Thursday, December 17, 2009

No One Is Forcing You To Read It

Hello! This is Rob with a special announcement.

Are you one of millions of cuddlefish who thinks that no one is forcing us to read xkcd? That it is the simplest thing in the world to ignore it, and that we are just being silly and masochistic for going to the website every day?

You are probably sitting in your cuddlefish chairs right now [Do cuddlefish sit in chairs? Look this up later. -Ed.] feeling extraordinarily pleased with yourselves for your clever and insightful comment. No one else has ever shone the light of truth on us before!

Well, I am here today to set the record straight. I will not talk here of the enjoyment we derive from mocking xkcd. No, I will simply share with you a link. I will wait a moment while you take the time to click it.

Do you see that, fuckers? DO YOU SEE THAT? I was sitting here innocently browsing my Google Reader feeds and Lifehacker decided that it was totally worth my time to show me this horrible webcomic. I don't have a choice in the matter.

"But Rob," you whine in that cuddlefish voice of yours [Do cuddlefish have voices? -Ed.]. "You could always just not read Lifehacker. Surely that is a small sacrifice to make!" Ignoring the fact that other tech blogs are just as guilty, that doesn't solve my problem! Oh no. A simple search for "xkcd" on two other blogs that I follow reveals several examples of unsolicited mentions of xkcd.

This is ignoring that we all still have friends [Does Carl have any friends? -Ed.] who still read xkcd for reasons unfathomable to mortal man. These people often insist on sharing them, almost invariably on one of the more annoying comics. These people are your friends. You can't just ignore them. And sometimes, knowing that you hate xkcd, they link you to one saying "okay I know you hate xkcd but surely you think this one, which is even more xkcd like than most of them, is really funny." You, specifically.

"No one is forcing you," indeed.

Sure, some of the time you can ignore it. But every time I see it I die a little inside. xkcd is not just a webcomic. It's a disease, and it's reached pandemic proportions.

253 comments:

  1. Rob you fat sociopath no one is forcing you to use the internet

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  2. No one is forcing you to read this blog, fuckers.

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  3. Nobody is forcing you to have friends. Having friends is overrated anyways.

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  4. Carl put this in the FAQ or I'll force you to read an even worse webcomic.

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  5. "...But every time I see it I die a little inside...."

    Yet you still eat, breath and excrete?
    Must take a lot of dying inside, little by little, to bring you down.

    Innit?

    "...I was sitting here innocently browsing my Google Reader feeds..."

    Now come on! No one does that innocently.

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  6. There is someone that constantly links me XKCD. Every time I don't find it exceedingly hilarious she gets pissed off like it is a personal affront to her.

    If I don't read it (because she quizzes me afterwards) she gets pissed.

    What can I do? I'm got tired of pretending to like it a long time ago.

    Maybe someone should start a help line for people like me.

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  7. Not only that, but its shit-eating fans will insist on adding it to EVERY WIKIPEDIA PAGE ABOUT SCIENCE, and argue that it is relevant in tedious deluded detail. Don't agree that xkcd is the paragon of enlightenment and truth? Be prepared to be told that you shouldn't be editing Wikipedia. We don't want YOUR kind here.

    http://bit.ly/4Greq6 (link related)

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  8. Only vaguely on-topic but I wonder if this was what it was like with The Far Side 15-20 years ago.

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  9. Thank you Rob, I love you. If only blogger supported sticky posts; this is definitely deserving of it.

    If you socialize or work in a nerd-saturated environment (and yes, some of us are "part of nerd culture" and dislike xkcd; deal with it,) it's simply impossible to avoid. It gets stuck on cube walls, on the break room fridge, forwarded around in emails, and referenced in pretty much every tangentially related tech form post. Perhaps xkcd apologists expect me to quit my extremely lucrative and fun career and ditch my social circle?

    Hell, I can't even look at cute cat videos on youtube at the moment without seeing LOL I CAME HERE CUZ OF xkcd OMG ME TOO in every other comment. Even The Consumerist isn't immune.

    The ubiquity of xkcd is party of what makes it so attractive to criticize. If it were just another comic that a few hundred people read and nobody talked about, I highly doubt you'd see the level of participation and fervor we have here. It's precisely the reason the reason there are so many "Nickleback sucks" groups on facebook-- when people dislike something, and can't get away from it, they naturally want to complain.

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  10. I agree with Aloria so much. I'm a physics major at a really small college, and I often get the "Omg did you see what xkcd did!?" My response is usually an uninterested "meh it was ok i guess."

    I really think, though, that most people here liked xkcd at one time and just want it to return to the way it was.

    (Don't post often but for some reason this just drove me to.)

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  11. Yep. Exactly that. Awesome, Rob. =)

    Now we just gotta tackle the rest of the cuddlefish that keep telling us we have no lives, that we don't get the jokes and that it doesn't matter that Randall is pretty much just scribbling randomly...

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  12. Don't forget the "you're just jealous" and "I'd like to see you do better" arguments.

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  13. When people ask me if I have seen the latest xkcd or xkcdsucks I usually respond with:

    Nah, I'm not really into Pokemon

    Innit?

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  14. I like how the "Ed." asks if Carl has any friends, as if this "Ed." could not possibly be either Carl or Rob :p

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  15. Also, the ideal retort: "No one is forcing you to read my FIST in your FACE[m]"

    Note, however, that, for this to work, the slinger of this retort must punctuate it with a punch in the face, as signified by "[m]". If the supplied phrase is insufficient for your purposes, you might wish try follow up with "[m] [m] [m] [m] [m] [m] [m] [m] [m] [m] [m]!!!"

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  16. //Do cuddlefish sit in chairs?//

    Nah, we hover above them with severed heads.

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  17. It's especially bad when all your high school friends return for break, and someone will want to tell you about this 'new' webcomic they discovered, and, even after you express your disdain for it, they still insist on dropping lame xkcd jokes into conversation, when all you were trying to do was get buzzed and wax nostalgic.

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  18. "they link you to one saying "okay I know you hate xkcd but surely you think this one, which is even more xkcd like than most of them, is really funny." "

    A friend of mine did this for the one about saving the sun. He was all "Oh man this movie would be amazingly awesome and funny!" so I had to explain that movie was done. Two years ago. And then he shut up and stopped talking to me for a bit.

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  19. Honestly, though, do you have nothing better to do with your time than criticize Randall Munroe for a comic he writes which, and I'm sure this is a shocker, is quite successful and read (even enjoyed) by tons of people?

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  20. Here we go, Tyler. Every time I post on this blog I will donate a $1 to the ASPCA. So by bitching about xkcd, I am actually DOING GOOD.

    No, I'm serious. Every time I post here I will donate $1 to charity. If it takes me about 5 minutes to post, that's like $60/hr.

    I will start posting the totals at the end of each post.

    $1.00

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  21. Tyler's right. I have NOTHING better to do with my time, which is why I spend literally every second of every day posting on XKCDsucks. I do NOTHING but bitch about XKCD.

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  22. Me, too, so the ASPCA is gonna end up getting a whole lot of money.

    $2.00

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  23. Oh yes. You're right!
    The five minutes it takes Carl to write one blog post is a total waste of time.
    Carl! Quit this blog and use those 15 extra minutes a week to do something useful like suck Randall's dick.

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  24. Great for giving money to charity. But unlike the rest of you, I have a life (contrary to popular belief).

