Saturday, June 12, 2010

Comic 752: Plot Twister

As I stated a few days ago, a mysterious fellow by the name of Kirk wrote today's post. And he did, and you can read it below. BUT FIRST, i have something important to say.


More than four years ago, Achewood began perhaps its most famous story arc, The Great Outdoor Fight, with a mostly unrelated plot: Todd, the crack addict squirrel, goes to Ray Smuckles, millionaire party dude, with an idea for a company. They go into business making, and I quote, "fake nuts for your cell phone." This was, I want to note, about one year before the iphone was even announced.

Flash forward to today. someone has gone and invented this product, for real. check it out yourself. Especially compare the photo from the story with the drawing in the comic. I find this fact entirely wonderful.


MOVING ON. Kirk: Consider phone balls your introduction. TAKE IT AWAY, MAN!


==========================


I must admit, I do not envy Carl’s position as the lone watchman of xkcdsucks. It is hard for me to think up of ways to discuss why each comic sucks when they all are comprised of the same five or so terrible qualities. If I had to have a blog about how a single webcomic sucks in every update, I’d much rather choose Ctrl Alt Del for its comic incompetence and its underlying ego, or Questionable Content, for its middle school level drama, and its obsession with socially inept women, or VG Cats, so all I would have to do is be at out one angry post every season or so, or perhaps Sarah Zero because uggggggghhhhhfucckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk


Phlobia


Nevertheless, here we have a new xkcd with a cavalcade of popular xkcd features: stilted inhuman dialog, uninspired art,a Twister reference, some bullshit seize the day message, lezbeans! a retarded fanbase, oh and a lack of sense or a punchline. You know, the normal boring stuff.

For all the big deal some idiots made over the cast of this comic being completely female, I honestly couldn’t tell, as I was sure that the comic was populated by soulless automatons. This impression may be caused by some of the worst dialog I have seen in my short life. The main problem is that Randall forgot to vary his sentences at all. So out of the 5½ lines of the comic are declarative statements starting with I: “I’m afraid of snakes” “I’m afraid of saying…” “I want to be a storm chaser”. Use your connecting words, Randall! It does not take that good an editor to fix this, either. Hell, you could even go the Samuel L. Jackson route and just add curses (“Fuck that, I wanna be a motherfucking storm chaser”) Anything would be an improvement.


What art? (Ok the last panel was barely decent, but it is only going to be replaced by goatse in my heart) [before you click that link, you DO know what it is, right? --Carl]


Hey, did you know that Randall loved the movie Twister, it’s true! Me, I thought the movie was the definition of average, with annoying characters, a predictable plot and a tacked on love story. But this is Randall we are talking about. I mean, Garfield got him into writing comics, supposedly. Not even Garfield without Garfield, just plain old Garfield.


This one I don’t understand, why does Randall constantly harp on this seize the day message? Is he projecting his own fears onto the characters, or does he honestly believe that it is helpful advice? If he himself wants to go out and live a wild life, he should just go ahead and fucking do it. He has a job that requires 15 minutes of work and can be done from any location. Seriously, perhaps he went out and lived the life he wished to live, then we would have to see comics like this or that one when he complained about 10th grade not being very useful to his life. On the other hand, if Randall honestly believes this is useful advice that can enlighten his readers then he can take a flying fuck at a rolling donut, he can take a flying fuck at the mooooooooooooooon.


So apparently some people in the comments have mentioned that the xkcd forumites are assuming that the two girls are lesbians! This is why we can’t have nice things. Here you have a rare comic that satisfies the Bechdel test, and the fans try to somehow add in a romance themselves. Fuck them, fuck the internet and fuck our culture’s fetishism of lesbians. Fuck.


If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t discussed much about the comic itself, mainly because I believe that it is fairly evident how awkward the flow is, how random the plot is, and how dumb the alt text is. You can see that for yourselves, I’m not here to hold your hands, children.


Kirk out.

========================

Carl again: Guys, I wanted to just point out the one detail of this comic I hated, besides the fact that it had the same preachy "let me tell you how to live your life" tone of this comic and also this one and also this one, is the randomness of the dialog in panel two. If she were in any way a decent person, she wouldn't use her friends fear of snakes to jump in with "WELL YEAH? I AM AFRAID LIFE WILL BE BORING" which is, clearly, not even at all the same sort of feeling that the first girl is experiencing. Second girl just wants to tell everyone her ideas as much as possible.

