Sunday, August 30, 2009

Comic 630: What's That, Little Girl? You Wish You Were Back In Your Own Time?

oh good GOD i am happy to be back. last week was a steaming swamp of mediocrity from xkcd and so I suppose I am glad that I didn't have to deal with it myself, but it's this week now and we've got us a new comic.

go back to when you came from

I'm not going to lie: This comic confused the fuck out of me. "She travels from the past in order to...demand bagels?" I thought to myself. "perhaps the caption will explain things....no wait, still nothing. Let me try harder." And so I read and reread this comic, for hours and hours and hours, until I finally understood what it meant. She was born in 1983, so she is pretending that she has "traveled" here for some mundane thing. When really she was just living her life! I get it now.

The problem is that when we see that girl and "1983" we have no immediate reason to associate the two. Because we can't tell at all how old she is, because all Randall drew was a stick figure with some hair. Hell, it looks more like some guys I know than a girl. Apparently she's 26, but she might as well be 12 or 42 or 8 or 90 for all we can tell. That's why it's so hard to figure out what's going on until you use just some cold hard comedic deduction.

Even so, I still don't like it. It's the same sort of stupid playing with words that you get from sentences like "this is the first day of the rest of your life" or that dinosaur comic about a time machine that moves at one second per second. And when I read the alt-text ("She also starts every letter with 'Dear Future '."), all I can think of is the opening of that one Office episode when Jim steals Dwight's letterhead in order to send him faxes from his 'future self.' Much much funnier idea. Because there someone thinks they are hearing from their future selves; here, we just have a girl being annoying. Nothing more.

But I do have one thing that is nice to say about today's comic: Usually, Randall Munroe only has nice things to say about girls and only portrays them in a totally positive, cool, interesting, funny, sarcastic, etc, light. This is so that real-life girls will like him more. But today, he called a girl annoying! Maybe not in so many words, but it's there. So that's nice to see.


PS when the hell is that xkcd book going to come out? Isn't it like 3 months overdue? thousands and thousands of xkcdsucks points to the first person to send me the needed html to make a "xkcd book is ___ days overdue" clock. let's say, for reference, that it was supposed to come out June 15th of this year (that's a nice approximation for "mid june" I think). It will is proudly sit[ing] on my sidebar. [thanks to John for sending me the code basically instantly]

109 comments:

  1. The alt-text also sort of messes up with the premise of the comic if it's that she just aged.

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  2. I thought that she actually DID travel from the year 1983, and she's only prefacing every sentence with that because...yeah, this comic sucked.

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  3. I'll admit it: I laughed at this one. Chuckled, anyway. Best reaction the strip's gotten out of me in ages.

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  4. Like the previous week, this comic is a premise that would work much better in JOKE form and not "let me pitch an idea" form.

    At least, for once, I identify with the stickman, turning to hear something interesting and instead receiving the whimsical equivalent of a finger painting.

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  5. GOD FUCKING DAMMIT John beat me to it

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  6. ;o;

    it's not even there anymore

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  7. Anon said: "The alt-text also sort of messes up with the premise of the comic if it's that she just aged."

    Err, no it doesn't.

    She addresses letter to other people with the salutation 'Dear Future [other person]', so if she was writing a letter to Bob, for example, she would address it 'Dear Future Bob'. The idea is that by the time Bob receives the letter, time will have passed, and therefore the Bob who reads the letter will be in the future compared to the period of time in which the letter was written.

    That is perfectly consistent with her habit of viewing the normal passage of time as a form of time travel.

    Finally, I can't help but feel that anyone who takes more than a couple of seconds to understand this comic must be a bit slow. The fact that it stumped Carl for a while doesn't surprise me.

