Sunday, July 12, 2009

Comic 609: Contrivance: noun

welcome to exciting guest week with guest poster doctor horrible! woo
ewMan, you guys will like Dr. Horrible. He sent me this post 30 minutes after the new comic went up. Let's see if it's any good.

Okay. First off, hey guys, I'm Doc. Tor Horrible. I go by Doc. Now, let's get this done! Today's xkcd, 609, is a lot of things. Funny isn't one of them. If you guys have ever read Ctrl+Alt+Del, you know that Tim Buckley has a habit of using contrived dialog, saturated with unnatural references, to explain his jokes. "Haha! Oh wow! Man this deathmatch game of Halo 3 is fun. Oh, hey, gayman4245 is challenging me to a match! No hilarity could ensue there, I bet." Stuff like that. You wouldn't walk up to someone and go "Hey, who linked you to TV TROPES, the website that explains tropes you might see on TV?" It's really symbolic of xkcd dialog today. Did Randall forget how to talk after not having a real job forever?

Hey, can you do me without a condom?

"Aww, what an adorable stuffed giraffe!"



Aside from that, the joke isn't incredibly good; while it's better than Randall's average jokes as of late, it is still his routine. "Hey, this is something everybody knows about but not too many people comment on! I bet this could go on a shirt."

Also, WHAT IS UP with the layout? It's (4*6)-2=22 panels of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING followed by the half-joke made of gut-wrenchingly fake dialog! That's wasting our time. And yeah, it's free, so I can't complain, right? I'm tempted to buy a shirt so that I can say I "invested" in xkcd and that it should be good, damnit. MAKE IT LIKE THE OLD DAYS, MR. MUNROE! (This took me 10 minutes or so to put together.)


(Also, you guys, I'm not the ass turds troll. But I am going to hide "ass turds" in Wednesday's post; see if you can find it. If you like my posting, fuck you. If you hate it, thanks! I mean....)


((Carl's a really nice guy, but I'm pretty sure he's William Monty Hughes, Randall, AND the ass turds troll. Watch out for him. Randall's a nice guy too.))


(((William Monty Hughes can suck my Horrible dick.)))


((((I would mention that this joke has been used before, but it looks like the comment threads are already showing signs of this; discuss away!))))



  1. This whole comic felt like an ad for TV Tropes, whith the alt text an ad for Cracked. Do you think they paid him?

  2. TV Tropes is funny and informative, is funny and informative. XKCD is bland and toothless.

    Also, could someone who DOESN'T already go to TV Tropes all the time tell me how they reacted to the comic? I can't help but feel that if you're not already a TV Tropes user (and therefore have almost certainly already read the superior TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life page), this comic does EVEN LESS for you than someone like me who "gets" it.

  3. Wikipedia policy is to not indulge "In Popular Culture" edits to force xkcd into the article of everything Randall mentions, so he switched to a website that basically does nothing but indulge the very act of self-indulgence itself.

  4. i have tv tropes open in another tab, randall get out of my head

  5. "Wikipedia policy is to not indulge "In Popular Culture" edits to force xkcd into the article of everything Randall mentions, so he switched to a website that basically does nothing but indulge the very act of self-indulgence itself."

    Pretty sneaky, Randy! Also, he's on the "TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life" page right now and I want it off..

  6. My ongoing reaction: Hmm, yeah, okay, this is probably gonna suck, but maybe it'll be brilliant... Dude, GOD DAMNIT, another fucking nerd reference?

    Get Out Of My Head is the only sort of thing XKCD has going for it anymore

  7. DH, did you just shout-out to the (officially) biggest midget in the game?

  8. Still pimping my edit.

    I'm also reasonably convinced that the "humor" of this comic is the 22-panel intro, (oh man you see what i did with that link lol)

  9. Might also be worth pointing out that this is basically comic 214 with tvtropes instead of wikipedia.

  10. Nice Pothole.

    To me, the OverlyLongGag is enough of a SubjectiveTrope that when my mileage varies, it tends to not go very far. Especially since Family Guy abuses it.