92 comments:

  1. Props on the Vonnegut reference

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  2. I'm sorry, but I couldn't read that because THE FONT SIZE KEPT CHANGING. This has utterly ruined Kirk's excellent post and I feel sorry for him. Fuck.

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  3. while i agree that xkcd sucks in, like, a million and one ways, i don't actually have much of a problem with the "seize the day" message.if nothing else, it's more interesting then when they just stand around and talk.

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  4. I liked twister...

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  5. Covered all the bases Kirk. Nice one.


    The first panel's really badly written. Characterisation is utterly dependent on what the stick figures say (cos, y'know, art-wise? They're bloody stick figures).
    So Randy's failure to understand the basics of writing is just dismal.

    Because look at the comic: those two people are just boring flat interchangeable nothings. And why? It's all in panel 1.

    Here's my fix. Still a shitty comic, but at least the stick figures are not such obvious vehicles for the author's condescending dumbassery.
    Who's making you throw up with a cloying idiotic sentiment in xkcd's comic? Randy, the creator.
    Who's making you throw up in my edit? That idiot brunette.
    BIG IMPROVEMENT! :D

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  6. I like how I notice a few typos after I post.

    Also: Down with Rob.

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  7. "Fuck them, fuck the internet and fuck our culture’s fetishism of lesbians. Fuck."

    Best quote of all time :)

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  8. Given your name is Kirk I should reference star trek and show the world I know what star trek is. Hahaha! Am I as funny as Randall yet?

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  9. good LORD but i fucked up the formatting on that one. Should be all good know, I think.

    ps. Kirk's last name is picard, I find this amusing.

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  10. My problem with Randall's constant seize the day messages is that it sets up these false expectations that life is amazing and wonderful if you just stop your daily routine. That whole "let's have an ADVENTURE!" thing he does might make some depressed, bored soul think that he has been doing things wrong all his life, and that he would have a fulfilling life filled with excitement if he just looked out of that office window and rapelled down with adventure girl into the great unknown, whereas the truth is that life outside of that office window is just as boring as inside it.

    I remember a discussion about this on the forum a while ago, where someone asked "so if I stormed out the door and found myself outside, what then? I already know what's out there." and the best 'adventurous' things the forumites could come up with was stuff like "change the route you usually take to walk your dog" or "have different coffee in the morning every once in a while".

    Truth is, unless you're Indiana Jones, life really isn't all that filled with everyday amazement and wonder and every hour isn't a spectacular adventure to be enjoyed. But Randall keeps hitting people over the head with that same tired, false message, even to the point of some half-assed desert island analogy.

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  11. Adventure Girl is the XKCD version of the handsome prince?

    However, some people do find it helpful to break from their routine. They could be stuck in a rut. But if you're that determined to find life boring, then nothing will help you.

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  12. Yeah, thassa good point Fred. If your life sucks it's not because your situation sucks. It's because you suck.


    I've taken crazy life-changing risks, I can attest to the truth. What happens is:
    - You change everything all around, skipping the country or quitting your job or ditching your loser friends in favour of The Dream.
    - You ride a rush of awesome feeling for...at very most a month, before realising The Dream is just more of life, so now what?
    - You go through intense periods of self-reflection and introspection, and come out of it a better person who'd be glad to embrace the old "shitty" life you once felt so compelled to escape.

    I recommend doing it, but not at all for the reasons these comics recommend it.

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  13. Please, please, please tell me Carl's bit at the end was purposefully ironic?

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  14. Well, as far as I can see, panel 3/4, the hollow-haired one is thinking lesbianism. The black-haired one is thinking storm chaser. I don't see lesbians, I see a friend willing to experiment.

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  15. Coming up next: A Cuddlefish posts complaining about how the Bechdel Test doesn't apply to comic strips.

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  16. Why should Carl be being ironic at the end? Replying to "I'm afraid of snakes" with "I'm afraid of something philosophical so YOU GOT 1-UP'D BITCH" is slightly douchey.

