Thursday, November 12, 2009

Comic 661: Learning from the Internet

Two-shits sistem
Well once again we learn that xkcd is not a political comic. Not at all.

So many wonderful xkcd stereotypes in this comic. There's a woman (running for president!) who outsmarts a silly man (seriously, can anyone find an example of the other way around? Not counting Mr. and Mrs. Hat; they are always prankin' each other). There's taking computers/the internet and seeing how they are act when you jam them on real life. There's just plain dumb mistakes in the art (ach, that extra long vertical line in panel two looks so fucking bad. )

And most of all, it has shitty, shitty dialog.

How freaking lame is that dialog in the last panel. "I thought one reply was all I needed!" That's not how people talk. That's how a tree talks in a third grade production of "Our Healthy Forests" when the tree is like "I am a tree! It is bad to cut me down." Do you see what I mean? Someone who actually thought you only needed one reply wouldn't say so; he would say "lol TROLLED! bitch" or something like that. Or "FIRST!" or "HITLER believed in political parties dumass" or "if you don't like it, just stop reading it" or something smart like that.

The stupidity of the dialog (from now on i am calling it "I am a tree!" syndrome) reminded me a lot of the youtube audio preview comic. Just...bad, god.

Anyway, I think Jay has some things he'd like to say about this comic so i'ma gonna get out of his way and let him post them.

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the xkcd search function sucks as hard as the comic. Perhaps if randall knew about computers he could fix it. perhaps.
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i am serious: who can find a comic where a man is smarter / better / nicer / more clever / etc than a woman? I am not sure one exists but will not be reading 661 comics to prove it.

90 comments:

  1. DUDE this isn't a POLITICAL COMIC just because it's ABOUT POLITICS--he doesn't take a CLEAR PARTISAN STANCE or use INSCRUTABLE VISUAL METAPHORS so clearly he's just as apolitical as he was six years ago.

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  2. omg you could tell I was posting

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  3. i know all of your secrets, jay. ALL OF THEM.

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  4. Even the one with the bag of organs and the llama?

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  5. http://xkcd.com/304/
    Putting aside all of the emo-ness of this comic, the male character is correct: Xenocide is completely inferior to Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead.

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  6. I always find it interesting when people disdain from making overt political statements and yet put out what they probably see as "social commentary" (cf that shitty "best friend" comic, subways, etc). It's like politics has become some sort of bete noir that people think is fundamentally dirty or petty, which depresses me, sort of.

    As for the comic, yeah, it sort of reminds me of the idea of a "foolish wit" from Shakespeare where humor is derived from a character being shown to be a pompous ass. Unfortunately, here, the characters have no context or anything, and it's not clever, so it's just dumb.

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  7. Debatable example off the top of my head:
    http://xkcd.com/593/

    Another:
    http://xkcd.com/586/

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  8. Carl and his arrogant fanboys are so jealous of xkcd's success, it's almost sad. You hate that xkcd is popular while your worthless efforts in writing and art have failed, so now you're all reduced to hating on Munroe's every move. Why is that exactly? Did Munroe ignore you at a convention or something?

    Oh, and I love how you present your OPINION on ART as if it were FACT. Art is inherently subjective, you'd know that if you had an education. Remember, xkcd is widely regarded as being the greatest webcomic of all time, and a few unconstructively critical blogposts on some worthless corner of the Internet isn't going to change that.

    Furthermore, how dare you even criticize something you obviously have no understanding of? Do you really expect us to take your slanted viewpoint seriously? What credentials do you offer, exactly? Where are YOUR webcomics, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought. You're just another uncreative loser trying to get the attention of a true luminary, probably in hopes of validation. How sad your lives must be.

    Finally, nobody is forcing you to read xkcd, so why do you bother criticizing it? You people really need to lighten up and quit being so angry all the time. Perhaps if you took a few courses in computer science, mathematics or physics, you might live long enough to enjoy xkcd.

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  9. OK guys, is he serious or joking? Poll time.

    Talk amongst yourselves while I compose my post.

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  10. Did... did you just use every single point from the list of stupid responses to criticism in one uberpost? That had to be trolling, no way does that happen by accident, no fucking way.