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  25. Which is why you're posting here instead of, you know, doing stuff that people who normally "have lives" do, like hang out with friends or work on hobbies and such.


    $3.00

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  26. FUCK YOU ROB, CARL IS A JILLION TIMES COOLER THAN YOU

    Anyway, seriously? You are a silly idiot. You didn't state any of the points I pictured, and yet you tried to argue that a fucking webcomic is unavoidable. Everytime you see a bad comic, you DIE A LITTLE ON THE INSIDE. I hate you in unconcievable amounts.

    Also fuck you oh wait did I already say that?

    Randall Munroe does not need to make an innovative masterpiece 3 times per week. It's extremely hard for him to please this kind of audience (Good art, good puncline, no ppd, good alt text, nothing that anyone has done before, nothing about relationships, realistic dialogue, etc.) so shut up. Please? Us cuddlefish are so tired of getting out-argued by people who think they're right.

    Also no one is forcing us to read this blog besides you people radiating jealousy or stupidity or whatever makes you hate this comic so much. And when a person has a good point you guys fly onto him like a bucnh of vultures and "win." You guys are fucking childish.

    And don't think of me as some idiot who proudly think of them as a hero standing up to these cyber bullies. I am not a person who thinks that they have tried something no one has before and you guys are about to be stunned with no comment, someone who took the time to write neat paragraphs that will influence this blog forever.

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  27. Because you totally couldn't just donate the money without coming up with some passive-aggressive justification for it. Nosirree, being a bitch to somebody who's done nothing to you suuuure is selfless

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  28. I already donate $20 a month yearly to the ASPCA and $20 a month to NARAL. I also donated a lump sum to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science like I do every December.

    This is just icing on the cake. The delicious money cake.

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  29. I know, my arguments are notorious for having holes. That was actually mostly an attempt to get the ASPCA some more money, though. And while it isn't a total waste of time (that is, wasting large amounts of time), it does waste time by doing something I would consider unimportant, and for most of us (including me, I have a shitload of English homework) could do something better with it. But if you think it's important that the Internet knows your opinion, be my guest. Stank out.

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  30. Trolling me for charity is totally acceptable.

    $6.00

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  31. I forgot to add (dammit, I hate double posting) I just like arguing with people. A lot. Stank out.

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  32. "being a bitch to somebody who's done nothing to you" [Anon 5 49]

    Why is Randall allowed to pillory, for example, Michael Bay, who has presumably done nothing to him apart from make bad movies, but it is wrong to criticise Randall for making bad comics? Xkcd regularly looks for humour by criticising and mocking individuals or groups of people, yet why is it characterised as somehow immoral or pathetic to criticise and mock Xkcd?

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  33. "Randall Munroe does not need to make an innovative masterpiece 3 times per week."

    Yes, he's certainly proved that.

    "Us cuddlefish are so tired of getting out-argued by people who think they're right."

    It's at least a lot less embarrassing than getting out-argued by people who think they're wrong.

    "Also no one is forcing us to read this blog besides you people radiating jealousy or stupidity"

    You'll have to explain how we people are forcing you to read this blog.

    "unconcievable"

    I'm pretty sure that word is uncorrect.

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  34. As a former graduate of the Ryan Learn School of Editing, and my philosophical study of the many books that William wrote, and the run, speling errers, and other fun English fails. I must say that you are all wrong, and I are all right. You might even say some of my errors are preformed on purpiss, or perhaps I just suck at this whole new bogging or whatever kids now adays call it. YOU'RE STILL WRONG! (Source: None, ehksept the fact that you're all wrong) I continue to throw an extra argument HERE: (argument failed to load/is a load). Thank you for the time you wasted on a blog trying to figure out what the sublivinal message in this post is. (hint: x=y*3 y=x*c c=(sin(1)/sin(1))-1

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  35. Yes, xkcd is such a godawful, diseased, life-scarring, painful, depressing, moggot-filled, deadly, disgusting, brain damaging webcomic that even the mention of it on some tech blog forces you to READ EVERY SINGLE NEW ONE AND WRITE A REVIEW FOR IT? It's just a sucky webcomic. Get over it.

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  36. I'm glad I got over xkcd's suckiness and now I can just read this blog for enjoyment. :D

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  37. Why is nobody capable of making a remotely original argument? Do they just not care that everything they've said has been said before, dozens of times? Are they so stupid as to think that they're really bringing up an unmentioned point when they claim we have no lives and exaggerate the amount of time we spend posting here? Are they just retarded?

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  38. Tyler is not very good at saving face.

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  39. Anonymous 5:47:

    I find it extremely weird why you don't hate him. He probably makes about as much money as you do, if you work a regular 9-5 job, and does jack for it. Good for him, but don't you feel that a job should only give reward to the work and talent that was put in?

    3 Comics per week, 1-4 panels per comic, stickfigure artwork, and jokes you could make as a passing comment.

    I'm finishing highschool this year, and I've done stuff that's way, way more difficult than what Randall does.

    So just tell me, if you're not an annoying all-talk, no-fight troll:
    In a forty hour time span, would you find it exceedingly difficult to draw 3 black-and-white, Randall-humoured stick figure comics?
    (Reminder, that's one-and-two-thirds days of non-stop working, to add a little perspective)

    IF NO: Congratulations, you've proven to yourself that Randall is talentless, unspectacular and undeserving.

    IF YES: Than your job must not be very hard, or you really suck at being funny.

    Anon 7:17:
    It's a sucky webcomic that has a powerful influence on society. If this webcomic were in obscurity ville, of course we would let it be, it wouldn't be interesting to criticise.

    You are a passive nobody. People who don't care don't incite change, and you evidently don't care. So fine, you can let the world stagnate in mediocrity. We however, will not.

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  40. xkcd turned me into a self-hating nerd.

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  41. Hey Tyler, fucking protip coming your way: If you have to point out that you have a life, then you don't. Fuck off.

    I am the king of the neckbeards, you are simply a lowly peon neckbeard. Suck my dick.

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  42. W: Wow, I didn't actually realize how bad I was until you made me aware of it. I am ashamed.
    anyway,
    SaHoH.

    Stank out.

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  43. Why is it okay for Randall to criticize philosophy majors when all they've done is maybe be a bit annoying to him? Just because he's "funny" while he does it? If we were funnier would it be okay to criticize xkcd?

    Also, I don't see what's wrong with the word "uncorrect." It's a perfectly cromulent word.

    Mesosade makes a good point as well. You don't see anyone here making blogs about, for example, how terrible Concession is and how it's a blight on humanity. Mainly because Concession isn't linked to on numerous blogs on the internet and people don't vandalize wikipedia or masturbate on Youtube comments when a new one goes up. Most people's friends don't go "Hey man did you see the new Concession it's so fucking great! Oh you just don't GET IT that's why you don't like it."

    It also doesn't help matters that xkcd used to be genuinely good but then Randall stopped putting effort into it when he became popular (allegedly, I don't have a timeline to compare when he became master of the internet and when his comics went down in quality, and everyone here may have a different idea of when exactly his comics started becoming less good).

    There's thousands of bad webcomics out there, but none of them have become as big a part of internet culture as xkcd has (with the exception of Penny Arcade if you find it bad, I personally think it's good though, but good or bad it's the only other webcomic to have a similar level of impact on the internet).

