Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Comic 744: It's All a Game

Guys, remember how xkcd used to be super obsessed with sex? I had almost forgotten, it had been so long. Luckily the theme's absence has now ended. This quirky character was so nerdy that he has confused sex with video games! How is that even possible??

The humor begins with the fact that this character is going to be uneducated about sex. You see, that will lead to awkwardness and if there is anything funnier than sex, it is awkward sex. So we know, simply because he says he'll need instructions, that he will have some hilarious troubles.

And then he can't even do that right! He gets the video wrong, and so he had even more awkward sex! I haven't laughed this hard since middle school when a teacher farted.

My goodness. How much lamer can you get than this comic? It's like a machine was told to look at all the previous xkcd comics and figure out how to make new ones, and it spit out "SEX PLUS VIDEO GAME. COMBINE THEM. THINK OF ONE IN TERMS OF THE OTHER." Does it matter that there couldn't even be a speedrun of sex? That it doesn't make sense as an idea?

I guess there will always be adults who are still amused by this sort of thing. Look: I have no problem with jokes about sex and stuff. It's just like reference-based humor: There's nothing wrong with making jokes that reference other works, and there's nothing wrong with making jokes about sex. The problem is when there is no real joke, and instead you are supposed to laugh merely because sex was brought up at all, and ha ha we are all still nervous about that.

That's really all this joke is: there's sort of a pun thing about video games and speed runs but it makes so little sense that i think we can all agree that the only reason anyone laughs at it is because: sex. and that is just lazy, when you get down to it.

as long as we're talking about speed runs, this comic always made me really happy.


  1. Did you know that if dyslexics try to spell something right, they might spell it wrong, and if they try to spell something wrong they might spell it right. It's like Randall took a really really old joke and did a slight, very contrived, variation of it.

  2. I quite liked 745, actually, it was at least sort of unexpected (compared to the traditional xkcd style of taking and old joke and pretty much playing it straight)

  3. I actually kind of chuckled by the time I'd finished working out "doing 'doing "doing it wrong" wrong' wrong" in my head. The "ah-ha" of comprehension.

    It's something.

  4. so does anyone else think he did this one in the 7 minutes it took past midnight for it to appear?

  5. Carl I love you some more.

  6. So. Dyslexics of the world untie has been around how long?


    How is xkcd one of the top rated web comics?

  7. Also apparently it was supposed to be hard to read? The forumites are saying they kept reading "untie" but I read it as "unite" right away.

    Probably because I saw the joke coming a mile away. Oh well.

  8. Jimbobbowilly (Max William Gore)May 25, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    Randall will then sell that exact T-shirt in his shop, to become popular with xkcd injokers.

    And I'll murder him.

    Not one of his worst. I wonder if there's an inverse correlation between the quality of xkcd and goatkcd. Mmm, nah. Goatkcd only seems funnier when you're pissed off at Randall.

  9. 745 was great, save for the fact that I think it could've been far more subtle. Like, make the reader slowly realize it or something

  10. Also, can somebody explain the alt-text for me, I'm not sure if I get it

  11. @Anon 10:45.

    If a dyslexic makes a t-shirt like that, he'd write untie instead of unite, so he'd doing it wrong.

    If a dyslexic makes a gag t-shirt where he's supposed to intentionally spell it untie they accidentally correctly write unite, so they're doing "doing it wrong" wrong.

    While Randall was making this comic trying to convey that concept, he kept writing untie instead because that's such an old joke, so he was doing 'doing "doing it wrong" wrong' wrong.

    Yeah, still not funny.

  12. Bored by the latest one. It's the exact same "ha ha, dyslexics can't spell" joke I read when I was six. The change doesn't make the joke any less stale.

    Besides, the dyslexics could obviously dictate to the screenprinter that they wanted the words "dyslexics unite" spelled incorrectly as "lysdexics untie" (or whatever). No need to write it down if they knew they'd have trouble.

    So, we have a stale joke and an illogical premise. Sometimes I'm ragging on XKCD because I know Randall can do better, but now... I'm not so sure.

  13. And Randall continues his crusade of belittling those who suffer from disorders.

    Next up: Professor Hawking, if you're so smart, how come you never learned to walk?

  14. Rewrite without bothering to go to edit the image because GIMP has a clumsy interface and Photoshop is proprietary and evil:

    Image- [Shirt reading "This Is The Funniest Shirt Ever Trust Me"]

    Caption- Being sympathetic to an autistic audience, XKCD's new joke shirt quickly became its top seller.

    Alt-text- FYI this comic is pretty funny too and appreciating it makes you a genius.

  15. I don't like jokes about dyslexics. Randall should maths it up a bit by doing one about dyscalculics where they get some binary thing wrong and it makes something really funny or something. Some maths-based equivalent. That would be quite good for XKCD to do.