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  11. Yeah, I'm going with the 'epic troll' theory.

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  12. An epic troll would have to get people genuinely pissed off and start a 200-post argument, and preferably not be recognizable as a troll.

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  13. "xkcd is widely regarded as being the greatest webcomic of all time"

    QED Bitches!

    We should have a regular xkcdsuckssucks session. Very enjoyable.

    /qyf

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  14. Anonymous 9.00 PM, that was a truly beautiful collection of four paragraphs of some of the most incredibly stupid, blind and self-contradictory rubbish ever put to text. It's as if Uwe Boll were directing Blogspot comments.

    You accuse the critics of presenting their opinion as if it were fact. In what way? Every half-intelligent person readily acknoledges that art is inherently subjective. If someone makes a comment about art, it's obvious that that is their opinion. It is completely unnecessary to pepper criticism with "in my opinion", "I think", etc. It is obvious from the context, and it is disturbing that you lack even the basic skills required to pick up on these cues.

    Moreover, despite condescendingly lecturing that "art is inherently subjective", you make the (thoroughly unsubstantiated) claim that xkcd is "widely regarded as being the greatest webcomic of all time", as if the fact that a whole bunch of people like something that makes it objectively good.

    Next, you accuse the denizens of this blog of lacking credentials to make criticisms.
    a. Proficiency in the field is not, and has never, been required to be a critic. You don't need to be great at making films to be able to judge films, and indeed almost none of the great critics are also masters of the object of their criticism.
    b. Indeed, if art is subjective, why do you need some sort of special qualifications to judge it? Each person surely has the capacity to evaluate it, and explain the reasons for their reaction.
    c. To apply your moron logic, where are YOUR webcomics, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought. If you need to be a well-recognised webcomic artist to be able to judge that a comic is bad, you must surely need the same credentials to know what makes a comic good. They're flipsides of the same coin. How, by your logic, are you able judge that Munroe is a 'true luminary' or that the criticism of this blog are incorrect if you are not some webcomic master yourself?

    As to your final point, it is also too stupid to even mention. People here used to like the comic, still sometimes enjoy it, hope that it improves etc. But above all, people clearly enjoy criticism. Even if it is for something so insignificant as a webcomic, it is enjoyable to actually try to engage with something intellectually, instead of merely consuming art and entertainment on the most superficial and meaningless level possible. You are the only one that seems angry. How sad your life must be.

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  15. Your final point, I intended to say, is almost too stupid to mention. I clearly felt it should be addressed.

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  16. Math mage - I think 586 is a pretty good example, in that when I change the genders of the two people in my mind, it feels just like the other ones I've been annoyed at. It's not quite the same - the woman is just simple-minded and doesn't like opera, which aren't exactly terrible problems. The man isn't showing her up.

    593 and 456 are less so, in that the man is not making the woman look stupid or foolish or anything at all close.

    so 586 is our closest entry yet.

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  17. Anonymous 9:00 isn't an epic troll. She's a copy-paste troll.

    See the comments for comic 612, under the name "Sophie Schröder-Devrient".

    I wouldn't waste any more breath on her.

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. In regards to the question about a man being smarter than a woman, while I'm not in the mood to dig through xkcd's archive, I do remember one off the top of my head where it's like one dude saying to another dude "You sure do suck at math" beside the dude saying to a woman "Girls sure do suck at math."

    Maybe that's offset by the fact that the comic is a sort of subtle white-knighting, but it DID show a girl being bad at math, so that counts right?

    As far as today's xkcd? Honestly...I really have no complaints about it. It's not great by any stretch, but it's slightly amusing...my only complaint being that "droid" is a Star Wars term. He just couldn't resist making an easy geek reference I guess.

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  20. Umm, no, that is not what he was doing at all:
    http://www.motorola.com/Consumers/US-EN/Consumer-Product-and-Services/Mobile-Phones/Motorola-DROID-US-EN

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  21. I have the niggling feeling that this comic sucks but I can't quite put my finger on why.

    Is it because "there's an app for that" is a joke that's been made uncountable times since the iPhone was created? Is it because "gorgeous screen" is a phrase no normal (tech-minded) person would use? Is it because of the "I Am Imagining If Something Living Had Qualities Of Machines, or Vice Versa!" vibe the comic gives me?