    To use an example that isn't a webcomic, New Moon is one of the biggest moneymaking movies of the year, and all time. It's a shitty movie. New Moon sucks. But it has had a huge impact on its target audience, and has grossed boatloads of money. It gets irritating hearing obsessed tweens talking about how hot Jacob and Edward are. There isn't the same level of talk or money for say, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which was equallly bad (if not worse) simply because it is not as famous or as well-known.

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  44. Yo cuddlefish please explain what the fuck panels 2 and 4 mean.

    I mean, I get the basic "These people are being jackasses, so Beret Man (not Black Hat Man?) kills them." Haha, assholes get a violent comeuppance, classic. Durp durp.

    Oh, I was just informed that Beret Man is in the car each time! Apparently he switched cars on their advice, and then drove by them again (to see what they thought of his new ride, obviously), and their continued disapproval apparently earned them death. Hoho.

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  45. i am confused. the bg cars in panels 2 and 4 look like copypasta except that for some reason in panel 4 they have headlights whereas in panel 2 they do not.

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  46. This is actually a good point.

    I'm an XKCD fan. I also read xkcdsucks frequently, out of morbid curiosity and perhaps some downright masochism. Occasionally it makes a good point, though it seems to be, most often, "a vitriolic and bitter collection of unwarranted nastiness..."

    Regarding others linking to and otherwise including xkcd, I'm still not sure I'd actually care. Regarding friends sending me funny stuff, the amount of unfunny bullshit they send me would not decrease noticeably if xkcd disappeared -- even if I were to suppose that xkcd is 100% unfunny bullshit.

    Still, the original point holds -- whatever your reasons for going out of your way to post this crap, I could just as easily avoid xkcdsucks as you could avoid xkcd.

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  47. @nate:

    "You can't take responsibility for someone else's happiness" is where I personally draw the line.

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  48. Mal: how could you not understand this comic? It's very straightforward, and pretty well done.

    Also, Amanda's right in that the car lot changing by addition of headlines (and disappearance of back cars) is pretty weird.

    The comic itself is still pretty good; it made me laugh.

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  49. Mal is clearly half blind and was unable to make out the beret in panels 1 and 3!
    Don't mock the handicapped.

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  50. @Anon 9:45
    Actually the comic is smug and unfunny. Douchebags dying in a zany way is only entertaining to morons and nerds filled with impotent rage.

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  51. You know, Beret Man seems really out of character in this comic. I know that being inconsistent is practically his defining trait, but this is more jarring than usual. It feels like Beret Man was forced into the comic entirely for the sake of the alt-text.

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  52. Mal is clearly half blind and was unable to make out the beret in panels 1 and 3!

    Pretty much, yeah. I was like "Wait, was Beret Guy just observing that chick commenting on two people? Huh?" and then I got it.

    It's still the sort of lame comeuppance fantasy that you tend to get from CAD and Weird Comix and shit.

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  53. No one has explained yet what's going on in panels 2 and 4. It looks like BM is holding some keys, but why? What's he doing?

    The basic idea of the comic is not hard to understand (given that you realize BM is in all three vehicles), but the narrative is awkward and no one would really make both of the criticisms that the bad guy does.

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  54. Oh... I guess those weird hand "animations" in panel four are just that normal looking guy showing the beret guy how to operate the bucket. That's my best guess. Anyway, it has crappy dialogue and crappy alt-text. It's another one of those typical mocking comics, and it's just kind of boring and tiresome.

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  55. First post on the forums ends with
    "I found the alt-text amusing, for some reason."
    I found that oddly pleasing, and I know exactly the reason.
    Other gems include
    "It's good to have a comic that doesn't make me use my brain that much. Especially during finals. Thanks, Randall."
    and
    "This is the first comic in a long time that has made me want to
    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! in happiness"
    SQUEEEEEEE

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  56. xkcd is a cancer on the sequential arts.

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  57. Actually, I never knew about the xkcd webcomic until I found THIS site a week ago by accident. I was a netizen long before he launched his site (if his dates are to be believed) yet had never heard about xkcd. The irony (or, maybe not) here is that it was you who showed me the path to his site. I dare say his webcomic is all too easy to ignore as I had been casually IGNORant of it for more than a decade.

    If, indeed, you are not this Munroe dude, you certainly are schilling for him.

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  58. Alt-text is just "Beret man likes bakery LOLOLOL AMIRITE?"

    Also, it looks like in the last two panels Beret man totally *takes off sunglasses* lost his head.

    YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

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  59. what the hell? You guys are making us look bad. There's nothing difficult to understand about the comic and its narrative. It's a shitty joke, but it's still clear as fuck. I can't believe I have to spell it out. Beret man drives an SUV, gets called an asshole, trades it for a hybrid, gets called an asshole, trades it for a power shovel, kills people. There's no hand gestures or any of that shit, he's just trading in cars.

    And yeah, the alt-text is solely "LOLOL BAKERY!"

    That comic W posted is basically gold.

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  60. @Anon 1:17: Oh shit, your single personal isolated experience obviously disproves Rob's entire point, you're right. Now fuck off.

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  61. Thank you, Fred for providing evidence to my point. You've just demonstrated how EASY it is to be ignorant.

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  62. Hm. Reading up on Randall Munroe right now. There isn't much out there. The only detailed article I could find was on wikipedia but we all know how inaccurate that site proves to be.

    One thing I can gleen, though. Munroe is making money off of his creations. This is no measure of greatness, of course. Hell, FOX and CNN make tons pretending to provide reliable news. Oprah and the National Enquirer make oodles of cash and they aren't any good.

    Still, it must gall you that Munroe makes money with so little effort and your greatest accomplishment is this exercise in mental masturbation. I sure hope you are making money at it. Otherwise, what's the point?

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  63. If you truely wanted to avoid XKCD, you would at least try.

    Aloria, I do believe going to the XKCD book tour signing thingy is not avoiding it. I'm not sure how you planned on going there and avoiding the XKCD and XKCD fanboys.

    Don't feed us that old, tired argument.

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  64. Actually Fred, if you look in panel four, it looks like one of them is making a hand gesture, as indicated by a swirly around his arm, giving the impression of it being a fun little detail, like the goatee on the philosopher in the other comic, but it's actually just part of the crappy background drawings of cars. P.S. your swearing makes you look dumb, dummy.

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  65. "Thank you, Fred for providing evidence to my point. You've just demonstrated how EASY it is to be ignorant."

    Nice try.

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  66. Things this site will never do:

    1) Show us all how to draw a "funny" comic.
    Oh, sure, they will point to various comics and say, "This is funnier" and they will probably be correct. But what they will never do is actually produce something that we may critique.

    Those who can: DO. Those who can't: Create troll blogs out of frustration for their lack of creativity.

    Still, you guys are entertaining me for free and that ain't bad.

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  67. It took me a frustrating while to get what's going on in the panels, which really spoils the pacing here. Yeah, so beret guy REALLY keeps on breaking all possible boundaries of consistency and anything that properly defines a CHARACTER, the comeuppance is just usual "oooh, I wish I had the guts to be more assertive" masturbatory fantasy, but it's not really an offensive comic. There's no "I am a god", at least -- just a fairly amusing tale about something that never gets old -- judgemental people.

    It's mediocre, which means xkcd is on a roll.

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  68. "Actually Fred, if you look in panel four, it looks like one of them is making a hand gesture, as indicated by a swirly around his arm, giving the impression of it being a fun little detail, like the goatee on the philosopher in the other comic, but it's actually just part of the crappy background drawings of cars."