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  8. Thomas, I'm sorry, but it's just really unmpressive not to get this one. The joke is: she says she has traveled in time to find out of there are bagel left, thus we are to assume she is from a time with no bagels. Then it's revealed that oh, she is actually born that year and she just has a habit of prefacing sentences with this fact. How would it make a difference if we could see their age? I thought the fact that she says, and I quote "I've travelled here[...]" kind of implies.. yeah. I'm sorry you didn't get it though, but maybe instead of rationalizing this, you could write a decent review. I've never laughed at an XCKD comic but this one did get a little giggle out of me. It is clear and straight to the point with no additionel text. The scene is believeable enough, partly because he doesn't linger in it, so it works for the momentary immersing you need. The artwork has no influence on the joke, and the timing is quite good. I admit, not an amazing comic, but it's good. You are trying too hard to pick it apart. This one actually feels like he applied some of the criticism we tend to throw at him.

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  9. The one thing that really bothers me, however, is that the year chosen might ruin the joke for some. But as a general note, I don't think people are inclined to overthink the single number.

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  10. Btw, for the joke to work there is no need that she was born in 1983. It is enough that she was alive by 1983.

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  11. Time Traveler's Wife parody?

    Apparently there was a movie out recently, (I never watch tv, so I never see movie ads, but I just looked it up on wikipedia) so I guess it could be?

    I dunno.

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  12. This comic stumped me because I figured there SHOULD be a "hidden joke" in there somewhere I wasn't getting, because the strip itself is completely humourless. Seriously? What the hell is THAT? I don't know why Randall has to revisit a little joke he already did MUCH better in strip 209. Remember that one? That was a good one. This sucks. He is effectively doing NOTHING with that little joke.

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  13. I thought this one was alright.

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  14. I feel kinda dumb. I thought the same thing as 2nd Anonymous, that she had really time-traveled there from 1986, but now the novelty had worn off and it was getting annoying that she kept doing such things. At least that would have been an interesting joke, whether or not anyone thought it was good. But now it seems just as lame as usual. Damn.

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  15. It wasn't funny at all, I agree, but since when is writing an entire post about one's lack of ability to get a simple joke anything other than an exposition of the author's (lack of) intelligence?

    Well, thanks for being so honest, at least.

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  16. Man, if it took you hours and hours and hours of reading just that one panel to figure it out, not only are you dumb, you are also in desperate need of a life?

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  17. @ 2:49 Anon

    Your idea of what the joke is supposed to be is technically impossible. If it's supposed to be funny that she came looking for bagels, but she came from a time when there were plenty of bagels, then Randall should have put the bagel part before the year. As it stands we know she came from 1983 (in whatever method you choose, as it's left intentionally vague) first because she says that before anything about bagels. Unless of course you decided to shuck comic conventions and pretend to be your own sort of time traveler by reading the words out of order.

    At least that's how the traditional setup -> Punchline structure works, but as Randall can't be bothered to remember that, so why should you?

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  18. First XKCD Forumite: "Is there a popculture reference for this one? I'm in the dark."

    Second XKCD Forumite: "I was wondering that too. I guess I've come to expect that xkcd has multiple layers..."

    Take note: repeating 4chan jokes is "having multiple layers".

    CAPTCHA: glatio. I once had a girl perform glatio on me but it was too cold for my tastes.

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  19. Yeah, while this one mostly elicited a "Okay, kind of clever" from me, the fact that it's basically Randall trying to rip off SMBC trying to rip off 209 is like eugh.

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  20. I didn't like the comic itself, but the alt text gave me a smile. Nothing too funny, but better than the shit we've been getting. Now if this comic was surrounded by good ones, it would be totally ok.

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. Yay! Everyone in xkcd is so quirky and cool! They say quirky, fun, cool things instead of just making basic statements! They do quirky, fun, cool things like talk to empty rooms and tap the fibonacci sequence on their lovers' stomachs! OMG SO QUIRKY AND COOL MY HEAD ASPLODE

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  23. @ Kevin

    No, the joke is that she isn't from the future at all. That's the punchline. The train of information goes "Came from 1983" - > "Looking for Bagels" -> Punchline. We add the first two together, and you may not agree that she is looking for bagels due to her own time lacking them (Though why else travel back/forward or whatever in time and ask for a bagel?), but the joke is getting this information and then having it refuted. It's a surprise moment.

