Thursday, October 8, 2009

Comic 646: Toilet Humor

down the crapper

Oh my, today's comic is just full of terrible things. Where to begin?

Well, for one thing, his graphing ability sucks. I know I always say that I don't like to talk about the art quality but here it really does impede the joke. The "Dysentery" line and the "Laptop" line look like they are the same line, dipping down to mirror the "Toilet" like (though I guess we should be happy that he at least spelled "Dysentery" correctly this time). Different colors would have worked, especially because then you could have put the labels in some kind of box off to the side and not have them crowding the image. He also could have made the graph easier to read by having the two lines cross at the bottom - rather than essentially meet - and that would have been more accurate too.

Also, as a lot of people have noted, there really should be some kind of y-axis label - having all three variables just sitting there just makes you wonder what, exactly, they are measuring.

And on top of that, the joke is just dumb. "People used to have to talk in the bathroom because they all had dysentery, now they all do it because they have laptops so they can" just makes me feel kind of gross. Why would it even be laptops? I don't think of IMing as being a "conversation"; I think of phone calls as being conversation (or in person talking). Why not use "cell phones" or "cordless phones" instead?

(incidentally, all xkcdsucks posting is done while on a toilet, dysentery or no, laptop or desktop, it does not matter. i will always do it on a toilet. get used to it.)

ANYWAY tl;dr: this comic is lazy and makes a stupid joke and was executed terribly with lazy art so that just made it worse.

(unlike some people, I won't dismiss graph comics entirely - they usually take less work, sure, so they can be trickier than most comics to make them worth reading, but they can still be good. For example, though i usually think Abstruse Goose is a disgusting abomination of a comic, I like this recent graph comic he made)

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RETROGRADE UPDATE: Aloria and I are in advanced talks to get her to write this shit next week. just so you know.

43 comments:

  1. new comic sucks ass. no eight year old talks like that. reminds me of those shitty 80's movies where the kids are all preternaturally witty and insightful. what a piece of shit way to convey an idea that was a little jarring (to me).

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  2. also carl for cereal

    http://webupd8.blogspot.com/2009/03/alternatives-blogger-default-comments.html

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  3. I don't even get why it was suppose to be scary. >.>

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  4. It's scary because it makes the old person realize how old he is. The 9/11 thing was jarring to ME and I'm a freshman in college. Probably could have chosen a better event. People focus on the 9/11 it took me a while to catch on that it's a joke about old people being scared of being older.

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  5. Yeah, but it really wasn't that long ago. Hasn't even been a decade yet. I'll be turning 20 next month. That isn't old. :/

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  6. Asher - the second one on that list you have to pay for and the third one didn't work when I tried it (on one of those meta sites). The first one I can try later. Just so you know.

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  7. haha asher what, "shitty 80s movies?" by that you mean, like, everything ever, right?

    have you seen modern family?

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  8. New comic is lame. The whole "Oh shit events that seem recent actually happened over a decade ago" is a good point, and probably something a lot of people in their mid to late 20's experienced. Calling it 'scary' is so-so, but hey, I'm willing to give him that.

    What's stupid is that it's in no way jarring that there are 8 year olds who were born after 9/11. I mean, it's recent, but not -that- recent, and 8 years old is pretty young. I mean, I'm also not surprised that there are toddlers who were born after the George W. Bush presidency.

    Personally, I think "It's legal to have sex with girls who were born in 1991" is a much more jarring example. Also it would fit in with the romance = sexkcd trend.

    Also harrison how dare you call Ghostbusters shitty?

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  9. Funny: In the xkcd forum people mostly agree with Carl about #646. Only one guy liked it because it is about toilets, and one "laughed", although maybe that was slightrly exaggerated.

    Since the original aim of this blog was to have the xkcd forumites admit that the comic is bad, with #646 we're almost there.

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  10. The Beastie Boys are in their 40s!

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  11. Fred I was born in 1991 GET OUT OF MY HEAD

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  12. i kind of liked the new one - it wasn't funny, but it was kind of an interesting "huh... would you look at that" moment for me.

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  13. i am going to draw a better graph because i hate this one so much

    and i am a little drinked so i hate xkcd more

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  14. fuck ch00f already made a better one

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  15. This xkcd hurts. A lot. I have to agree with Carl in that the laptop sales and dysentery lines look the same, and that had me confused when I was reading it.

    Standard conventions of graphing here, use different colors if possible, if not, make it clear the lines are different. When I first read it, I actually read it as "Frequency of..." as compared to "?". All I knew is that somewhere in this muddled piece of trash was a joke about dysentery and laptops.

    This xkcd may be high in my rankings of hatred. But I'm sure he will make something on Monday that makes me die a little more inside, and hate xkcd just a little more.

    It's not just the fact that it is a graph that turns me off on this one. I've actually thought a few of Randall's graphs have been quite witty and funny. I get it, because we have portable computers we continue talking to people in places we normally wouldn't. It could have been pulled of better though; it could have been legible, for one.

    -Anonymous Bastard

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  16. Also harrison how dare you call Ghostbusters shitty?

    I'm pretty sure he isn't saying all 80s movies were shitty, but every entertainment ever has shitty precocious overly-witty children.

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  17. Some time ago I realised my youngest nephew will be raised and live in a world without Michael Jackson.

    Except I thought that was not particularly funny, or thought-provoking, much less deserving a webcomic strip.