    Sub-par comic, at any rate.

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  22. Nate - Yes, the comic is the pinnacle of white-knightitude (that said, I think it does a great job of succinctly making a good point). But think about it this way: A) both a guy and a girl make the same mistake (that's the point) and B) the reader is meant to sympathize with the girl, not the guy saying she sucks. It portrays the man in a worse light than the woman. That's what it so common.

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  23. oh willyyyyy sophie's baaaaaaaaaaack

    come profess your love, quickly! i don't think she heard you last time

    and carl i don't think i ever even knew that dialogue could be spelled dialog until tonight. my mind has been blown, my illusions about life are in jagged shards on the floor

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  24. What's wrong with the search function?

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  25. Nate - droid is the name of the phone you fucken retard.

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  26. Regarding the women-better-than-men attitude, I think the ONLY example I can think of is the "Mission to Culture" strip -- but the guy in that comic was so preposterously arrogant and obnoxious, I don't even think it properly qualifies. It looks clear to me that the guy IS a proxy for Randall, and since the girl-addicted-to-"techno" (sic) thing was already done in a previous strip, it makes me think that was Randall doing an in joke between friends, or something; that would mean: Randall, you are an asshole.

    Regarding the new comic: is there even any joke in that? I can't recognise any joke at all! I'm confused as hell, because even though I've come to expect utter mediocrity from xkcd, I'd never expect it to make a plain, bland advertisement for Droid (isn't it Android?) using such pompous, nerds-are-superior grounds. Either someone shows me where the funny bit is, or I'm gonna vomit all over this strip. The superiority complex of the xkcd community and its author has become unbearable.

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  27. I forgot to say: on most of the other examples of the woman-vs.-man trope, even though the woman is shown in a slightly inferior role, she still has that aura of "omg a nerdy girl I want to have sex with her" going in it.

    Which reminds me the poster on the forum who said he wanted a POSTER of the "sexy" stick figure girl in one of the recent strips -- 650, if I'm not mistaken. I'm too tempted to call that a joke, otherwise... yuck.

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  28. Carl's posts have gotten really lame lately.

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  29. Todays comic...

    Head report: Four images of heads, all attached. Though one is strangely flat in the first panel.

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  30. http://xkcd.com/385/

    I don't know if this one counts, though, because it's supposed to be critical of the guy, too.

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  31. Re: comics where woman gets owned by a man.

    There's one where a guy genetically engineers his daughter to shut up when she disagrees with him (I don't remember the details). Or the one with the wood plank which turns out to be a hoax. Also the one where a guy tracks Megan using Google Latitude (Megan is shown as stupid and careless about her privacy).

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  32. I don't think the school setting is appropriate for the joke. This reminds me of the "cheerleader gets owned by heckler" comic Randall tried earlier. He uses the "they're just kids at school" motif to discuss political issues, but it's ineffective because he doesn't maintain that theme throughout his comic. 'Calvin and Hobbes' and 'Peanuts' perform well on this stage because the stage of childhood is always set.

    Political hecklers are oftentimes misinformed/uninformed; if they were knowledgeable of the issues they would probably be capable of relaying their message without the shouting. This material should be enough to make a joke without throwing in the unnecessary joke-plus of "oh and it takes place in a school!"

    Here's my rewrite:
    --------------------------
    Candidate: If you choose me as your president, I will focus on fixing the problems we face today.
    Heckler: Yeah, right!

    Heckler: The real problem we're facing is the corporate-run two-party political machine. Until we move away from that corrupt system, we have no hope of change!

    Voices from the crowd: This again? / Sit down!
    Candidate: Wait, maybe he has a point. What system would you suggest?

    Heckler: (reveals laptop) I...I don't know. I haven't gotten that far into the thread yet.

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  33. PostACommentSubscribeToNovember 13, 2009 at 1:04 PM

    «HITLER believed in political parties!»

    and the punch-line-funny-ratio of the comic raised from 0.02 to over 9000.

