Thursday, September 30, 2010

Comic 799: Sad, lonely physicists

only a few days till the big announcement!

[Alt: 'Guys? The Town is supposed to be good, and I thou--' 'PHYSICIST STEPHEN HAWKING DECLARES NEW FILM BEST IN ALL SPACE AND TIME' 'No, I just heard that--' 'SHOULD SCIENCE PLAY A ROLE IN JUDGING BEN AFFLECK?' 'I don't think--' 'WHAT ABOUT MATT DAMON?']

When will paralyzed old scientists stop being funny? never. Luckily god created a universe for us where lonely old physicists are hilarious, so we will always have something at which to laugh.

We know that Randall doesn't particularly care for the LAMESTREAM media. He's dropped us some hints before. Specifically, he thinks the media overreacts to small things in order to sensationalize them and attract attention to themselves. It's a perfectly valid complaint, but I just wonder if he ever gets sick of them. I guess not!

Today's comic also demonstrates a remarkable penchant for delayed reaction, as the story this comic is referencing is a bit old already. The gist is, Stephen Hawking suggested, for the first time in human history, that maybe there is no god? And everyone went crazy! Here's an article from two weeks ago complaining that the story is overblown and old news.

Usually, when there's an xkcd comic about a very topical event that will be forgotten in a few weeks, I think that kind of ruins any resale value for the comic - good luck to those people going through the archives who stumble across this, for example. In this case it's even worse, as the "controversy" ended with a fizz long before this comic even came out and we read it for the first time. Oh well.this

I do like at least one thing about this comic: The font on the text in panel 1 does a good job of visually conveying the computerized speech we so strongly associate with Dr. Hawking.

Lastly, back when the story was still interesting, Tom the Dancing Bug did a much better comic making fun of this story. Reasons why his is better:
--Presents an actual statement on the conflict between religion and science, as well as between partisan followers of the two,
--cleverly makes the scientist be named "Science Hero" so he can have the S.H. monogram,
--angry, vengeful stephen hawking is much funnier than lonely sad stephen hawking.

You are all reading Tom the Dancing bug, right?

144 comments:

  1. I just don't get this one. It's even dumber than his normal tripe. Randall, go play on the freeway.

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  2. Carl,

    I didn't know about the Stephen Hawking incident, and this comic made me laugh out loud. And your reviews are becoming less amusing. I think you should admit this one is funny.

    Also I forgot about the "this" (393). I don't think that that one loses any humour now that the event is passed, in fact it might even gain some (gary is still playing). It made me laugh. I think all around that is a good comic, don't know why you knocked it here.

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  3. I commend your refusal to give in to the liberal socialist dogma that 799 was somehow not terrible. Patriots 4 lyfe! You betcha!

    More seriously, though, you didn't mention that Futurama episode, which is clearly the best Hawking-related comedy by a wide, wide margin and should be brought up at every opportunity. For shame.

    Incidentally, I see that Randall is experimenting with a bold new style for comic 800. He's not even pretending there's anything humorous in there any longer.

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  4. I thought the "what could he know that we don't" bit was referencing the even older incident of Hawking talking about meeting extra-terrestrials which was similarly overhyped.

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  5. Today's comic is so lame and boring that I don't even know what to say about it. Oh gee, a woman wishes that people who refer to themselves as "pick-up artists" would leave her alone. I mean, as usual, it could be a funny idea, but simply having her say "oh, I had a dream where these douchebags left me alone" is ridiculous.

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  6. The alt-text of 800 suggests that Randall reads books, which we know is false.

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  7. I quite liked how Randall drew Stephan Hawking. I laughed at this comic, and then felt bad and wanted to give him a hug.

    800 was just terrible, and I usually take Randall's side.

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  8. That last comic with Stephen Hawking actually reminded me a lot of this SMBC comic.

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  9. Well for 800th comic that was pretty boring.

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  10. "The alt-text of 800 suggests that Randall reads books, which we know is false."

    Metamorphosis is incredibly well known and most people read it online anyway. The Giving Tree is/was a common target for internet photoshopping jokes. Don't worry, there's still no evidence he reads anything not on a computer screen.

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  11. 800 is a bad comic because it's Randall acting not only like he understands romance, but feels ABOVE it. His perspective is common from anyone who's had a failed relationship, been shoved into the creeper category, or in some other way been rejected without being called an asshole. I know because like many people, I've been in that category.

    My game theory professor made a stunningly relevant note in class today. While explaining best response functions for iterated games, he brought up the topic of biology. He mentioned how evolution (the force which drives psychobiological characteristics existent in the modern human such as mate selection) was an example of such a concept. I bring this up because of the fact that love IS a game; not a "game" in the basic sense that everyone seems to think, but a game in the sense that an mathhole like Randall (who already mentioned iterated games in his drinking games google search comic) should understand: a strategic interaction. Girls and guys are always said to be playing the game of love because mate selection is PURELY a matter of strategic interaction. You have to find the best mate for yourself while eliminating inferior options, and you need to understand the odds that you're dealing with someone liberally-interested (i.e. a potential friend with benefits) versus someone self-interested (i.e. a one-night stand who will never call again).

    Of course there are people who hate the idea that they're being evaluated and think that the REAL game of love is all about acceptance and keeping your eyes shut, while the other game is just for shallow people. It's easy enough when you're an unattractive guy convinced that he has a beautiful personality while pursuing attractive girls, since the victim card is always in your hand.

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  12. @10:47 - what the fuck are you talking about

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  13. HAHAHA! IT TOOK HIM A MONTH TO COME UP WITH THIS SHIT?!

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  14. It took me a minute to get this one, because, as you said, the joke stopped being relevant about two weeks ago.

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  15. Carl,

    I think you've missed the point here.

    799 doesn't need any reference to the conflict between religion and science, it works as well as a critique of the blind faith mainstream people have towards scientific authorities.

    "Whatever some famous physicist says, must be utterly wise and ready to be printed on the front page of any newspaper. Because he's just soooo much more intelligent than us..."