    If you didn't realise right away that that is part of the background then you're amazingly stupid. Sorry. Also oh no I'm now incredibly depressed that you explained how dumb I look.

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  69. Anon@4:53a "Nice try."

    Actually, it was a poor try. That it worked at all is a delicious testament to the folks here. I'm glad I found this place. I'm going to have fun here.

    Like shooting cuddlefish....

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  70. "Actually, I never knew about the xkcd webcomic until I found THIS site a week ago by accident. I was a netizen long before he launched his site (if his dates are to be believed) yet had never heard about xkcd. The irony (or, maybe not) here is that it was you who showed me the path to his site. I dare say his webcomic is all too easy to ignore as I had been casually IGNORant of it for more than a decade."

    That's great! I can't go a day without someone linking me to it. You are the type of person who uses the word "netizen" as if it is relevant; I am actually involved with internet culture. What I'm saying is you are an outlier and clearly not relevant to this conversation.

    "Those who can: DO. Those who can't: Create troll blogs out of frustration for their lack of creativity."

    So cute! No, I am plenty creative. Most of my work is available online, though my comedic material is spent mostly writing for cinema and theatre and as such is pretty scattered.

    "Still, it must gall you that Munroe makes money with so little effort and your greatest accomplishment is this exercise in mental masturbation. I sure hope you are making money at it. Otherwise, what's the point?"

    This is far from my greatest accomplishment, or that of anyone else here. (Indeed, I seldom even post except for in the comments.) This is an idle amusement.

    Why is it everyone assumes that because you do something on the internet it's your greatest accomplishment? As if it's something you're proud of instead of just something to kill time when you are bored? I mean, really?

    Is it because you have a livejournal you post angsty poetry on and you consider that your magnum opus, so you assume anyone else with a blog has to consider that their greatest accomplishment? Is it because, as lazy and half-assed as this blog is, it is still better than anything you've ever done?

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  71. Oh so easy ... :-)

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  72. Fred's making excuses for bad art, everybody! Get him!

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  73. I agree with Fred, the comic is extremely clear and kinda shitty.

    Anonymous 1:17, I have a hard time believing someone without any knowledge of xkcd would happen to stumble upon a blog called xkcdsucks and have enough interest in the subject material (i.e. a vitriolic and bitter collection of unwarranted nastiness about a silly and harmless comic with which the person is unfamiliar) to argue with it. It is believable, of course, but generally people seek out agreement and avoid conflict, unless they feel particularly strongly about the point of disagreement.

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  74. Actually, on a second look, while I think the foreground is clear, I dunno WTF is going on in the background. I guess I only half-agree with Fred?

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  75. Then that makes you half-amazingly stupid then!

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  76. You're going to have to clarify. Is the amazingly stupid half due to my half-agreement, or my half-disagreement?

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  77. Pro. Mole's Log:

    Sure, I'm yet to se a bigger and more annoying wave of cuddlefish than today. My mind keeps shuffling between being amused and enraged by their nonstop bantering and whining. My, oh my...

    Some of them are pretty okay, some are cool, and some are exceedingly stupid, as usual. But one is pretty noticeable, as it's making a total jackass of itself...

    "Those who can: DO. Those who can't: Create troll blogs out of frustration for their lack of creativity."

    That, my friend, is utter SHIT. That might be the most dodgy and ridiculous argument ever used against criticism -- which, by the way, is something that upsets me: why being aggressive against critics, especially those who don't care about it anyway? Anyhow, that's a pretty dumb argument, and I was happy that the cuddles weren't uttering it yet, and then you had to come in, right? YOU HAD TO RUIN MY DAY, DIDN'T YOU?

    Also, it's wrong, because those who can't sometimes decide to do anyway, as Randall proves. Then, sometimes they decide to come towards those who criticize and look stupid.

    I'm also pretty interested in Cuddlefish 1:17, since it did say it got here by accident, but didn't detail the accident itself. Was it through some web search? Or maybe a concealed link to here from another site? I'm pretty skeptic someone would reach this site without prior knowledge of xkcd(I, myself, found this when I was still a fan of xkcd, and saw it mentioned in TV Tropes), and as so I'd kindly ask that lovely cephalopod to clarify his point.

    ...And now, about the comic:

    First, people, stop embarassing us, you're just feeding the "you don't even get the jokes" cuddlethings. It's pretty obvious he's getting a new car, though you might be confused to whether he's getting his new car keys or delivering his old ones... actually, why would he do that last thing, anyway? He must be just getting his new ones, yeah.

    Anyway, I'm happy about one thing: Randall didn't just copy-paste panels 2 and 4. Not that they're that good, but it'd be one more nail on the coffin of his artistic skills.

    Now, seriously, why Beret Man did that? That's not Beret-y, if there's anything that can be called "Beret-y" besides liking bakeries. The punchline is something you'd expect Black Hat Man to do, but the setup doesn't fit(the guy is a self-knowing "classhole", after all), so it couldn't be him anyway. In the end, it seems Beret is just a filler, but his only characteristi trait rises again, and I'm a bit confused.

    Finally: last panel, totally unnecessary, but I think that's pretty obvious.

    CAPTCHA: calfork. I think that's the fork Carl uses to eat cuddlefish.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Still, you guys are entertaining me for free and that ain't bad.

    I'm glad I found this place. I'm going to have fun here.

    This xkcd fanboy has been called out on his stupidity repeatedly on this page, and his condescending defense mechanism has now kicked in. He now genuinely believes he is posting here merely to amuse himself, thereby protecting his self-esteem against rebuttals.

    He will continue the attempt to inflict emotional damage by projecting his own insecurities on us, until he feels he has achieved a small victory or until he realizes that he's wrong, in which case he'll try to save face by claiming he was trolling to get a reaction out of us all along.

    /e-psychiatrist

    ReplyDelete
  79. aloria said:

    "...I also donated a lump sum to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science like I do every December...."

    Coward!
    I donated my lumps to Dick Dawkins. He told me I have the most beautiful and unselfish genes he has ever seen - and he's seen a lot! The filthy thalidomide stump sucker!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Here's the problem with panels 2 and 4: The non-BM person in those panels looks like the bad guy from panels 1 and 3. There needs to be something to distinguish your characters if your art is going to be this minimal.

    WV: maties, arrrr

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  81. "Still, it must gall you that Munroe makes money with so little effort and your greatest accomplishment is this exercise in mental masturbation. I sure hope you are making money at it. Otherwise, what's the point?"

    It's all about the MONEY, guys!!

    My music is available for free on the Internet. Gee, I must be the idlest, most insignificant jerk in the world (ok, I *am*, but not for those reasons).

    First, you get the money. THEN, you get the power. THEN, you get the Inernet. THEN, you... wait, did I get that right?

    ReplyDelete
  82. "Still, it must gall you that Munroe makes money with so little effort and your greatest accomplishment is this exercise in mental masturbation. I sure hope you are making money at it. Otherwise, what's the point?"

    Scrooge, is that you?
    I'm doing this for fun, and occasional education.

    "unconcievable"
    I don't think it means what you think it means.

    ReplyDelete
  83. @Everyone telling me it's so obvious to get what's going on:

    As soon as you told me that it's Beret Man in the vehicles in panels one and three, which I honestly didn't notice because I didn't pay any goddamn attention to the person inside the cars, it was perfectly clear. It was just that, since I glossed over a fourth of the art, I didn't realize what the hell was supposed to be happening.