    CAPTCHA: jeatich. YOU GOT 1-UP'D JEATICH

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  17. Fred makes an excellent point, to which I will add one more problem with the "go have an ADVENTURE!" message: Sometimes you can do this and things go horribly wrong.

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  18. Randall is going to make a comic about that girl soon, you just wait and see. I don't even mean this in a joking manner.

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  19. I liked this one. For some reason whenever she says "I want to be a storm chaser." in my mind it cuts straight to the next scene.

    *close up* "I want to go skydiving"
    "Ahhhhhhhh!" *wind sounds*

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  20. I have to feel real storm chasers would be offended by now. I mean, no one just says "I wanna be a doctor" and immediately starts surgery, you'd think storm chasing would require some expertise.

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  21. CARL THEY FOUND HER http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/solo-sailor-abby-sunderland-out-of-contact-distress-signal-activated/story-e6freuy9-1225878268539 nobody cares

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  22. Y'know as much as I think xkcd sucks, it's at least different and interesting in how it sucks and it does make an attempt to be unique and funny.

    I had almost completely purged Sarah Zero from my mind. Fuck that shit, it's AWFUL. I'd rather read a comic like 631 every day for the rest of my life than look at Sarah Zero again for even an hour.

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  23. "Sarah Zero? What's that? Better check it out so I can have +1 webcomic criticism."

    *click*

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

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  24. As a point, I felt better about linking goatkcd than sarah zero

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  25. Oh my god. This one made me so angry. Just that one line, totally out of the blue. "I want to be a storm chaser." A quivering heap of heavily seasoned rage marinated by the even worse setup that's the previous line "Do you - ". I don't know why this makes me so angry. Argh.

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  26. On 753, he may be half a century late, but that's not much worse than usual.

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  27. just because you recognize the fact that you're half a decade late doesn't mean it's okay, randall

    honestly this is just as stupid as if he had made a comic about some random obscure Bush misspeak, except EVEN LESS TIMELY and EVEN MORE OBSCURE.

    wow, JFK said something dumb. hurr hurr.

    maybe LHO* was SO ENRAGED that jfk didn't understand geography that THAT'S why he killed him

    *here temporarily discounting any alternate explanations of the JFK assassination

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  28. I kinda liked 753. Sure, it's an entry for the picto-blog (or in this case, picto-twitter) but at least it doesn't feature any of the following:
    - sex
    - white knighting
    - bad dialogue
    - shitty art
    - trite 'seize the day' messages
    - google results passed off as a joke
    - excessive nerd-pandering

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  29. actually i could imagine that this is passing off a google search for "jfk speech bloopers" or something as a joke

    i mean yes it's not a literal reporting of "when i googled XXXX i got this many results", but it's still pretty sad

    yay, randall managed to tell an abysmal non-joke that at least wasn't as COMPLETELY HORRIFYINGLY abysmal as a lot of his other material

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  30. Ranarius WebfootJune 13, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    The "seize the day" stuff has it's place, but it's like a punch in the face. Sure, it may be exhilarating the first time, and may even be helpful if you're feeling drowsy, but a simple slap will do, and it gets old real fast.

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  31. JFK didn't misspeak or make a mistake. Global South is a standard name for that region: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_South
    JFK was just paraphrasing when he said the southern half of the globe. If you actually look at the map, Latin America is south of the US and Canada, the Middle East and Africa are south of Europe, and most of Asia is south of the Asian part of the Soviet Union. Randall was just being ridiculously literal and ignorant of standard geopolitical speech of that era and thus wrong once again.

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  32. 753 is just petty and unfunny. A waste of space.

    752 was an enigma to me until I read this post and saw the connection between the two first panels ("I'm afraid of x", "I'm afraid of y"). I'll have to agree that girl-with-black-hair is a bit of a jerk.

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  33. Forgot to mention above: plus points for nice and functional art and alt text that I found a lot more amusing than the comic.

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  34. ^Maybe the comic should have been some sort of mad lib game in the style of influential speeches?

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  35. Hey! Sarah Zero guy! Acknowledging that your shitty comic is pretentious doesn't make it less so!