    Also, I'm not sure "guy sits at a keyboard, clicks" is a "gag."

  11. @Anon 11:36
    Read the alt text

  12. I don't go to tvtropes. I kind of stared at the comic and then came to xkcdsucks to explain it to me. waste of soo many panels. like hearing one end of a telephone conversation that someone's just kind of faking. mmhmm, yeah, no way, yeah I know how that is...gotta go bye!

    I've even liked some of the past few comics but just makes me go eh. might as well stamp BLAND on this one and be done with it.


    TV Tropes refers to this behavior as a "Wiki Walk." They have an appropriate XKCD up on the page already.

  14. FWIW, my feeling on Family Guy is that it treats humor so much like a cheap whore that it's not worth getting worked up about it. Except for the fucking episode with the TNG cast, because you don't fucking steal from Futurama.

  15. I can't even be bothered coming up with a proper comment on your horrid post here, so I'll just go with.

    Oh god, PLEASE. SHUT. UP.

  16. I was actually on TVtropes last night and got caught in an infinite tab expansion of Nightmare Fuel, Nightmare Fuel unleaded, the material referenced in those, as well as horror tropes. Thanks to the bit on the Half Life games, I now keep checking every dark corner for headcrabs.


    Fuck you, Randall

  17. I don't know what number it was, but this is pretty much idential to the Wikipedia comic he had years ago. Except that comic showed the humorous results (which funny pages he ended up at), while this is yet another case of "here, we'll give you the framework for a joke, you think up your own funny things to put in it"

  18. "TV Tropes is funny and informative, is funny and informative. XKCD is bland and toothless.

    Also, could someone who DOESN'T already go to TV Tropes all the time tell me how they reacted to the comic? I can't help but feel that if you're not already a TV Tropes user (and therefore have almost certainly already read the superior TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life page), this comic does EVEN LESS for you than someone like me who "gets" it."

    I've never heard of TVTropes. This comic disgusted me. As Dr. Horrible said, it's [i]22 pages of buildup[/i] to a crappy joke with contrived dialogue. It was just bad. There was no joke except for "oh, this site is addicting."

    I understood the joke, seeing as how i have spent hours on cracked stemming from a single article, so i got the alt text and related it to the main comic - but it's still not funny. Randall managed to make a 24 panel comic (which means 11/12ths of it was filler) that lead up to "Oh, by the way, this is addicting. And somehow worse than a meme." I mean what the hell? I honestly question how you can compare a meme to an addicting site. No one is mad when their rickrolled, no one is addicted to rickrolling. Randall is saying "Hey, guys! I like this site, and it's more addicting than seeing someone sing something!"


  19. I only found tvtropes like two weeks ago. So, yeah, Randall get out of my head. I feel so violated. If only there was humor to ease the pain.

    Anyhow, this comic. 604. 597. These three all feel like someone who just started a webcomic, long before they get a niche for themselves. Which, in addition to sucking, is rather jarring for a comic so old. I can't explain it.

  20. dragon2041 this isn't a bulletin-style message board, so you have to use <i> and </i> for italics, although you should use <em> (and </em>) instead.

  21. Pure pandering to GOOMHiness. There's no joke. Just a bare bit of hope that someone will read it and go "Ha! Ha! I *too* have been in a similar predicament!"

    Even the Problem with Wikipedia had the whole 6-degrees-of-connection joke going from it. The 'wait, how did I get here' humorous quality. This has nothing.

    It can't even claim to be funny just because of how long it is, because it has a clear punchline, and 'funny because it's way too long' jokes simply do not work in print media. Especially comics, where it's very easy to just flip through them; or scroll past the filler as the case may be. You need to have control over how long someone is viewing your media to have control over the timing.

  22. I really think what is essentially a "check out this site! I can't stop browsing it!" blogpost built into a webcomic deserved a little more of a tongue lashing. Though I guess it's hard to reconcile a good dismantling of this shitty comic while maintaining your horrible 'character'.

  23. I've never seen why people have such a hard time with, WIkipedia, TVTropes, etc. I mean, the tabs don't open by themselves, and a good chunk of the articles in the latter two are really boring.