    ReplyDelete
  84. ""No one is forcing you," indeed."

    Because you can't just, I don't know, ignore them and move on like a grown up.

    "xkcd is not just a webcomic. It's a disease, and it's reached pandemic proportions."

    I think you're taking this a little too seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  85. "I think you're taking this a little too seriously."

    We are SUPER SUPER SERIAL! We're as serious as cancer!

    Captcha: Puddl. Come on, do I REALLY need to say anything?

    ReplyDelete
  86. "Because you can't just, I don't know, ignore them and move on like a grown up."

    Yeah, ignoring your friends is the best possible solution to things. "Oh hey there, friend, I am just going to not pay attention to you! Yeah, no big." Grown-ups alienate their friends and arbitrarily ignore them all the time!

    "I think you're taking this a little too seriously."

    ...yes, that is clearly what's going on there. I am in no way joking or making hyperbolic statements. I literally think that XKCD is like cancer, ebola, and AIDS, combined, multiplied by the square root of Hitler times zombie apocalypses.

    ReplyDelete
  87. //Don't forget the "you're just jealous" and "I'd like to see you do better" arguments.//

    I swear, next time someone says that to me, I'll make it my life's purpose to "do better". Hilarity may or may not ensue.

    ReplyDelete
  88. "...I literally think that XKCD is like cancer, ebola, and AIDS, combined, multiplied by the square root of Hitler times zombie apocalypses...."

    But what do you actually think?
    Perhaps you might regale us in a parabolic manner - for a change of pace.

    Innit?

    ReplyDelete
  89. You forgot to say "Innit?" earlier, ALTF. I lost all trust in your integrity.

    ReplyDelete
  90. aloria doesn't like it when I use the London, UK vernacular when conversing with her.

    Innit?

    May I hope to regain a semblance of integrity in your mind?

    ReplyDelete
  91. "Yeah, ignoring your friends is the best possible solution to things. "Oh hey there, friend, I am just going to not pay attention to you! Yeah, no big." Grown-ups alienate their friends and arbitrarily ignore them all the time!"

    You probably knew what I meant, but I'm going to make it more clear anyway: When you see a post about xkcd in some site you like, just ignore it. When a friend links you to one of the comics, just say "No thanks, I don't want to see it." It's so simple and easy, yet you chose to go on a sarcastic rant.

    ReplyDelete
  92. 'Actually, I never knew about the xkcd webcomic until I found THIS site a week ago by accident.'

    Ah yeah. See, in the business, this is what we call a lie.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I guess we can do the same thing for everything we dislike-- political issues, social interactions, media, etc.

    We can just all sit around talk about how LOVELY things are and just pretend that things that bother us even exist.

    Welcome to Stepford!

    $8.00

    ReplyDelete
  94. "You probably knew what I meant, but I'm going to make it more clear anyway: When you see a post about xkcd in some site you like, just ignore it. When a friend links you to one of the comics, just say "No thanks, I don't want to see it.""

    Yeah, about that. So, see the first link that I provided up there? See it? Go back and click on it. Did you click on it?

    See how it's a GIANT FUCKING VERSION OF THE COMIC?

    When you have figured out how to not look at a giant picture that is put in front of you because you subscribe to all posts by someone, let me know.

    Similarly! You are describing a situation that does not actually happen. It's not like your friends are like "here is a link to XKCD, accept/deny." They will send you a bit.ly or share it on Google Reader or paste it in their blog or something, and then link you to that. They will send a link and start talking about it. It is pretty rare that someone will just link without any sort of attempt at making it part of a conversation.

    Now, you have two options here. You can refuse to have a conversation with your friend, which, hey! rude as all fuck. Or you can do what grown-ups do and bite your tongue and look at the stupid thing your friend wants you to and then have that fucking conversation.

    "It's so simple and easy, yet you chose to go on a sarcastic rant."

    Yes, sarcastic rants are more fun. There are basically two options here. One: stop reading XKCD except when it pops up all over the place and live a life of irritation at how stupid everyone is for liking it. Two: make fun of it, enjoying yourself by outright mocking the shittiness that is XKCD, basking in its terrible glory.

    One of these options is fun! The other is irritating.

    Also, you are an idiot.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Hey guys. I'd like to make sure the moronic behavior of xkcd fans adding xkcd to the pop culture section of every Wikipedia article where the subject is mentioned in xkcd is mentioned in the Wikipedia article on xkcd itself.

    Are there any experienced Wikipedia editors around who can tone down the opinion content of my contribution so it'll fly with Wikipedia? Anybody want to fight to put it back in after xkcd fans inevitably remove it?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Xkcd&action=historysubmit&diff=332551096&oldid=332498700

    ReplyDelete
  96. So are we fighting like children now? Then you, sir, are smelly.

    There.

    No real point in continuing this argument, you are free to do whatever you please. All the best.

    ... Smelly.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Sepia,

    Considering even Stephen Colbert does not have anything in his article about Wikipedia vandalism, I suspect that it is a lost cause.

    Ryan North, however, does :p

    ReplyDelete
  98. Who's arguing like children? I'm not seeing it.

    ReplyDelete
  99. "Who's arguing like children? I'm not seeing it."

    Well, my standard operating procedure is to either lace my posts with insults or to just call someone an idiot at the end. This is primarily to amuse me, but it has the added benefit that a lot of the more idiotic cuddlefish decide that I am using ad hominem arguments or being childish and refuse to respond.

    ReplyDelete
  100. @Rob: I dunno, that sounds like a reasonable conclusion. I've never had much luck with people who routinely call other people idiots on general principle.

    ReplyDelete
  101. caswin: Yeah, that's because you suck. If you are not intelligent enough to separate random insults from reasonable points you do not deserve to be on my internets.

    ReplyDelete
  102. @Rob: Oh, shut up. You can't reasonably expect people to go along with being insulted in the middle of a debate, and if you do, you are a blithering moron who never loved his mother.

    ReplyDelete
  103. My mother's dead. And I don't "debate." That is for sixteen year olds who have no friends and think that making people cry in public is a sign that they are really intelligent.

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  104. The class applauded. It was a good day.

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  105. Rob?
    I can prescribe oxycodone hydrochloride for you if you like, you seem a tad agitated. It will have to be a generic version mind, I am in Canada after all.

    Innit?

    ReplyDelete
  106. I am often asked, in my capacity as a learned woman of sublime learnedness, to discuss the definitional difference between the words ‘tragedy’ and ‘calamity’.
    If our dear, albeit rather tightly wound, friend Rob were to fall into the Tiber River during one of his monthly irrigational forays into the nether regions of various rentboys whom he finds prone on the sixth of the seven hills of Rome - that would be a ‘tragedy’.
    Now if someone were to pull him out? That would be a ‘calamity’.

    Innit?

    ReplyDelete
  107. You've won me over. Or today's comic has. Xkcd sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Isn't it "cuttlefish"?

    ReplyDelete
  109. 324: "is awesome" FAQ, question #9.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Wow. You guys are fucking childish.

    "I can't escape a webcomic! My friends tell me all about it and other good webcomics mention it a lot! And it' so bad that it's a disease and i die a little every time i see it" Rob I really can't take you seriously. Why is mocking xkcd enjoyable? I really don't get it.