    I think the whole introducing yourself as a time traveller and then directly afterwards ask for bagels kind of implies that there is a lack or at the very least a craving for them, which has to be caused by something. It really doesn't make a difference in what order we get them, except that forcing us to add them together makes us put our guard down for the surprise of the punchline. This is why it's bad that Randall normally spells things out, this order of information is way better. I though "Oh time traveller" "What's with the bagels?" and then "Oh she isn't travelling in time at all! Haha, how clever".

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  24. In other words, he has to keep us from figuring out what is to come, he creates a distraction (Which to me was a bagel story at least, which was a lot funnier than the punchline itself). It's sort of like sleigh of hand magic.

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  25. I suggest making the font size bigger under the xkcd book clock thing?

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  26. Seriously, what anti-xkcd brainwashing camp did Fernie just come back from that now every single comic sucks? What happened to the old, defend-every-shitty-comic fernie? Oh well. I guess we've gone and converted another soul.

    Adam: I guess I can try that.

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  27. I will say it again

    I take full credits for the new Fernie.

    MY KIND WAYS HAVE SHOWN HIM THE LIGHT

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  28. It's strange how you can make any joke seem tasteless and cliche if you explain it and then sarcastically discuss why it is lacking the proper humor structure.

    It's like saying, "Get it? He made a comment that doesn't directly focus on the subject! Get it?! By referencing his own comment in his comment he applied meta-humor to the situation! Anonymous is so quirky and cool! He says quirky, fun, cool things instead of just making basic statements! He does quirky, fun, cool things like double entendres and self-reference and meme references and even references through the structure of a paragraph and sudden CHANGES OF TONE THAT IMPLY ADHD! OMG SO QUIRKY AND COOL MY HEAD ASPLODE"

    You might want to consider using ReCaptcha instead of the current, though.

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  29. Anonymous, this is you:
    "LOL I USE D ABIG WORD THAT MAKEZ ME FEEL SMAAAART AND IS COMMONLYH ASSOCISATED WITH WITT AND INTELLIGENCE LOOOOOOOOOOL"

    Haha, see? I can do it too! I'm so witty and intelligent, aren't I?

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  30. It's called "sarcasm", Anonymous. Learn to understand instead of using a similar sentence structure as someone else but different words and feeling witty. It's not even that similar of a structure... You got the capitalization wrong. The guy you're quoting started his caps lock later.

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  31. @Anon

    Though any joke can be explained facetiously so as to make it boring, there are good explanations for why some jokes aren't funny. You can explain why Garfield isn't funny, and it's legitimate. There are some bad arguments, but that doesn't make all arguments bad. How else would you prefer someone criticize a joke?

    I also don't get why your sarcastic counter-factual is wrong. Comedic elements can add up to a funny joke. The explanation isn't funny, but the real thing might be.

    OR: maybe you mean just dissecting it doesn't prove it's bad, but it needs a reason to be bad as well? I think a lot of that comes form that we've seen Randall play the same tired moves many times, and so people just point them out instead of going into why they're bad. but they're still bad.

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  32. Anon 10:14: but how will we make fake definitions for words that almost sound like real words but aren't?

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  33. I'm not a guy. I'm all woman, sweetcheeks.

    Also, It's pretty sad when a blog that devotes itself to explainig xkcd didn't even get today's comic.

    http://explainxkcd.com/2009/08/time-travel/

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  34. OR: maybe you mean just dissecting it doesn't prove it's bad, but it needs a reason to be bad as well? I think a lot of that comes form that we've seen Randall play the same tired moves many times, and so people just point them out instead of going into why they're bad. but they're still bad.

