Monday, October 18, 2010

Comic 807: A Many-Splendored Thing

terrible things
[ALT: Or love in general, for that matter. It just leads to the idea that either your love is pure, perfect, and eternal, and you are storybook-compatible in every way with no problems, or you're LYING when you say 'I love you'. (sic)]

I'm going to be frank with you. I don't recall ever being so utterly surprised by a comic as this one--especially the alt text. I have never finished reading one and sitting back and thinking "Holy shit" like I have here. This one just blew me away with how fucking terrible it is. I didn't think Randy could stoop to that level.

We've all made fun of his creepy romance comics before--the ones which are all bleak and depressing and about things ending in despair, but those always felt like he was at least going for artful, like if you squinted and looked at it kind of sideways it wasn't expressing the author's sentiments. He distanced himself from them, kind of. There was plausible deniability. Not so for this one! This reads straight up like the rant of a man who just got dumped hardcore, and is pissed about it. (Note: I think it's dumped, not rejected. Hopefully the reasons will become clear.)

We'll start with the comic, which on its own I might have found unremarkable--here we have the implication that all relationships based on common interests are shallow as all get-out, and entirely misleading! (I will not make any snide remarks about how Randy frequently romanticizes people based solely on things they are into. I am above that sort of thing.) Do you hear me? You're fooling yourself into thinking that liking the same things means you'll have any connection with someone, because, uh, other people like the same things, too, and you aren't dating all of THEM, are you??

Nevermind that information like "your favorite song/your interests" tends to be material for first dates, or the first couple dates, and isn't the basis for entire relationships. But it's pretty easy to have a conversation about your favorite bands, if you aren't a complete idiot, and traditionally the way we get to know someone is by having conversations with them. Not sure why Randy doesn't like this method This makes perfect sense for Randy, who has the social skills of a rotten ham sandwich.

And then we get to the alt text. Oh man, the alt text. This is your textbook nerd-gets-dumped sour grapes. "Love is stupid anyway, because when I said I love you she dumped me and that means that love doesn't last forever so why should I even want love because it's all dumb?" It is, of course, entirely unconvincing--he desperately wants that connection, that storybook perfection, and it shows--but he's trying so fucking hard to act like he's SO OVER this love thing, it's stupid and he doesn't even understand it, GOD people are so much dumber than computers!

This is the part that really shocked me with its hideousness. This isn't striving for deep, or artful, or funny. This is just straight up "either your love is 100% storybook perfect or you're a LYING LIARFACE." It's a tantrum, put in a place where he knows he'll get his legion of loyal fans to read it and say "OMG SO TRUE," despite its lack of profundity, its offensive simplicity, its complete lack of saying anything but "I lack the emotional maturity to handle my breakups in an adult way."

This is the sort of thing that should only appeal to emotionally stunted self-diagnosed Aspies who congratulate themselves on their poor understanding of social dynamics, thinking that they are profound realizations that pierce the veil of dishonesty that shroud all human interactions. It only gets worse if Randy isn't being sincere, since it means he's just cynically exploiting people who don't know any better--letting them assume that because he says something they agree with that he has a level of profound genius. He ought to be fucking ashamed of himself.

...actually, I take it all back. Randy knows his target audience fucking perfectly.

136 comments:

  1. The goatkcd of this made me smirk.

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  2. This was kind of a bitter sort of "so it's come to this" realization. It is just kind of a grim reminder of how goddamn far xkcd has fallen.

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  3. I like how we've been getting piles upon piles of horse manure after Carl's exodus.

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  4. "This is just straight up 'either your love is 100% storybook perfect or you're a LYING LIARFACE.'"

    What? Randy is against that dichotomy and is saying that romanticizing love leads to that belief.

    Like, some people will say, "Oh, we broke up, so I guess we were never actually in love in the first place (because true love doesn't fail)." Randy is not promoting this attitude.

    xkcd is terrible and everything about this comic is dumb, but your explanation of the alt text reads like you're just putting words in his mouth.

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  5. I'm surprised that this commentary didn't address the fact that "SERIOUSLY, I LIKE TOO!" is the basis of much of xkcd's fandom. That was my initial reaction.

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  6. This comic was really bad, but it was so short that I didn't mind so much. I'm not saying I liked it, I just mean that it didn't even last long enough to excite any kind of emotional reaction from me. I might as well have just watched a bug fly past me. Like, "Oh... there it is. I guess that was the comic."

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  7. Yeah, really. Think of all the XKCD comics that aim for nothing other than to make the fans go "OMG I like Linux too! I love you, Randall Munroe!"

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  8. damn, how do I link a url in blogspot?

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  9. Reposting here since this was posted to the purgatory of the last post of the last post...
    Comic:
    Seriously? –
    I Like Linux penguins and Richard Stallman too! I bet no two people in the history of the world have ever been so connected!