    Re: Nightmare Fuel -- that page showed me that no matter how pathetic a movie or tv show, there is at least one person out there who can be scared to death of it.

  24. Regarding the alt text: who wants to bet that Randy is hoping to launch the phrase 'browser narcotic' to describe websites like Cracked, Wikipedia and tvtropes?

  25. I have updated my blag to include my extended thoughts on "Dr." Hórrible, Carl "Ugly" Wheeler, myself (William Monty Hughes) and this very blag.

    -William Monty Hughes
    IQ 224
    "Cogito Ergo Sum"

  26. Hey, even the Order of the Stick sycophants hate this one.

  27. This one just makes me angry.

    I normally enjoy seeing just how terrible xkcd can be, but this is beyond normal levels of bad.

    First, the "joke" is laughable. A reference to Rickrolling? Really? Who thinks Rickrolling is still funny (besides Randall)? Second, the whole point of this comic is shamelessly pandering to TVTropes, let alone Cracked. At least his previous Wikipedia comic that this is basically a clone of (in idea) had some semblance of a joke. Maybe Randall realized that 608 was such a shameless ripoff of a previous comic, that he was going to try a different format (while still ripping off 214).

    Still, that's two in a row that are basically clones or prior xkcds (only more crappily done). Someone desperately needs to put this comic out of its misery.

  28. Who thinks Rickrolling was ever funny (besides Randall)?

  29. Didn't the webcomic "Irregular webcomic" do a four panel strip about exactly that once? ...and they also did a strip about how their content is similar to xkcd at times?

  30. I had several tv tropes tabs open when I read the comic.

    Now having been on both sides of the referencing divide, I ask this. Who the fuck finds the whole "Randall, get out of my head thing" appealing?
    If you're part of the reference pool, you feel pandered to. If you're outside, you get annoyed at Randall's oft-intentional obfuscation.

    Or are XKCD readers so lacking in self-esteem even the most basic of synchronicties with some stick-drawing fuck is enough to make their day?

  31. See, Jim Davis has something like 20 years worth of crappy jokes to go on, and so can cycle through them pretty easily without looking unoriginal (how he does manage being unoriginal is beyond me). Randall has 4 years of content, about 2 years of which is bland and unoriginal. Half of the content on XKCD is unoriginal. I can actually say that "Garfield" is more original than "XKCD."

    Randall, kill the schedule; I can check the comic when you get a good idea and update. I have you on RSS.


  32. I suppose I was not a regular xkcd reader until the last year or so, but that coupled with this site is really starting to make me see how bad this comic has gotten. I found myself saying today, "Can he really not think anything funnier than this?"

    If I had to criticize this blog, though, I would say it needs to be less assholey(that was fun to type) and more pleading. Since it's original title was xkcdcouldbebetter, I would imagine it was designed to help nudge xkcd back to it's funny state. It's a longshot, but it is possible that this site could influence enough people to voice their opinion, thus influencing Randall to make his comic better.

  33. 1:48 Anonymous:

    Get the fuck out of here, you elitist cuddlefish. You don't have to read.

  34. It's not really funny, but still, for the first time in a while: Randal Get out of my head

  35. 7:45 Anonymous: Thanks for the tip, I forgot to add the "what I like about this comic" section. On Wednesday's, I'll try to be a little nicer. And more articulate. And I'll write a longer post.

    Don't give up on me yet, folks! I'm still stuck with you for another week.

  36. @7:45 Anon:

    I believe it was originally called 'xkcd: Overrated', but Carl changed it somewhere in the 500s.

    Also, there are several problems.

    - There seems to be no communication channels with Randall.
    - He doesn't seem like the kind of person to listen to criticism. He deletes posts pointing to his mistakes.
    - He doesn't seem to care about the quality of the comic. The sheer amount of frequent mistakes, be them spelling or graphic errors, for such a minimalistic comic is astounding.
    - This community isn't exactly the kind of place to develop respectful pleas to Randall.

    There are three courses of action for xkcd at this point:
    1. Continue putting out middling crap MWF.
    2. Update irregularly whenever Randall actually has something interesting / funny to say.
    3. Turn it into Randall's illustrated picto-blog.