    Yes, that is what we meant, in collaboration with the first. The idea is that the same fallacious, sarcastic structure is used for explaining everything, including that jokes are old. Carl sometimes points to other comics that are of the same subject of the topic on hand using that structure, and people assume he's making an accurate point, when he's not. (The subjects of the comics don't matter so much as the jokes.) The problem is essentially that people immediately associate sarcasm with wit, and then wit with accuracy. And then when somebody explains the structure of the joke, making it less funny, that also is associated with the sarcasm, and then the wit, and then the accuracy.

    The idea is that criticizing jokes is a very tricky thing to do. They don't have a proper structure or anything definite to go off by. Therefor, the seemingly proper reasons that attack the structure of a joke are inherently fallacious; there isn't a goal for a structure of a joke. Sorry if I'm rambling.

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  35. Anon 10:14: but how will we make fake definitions for words that almost sound like real words but aren't?

    I'm afraid I don't follow you. Are you saying that I used "cliche" incorrectly because it's supposed to have an accent on the e?

    I'm afraid I don't follow you either, 11:03 anonymous.

    Maybe I'm just confused.

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  36. Sweet jesus, would it kill you peeps to make up names for yourselves and use the name/url option? 'Cause right now it looks like one dude is arguing with himself, which, while hilarious, is probably not what y'all were going for.

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  37. What's the difference between one man arguing with himself and the struggle within this world?

    Does the mass of a body in turmoil and contradiction matter? Is there a barrier at which his words become obsolete?

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  38. todd, which anonymous are you?

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  39. I'm not anonymous.

    And, aloria, I think the third anonymous was talking about the second anonymous quoting the first anonymous.

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  40. Wait never mind. The third anonymous could be the same person as the first anonymous. You're right, this is confusing.

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  41. In other news, it is I who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.

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  42. Cuddlefish 2:49, it's really unimpressive to not notice who actually wrote the entry for Monday's comic. I'm back to my role of hating from the sidelines -- you probably meant to aim for Carl.

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  43. @Anon

    This guy does a very good job of deconstructing what makes a comic funny:
    http://wondermark.com/comic-strip-doctor/

    It is hard, but it is possible.

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  44. Oh great, Carl's back.

    Anyways, check out the comments on Digg for this one: http://digg.com/comics_animation/xkcd_A_Webcomic_Time_Travel

    That's when you know it's bad.

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  45. Yeah, when even the mouth-breathers at Digg aren't all up Randall's ass, you know the comic has hit its mark.

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  46. *HASN'T hit its mark. God, why did I have to run out of Diet Coke on a Monday....

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  47. Fun fact:

    I noted the other day this blog was #11 at the time on Google for xkcd. Now it's nowhere to be found at all in those results, for some reason (at least in the first 150).

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  48. Google orders their results based on what they think you'll be interested in. You probably searched 'xkcdsucks' recently or something and they remembered that.

    Same thing happened to me. I was so disappointed.

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  49. Guyyyyyys I made the mistake of reading Randall's 'blag' and I can't get the skeeze feeling off of me. WHAT DO I DO.

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  50. WHAT DO I DO NOOOOOOOW
    ARE WE GOING UNDER
    WHAT DID I DO WROOONG
    I THOUGHT WE HAD IT SOOORTED

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  51. Cleared cookies and cache; xkcdsucks is #11 for me (down from #9 w/o clearing). Just need to get it on page #1!

    Oh, by the way, time to place bets on how high the clock will get before the book is released...my bet is 128 days overdue.

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  52. Holy shit guys are we seriously #11? Holy shit guys we seriously are.

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  53. 630 is really just a My Hobby comic, except this time it's "This One Girl I Know's* Hobby". Which is... better, I guess? It just that it's the sort of thing you could reasonably expect an actual real-life person to do, so it kind of falls flat. If you're going to make a joke based solely on how quirky a character is, then their quirk should be extremely odd and at least a little dangerous, to the point where they probably wouldn't get away with it IRL. Someone who just acts realistically goofy isn't really that funny in comic form.