  16. Today's with the dyslexics is kinda clever, I guess, but I didn't really laugh. The alt-text is just plain unfunny. Seems like the type of joke someone had to have done before.

    The sex speed run just plain doesn't make sense in any real world context. Speedruns in sex aren't challenging unlike speedruns in videogames, and they're universally frowned upon.

    It's like that one joke about making whole airplanes out of the same material as the blackboxes inside them. It just doesn't make much sense in a real world context.

  17. it's like a machine was told to look at all the previous xkcd comics and figure out how to make new ones

    The Archie Joke Generator Laugh Unit 3000 has found a mate!

  18. So Randall doesn't like people who make fun of autistics, but he thinks it's OK to make fun of dyslexics. That's just retarded.

  19. And now for something completely different...

    Comic 743: No one mentioned, so I will: what's with that ugly blurred hair? In fact: hair. If Randall's male sticks can have hair, why don't they more often? But back to the point: Mr. Beard's hair keeps shifting, getting messed and then relatively tame... it looks weird. It bothers. And eat shit if you thought of replying "but you're criticizing a stick figure comic!", just because it's a stick figure comic it doesn't need to look UGLY.

    And the rant here was sweet. Nice job, Carl.

    Comic 744: UGH. Sexkcd. That's pretty much it. That beat panel is a pretty waste, as well. If the conversation was just going to go on as if looking up a walkthrough for sex was a natural thing, then it doesn't need to be there.

    Also, it's a nasty idea, and not funny. I could forgive a nasty AND funny joke, but not this. It's just horrible.

    And finally, comic 745! Man, I'm pretty sure this will generate quite a steamed discussion here!

    But anyway... that's lame. The joke is old and already beaten up to a mushy bloody pulp. I'm having a vision here, guys: next comic will be about a stick figure with Tourette's. And s/he'll curse a lot! Hilarious! kOMEDY gOLD! LOLOLOLOL!!!!11!!!

    And all I can say about the alt text is: eyes rolled.

    Mole out.

    PS.: Miss Dashwood, you gave me a LOL here. XD

  20. I like how you constnatly rag on xkcd's art and jokes and then you bring up a "better" comic that is even less funny and is fucking _cut_and_paste_comic.

  21. I'm a self diagnosed dyslexic. Get out of my head Randall!

  22. "ext comic will be about a stick figure with Tourette's. And s/he'll curse a lot! Hilarious!"

    Remember comic 110?

    (it actually irks me greatly that Randall, a supposedly smart and "geeky" guy, uses "Tourette's" to specify what's actually Coprolalia, one POSSIBLE, but not necessary, symptom of Tourette's syndrome. *I* have Tourette's syndrome and have NOT coprolalia. Perhaps neuroscience is not a "COOL" science like mathematics and physics, and therefore Randall doesn't give a shit about it? Who knows!)

    *next comic: a joke on neuroscientists*

  23. "A vast improvement, I think. (10 minutes in mspaint.)"

    welp, more time than Randall

    "I like how you constnatly rag on xkcd's art and jokes and then you bring up a "better" comic that is even less funny and is fucking _cut_and_paste_comic."

    eh, you've got to respect north's dedication and sheer insanity (1700 comics!) with his dedication to the comic and the medium

  24. Friend, I think XKCD sucks as much as the next guy, but let's be reasonable. I did not like 744, but at least know where the humor was supposed to be. It was not in the fact that he referenced sex. It was not even in the fact that he made the character think of sex in terms of video games (though that plays a part in setting it up). Let's walk through this from an unbiased standpoint:

    Panel 1, setup: Character obviously spends so much of his time playing video games that he is unable to understand the rest of life outside the terms of those games. He does the only thing he knows how in order to prepare for something-- he looks up a walkthrough.

    Panel 2: The "awkward silence," where you prepare for one of the characters to drop the punchline- something along the lines of "you're doing it wrong." http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/doing-it-wrong.jpg

    Panel 3, the punchline: The "sexed up" character puts his interpretation of how the evening went in his terms, "speed run," in which there is humor, because from the perspective of his world, a "speed run" tends to be a good thing, where in this context, it was clearly bad (much like if someone were to boast about how many points they got in golf). Here is where the comic goes sour. The other character says "ouch," which strips the valid setup of the dramatic irony. Were the other character to say "way to go, what time did you get?!", getting excited about these results, then there would be something to laugh at: we know something they don't.

    So don't just slam this comic to the ground for how bad it is. Prove to Randall that you can take his terrible comic and change one line to make it into something with actual humor.

  25. "I like how you constnatly rag on xkcd's art and jokes and then you bring up a "better" comic that is even less funny and is fucking _cut_and_paste_comic. "

    Yeah, it's totally trivial and dumb to take one single story framework and COMPLETELY reinvent it hundreds of times. And no, there's nothing creative and subversive about that, no sir. THIS is a proper comic: http://xkcd.com/164/

  26. I like how some xkcd fans bring up Dinosaur Comics as being so bad and why do we like it, when Randall himself loves Dinosaur Comics and links to it on his site! So that means in order to be a good xkcd fan, you have to also like Dinosaur Comics otherwise you disagree with Randall and that makes you a bad fan. Of course then that means you can't rag on us for liking it.