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  18. Wednesday's xkcd(really, Carl, you calling it "today's" is a bit confusing when today's xkcd is something else) was crap. The graph was badly rendered and the joke did not stand for itself. The y-axis I can let pass, it's a bit obvious it means "quantity" or "frequency"... it'd be hard to put a label when there are three lines(although it took me some time to realize it) on the graph. Also, Randall should consider using colors, as he'd been doing for the past two xkcds.

    Today's xkcd, though, filled me with anger. And hate. Randall finally pushed me across the line, damn it.

    Firstly, the art is poor. Pissable poor. No background, no details, just a stupid tone of gray over all and stick figures making awkward poses(for stick figures). He apparently isn't even making any effort to draw a proper circle anymore, since in the last panel those people have dents in their heads.

    And then the premise is poor as well. The old "I'm afraid to get old" argument, which is not only a lame point, but also something that has been done before. Randall is afraid to grow up, we all know it, and he isn't tired of telling us. The fact that some important event is 8 years in the past(and increasing) is so jarring? I just can't relate with that(and I'm 20 years old), and I don't think it's much funny or even worthy to be mentioned. Not in comic form.

    And then he wastes two panels with silence, which would be much better if his characters actually had expressions. The way it is, "Uncle Rob" could just be making himself more comfortable. It feels more awkward than terrifying silence.

    And, lastly: the lantern. Randall is apparently trying to convey a late night situation, in the dark, but there's nothing that tells us it's dark. The lantern is apparently lit under Uncle Rob's face, but there's nothing that shows that. Again, Randall's shitty art ruins it all, since he didn't take the time to at least make it look like it's dark and the lantern is giving out some light. No. Instead, it's all uniformly grey and dull.

    There. I think that is all. I just hope Randall have some kind of epiphany and at least try improving on Monday... but I have this feeling he won't. Again.

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  19. It's legal to have sex with Sam!

    Finally.

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  20. I thought the joke was pretty funny, but it took me 10 minutes of staring at the graph to figure it out, and staring at graphs to figure them out is part of my job. I'm serious. I've solved way more complicated graphs than this one in my sleep. It helps that they are competently done and labeled.

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  21. What bothers me about this graph is that the conversation line starts going up first. I was thinking Randall was trying to tell us that the recent increase of conversations on the toilet has somehow resulted in the popularity of the laptop.

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  22. People born since the start of xkcd are talking in complete sentences already.

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  23. And what bothers me about the graph is it is obviously inaccurate. Dysentery is still a worldwide problem, particularly in Africa. Dysentery cases have not got to friggin' zero yet.

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  24. Wasn't there a comic about how certain actors etc were old enough to be dead now or something? Isn't that really the same joke as this, id est, that time moves faster than you'd expect somteimtes

    Also writing out id est is unbearable pretentious, what the hell is wrong with me

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  25. Hey Randall, wanna hear something scary? Firefly was canceled seven years ago, and you're still bitching about it.

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  26. Do people really bring laptops into the bathroom with them frequently? I don't own a laptop, but I can't see it being something I'd bring into the bathroom. Magazines are lighter, and don't stick up as much. I think I laptop would kind of get in the way, and would require more care putting it down than a magazine (I also don't have good shelf space in my bathroom, but if I put a magazine on the back of the toilet, it's no big deal if it falls on the floor).

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  27. Sepia, I once used a laptop while on the toilet, but somehow the idea of my computer resting so close to my exposed dong disturbed me and I have not done it since.

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  28. wow my graph was pretty good, but i'm kind of embarrassed at how pugnacious i got

    sorry guys

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  29. also sepia, my old roommate would bring her laptop into the bathroom. it was kind of gross cuz it wasn't like we really had any room in our bathroom to put shit down so i could only guess that she was constantly holding onto it while she was doing whatever she was doing. and then she'd carry it into the kitchen, and i'd be like "ewwwwww"

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  30. I put it on my knees.

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  31. I hope this counts as an actual joke. Or at least as a joke in comparison to Friday's comic:

    http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/1529/children.png

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  32. 'Personally, I think "It's legal to have sex with girls who were born in 1991" is a much more jarring example.'

    According to Wikipedia, if they're 18 now, it was legal a year ago in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

    I think the reason the 9/11 thing is such a big deal is because it seems so recent since it's been used almost constantly as a trump card for the past 8 or so years. This makes it seem more recent than it really is. Wasn't there a Jay-Walking segment where he asked what year 9/11 took place in and people couldn't place it?

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  33. xkcd 647 better

    Even with the horribly traced lines it looks better.

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  34. dude i didn't even notice that the original xkcd was grey

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  35. DonZabu, that was legendary!

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  36. Also Amanda I didn't notice either. In fact, I would've sworn it was white, and he didn't change it to grey until later. What gives?

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  37. It should be about someone being young and only remembering an unified Germany. "Germany was always one country in my lifetime and it's legal to have sex with me". It might be because I just rewatched "Goodbye Lenin" but I liked that better than a 9/11 reference.

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  38. I am legal and have never lived in a world with the Soviet Union. Crazy stuff huh?

    But yeah, I don't think an 8 year old would ever say that, but I think the alt text is basically implying that another relative is telling her to say it.

    Oh, I'm going to have a neice in a few months, and she is going to live in a world where no one ever asked the question "when are we going to have a black president"

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  39. But she'll probably still hear "When are we going to have a female president?"

    Idly, Sarah, I don't know how it happened with you, but it took me only about 15 seconds to understand the graph.

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  40. To me this is a poor imitation of thisisindexed.com

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