Thursday, March 4, 2010

Comic 709: jesus god almighty

carl posted too! he lied to me! hey read his first ok.

Hey, it's Jay, me again. Would you believe I liked today's comic?

Hahahaha! Joking. Did you fall for that? What is this I am seeing.


Slow down. Back up. Let's take this from the top.

This is a webcomic. It is comic number 709 of the critically and commercially successful xkcd, written and drawn by Randall Patrick Munroe (born 1984.) This comic fully sustains Randall. It is how he makes his living. At the time of writing, it is the most popular webcomic in the world.

This is comic number 709 and I do not understand it. I do not understand it because it does not make sense. There are about five theories about this comic floating around right now, the most credible one being that this is a reference to that part in Star Wars, you know, when the Ewoks mistook C3PO for a god. It's funny because it's vaguely similar to the part in the Bible where God spoke to Moses through the burning bush. Hee it's a reference hee hee and it's funny because it doesn't make snort sense and that's why it's funny hee


This comic is not remotely funny, and there is nothing you can do to make it funny, and there is nothing you can say to convince me that it's funny. This is because I am a sane fucking person who has a decent sense of humor and I don't find stupid bullshit funny just because I saw it on This comic has no joke and no attempt at a joke and no basis in rational thought and it is incredibly stupid


I am truly in awe of this comic. I don't like Randall, but if you had asked me up until, say, 12:05 AM on Wednesday, I would have told you I believed he was at least reasonably intelligent. He worked for NASA, and he was funny once, but HO-LEE SHIT. What kind of mind, christ, could write and draw this comic, and then look and it and think, oh yeah, they're gonna love this one. This is good.

And the worst part, as usual, is not the comic itself. The comic doesn't even make me angry, by itself, just extremely confused. No, the worst part's the fans, because some of them do love it, thankfully the vast sane majority doesn't, but some of them do and I hate them for it. Let's examine them now:

On one hand, there are the fans who get the joke. They get it even though there is nothing there to get, and to them it's so fucking obvious, everyone who doesn't get it is an absolute retard, and of course they have to share what they think with the world. What's interesting to me is, there's more than one of these people and all their theories are different, but they all seem so confident, so clearly the logical conclusion is that they're all right.

Then we have the fans who don't get it. They don't get it but they don't want to say it, because that would mean criticizing Randall, their fucking god. If you drop off by the forum thread, you can see them dancing uncomfortably around the issue, the giant fucking elephant in the room, cracking Star Wars references, because they can't quite bring themselves to directly comment on the comic because that would entail lying ("it's good") or blasphemy ("it's bad.")

And last and worst of all, we have the fans who didn't get the comic, but laughed at it anyway, because they are fucking brainwashed. And they're proud enough of this fact to post it to the forums, instead of what they should be doing, reflexively slapping themselves in the face, getting up, lighting a match, and burning a hole in their finger while they repeat to themselves over and over, "I will reexamine my life."

Do you know what the rational response is when you don't get a joke?


No, the art doesn't save this one. It's not that good. It just has more effort put into it than the usual xkcd. There is one cool touch: the shading on the stick figure's face. It makes him more visually interesting (by which I mean, it makes him visually interesting) and Randall should do it from now on. The rest is just the minimum standard you should expect from a comic. Hey, he managed not to fuck up R2-D2. Holy shit.

I don't even understand the art. What are all those lines supposed to be? Radiating beams of light? Is the burning bush exploding? It looks like they're in a tunnel. See, it's partially obscuring the bush in the second panel. Why are they in a tunnel?

If this is a reference to Star Wars, shouldn't the stick figure be an Ewok?

Goddamn I feel like I'm caught in a time loop or something, because I keep saying the same thing, every guest post. There's no joke! Why is there no joke! And for once there literally is no joke, not even an attempt at one, no the C3PO interpretation is not a joke. Your pet theory about the etymology of YHWH isn't either. You think it's funny. You're an idiot. It's not.

This is, far and away, the unfunniest, most perplexing, shittiest xkcd in a long, long while. You have to go through absurd mental contortions to understand it and it sucks once you do. xkcd sucks.

PS: remember this?


  1. 709 doesn't count, so I won't talk about it.

    710: If you multiply 1 by 3 and then add 1, you get 4. Why is there no arrow from the 1 to the 4? As a math geek, this pissed me off. Add that to floating head syndrome, and the fact that his pencil is in quotation marks, and it becomes obvious that 710 has a lot wrong with it.

    However, he at least tried to make a joke, and I can appreciate his pseudo self-mockery. Or is it self pity? Damn. I guess this one really sucks.

    captcha: poopit. Randall, you have to put effort into a webcomic, you can't just poopit out at 11:55.

  2. You know, now that I thought about it some more, one item of the burning bush comic is amusing. I'm not even sure if it's intentional.

    The Ewoks, a primitive people, considered C3PO to be a deity mainly because he was SHINY.