    I didn't like 744 but I didn't exactly hate it. I dunno, it was sort of humorous but the alt-text was shit. 745 is just boring and uninteresting.

  27. Oh good lord:

    "For some reason, this is Far Side-esque. Me likey."

    Yeah, no shit you moron. It's Far Side-esque, because it's based on an old Far Side. Fortunately for Randall, people are fairly familiar with that Far Side, since the "joke" would be completely opaque without already having come across the "dyslexics untie" joke.

    An artistic rendering of a typical xkcd fanboi:

  28. @Nate - Ryan North links to XKCD, under his "Some comics I would TOTALLY MARRY" section.


  29. Of course to my knowledge Ryan North doesn't have quite as much of an insane following who feel the need to agree with everything he says.

  30. you all have aspergers and have never had sex

  31. Anon 7:20: I liked you comment and I hope you read this response - your interpretation is, actually, much funnier than the comic. That said, I don't think it's correct: There's no note of happiness or pride the guy-who-had-sex-too-fast, He could have at least ended the dude's sentence with an exclamation point. If that was the joke Randall was going for - nerd thinks he did a good job because he made record time - then it actually is a good joke, he just could have done a better job conveying it.

    While I reject the premise of your challenge, that if a comic is bad I should be able to make it good by changing one line, I will try anyway:

    Change "It turns out it was a speed run" to "Not only did I win, I beat that guy's time by like 15 minutes!" or some such. I can't quite get it right in one sentence, but the idea to convey is: Dude thinks it is a good thing that he has a new world record shortest amount of time for sex, and he thinks this is good.

  32. "you all have aspergers and have
    never had sex"

    lol projection much

  33. 745 is the best xkcd in a LONG time

  34. Has Randal never heard of a quickie?

  35. @ Femalethoth:

    Yes, but I'm not a DC fanatic. There have been DC's that I felt were average or not so good. I don't hold it up as the pinnacle of webcomics or anything and I have never used the phrase "I don't get this comic but I laughed anyway!" about it.

    That's who I'm addressing; those fans who say "Randall is the best GOOMH RANDALL!" The people who think that Randall can do no wrong, people like Anon 6:27, the person who I was mostly referencing in my post.

    But I admit I'm bad at trying to make my points understood.

  36. I've had Asperger's and sex at the same time before =D

  37. Y'know, I used to think that you made some good points, but lately you're seeming more and more like Madox to me. You're getting angry about a thing over and over again for the views.

    1. A bad comic is just as annoying as the guy who constantly complains about it, just like the guy who says "I liked this band *before* they sold out."

    2. Because you are complaining about a comic which has become tired and repetitive in much the same way, you...become tired and repetitive.

    3. You *could* say "whatever, I'm being hypocritical, who cares?" but, what would you say if Randal came out and said "whatever, I'm making crap, who cares?"

    And now I'm the guy complaining about the guy who complains about the band. I guess my point is that we're all doing our things, y'know? So rock on, I suppose, as long as you love it.

  38. :carefully places soapbox, performs a few vocal exercises:

    I am about to rant about something that is not really related to the current xkcd comic (#745), nor is it really related to the past few I can think of. It is, however, very much about the culture of the circle-jerk that keeps Randall churning out the shit with the truly remarkable efficiency that he does (this was put up what, seven minutes after midnight? It'd take me at least ten to make something this shitty myself). It deals with what is to me the most utterly irritating, most emblematic symptom of xkcdfandom: the declaration of GOOMH.

    GOOMH, or Get Out Of My Head, is about the closest an xkcdfanboy can get to literally kissing Randall's ass without... well, literally kissing his ass. Why? Get Out Of My Head is what you say when somebody expresses a perspective, observation, or conclusion about a person or situation that, until then, you had previously thought was only yours. It's actually (when applied properly) quite a high compliment to somebody who has an audience with which he communicates, because it accurately reflects the strength with which the author can effectively identify with his audience (and vice versa).
    The problem is, of course, that the xkcdfanboys DON'T apply it properly. At least, not anymore. Maybe waaaay back when, in the days when the "My Hobby" comics were grounded in reality, and weren't just shoddily constructed deposits of mental diarrhea (see: the latest my hobby comic, the one with the birdcalls and secret service agents clusterfuck). But now the fanboys, in their rush to suck Randall's ego's dick, have taken it too far, and stripped the declaration of all of its meaning. Nowadays, the most accurate definition of "GOOMH" as used by the typical xkcd forumite is something like this:
    - If given comic X touches upon, references, or pokes fun at, no matter how tangentially, something you enjoy/were thinking about within the past month/raped you as a child, Randall is in your head and you must order him to leave it.