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  16. I suppose this comic wouldn't have the same impact for those who don't regularly read science based news/blogs etc. While the comic is a bit late I feel like the comment is still relevant and it's absurdity makes it humorous.

    Also, I don't think this recent news coverage on Hawking's ideas of God are the first time he's ever expressed them. I'm pretty sure I remember reading a response he had written to criticism of the last line in "A Brief History of Time" where he had mentioned knowing the mind of God. I could be wrong though.

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  17. Anon 10:13, I think you are a bad person.

    I hadn't even heard of The Rules before, but the Wikipedia page makes it seem pretty terrible. Not sure why we needed to have a comic about it, though, are there really so many women who are consciously playing these petty, self-defeating games?

    Also, I removed the In Popular Culture reference to XKCD on The Rules Wikipedia page, it felt good.

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  18. 800: I wuoldn't normally read much into the subtext (because I'm terrible at it), but here I get the feeling that Randy's getting frustrated at not being able to find his Megan IRL and blames those Rules girls and Game boys for it.

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  19. XKCD explained is SO GOOD today. also rob you just don't understand 10:47 because your fatness leaves only room for liberal arts in your brain. The rest is clogged with fat. Fatty.

    But yeah I didn't get the end of what he said either.

    The new comic feels a little like randall's lecturing us on how he DATES people and he thinks he's a GOOD DATER and he's HAD SEX and BRIEF ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS

    This is impressive only to his target audience of maths-obsessed thirteen year olds

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  20. http://goatkcd.com/800/

    That is all.

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  21. Goatkcd delivers again!

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  22. I once found a copy of The Rules in my apartment basement area. It's kind of hilarious to read as long as you don't think about the fact that there are some people who actually try to act like that.

    I can't provide any specific excerpts, but here are some bits I remember:
    In between telling me to be myself the authors also told me that 'being myself' actually means having long hair and wearing dresses and other super-feminine things like that, and not actually saying what I think to a guy I'm on a date with.
    While I'm waiting for the guy to come pick me up for our date, I absolutely *must not* let myself fantasize about what my married name with him would be, even though it's difficult not to!
    Once the guy marries me I should basically act like a perfect 1950's style housewife, so that he'll always be happy when I'm around. In return I'll get benefits like him always wanting to sit right next to me because across the table is too far away.

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  23. 800: Using references to obscure things (never heard of either show ever) to pander to the fanbase (who doesn't hate dating manuals) with a complete absence of a joke.

    Also included: hovering over chairs, a computer prop for no reason, shape-shifting hair, incomplete circles, unfinished drawings (look at the table legs in the last panel), very high text:image ratio.

    XKCD in a single comic.

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  24. Oh look, Carl linked a comic that wasn't XKCD and said he liked it. And look, it's terrible. Why does everyone this guy's opinions on webcomics seriously again?

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  25. Reading this blog is about like listening to my grandfather rant about how "that n*gg*r president is trying to turn America into a bunch of f*gs and communists"...You cringe just from listening to him, but you take comfort in the fact that he'll never be able to act on his believes...

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  26. XKCD fails partly because he has to produce a comic 3 times a week. Now xkcdsucks is starting to flag because they feel they have to critisise every single one of xkcds comics.

    The hawkin one was pretty good or at least no where near as bad as the others. Instead of writing about it for the sake of writing about it why not just wait for the next bad comic (you didn't have to have waited very long this time- look at 800.

    p.s. and i agree that Tom and the Dancing Bug comic was pretty dire. The SMBC one was awesome as always

    Rob

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  27. 800 is just another "random article button on wikipedia" strip. The idea that "I wish Rules Girls and Pickup Artists would just find eachother and leave everyone else alone" doesn't work, because a Rules Girl and a Pickup Artist would conflict so damn much.

    Basically, "The Rules" are all about how to manipulate a man into loving you forever. "The Game" is about seducing and bedding many women.

    The two could never be "paired up".

    Though there are certain things similar between them. Basically, each of them are based on at least a slight foundation of truth, and so have some of the same guidelines/rules. For example, both say to end phone calls and dates first. So seeing an actual date between a Rules Girl and a Pickup Artist could have potential for humor.

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  28. I'll get up to date with the comments later. Here's about this comic and Hawking.

    If I recall correctly, what he said was that the Universe wasn't created by God. Which I think causes a lesser impact than outright saying God doesn't exist. Similar but not the same, and I am here to nitpick, after all!

    But I don't think that one is the only reference here, as it is the whole belief that SH is a genius and thus is always right. When I heard he said there's life in other planets, what I thought was "O'RLY?" because lots of people have said that before, including Sagan. But, hey, it's Hawking! Let's all overhype that now because it's Stephen Motherfucking Hawking! (fun fact: "Motherfucking" is recognized by my spell checker!)

    But, overall? This comic was... okay! It was adequate! Goddamn adequate! Surely it didn't leave me rolling on the floor laughing, not even laughing out loud, but there isn't anything outragingly bad in it. It is fine.

    And, about Randall's topical comics: I guess this problem would be solved if Randall bothered to put the publishing date of his comics on the page. At least people could look it up on Wikipedia and know what was happening at the time that could inspire Randall.

    Toittazqueh,

    Mole

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  29. Okay, picked up on the comment thread, and this is going to be fun! Pity I can't say the least for today's xkcd(which I haven't read yet; I'm delayin the suffering as much as possible). Now to reply to some comments!

    Jen - wow, that's... incredible. I never heard about that, and now I wish I hadn't.

    Anon 10:47 - I also didn't get your last paragraph, but I think I get the gist of your comment. To be frank, I was just like Randall and all the people who think they're "beautiful on the inside". It wears off when you start dating people for real instead of only in your mind.

    Anon 3:57 - Get your facts right. No one takes Carl seriously. In fact, we usually ignore him completely and go around commenting on the current XKCD while he's still raging about the last one. He's a doofus and also Randall Munroe. We know he is!

    Anon 4:15 - You're funny. I like you.

    Anon 4:23 - Frankly, saying xkcd fails because it's published 3 times a week is giving Randall more credit than due. With shoddily non-developed ideas and horribly simple art, I wonder if he really needs more time. To be frank, I think Randall needs to put more time into making his comics instead of... whatever he does all day.