    Caption: I’m not sure why we romanticize “engineers”.

    ------------------
    Side note: Rob stole "pieced the veil" from the center panel of this [url=http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2029#comic]SMBC[/url], which is understandable since it is one of the greatest lines I've read in a long while.

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  10. Reposting here since this was posted to the purgatory of the last post of the last post...
    Comic:
    Seriously? –
    I Like Linux penguins and Richard Stallman too! I bet no two people in the history of the world have ever been so connected!

    Caption: I’m not sure why we romanticize “engineers”.

    ------------------
    Side note: Rob stole "pieced the veil" from the center panel of this SMBC (http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2029#comic), which is understandable since it is one of the greatest lines I've read in a long while.

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  11. The greatest line you've read in a long while is a cliche? I did not know that and I'm supposed to be omniscient!

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  12. RANDALL MUNROE RELATIONSHIP WATCHOctober 18, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    Randall Monroe currently does…*NOT*…have a girlfriend.

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  13. "You have pierced the veil of nature and glimpsed pure truth" is a great line to tell a scientist just after he gets a paper accepted or published, especially against the backdrop of how meaningless most scientists view their work. Sarcasm works on many levels.

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  14. Randall cheat sheet
    -------------------
    Girlfriend?
    yes[ ] no[x]

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  15. OMG I WAS A TEENAGER ONCE! GOOMHR!

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  16. And my first edit...
    http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k537/xkcdfanboy/connected-update.png

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  17. One of the best goatkcds in a while though. The quotes around "young love" really seal it for me.

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  18. I think http://goatkcd.com/800/ is better. The Airofoil one a few comics on is alright too.

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  19. Yeah, the alt text is just shockingly horrible. Is he seriously saying that if your love isn't completely perfect and problem-free, then your love is a TOTALLY FAKE LIE? That's just...so dumb I don't even have words for it.

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  20. "I like how we've been getting piles upon piles of horse manure after Carl's exodus."

    crandall learned the true meaning of terrible from writing and reading this blog, which is why the comic went from declining but capable of redemption to holy shit this fucking sucks within the blog's lifetime. Crandall learned all he could, and is now a master of shitting on everything. at that point, the blog lost its true purpose so he resigned it.

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  21. I think the best edit would be the one that subtly implies that Randall is a pedophile ("young love", get it?) Maybe a sequel to this?

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  22. No, Chaos, he's saying that romanticising love leads to the unreasonable idea that if it's not perfect then it's false... which is, I mean, duh. That's what romanticising is. An eschewal of realism for idealism. The "insight" is true for romanticising anything.

    The fact that he wrote it in first person without even trying to make a joke out of it combined with the complete lack of perspective indicates that he probably really is bummed out about something though. I want to make fun of him for how utterly shithouse this installment of XKCD is, but unfortunately there is a limit to my cruelty.

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  23. "I'm surprised that this commentary didn't address the fact that "SERIOUSLY, I LIKE TOO!" is the basis of much of xkcd's fandom. That was my initial reaction."

    this may not be the most compelling defense ever, but honestly the reason I didn't go there is it was too easy. not that I don't go for low-hanging fruit, but I could have written so much about that one. that's why I just made a passing parenthetical reference to it--the temptation was too great to just go on and on.

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  24. oh, and re: "pierced the veil"--I don't read SMBC (no reason, I just don't), but it's a lot older than that. it's old enough that a post-hardcore band in 1998 decided it would be cool to name themselves "Pierce the Veil."

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  25. "This is the sort of thing that should only appeal to emotionally stunted self-diagnosed Aspies who congratulate themselves on their poor understanding of social dynamics, thinking that they are profound realizations that pierce the veil of dishonesty that shroud all human interactions."

    FUCKING TOLD. High five now please. I mean WOW. Hot damn. I can quote you, right? I can quote you on 4chan? Jesus what an awesome paragraph. I used to be one of those guys. Keep it coming, Rob.

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  26. My edit:

    Girl: RANDALL get out of my head!!! ... Seriously, that's uncomfortable. Get out of there.

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  27. This comic is so astoundingly, SHOCKINGLY terrible that I thought it would be impossible to criticise it properly. But you did a brilliant job, Rob. Great Rob, job.

    Hilarious Comic Thread post of the day:
    "Today is a sad day for the Internet. Randall Monroe has grown up."

    I honestly don't know if that makes things better or worse. Really, I don't.

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  28. Wow way to miss the point. The joke is that the "You like that song too..." comment is the girl acting like that is ALL that is needed to be "so connected." My Wife and I don't like the same music at all. It's not required to be "connected".
    And then the Alt text says that the ROMANTICIZED version of love is either 100% or phony. Nothing in real life is all-or-nothing like that. Not even love, and its the notion that it perceived as such that he is annoyed with.

