Monday, August 23, 2010

Placeholder: Comic 782

alt text: It gets worse! You know that wizened old monk with the gypsy wife whose voodoo shop we smash up every day after school?

I thought Carl was going to cover this one. Maybe I am supposed to. Suck a panda's dick.

-- Alright, time for some SERIOUS COMMENTARY. What the hell is this shit? I mean, I just drank like all of New Jersey's beer supply, and this still isn't enjoyable. Indian bones from an Indian Burial ground? HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA TOTAL SUBVERTED EXPECTATIONS DAWG. Fuck you, Randall, you owe me like $6 from all the beers I drank to make this shit coherent.

No love,


  1. Better than all 500 of Carl's posts combined.

  2. EQUAL CAPITALIZATION RIGHTSAugust 23, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    loving the intelligent criticism.

  3. this is a weak response. I was hoping someone would drop the fact that Randall previously made a joke about how stupid tautologies are, and then went and made it the only punchline of this comic.

    though admittedly there isn't much to say here, really no one has made any effort here

  4. I can see where Randall wanted to go with this one, and whatever being might be in charge of this universe help me for it. However, he failed as per usual.

    Also, just to point out, if those two knew they were playing with Indian bones, without knowing it was an "Ancient Indian Burial Ground," then they're some pretty astute anthropologists.

  5. 5:57,
    That would be the point.

  6. HEY CARL: maybe when you put up an "away" message, you might want to put a date along with it so that people visiting the site all week know when "starting today" starts. Maybe?

  7. hahaha sleep it off

  8. Jesus, cut Monroe some slack...! Every single joke in existence boils down to "subverted expectations," dawg, so pointing out that's the crux of his joke isn't really criticising it.

  9. It's a mildly funny joke here, although I probably would have inverted it ("your house is built atop an ancient Indian graveyard!" "Oh, I guess that explains all these Indian bones in my basement" or something).

  10. 7:33, that is not funny at all, that is not even a joke

  11. the joke is that all of the beers in New Jersey would only cost $6



  13. 7:23 - obvious drunk sarcasm

  14. Next time on XKCD- A geek is smug about his recently purchased electronic device, while a luddite friend fails to grasp the importance of this purchase. Hilarity ensues.

  15. I always expect xkcdick to suck, and my expectations are never subverted.

  16. so Carl is dead and aloria is drunk

    could these things be related...!...?

  17. i expected aloria to be drunk

    my expectations were... not subverted

  18. had a pretty good version of this one.

  19. The next one might be funny, if only there were any reason for not giving your address to be justifiable. Also, GPS's are old enough to not be geek tech, and so Randall is a behind the curve braggart douche and his phone friend was either dropped as a child or is his grandma.

  20. Head not attached to body? Check.

    It's not laziness, it's just Randall's 'art style'.

  21. can we start talking about how #783 is bad yet? yes? yes? good.

    jesus christ randall, your creative process behind this comic is as transparent as the comic itself is terrible. ps: the comic is terrible. there's probably a math joke involving inverse proportions somewhere in there but making boring math jokes is your hobby. there's probably a "my hobby" joke somewhere in the previous sentence, and there's definitely another boring math joke involving recursive joke fractals but i'm verging on genuinely amusing territory here and must stop to remain on theme. the theme is that your comics suck.

    i assume this comic was inspired by real-life events, because you seem like exactly the type of person to find a situation in which someone tries to give you directions to their house memorably vexing. i hope this comic was inspired by real-life events, since if this is the best your muse has to offer, i'll have to expend some of my limited pity supply because that is utterly sad.

    so. you wanted to go somewhere, and someone did not directly give you the address, and you found this minor vexation fertile territory from which verdant hilarity might spring. barring that the entire premise is dull. as. fuck, you salted your own earth with a number of that's so randall! mistakes.

    1) words words words. brevity is the soul of wit, though in your case i suggest silence. "but," he pleads indignantly, "the entire joke depends on mr. cell phone trying over and over again to get the address, and multiple entreaties are necessary for the punchline to make sense!" which leads me to...