    Biblical manifestations of god, especially in the old testament, are very often assumed to be divine for precisely the same reason.

  3. Dammit Bill, you're not a math geek, you're obviously a faux math geek. You know, one of those people who like to talk about Godel's incompleteness theorems in high school like they understand them?

    There's no arrow because it wasn't needed. It's as simple as that.

    God spare us from these fucking pedants...

  4. There's no arrow from 1 --> 4 because the Collatz conjecture says that it converges on 1 for all positive integers (of course, you could equally say 2 or 4). There's nothing wrong with that.

    I'm way past the head floating and motion lines. I find the stacked paper FAR worse.

  5. Well, you know, 1 is a positive integer. It's not really a big deal.

    Anyway, it's nice to see Randall diversifying his material into "mathematicians have no friends" territory. It'll be completely winsome, because his target audience is incapable of realizing that this is them.

  6. Only one truth that the forum says. Randall tried to make a meme. Thats it.


    Thats all and thats it. Face it. He tried to make a meme.

  7. @Patricoo

    That's just sad. That kind of shit makes your friends stop calling.

  8. Dammit I forgot midnight past so its time to start the early egg throwing at 710!

    Ahaha. Yea mine was at 709.

    710 isn't as rage-inducing, but it still sucks; Hur hur hur. Do something really nerdy and people talk to you less. Thats a fine thing to present in an original way. Thats not find to literally just "say something nerdy and then say people stop hanging out with someone who does that nerdy thing."

  9. The new comic is unquestionably a repulsive pile of crap. He is spouting a random mathematical theory for no reason, which seems like kind of a trend recently. And this is my counterpart, R2-D2.

  10. This only appeals to moronic high-school kids who haven't realized how much cock Family Guy sucks yet, and high-on-the-smell-of-their-own-piss nu-atheists who take anything even remotely digging at Judeo-Christian culture as the height of sophisticated humor. And XKCD cultists, of course.

  11. lol all my friends left me
    get out of my head, randall!

  12. i loaded the site
    then i laughed
    then i read the comic

  13. Enjoy your fucking holiday you enormous faggoty faggots

  14. Good post Jay. Vitriolic reviews when the comic is shit makes my heart warm.

    710 - I glanced at it when it loaded and thought" Oh! Yay! This looks mathsy. And about something I haven't heard of so it must be properly esoteric nerdy mathsy. A return for xkcd?"

    Then I read it and got very sad.

    Hey Randy, The Keep Theory: if you spend enough time looking up material on wikipedia and making rushed, unfunny, disconnected, un-personal jokes about it, and you repeat this procedure long enough, eventually all your fans will stop caring and you'll be exposed as a hack and your t-shirts will no longer sell.

    Hopefully that last line'll really hit it home.

    710 was like listening to a new single by that fiery punk band you once liked, and it's all extolling the virtues of The Man and advising you to obey the system.

  15. Oh god I'm finding the forum posts (the xkcd forums that is) about the burning bush comic fucking infuriating. The people who defend the joke as being funny for "sudden change in tone" should just fucking end their wretched, miserable lives before they reproduce. Any jack off with MS Paint can make a "web comic" that involves sudden changes of tone and stick figures.
    And the worst part is that none of them can discuss without writing walls of text about subjectivity that contains ideas that are clearly over their head. Fuck you Wikipedia for giving easy access to information to pseudointellectuals. Fuck you.

  16. The thing about these math jokes is that it's really not that clever if you can replace the math with any other math concept (or even something else not related to math), and the joke remains the same.

    It's a generic joke eith something he pulled out of GEB stuck in.

  17. This post definitely gets my nomination for entry into "Angriest Rants" if that wasn't already obvious.

    But I don't think this is the worst comic as Carl suggests. 707 is still the most pathetic and most horrible strip. It may not have the added stench of the forums circlejerking over it (as much) but I propose that 709 took slightly more effort (not just art-wise) than 707.

  18. ^ when I said "as Carl suggests" I meant Jay.

    I'm so confused as to who's posting. Fuck. Especially when the previous 709 post was editted and shit. Fuck you guys.

  19. The only real thing he could have gotten credit for was the presentation - showing the flow of numbers converging to 1 is a neat idea.

    Except I just decided to check out the wikipedia page to see how many times it's been Randalized, and I see there that the flowchart-style image is RIGHT FUCKING THERE.

    Not only that, he seems to have copied that image directly - other than the additional of three numbers to two branches, he just took that image and redrew it all bunched up.

  20. I don't get why you guys are arguing so much about the joke in this comic, it's so obvious.

    The joke, on one level, is that the average fan will look at this comic, laugh (because it's XKCD) and then scramble desperately to find an actual *reason* to laugh.
    On another level, the joke is that fans will find this comic "deep" and "not afraid to cover serious material", because it vaguely references religion.
    On still another level, the joke is that even people who hate XKCD will say that "at least the art is good", merely because it's better than the average XKCD.