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  29. "What? Randy is against that dichotomy and is saying that romanticizing love leads to that belief."

    "And then the Alt text says that the ROMANTICIZED version of love is either 100% or phony. Nothing in real life is all-or-nothing like that. Not even love, and its the notion that it perceived as such that he is annoyed with."

    Anon might be right here, but gawd can you phrase it even more confusing than Randall did? I don't think so.

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  30. Nice one Rob. Another teenage LiveJournal rant disguised as a comic, this is just sad.

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  31. As an (actually diagnosed) aspie, I found this comic to be incredibly stupid and immature. But then, I tend to take pride in figuring out social dynamics, not in purposefully misunderstanding them.

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  32. Did anyone else like the -probably accidental- pun in the alt text? "Lying when you say I love you?" Come on. It's great!

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  33. I like how you felt the need to include the [sic] because he didn't put the period inside the quote (even though that's a grammatical rule that makes no fucking sense).

    Desperate to find something to hate, are we?

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  34. @AKA Tha Schust
    I was wondering what that sic was for. That's mostly an American rule, you know.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_differences#Punctuation

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  35. Well, given that xkcd is a comic that's 25% about language, Randy should probably be getting these things right.

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  36. yeah most people grow up and realize that this "true love" idea is flawed, but the ones who aren't pathetically antisocial at least retain some belief in romance

    basically Randy is violating his own rule. Remember the comic where the guy is doing math wrong, and the other guy says "you suck at math"? Then a girl does math wrong, and the guy says "girls suck at math". This comic is basically saying "I had a terrible experience, so love must be fake". It's the hasty generalization fallacy.

    of course, logic is philosophy, which is "liberal arts" so it can't be worthwhile. I guess that's why he's so bad at it.

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  37. Randall must think he's quite the subverter, right? "Oh, young love... but, you see, I've grown out of those things. MIND BLOWING, isn't it?"

    Which brings us back to: Randall writes for teenagers now. And depressed teenagers who can't get hooked up, so they'll happily accept that pandering that validates their views about "this stupid thing called love that all the other people have but I don't need. It's not because I can't get hooked up srsly!"

    And the alt-text is confusing. He is, in fact, talking about romanticized love, not his views on love, but still. The message is that love isn't perfect and absolute blah blah blah, we all heard that in countless love songs and romantic comedies in the last decades.

    So: Randall is writing for high school nerds. Next comic will be about how it's so much cooler to hang in your basement with a couple of REAL friends than going out with people who REALLY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU. Or how one day the nerds will be the jocks' bosses.

    This comic is depressing, but in a completely different way than intended.

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  38. "piercing the corporate veil" is in fact much older than that, guys

    SMBC did not invent the concept of going after the assets of the owner of a limited liability entity

    lol

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  39. RANDALL MUNROE RELATIONSHIP WATCHOctober 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    RANDALL MUNROE RELATIONSHIP WATCH:

    Randall Munroe currently does...oh man. Oh...jeez, Randall. Do you need to talk? You look like you need to talk to somebody. It's going to be okay, man.

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  40. psh SMBC invented nearly all the concepts we use today. you just don't hear about it and you know why? modesty.

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  41. shufti: if I were desperate I wouldn't have left out things to hate because I didn't have enough space for them all (cf. my response at 1:54). I mostly wanted it clear that the punctuation is Randall's, not my own. (we've had discussions about Randy's punctuation on here before.)

    Anon 3:49: "I can quote you, right?"

    feel free.

    Carter: yeah, I have no problem with people who actually have disorders. it's the self-diagnosed ones who think that being socially inept makes them awesome that Randy is writing for.

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  42. Oh wow...
    I read this comic and I didn't actually think anything of it until I checked again the next day it was up and read the alt-text.

    Randall...no. Just no.

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  43. Two points:
    1) Randall appears to suck at life :(
    2) SMBC is the best comic in the history of man (with the possible exception of PBF)

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  44. Rob,
    Is there a way to automatically crate a new thread at midnight-MWF, so that all comments about a specific comic can be in the same thread? Then you can edit in your criticism/rant when you have time?

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  45. it's possible, but I feel that fucks with people who follow the blog via RSS. and I'd have to do it manually, which, while not difficult as such, would be vaguely annoying. and since I'm PST it probably wouldn't get done if I go out that evening.

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  46. Anyone else get the sense from Randall's laughably bad portrayal of "young love" that he never actually experienced it?

    He's laughing at a younger version of himself (as we all learn to do when we grow up), he's looking back and saying "I bet I didn't miss much".

    It's sad, really.