    2) actual people do not actually act that way. class, here we have another textbook example of randall trying to twist human behavior to meet his stilted humor. any real person would say "oh, right. my address is ____." that's it. end of joke! but randall finds the concept of having to trick some obstinate retard's address out of them SO HILARIOUS that he conveniently forgets reality, much like he conveniently forgets to tell a joke over 90% of the time.

    specimen #783 falls into the RANDALL HAS PET PEEVES category, along with the famously awful "honesty in the media" comic. xkcd is literally littered with instances of stupid, stupid writing that ignores fundamental human interaction to provide shaky support for shoddy punchlines. i know randall twists his panties over "literally vs. figuratively" because he made a terrible comic about that peeve too, but i mean literally because xkcd is trash. i'm sure there are plenty more in this category, but fuck if i'm willing to brave his comedy graveyard to locate them.

    i hope we've learned something today. i know randall hasn't. xkcd today is just as bad as it was last week, or the week before. never since tim buckley has someone so vehemently refused to grow by any artistic standard. his writing ignores age, gender, profession and any other distinction, transforming all his characters into indistinguishable personal mouthpieces. his art has actually gotten WORSE, considering he used to at least try to experiment once in awhile in the early days. and whatever humorous spark he once possessed has been extinguished in a morass of references and horribly constructed situations.

    there are plenty of webcartoonists out there who've hit their creative walls and are content to stay that way. jeph jacques is fine drawing differently sized tits on snarky, unlikeable hipsters in his atrocious nudity-free harem manga. "your webcomic is bad and you should feel bad" (R.I.P ;_;) hit scott kurtz' nail on the head when it called PvP "the garfield of webcomics." tim buckley is a goddamn trainwreck. but fuck, randall. at least his art, no matter how terrible, is better today than it was four years ago.

  22. I think it's supposed to make fun of the Indian burial grounds and Indian bone repatriation controversies.

  23. Hahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaa.

  24. First XKCD in ages that made me laugh out loud. And 783 is pretty good too.

  25. Hang on. I stop reading xkcdsucks for a few months, and then I come back, and this is what I find? Carl is dead, Aloria is writing Twitter(ish)-length posts, and Rob has become a (recurring?) xkcd character?

    Fuck you all for growing up and moving on, I want my xkcdsucks childhood back like the interwebs nostalgiafag that I am

    (CAPTCHA = "blumfo". That doesn't even fucking sound like anything. MAN, do I hate everything about this world now.)

  26. Okay, I did not want to write this before, but seriously: If someone says that the joke is "the Indian bones are from an Indian burial ground", then he just didn't get the joke.

    Because yeah, there are two interpretations of the comic: One where you have to assume that it's supposed to mean "IN an Indian burial ground", and one where you can just take the comic as it is. In the former, the comic is awful, in the latter, it is pretty good if you know what he's referring to.

  27. I love the cuddlefish's defense of 783... there's someone in the forums insisting that the person on the other side of the phone is deaf...

  28. My street, despite having been built 4 years ago, still does not show up on any satnav map so I have to give directions. Randall is a jackass

  29. marcus: Nah, I'd say GPS is still "geek tech" insofar as a large majority of the population hasn't adopted it, it's somewhat expensive (although I guess the price is dropping now), and as the anon above me points out, it doesn't necessarily work in every situation. This summer, I personally experienced the awfulness of a GPS system that constantly dropped out in the hills of Tennessee while we tried to find a street leading to a private boulevard marked by a non-reflective sign that you couldn't see from one side of the road.

    I just saw that someone else mentioned it on "yesterday's" thread: the problem with this comic is that it lasts too long. Hey, did I mention I have a GPS? Because I totally have a GPS. Oh, also I have a GPS. Wonder how many times I can work the fact that I have a GPS into this comic? GPS! It's like Randall's equating his technology to his penis size.

  30. "Indian bones from an Indian Burial ground?"
    Fuck you Aloria I hate you already.


    Dedicated to Simon Roberts, without whom this edit would not exist.

  32. "Indian bones from an Indian Burial ground?"
    Fuck you Aloria I hate you already.