    *(My hobby: awkwardly turning relative clauses into possessives, then pointing it out in a desperate attempt to save face)

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  54. Goodness gracious, there's a blog for explaining xkcd. I can't believe me eyes!

    He says the lady who travelled back from 1983 must be 23 or 24 years old. Um... is that a failure at basic math? I thought she should be at the very least 25 by now?

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  55. Yup. The girl is 26 if she was born on or before 8/31. Otherwise, she is 25.

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  56. Buttersafe did a version of the "one second per second" thing as well, that I found much more enjoyable than xkcd's most recent comedic abortion as well as the aforementioned Dinosaur Comic.

    This joke has been done many times by many people, so it's a tired premise to being with, and Randall being a fuckwit in terms of comedic timing and dialog only serves to make the comic even lamer.

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  57. I didn't get this one at first. What threw me off was the phrasing: 'I travelled from 1983 TO say this". It implies that the only reason she has travelled from 1983 is to ask for bagels, which isn't 'technically true'.

    The ability to discern the girl's age would make a difference. By comparing a 25-26 year old girl to the year 1983 the audience would more quickly come to the conclusion that she is refering to her birthdate.

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  58. Why is XkcdCouldBeBetter not getting any love :(

    The Renaissance is over.

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  59. Because it's just a lot of swearing and rape jokes now. Posted by one guy.

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  60. Also my guess is the book counter's integer will wrap before the book is released.

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  61. This is the last time I visit this website. XKCD isn't as funny as its fans say, and it has a lot more misses than it does hits.
    But I expect this place to at least acknowledge the hits.
    I'm not talking about this specific strip. This one is major crap.
    But some of the others have been pretty amusing. I'm not expecting XKCD to enlighten me. I'm expecting XKCD to make me laugh, and it does. I expect most hate groups to make me laugh. \b\ amuses me.
    This doesn't. One of these posts even pissed me off for how goddamn stupid it was. The 11th grade chart was idiotic, but anybody who has been to school (and especially the 11th grade) knows that it isn't some magical place in which we are enlightened. It's a place where they shove stuff that we don't need to know at us. What we're taught in History classes are how to answer test questions, not history. Any history we learn is a coincidence. I learned more history in the one afternoon I was interested in the Cold War than in the entirety of 11th grade. I've learned a long time ago to differentiate between intellectual bullshit and actual intelligence, and I have to say that this blog reeks of the first one.
    When you attack strips with no reason, it's not funny and it isn't true. The most praise I've seen for any XKCD strip in this blog was "it didn't make me cringe too much" when it was actually pretty good. I don't think Randall is a humor god. That role is reserved for Douglas Adams and Woody Allen. But he's funny with some of his things. If you really want to see how worse it could get, check XKCD Could Be Better. That's bad comedy if I ever knew it.

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  62. Pita, you are aware that we are not one homogeneous mass with the same likes and dislikes, right? That a majority of us could like a particular xkcd, but a few individuals will still think it sucks, and vice versa?

    Fuck, have you even been reading this blog, or did you blindly pull some excuse out of your butt to rip on it? People come out and say "I liked this one, it made me chuckle" ALL THE GOD DAMNED TIME. Hell, even thomas had a guest post where he comes out and says he can't really criticize the day's comic because he thought it was good.

    Or did you want to be the official arbiter of which xkcds are hits and which are misses so that no one will ever again dare to criticize those comics that you think are good?

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  63. I expect most hate groups to make me laugh. \b\ amuses me.

    \b\ amuses me.

    \b\ amuses

    \b\

    \

    I call troll

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  64. Whoa call the wahbumlance, you didn't get the joke. Part of what makes a good webcomic is having the freedom to make a joke that someone out there will have to think too hard about to make it funny. Anything else and we'll degrade back to Garfield.