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  47. As a 13-year-old, I think, in many ways, that this is an accurate picture. In my first romance, everything seemed like SUCH A BIG DEAL when, I suppose, it really wasn't, which makes me a little sad. I would stress that, even so, we were actually in love for quite a while, which seems very different from what I hear from my peers. When you hear kids gossip, the word 'love' gets bandied about quite a bit in the same way it does in pop music--with no meaning other than 'hey, we like the same songs and we like to make out' or 'we like the same songs, and we've never touched, I like you, you're my boyfreind, oh, we broke up'. Even adults are a little like that. And, as Randall MEANT in the alt text before you twisted his words, a relationship is not a fairy tale. people fight. People are not always compatible in every way. But they can love each other anyway.

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  48. ...you're 13, dude. you do not have wisdom or perspective.

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  49. ...yeah. You're 13. That pretty much proves my point.

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  50. Crazy Phenomenon: xkcd
    If it worked, nerds would be using it to make a killing in...getting laid.
    Are they?

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  51. I like 808, even though it isn't funny at all.

    It reads like a logical argument rather than a lulzy comic strip, but that's ok because xkcd hasn't been funny for ages.

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  52. I'm just amazed that real people say things that sound like a conservative made them up and put them into a liberal straw man's mouth

    "ruthlessly profit-focused"

    lol whatevs Glenn Beck, no one really says that, c'mon man

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  53. holy shit you guys

    SUPERSTITIONS DON'T EXIST BUT SCIENCE DOES

    oh my god i never knew

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  54. Actually, some people argue for some of those things with the claim that the only reason they're not universally accepted is that big business wants to retain their stranglehold on society's wallets. Health care cost reduction helps the consumer, not the health care industry.

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  55. yes everyone wants to be a monopolist, but who can?

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  56. Adam Smith the RuthlessOctober 19, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    DON'T FORGET TO BUY YOUR POSTERS.

    If that was an actual comic the last panel or alt-text would inform that it orginates from "An xkcd-Mas Story". Yes, orginates.

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  57. Randall doesn't know how health care works, how adorable.

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  58. Another insight that everybody already knows! Get Out Of Common Sense's Head Randall!

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  59. "People are not always compatible in every way. But they can love each other anyway."


    ohmigodreally
    really???
    someone write a fucking treatise on this nugget

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  60. This new comic is awful, but it has one defining feature- Randall "Che Graphvera" Monroe has used a FUCKING RULER for the first time in his 800 comic or so career.

    I know this is like congratulating him for wiping his ass after going to the shitter, but Seriously- it's about FUCKING TIME that he at least invested the half dollar and fifteen seconds of his time to DRAW STRAIGHT LINES

    I mean he doesn't even NEED a ruler- he could have just used his EXPERIMENTAL OS to draw straight lines? then he doesnt need to do silly 'liberal arts' things like invest his profits (poster money) into materials and tools that improve his services (a half dollar fucking plastic fucking ruler).

    That is. however the only redeeming feature of the new comic, that the chart lines don't look like they were drawn freehand by a drunken one-armed monkey with parkinson's.

    c.f. every fourth xkcd.

    New comic also comes across as I AM RANDALL MONROW SAYANCE GAWD

    Which irritates me endlessly, since his degree structure was basically programming with a focus on pretending to 'do' physics (come back when you've spent some time in a fucking lab) and his work experience consisted of ironing out compiling errors in Other People's Code.

    tl;dr
    "I just found the straight line feature in mspaint"
    "LOL! I LEARNED SCIENCE ON WIKIPEDIA"

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  61. @ Anon 9:52

    Yeah, that's exactly what I thought when I read it. That argument against auras etc makes zero sense. Companies would LOSE money by reducing health care costs with cheap remedies, not "make a killing." I'm not saying I think homeopathic medicine works or anything, just that the argument against it in the comic is flawed.

    Granted, Randall doesn't even know what homeopathy is, as evidenced by his last comic on the subject.

    Also, I thought there were multiple militaries that DID employ psychics.

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  62. Wow... totally disagree with everything just written.

    This is a sarcastic comic - and what's more, he is not dissing the notion of 'love', but ROMANTICISED love and THAT is the difference. "Why do we romanticise love, because if it is [this romantic notion] then it is either perfect or a lie."

    what he's saying is that love isn't perfect...

    and that shallow relationships shouldn't be romanticised for something they aren't.

    Jesus Christ, and you think *he* has relationship/love issues? I'm amazed you even read that much into such a small comic.

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  63. @ anon 10:11

    Of course Randy doesn't know how the economics of health care works. Economics is a liberal art and is therefore stupid and useless.

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  64. GPS is a military tech, not a result of capitalism. You're so dumb, Randy.

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  65. First, I'd like to say thanks to xkcdsucksredux for making it possible for me to see what shit is going on xkcd without actually having to give Randall the traffic. That's very neat.