    And so we get the childish tripe that so often peppers the landscape of the xkcd forums, of people seeing Randall envision Hell as a tetris game with a curved bottom, remembering that they played tetris on their DS two days previously, and chiming in to say "GOOMH randall lololol".


  39. But it's not just a matter of stroking Randall's epeen, that motivates the forumites to wrongly invoke this phrase so often. No, GOOMH is a beautiful thing- it has two hands! Not only do they make Randall feel good by thinking "Hey, I have a great connection with my audience, I'm hot shit", they also get to enjoy a shiver of pleasure by feeling they've ascended to a hive-mind. To use an incredibly nerdy parallel that most people may not get (because it's brought up in the novels, and AFAIK most Magic players don't read the novels), it's like the members of the Izzet guild's devotion to Niv-Mizzet. To be able to proudly proclaim "GOOMH, Randall!" is to them the equivalent of being touched by the Firemind. It's an almost orgasmic joy, that they now have a special connection to the godlike Randall that you lowly peons don't (and FUCK YOU for it!). Except, again, they don't reserve it for the times when it might matter. Take, for example, the comic with the guy ranting on his bluetooth in the cemetery. It might be proper to declare "GOOMH" if the reader in question had attended a cemetery that very day and seen something similar unfold. But instead you get forumites so eager for that Near-God Experience they declare GOOMH just because they've seen people use bluetooth headsets in public before.

    Why, though, does this piss me off so much more than all the other shit we put up with? Why is it more irritating to me than the near-constant vandalism of wikipedia, the failed attempts at memes (I'll tell you where you can stick your stupid fucking HI JOEE and HI GLASNTs, you little snotbags), or the ever-present suckiness of the comic itself? I'll tell you why. It fucking pisses me off because it makes ALL OF THOSE PROBLEMS WORSE. It entrenches Randall even more in his misguided conclusions that he's still making a quality comic, it makes the fandom amongst forumites much more extreme, and ensures that no matter how terrible the comics he makes, Randall can always count on one or two pawns hopping on to his forums ready to pamper him by convincing him it's the greatest thing since the altair (or whatever the fuck, I'm not a big computer guy so I don't really know. Maybe the altair fucking sucked. I'm sure there are people who are chomping at the bit to attack me on that.).

    In short, I really truly honestly believe that the root, or one of the chief roots, of most of the aspects of xkcd that this community (and sane people everywhere) absolutely despise, is in the sheer unenlightened misapplied kissassery of "GOOMH".


  40. Also, a small comment about the most recent comic: I love how the forums were full of white knighting when Randall made that one shitty xkcd comic attacking "Porn for Women" (not realizing its satirical nature), and now when he makes a joke equally benign we see forumites everywhere ridiculing the idea that some people might be offended by it. Since Randall and his ilk seem to view women as a weaker species they must protect due to their (percieved) weaknesses compared to men, why isn't there an equally staunch defense of those with dyslexia who theoretically may be offended?
    The answer, sadly and naturally, lies in the way the wind blows.
    And by wind I mean Randall.

    Sort of like how they simultaneously like Dinosaur Comics (because randall does) but hate it because Carl likes it too (because Carl is Teh Great Satan).

  41. I wish there were more people like Ves on the internet.

  42. Ves, your comment should be a post in this blog to be permanently linked in the sidebar; it encompasses neatly the most rotten, stinky aspect of the xkcd community. I despise the "Get Out Of My Heads".

  43. hey, let's have Ves guest post some time :)

  44. nice, Ves. Sort of reminds me of this Rob post: http://tinyurl.com/3ygqg82

  45. It's not even that's it's a videogame joke, it's that it makes no sense. Also the completely useless 2nd panel.

    Wouldn't watching a speedrun video of a game be like reading a pamphlet titled "how to prematurely ejaculate?" Who would willingly do that and still be oblivious until after the act?

  46. I'll be frank, I wouldn't hate XKCD as much as I do if it wasn't for the forum vermin, and Ves summed it up my reason about as accurately as I could.

    I imagine the xkcd forum goers like a row of parakeets, gulping down gallons of dihorreah and begging for more, but if you dare question them, they peck your eyes out, and tell yuo flat out that this is the most delicious soft drink and that you're a horrible person for not liking it, before returning to complimenting each other on how enligtened they are and sucking more shit.

    You see why I have problems explaining myself.

    On the rare occasions I've visited the forums I've been so appalled by the pseudo-intallectualism (Hey guys! let's talk about gluons and shit, even though I don't understand rudimentery newtonian mechanics! HOW SMART I ARE) and endless pandering that every GOOMH makes me want to bite a hole in reality, and ejaculate a pressurised jet of magma through the hole in space-time untill all that is left of their body is a scorch mark.