    And now I go and will come back later when I decide to read the current issue of xkcd. Expect RAGE! :D

    Fir milaan ge,

    Mole

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  30. Actually Mole, I'm pretty sure he didn't even say that God didn't create the universe. He just said that God wasn't necessary to create the universe, which has even less impact.

    He was basically saying "We're finding more and more ways to explain things that were once attributed to God, particularly in regards to the creation and expansion of the universe. We no longer need to just say 'God did it.'"

    You can respect that and still believe in God.

    In fact, I've always been of the stance that if there's a God that really did create everything, then obviously he would have had to create something that works. It's like when we build machines, they don't just work because they work; they work because we make each part work together.

    It's when people refuse to study the way our universe works because of their blind faith, or pretend that God (or the devil) plants empirical evidence to "mislead" us or "test" us, that we have a problem, and I think that was Hawking's underlying point.

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  31. @mole

    His middle name is actually "William"

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  32. Hey Anon 4:15, clearly you've inherited your grandpa's blind zeal and transferred it into supporting an internet comic instead of hating black people. Well done! That's a slightly more healthy outlet for douchebaggery!

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  33. Yeah Carl, I think you missed the joke in 799. It was maybe inspired by Hawking's being in the news lately, but it's got nothing to do with that really.

    The joke is that some people think Hawking is the smartest man on earth and so everything he says is taken as profoundly insightful, even his casual attempts to relax.

    NOT "The media sensationalises things".

    Pro Mole's got it right.



    800 is ass. The "joke" is kinda dull anyway ("The Game guys and the Rule girls should get together and sod off") but the execution totally kills any chance of humour it had.

    There's got to be plenty of more interesting ways to convey that idea.
    (They'd probably all involve showing not telling) (SURPRISE!)

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  34. @mole
    I think you misunderstood me. I'm not saying his comments are bad because of lack of time. i'm saying that instead of waiting for ideas to strike he has to activly search for them (often using wikipedia) which is why we get the same old dull and repetative comments 3 times a week. I also delibertly implied that that wasnt the sole or even biggest reason for their shoddyness. If you are going to answer people's comments at least read them properly instead of replying to what you think we said.
    Rob x

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  35. 800. I hope Carl is ready for writing a good post this time, because this one deserves it!

    But first... let's start with good things, shall we?

    I liked the "morning hair" of Megan. Frankly, I was surprised that Randall actually put any effort in making her look like she just woke up. Also, this isn't just a panel and a caption as I supposed it'd be.

    Now, let the bashing commence.

    Remember when I said it was cool that Randall took some effort to make Megan actually look like she just woke up? Well, then he undermines that by making her outright state "I just woke up". That's as bad as writing can be. Really.

    And then there's the unfinished circles, unconnected heads and hovering chairs. Usual Randall not improving in the least or taking a few seconds to review his art and connect his lines. Whatever.

    And now, the core of the joke. I had to look it up in wikipedia(a trait I consider good, it incites research!), and I see a lot of flaws here.

    Firstly, what Andrew said. Rules Girls and Game Guys wouldn't hook up. Which takes us to our next problem...

    This is a joke that could have been good, if Randall didn't just sketch it in his digital canvas and call it a day. Maybe instead of summarizing the joke he should have actually showed it to us. What happens when a guy whose objective is to seduce with as many women as possible meets a girl who wants to get him hooked up for good? That has potential(well, quite the potential for a romantic comedy, really), but Randall refused to develop it. Typical.

    And of course, there's the undertone. The subtext that Randall(and his fanbase) are so much better than those people who live by self-help books instead of pursuing spontaneous and quirky love! Plebeians!

    And alt-text: Randall trying to make the same joke but now with books that are completely unrelated. I fail to see how that concept would be any interesting, really.

    So, that's it. Number 800, you deserve Carl's rage, and I hope he complies instead of writing yet another weak and short post like of late.

    Au sa liu mada,

    Mole

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  36. 6:14 I don't think you're really rob your arguments are too polite and make use of too much scientific language to be rob.

    Rob is too fat for manners.

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  37. Aren't Randall's fans the kind of people who'll whine and jokingly-but-not-really wish women came with instruction manuals they could read to figure them out? Wouldn't he love these kind of books?

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  38. @6:14
    Thanks for the compliment although i fail to spot any sciantific language...
    You are quite right. I am A Rob not The Rob. Unfortunatly my name has been highjacked!
    Robert x

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  39. robert is an attention seeking gaylord i can tell because of the kisseys

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  40. 6:14 please please please get a spellchecker so you don't look like a total moron.

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  41. Haha i always X after my name. Maybe i shouldn't in forums and comment threads... oh well. And i fail to see where i'm attension seeking. I made a point. Re-confirmed it. And then made clear i'm not The Rob.
    I'm terrably sorry if you find kisses offencive. You twat.
    Robert XxX

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  42. robert was born without a spellchecker and without an understanding of human behavior

    also he is a triple-gaylord who likes men

    3<=8

    that is an ascii dick about to sodomise and ascii butt because that is what roberts likes because that's what gaylords do

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  43. Ironicly i do like men but not anal sex. Go figure? Any way i feel you have rather wandered off the beaten track here.

    I wish someone would devote their time to taking every single one of xkcd comic ideas and just improving it. I've seen it done amazingly with that cowboy-tumbleweed comic where a simple reversal of the last two boxes made the commic funny. Of cause thats a lot of effort for little reward. And i guess goatkcd already does that.

    xx

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  44. who is anon 7.18?

    if only they had supplied their name at the end of their post maybe I would know

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  45. robert do all gay bumlords not understand the meaning of irony or is it just you- did some oral sexual practice dislodge the part of your brain that lets you understand written prose or do you have aspergers

    my favourite theory is that since gay men like men they become more like women, since why you don't like anal sex, sign off with kisses and do not understand the meaning of words

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  46. I just read so much unbelievable BS on the internet I don't care about 800 anymore.