    And now, my first comment on this "strip", which will be a summary of my comment over there, anyway. So, how many problems with this issue? Two:

    ART: Randall is lazy, and probably never heard of infographs. That's why he presents us his data as a table, instead of anything even REMOTELY INTERESTING. So, somehow, Randall manages to get even lazier. Thanks a lot for yet another non-comic, Randall Munroe!

    WRITING: Let me put it this way: Carl Sagan did this much better. For some reason, he didn't sound like a smug asshole. Must be because he did have a legitimate interest in educating people and tried to understand their desires and what led them to believe in bullshit. Randall, on the other hand, has only the desire to look superior and be loved by Megan(won't happen!)

    And it seems there's some critical research failure on his part... but I didn't read the new comments yet. Let's see...

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  66. Hey Mole, I know you don't like xkcd, nobody does anymore. But you really like criticizing it. I bet you like it so much that you like it more than reading any other webcomic. So the least you can do is give Randall Munroe the traffic, I mean: he is the one providing you with the comics you so like to hate.

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  67. Nice try, RANDALL.

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  68. I know Ronny, and I can assure you he is not Randall Munroe. Otherwise, he would have picked a name less likely to betray him.

    By the way, have you checked the xkcd store? Lots of cool items over there, folks!

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  69. And here we have yet another bitter, bitchy comic from Munroe. I used to love this comic, and still enjoy it on occasion, but am quickly growing tired of him spitefully lashing out everything.

    "Oh, you think you're in love? THERE'S NO SUCH THING EITHER YOU ARE LIVING A LIE OR WILL DIE ALONE!!! What's that, you're praying for healing? GUESS WHAT IT WON'T WORK SUCK ON SOME SCIENCE, BITCH!!!"

    Really, when you behave like that, no one gives a fuck if you're right or not. They just want you to shut up already. I get the feeling xkcd is quickly turning into the Funky Winkerbean of stick-figure webcomics.

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  70. Lol, guys, you're all phonies!

    YOU HEARD THAT? I READ THE CATCHER IN THE RYE! I'M COOL, RIGHT?

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  71. Randall probably had no idea why people hated Holden so much, assuming he read the book at all.

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  72. "I know this is like congratulating him for wiping his ass after going to the shitter, but Seriously- it's about FUCKING TIME that he at least invested the half dollar and fifteen seconds of his time to DRAW STRAIGHT LINES"

    I like the hand-drawn lines. I think that if he didn't use them some people (well, people who don't read xkcdsucks) might be fooled into thinking his charts have some validity. At least anyone can see a hand-drawn chart and know that it only exists to make some sort of point, whether it's a good point or whether it makes it well or not, rather than being an actual presentation of data.

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  73. Thanks Randall! You've found the logical contradiction in combining conservative asshole's views of ultra-capitalism with hippy liberal douchebag's views of homeopathy/astrology/tarot/etc.

    God damn he's clever.

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  74. Oh great. More Pharyngula bait (just like the last homeopathy one, this'll be on Pharyngula by this afternoon).

    I'm probably being as obnoxious as Randall on airfoils, but I'm tired of hearing that GPSs need relativity to work. Nothing in the basic concept of a GPS REQUIRES relativity for them to function. Relativity introduces a potential error into the position given by the GPS. GPSs take this error into account, correct for it, and give accurate positions. So relativity must be accounted for, but that's not the same as "the basic concept of GPSs requires relativity to work".

    Successfully dealing with the real-world complications predicted by a theory is a practical test of the truth of the theory. But if the theory was false, the complications wouldn't exist.

    The evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a practical test of evolutionary theory. That doesn't mean we needed an understanding of evolutionary theory before we discovered penicillin, nor do we need it to discover new antibiotics that aren't yet resisted.

    Do we really need QED for semiconductors? I doubt it, but don't know enough about semiconductor design. I suspect it introduces complications; quantum effects becoming more significant as circuits shrink? The latest candidate for 1st transistor was built in 1947, a year which also saw a breakthrough in QED theory. But these seem unrelated; Bethe's QED refinement didn't suddenly make the transistor possible.

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  75. Guys! I just read the best Wikipedia article (er ... rather the best Wikipedia article summary)!

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  76. @Sepia

    Wikipedia: "Without (relativistic) correction, initial errors in the pseudorange of roughly 10 km/day would accumulate."

    Dear fucking christ. This isn't a "potential error". This means the GPS literally can't work without an understanding of relativity.

    "Do we really need QED for semiconductors?"

    I'm literally bleeding out of my eyes from reading that statement. A very recent example of how fucking stupid you are comes from the 2009 nobel prize in physics: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2009/

    Seriously, Solid State Physics is the largest largest and best funded field of physics for a reason. Discoveries there lead directly to applications in electronic devices, including the goddamn microprocessor in your fucking computer that allowed you to make your above comment and give me this migraine.

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  77. Arthur you dumbass that was a question not a statement if you're going to be condescending at least take the time to not make retarded mistakes like that.

