelete
  175. then I wouldn't get like email updates and shit

    ReplyDelete
  176. Does the troll need a five hour energy drink? :D

    ReplyDelete
  177. I have been feeling defensive about this comic because I have the distinct feeling that I've uttered that initial phrase before, and it never struck me as weird until I read that other people were...and THAT struck me as weird. (The other reason being that I found it quite obvious that the female character was off-page because she was on the can- it wouldn't make sense for Randall to suddenly start drawing in architecture only to not include her, being behind a bathroom door and all.)

    Back to weird syntax structures. Now, I'm a human woman, English as a first language, and your esteemed Carl can no doubt inform you that I possess at least a moderate level of intelligence as we attend the same university and surely a lack of writing ability would have doomed me here long ago. Granted, I do have my verbal quirks, like us all.

    So, I went to gmail, typed in "uterus" to the search box, and these are the phrases I have used in the past few years with that word in them.

    "-hissed whisper- my uterus is trying to kill me, help."
    "yeah, one's uterus tearing out its own lining once a month is real pleasant."
    " -scowls- tell me about college, get my mind off my stupid, self-destructing uterus."

    So, I guess my vote's in with the "that's a reasonable thing to say" crowd.

    Nevertheless, I found the math joke unnecessary, solely because I didn't get it. Such is the life of being an art history major.

    ReplyDelete
  178. the surprising amount of women who have admitted they routinely update that, specifically, their uterus hurts makes me realize that women are really disgusting.

    i have never talked about any part of my male anatomy in casual conversation.

    "tell me about your college classes to distract me from my itchy hairy balls'

    - not a troll, surprisingly

    ReplyDelete
  179. kateoverseas you have to tell us everything you know about Carl (aka Crandarl)

    ReplyDelete
  180. NO KATEOVERSEAS DO NOT TELL THEM ANYTHING. my life must remain a terrible, terrible secret.

    ReplyDelete
  181. muahahahahahahahahaha.

    haha.

    also: format, A. natural biological processes are not disgusting, unless you're trying to shame people about them. B. these phrases are to my best friend and boyfriend, so we're not exactly talking about saying it aloud in class or something. Granted, were you to discuss these things in a public forum I daresay it wouldn't raise too much of a fuss, outside of people wondering what that had to do with the conversation.

    ReplyDelete
  182. Disgusting or not, there's a time and place for everything.

    And no, you obviously did not say that.

    ReplyDelete
  183. Goddammit kateoverseas TELL US MORE

    ReplyDelete
  184. FAIL TROLL IS FAIL?
    OHHEHHE /B/ HUMOR

    .... Anyways, I didn't even get the pun in this comic until I read this post.

    ReplyDelete
  185. I'm really behind on this blog. And I apologize for posting way late on this one.

    Basically, what I wanted to say is that this joke isn't new. Here's a very similar joke, but from a Dilbert comic. (I hope the link works!)

    http://www.dilbert.com/dyn/str_strip/000000000/00000000/0000000/000000/20000/3000/800/23817/23817.strip.gif

    Anyway, if anyone actually reads this comment, I thought the comparison of the two strips was interesting. It seems to me like the joke was just rephrased.

    ReplyDelete
  186. I had a girlfriend, years before xkcd started, who said "Ugh, stupid uterus" (or various similar phrases) on more than one occasion

    ReplyDelete
  187. Same as Michael, my girlfriend doesn't read or like XKCD but she most definitely does say "stupid bloody uterus." which she then chuckles and groans from the pain of chuckling.

    Just so that we understand that there are people who say things like that.

    ReplyDelete
  188. Just want to pop in several months late and say that I've known several women who regularly have periods that cause them so much pain, they are rendered immobile. The level of pain experienced varies from person to person. Sadly, the fact that this comic is plausible doesn't make it suck any less.

    ReplyDelete
  189. sooooooo what's the point of continuously admitting whether you have or have not made that statement? Well I get the reason WHY but do we really need to keep emphasizing that? We get it, some women say things like that (although most of the girls I've dated or been friends with have been more modest about it, or they have never had cramps so I can't vouch for hearing this statement or similar) but more on to the point.

    Ahem... I sincerely hope that the guy who made the quip about the "period hertz" says things like that on a daily basis and she likes him for that, because if I or my friends (who are all as nerdy/quirky if not more so than Randall displays in his comics) pulled a stunt like that, I'd be in the dog house (not literally, I'm not married) for a good week or so, and have a nice red mark on my face, or a bloody nose, so I'm of the opinion that while "stupid uterus" isn't as contrived or make-believe as Carl said but I'm still thinking that the pun was totally uncalled for.

    ReplyDelete
  190. I should say that I do indeed have friends who cramp so badly they feel, at least, incapable of moving or where they would like to do nothing more but curl up in the fetal position. Granted, they could be exaggerating for all I knew, since mine are never that bad.

    As for saying it outright, "Ugh, my uterus"? Personally I took it in stride as being just part of the bluntness that IS characteristic of xkcd characters. "We made a baby!"

    But doubtless that comic sucked too.

    Ah well. I'll leave you to your amusement and I'll head to mine.

    ReplyDelete
  191. um, your name is destinee.

    ReplyDelete
  192. Oh, man! Now you're just bitching. This one was very amusing! I actually hope I can you that pun sometime. It's silly, but funny.

    ReplyDelete
  193. It's only sexist to you because you're cissexist and assume that because the person has a uterus, that automatically makes them a woman.

    ReplyDelete