    However, as life is cruel, I am unable to sterilise the world of such pretend-smarts (and self-diagnosed aspies fuck you guys)so I must leave it to ves to fight the fight.

    I think that makes sense?

  47. fine, I did it Carl. Reap the mildly positive criticism.


  48. Why would parakeets gulp down gallons of diarrhea then beg for more?

  49. because they are autistic. *waits for autistic discussion to begin anew*

  50. Usually I disagree with Carl, but on this one, he's right

  51. To everybody in turn!
    @R., Fernie, others: :blush: shucks folks. I expected at least a little flaming. Sheesh.

    @ Adam: checked your blog out. Good luck dude. There's a reason it's the Keith Olbermanns and Glenn Becks that draw the ratings, and it ain't because America likes being yelled at by old white men. Emotional appeals win support (and incite division) much more than a calm, reasoned, objective approach.

    @ Eat Lightning Shit Thunder: that's actually not too bad a description. Reminds me of one of Lewis Black's bits, talking about the government pre-Iraq invasion.

    @Scott: cause they're convinced randall's shit is actually ambrosia (and then they circle-jerk furiously over that Greek mythology reference).

    @Anonymous 6:58: well played sir.


  53. I like this comic (744)

    However for me the premise wasn't that the character is "uneducated about sex" but simply someone who is not an "expert" and is nervous and wants to get some hints about sex, and with that kind of a character I could easily associate myself (I recently looked up the wikiHow on first date).

    I think that is why the punchline was more to me than for you. Because for me the punchline was about two things:
    a) the video wasn't just a lame guide, but in fact it was what You expected, total geekdom
    b) the guy took a guide on the internet about sex literally

    Combined I think they do qualify as funny.

    Of course I started with thinking that it is normal to look up guides about social interactions (let him who haven't looked up something like wikihow "how to get laid" cast the first stone) and not to take them too seriously.

  54. I was just thinking about how dumb the GOOMH stuff is too, so I wanted to say "GET OUT OF MY HEAD VES" first! GET OUT OF MY HEAD, /B/!

    (seriously though, great comment, hope they do make it a sidebar rant or something)

  55. I think I understand the parakeets now


  56. Goddamnit Ves, you made me actually look into the forum!

    It wasn't /quite/ as bad as I was expecting. There was a mass amounts of pretentiousness about the comics, blatant pseudo-intellectualism in really obvious matters, WHIIIIINING, and the word "Troglodolyte", but there were a fair amount of non-retardation at the same time.

    That was up until I found one poll that said that 89% of the people who voted are convinced they're Mensa-level geniuses!

  57. "Of course I started with thinking that it is normal to look up guides about social interactions (let him who haven't looked up something like wikihow "how to get laid" cast the first stone) and not to take them too seriously."

    Prepare to get yourself stoned. In the bad sense.

    Mole out.

  58. Jesus Christ on a crutch don't get me started on people who self-diagnose as having asperger's, or autism, or ADHD, or any of that shit. People who self-diagnose as having asperger's are seeking a crutch to explain their own social shortcomings while simultaneously patting themselves on the back for being soooo smart. No, it can't be because you make terrible jokes, monopolize conversations, or have difficulty making small talk that you feel awkward socially! It has to be something else's fault.

    Plasma: I guess it shouldn't be really surprising. Randall's audience of yes-men has, for better or for worse, become the refuge of choice for teenage-to-twenties 'losers'- and I mean that in the sense of those who are extremely socially awkward and withdrawn and insecure because of it. So they seek refuge in the idea that it's okay because they're smarter than everybody else. Depressing, hell yeah, but not unpredictable.

    Ambivalicious, /b/: thanks again :)

    Brad Troika:
    Can I be the first one, then? Really? *giggle* this'll be fun!
    No, I've never wikihowed 'How to get laid'. As long as we're getting all touchy-feely and personal here though, I will say that I've wikihowed "how to tell if a girl likes you". And then through trial and error, I found out that wikihow is full of shit (she was at least nice about it though).

    As for the punchline and the target audience, punchline first:
    a) Wait a minute. The punchline was what "you expected"? THAT IS NOT COMEDY. I'm not saying that as in "that's not very funny", or "that sucks so much it's a war crime to call it a joke (this is a label reserved for Dane Cook)", I mean that, by definition, it is NOT COMEDY. Comedy at its heart is about subverting expectations. It doesn't matter what comedy you listen to, from Bill Cosby to Bill Hicks; comedy comes from NOT fulfilling your expectations. That sensation you have confused with comedy is not, in fact, comedy.
    b) I'm going to assume you meant "strictly" instead of "literally", because I cannot fathom how one would 'figuratively' follow a guide like that. Maybe if it were all written in euphemisms?