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  34. I've been so absorbed by FFT lately I had no clue that there even was a phone named "Droid." Oh well, live and learn. *shrug* This is what I get for refusing to buy a new phone every two months I guess.

    So knowing that, I can now comfortably say I had no problems with today's comic. It wasn't great, but it's certainly better than the past few comics.

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  35. i really liked 12:26's edit. very well done!

    and nate, it is okay. we all make mistakes.

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  36. I am so hard right now.

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  37. Nate, I didn't know prior to the comic that droid was a phone, but at least I make some teensy effort to read for context.
    It's especially important with homogenious words!

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  38. I HAVE A DROID

    Y'ALL CAN EAT MY DICK

    kbye

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  39. The latest xkcd (662) is little more than an advertisement.

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  40. All of those 'women look bad' comics people are quoting are the opposite. They all make men look bad. 'All girls suck at maths' = all guys are sexist bastards, tracking megan with google = all guys are creepy stalkers etc. The only time he lets a woman look at all bad is when he's making men look far worse.

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  41. Isn't the latest comic about how Apple keeps rejecting apps for tiddly reasons?

    I mean, that's what I thought the joke was, but I haven't always got my head screwed on right, if you know what I'm saying.

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  42. Anon 3:19: Yep, pretty much. Randy just LOVES white knighting, and I imagine for the very same pathetic reasons. Also, see how every time oral sex is mentioned, it's always the man servicing the woman.

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  43. I didn't find this one very funny. However, I do think that some of the old dialogue flows better. I like that "and".

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  44. 1) Droid can cure consumerist malaise same as Python enables people to fly. But at least the Python reference way back in the day was just Randall loving a certain programming language and not telling us to buy a phone. Also, is it possible the iPhone doesn't "have an app" for ending the cycle of consumerism because it is the final stage of the cycle? "Buy an iPhone, never need another phone," get it?

    2) Clearly Randall is the "superior male" showing up all females, hence he is the white knight and his male stand-ins are just geeky stooges. /sarcasm I'm still cleaning the vomit from his blog post about "Doesn't everybody enjoy stories about women kicking ass? Hollywood should make more movies about that!"

    3) daniel daniel: You may have fed a troll, but your mini-essay covered all the troll's bases so effectively it was worth the effort.

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  45. The last panel reads as a sitcom in my mind:

    "Billy, did you learn about politics from the internet?" «disapproving glance»
    «laugh track»
    "I thought that one reply was all I ever needed!"
    «laugh track»
    «Billy turns to camera for closeup. He shrugs.»
    «Muted trumpet: wah wah waaaaaaaaah»

    And then the alt-text:

    Hahaha! It's humorous in the given situation because... it mentions the Progressive Party, colloquially known as the Bull Moose Party? Also, the 'the' in 'the Bull Moose Party' isn't capitazlied, Randall. (Very pedantic.) The shame of a nation!

    I think the alt-text (and perhaps Randall's
    dialogue overall) suffers from wordiness.

    "I favor approval or IRV chiefly, because they mean we might get to bring back The Bull Moose Party."

    "they mean we might get to bring back" is an abomination to English. My God. Why not:

    "I favor approval or IRV chiefly because we could bring back the Bull Moose Party." (or, "...we could bring the Bull Moose Party back.")

    The art is bordering on the definition of 'art'. We have, in the first panel, a woman apparently, or a man with a pony tail (how could you tell the difference?) standing on a box next to a column that's been horizontally cut by a samurai or something. (Maybe it's the same samurai who separated Billy's head from his shoulders in panel three?)

    Overall, the art, in all fairness, could honestly be called 'art'; the dialogue looks like someone translated it from English to Chinese and then back to English again; the joke, again, is almost Zen in how painfully not-funny it is. Overall, another shitty, I-bet-Randall-put-ten-minutes-effort-into-this comic.

    (Also, Randall's Oedipus complex is rapidly spinning out of control.)

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  46. Randall is not obligated to remain product-neutral. He did the same thing for the Kindle, for Linux/Mac vs. PCs, and probably others that I'm not remembering.

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  47. '(Also, Randall's Oedipus complex is rapidly spinning out of control.)'

    What?

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  48. It's so obvious. Megan is his mother!