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  78. Here's a crazy idea Anonymous: If you're going to make stupid statements about topics you don't know anything about THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T MAKE THEM AT ALL. Or here's another crazy idea: DO A 30 SECOND GOOGLE SEARCH BEFORE BLURTING OUT THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND.

    Finally, where's the goddamn question mark when it came to the GPS? OH RIGHT, THERE IS NONE.

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  79. Maybe if you took ten seconds to think about what you read before yelling about everyone in the universe except you is a total retard you'd realize I was referring to this:
    ""Do we really need QED for semiconductors?"

    I'm literally bleeding out of my eyes from reading that statement."

    It is very clearly a question, you called it a statement. Dumbass.

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  80. Also, if you're seriously the least bit angry about this I seriously suggest you get help before you have an aneurysm from somebody misusing the word "theory" or something. If you're doing this because you think that fake rage and ALLCAPS is INSTANT COMEDY GOLD, it's not.

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  81. "A very recent example of how fucking stupid you are comes from the 2009 nobel prize in physics."

    Arthur, you are a smug douchebag. Instead of sharing your knowledge of science with others, you prefer to use it as a weapon to insult others and feel superior.

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  82. I didn't have a problem with anyone misusing language. No, that's your piss-poor criticism.

    Holy shit! You're right! I used the word statement when I should have used the word question. You have found my fucking kryptonite.

    WHEN DID I TALK IN ALL CAPS? Ok. Point well taking. Caps are lame. On the other hand, WE'RE ALL FAKE ENRAGED NOW THAT ROB IS THE CORE BLOGGER ON THIS WEBSITE.

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  83. @Renato

    You're right, I'm going to cry now :'(

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  84. Arthur you tool sepia is strictly speaking correct in his assertions that you don't need relitivity for GPS to work- (it just 'works' so badly that there's BASICALLY no point in using it; also in a universe without relativity it'd work correctly without correction- BASICALLY relativity is an obsticle/error that has to be overcome/compensated from a design point of view rather than an essential working component; hence randall's logic is a little iffy)

    And it's possible to understand simple (i.e. chunkor 3000 style) semiconductor physics and devices with a rudimentary grasp of quantum (as opposed to quantum electrodynamic) mechanics.

    I understand your objections but your use of hyperbole coupled with your lack of understanding of the actual point at hand (which you retort to with SCIENCE FACTS AND FIGURES) makes you come across like some kind of ultra self diagnosed aspie.

    JUST SAYIN'

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  85. BJLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH that's not what "hyperbole" means my brains are LITERALLY LEAKING OUT MY EARS from how FUCKING RETARDED you aRE!!!!

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  86. ALSO THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "CHUNKOR300" you fucking IMBECILE!

    my EYES are BLEEDEING from the shear RETARDATION of what you just said!

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  87. "hence randall's logic is a little iffy"

    Now we're at the crux of the issue, and it is you who does not understand the actual point at hand.

    Here's why Randall's logic isn't "iffy" (at least not on this particular point): Randall's comic asks a very specific question. What concepts does a company need to know in order to make a ton of money?

    To prove that Randall's logic is "iffy" you need to provide the answer to the following question: How will a company make a killing selling GPS systems if they don't know anything about relativity? How will a company make a killing making microprocessors without understanding QED?

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  88. Gosh people, Randall never said the new theories and discoveries were completely necessary for GPS / semi conductors to work, he just said they've been used to make good money out of it.
    And I'm pretty sure that statement is correct. Because of the physical discoveries, we've been able to tweak those technologies in a way that allows companies to make loads of money with them. Nobody would buy a GPS that can't tell you exactly where you are (geeks who buy any new electronic device that comes out aside).

    That said, the comic is bad, of course. Randall really is on a roll lately.

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  89. Wierdly enough the new SMBC comic is about GPS as well. Its funny but a bit of an old joke. Actually its really hard to even slightly critisise SMBC when you look at what xkcd spews out three times a week.

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  90. Theoretical semiconductor physicist here, just dropping in to say that I've never heard of quantum electrodynamics being used in the semiconductor industry -- certainly not to any major extent.

    Quantum mechanics, yes. We use quantum mechanics all the fricking time, for everything. But not quantum electrodynamics, which is just a small part of quantum mechanics. QED explains some of how quantum mechanics works, but it's not really necessary for understanding solid-state physics, and if you talk to most solid state physicists you'll find they only have the vaguest idea of how QED works -- it's much more an area for particle physicists to worry about than folks involved in semiconductor design.

    My guess: Randall was going to say quantum mechanics, but decided quantum electrodynamics sounds cooler. He probably doesn't really understand the distinction.

    Oh, and 807 sucks absolute donkey balls, making 808 a huge improvement.