    In short, the joke here is that most of the people who read this comic will think it's worthy of praise in some way. And I think that's pretty funny.

  21. I AM ANGRY


  22. I actually liked today's comic - not saying it made me laugh, but it didn't make me go "Hahahaha! What's XKCDSucks got to say about THIS?" Probably because he doesn't try to convince me he's cooler than me for doing whatever mathy thing he's doing.

  23. Hmm, so far, no Randalization of Wikipedia yet on the Collatz conjecture article. Although on the discussion page one person has mentioned that xkcd might come in and fuck things up.

    As for 710 itself, it certainly isn't good. It isn't horrible and at least there is a joke, even if the joke is "Ha ha math geeks are outcasts" but that's okay because we all know that they're only outcasts because they're SUPERIOR and the peons just can't comprehend their awesomeness.

    But I suppose I shouldn't complain. After all a look at the revision history on Wiki says a big problem with the article is people adding in the "OVER 9000" meme to it a lot. Knowing Randall's penchant for internet meme jokes, he could've used that in the comic which would've been much worse than what we got. Maybe that meme just isn't old enough for him to use yet.

  24. Oh God damn it you've got to be shitting me.

    Ten seconds after I post that comment and someone has already added a fucking "In popular culture" section to the article just to add in xkcd.

    I shouldn't have said anything.

  25. @Bill:
    "Why is there no arrow from the 1 to the 4?"

    If you think about it, it isn't necessarily required. The question is at which time you check whether 1 has been reached.

    "I reckon that the picture together with what explanation is given is enough to figure out the full conjecture."

    Yes, yes it is. I figured it out from the comic and then checked back with Randall's source (ie. Wikipedia).

    "The thing about these math jokes is that it's really not that clever if you can replace the math with [...] something else not related to math [...] and the joke remains the same."

    Quoted for truth.

    "Evln & Rinnon: The joke is that he was quoting lines from the Fleetwood Mac song "Rhiannon"."

    Thanks. Uhm, yeah.

    "1. I also don't get it and I can't tell if it's a compliment or not."

    Happens a lot to you, doesn't it? Remember Anon 8:59?

    Interesting concept, but completely ruined for me by the fact that ANY PROGRAMMER could -in about five minutes- write a program to test any given number (at least, with such reasonably low numbers as shown in the comic). Given the fact that Randall does know quite some modern programming languages, he certainly wrote the comic with this knowledge. (If it wasn't even for this, there's very simple code examples on Wikipedia's page about the math thingy.)

    Also: stacked paper depiction eww.

  26. Also: Walls of quotes eww. Probably have to cut down on that.

  27. 709 was so bad, no one posted it to the xkcd subreddit.

    Speaking of which, while trying to find the post for 709, I saw a self post on /r/xkcd asking not to be down-modded for not participating in the Randall-centric circle jerking.

  28. I'll retract my previous comment about Collatz being irrelevant to the comic, but the link wasn't well done.

    Replace the punchline with "...and if you repeat this procedure long enough, eventually your friends will stop calling and you will end up alone."

    It's actually clever little joke that could have been better executed.

  29. noz: The very existence of /r/xkcd pisses me off. Like /r/comics isn't good enough.

  30. 709's second panel looks kind of like the goatass.

  31. Rob you see goatass in everything just admit it.

  32. your comment is shaped kind of like the goatass

  33. @uncivlengr

    Assuming randall was trying to make that connection gives him too much credit. He was most likely just making a "hurr, math obsessed people like me don't have time for friends" joke.

    Besides, just because friends dont call/you are alone doesn't mean you are LONELY. Those are two different things.

    Please don't fall into the pit of his followers by reading way more into his comics than necessary.

  34. Rob your FACE looks kinda like the goatass.

  35. Whether the connection wasn't there or just poorly executed is hard to say, and I wouldn't be quick to say it wasn't intended, given his record of botching the delivery of seemingly good ideas.

    It works a little too well for it to be a coincidence.

  36. many bothans died trying to understand this comic

  37. Wow uncivlengr you actually made a really good and relevant joke out of the bones of 710! Kudos!

    And since Randy didn't spell it out clearly and add a post-punchline "haha yeah" and write an alte-text that said "see geddit geddit?"...I'm going to go with he didn't see it and you've just polished unintentional shit into gold.


  38. what the hell is a bothan


    To my defense, I had to google that. You should have done that too.



  41. To be fair, I only came up with the alternate punchline - someone in the forum discovered the connection.

  42. @Evln: Yes... it does seem to happen quite often. Usually only on this board though. Probably because people keep making absurd references that I am expected to get, but instead of just laughing at them and pretending I get them, I am calling it out and saying "I don't get it". Hmmm... Why, was that an internet reference I just made?