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  49. Randall is not obligated to remain product-neutral. He did the same thing for the Kindle, for Linux/Mac vs. PCs, and probably others that I'm not remembering.


    You may have noticed how all those updates were fucking terrible jokeless blandness. Also note 533.

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  50. --"You may have noticed how all those updates were fucking terrible jokeless blandness."

    Uh, no. But I guess it's useless to talk about "de gustibus non est disputandem" on a blog whose entire premise is that the taste of people who don't hate xkcd is worthless.

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  51. Weird, I never got the sense that all "people who don't hate xkcd [are] worthless" according to the writers of this blog. I thought we just hated the anonymous (or non-anonymous in some cases) xkcd fanatics who offer nothing to the blog.

    As far as I can tell, we don't have a problem with pro-xkcd people coming and disagreeing with us, why we endorse it, but we don't like people coming and saying things that have been said a million times, things that are in a FAQ because too many people said them/asked them already or adding nothing to the conversation/debate process.

    Moreover, Math_Mage, since you continue to return to this blog to disagree with us (or simply carry on conversation in general), do you get the feeling that we are being overly harsh towards you as opposed to how we would respond to someone who just jumps in and says something like "zomg wtf? xkcd is teh greatest webcomic ever, you guys suck"? What is the draw for you to continue to post if you feel that we treat you as worthless?

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  52. Man, shit goin' down in the edit post!

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  53. Math_Mage is a worthless faggot.

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  54. "Existential quandary."
    "Existential quandary is now a physical item."
    "lol ok"

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  55. Math Mage, you pompous fuck, the line at the very bottom concerns you. Also, it's disputandum, you fool. (You know, come to think seems to me like non disputandum est would be the more natural order... But whatever)

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  56. No need to be rude, Pharazon. Everyone knows ending posts with a Latin phrase is a way to show that you not only know what you're talking about, but you're also a classy person capable of sophisticated discourse.

    In conclusion, Magus Mathematicus parvulam mentulam habet.

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  57. I liked both the one in this post and the new one, to be honest. I think that the guest corrections in the post under this one are ridiculous, and ruin the joke.

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  58. That's cool. You're allowed to be wrong.

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  59. Nate, lately you've been absorbed by the Fast Fourier Transform?

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  60. Good God, I can't believe this website exists. I know Munroe gets a lot of exposure but HE'S JUST A GUY. He comes out with some good graphs and comics, and for free. In between this he keeps his fans busy with a few drawings he does three times a week. What more do you want from him? Why would you look so hard into drawings that are meant to mean so little? If you don't like the comics don't read them. It's actually insane so much effort has put into analyzing one small artist's comments.

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  61. "What more do you want from him? Why would you look so hard into drawings that are meant to mean so little?"

    Because Randall is meant to be a professional webcomic creator, and as such expect more than the crap he generally puts out.

    see faq

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  62. Fuck you in the face Math Mage.
    Hell I don't even have a problem with people who genuinely believe "de gustibus non est disputandem", although I doubt such people exist. It's people who twist that into "you're not allowed to voice criticism of anything". And I doubt those people never express dislike of anything themselves, so really it's further twisting it into "do not disagree with me kthnx". Especially odd when you come to a site called xkcdsucks, to voice dissent, then say that. Nobody's forcing you to read this blog. This can be a place for people who subjectively agree about a relative dislike of xkcd, or something similarily pansy like.

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  63. Actually, I'm more concerned with "de gustibus non est disputandem"s implications about good things, since clearly if there's no scale of quality when it comes to creative or artistic works, there can be no such thing as a good creative work.

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  64. By the way Carl, calling it a political comic on that basis, why, it would be like calling this a Dinosaur Comics blog!

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  65. "Why would you look so hard into drawings that are meant to mean so little?"

    Isn't that exactly what Randall's FANS do?

    Ar-Pharazôn, that link is hilarious. In a bad way. It's kind of sad that a person will, with a straight face, end an entire page of self-indulgent masturbation by calling someone else a "pretentious prick". "Yeah, and I hate all those stinky, ignorant niggers. They're so RACIST".