    3 is the best course of action, 1 is what is most likely.

  37. XKCD is aging backwards. In its death, it is just niggling around in little things the author supposes could be "kind of funny," in its midlife it's legitimately funny and observant, and towards its birth it's barely even a comic at all but is just bits of art experiments with the occasional gem.

  38. The Curious Case of Randall Munroe

  39. John,
    Well, this could be considered a communication channel if Randall reads it. It's a stretch sure, and he might not even read it. But, if enough people voice their opinions maybe he could hear them.

    Now, does he just delete, or does he correct and delete. Either path seems odd to me, but the first would be much more assholey(still fun to type).

    Man, if only more people would go with option 2. I suppose too many people equate quantity with quality...

    7:45 Anon

    Oh, and Enterim, you totally should've thought of what 9:31 Anon said. For shame!

  40. @9:36 Anon:

    I believe he corrects and deletes. You'd never know, obviously, but I believe someone on this blog has documented this behavior before, having had their post deleted.

    Though this may only happen for mistakes in his so called blag, because I don't think he really reads the forums, let alone the individual comic threads.

  41. Does he delete the posts/threads on that point out mistakes?

  42. "3. Turn it into Randall's illustrated picto-blog."

    Huh, that's what it has ALWAYS been, even "back when it was good". It's true, though, that it ended up adhering to more common webcomic formulae, but it has still remained that air of "I just put here whatever the hell I feel like doing", and in that sense, it hasn't changed at all from "back when it was good".

    I have mixed feelings about the latest comic. It made me laugh, but it seems like it was warped straight from one or two years ago. It's every bit as "up-to-date" as the Simpsons. If the pace is kept, on Wednesday we'll have a joke about that awesome new site, Something Awful.
    But come on, criticisms for "another nerd reference"? People, ever heard of "sudo make me a sandwich" or "Robert'); drop table Students; --"? Please.
    Overall, it was funny, but the ending was quite weak and the comic is at least one year too late. But I liked it.

  43. Re: deleting posts. I don't think he deletes forum posts. Since I read the strips way after they're uploaded, I still read several posts on the threads correcting mistakes that have already been corrected. I'm pretty sure Randall does not delete them, but I can't be bothered checking that out for sure.

  44. Huh, that's what it has ALWAYS been, even "back when it was good". It's true, though, that it ended up adhering to more common webcomic formulae, but it has still remained that air of "I just put here whatever the hell I feel like doing", and in that sense, it hasn't changed at all from "back when it was good".

    Uh, what? Man, he stopped posting random graph paper doodles after like fifty comics, and started having an update schedule and attempted to regularly tell jokes pretty early on. Those are both things that are antithetical to the idea of the picto-blog.

    The picto-blog is this: Instead of a comic, Randall does a blog. Instead of telling jokes on a regular schedule, he posts the interesting ideas he has whenever he thinks of them. If necessary, he includes informative illustrations.

    Currently, his blog itself nearly serves this purpose, but ideally he would stop the comic entirely since it sucks.

    Also, it's important to note that 1.) "Sudo make me a sandwich" was a fucking TERRIBLE comic and 2.) "Bobby Tables" had half a joke hidden away in there and 3.) The "Golden Age" of XKCD was not some mythical era of unmitigated perfection--there was still crap in there, including shitty jokes that were nothing but nerd references.

  45. Oh thank God, finally somebody who also hates Sudo make me a sandwich. Even back when XKCD was awesome, I never understood why people loved that comic so much.

    Suppose I had a popular webcomic about war, soldiers, killing and guns, and I had a comic in which two military buffs WHO ARE NOT ACTUALLY SOLDIERS THEMSELVES go "Hey, make me a sandwich." "What? No." "That's an order, private!" "Okay."

    See? The guy wouldn't do it at first, but the second time he does because even though he is not a soldier, SOLDIERS HAVE TO FOLLOW ORDERS!

    Would you laugh? Fuck no, you'd hate me with every fiber of your being for such a contrived piece of bullshit.