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  47. 10:47 here

    Rob: I'm trying to say that Randall is retarded for thinking that people who try to play their love lives like the Game that everyone refers to are retarded. Apparently he thinks that people who adhere to certain rules (like the 3-day phone call rule, etc) when dating or picking up people are in the minority and are intellectually inferior when it comes to such a matter, when the reality is that the Game and its rules are a necessary way to deal with avoiding bad partners and selecting the optimal ones for the optimal period of time.

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  48. I didn't find 799 funny at all...if anything it was just depressing and I got no enjoyment from reading it.

    I actually don't mind 800. It wasn't FUNNY, but it sort of made me nod my head and go, "Yeah, those people suck, they need to go away and stop bothering everyone else."

    But then, I got the references immediately and didn't have to look it up. I imagine it loses something if you don't already know all about The Rules and The Game. It's a valid point that Game guys and Rules girls wouldn't ever work together, but...well, I still want them all to go away, and they do have something in common since they're both really misogynistic.

    Also I somehow feel Randall deserves points for NOT making the obvious "old internet meme reference" in the alt text by saying something like "You just lost The Game!"

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  49. 800: it would be better without the split between the first two boxes, or by combining the dialog from the first box with the dialog from the second box. The phrase "I Just woke up" is ass, and feels like randall is talking down to us. but the phrase "I just woke up from the most beautiful dream" sounds real. I would believe that.

    Also this is just quirky XKCD. At first I thought it was a "the game" (you lost) joke. Then I looked it up. I think he deliberately chose two services that would never pair up. If you read the alt-text, which I think should replace the actual text it being amusing and all, you see he's just giving wacky ideas.

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  50. @Chaos

    Do you really get bothered by pickup artists and rules girls on a regular enough basis that it gives you "agreement nods" (one step below agreement chuckles)?

    Because it seems to me that unless

    A) You frequent clubs in order to pick up women
    B) The women you pursue choose pickup artists over you
    C) Rules girls that do go out with you end up deciding you aren't the right guy for them

    then "The Game" and "The Rules" should never come up in your life.

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  51. I thought 800 was a confusingly worded comic about The Game because Randall's font doesn't support italics well and I had never heard of 'The Rules'. The message still works though. Guys and girls who like The Game should go away

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  52. 10:47/7:42 seems to either be someone who looked up Transactional Analysis on wikipedia and didn't quite get it, or someone who understands TA but thinks The Game is actually about that and isn't just a bunch of bullshit.

    I'm leaning towards the latter.

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  53. @ Andrew R

    I'm female.

    And when guys use stupid, clearly manipulative pick-up lines on me, I strongly desire to put out my cigarette directly on their arm. Unfortunately, this is not legal.

    And I end up getting lot of stupid "dating advice" from female friends/relatives that sounds suspiciously like the kind of stuff advocated in The Rules, no matter how many times I tell them that I don't want their stupid advice.

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  54. 799 is unfortunate, because if Randall had waited a couple of days, he could've used the recent news that HOLY SHIT ANOTHER LIVABLE PLANET NEARBY, THERE MUST BE WAY MORE THAN WE THOUGHT!!! as fodder. Not that he could've necessarily been funnier but at least he'd be timely.

    800 is the kind of dialogue I'd expect to see in the introductory passages of a slashfic. I was honestly surprised that the alt-text wasn't, "so, can I perform cunnilingus on you now?"

    LOOKIN' FORWARD TO THAT BIG ANNOUNCEMENT CARL

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  55. Oh wow a whole blog about how much you hate a guy who's more intelligent, funny, and succesful than you'll ever be. Your mom must be so proud.

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  56. "when the reality is that the Game and its rules are a necessary way to deal with avoiding bad partners and selecting the optimal ones for the optimal period of time"

    what

    Andrew: I don't think Chaos primarily was frustrated because of being rejected by rules girls.

    "Also I somehow feel Randall deserves points for NOT making the obvious "old internet meme reference""

    I thought that too. But ask yourself: Would he deserve these points if pointless memes/references weren't a major complaint about xkcd? I mean, it just stands out because we're used to xkcd's pointless references by now.

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  57. How could me writing this take more than seven minutes? God damn relativistic ninjas.

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  58. @Simon Roberts OK, I'm curious so I have to ask...how does 800 resemble a slashfic in any way? I've read thousands of slashfics, and none of them ever mentioned The Rules or The Game. Also, the comic features a guy and a girl, which is het, not slash. OK, I'm just confused.

    Haha I wish the alt text WAS "So, can I perform cunnilingus on you now?"

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  59. You are ALL brain-out-your-ears retarded.

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  60. Chaos, 800 could reasonably be interpreted as a setup for the guy to say, "I'm don't use The Game, so let's totally have sex!" That's not how I saw it, but it could fit.

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  61. Anon 8:17 is great

    "xkcdsucks.blogspot"

    "A BLOG ALL ABOUT HOW YOU HATE A GUY"

    and these are the retards who defend xkcd

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  62. I LOVED todays comic :D This blog is just so pathetic on so many levels...

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  63. IN FACT I WILL ELABORATE...
    IT WAS SO GOOD <.< I LAUGHED BEFORE EVEN READYNG THE COMIC
    I TYPED XKCD.COM INTO MY U-R-L AND GUFFAWED RAVENOUSLY >:)
    AND THEN I READ THE COMYC :O


    AM I PSYCHYC OR IS RANDALL *THAT* GOOD XXX

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  64. So, let me get this strait. You hate xkcd. Not just think "eh, it's not my thing", which I can unddrstand, you absolutely HATE it. You decide that it must be the COMIC that sucks, and not that, you know, there's these things called OPINIONS and it might just be you that thinks so. Also, there's no way the comic is meant for people who actually understand geek culture, no, it must be for everyone, including you. So, instead of doing something productive with your life, or evne MAKING YOUR OWN FREAKING COMIC IF YOU THINK THIS ONE SUCKS SO MUCH, you spend your entire life writing pathetic rants about how much xkcd sucks and making up sockpuppets to agree with you in the comments. That's justt...so sad...