    @Miss Dashwood: I also enjoyed it. It did not make me laugh, but it entertained me for the 60 seconds or so that I looked at it, as I for some reason felt the need to check randalls math on all those numbers...

  43. Finally, someone appreciates my work!

  44. WTH? Jay and Carl constantly complain that the references are too fucking obvious, too nerd-servicey, too ~"catering to the dumbest non-nerds of nerds" in order to increase the reader base, because they are too fucking obvious and mainstream, and randal finally makes a comic where the reference takes a pretty decent familiarity of the original star wars and a decent amount of thought and you whine like little bitches that it's too obscure. He's doing WHAT YOU TOLD HIM TO DO!

    If anyone is butthurt because they didn't make the connection between C3P0 and godhood that is their own damn problem.

  45. A New Hope is an extremely popular movie. Watched by the vast majority of his all-geek fanbase.
    Talk about obscure!

    Also, thought? What thought? This is sub-par for a fucking Cyanide and Happiness strip.

    If anyone is butthurt, it's you. xkcd sucks, embrace it. We get the attempt at a joke, it's just not funny. CP30 is god, or R2D2 is God's counterpart. That's it, and most people got that. Maybe he's referencing Return of the Jedi (possible hamhanded religious satire), or maybe it's just a lolrandom gag. I don't know which is worse.

    (Also, I say also way too much)


  46. he who fights with monsters

  47. There's a serious problem with today's comic.

    It's not the art. The art is... okay. I like the superposition effect of the graph and the stick person doing it. I simply stopped caring about the floating head and the less spoken about Mr. StickMunroe's acute siphosis, the best.

    It's not the presentation. I could say, though, that this is not a visual joke, but a text joke with an illustration. Look, all the panel does is illustrate what's being said on the caption, and it's not even especially relevant. Anyone can get what the Collatz Conjecture is if they just take the time to pick a number and do as told, and we can see... the person doing it. Still, not the problem...

    The problem is the humour. There are two sources of humor here, one blatant, one implicit. The blatant is the "nerds have no friends" shaggy dog joke. Randall takes time to explain the Conjecture only to crack this stereotype joke.

    The implicit one is about the Conjecture itself, of how it may look outlandish that you should multiply odd numbers by three and add one(though the reason is simple: is to make them even so the sequence can converge; why not just add one, though? No idea), which is references by the alt joke.

    Both are unfunny.

    I'm not as enraged as I was with 647, or my presently most hated one, 707; but I declare this panel-with-a-caption is surely BAD.

    Mole out.

  48. Proving your version, with only adding 1 instead of multiplying by 3 first, would be quite easy. And you're reasoning that it works because odds turn into evens doesn't work either. Replacing the 3n + 1 with 5n + 1 results in loops that don't go through 1. The Collatz conjecture has been unproven for decades. That's why it's interesting.

    You say the panel illustrates what's in the text. That was exactly it's purpose. I don't see that as a bad thing. If it was just text it wouldn't be as good. Why is it a bad thing?

    This was not a "nerds have no friends thing." This is a "you spend so much time working on an interesting problem you forget to have a life" thing. Of course, you missed that because you've probably never spent so much time working on an interesting problem you forget to have a life.

    But I do understand your point of view. Though, I think it mostly results from the fact that you can't relate to it. Though, this is an assumption on my part. Sorry if I'm wrong.

    Why are people hating on the latest one? It's the best one he's done for a while in my opinion.

  49. Rioghasarig: your first point is good, and I was thinking about that after seeing the Conjecture on this xkcd and on my first Problem Solving class... but I think that has little connection with the comic itself.

    "You say the panel illustrates what's in the text. That was exactly it's purpose. I don't see that as a bad thing. If it was just text it wouldn't be as good. Why is it a bad thing?"

    Captions should ADD to the panel, not just replicate it. And, if you pay attention to what I said, the opposite is even worse. Caption humor should be done with caption and image completing each other, not just replicating each other.

    "This was not a "nerds have no friends thing." This is a "you spend so much time working on an interesting problem you forget to have a life" thing. Of course, you missed that because you've probably never spent so much time working on an interesting problem you forget to have a life."

    I'm a CS undergrad. Sometimes I lose entire classes working on a completely unrelated problem on my own(my notebooks are always full of scribbles). Heck, I've spent so much time working on problems I wonder if I'm not owing lifetime by now!

    So, yea, I relate to it. But it's not funny or compelling to use the Collatz Conjecture with a twist at the end to state that message.

  50. guys.


    the joke isn't that difficult. It's stupid, but its not difficult.

    C-3PO, in every introduction he's ever given himself, always plays himself up as being some kind of super diplomat robot who can speak any language and is perfectly suited to helping people relate to each other, at which point he mentions R2-D2 in as downplayed a fashion as possible.

    The joke is taking a well-known, similarly grandiose self-introduction and inserting C-3PO's customary downplayed introduction of R2-D2.