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  65. @Anon 9:04

    Did you even read past the first sentence? Or any of the comments?

    Everyone gets the joke, it's just shitty. Much like yourself.

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  66. I think the big problem with the comic for people who picked up on the joke is that he did the EXACT same joke back in 209, only he did it so much better.

    Most of the problems with this comic have to do with timing: 209 uses multiple panels to relay the information in steps, so that the audience follows the logic of the strip
    Man is in a kayak, asserts that he will explore the future with it -> second man assumes the man is talking about time travel -> man on kayak reveals that he is refering to the normal passage of time
    The logic of the joke flows and works. But in the new comic, all the information is in a big heap of one panel, so the audience can't follow the logic and assume that the girl is talking about her date of birth.

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  67. i didn't get the joke until i reaed the alt-text. i though that it might be revelant with futureMe.org

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  68. You sure spend an awful lot of time obsessing about xkcd.

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  69. Yeah, like five minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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  70. Yeah, I spend more time pinching a loaf every day than I do "obsessing about xkcd."

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  71. I call Poe's law on explainxkcd.com. Surely this guy is one of us. It's like that blog that explains why Marmaduke is funny.

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  72. Mathlete doesn't explain why Marmaduke is funny, he explains what's going on IN each Marmaduke. That's not the same thing.

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  73. @Fred
    But...but...but...
    I try to be different
    (Also Rape Guy is an admin now, so we have two admins but still no official 630 post. I had to make my own!

    And that, kids, is why Communism works.

    Also I started the rape jokes. If for one instant I had thought what might be the hellish intention of my fiendish adversary, I would rather have banished myself forever from my native country and wandered a friendless outcast over the earth than have consented to this miserable marriage.

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  74. Yeah, fuck Rape Guy.

    He never did give me my karma either.

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  75. What tipped me off is "While it's technically true", which means that it's true but it's usually out of mind because it's so mundane. How is time travel ever mundane? When you're traveling at the exact same speed as everything else is.

    What?

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  76. "'I travelled from 1983 TO say this". It implies that the only reason she has travelled from 1983 is to ask for bagels, which isn't 'technically true'."
    Actually, the assumptions made here depend on the context. And, while it might be true that the exemption proves the rule in some cases, it's not mathematically sound.

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  77. Maybe the whole purpose of her 26-year life has been to ask if there are any bagels left

    Maybe the bagels are just that good

    It could happen

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  78. any other personal information about megan we should know, randall?

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  79. @Cuddlefish Prime:

    No bagels are that good.

    NONE.

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  80. MEGAN AND NUDITY.

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  81. now he's just fucking with us

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  82. @Rob I had literally the exact same reaction

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  83. So, what, she's showing Sex Ed slides in a TGI Fridays?

    ...why did they even let her set up a slide projector in the first place?

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  84. No, they seem to be *making* sex ed slides. From what I could tell.

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  85. Yeah, I'm not sure what's going on either. My initial reaction was that Randy was taking pictures of her various, ah, private areas, but then why are they labeled "slides?" And then there's the fact that XKCD CHARACTERS DO NOT HAVE GENITALIA. APART FROM THE HAIR, MEN AND WOMEN ARE ANATOMICALLY INDISTINGUISHABLE.

    RANDY.

    THIS "JOKE" DOES NOT WORK. BECAUSE YOU'RE TOO LAZY TO ACTUALLY FUCKING DRAW.

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  86. How did the speech bubbles get on the slides, then? Aren't slides photographs, and wouldn't record sound? And why did the TGIF people let her set up a tripod and strip naked in the first place?

    WHY IS MEGAN INVOLVED?

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  87. No, I think they're photographing the stuff at TGIF. Hence the "Megan get off the table." and the tripod.

    Two things:
    1) Why take naked science pictures at a TGI Friday's? Is there some reference here that I'm not getting?
    2) What happened to randall being all ok with stick figure porn, but he has to effectively bleep out the inner labia?