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  66. Hey Jack. I like xkcd, and I like this site too. There's nothing more refreshing than a critic who states his prejudices and bias up front and maintains a sense of humour about themselves. You may notice this blog is subtitled "[a] vitriolic and bitter collection of unwarranted nastiness about a silly and harmless comic." Carl understands every one of your points, it's just that you don't understand his. I almost always disagree with some part of the criticisms, yet more often than not they are valid (especially the 'get an editor' suggestions) and it's much more refreshing reading these unabashed comments than reading the sycophants at the official forum.

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  67. Carl:
    --"Weird, I never got the sense that all "people who don't hate xkcd [are] worthless" according to the writers of this blog."

    My comment: "on a blog whose entire premise is that THE TASTE OF people who don't hate xkcd is worthless."

    Hey, Carl, you just quote-mined the post DIRECTLY ABOVE YOU. New low?

    Or, you just weren't reading closely. I guess I'll go with that.

    Yes, commentariat, I realize you think I'm just nitpicking, but while it's perfectly reasonable to say that this blog doesn't have it in for all xkcd supporters, the idea that 'xkcdsucks' does not dismiss the preferences of those supporters is frankly absurd.

    --"As far as I can tell, we don't have a problem with pro-xkcd people coming and disagreeing with us, why we endorse it, but we don't like people coming and saying things that have been said a million times, things that are in a FAQ because too many people said them/asked them already or adding nothing to the conversation/debate process."

    You will notice that I started with a non-FAQ statement about product neutrality. Only after Femalethoth threw in the utterly canonical xkcdsucks response of 'yeah, but those comics were all terrible, so who cares?' did I decide to remind him that not everyone thinks they're terrible.

    --"What is the draw for you to continue to post if you feel that we treat you as worthless?"

    I hang around because I don't want to get stagnant in my exposure to xkcd comics. I attempt to keep my posting to issues that apply whether or not you think the comic was good--in this case, the idea that the comic is bad because it advertises the Droid, which I think you could disagree with whether you found the comic to be amusing or "fucking terrible jokeless blandness." And that's another reason why I resort to the old saying about taste: I'm simply not interested in getting into a flame war about whether xkcd is good or bad. From past reading, I'm sure your community finds it fun to oust what they see as mindless trolls who just need to read the FAQ; but I doubt that process would contribute to the thread.

    --"Math Mage, you pompous fuck, the line at the very bottom concerns you."

    If I am not mistaken, that website is meant to pertain to worthwhile criticism. Femalethoth's comment qualifies as anything but. And if the use of Latin qualifies as 'pompous', I suppose I could just write the English next time.

    --"Also, it's disputandum, you fool."

    Thank you.

    Anonymous:
    --"In conclusion, Magus Mathematicus parvulam mentulam habet."

    Classy.

    Scott McTony:
    --"Fuck you in the face Math Mage.
    Hell I don't even have a problem with people who genuinely believe "de gustibus non est disputandem", although I doubt such people exist. It's people who twist that into "you're not allowed to voice criticism of anything.""

    Why would I be here if I thought that? I did not object to Carl's blog, or his post. I objected to the meaningless generic "Yeah, but that sucks" comeback by Femalethoth, and I do not see how my comment could have been taken any other way by someone paying attention. Is her comment somehow legitimate criticism? Did I miss some deep meaning in the phrase "fucking terrible jokeless blandness"?

    When Carl says disagreement from pro-xkcd readers is welcomed, I look at these responses from the community, devoid of welcome (and reason, for that matter), and wonder where exactly he gets that impression.

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  68. Math_Mage, let me clarify for you (again, I think--pretty sure others have done this before): we do not dislike you because you are pro-xkcd. I personally dislike you because you are a pompous fuck, as A-P so nicely put it. I am guessing the others around here that dislike you probably have similar reasons.

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  69. Yeah, we've had perfectly nice conversations with pro-XKCD people. It's just that most pro-XKCD people who show up are also insufferable pricks.

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  70. --"Math_Mage, let me clarify for you (again, I think--pretty sure others have done this before)"

    You even reference one of them. Then you KNOW you're not contributing anything.

    More to the point, where is my pompous fuckery on this thread?

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  71. "'In conclusion, Magus Mathematicus mentulam pavulam habet.'