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  65. @Alsworth I suppose that's what he meant, but he said "slash fic," and slash fic is fanfiction about male-on-male relationships. So obviously I was confused as to how The Rules or The Game could possibly have anything to do with homosexual male relationships. In retrospect, I suppose he just doesn't know what "slash fic" means, but I first assumed that he did, because most people who actually use the term know what it means.

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  66. He could've known that "slash" refers to the "/" mark and and its use to signify romantic pairings, and just not have realized that it only applies to same-sex pairings for some dumb arbitrary reason.

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  67. Okay, seriously.

    WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE COMING FROM?

    I'm gonna split a seam here, because these guys are priceless! Especially 11:31. That one made my day! XD

    (Okay, 11:31 is obviously a joke. But the rest of them are just as unintentionally funny.)

    Até logo,

    Mole

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  68. Anon 11:49

    For some reason I think I feel entitled to answer you.

    So, firstly... the reason I hate XKCD is because it used to be good. Randall hooked me with comics I enjoyed, until I was numb to his overall blandness and pandering. If I didn't realize before that Randall was throwing me empty shells as if they were peanuts(this is a metaphot, by the way), probably XKCD 631 would have done it.

    And, to be frank? If Randall didn't WORK with this comic, maybe I'd be more forgiving and just stop caring. But he's a gooddamn professional. I expect a professional job, dammit!

    Besides, it's fun.

    By the way, would you believe I am a nerd? I am! I'm a Computer Science major, I love programming, I play RPG, I play videogames(lots of 'em!), I enjoy science fiction(written, mostly), I sometimes apply internet memes to real life... yes, I am one of those people said to be in xkcd's "target audience".

    And still XKCD fails to be good! I'm sorry. And one good reason to believe XKCD isn't good(if not outright saying... SUCKS)? Because apparently its fans have NEED to come here and defend it, as if the quality of the comic itself isn't good enough to be obvious for anyone who reads it. And the best part? This generally considered aducated people -- because, see, XKCD is a comic for nerds, written by a genius -- can't even be original. It's always the same arguments: you are not in the target audience(I am), you don't get the references(I do, unfortunately), you are predisposed to hate it(I was a fan, goddammit!)...

    And why do I lose time with you since you probably won't come back?

    Eh, it's nice to vent at figments of the internet.

    Adieu,

    Mole

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  69. Oh, oh, I know! It's a setup for the guy to get it on with another guy who DOES read The Game!

    i am such a genius

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  70. pro mole your use of aducation shows your lack of aducation

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  71. Metaphot, Mole?

    (actually, that would make a good captca)

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  72. Pro-mole 11:49 was pretty blatantly cramming as many of Rob's rants into one post as possible, I'm surprised you didn't see it.

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  73. @Chaos

    Sorry for assuming you were male, no girls on the internet, etc.

    But just so you know, Pickup artists actually do not use pickup lines. In fact, the entire point of The Game techniques are to use subtle communication like body language. If they are any good at it, you won't even tell that they are trying to pick you up. At least that's how I've come to understand it.

    As far as rules women go, I think there are plenty of women out there who just kind of develop their own rules, not necessarily following "The Rules". Like, I've had three different girls break up with me out of nowhere, then call me back a week later and yell at me for not trying to get back with them. Apparently it was some kind of test to see if I would fight to get back together? Needless to say, we never did.

    And guys do it too. "Don't call for at least 3 days," "Always make specific dates, never say 'do you want to go out sometime'", etc. People just kind of have their own ideas of how relationships work.

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  74. @Andrew R.
    Like, I've had three different girls break up with me out of nowhere, then call me back a week later and yell at me for not trying to get back with them. Apparently it was some kind of test to see if I would fight to get back together? Needless to say, we never did.

    Yep, I've had that happen too. There was a girl who'd threaten to break up with me each time we had an argument. Her reasoning? "I want you to chase me."

    I wasn't going to play that game, and we ultimately did break up. I was legitimately surprised how quickly I got over her.

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  75. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us, and the world will live as one.

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  76. I've seen many advice columns telling women how to know whether a chap is interested in you. I tell you, it is amazing how many of those bullet points actually describe the opposite of my own instinctive behaviour. I mean, if a woman asks me to do some silly little thing for her that she could clearly do for herself, I don't leap at the opportunity to be at service. I reluctantly assist out of courtesy (as I would for anybody of either gender) and then lose interest in her, figuring that she's either a totally dependent milquetoast or is being manipulative.

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  77. "Rob: I'm trying to say that Randall is retarded for thinking that people who try to play their love lives like the Game that everyone refers to are retarded. Apparently he thinks that people who adhere to certain rules (like the 3-day phone call rule, etc) when dating or picking up people are in the minority and are intellectually inferior when it comes to such a matter, when the reality is that the Game and its rules are a necessary way to deal with avoiding bad partners and selecting the optimal ones for the optimal period of time. "

    I read through this whole comment thread just so I could find the inevitable person who posted some shit like this XD




    PS Women are people are men and it turns out being good at people and not making dumb assumptions about rules or games is a good key to dating success! If you need help with confidence or dealing with people, so be it. You could probably do much better than The Game or The Rules though.

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  78. 4:05 You should listen to him. Rob is a highly successful chick magnet who maintains a very extensive harem and still has time to do some casual dating on the side. Then he runs off to some guy to breathlessly describe his beautiful dream.

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  79. @Anon 4:05 then he wakes up again and tells his teddybear about his beautiful dream in which he had a real person to tell a beautiful dream about.

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  80. That's why I love you guys! XD Also, I was writing that in Windows. Apparently Win doesn't have spell checker for Opera like Linux does. Who'd guess?

    Anyway, I should've known. It was a nice rant, anyway. Mooooooving on!

    So, we're discussing relationship advice? Sigh!

    Well, I don't know what's it, but I think I'm doing it right. I've had some harsh arguments by the start of my relationship, almost break-ups as well, but now it's all fine.

    So, my only advice is: follow your guts. It's working well for me!

    U-hyu'-s-ti,

    Mole

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  81. SMBC did it better

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1623#comic

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  82. YOU GUYS

    I AM ANGRY ABOUT SOMETHING ON THE INTERNET

    SO VERY ANGRY



    Also can't wait til comic 800 announcement...