    Also the build up doesn't really make any sense. I'm assuming the "It's TGIF" is supposed to be the "HOLY CRAP LOL" surprise, but the rest of the panels are such non-sequiturs that it doesn't work.

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  88. He drew the butthole. Awesome.

    ... not in that way.

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  89. Okay look I figured it out. None of our comments are even relevant. There are some CRUCIAL INGREDIENTS that make this possibly the best XKCD ever.

    1.) The sexiest sex YET! I mean visible nipple: Wow. HOT. And in public!

    2.) Megan's in it!!!!!!!

    3.) TGIF is probably a nerd reference we're just too dumb to understand, MORE RANDALL GENIUS!

    4.) Wikipedia joke in the alt-text!

    5.) There has to be something more since Randall is so smart.

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  90. what we really learn is that randall has spent a fair bit of time looking at penis photos on wikipedia. probably also at furry porn.

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  91. This TGIF comic is the weirdest thing I've seen on xkcd since it started. What. the. fuck.

    I can't wait for the post on that one, it should be epic.

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  92. another one for the sexkcd files, then

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  93. I face palmed so hard at this one I think I have a concussion.

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  94. oh my god, carl's post about #631 cannot come fast enough. dear lord, the mind boggles at what he can do with this one.

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  95. i suspect that #631 is a thinly veiled brag that randall has seen both a breast and a vagina.

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  96. So, how exactly is the xkcd book thing something to criticize Randall Munroe about? It's being published through a nonprofit corporation that doesn't publish books.

    It's one thing to criticize comics you don't like, but making personal attacks over something that's largely out of the control of an author(even in the case of publishing with a major corporate publishing house) is just low and sad. It says you're out to attack without reason or fairness, and it makes your other criticisms(which are sometimes valid) come across as weak and petty.

    Also, a comment on the blog in general. Yay for freedom of speech, but you know, sense of humor is one of those things, like taste in music, that varies from person to person. I personally hate half the shows on Adult Swim, but I know plenty of people who think they're hilarious and brilliant. Just like I think Harry Potter is a terrible book series, and I want to gouge out the eyes of anyone who reads those books, but there are people who think it's great. You may not like xkcd's style, but that doesn't mean it sucks. It means you don't like it. There's a difference.

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  97. so i hated this comic because, as someone else pointed out in the previous post, it's the same joke as a previous xkcd. and pretty much as soon as I read "i've traveled here from [year] to say..." i knew what the joke was gonna be.

    god you guys am i just too smart?

    anyway wouldn't someone traveling from a time of no bagels ask something more like "do you have bagels yet" instead of "are there any left?" because if there are none then there are none left, obviously.

    and why am i getting so many email notifications as i type this? new xkcd must suck...

    OH GOD. oh god oh god ohgodohgodohgod

    welcome back, carl. enjoy the next xkcd.

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  98. this is randy's way of saying "welcome back"

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  99. There is only one thing I can like about this comic. It made me feel smarter than Carl. Because, honestly, I got it on the second readthrough. But it's not that rewarding because that didn't make it funny.

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  100. That's not really much of an accomplishment. It's not like carl is a genius like Mr. Munroe or WHM

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  101. He's not calling GIRLS annoying, he's calling MEGAN annoying.

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  102. ... I got it in about two seconds. How is that hard to understand???

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  103. There's a weird property that poorly constructed sentences and writing have: while not everyone gets them, a lot of people still do. It is often based on the mindset of the reader, and sometimes it's probably just based on chance. If you happen to be in the right frame of mind and happen to read something one way instead of another, then it makes perfect sense. Unfortunately it's constructed in a confusing fashion, and if you look at it the wrong way it comes out confusing.

    It is the job of the author to create something which is as clear as possible, so that there is as little potential for ambiguity as possible.

    That said, this is the internet and you will always find someone who can read some completely batshit insane things into anything you write.

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  104. also, you are probably smarter than me.

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