    As far as the target audience goes, it seems pretty clear to me: Randall designed Stickman B (the standing one) to be a character with which his audience could first identify with and then feel superior to. It accomplishes that odd paradox of xkcdfandom by convincing his devoted readers that they are both highly and loveably nerdy ("we look for practical guides on *everything* because we're so quirky! LOL"), yet not completely socially retarded ("EVERYBODY knows sex is supposed to last as long as possible, LOL!").
    The invisible hand of Randall Munroe is at it again.

  59. http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=996

  60. I would read DC if all the strips looked like that. But it doesn't so I don't.

  61. @ Fernie Canto - I misread "Coprolalia" as "Coprophilia" and let me tell you

    ...your entire post changed in my eyes.

  62. Let the record show that before reading these latest comments, I had never ever heard of wikiHow before. With that in mind... I'm not about to go out and look that shit up because I prefer asking questions of these nature to my plethora of friends (male and female) because they have always given me helpful advice and I trust them more than Joe Blow on the internet

  63. You need to read the wikiHow on how to properly use wikiHow.

  64. Cam: AFA relationship stuff goes, absolutely. Your friends will know you (and possibly the girl in question) much better than wikihow does, which is kind of important because everybody is different and there are very few 'absolute' rules WRT signs and stuff.

  65. I already commented in the last post about 744 but I was lost in the sea of fighting over there so I figured I'll reiterate my problems with this comic.

    Firstly, the main character went on a *date*. Judging from the friend, it sounds like it was a first date. What do you worry about when going on a first date? Your cologne, where to meet, what to talk about and what to do.

    Once again XKCD decides to suggest that that matters in a relationship to a man is Sex. As a man, this annoys me. A lot.

    Secondly, the joke itself is just juvenile and unfunny. So yeah, offensive and unfunny, thanks for sharing your talents with us Randall.

    745 was a joke I've seen and heard a few times before, I mean sure it was a twist on the famous "DNA National Dyslexics Association" joke, but I'm certain I've heard people make a joke about dyslexics deliberately spelling it wrong and it coming out right before. Not to mention isn't this just pouring fire on the flames from the autism controversy a couple comics back.

    What group of people with some cognitive disorder do you want to humiliate next week Randall?

  66. where is rob. this blog has been decidedly rant-less for too long.

  67. I'm not really convinced that Randall was poking fun at autistics or sticking up for them either way last comic. Seemed like he was just trying to portray a nerd-basher stereotype?

    Neither character was portrayed as autistic and the character who used it as an insult was apparently portrayed as being an idiot who is difficult to sympathise with anyway. I think.

    Doesn't Rob only come out of the shadows to avenge the most heinous crimes against logic? I always thought of him as like the Ghost Rider of the Pedants.

  68. mostly I'm just whimsical.

  69. Jimmy: yeah that bothered me.

    Date preparation = Sex preparation.

    Why couldn't the first guy be asking "So, did it happen? Did you guys hook up?" why tarnish the whole thing with such a creepy taste?

    Reason why: Randy is a creep who thinks his 'nice guy' persona is believable.

  70. Unfortunately, keep, people do believe it. The moment he makes a comic that even remotely extols feminist virtues he gets praised as a visionary! A man that truly understands women!

    But when he's sexist and misogynistic and reduces women to mere objects to be lusted after, it just gets ignored.

  71. "Women like porn in which people fuck!" "He's a feminist!"

    "Go go gadget lesbians!" "..."

  72. Yeah, that xkcd forum poll pisses me off a little. I don't understand why so many people /want/ to have Asperger's. As someone who was actually diagnosed with it (by a real life /doctor/, not an online quiz), I don't understand this attitude that it's a 'get out of jail free' card for being socially retarded.

    For me, it just means that I find conversations with people I don't know very well stressful because I'm trying very hard to consciously pick up on social cues that others would just naturally notice. (It's like the difference between going through your daily routine in a familiar neighbourhood and visiting a foreign country. You might know that country's rules and laws, but you have to carefully obey them rather than just obey them by habit.) I do my best to show an interest, to change the topic if I see signs of disinterest, and to keep the conversation appropriate for how close I am with the person. (When I was a kid, I used to treat everyone like a close friend.) It's a tremendous effort for me, so sometimes I seem to be very shy when in reality I'm awkwardly friendly, but to do anything less would make me self-absorbed. My personal weaknesses are no excuse for forcing other people to put up with a shitty conversation.

    A lot of people who claim to be autistic, online at least, just seem to be assholes who don't want to make any effort to make friends. They seem to think that friendship is this magical thing where other people suddenly take an interest in you and your life, without you having to take an equal interest in /them/. Guess what? Even perfectly normal people can have difficulty making friends when they condescend to everyone or refuse to acknowledge that a conversation has both a 'give' and a 'take' to it. The guy who sits in a corner at parties and glares at everyone else for 'excluding him' is excluding himself.