  33. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 24, 2010 at 6:42 AM


    i still refuse to agree that 782 has any redeeming features

    sure maybe there is something funny in there about the whole "we do not mind that we desecrated indian bones but we are scared because popular culture tells us that the place we got the bones from may have been haunted due to its location over an actual indian burial ground oooooooooh" but there are a few points that need to be addressed here

    first this reading gives randall the benefit of the doubt by assuming that he spent more than five minutes working on it or thinking about it which i am pretty sure did not happen

    second the dialogue is so fucking stupid that it is basically impossible that the guy would ever understand what the girl was actually saying without asking some sort of clarifying question but i guess the phrasing could be considered unambiguous if all of your characters think exactly the same eh randy seriously the fact that many people do not agree on what the punchline is is generally an indication that the comic is written poorly (it is)

    third even if the dialogue were more clear there is even more ambiguity regarding the whole situation because the place they got the bones from is left entirely vague (hence the popular reading that the indian burial ground is simply where they came from in the first place) it basically reads "remember that time we dug up those indian bones [that we apparently knew were indian bones probably because of the location since that is the only logical way we could tell] well it turns out they were on top of a [place where indian bones are typically found]" basically randall tried to get to the punchline with the smallest amount of thought possible so he did not bother implying a real backstory or any of the things that typically make jokes like these funny

    if randys actual intention was to poke fun at the divide between what these characters find morally acceptable and their pop culture based superstitions then he probably should have actually called attention to the fact that he was making a pop reference instead of just assuming that readers are not going to come to the (logical) conclusion that this comic is completely pointless and took about ten minutes of total work

    given his latest "masterpiece" it is pretty clear randall does not have any problems with over explaining a joke so why he would have left this somewhat complex idea so intentionally vague is a mystery to me unless he did not actually intend it to be read that way and the actual joke is something far less intelligent than you are giving him credit for

    whether or not you believe there is a good joke buried in there it is inarguable that randall butchered its communication

    now i am done talking about this piece of shit comic can we please move on to the newest abortion

  34. UndercoverCuddlefish, very nice analysis! +5 insightful.

    Aloria, please copy/paste UndercoverCuddlefish's comment into your blog post if you're not gonna write more than two sentences. I don't wanna appear unappreciative, but geez.

  35. Anon 6:58 (and everyone else bawwing:)

    Dues. Chill. I agreed to post for comics 783, 784, and 785. I noticed that Carl didn't put anything up for 782 so I left a placeholder in case he was planning on doing so.

    I will post my commentary on 783 tonight. It will be longer than a paragraph. Feel free to bitch about how much you hate that one.

  36. Will your commentary on 783 just be the same paragraph repeated four times, Aloria?

  37. Oh, alt text too. Make that five.

  38. Damn it, thumperward. Why'd you have to go and ruin the surprise like that?

  39. I dunno, I kind of liked this one.
    Do you remember how in Scooby Doo it always seemed absurd that some kind of innocuous activity would bring about the wrath of an ancient evil?

    Well, this one is taking that innocent jaunt of some "meddling kids" and completely turning it around.

    I mean, I didn't giggle or machine-gun laugh because of this comic, but I was mildly amused and continued on with my work that day - which I'm pretty sure is the reason most people consume internet comics.

    P.S. It's bad that Randall Munroe puts himself into a regular schedule; he won't have time to think up things that are funny every single posting - might the same logic apply to xkcdsucks?

  40. yeah, because xkcdsucks sure has a regular schedule

  41. It's regularly posted whenever Carl (or whoever the guest poster is) fucking feels like it.


  42. Hey, this xkcd is pretty good. Undercover's arguments:
    1. It can't be good because you've already decided the author can't do good stuff? I dig your honesty, but that's not something that inspires confidence in your reviewing powers. Anyway, why do you have to spend more than five minutes thinking about something before it's funny?
    2. Nothing difficult to understand in the dialogue. Is the word 'over' a tough one? As for people not agreeing: not all people are equally intelligent or pay equal attention. It works OKish even if you misread it, though.
    3. Oh no! This joke, that takes five seconds to read, is lacking backstory! Every joke has backstory, right? (Answer: no)

  43. "he won't have time to think up things that are funny every single posting - might the same logic apply to xkcdsucks? "

    I'd have to say no, because I don't think xkcd sucks has ever been funny.

  44. The posts themselves? Some amusing lines from time to time. I don't think that's ever been the point.

  45. "As for people not agreeing: not all people are equally intelligent or pay equal attention"

    Actually, I'll just add- while that's true, it's not the main point. People interpret things differently. Not agreeing is OK.

  46. Didn't mind this one. With a little tidying and it works - it wouldn't be out of place in a sketch show. It wouldn't be one of the great hits of the episode but it wouldn't be a miss, it got a grin out of me.