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  91. "Theoretical semiconductor physicist here, just dropping in to say that I've never heard of quantum electrodynamics being used in the semiconductor industry -- certainly not to any major extent."

    You are so FUCKING RETARDED this question LITERALLY made BLOOD SHOOT FROM EVERY ONE OF MY ORIFICES.

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  92. you all are just jealous of the Gorgeous Man-King's successful webcomicking business.

    Also, Arthur is a Randallian plant sent to sow distrust amongst your ranks. re: 1121 there IS no question there, it is again a statement. But we forgive your dyslexia, Arnold.

    All hail Randall, the obvious king of the internet.

    Captcha: Fansess. What Randalls is having lotss of (Rndll! Rndll!)

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  93. No paranormal in the military? For such a big geek, Randall REALLY must be missing the trope of "Military hides secrets". I'm starting to question whether he has actually ever seen any science fiction show from start to finish.

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  94. Also, I give Randall probably unearned points for the clause "...companies would be making a killing in the Military". But that's probably unintentionally like that.

    Captcha: ovenally. How did you bake those cookies?

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  95. Wait? I'm a plant? But I'm also sowing? Truly mine is a malicious plot.

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  96. That or you're some kind of fungus. Man, those things' reproduction? Seriously fucked up. Asexual, Sexual, and then the third kind.

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  97. ITT:

    Arthur tries too hard.

    Not checked:
    Phenomena as potential, (read: non-existent) lower cost/benefit ratio, solutions to actual problems that have existing solutions.

    Checked:
    Phenomena that needed to be solved and understood, or cropped up, as components of known solutions to known problems.

    Counter-Argument for the table:

    Crazy Phenomena:
    Spontaneous generation

    If it worked companies would make a killing in ...
    Cricket Production

    Are they?
    Yep.

    Crazy Phenomena:
    Alchemy

    If it worked companies would make a killing in ...
    Transmutation

    Are they?
    Yep.

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  98. look what I found http://xkcdsw.com/3033

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  99. My main problem with the new comic is his use of "phenomenon". Really, I just hate when people perpetuate relativity as some hyper-advanced topic that only Einstein understood. It's nothing extraordinary - you experience it every day when cars on the other side of the road *appear* to be moving a lot faster than they really are. I think most people can figure out the physics of how that works (GPS is a bit more complicated, but only because of the nature of GPS, not relativity). Maybe I'm just too attached to my idea of a phenomenon being something rare and unknown. I'll give him phenomenon on QED (think solar panels), but he doesn't seem to understand it at all, given that most semiconductors make no use of the concept.

    However, I did laugh on the "Crystal Energy - Regular Energy" part. First laugh on xkcd in a VERY long time for me. Is there a support group for that? xkcd sobriety?

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  100. Two paragraphs in, my eyes are already glazing over, and you say, "We'll start with the comic?"

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  101. @Kevin:

    What? You've seriously never heard "phenomenon" used generally? It's a pretty common phenomenon.

    According to etymonline.com, the word entered English in the 1570s and never acquired any "extraordinary" connotations until two centuries later.

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  102. i <3 xkcdsw, guys

    it is very often a) much funnier than xkcd or b) a hilar deconstruction of xkcd or c) both

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  103. Man, the latest xkcd is so spectacularly lame. Carl sure quit at the wrong time.

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  104. I think the stream of awful XKCD's right after Carl announced that he was quitting may not be a coincidence.

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  105. "Two paragraphs in, my eyes are already glazing over, and you say, "We'll start with the comic?""

    I'm sorry reading more than twelve words at a time hurts your poor ickle brain, but that's hardly my problem.

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  106. http://xkcdsw.com/2968 actually made me laugh with my mouth.

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  107. Gee, must be nice to have an army of sheep who laugh at you making fun of a person with an a army of sheep.

    This comic, including its alt-text is a SARCASTIC comic about ROMANTICIZED love. Good thing you don't have to worry about your fans noticing, they're too busy making cracks about Randall's love life.

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  108. UndercoverCuddlefishOctober 20, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    hey i fucking hate rob

    i just happen to hate randall more

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  109. 6:12, the man who romanticizes the shit out of EVERYTHING (including, but not limited to: ballpits, GPS, and the Mars rover) has no right to make a "sarcastic" comic about something he probably never experienced in the first place.

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  110. Rob's kinda like Stalin. By any objective scale he's pretty terrible but you put up with him for now while there's something even more terrible out there that he's helping you deal with.

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  111. anon 6:12: if it's sarcastic then why did randy cry when he wrote it?

    and why did he change his livejournal mood to 'depressed' after uploading?

    THESE QUESTIONS DEMAND ANSWERS

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  112. @Kevilicious

    "It's nothing extraordinary - you experience it every day when cars on the other side of the road *appear* to be moving a lot faster than they really are."