    I also don't see why xkcd is that bad. It's extremely mediocre but its nothing to bask in the terrible glory of. I mean, really, it's not like you twinge in pain when you see A BAD WEBCOMIC. Your post was like swiss cheese.

    Lace your comments with insults just to make you feel better.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Anon 4:04, please go backs to your "fora" and cry some more.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Anon 4:04, are you seriously 14 years old or just really dumb? Can you not see hypocrisy or hyperbole?

    ReplyDelete
  113. "I can't escape a webcomic! My friends tell me all about it and other good webcomics mention it a lot!"

    Who said anything about other webcomics?

    "Rob I really can't take you seriously."

    Oh man he is almost learning!

    "Why is mocking xkcd enjoyable? I really don't get it."

    And then he lost it. So sad. You don't get it because you are utterly provincial and incredibly stupid. It is not my fault that you can't understand why it is enjoyable to make fun (LOOK AT THAT PHRASE, JUST FUCKING LOOK AT IT) of something.

    "I also don't see why xkcd is that bad. It's extremely mediocre but its nothing to bask in the terrible glory of. I mean, really, it's not like you twinge in pain when you see A BAD WEBCOMIC."

    Again you demonstrate a frightening lack of understanding. Perhaps it is best put like this: XKCD, if it were, say, some MIT kid's pet project and it was read and enjoyed by a handful of his friends, it would be really easy to ignore its extreme mediocrity.

    It is not. It is ubiquitous. If you cannot see why it is cringeworthy to see something which has no redeeming qualities praised by the masses, including blogs and people you enjoy and respect, continue to talk about this utterly trite nonsense as if it is brilliant or profound, you really might as well resign yourself to a life of failure. Your profound lack of insight will consign you to performing only tasks which will soon be replaced by robots.

    "Your post was like swiss cheese."

    I was going to say "you mean, delicious?" but you'd just go all BAWWWWWWWWWWW and whine and piss and moan about that, so I'll just say this: if my post is full of holes then why hasn't anyone found any of them? All they seem to be saying is "hurr, your hyperbole is really exaggerated." Yes. Yes it is.

    "Lace your comments with insults just to make you feel better."

    Thank you! You fuck dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  114. fucking dogs is not an insult

    let's not forget that xkcd has a very large furry audience okay and we wouldn't want to insult them

    ReplyDelete
  115. (that isn't what a furry is, is it)

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  116. speaking of furries: it turns out that the guy I was gonna see Avatar with already saw it today. :(

    (to clarify: the guy's not a furry, but i suspect james cameron and sam worthington might be)

    ReplyDelete
  117. Did it suck? I'm totally betting it sucks.

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  118. Blue elves killing marines because SCIENCE IS BAD. Sounds like a great movie.

    ReplyDelete
  119. @Dasafrak:

    Actually, it's because CORPORATE GREED is bad. The movie is Fern Gully reimagined for an older target audience with neat sci-fi gizmos and gorgeous CG. The plot is pretty cliche, but the acting is decent and the world is colorful and interesting enough that you won't mind. It's an enjoyable film.

    ReplyDelete
  120. It's Dances With Wolves with thundersmirfs.

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  121. Interestingly, this touches upon another aspect of nerddom I've seen a lot of lately. Not content with expressing superiority over anyone who is not a nerd, there's also the "Oh no my field, the great and glorious science, is under attack from [random fantasy/conspiracy theory". There's this one about thinking avatar is some sort of complaint against science, and there was another comment recently about an XKCD comic being modded down on digg or something (is that how it works? I DON'T KNOW!) which, according to the author, was because "the anti-science crowd are in full effect today."

    I suppose it, the arrogance, the nerd rage and all other aspects all tie in together in some fascinating nerd mindset. I wish I studied psychology so that I could make it my thing. If, you know, psychology as a field wasn't grossly inferior to mathematics.

    ReplyDelete
  122. To be fair, the whole "SCIENCE IS BAD" angle that some Sci Fi movies take is real and not the product of nerd paranoia. It is one of those archetypal stories in western media, drawing back at least from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

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  123. Really? Because I think that reducing Frankenstein to solely a story about how science is bad is grossly underestimating it. Which is exactly the sort of thing an insecure nerd who thinks his interests need to be defended at all times would do.

    ReplyDelete
  124. I like Rob. Keep this dude around. His ilk always gets a laugh from me. Ah what n00bs. Probably in their 20s, having spent more than half of their lives on the internets and still take the medium seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  125. No, see, this is where you went to far. SCIENCE IS BAD is one element of the story in Frankenstein, no one said solely but you, Fred. Movies and books and all others are allowed to have multiple angle and themes to them. For the example being discussed, Dr Frankenstein is punished because SCIENCE IS BAD, and spends the rest of the work in agony because he messed up. The Monster is ostracized from humanity because he is different and becomes murderous after it. Those are the main themes of the work so far as I can tell.
    And for the record I'm a liberal arts major, attacking science is totally irrelevant to me.

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  126. You: "Why is mocking xkcd enjoyable? I really don't get it."

    Me: *explains basic human concept that even children understand to the anti-social loser nerd*

    You: "WAIT IT'S FUN TO MAKE FUN OF IDIOTS??? I never knew because I have no friends and have been the butt of all jokes my entire life."

    ReplyDelete
  127. I thought Frankenstein was a story of a neglectful/abusive parent and the consequences thereof.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Its not, Anon@5:58. Maybe some teacher told you that to half-ass some point she wanted to make or connect the movie to a concept you never thought of before.

    Personally, I hate it when they do that.

    ReplyDelete
  129. "I like Rob. Keep this dude around. His ilk always gets a laugh from me. Ah what n00bs. Probably in their 20s, having spent more than half of their lives on the internets and still take the medium seriously."

    We aim to please. (Unless you are suggesting I take the internet seriously; for some reason people assume I mean things that I say, ever.)

    In any case I think I will make some more of these special announcements. They amuse me.

    "Its not, Anon@5:58. Maybe some teacher told you that to half-ass some point she wanted to make or connect the movie to a concept you never thought of before."

    The fun part of lit analysis is making up bullshit theories to explain what it's about. I think it's cool so long as everyone involved knows that it was clearly not the author's intention at all.

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  130. Who's talking about a movie, Patricoo?

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  131. Btw Aloria, no one really cares you're donating to charity. I'm not trying to be offensive, but its like your bragging to all of us that you're so awesome and nice and cool... etc etc etc.

    I'm not against you here, but just stop trying to lace your comments with how much money you're donating is just annoying. I mean should i just cope+paste my taxes that I pay and show the world what a good little boy I am for donating to Red cross and Salvation Army? =)

    ReplyDelete
  132. Telling people you are donating to charity is totally cool if you want to be a dick to cuddlefish.

    ReplyDelete
  133. @7:42
    I think she's trying to piss him off on purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Yep, exactly. This has very little to do with being a nice person and everything to do with pissing off cuddlefish.


    $9.00

    ReplyDelete
  135. @Rob

    Dude, seriously. What the heck? Did that even make sense?

    ReplyDelete
  136. "No, see, this is where you went to far. SCIENCE IS BAD is one element of the story in Frankenstein, no one said solely but you, Fred. Movies and books and all others are allowed to have multiple angle and themes to them."

    Geeze, no need to be a dick about it. Excuse me if my grasp of your fucking perfect prose is insufficient to grasp the full breadth of what you were conveying.