    I literally got this almost as soon as I read the comic. I thought it was stupid as hell, but I got it. It's honestly not that difficult to understand.

  51. Also, to continue, I find it hilariously self-demonstrating how, just because I dared to call you cuttlefish out as being the pathetic, genuflecting idiots you are, you immediately assume that I'm a slavish fan of xkcd. I find xkcd terrible, its just that the way you people take an internet webcomic so fucking seriously is hilarious in ways randall's failures could never hope to achieve.

  52. Anon 4:13: oh right! except that's not true.

    The first time C-3PO introduces himself with R2, it goes like this: "I am C-3PO, human-cyborg relations, and this is my counterpart, R2-D2." He only actually plays up the whole "I'm a badass interpreter" when someone asks him if he speaks a certain language or what his function is or whatever.

  53. also it would probably help if you knew why we called you XKCD fanboys (you're a fanboy, my little concern-troll friend; no sense pretending otherwise) cuddlefish. Misappropriating a word that we use doesn't make you seem clever, insightful, or even like you're a long-time insider. It just makes you look like an XKCD fanboy concern troll.

  54. "Also, to continue, I find it hilariously self-demonstrating how, just because I dared to call you cuttlefish out as being the pathetic, genuflecting idiots you are, you immediately assume that I'm a slavish fan of xkcd. I find xkcd terrible, its just that the way you people take an internet webcomic so fucking seriously is hilarious in ways randall's failures could never hope to achieve."

    Could you get a username? My apologies for not knowing the life-story of some random idiot on the internet.

    Also yeah, fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

  55. nice to see you're proving me right again by immediately assuming I'm some sort of desperate xkcd fan! Because of course, its utterly impossible that you guys are entertainingly stupid, it has to be some sort of desperate fan who cannot see carl's glorious, blinding light of truth!

    Seriously though, You guys are like a bunch of retarded train conductors who pick themselves out of the wreck every few days just so they can crash in the same spot again.

  56. "Seriously though, You guys are like a bunch of retarded train conductors who pick themselves out of the wreck every few days just so they can crash in the same spot again."

    Rubber, glue, you know the drill.

  57. This guy has clearly been around here for a while


  58. poor concern troll cuddlefish doesn't understand how people work :(

  59. No wonder he likes xkcd

  60. "Yeah, I hate XKCD, I just happen to think that you guys are taking it seriously when you sit here and mock it and spend enough time on your XKCD sucks blog to have picked up a word that you use and insult you when you struggle to find the joke in a comic which isn't funny at all and which even XKCD fanboys don't understand."

  61. "You guys are like a bunch of retarded train conductors who pick themselves out of the wreck every few days just so they can crash in the same spot again."

    Anonymous, Master of Simile

  62. "retarded train conductors" makes me laugh

  63. Bahaha, I love it when people use the "undefeatable" defense.

    You know, where the accused makes argumentative statements like "Stop being so defensive," or "Oh yeah, if you disagree with me you prove me right." They're almost logical riddles that you have to crack. But it's so much easier to just assume they're insecure about their arguments.

    Related, anon 4:13, you seem to put yourself in a vulnerable position with your comment. You see, pretty much everyone who encounters this blog has at some point been an XKCD fan. It's the people who become aware, not rebellious, but aware of what they're reading. You've seen people with their knee-jerk laugh reaction to XKCD. People who fully realize what they're laughing at are a hop, skip, and a jump away from this blog.

    See, the blog is made as a forethought to XKCD. Not the other way around. Nobody "discovers" XKCD through this blog. Nor do people look for this blog immediately after reading XKCD for the first time, because nobody cares if something sucks unless it's popular, and hate had it's time to brew. The people who end up staying here are the ones who've read XKCD for a long time, and realized its degeneration.

    It means that you, anon, are MOST LIKELY either a previous fan of XKCD who can't admit it because it would weaken your argument, or you are a current fan of XKCD who can't bear the thought of being insulted because of it. Either way, you are cowardly and insecure.

    Anyway, that's all speculative work. None of it could be true. How about some rock-solid truth than, anon. You are exactly like every other fan. Automatically defensive, hardheaded, and has a blanket belief that everyone who doesn't know Starwars is stupid. Furthermore, this blog discusses possibilities, but you seem resolute in your stupid beliefs, which are no more "true" than the other dozen valid theories.

  64. Also, he doesn't actually have a good knowledge of Star Wars. Let's not forget that! His version of the joke is actually based on a flawed understanding of the films.

  65. Anonymous 4:13 is a first class asshole. I do however agree with his interpretation of the joke, though not with his history of C-3PO.

    It made me think of Monty Python and the holy grail. "I AM AN ENCHANTER. THERE ARE SOME WHO CALL ME...Tim".

  66. This reminds me of the bit that I wrote about how when we are asking where the joke is, like this, it's not because we don't get it. It's that the joke, such as it is, is not funny.