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  36. I would buy the claim that they're supposed to be lesbians. Not because I want to fetishize lesbianism or deny the viability of non-sexual girl-girl friendships, but because I know that Randall is a sexist retard with an overly dirty mind.

    In fact, I think the "do you-" in the third panel is probably supposed to be some joke on their possible lesbianism. Plus, fear of snakes, I dunno, sort of Freudian in a "I just read about Freud on wikipedia" sort of way.

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  37. P.S. I'd never read Sarah Zero before, and holy shit, it sucks ass. You know how 90% of xkcd comics feel like they were made explicitly so they could be sold on t-shirts? Sarah Zero feels like that, but for desktop backgrounds. Only worse. Fuck, it is awful.

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  38. I can't believe people are passing off 753 as average. It's down there with the worst tripe Randall's ever put out, and that's saying something. It's the only XKCD comic to make me actually angry.

    Does Randypants really think it's witty to point out such a tiny, inconsequential flaw in a political speech 50 years after it happened? How is this in any way funny, interesting, enlightening, or hell, even a comic?

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  39. So at around 11:45 on Sunday night, I guess Randall was flipping through a book of speeches.

    Seriously, of all the statements of all the presidents over the years, was this the one that was highest priority? There are some seriously damaging canards out there that resulted from presidential speeches, but Randall has to go and pedantically correct a 49 year old statement made by a man who has been dead for 43 years.

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  40. Leonard, it's worse then you think. Look up at 10:44 pm: Randall not only pedantically corrected a 49 year old statement, he corrected a 49 year old statement that wasn't actually wrong.

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  41. THERE IS A TANK TOP IN THE STORE!

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  42. from teh forumz:

    "About the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North-South_divide - I don't think it makes the joke any less funny. A joke doesn't have to always offer an in-depth analysis of everything. Heck, many good jokes are built on ignoring well-known and obvious facts."

    XKCD: Ignoring Well-Known And Obvious Facts Since 2005

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  43. that is the most pathetic defence of xkcd I've ever seen

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  44. Okay what the hell is with that alt-text?
    More specifically, the "We could make a giant penis on Mars".
    What?

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  45. RANDALL IS ANGRY

    ANGRY ABOUT GEOGRAPHY

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  46. At least he (presumably) doesn't know about how Australia is part of the Global North. We'd be hearing no end of complaints about that.

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  47. Based on this, and 503, I can only assume that Randall gets SO ANGRY at geography that he flies into an unstoppable Hulk-like rage every time he sees a globe.

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  48. I feel as though this and the east-west comic would not exist if Randall had ever taken a liberal arts class in college.

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  50. "XKCD: Ignoring Well-Known And Obvious Facts Since 2005"

    This needs to be made into a t-shirt.

    753 doesn't even deserve a post. This is Randall Munroe's (incorrect) picto-blag at it's finest. No joke. None. NONE.

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  51. Holy shit guys

    Check out the latest SMBC and make sure to view the "alt text" - hover over the red button below the comic: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1908

    SWEET BURN intentional or not.

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  52. anon 7:38: Considering Weiner makes graph jokes of his own somewhat commonly, I hardly think that was a dig at xkcd so much as self-deprecating humor.

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  53. Weiner also inexplicably likes xkcd(!). HE WORE AN XKCD SHIRT IN HIS VIDEO ONCE.

    captcha: "intent" I have nothing to say about this.

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  54. Does anybody remember this xkcd? Both complain about geopolitical terms that are supposedly not very logical. Only now it's North/South instead of East/West. Oh, Randall, you lazy fucker.

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  55. yes, maybe he was doing a follow up, thinking he was extremely clever

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  56. Please. Don't make a post for this one. Just don't. This one deserves to die unnoticed. This isn't even an attempt at a joke. Just... No.

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  57. I like how whenever Randall doesn't understand something it's always because the person who made it up is wrong, not because it's his fault for being ridiculously literal-minded/egocentric.

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  58. man i've been seeing some reviews that actually PRAISE sarah zero's art for being striking or some shit

    it's completely ugly and gross, just because you're a graphic designer doesn't mean you're an illustrator, ugh ugh ugh. the art is just BAD.

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  59. I think this comic deserves something like your review for 712. Because there's really not a lot to say here.