    So cut down the intro to:
    Rob! Rob! [The running pose and repeated name here shows that something is up, no need to tell us she looks terrified...]
    What's wrong?

    Remove the bit about puppets, too much detail that doens't add anythign - as has been mentioned.

    If it were a tv sketch, a slight pause before "anchient indian burial ground", a longer pause, then the shock and omg.

    It could be the nerdy tv tropes readerness but as I said I don't mind this one. More emotive art wouldn't hurt and maybe a blank beat panel before the OMG. Timeing is key here (as with most jokes)

  47. Also, it needs a "dun dun DUUUUUUUUUUUUN" after the last line, but that's hard to do in print form.

  48. UndercoverCuddlefishAugust 24, 2010 at 10:01 AM


    1: way to read between the lines champ i am sure randall could make something good if he had an editor (or even bothered to edit himself) my point though was that randall has produced enough incoherent bullshit that the simplest explanation for this comic is that it is more incoherent bullshit rather than some misunderstood work of genius

    i believe randall is capable of making something good but i am not going to give him the benefit of the doubt in a situation like this one

    as for the five minute thing i might just be old fashioned but when your primary source of income is a webcomic that you make three times a week it seems fitting that you should probably put a bit more thought into making sure your jokes are delivered well (also see: stand up comics who tend to refine their jokes over the course of weeks or months many of whom are actually funny)

    2: my reading skills are fine thanks for your concern but maybe you (like randall) do not understand the concept of natural sounding dialogue nobody would ever phrase that statement the way the character does it is not a matter of the definition of "over" as human speech tends to favor ease of communication over technical correctness and the concept of something being buried over something else is just awkward

    "yeah i buried the bodies over an ancient indian burial ground" makes no sense and neither does the dialogue here

    3: "implied backstory" is equivalent to "context" which i argue is necessary in most forms of comedy as the audience needs to know enough about the characters or situation to understand the source of the humor (even subversive jokes require context to mislead audience expectations)

    the problem here is that nothing is mentioned about where they actually dug the bones up from in the first place so when she mentions indian bones around an indian burial ground my gut reaction is "where were you expecting them to be"

    we do not know how she knows that they were indian bones in the first place so the logical assumption is that she was already aware of the fact that there was an indian burial ground there

    you are right in saying that not all people are equally intelligent some of us actually stop to think about why people might phrase things in certain ways and those of us who do are the ones that understand exactly why this comic is awful

    but i mean hey it was still a decent attempt at being insulting

  49. R @ 4:51: Same reaction to Simon's post: I was going to post a comment like your edit when I got to the bottom, but you beat me to it. That picture needs to go up in the Aloria!

  50. @Anon 7:32

    "Do you remember how in Scooby Doo it always seemed absurd that some kind of innocuous activity would bring about the wrath of an ancient evil?

    Well, this one is taking that innocent jaunt of some "meddling kids" and completely turning it around. "

    You have never watched an episode of Scooby Doo.

  51. Aloria wrote:
    >> Maybe I am supposed to. Suck a panda's dick.

    Don't you mean to get rid of the first period and uncapitalize the "S"?

  52. Making *puppets* out of peoples bones?! What the fuck is WRONG with Randy?

  53. this isn't really a placeholder is it

    it will remain forever as a testament to aloria's drunken commitment to xkcd sucks

  54. And Carl's laziness. Can't forget that part.

  55. I want to punch Randall in his fucking shriveled ballsAugust 30, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    God, this fucking asshat (Randall "I can't laid by my right fucking hand" Munroe) is just such a lazy douche.

  56. Undercover... just saw you replied. I wasn't trying to be insulting- but again, if you happen to come back to this one:
    Points 1 and 2: the problem is it's just not incoherent. Yes, probably no-one's ever spoken like that, but it's a pop culture joke and the characters clearly aren't like normal people. The point is, you don't need to have seen previous examples of 'buried over' because there's nothing difficult about it. The earth is in layers- bury one thing, then bury something else over it. Maybe 'on top of' would be clearer- but I can't see much room for doubt.
    3: that's the joke. Presumably it was an indian burial ground- but they didn't care about that. But under that burial ground... was an ancient indian burial ground!
    Anyway, I think it's fairly funny.