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  83. hey guys have you seen this smbc comic its like 799 only funnier http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1623#comic her eit is incase you haven't seen it yet it's pretty funny

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  84. Anon 5:32/5:14, you are one comment thread too late.

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  85. UndercoverCuddlefishOctober 1, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    i stopped reading the comments about halfway through because i wanted to make the point that apparently nobody in the universe has ever read the game all the way to the end (this includes all the pick up artists who claim the book as inspiration)

    the entire point of the novel is that the whole pick up artist lifestyle is pointless and immature and that all the idiot douches who practice it end up bitter and lonely

    but i guess most guys just get through about two thirds of it for the advice on picking up girls and then stop reading because they are functionally retarded

    as somebody else mentioned it seemed surprising that randall would be so against the game since he is a hopeless nerd that could never get a girlfriend without an instruction manual

    then i realized that randy is actually a step down from a pick up artist: he is a white knight one of those valiant individuals who thinks that pretending he cares about women will win him some sexy times

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  86. 800 sucked. It would have been close to a proper joke if anybody could relate to it, but come on. Most of us have never read either book, and don't know anybody who read either and wore it on their sleeve afterward.

    I don't know any of these people, and I don't care whether or not they hook up with each other.

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  87. Anon 6:45, that wasn't the point of the comic. Randall assumed (probably legitimately) that people in his reading audience had experience with that sort of person, and wrote this comic to give them validation for hating those people.

    Either that, or he had a girl break up with him owing to The Rules, and watched her get picked up by a guy holding a copy of The Game. Yeah, that's probably more likely.

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  88. @Anomymous 6:45

    My roommate in undergrad had owned a copy of The Game. He was a tool.

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  89. I've lost the game so much in this thread.

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  90. Now, I have to say, this one isn't specifically topical . For years now, Hawking's come out, said something, it got a lot of play in the press, and then he came back a few months later to say something else. Time travel, aliens, limits of human reason, spontaneous generation, etc. So, as a parody of ongoing events, this one actually made me laugh. Oh sure, it's a laugh at a poor paralyzed man, but it's more of a joke at the expense of the people who report on him. Maybe it's not the most original joke ever, but I like it.

    Now, I've pretty much agreed with your last 50 or so reviews, so I haven't said anything. I just thought that I should chime in and say I didn't think this was as bad as advertised.

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  91. Haven't read the comments so this might have been said already:
    800 - If she's with the guy, why does she care what single people are doing?
    If she's not with the guy, why is she waking up in his house?

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  92. Because, obviously, HE used The Game to pick her up the previous night. His Mmmmm isn't one of happiness, it's an awkward mumbled apology as Megan angrily chews out this guy for tricking her into sleeping with him. Or letting him perform cunnilingus on her, most likely.

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  93. @1:36 - that interpretation improves the comic a hundredfold

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  94. daz: couples still interact with single people / roommates exist

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  95. @1:36 - Ah, so this is another of Randall's autobiographical comics then?

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  96. Oh god I just went back to the Gary Gygax comic you linked and was reminded how horrible it is whenever Randall tries to draw facial hair gah makeitgoawaymakeitgoawaymakeitgoaway

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  97. guy-who's-being-constantly-misinterpreted here:

    When I say the game is important, I'm not necessarily referring to the game as stated within The Game, like every textbook rule is valid or anything. I just think that there are certain rules that apply to romance in general, and Randall seems to be saying that anyone who tries to figure out any of these rules is a moron because clearly love is not a game but a wonderful little liberal world and the enlightened people already know that and are pursuing real relationships.

    Which is bullshit, because if you don't follow any rules you will get rejected for coming off wrong, or end up with a girl with too much baggage, or fuck up in one way or another. The rules exist so you get the right chick at the right time and keep her for the most amount of time that works and isn't awkward. The people who don't follow any rules aren't perfect, loving, accepting people; they're quite often people with glaring flaws who think they shouldn't be judged for them and thus don't judge others for their flaws, resulting in people with a lot of insecurities starting relationships made out of cards and glue. Exhibit A: Randall.

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  98. I mean, you've been around a bit, you know, like, you've, uh.... You've "done it".... Well, I mean like... you've slept, with a lady.



    What's it like?

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  99. UndercoverCuddlefish:

    I read the game all the way through, and I really read it more as an interesting sociology text than a how-to manual. The ending was very poignant since in the end, it's a story about how what we think will make us happy really doesn't. All they wanted was lots of sex with random women, and when they got it, they realized it wasn't what they wanted after all.

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  100. Carl, will you post #800 already so I can stop refreshing your site over and over and wonder what the BIG NEWS is

    It's kind of driving me nuts

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  101. By the way, I saw 229 in a bathroom the other day. I took out my pen and responded with "An XKCD Hater," then wrote the URL for your blog.

    You're welcome.

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  102. Dr. Skullthumper it is Carl how can you ask such a thing of him?
    Also, how can you expect this BIG NEWS to be anything but boring?

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  103. zombieninja I can expect whatever I want. I can expect it SO HARD.

    I am expecting right now.

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  104. Listen.
    That last comment made it sound like I have a half-baked human being growing inside of my non-existant womb.
    I'd just like to clarify once and for all: This is not the case.

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  105. It's in a test tube.

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  106. Skully that is only because it is in Autumn's womb.

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  107. Dammit, Carl, what's the news? WHAT'S THE NEWS?!?!

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  108. Dammit, Scott, I thought she was going to keep that our secret :'(

    I feel betrayal. Sadness. Anger. Loneliness. Hunger. Definitely hunger.

    XKCDSUCKS: DOES ANYONE HERE HAVE A SANDWICH

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  109. @8:22

    Overrated. It's sweaty and smelly and it's a lot of hard work, you have to deal with the right position and avoiding slipping, and it's a lot looser than you'd expect. It's the most satisfying way to get off, obviously, but not in proportion with the amount of effort you spend over other ways of getting off. Maybe it's easier and more fun without a condom, but ionno, it's an ordeal that I put up with because of the revenue, not so much the profit margin.