  46. I generally hate all of the "x BUT WITH PEOPLE INSTEAD OF MACHINES" xkcds, including that sudo comic.

    Actually, I generally hate any of Randall's comedy crutches, like that, or referencing memes (in today's even), the mundane situation with huge overreaction, etc.

    There's nothing wrong with using them, but Randall tends to use framing as the joke itself, rather than actually tell a joke.

  47. fred your comic suggestion is RADLARIOUS

  48. "sudo make me a sandwich" was funny because of the reference. The actual comic was crappy (as is usual by Randy standards), but he managed to make up for it (at least to the "intended audience" which I consider myself part of) with the idea of using sudo in real life.

    On the other hand, now that he doesn't post really post intelligent / nerdy references any more, his comic has lost all appeal. Having a nerdy comic with mediocre execution might work, but mediocre execution alone isn't going to make it anywhere.

  49. Okay, I admit it. I fell in to the trap of "I recognize my own behaviour in this comic. I therefore find it funny." I don't go to TVTropes. I've been there maybe once. But I have been a victim of tab-explosion. I think my record of doing it accidentally is probably 10, mainly because I make a concerted effort to read the related stuff before I finish with the main tab I was in.

    I say again, I am ashamed for finding this funny for 2 seconds. =(


    I promised myself I'd perform less clicks in the making of my edit than he did in the comic itself. Mission successful.

  51. Oh ho ho ho, that is good.

  52. This is all too true. I'm addicted to tv tropes and cracked, and they're both horrible in making you open tabs. But it's not funny. I randomnumber the agreement that it's not so much a joke-a-strip comic as much as a webblog. I mean xkcd's never really been haha funny, besides a few strips. Usually it's "oh heeeeyyyy I see where he's going...."

  53. i feel like my favorite hangout on the website has been sullied by the touch of Monroe. not that hipsters read xkcd anymore, but if they did, they would all be saying "i can't like TV Tropes now because xkcd mentioned it.

    xkcd. where memes go to die.

    or more accurately, where memes become zombies.

  54. Welcome, Doctor Horrible!

    Rehoboam: why must we use "em" instead of "i"?

    Also I don't go to TV Tropes regularly but I do know what it is and can relate after doing similar clickclickclicking on Wikipedia. Comic sucked.

    Anon 7:45: The original title was most certainly not "xkcdcouldbebetter." That would be the forum for editing xkcd, xkcd could be better! The original heading for the blog, however, was "xkcd: Overrated." Which I liked, as it is more fitting regarding the state of the comic now, and less confrontational than "xkcd sucks." (That said, xkcd indeed does suck. I guess being confrontational comes with being blunt.)

    crap john i hate you way to say everything i wanted to say before i even wanted to say it

    Fred I never understood the humor behind Sudo etc. either. I mean I got it but I didn't think it was funny. Your suggestion, however, made me laugh quite hard. Possibly only because I knew you wanted us to hate it.

    Rehoboam again: omfg you win. You just win everything.

    Regarding whether or not Randy reads this blog... I'd have to say no. He's said before that he ignores criticism, or moves on, or whatever. That's pussy talk for "it hurts my feelings to read what they say, and also they don't know what they're talking about anyway because we all know i am great okay"

  55. Wait, does this make Monty Captain Hammer?

    Anyway, agree 100% I have this same problem, with both TVtropes and Cracked, and when I read it, I thought for a fraction of a second, "I guess that's kind of funny" until I realized that Randall was just relying on me to connect with the situation and supply the humor. Lazy. I used to like xkcd, even some of the ones you didn't, but now, you've converted me. Thank you.

  56. Carl also likes licking hooker ass.

  57. @Amanda:

    Rehoboam will tell you to use <em> instead of <i> because, technically, HTML is only used for structure, not style. Style should be defined elsewhere (i.e. CSS), and using only structured tags allows you to freely swap out style sheets without changing the structure of your page.

    However, since these are blog comments, and not well-designed websites, feel free to continue using <i> if you want.