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  60. Hey Randall, don't you think this is a little too soon, I mean, the guy just died 47 years ago!

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  61. HOLY FUCKSHIT YOU GUYS

    SOMETIMES AMERICAN PRESIDENTS WILLFULLY MISREPRESENT GEOGRAPHY, POLITICAL SENTIMENT, ETC. TO MAKE A PROPAGANDA SPEECH

    FFFFFFFFFUUCCKKK

    Maybe on Wednesday he'll provide us with a witty comment on the gender roles in I Love Lucy.

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  62. 753 is pretty awful. I study Political Science; maybe Randall is just interested in getting in some cheap shots to a field that isn't "science" and has the word "science" in the name, but he could have at least looked up the North-South Divide. It doesn't take a huge leap to get from what JFK said to that. It takes, if anything, a small step.

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  63. Today, I guess, Mr. Munroe needed to point out to people that a politician got something WRONG. Even if said politician did not, in fact, get that something WRONG, it at least looks WRONG out of context, and therefore we can feel superior to said politician because he is WRONG, and we are right. Hooray for being right!

    I assume the joke was supposed to be, "JFK didn't own a globe guys, WTF." If this is so, it wasn't funny. This comic goes straight into picto-blog territory.

    Captcha: cookinse, as in, I'm going get me some cookinse for dinner tonight.

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  64. " It takes, if anything, a small step." Almost a shuffle, really.

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  65. My hobby: Drawing comics that criticize minor inaccuracies in well-known colloquial expressions.

    What is Randall trying to do anyway? He's a advocate of "nerd culture", but he pretty much epitomizes the worst stereotypes of nerds. Everyday speech is full of scientific/factual inaccuracies, but you've got to be completely socially inept to think everybody needs to hear about why it is inaccurate.

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  66. JFK said that because he was a lesbian.

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  67. wednesday: Randall jokes about his friend Rollo saying "Asia and India." Hilarity ensues!

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  68. I like to think that this is all happening inside Salma Hayek's mind. Blond girl represents her fear of snakes, while black-haired girl symbolizes how dissatisfied she is with her choice of films. As a result, she is trying to get cast in a remake of Twister, preferably without any snake co-stars.

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  69. ok but admittedly this is amusing.

    Also, the reason people don't realize the Middle East is part of Asia is because North Africa keeps getting lumped in with it by Western media for mostly superficial linguistic and cultural reasons (ie, intellectual laziness).

    Haha, yeah! I guess the fact that their culture, origin and language is almost uniform across the Arabian peninsula and North Africa is pretty superficial. Why are people so goddamn lazy? Why does the Arab League (that notorious instrument of TEH MAINSTEEAM MEDIAS!) perpetuate the myth that the Middle East and North Africa are in any way similar?

    So, wait, lemme get this straight... Neither economists nor political "scientists" own globes?

    Haha, yeah, cparker15! Everyone who isn't you is dumb. Now go back to sleep, Mummy and the milkman have to have a conversation.

    Carl!

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  70. Guys! In political science there's a thing called "Arrow's impossibility theorem"... but IT'S NOT ACTUALLY ABOUT ARROWS! i smell a comic

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  71. What is the deal with q-tips! They're not q's and they're not tips!

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  72. The latest comic reminds me of smug douchebags in my social classes. The difference was that they didn't point out things like this because they got it, they would be smug about how the intent of speech was something diabolical or there were ulterior motives or blah blah blah I ARE SMARTER THAN A POLITICIAN THAT WILL BE MORE FAMOUS THAN ME NO MATTER HOW I TRY.

    On the other hand, it's not that my teacher didn't mind this but if someone did something like what Randall just did for 753 and was acting smug about it, my teacher would've hit them (he was retiring that year, what would they do? FIRE HIM?!) and then would've told them how fucking retarded that statement was.

    Long story short, Randall stop trying to talk about politics when you obviously don't understand them, or anything mass media/propaganda related

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  73. Hahaha, oh Randall, you're such a card. ...Not the actual Randall, the one above me.

    I like the 753 "tool tip" [fuck the elitist alt-/title-text championing nerd-whores] better than the actual comic. I wish he'd illustrated those instead of his ignorant pseudo-geographical joke...