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  110. Just so that everyone is perfectly clear Autumn is Skully's cousin and they are in love and you shouldn't judge.

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  111. Everyone go read Achewood while you're waiting for the big damn news, it's updated again after only like one week!

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  112. Wow, you guys have no lives, at all. Like seriously, at all. Instead of getting all in a tizzy when someone doesn't hold the same opinion as you, you just waste your time arguing about it with them. Go read a book or something, I don't care, just stop bothering the Internet with your mind-numbingly stupid comments.

    Not you, XKCD haters, you guys are aaaaalright. No, it's the XKCD fans whose collective brain power couldn't get a current going through lead at 7 K. Seriously, I know you love Randy very much and are afraid of change, but well overdue to wake up and smell the coffee. We may not all agree exactly when it became overrated, or when it became sucks (my vote is somewhere for in the mid- to late-500s), but the truth is it really is now just plain bad. Randy steals quite a bit of material from other, funnier webcomics; doing an idea better that someone else had doesn't make it NOT stealing (and for the record, I have not once have I seen him do so).

    And, because based on the more recent comments the XKCD lovers seem to have become an issue: I'm 19, I am going out for my degree in chemistry, I've taken enough math and physics courses to understand any reference he could give (at least, the ones he's made in the past four or five hundred comics), I am quite an introvert, which all points to me being part of the target audience. Honestly, when I first heard about there being an XKCD Sucks blog I thought it was just silly, but then there came a point when Randy did like dozens of really stupid ones in a row, at which point visiting XKCD became a chore and not an enjoyable thing, and so I checked this place out and my eyelids were ripped open. Pro-tip: One day you'll realize how bad XKCD is and will be embarrassed to admit to having liked it; it will be like the disco of the Internet.

    Also, totally not hypocritical of me to have written this, because nobody is forcing you to come here (whereas XKCD is regularly forced into our lives by people without better tastes in humor, the only reason this blog would ever come to your attention is because it's a retaliation for XKCD's forced entry), so don't even try to claim a victory there. :/

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  113. "Hi, Zed!"

    Oh, and XKCD is not the Disco of the internet because at least Disco is segregated into specified Halls [also the sinners' afterlife], whereas XKCD is spreading like some sort of infection into your favourite blogs, university hallways, and IM conversations.

    That said, I thought 799 was kinda entertaining. 800, not really, unless you count the numerous misinterpretations of the spoken word "Mmmmmm". Kinda disappointing for the big 800. Something about Charlemagne, maybe, given its Wikipedia prevalence?

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  114. @1:05 Oh god I knew.

    Skullhumper (heheheh): "I took out my pen and responded with "An XKCD Hater," then wrote the URL for your blog."

    You idiot why would you even do such a thing? Are you proud to bring ever more mindless xkcd drones here?

    11:00: "Oh sure, it's a laugh at a poor paralyzed man, but it's more of a joke at the expense of the people who report on him.

    Let's not get into this. Don't even suggest discriminating to avoid offensive stuff. Yes, saying "lol SH is disabled. isnt that funny guys. guys" is stupid, but people still must be allowed to generally make jokes about him. Though I do too think 799 is about stupid media. Just had to mention it.

    Mole: "Apparently Win doesn't have spell checker for Opera like Linux does. Who'd guess?"

    Dunno, works here. (Still 10.62.) Maybe you didn't install dictionaries for it? I think I had to do that. On an unrelated note, it's pretty annoying when I type something in german and then it's all underlined but there's no simple option to change the dictionary. INTERESTING HUH?

    "I'm a Computer Science major, I love programming, I play RPG, I play videogames(lots of 'em!), I enjoy science fiction(written, mostly), I sometimes apply internet memes to real life..."

    No way. What languages do you prefer?

    Also why would you even answer to silly Anon. Everyone here knows all of what you wrote.

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  115. @Evln In the hopes that some will see the light or, failing this, make entertaining comments such as the ones on this thread.

    ALSO YES I HAVE NOT HEARD THAT JOKE SEVERAL HUNDRED TIMES.

    IT IS HILARIOUS AND YOU ARE TOTALLY ORIGINAL.

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  116. @1:05

    Sometimes sex is like that, but it really depends on your partner. Everyone's different in bed, and as much as two people could just be not compatible in a relationship, they could very well be not compatible in bed.

    The first girl I had sex with, we had sex regularly for months. We were both eachother's firsts, so we had nothing to compare it to, and it was terrible. For a long time I thought sex was overrated and just another way to get off.

    Then the second girl I was with was amazing. At that point I figured "oh, maybe it was just bad because neither of us knew what we were doing."

    But then my third partner was terrible too, and she was experienced as I was.

    I was with a few other girls that were ok, and then my last girlfriend was a virgin when we got together, and she was great in bed even without experience.

    In b4 "bragging about sex on the internet", I'm just trying to be informative. If all of your sexual experience has been awful and more work than it's worth, then it's probably just a compatibility issue.

    Captcha: Conespix. Coneheads from south of the border.

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  117. http://www.rockpapercynic.com/strips/2008-11-05.jpg

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  118. I know everybody's moved on to talking about comic 800 by now, but I think 799 is actually mocking this trailer for the upcoming movie "Skyline" which invokes Hawking directly:

    http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=68693

    It still doesn't make the joke funny, per se, but it changes it a little to a bad "Randy watches movies" joke.

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  119. 1144 you're dumb as shit

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  120. No Andrew, I've had bad sex and I'm referring primarily to the good sex I've had. Face it, whacking off is a clean, 5 minute deal that you can easily move into and out of. Sex is a damn contact sport that will take upwards of an hour. You can't make it easy, but you can at least make it worth the time.

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  121. @11:54

    Perhaps the good sex you have had is simply better bad sex?

    "Face it, whacking off is a clean, 5 minute deal that you can easily move into and out of. Sex is a damn contact sport that will take upwards of an hour."