    The extraordinary part is that if the other car were moving at the speed of light (3x10^8 m/s) then it wouldn't "appear" to be moving any faster at all! It would still be coming at you at 3x10^8 m/s.

    (By the way, the use of "appear" here is meaningless. There is no suitable way to define speeds in a way that doesn't depend on the observer doing the measuring. The exception is the speed of light itself: all inertial observers will agree that it's 3x10^8 m/s.)

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  113. I think the fat went up to Rob's brain.

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  114. My hobby: cutting myself with a razor and embracing my pain as the only certain proof that I still live in this cold, uncaring world.

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  115. CRAAAAAAAAAAAWLING IIIIIIIIIIIIIN MY SKIIIIIIIIIIIN...

    -Randall Munroe, circa 2010 A.D.

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  116. Um, Rob? Why are you following Randy's LiveJournal?

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  117. Aaawwww

    Little Rob has decided to drop down to one internet moniker, eh?

    Not likely ...

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  118. Actually I like this comic. It's a (simple) reflection on how, sometimes, we expect too much out of the people we love.

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  119. @3:14

    I totally agree with you!

    Listen to this man!

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  120. Anon@8:57. Thanks for getting my point, and stating it a little more eloquently.

    "in a universe without relativity it'd work correctly without correction- BASICALLY relativity is an obsticle/error that has to be overcome/compensated from a design point of view rather than an essential working component"

    Exactly what I was trying to say. The basic concept behind GPS just requires an accurate clock and a radio. You don't even need satellites; ground based transmitters could work (albeit poorly).

    Arthur: what about antibiotics and evolution? I'm not saying evolutionary theory isn't useful to an antibiotics company, but it's in the form of an "obstacle that has to be overcome rather than an essential working component".

    The pseudosciences Randall lists are the essential working component of the proposed applications. If you get into obstacles (assuming pseudosciences worked), people would be using homeopathy to make a killing in water purifiers (so you don't get poisoned by your drinking water), and using remote viewing to make a killing in tinfoil hats (so the CIA can't read your mind).

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  121. I'm hoping your forced misinterpretation of the alt-text doesn't mean you're going downhill just as fast as XKCD did.

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  122. UndercoverCuddlefishOctober 21, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    @8:34 after the tyranny of carl there is nowhere to go but up

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  123. @Sepia/Anon

    "in a universe without relativity it'd [gps systems] work correctly without correction"

    It seems that your argument is that "gps systems could still work even if the universe didn't obey relativity theory." On the other hand you're saying that the proposed application of pseudoscience could not happen if said pseudoscience principle does not exist. Correct me if I'm wrong on this point.

    It seems to me that you can still do oil prospecting, still reduce health care costs, still do financial planning, etc. without the use of the pseudo-scientific principles. None of them are fundamental to the application, but would quickly become need to know information if they were discovered to actually work.

    I also take issue with the notion that what is needed to overcome the obstacles involved in an application can be decoupled from what is fundamentally necessary. I am reminded of when Maddox of maddox.xmission.com said, "I also have another idea: a car that can fly. I will sue anyone who makes it."

    Ideas are a dime a dozen. Figuring out how to actually make the thing work is what's important. A GPS without relativistic correction is about as useful as Da Vinci's helicopter.

    "what about antibiotics and evolution?"

    I know little to nothing about the science behind antibiotics, so I am not qualified to comment.

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  124. So, we already knew that Carl Z. Wheeler was Randall Munroe...

    And you know what? Rob and Carl are actually THE SAME PERSON!

    But there is more. Did you know that all the comments in xkcdsucks comment threads, whether from Arthur, UndercoverCuddlefish, Sepia or the infamous Anonymous, are in fact written by this guy, who has a very serious personality disorder?

    And yes, sometimes, albeit surrounded by the raging debates that he single handedly created, this guy feels lonely...

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  125. Arthur that comment you just made is so fUCKING STUPID I alm LITERALLY shitting out my eyes right now you DUMB CUNT

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  126. I've created my very own meme <3 I had to admit I stole it though :(

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/8/20/

    captcha: kinglest. Incest for royalty. For example, Hephaestus came out ugly and lame because he was the result of the kinglest between Zeus and his sister/wife Hera.

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  127. Oh my God you think Penny Arcade invented hyperbole I had a fucking SEIZURE just READING your SHITPILE of a comment you dumbfuck.

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  128. @Arthur

    You are so smart and funny, can I send you ideas I have for a ... webcom- ... blog ... with pictures ... and graphs. You seem like exactly the type of person I would like to have around to read Wikipedia articles with. You're a girl too, right?

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  129. Hey everyone, I'm having sex right now.

    Well, I'm thinking about it anyway.

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  130. if by "great" you mean "huge

    and by "huge" you mean "fat"

    then yeah

    you're p. great

    ReplyDelete