    Even 49 years late, three panels of respectively Blowing up the Moon, Sending Cloned Dinosaurs into Space, and Constructing a Penis-shaped Obelisk on Mars all finally captioned as a whole with a JFK speech would be pretty hilarious, even if the artwork was sub-par. ...Well, as long as it wasn't too sub-par. Hmm.

    Captcha: Swaties. What I'd call a couple of indentical Polish towns? I dunno, I'm not the one who makes a living [?] trying [?] to sell jokes.

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  74. Between here and the xkcd forums, I've come to the conclusion that everybody had "propaganda" com up on their word of the day calendars.

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  75. WHY DO WE CALL IT SUNRISE THE SUN ISN'T ACTUALLY RISING THE EARTH IS JUST TURNING WE SHOULD CALL IT EARTHTURN INSTEAD CAUSE OTHERWISE ITS WRONG SO SAYS SCIENCE

    AMIRITE GUIZE LOL I HAVE THE BEST COMIC IDEAS

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  76. Comic FIX'D:

    http://i757.photobucket.com/albums/xx220/sir_mustapha/southern_half.png

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  77. Seriously guys?

    We're just going to ignore that he put "build a giant penis on Mars" in for no apparent reason?


    I... I'm sure I should have better things to complain about, but my mind is perpetually stuck at that part!

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  78. But Plasma that is the best part unless you're as horribly insecure as Carl.

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  79. As I suggested above, he should have gone the absurdism route à la XKCD 254, using the tooltip as the joke. I literally laughed out loud at the tooltip.

    "Also, if you read his speech at Rice, all his arguments for going to the moon work equally well as arguments for blowing up the moon, sending cloned dinosaurs into space, or constructing a towering penis-shaped obelisk on Mars." I'm no artist and cannot yet manipulate GIMP to serve me in any way more meaningful than PAINT, but if I can make this I think Randy could have pulled it off after his years of experience. 'S not like he has a job to get to tomorrow.

    Note: I stuck to XKCD criteria, namely that I had to do it B&W [[Mars would've been better in Red, obviously]], couldn't commit too much time to it, and primarily that I couldn't edit myself even if it turned out to be quite unfunny -- the people must hear, damn it!

    Captcha: PENtS; This could inspire an XKCD comic.

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  80. This comic made me laugh out loud. Not because of any joke he attempted to make, but because of the idea of him being filled with righteous fury about someone being (not)wrong 50 years ago. Hey, remember that comic he made not too long ago about the guy who stalked the other guy over misuse of the word literally? This is like that, but 50 years worse, and is based on misunderstanding the original speaker.

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  81. Blowing up the moon reminded me of that one sketch from Mr. Show. So I liked 753 because it reminded me of something that was actually funny, as opposed to 753 itself, which wasn't funny at all.

    NO MORE MOON! WOOOOOO!

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  82. Hey, did you know that JFK died a tragic death, and was shot right in front of his own wife? Did you know that the world was shocked by one of the largest single person tragedies of the 21st century?

    Yeah. I don't think a globe matters that much.

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  83. Dude gets assassinated and nobody wants to remember anything else about him.

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  84. it's kind of like being type-cast

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  85. - That snake! I think it just hissed! Aaargh!
    - We're all scared of something, my sister
    So let's go reprise
    Thelma and Louise
    But if it was mixed up with Twister

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  86. your rhyming is freaking terrible.

    This one relies on "hissed - aaargh" to rhyme with "sister" and "twister." Which means that you want "hissed aaargh" to be pronounced "hissed - er" and that's just dumb.

    also - if "louise" was pronounced "loo-EYES" which is also dumb. TRY HARDER LEAR.

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  87. actually Carl I think it's "louise" pronounced normally and "reprise" pronounced "re-PREESE"

    just... just saying like

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  88. is that really how it's pronounced? I don't think it is?

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  89. No Carl I think Ann Apolis is saying (and I agree) that it is more likely the "poem" calls for reprise to be mispronounced and not louise.

    Man you are always so dumb. Dumb dumby Carl dumb.
    Captcha: Warier - Carl is a warier of dumb!

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  90. You guys it's fully a limerick or somethin', the only rhyming fault is the first line, the 5th line just has to rhyme with the first two yeah?

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