  58. Saying that you ignore criticism is a bad thing. It's like saying "I'm a stubborn asshole who knows everything better anyway"

  59. The P has it down, and you are free to use <i> as much as you want, but as a developer I couldn't just talk about <i> without mentioning <em>, not in good conscience, anyway.

  60. I wonder why Randall doesn't just copy and paste the panels. Must be boring drawing the exact same thing over and over again. Though the effort is wasted because mere repetition is not funny. Nor do I see how saying 'gosh, isn't TV Tropes addictive!' is funny. :\

  61. Man, you know if Randall had copied and pasted the panels, we'd be slamming him for it so hard here.

  62. After seeing yesterday's xkcd, I went to TVTropes, (have never been,) clicked around a bit, said "meh," and went back to reading whinefests on Consumerist.

    And seriously, Rickrolling? It's been almost 3 years. Find a new reference, dangit.

  63. Goddammit, this is the first time I've never been able to post comments.

    @Jay -- He HAS copied and pasted panels. The ones I remember most are 473 and 479.

  64. Not "able to post comments" but "able to copy and paste in the comment box." Dunno how I said the first one :|

    Also now I CAN copy and paste. UGH.

  65. "Oh thank God, finally somebody who also hates Sudo make me a sandwich. Even back when XKCD was awesome, I never understood why people loved that comic so much."

    Many people get the joke. You don't. WOW!
    Your civilization has uncovered the secrets of The Obvious.
    Choose your next discovery:
    - Basic sense of humour
    - Common sense
    - Spending time in a useful way
    - Don't take this post (too) seriously

  66. @Fernie:

    It's not a joke. It's basic use of the sudo command, but applied to people rather than computers. It's not funny. At all.

    This is coming from a software developer who works in RHEL, so don't you dare say I didn't get the joke, or I'm not in the target audience.

  67. "It's not a joke. It's basic use of the sudo command, but applied to people rather than computers."

    Man, if people were to use that kind of logic to all jokes in the planet, there would be NO HUMOUR AT ALL, would it? Finding something funny or not is always a matter of abstraction; at the very core, nothing is ever funny.
    *I* didn't get the joke at first either, and I didn't get it after I learnt what "sudo" was, and I didn't get it EVEN AFTER I started using Linux and got familiar with the command. But when those menacing, prohibitive error messages started to simply disappear with the mere addition to "sudo", the joke became as clear as day. It's a completely expected and logical behaviour, but in its very essence, it doesn't seem to make much sense when you apply a human logic to it; and, want it or not, the computer operator IS human (as far as I know). xkcd is not about computers, but about how humans interact with them.
    Besides, the way you say "don't you dare say I didn't get it" is quite silly; you seem to take that as offence, even.

  68. Fuck off Fernie.

  69. I think the 20-odd panels of clicking were supposed to build suspense, which might have worked if there was anything funny at the end of it all.

    I think this is another example of a comic that would have worked better (in a shorter form) in the context of the picto-blog idea. If there was some sort of review of TvTropes (although that sounds reeaaally Meta) and this comic was embedded in that... I dunno. It would be less infuriating.

  70. I was going to post how I do, in fact, get the joke, and how the whole 'don't take this post too seriously' thing is an incredibly lame cop-out should you be one-upped, but I think that instead I'll just second the motion that Fernie should fuck off.

  71. "at the very core, nothing is ever funny"


    Are you fucking kidding? This is the single most retarded thing anyone has ever posted in the comments section of this blog. Ever. The ass-turds trolls were more intelligent. I cannot even begin to comprehend the kind of mind that would formulate such an insanely idiotic statement.

    Maybe you don't realize what you've just implied by this comment and the poorly-written paragraph that follows it, but essentially you have just concluded that humor cannot occur spontaneously. That, in order for something to be considered humor, you have to take days and days to think about and understand every implication, and that the appreciation garnered from such analysis is what generates humor.



    1. providing fun; causing amusement or laughter; amusing; comical

    If I laugh at it, it's funny. Period. End of discussion. Someone passing gas at an inopportune moment can be funny. The word "butts" can be funny. Just because it's immature, or juvenile, doesn't make it not funny. Take your "abstraction" and shove it up your stupid ass, you fucking elitist, pretentious douche-cunt.