    Under normal circumstances you can at least tell what the joke is supposed to be--you can see why someone might find it funny. Sometimes, though, as in this case, you "get" the joke right away, and then dismiss it as something that couldn't possibly be the joke because it's not even remotely funny. Entertaining the thought that something so patently unfunny was intended to make people laugh is the sort of mental gymnastics most people aren't willing to undertake.

  67. The line about the fans being brainwashed was spot on. You *have* to be brainwashed to laugh at this. I mean, there are a couple xkcds which I don't find utterly contemptible, but the only reason you would laugh at *this* POS is simply because it's a Pavlovian response.

    See Dick read xkcd. See Dick laugh. Laugh, Dick, laugh. Unfortunately, the part you don't get is "See Dick extricate his head from his anus."

    Randall would lose fans that way.

  68. When I use the phrase 'decent sense of humour' I am solely referring to my own standards. By definition of this phrase, when I use it, other's standards of humour are indecent.

    Whoa, I can criticise things which are intended to be humorous too! Maybe I should make a site... hmm...

  69. Anon 9:07: Yes, you, too, are capable of writing criticism. Anyone can do it! You, however, with your tiny and narrow-minded perspective of the ideas of objectivity and subjectivity, will write really shitty criticism. But you can feel free. Come back when your blog is as popular as this one.

  70. Why is so much energy being wasted on criticizing this comic? Don't like it? Don't read it. Who cares if someone else likes it for "no good reason".

    I honestly don't care for many of his comics, but every once in awhile I find one interesting or mildly amusing. The fact that comics like this one didn't interest me at all doesn't even begin to give me the desire to write what has to be a 1000+ word review of the comic and people who like it.

    I don't understand this sites obsession with xkcd at all. You don't HAVE to read it.

  71. Yes but making fun of it with likeminded people is FUN. Surely you can relate.

    I've said this a billion times.

  72. the only way not to read XKCD is to not interact with anyone on the internet

  73. Look cuddlefish, what makes you think we don't like xkcd? We do like it, just not the last 500 or so ones. It will never return to its former glory, and now rabid fanbois like you fucking quote and link it everywhere. This is literally painful to us, and we use this blog as a release, and perhaps in the vain hope that one day xkcd will stop sucking.

  74. I used to watch the television show House regularly for its first few seasons, and eventually I came across the website of a Doctor that criticises the medical accuracy of the show, episode by episode. It got to the point that I would actually moreso look forward to his review than the episode itself.

    I like critical examination - it's much more engaging than simply absorbing anything that comes along, and it makes you appreciate when things are well done that much more.

  75. Hey I love that guys site. I still love House more, even if it's been in decline since the end of season 3, and oh God no don't let House be another XKCD oh no oh no.

    I personally only dislike the last 200 xkcd, and only found it to even begin to decline around the 400 mark.

  76. "Anon 9:07: Yes, you, too, are capable of writing criticism. Anyone can do it! You, however, with your tiny and narrow-minded perspective of the ideas of objectivity and subjectivity, will write really shitty criticism. But you can feel free. Come back when your blog is as popular as this one."

    How would you even know what my ideas on objectivity and subjectivity are? Oh right... you would just presume and assume. I guess that makes an ass out of you.

    Also... uh, popular? Haha, okay.

  77. Because you just wrote about them, dumbass. But way to reference a cute saying as if it means something, it definitely made you sound a hundred times smarter.

    And yeah, I consider something which has generated thousands of comments worth of discussion and gets 1000+ hits daily popular. Apparently we're doing something right.

  78. Anon 9:22, So, even though I said that I don't care for many of his comics, I'm a "rabid fanboy"? (By many, I meant most.)

    What makes me think that you don't like xkcd? Umm... Did you read the header at the top of the page?

    Other than that, I guess I can understand the need to vent about something that annoys you. It just seems like something that just isn't worth the energy. If something is posted somewhere I don't care to read, I just skim past it and don't give it another thought.

    At any rate I'm not complaining about this site, or anyone on it, I'm just intrigued.

    - Anon 6:02

  79. "Other than that, I guess I can understand the need to vent about something that annoys you. It just seems like something that just isn't worth the energy. If something is posted somewhere I don't care to read, I just skim past it and don't give it another thought."

    The thing is, it's fun. It's not just venting. It's like watching a bad movie. It's fun to make fun of things, and it's fun to write, and it's fun to analyze things.

    It's hard to avoid XKCD. There are a few options when your friends are always linking and talking about something you dislike. You can be annoyed that they have such bad taste all the time--a mild nuisance at best (if you disagree, try hanging out with people who are all into a television series that you aren't into).

    Or you can do something positive with it. If you dislike Lost (never watched it), I bet it's incredibly fun to write a blog about how terrible it is, or have your friends over and drink and make fun of it and talk about how terrible it is.