    Maybe if you're only in it for the orgasm, which might prove what I'm saying even more. If the actual feeling of sex isn't enough to justify it, you just aren't having good sex. If I'm having good sex then I'll actually hold back as long as possible, and then I am actually bummed out when I finally climax.

    And the difference between masturbation and sex is like the difference between watching a music video and having a front row seat at a live show. If you say that live music isn't worth it because it's too much money and you could just as easily watch the video on youtube, then you probably haven't been to a good live show.

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  122. "In b4 "bragging about sex on the internet", I'm just trying to be informative. If all of your sexual experience has been awful and more work than it's worth, then it's probably just a compatibility issue."

    i immediately thought of a terrible xkcd strip with this as the punchline. it's what he'd do

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  123. Awful lot of talk for a bunch of guys who never have had sex and never will...

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  124. @6:26

    Right, since if you're on the internet you must be a virgin.

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  125. andrew, xkcd cuddlefish do not understand people. they think everyone else is like them and frequently project themselves onto others.

    their thought process goes sort of like this:

    1. he does not like xkcd.
    2. this means he is an uncultured philistine and super nerd
    3. this means he is worse than me
    4. i am a virgin
    5. they are virgins

    tell me about your mother

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  126. So I heard Carl is shutting the blog down for the 800th comic?

    That's a shame, but maybe it's a good thing. I mean, the quality of posting has been decreasing lately...

    So long, xkcdsucks!

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  127. Skullthumper: "[...] IT IS HILARIOUS AND YOU ARE TOTALLY ORIGINAL."

    Why thank you. In fact, you complained about it several times on this very blog.

    9:13: "So I heard Carl is shutting the blog down for the 800th comic?"

    Uhhh.. yes, yes, that is exactly what is going to happen. Don't tell anyone though. And never come back here after the post for 800, because, y'know, the blog will be all shut-down and stuff.

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  128. @Evln: so you know what is going to happen, don't you?

    What is going to happen?

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  129. I know everything.

    Except not.

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  130. "Though there are certain things similar between them. Basically, each of them are based on at least a slight foundation of truth, and so have some of the same guidelines/rules. For example, both say to end phone calls and dates first. So seeing an actual date between a Rules Girl and a Pickup Artist could have potential for humor."

    I have to say, this is absolute comedy gold. I've read The Game (which always seemed to me a condemnation of the practice as disgusting and self-defeating, so I don't understand people living by it), but I wasn't aware of the Rules until this comic. The idea of the two on a date? Priceless. Instead the entire joke is, "These people are condemnable for their opinions and lifestyle and I wish they all wouldn't bother me... because I'm regularly bothered by these people sitting at home writing posts on Internet blogs all night."

    However, the superior of the two jokes requires the building of identifiable characters to make jokes based on a subtext of what we know about them. This is like Randall's kryptonite, so it's pretty clear why we got the piss-awful joke we did.

    So I read about the Pew research study that found Athiests were more knowledgeable about religion than people who actually believed. I think it'd be interesting to poll members of xkcdsucks versus actual fans with questions about Randall and his comic and see if the data supports the idea that we probably have a much more robust knowledge of xkcd than its fans. In addition, we can point to that when fans come by and tell them, "If you were as smart as we are, you might share our opinion." and see how they like chewing on that.

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  131. I know that aloria is somehow involved in the "800" thing. Pretty sure if Carl wanted to shut down the blog, he would be able to do it on his own.

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  132. The waste of energy on this site is such a shame. Can you think of something more useful to do with your time than critiquing comics or (inevitably) this post?

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  133. 11:01, you're so hypocritically funny. ^_^

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  134. Andrew: I wouldn't call it a compatibility issue. I'd say my current partner and I are great together; I certainly don't know what a partner could do better than she does and I feel like I do what I need to for her experience. But that still doesn't change the fact that it's sweaty, hard work with the goal of achieving orgasm.

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  135. Man, 800 was ripe for a "I just lost The Game- oh wait, it was under my bed the whole time!"-joke.

    It's not original in the least, but that hasn't stopped him earlier.

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  136. 11:18

    "it's sweaty, hard work with the goal of achieving orgasm."

    HOLD THE PHONE

    THAT'S YOUR PROBLEM RIGHT THERE FUCKO

    IF YOU THINK SEX IS ALL ABOUT THE ORGASM THEN I PITY YOU AND ALSO I PITY YOUR PARTNER

    BECAUSE ADMITTING TO THAT MEANS YOU'RE TERRIBLE AT SEX

    TERRIBLE AT SEX

    IF SEX ISN'T GOOD WHEN YOU'RE SEXING AND NOT FINISHING THEN IT'S BAD SEX

    BAD SEX

    IT'S LIKE SITTING THROUGH TWO HOURS OF THE TITANIC JUST TO SEE A SHIP SINK.

    YOUR ATTITUDE TO LOVEMAKING IS LIKE THE EXCUSES BOYS MAKE FOR WATCHING PERIOD CHICK FLICKS

    THAT IS HOW BAD AT SEX YOU ARE

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  137. "So I read about the Pew research study that found Athiests were more knowledgeable about religion than people who actually believed."

    this seems pretty obvious? theists will only have one faith and reddit/youtube atheists spend a lot of time hatong on religion

    the average xkcd fan will just take a minute at max three days a week and then do something else. we spend more time analysing, thinking and discussing how shitty the latest comicis

    again, obvious

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  138. Well, anyway I was right.

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  139. As right as you are about XKCD Carl, when are you going to have the balls to take on the steaming heap of faece that is Girl Genius? Or Weapon Brown? Or Lullaby? Don't get me wrong, I love this blog. It cuts through the bull, and brings order into a festering heap of internet chaos. But we have only begun to fight!
    -Hannawar

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  140. I have to say- that Tom the Bug guy you ref- he REALLY sucks (except for the God one- that was funny)

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  141. My feeling on this comic was that it was not funny because of Stephen Hawking. It was funny because some guy in a wheel chair asks people to go see a movie with him, but they are so blown away by the fact that Stephen Hawking (a scientist!) said it that they leave him alone. Sad, pathetic and alone, in a wheelchair.

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  142. Dear everybody,
    you're all stupid butt faces.

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