    ...Anyway, sorry for the rant. I realize that it's the kind of typically self-absorbed shit you might expect from someone like me, but I /hate/ with a fiery passion the attitude that someone with Asperger's isn't responsible for their own social behaviour. (Which is what people who self-identify as autistic nearly always claim. "Sorry I'm a jerk, but I can't help it.")

  73. Anon 6:48, it seems to me that XKCD is more like Mr. Munroe's stream of consciousness - if he thinks of a joke that he thinks is funny, he draws a comic about it. He might not even be thinking about the implications of said joke, or whether he wants it to reflect on him. He also probably doesn't mind if they don't connect at all - heck, I'VE told contradictory offensive jokes before.

  74. wow, carl, your a giant troll. Maybe XKCD is popular because most people FIND IT FUNNY. You dedicate a sight to slanting the comic, making it worse for the people that enjoy it. IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, WHY DO YOU READ IT??? Randall churns three out a week, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anything that's so consistantly funny. Are some of them a miss? Of course. Is it pretentious? You could say that. But all comics do have flaws, and XKCD is nevertheless a great comic. you are so nitpicky that you often ignore the point of the joke. Let's see you churn something out. I garentee it won't be as funny as the most recent ones, and Randal's already spat out OVER 700. What do YOU consider to be a good comic? Even SMBC, penny arcade, and newspaper comics like calvin and hobbes fail to measure up.

  75. wow anon @9:00 basically hit every cliche there is.

  76. oh man I haven't seen the "Randall has made over 700 of them" one before! YOU'RE RIGHT, IF YOU WRITE ENOUGH OF SOMETHING IT AUTOMATICALLY MAKES YOU GOOD

  77. But Rob! Dinosaur Comics has made like twice that many, and we all know they suck! WHAT'S GOING ON HERE

  78. Yup. There's Megan again.

  79. I've often thought of xkcd as the family guy of web comics. except even less funny.

    comic 746 proved it.

  80. What the fuck was that???


  81. Man, he's just trying to creep people out now, isn't he?

    I mean, at the very least, you can't tell me he didn't put "Megan" in there for any reason than to fuck with us.


    Only not so bizaregrosswrong that it crosses the line.
    So just...disgusting. No punchline, even an unfunny one.

    And Megan.

    Why do Randy's worst comics involve vaginas?
    (Subconscious fears manifesting themselves maybe? OH SNAP)

  83. Jimbobbowilly (Max W Gore)May 27, 2010 at 9:25 PM


  84. Oy...
    Sure, all the heads are connected to bodies this time, but how did Randall forget to draw the *fucking strap* of the surgeon's mask!?

    The man needs an editor.

  85. I could've projectile vomited upon seeing 746. It's some sort of perfect fusion of everything that makes xkcd horrible. It has pregnancy/birth, it references the girl by the name "Megan" unnecessarily, it contains a cringe-worthy joke that makes no sense whatsoever. Can you pull? Seriously? And then some sort of joke about videogame violence in the alt text that somehow makes the scene make even less sense. Joke crafting is largely about the contradiction of expectation, but some concepts are so alien that if you introduce them without preamble, they leave an audience scratching their heads, wondering what just happened. Andy Sandburg had an SNL bit about a grown man being born instead of a baby, but it was going for gross out humor and spent almost 5 minutes of setup preparing the audience for the joke. Even then, it wasn't amazingly funny.

    Randall gives us two panels of setup that only establishes this is the scene of a birth. Every aspect of setting, action, mystery, subversion and resolution is established through dialogue, and the art barely changes, only barely expressing the emotion of trepidation in the male character in the final panel.

    Can it really even be called a "comic strip" when the joke actually works BETTER if you remove the art entirely and relate the joke in pure story format?

  86. this is anon from 9:00

    once again you trolls completely missed my points, instead misinterpreting what I said and resorting to calling my arguments "cliched". I guess that means im not the only one disgusted with this site. Usually cliches exist for a reason, too (There right).

  87. 11:50, Thursday night: "Pregnant women are always asked to push, but never to pull. That sounds like it has potential to be a good punchline. But what is the least contrived setup possible?"


  89. @ Anon 9:00, 9:57: You really think it'd be hard to make 3 eh-funny doodles a week?

    You must be a humourless twat if so.

    I know some guys who do stand-up ok? They work full-time jobs or go to college or whatever, and EVERY DAY they find a whole bunch of things that are potential material for their set.
    Most of it is crap but a day spent neither 1) getting good ideas or 2) crafting last week's/last month's ideas into something better is a day not spent as a comic.

    Randy does not have a job. He does not go to college. His full-time preoccupation is supposed to be: every two days find ONE thing to make a joke about.

    He fails to do so.

    He fails to make up for it with effort, with careful drawings or well-thought out scenarios or polished delivery.

    The man is not a comic.

    And he gets praised by brainless humourless twats like you who think what he's producing is actually laudable??
    You're a moron.