    You still get the mild nuisance of all your friends enjoying something you dislike, but you get to have fun with it. And you can probably get at least some of your friends to shut up about it.

  80. Rob,

    Alright, yea I can get that. It seems to go much deeper than that for at least some of the people posting here. Just a sense a really deep hatred in some of the posts I've seen.

    - Anon 6:02

  81. So, this is a problem you run into on the internet. It's really easy to assume that people should be taken at face value, that they mean what they say, and that they somehow feel actively compelled to say it--that is, that it is not only as strongly felt as they indicate, but that it consumes their life.

    In reality, however, nearly everyone is prone to rhetorical devices, whether they are aware of it or not. Hyperbole and understatement are probably the most common, and irony is close behind, especially among those who are more aware of the craft. It is usually unproductive to assume that words should be taken at face value. They could mean other than what they say--they could be expressing more extreme or more tempered or entirely different opinions, or coming from a perspective that is not entirely genuine.

  82. Actually I think the whole point of the joke was tagging the end of the famous quote "I am C-3PO, human cyborg relations. And this is my counterpart R2-D2" onto the end of the biblical verse to create an unexpected yet noticeable quote parallel if your really into Star Wars. I can respect people not thinking this is funny but as far as I'm concerned that was Monroe's point and punch-line. I really don't see how you can rant about this comic sucking for so many paragraphs up on your high horse without even seeing this as the joke, regardless of whether you feel its good or not.

  83. because the idea that someone would find that funny is literally unfathomable

  84. I laughed..

    And it's your opinion on whether or not it's funny. I can respect a criticism if some actual thought about what the author probably intended is included. Writing a criticism without incorporating a pretty obvious intent of the author is a terrible criticism, regardless of the quality of the work being criticized. Saying I didn't think this joke was funny is a hell of a lot different than saying I didn't think this joke even had an intended purpose.
    I mean come on... at that point this is bashing, not criticism.

  85. Right, and when we thought about what the author intended, we assumed that the author intended to write a joke that we could possibly imagine someone finding funny. We could not find one, so we assumed there was just no joke. Because it is still unfathomable that someone would actually find it funny.

  86. "This comic has no joke and no attempt at a joke and no basis in rational thought and it is incredibly stupid".

    You also said it did not have an attempt. There was a pretty obvious attempt, like I said before. This is not criticism, if it was you would at least talk about a failed attempt at a joke. This is an incredibly narrow minded view you are showing. If a comic is not funny then there was obviously no attempt at all, and the author sat down and wrote random words on the paper. Good, sound logic my friend.

  87. No, see, I don't think you get it. The joke is so incredibly bad that we assumed that Randall just forgot to put one in.

  88. No, I do get what you are saying, and what you are saying is what makes this a sophomoric attempt at criticism at best. "I think this joke is terrible, in fact unforgivably bad, therefore the author must have not put a joke in at all" is a pretty piss-poor statement. By ignoring this "terrible joke" completely, you have not even bothered saying what is so bad with it. I guess that was what has been bothering me this whole time, blatant bashing without even tackling the opposing views. But hey, we're all entitled to our opinions.

  89. No, you still don't get it. The joke is so bad we literally could not detect it. That is how unfunny it is.

  90. Then I feel like this is an issue of you not getting the joke if you "can't detect it", not it being a bad joke. I sat down and offered a pretty damn good explanation as far as I am concerned, regardless of its comedic value. Whether it is funny or not is an opinion, but saying you can't detect the joke seems more like you have an issue with things you don't understand. Don't bother replying either, because I know exactly what the response will probably be: I am an idiot and a fool; you didn't see that this was suppose to be about the C-3PO quote, therefore the joke is terrible albeit that the target audience was probably someone who keeps a few more Star Wars quotes banging around their heads than you, and I am just a fanboy with no valid opinion.

  91. You aren't very good at predicting things, are you? (I'd like to take this time to give you some very serious life advice. If you ever find yourself telling someone on the internet what their reaction is going to be to your post, just stop. It's never a successful rhetorical device. At worst you completely undermine your credibility; at best you will be wrong. I've yet to see someone "predict" someone else's response correctly.)

    Let me break it down for you. You assert that the joke is the contrast between a C-3PO joke and YHWH's introduction to Moses. Yes?

    You have not, in fact, explained why this is intended to be funny. I noticed the contrast, sure, but contrast doesn't make things funny (or all of these movie posters would be hilarious: )

    So, having considered this option as a joke, we discarded it because it is utterly unfathomable that someone could find it funny. It's just not funny. There is just nothing funny about it. This speaking as someone who has both extensively studied religion and who has watched Star Wars more times than I could count.

    By all rights I ought to be the perfect target audience. Except there's just no joke. It is a comic bereft of a joke. It is bereft of anything that even remotely resembles a joke.