    That said, I still think "science is bad" is nowhere near a theme of the book. The fact that he is created from science is not in any way relevant to the story. It's about the fact that he was created in a different way than everybody else and created to be different than everybody else. Frankenstein could've made a clay golem and brought it to life with magic and the entire book would be the same, namely about creation and isolation. "Science is bad" is in no way a theme of the book. I guess this sort of illustrates my point about seeking attacks on science in things where there are none.

    ReplyDelete
  137. in reply to the latest comic;

    me: why is beret man so inconsistent
    randall: he is well-meaning but occasionally pushed over the edge, I suppose
    randall: he is roughly as consistent as the person he is modeled on :)

    then he changed the topic

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  138. This post. It doesn't make sense. It's one thing to criticize a comic for faults you find and it's another thing to claim that you're being forced to read it. It's in your right to criticize it if you want, but I just feel it doesn't make sense that your saying your being forced. Like, you couldn't ignore it if you tried.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

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  140. (Gah, I used your instead of "you're" twice in that post)

    I'm not sure if you understood what I said. I mean, your post doesn't make sense because you're really not being forced to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Some random anonymous dudeDecember 19, 2009 at 9:18 AM

    Looks like everyone enjoys xkcd, even lifehacker. Suck on it, Carl, you're alone.

    Also, no one is forcing you to live. Why don't you just give up life? Then you won't have to read xkcd, lifehacker, cuddlefish or me.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Physically, no. But I am being constantly subjected to it, day in and day out, by blogs, friends, et cetera. There is no way, apart from hermetically sealing myself from both the internet and my friends, that I could avoid XKCD. You could say it is unavoidable.

    Now, as I have explained before, but you are too illiterate to have grasped, there are two options. There is option A, which is live in constant irritation that people are constantly bombarding me with XKCD despite my best attempts to avoid it--or I could read it and mock it and bask in its horrible glory.

    ReplyDelete
  143. But you could very easily avoid it. No, really. You could. I mean, a lot of my friends haven't even heard of xkcd. And if you should happen to come across one, you still don't have to read it. I mean, it's just a picture...

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  144. So what, are you suggesting he not be friends with people because they like something he doesn't? I hope no one needs to explain to you how dumb that is.

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  145. Maybe this doesn't work for you, but when I look at words I understand, I read them.

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  146. @Anonymous: You're an idiot.
    @Rob: I mean. Just don't read it. And, it shouldn't really be all that bothersome. It's just a comic.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Erp, 'scuse me, butting in for a second:

    "...for some reason people assume I mean things that I say, ever."

    So, in this context, I think it's reasonable to assume that Rob doesn't actually want to avoid xkcd that badly. Am I on the right track here, Rob? (Feel free to fill this gap with further insults.)

    ReplyDelete
  148. No, see, literacy isn't something I can turn off. I read things all the time. It is automatic!

    caswin: perceptive! Legitimately.

    ReplyDelete
  149. In that case, Rioharglflarglaslkdfj, what do you mean by"you could very easily avoid it...a lot of my friends haven't even heard of xkcd."? Because it sounds to me like you're saying Rob could avoid xkcd by only hanging out with those people, but apparently that makes me an idiot.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Oh, I see what you mean. I didn't understand what you meant the first time. Well, hm. I guess it makes sense that you'd be bothered. But, I suppose the logical approach would be...to not be bothered. As in, stop caring when you see it. Or keep doing it. I'm not sure why I care anymore to tell you the truth.

    @Anonymous: You're an idiot.

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  151. No, the logical approach is to mock it and bask in its horrible glory. Which I am doing.

    ReplyDelete
  152. You're wrong, but I see you're unwilling to change your mind. Let's just turn around and walk away (metaphorically speaking)

    ReplyDelete
  153. Wait, how is that not logical? Having fun with something is a far more evolved defense mechanism than just ignoring it.

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  154. Yeah it must be tough being constantly reminded that there's somebody out there who's way better than you in every possible way. I mean it's not like you could, just, you know, admit that you'll never be that good. No, you just have to be at the center of everything.

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  155. Hee. I write so much better stuff on accident than Randy does after poring over it for hours.

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  156. Heheh. Randall spending hours on a comic. That's funny.

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  157. I know, right? That is what he says he does! I am not sure how he manages.

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  158. @10:51 AM
    It's funny that it looks like something a five year old could make in a minute.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Rob?
    You don't mind if I polish my pearl, you know, slap the little man in the canoe, while I read the dross you so unselfishly place in this handy comments facility do you?

    Innit?

    You are at or beyond the age of consent, yes?

    ReplyDelete
  160. Dinosaur Comics #1111

    This reminded me a bit of Black Hat Guy, only cleverer. And not really as sadistic.

    ...

    Ever since Carl told me there's more alt texts, I've been on an archive binge. So I'm sharing.

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  161. Wasn't at one point in time solid proof that Randall only makes comics in like three minutes? I remember someone mentioning one time Randall put a note at midnight saying "Today's comic will be a few minutes late because I just got off a plane from [place]" or something like that. I dunno. I...I thought I read that somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  162. That doesn't mean anything except that he didn't have the comic in his update queue or whatever.

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  163. I love this thread: it seems to show the average level of intelligent of the "OHHH I'm such a smart geek!" xkcd raving crowds. Rob has stated his point in about 30 different ways, to no avail.

    I guess it's too hard to understand the problem of xkcd interfering in our day to day life in unpredictable ways, because of how widespread it is. The problem is that the people who don't understand that are the kind of people who are constantly bitching about having to hear bad music when they're in the supermarket. Gee, people, like, if you don't like that music, DON'T HEAR IT! Perforate your eardrums, or, even easier, don't ever go to the supermarket again, ever, ever!

    The exchange between Person #1 and Randall is quite interesting: Randall really doesn't know his own characters. Wow, what an amazing writer.

    ReplyDelete
  164. @Fernie Canto: i read it more as Randall unable to concentrate a friend of his into a unique and identifiable 'character'.

    he said to Person #1 that beret man is based on someone.
    but real people are wildly inconsistent in their characters and it's only once you know someone very well that you can place individual actions into a broader understanding of what that person is *actually* like.
    so in order to encapsulate a real person in a comic or piece of writing, the writer has to carefully choose his establishing moments from which the reader can deduce important character traits.

    the problem is that randall isn't doing a good job of this: the moments he's choosing maybe make sense and are consistent with a real person (specifically, the guy he's friends with), but not with a fictional person, especially one who will only ever anyway be an oversimplified caricature of some type of personality.

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  165. I took it to mean he based Beret Man on himself.

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  166. What are you, a giant baby?

    "Baw, someone is doing something I don't like. I MUST MAKE THE WORLD BE EXACTLY WHAT I WANT HOW DARE SOMEONE WRITE SOMETHING I WILL NOT ENJOY? I WILL NOT TOLERATE IT! EVERYTHING I SEE AND READ MUST AMUSE ME"

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  167. /b/'s just an idiot (this can be inferred from his name). Probably fourteen or something.

    I wish we got more intelligent and non-sycophantic defenders of the comic here, but oh well.

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  168. I'm not saying I wish this place was gone, and I'm not defending the comic.

    Who's the idiot now?