    Classy."

    I know, right? It's amazing how saying something in Latin instead of English can do that.

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  72. As they say in Rome, quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

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  73. You want to make it clear that I am an insufferable prick...by being insufferable, mocking pricks? Go ahead, nobody's stopping you from walking the "Oh, he used Latin, he MUST be a pretentious fucker! We'll get him by using Latin OURSELVES, won't that be so fun!" route.

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  74. In which Math Mage discovers satire.

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  75. --"In which Math Mage discovers satire."

    You'd like to think you were doing something that highbrow, wouldn't you? And I am the ignorant plebe, being enlightened by your pointed wit.

    So who's the pretentious asshole here?

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  76. Yeah, satire isn't highbrow, dude. Ever hear of A Modest Proposal? Shit was about eating babies.

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  77. Also, it's only pretension if there is an element of pretence. Making fun of you isn't pretentious; it's just derisive. There is a difference.

    A nice little definition of satire, by the way, from Wiki: "In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods." In this case, it was your individual vice of "being a pretentious fuckwit" by the method of "mockery by way of imitation."

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  78. --"Also, it's only pretension if there is an element of pretence. Making fun of you isn't pretentious; it's just derisive. There is a difference."

    I leave it to you to look up the word "pretentious" in a dictionary and see that it doesn't always require pretension.

    Or, you can explain to me how the use of a well-known Latin phrase to describe something it is meant to describe makes me a pretentious fuckwit. I doubt you've gotten here without dropping a few etcs and QEDs.

    --"A nice little definition of satire, by the way, from Wiki"

    I looked it up myself before I posted, thanks.

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  79. "I leave it to you to look up the word "pretentious" in a dictionary and see that it doesn't always require pretension."

    What's the opposite of a tautology? Because that's what you just did. (Hint: pretension is a form of the word pretentious, which is based on the word pretence.)

    "Or, you can explain to me how the use of a well-known Latin phrase to describe something it is meant to describe makes me a pretentious fuckwit. I doubt you've gotten here without dropping a few etcs and QEDs."

    One, yours is not a common English term; it's a saying. Here are some Latin phrases that are also common English terms: et cetera; e.g.; i.e.; inter alia; et al. None of these are sayings--they serve as stand-ins for the phrases "and so on," "for example," "that is," "among other things," and "and others," respectively. They are essentially abbreviations, and in some cases, terms of art.

    A saying is not just a replacement for a common phrase; it's something which is phrased in a precise way, in a specific language, in order to lend weight, credence, gravity, etc. to an argument or other statement. It is just as easy to say "there's no accounting for taste," but when you say it in Latin you make it sound "official," and you also force those who don't know it to look it up. Casually dropping a Latin saying in conversation is very nearly the most pretentious thing someone can do--only narrowly beat out by the act of arguing that it's not pretentious.

    "I looked it up myself before I posted, thanks."

    And still managed to get it wrong! Impressive.

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  80. --"(Hint: pretension is a form of the word pretentious, which is based on the word pretence.)"

    I made the obvious connection, thanks. I also used a little common sense about how it is actually used in the real world.

    --"One, yours is not a common English term; it's a saying."

    Never said it was a term. And it must be common enough around here, what with all the prepared responses. Which is pretty much exactly why I figured it would be all right. But no, obviously my comment was pretentious bullshit, while Femalethoth's was a useful contribution to this blog.

    --"And still managed to get it wrong! Impressive."

    And I got it wrong how?

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  81. "And I got it wrong how?"

    Yeah, I was wondering how you managed that myself.

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  82. Rob has found a new toy, it is called Math_Mage

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  83. hey Math_Mage, I'd just like to point out that my name is CAM, that's spelled C A M. I am not CARL, I am not the one who runs this blog, therefore I do not hold the same opinions as him.

    I take back my attempt to be nice since you can't even get my name right.

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  84. About the search function: It's run independently of xkcd, and nothing Randall is able to fix.

    You might want to try using www.wordowl.com instead.

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  85. "something smart like that".

    Man, you are terrible..

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  86. I think 596 was an example of a man being smarter than a woman. The man (Robert) at least isn't shown masturbating with power tools.

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