    And I'm not sure where you get the idea that I didn't know it was about the C-3PO line. That is understood: this is a reference that draws a comparison between C-3PO and YHWH. Everyone understood that. Everyone knows the lines being referenced.

    What nobody, including you, seems to be able to tell us, is why this contrast is supposed to be funny. "This building is tall and that building is short" is not a joke. "This building is tall and midgets are short" is not a joke.

    There is nothing about the contrast that is funny. There is nothing about any of the possible explanations of the joke that are funny. There is nothing about this comic (except for this) that is even something that, when looked at in a dim light while squinting, could be mistaken for something that anyone could ever find funny.

    And so far nobody has been able to say anything except point out some elements that it might be contrasting. Nobody has been able to say why that contrast might be considered a joke instead of just a meaningless, unfunny comparison.

  92. Sometimes jokes are funny because they don't make sense. Why would god have an R2D2? I don't know, but it amuses me. I didn't fall off my chair laughing or anything, but I smiled.

    You have a terrible sense of humor if every joke must be rational and make sense. The problem with xkcd is that it caters to math nerds with generally poor senses of humor. I am saddened, but not surprised by the backlash against xkcd.

  93. It's the breaking of an expected sequence with something completely unrelated that was the joke. It's used in Family Guy and Spongebob all the time, and while they're not the pinnacle of comedy it's still a technique. Yes, it's sophomoric humor, yes it's childish and silly, and its hilarity is quite subjective, but it was still a joke that Monroe put in there. Plus, it is not contrast at all, I never said it was, it's a break in sequence with a parallel quote.

    I'm not arguing that this is funny or not, I'm arguing that sitting down and saying "there was no joke here" is a low-rate bashfest, not a criticism.

  94. Thanks Nate, I'm glad someone gets my point.

    And Rob, I never said contrast. It isn't a contrast, it's the breaking of an expected sequence with something that makes no sense, in this case using two somewhat parallel quotes. THAT is the joke, regardless of whether it is funny or not. It's the same technique Family Guy and Spongebob uses. Silly, nonsensical, and sophomoric yes, but it's still a goddamned joke.

  95. woops sorry about the doublepost.. internet told me the first one didn't work..

  96. Hey Nate
    The dog pillow buffered my nipples, which were rulers of the land of african midgets.
    Hilarious, right?

  97. Wait I can do more
    The fat albino ate the cheese of the damned, and it did not please his kitten.
    My penis may be bigger than my head, but that doesn't mean you can touch it.
    Anon 9:09 isn't an idiot.

  98. spork...monkey...CHEESE





  99. ScottMcTony, You bring up a good point. Any random thing isn't funny. That's also not what Nate said.. He said jokes can sometimes be funny because they don't make sense, not everything that doesn't make sense is funny. There's a name for this too, it's called "Absurd Humor", and it's an actual technique.

    Hooray for probably failing your Literary Comprehension tests in primary school.

  100. Ok, but if the comic in question counts as something that's funny because it doesn't make sense, and as far as I can tell he seemingly thinks the punchline is just that, "haha, this doesn't make sense", then I reserve the right to make fun of him.

  101. So you make fun of people whe bring valid points to the table. That isn't a discussion or criticism, it's mudslinging at its most pathetic.

  102. No, it's the internet. What are you, new?

  103. No.. I usually stay out of the idiocy of comment arguements but I was feeling a bit adventurous today. I have to admit it was fun, but lacking a tad too much in argumentative logic for my taste. Thanks for the good time though, long days and pleasant nights.

  104. Dear ScottMcTony,

    Humor is subjective. People like you don't have a sense of humor so it is a waste of time to explain why something is funny.

  105. Randall Munroe
    I Am
    2010, Digital Ink

    Munroe explores the concept of modern religion with a striking two-panel comic. Continuing his themes of cynicism and disillusionment with contemporary values and interpersonal interactions, here he combines the two in a critique of mass religion. Adherence to any sort of religion, the work argues, is akin to becoming a fan of a major work of fiction.

  106. "Humor is subjective. People like you don't have a sense of humor so it is a waste of time to explain why something is funny."

    And you have been brainwashed by Ravlov.

  107. The only way that comic could possibly be funny to you is if
    a) you are five years old, or have the mental age of one
    b) it was made by Randall Munroe, hehehe, GOOMH!

  108. I think you're all getting rather angry about something that's fairly insignificant. Do you REALLY care that much that ONE of Randall's comics sucked? Are you THAT obsessed with broadcasting yourself that you have to dedicate a blog to how much you hate it?

    Perhaps you should just let some people enjoy whatever meaning they find in it and leave well enough alone. Analyse your own bloody views, rather than devaluing others for theirs.

  109. but our views are awesome. your views suck.

  110. did you hear that jay. I think the man is talking to you.

  111. "our views are awesome. your views suck."

    Oh, come on, how pathetically pretentious can you be?

    (I'm guessing quite pathetically pretentious)