    That's not to say that I don't appreciate high-brow or "intellectual" humor, but to claim that xkcd (especially the sudo strip, which isn't even all that clever) can only be appreciated by spending long periods of time contemplating the depths of its humor is unconscionable. The strip was shit. You are shit. Good day, sir.

  72. Can we get off the fucking picto-blog suggestion? xkcd is either going to get better or worse and eventually stop, but nobody will give a damn about a lame blog.

  73. Anonymous is a legion

  74. yeah I got pretty mad when he copy/pasted the ducks in 537. I also hate how he can't seem to draw even-shaped circles for heads. All the stick figures have some fucked up dents in their heads.

    Fernie, please just go away. Your continued presence here is as irritating as it is confusing.

    And I shall continue using <i>. Just thought y'all should stay informed.

  75. Well I, for one, shall be losing sleep over that.

  76. ugh. the latest is once again Randy being a condescending prick. would that he would die in a fire.

  77. I think he's simultaneously condescending to ordinary people AND Ayn Rand-ian Objectivists who think like that.

    So wow.

  78. 610 as a comic is terrible; it needs the alt text to be part of the comic itself, and shorter.

    Just "I never did like the mood when the Ayn Rand convention came to town." would've been fine.

    I'm sure he would've put something about Ron Paul in the alt-text, but at least the comic would've been decent.

  79. He's also being condescending to people who think "man, nobody ever does anything but stare at the floor or the ads on the subway" without assuming it means everyone is a sheep.

  80. When I first saw today's xkcd I didn't get the reference and was prepared to go on an endless tirade about how Randall is all sorts of horrible adjectives and that references that don't suck would be great. I just assumed, not knowing the reference and based on the fact that just about every reference he has made in the past was to something trivial like Wikipedia or something I've never seen/read, like Orson Scott Card's books and Firefly.

    So I googled who Ayn Rand was and I learned that she is also boring, but somehow popular. Not being literate myself, I wasn't surprised that I have never read any of her "masterpieces", as the butler who reads to me has indicated a strong preference towards more picture oriented books with simpler plots so I don't throw my chicken noodle soup all over him like last time he read Harry Potter to me.

    Randall's comment is basically that everything thinks they're unique and special, but they're really not. If his comment is something other than that, it's too obscure for my butler, and therefore me, to figure out.

    I'll be honest, I don't so much mind the comic itself, it's somewhat interesting, even if you don't quite get the reference you can at least remember back to the moment you realized that your mother was lying to you about that whole "unique" thing, and say; well, you know the line. Out get Randall head my, or something along those lines. Or, hey, they can even feel special and oldschool by recognizing Randall's oh-so-clever meta-humor in the title.

    Haha we get it you like yourself okay?

    Overall, this piece of crap at least stinks worse than most of the artistic diarrhea that Randall has been gracing us with recently. The artwork, while still sloppy, lacking in detail, and drab, is somehow still better than just about anything in the last dozen or so comics. He at least has gotten away from his meme fetish and somewhat drifting from his tendency to advertise whatever catches his fancy that particular afternoon while he is not working and pretending to be making a comic; Ayn Rand is dead so we at least know she didn't pay him to stick her into this.

    But it's still just Randall's goddamn illustrated pictoblog. All this comic comprises of is a few thoughts - no jokes, no visual gags, no real effort whatsoever. It's still just an uninspired napkin drawing with text added to it and people still think this counts as a joke? At least all the ridiculous chain mail jokes have a goddamn punchline and would scrape by with a C in joketelling 101, Randall is flat-out bombing the course.

    The only semblance of what could be considered comedy in this "comic" is that everyone thinks the same think - that nobody else thinks like them. Oh ho! Man, that's funny. It's so funny, I forgot to laugh, other than typing sounds that sort of seem like a laugh, to which I plead the fifth.

    In conclusion, this comic is an abomination and a horrible menace to society, but it's getting better. Imagine a swamp monster has been barging into your home for the last 200 comics. Now imagine that he learned which side of the plate the fork goes on at fancy dinner parties. It's not really real progress, but you feel good about it anyway for some inexplicable reason.