    Nobody has to appreciate the backstage of comedy, of creativity, of craft, in order to laugh. But if you don't, don't act like you know what you're talking about.
    Because it makes you look like? A moron.

  90. Randall is an astrophysicist. that he is now self-supporting based on xkcd should be a testament to its quality. it is now the most successful webcomic of all time, and you may criticise the art (which is enough to convey the nessecary information).

    "humorless twat"- resorting to ad hominum attacks now? you do realize that a majority of people enjoy the comic, and YOUR sense of humor is the one in question. just what DO you consider to be funny?

  91. Randall Munroe's webcomic is popular, therefore he is funny. Similarly, Stephanie Meyer's book is popular, therefore she's a good writer.

  92. "Randall churns three out a week, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anything that's so consistantly funny."

    I agree. Randall never fails to not bring a smile to my face.

    You know, I've seen the worst of xkcd apologism but I have never yet seen someone claim that xkcd is better than Calvin and Hobbes. Troll.

    "(which is enough to convey the nessecary information)."

    Mostly functional, but the jokes tend to be mangled or not be as good as they could have been.

  93. Calling you a humorless twat isn't an ad hominem.

    It might be an ad hominum, though.
    Otherwise, excellent post. People here so often forget that Randy is an astrophysicist.

  94. Oh Anonymous troll, is there no limit to your flaming?

    Previously employed as astrophysicist != good cartoonist. Bill Watterson (and btw, this is how I know you're a troll, because not even the most insane xkcdfanboy would suffer a delusion so powerful that they rank xkcd anywhere NEAR Calvin and Hobbes) worked part-time jobs advertising before he wrote Calvin and Hobbes, and everybody knows Calvin and Hobbes is not to be fucked with. Gary Larson I'm pretty sure didn't even have a real job before he started writing the Far Side. And on the flip side, Stephen Pastis was a lawyer and Pearls Before Swine has been shit for the past couple years.

    Please. If you're going to fight with fire, try to make sure you at least have the *shadow* of a leg to stand on.

  95. Randall is not a scientist. To call him that is an insult to my profession- who's the one slaving in a lab all day? Scientist.

    Who's the one making shitty comics that reference high school physics- Talentless Hack.

    When was the last research or development randall preformed? The fact he talks about science, and does so with such an air of authority (using his old job as a crutch) lends him about as much authenticity as a scientist as a self diagnosed aspie who spends his days reading 70's paperback SF.

    tl;dr, Randall is as much a scientist as obama is a professional basketballer

  96. Anon 9:00, let's go back to your original post. Why do you consider XKCD to be better than Calvin and Hobbes? I ask merely for information, because on this particular case, I disagree mightily with you.

  97. I think it's funny how xkcd apologists come in here spewing fallacies as wide ranging as the Package Deal fallacy, affirming the consequent and False Attribution.

    Then when someone responds with essentially, "If you think it's hard to produce three funny jokes a week, then you are a humorless twat", they assume it's an ad hominem and dismiss the argument completely. I'd like to point out that this would be another fallacy called the argumentum ad logiciam, where one assumes a conclusion must be false because its argument included a fallacy.

    However, it really isn't ad hominem at all, so it's just so off base that even being completely WRONG is too close to right for Anon 10:24. The argument is that if you believe making three jokes a week is hard, then you are a humorless twat. If A; B. Supporting evidence is given that career funny people produce quality material at many times that rate while filling other obligations. As long as you continue filling the prerequisite conditions (believing it's hard to come up with 3 jokes a week) and you fail to successfully challenge the evidence, then you fall under the consequence and remain, sadly, a humorless twat like the rest of xkcd's remaining loyal fanbase.

  98. guys, you are forgetting the best argument the anon troll made: "Usually cliches exist for a reason, too (There right). " THIS IS TRUE, A DRUNK IRISHMAN TOLD IT TO ME ONCE.

    Anyway, Ves, I too loved your rant and you should e-mail me, so we can talk about how to a) preserve it for all time and b) get you writing some more, if you wish.

    CJ - thanks for what you wrote as well. The weird fascinating with aspergers or autism that exists in some strains of the Nerd World has always bothered me. Some people seem to actually WANT to have one of those and are annoyed that they don't have it. It's very strange. Thanks for noticing it as well.

  99. I find the whole 'Asperger's Pride' thing bizarre, to be quite honest. It reminds me of that fable of the fox who loses his tail, and then tries to convince all the other foxes that they should cut off their tails too.

    I'd gladly trade some IQ points if it would mean I could communicate with other people without so much stress and anxiety. =/ (Are the two even related, though? I do pretty well in college, but I also work hard, study, and pay attention in class. I'm pretty sure that none of those are inherent qualities.)

  100. Yeah I see ad hominem used incorrectly all the time but only twice have I seen people call, well...
    ad hominem conclusion. Yes, that is a brilliant term for people that see that the thing you are attempting to prove is insulting, and then call your argument ad hominem. I am so clever.