    ReplyDelete
  169. I think people criticize you and point out that you don't have to read it because you scrutinize each line and seem to have a personal problem with the author for not providing the content you desire. It's not that it's reasonable to assume you can avoid it completely, but one does raise an eyebrow when it seems you're searching (hard) within each panel for something to hate about it.

    You criticize the author's personality, you have problems with its grammar, the art bothers you, you don't care about the characters... It just seems like a lot of effort. It's not that I don't understand a community of people who have a common disinterest. It just begins to seem a bit personal, which is offputting.

    "Not only that, but its shit-eating fans will insist on adding it to EVERY WIKIPEDIA PAGE ABOUT SCIENCENot only that, but its shit-eating fans will insist on adding it to EVERY WIKIPEDIA PAGE ABOUT SCIENCE"

    See, that's where I think a lot of xkcd's utility is. Something for math teachers or textbook authors to include alongside academic material. When you read the Sunday comics, only a few really make you laugh. Most are just banal representations of the author's preferred motif.

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  170. RE xkcd's "utility": oh, man, oh, man. Where to start? Firstly, xkcd has abandoned "advanced mathematics" long, long ago, so those comics would be only fit to an elementary school, which is completely incompatible with the humour. Secondly, merely dropping scientific themes shouldn't be enough to make xkcd fit to that academic material: it should be clever, funny and thought-provoking, which we think and argue it's NOT. Thirdly, stop using science to put yourself above the "oh so boring" people who read Sunday comics. It's annoying.

    The people here have solid reasons to dislike xkcd and already know its problems quite well; so with that, the flaws and problems jump out a lot more. We don't need to dig in every detail to dislike. "SO WHY DO YOU STILL READ IT??" Well, *somebody* has to do the dirty job.

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  171. Having an opinion and expressing it is hardly a demand that everything conform to one's preference - Randall is free to write his comic as he sees fit, and everyone who reads it is free to express their opinion on the matter.

    You never hear the so-called "cuddlefishes" complaining, "Randall, why don't you stop complaining about liberal arts majors/irrational social norms/relationship problems, you can just ignore them!" For some reason, he's permitted to criticize these things repeatedly, three times a week, but criticizing the comic in which he does so is a terrible waste of time.

    That said, the notion that you can't possibly avoid xkcd because it's popular is a bit ridiculous - by now you can recognize an xkcd comic just from a glance, and deciding to overlook it or complain about it in a blog is entirely your decision.

    Also, that pathetic excuse for an excavator in the latest comic looks like it was drawn by a five year old.

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  172. uncivlengr: It is generally possible to not read it when linked, but that doesn't spare you the irritation, and it comes with the added irritation of not knowing what is being talked about; it's very much a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.

    It's not that XKCD is popular. Penny-Arcade is popular and I could easily avoid it. (With the possible exception of Child's Play, but I don't actually remember reading about that much.) It's that XKCD has insinuated itself into internet culture. Some monstrous quirk of nature has made XKCD not a comic but a cultural icon. To savvy internet culture is to know about XKCD, in a way that few other things can match.

    See also previous comments in which I clarify multiple times for illiterate cuddlefish that, since xkcd is unavoidable, it is far preferable to write a blog complaining about it and thus have fun with it than to sit and continually be irritated by it with no outlet for this frustration.

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  173. Some random anonymous dudeDecember 20, 2009 at 7:07 AM

    (Anon 1) Heheh. Randall spending hours on a comic. That's funny.
    (Rob) I know, right? That is what he says he does! I am not sure how he manages.
    (Anon 2) It's funny that it looks like something a five year old could make in a minute.


    Is that so? Well, then, why don't you give it a try?

    I mean, obviously no one needs to be a cartoonist to criticize comics. But once you claim Randall is either a liar or incompetent you are stuck with the burden of proof.

    It shouldn't be that hard. Just draw one comic every day and in 30 days we see if you're world-wide famous for great comics. All you gotta do is be more creative than a 5-year old kid, right?

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  174. Fame has a lot more to do with luck, timing, and usually advertising than it does talent or quality.

    The proof of Randall's incompetence lies in the fact that the product he produces is shit. Criticism is not a scientific experiment; we do not need to create a control group to see if those comics are also shit.

    But I do constantly write things which are better than XKCD, and most of the time, I am not trying at all. Randall has professed to work very hard on his comics. This is a sad juxtaposition.

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  175. I don't think a guy like Randall Munroe meant to be "internet famous" and have his comic get thousands of hits a day. He doesn't strike me as the highly egotistical Ryan Sohmer/Tim Buckley type. I get the idea that he is a science geek who just got lucky. His comic gained in popularity after folks linked to on Digg.com and all the Aspergin' science nerds of the interwebs finally found someone who spoke to them.

    Spoke to them through really, really shitty stick figures.

    I don't think he's a bad guy, but I think Munroe is an opportunist to the fullest. Every science type on the internet is sucking this guy's dick for simply putting the word "Fibonacci" in his comics, and he's only happy to take it all in. He receives ad dollars, revenue from merch sales, and undoubtedly money for public appearances. He gets showered in praise and rewards, and all he has to do is put out childish scribbles in order to keep the gravy train going. Choo choo, motherfuckers.

    Munroe's work, nay very existence, is yet another slap in the face to all independent artists who ACTUALLY PUT EFFORT INTO THEIR DRAWINGS and that is very sad.

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  176. "I do constantly write things which are better than xkcd, and most of the time, I am not trying at all."

    Is that your opinion or Randall's?

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  177. See, that's where I think a lot of xkcd's utility is. Something for math teachers or textbook authors to include alongside academic material.

    No. xkcd is no successor to The Far Side. It has never been about math, science, or computer programming. It has always been about nerd and Internet culture.

    There is utility in that. I've seen xkcd comics brought up that are relevant to the topic at hand and therefore funny and appropriate. However, trying to include xkcd comics in Wikipedia articles and such is not relevant. It's not funny and it's not appropriate. There is no utility in that. Also, most of the great comics come from the first 300. The ones since then have lost the spark that makes them interesting. There is no utility in that either.

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  178. Also, Wikipedia is not a repository for math teachers to go find funny math comics. It is an encyclopedia.

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  179. So that was just another example of you saying something that isn't meant to be taken seriously then?

    Fair enough.

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  180. There are many people in this world besides me and Randall.

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  181. Yep, and I have never heard one of them make the claim you just did, other than you of course.

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  182. This is because you have never had cause to discuss my writing with someone, because you have probably never interacted with someone who has read it. This is a side effect of my not being an internet culture phenomenon and making no attempt to publicize what I write.

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  183. You censor your own writing?

    How... orwellian.

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  184. ANN, we miss you, get back on irc.

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  185. I chuckled at that, Ann. Good job.

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  186. What's wrong with just saying that you create and/or read the blog because you enjoy doing so? Presumably that's at least part of it, and it's pretty indisputable unless you actively force yourself to do it.

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  187. Some random anonymous dudeDecember 20, 2009 at 6:14 PM

    But I do constantly write things which are better than XKCD, and most of the time, I am not trying at all.

    That's what you say. Using the same methods you use to call Randall incompetent, I'd say your texts are boring as hell.

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  188. Rob: You're kind of a dick, huh.

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  189. "That's what you say. Using the same methods you use to call Randall incompetent, I'd say your texts are boring as hell."

    I'm assuming you have read his texts, then? Because if not, then you're not using the same methods at all.

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  190. lol @ butthurt xkcd fantard

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