  81. Um, in the 6th paragraph that should be "this piece of crap at least doesn't smell as bad as most of the artistic diarrhea dot dot dot"

    I think I changed the sentence in my head halfway through typing it.

    And yet somehow I had the restraint not to add that hilarious incident to a comic I publish three times a week.

  82. Also, I am reasonably confident the title and first sentence are intended as a reference to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (not our own Dr. Horrible)

  83. @Fernie: Re: "At the very core, nothing is ever funny": you're sort of correct, but the phrasing leaves you open to attack. It suggests an objective concept of humor. The corresponding, context-oriented phrasing is, "Any joke, properly explained, ceases to be funny."

    Interestingly the converse also holds. Any serious notion, properly explained, becomes ridiculous.

  84. Also plenty of jokes can still be funny once they're properly explained. Powerup Comics is still hilarious if you know that it's a satire of CAD et al.

  85. Well, in that case, improperly explained... what I mean is, there exists an explanation that renders the joke no longer funny.

  86. Satire or not, Powerup Comics is shit and not worth reading.

  87. Once again, Randall asserts his position as God-king of nerd condescendence by being condescending to condescending nerds.

  88. By the way, is there any way to actually click that edit button that appears when you get a preview of your post, or is that just a cruel joke? There's no way to comment on your CAPTCHA (which was LOTERAY, by the way) now.

  89. blogger sux, amirite

  90. @Fred:

    But why is it wrong to point out how people are wrong in assuming other people are wrong?

    Relatedly, what did the giant ape say when he dialed an incorrect number? "Oops, King Kong ring wrong."

  91. The latest one works for me, a definite improved version of the "Idiocracy" strip since this one gets to the core issue (people thinking they're the only ones who pay attention to anything) without leaning on a pop culture reference...

    ...which leads to wishing the alt-text just didn't exist. Pretentious dorks perform their schtick just fine before and after a Rand book; Rand just gives them some new words with which to condescend.

  92. Holy shit, the new comic is freakin hilarious. Its just like what would happen if Randy was locked in a room with himself.

  93. I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm saying it makes him a tool.

  94. The new comic is condescending.


    Thank you, Randall.

    (in fact, the first thing that crossed my mind when I read that was "wow, Randall has just insulted at least half of his fanbase. But then I read the thread and thought "oh, at least half of his fanbase didn't get it".)

  95. 609 sucks.
    610 sucks.

    Damnit, Randall, you're letting me down!!! How am I supposed to troll xkcdsucks when they're right?

    Anyway guys, I'm back with my new blogger account (actually, I made it last month, but I'm only using it now). My website is still up, keeping track of the places I roam and the wannabes following me (I know better than to think there won't be any more of them).

    On another note, does the textbox here suddenly not suck? Or is it just a fluke?

  96. I like 610. I don't think the Ayn Rand thing is supposed to be the main joke. It's just an alternate punchline like A Softer World sometimes has. Besides, I can't even read it with this old version of Firefox.

    The problem is that we know it was drawn by Randall, so one suspects that he thinks that he is above the kind of behavior he depicts. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt though and assume there is an element of self-mockery in it.

  97. Randy's name is SOOOO versatile.

  98. I liked it. 610, I mean.

    Oh, and Rehoboam, italics tags are syntactically correct for book titles, names of ships, and the like. Wordpress has a habit of automatically changing italics tags to emphasis tags, which behaviour gets on my tits. If I wnat emphasis, I'll write emphasis. When I want italics, I'll write italics.

    And yes, I know that most browser stylesheets display them identically. There's still a difference. Syntax matters, dammit!


  99. Argh! Damn you Pat, damn you!

    Incicdentally, you happen to share a name with my last therapist. Please don't be her. *shudders*

  100. Ayn Rand had a rape fetish or something.

    Now that I think of it, I think Randy does too. Look what he did to one of my favourite websites.

    Who was the faggot that linked him to TVTropes? It's time for a mass lynching.