Thursday, October 28, 2010

Comic 811: Magic Mirrors

stardust
[ALT: Don't worry! From the light's point of view, home and your eye are in the same place, and the journey takes no time at all! Relativity saves the day again.]

This was supposed to go up yesterday but I ended up not being home at all. So fuck you all etc.

Anyway! This one's pretty terrible. Like with most of beret guy's comics, the end result is usually staring at the monitor blankly, reading it another time, then blinking at the computer and saying "um, okay?" It's apparent that Randy isn't trying to be funny, but rather cute or sweet or some shit (no doubt an attempt to attract a mate)--but how? How is that supposed to be anything but a depiction of some events that happened with a guy who is apparently a crazy?

This one relies on an idea so obvious there's a Bright Eyes song* with a line on a very similar tack: "stars that clear have been dead for years, but the idea just lives on." It's used in a number of ways in its myriad interpretations: to convey a sense of our cosmic insignificance (as Megan here is no doubt trying to do), to convey a sense of the unreliability of our senses, or merely to make people sad, because stars are poetic and poetic things are sad, maybe.

Before I continue discussing the joke, we need to talk about mirrors and frames. Because the general consensus seems to be that nobody, on first reading this comic, could agree on what the fuck Beret Man is holding in the last two panels. I was one of the lucky few who saw a mirror the first time, but even the formidable talent at xkcdexplained saw a frame--beret man is framing the sky, maybe!

I usually avoid talking about the art because it's not really remarkable most of the time--sure, there's lots of floating heads and hovering chair-sitters, but the art isn't so much bad as nonexistent in most cases. Your eyes can glaze over while looking at it, and you don't need to be able to piece it together. Your mind can go somewhere happier, like a world where XKCD never existed, or where Randy is not sad, lonely, and pathetic. In this case, however, the art is bad enough that it's actively interfering with people's ability to even understand the comic. It's not that hard, Randy!

(Oh, also: when I first read the comic, I went back to look to make sure it was a mirror. I could find no solid evidence, but it made more sense than the alternatives, so I stuck with that interpretation. Since then there has been a line added to probably represent beret-guy's mirror arm! Maybe I just missed it the first time, but does anyone else remember that line not being there?)

Onwards! So beret guy is extra sad that Megan is talking about starlight dying when it hits the earth or whatever, so he runs and gets a mirror, I guess, to reflect them back to the sky, so they don't die? Or maybe so they can get back home, where "home" is "the star from which they came?"

There's not much I can say about that besides "um, okay?" It's not that I don't get it--it's clear that that's beret guy's intention. It's that I have no fucking idea why that's his intention. Which is to say, I cannot envision a scenario in which someone thinks that "I HAVE TO SEND THE STARLIGHT BACK HOME" is something that he needs to make into a comic--why he thinks it's sweet, why he thinks it's something that a character in any situation, ever, would plausibly think of as something to do.

Beret dude has always been a problematic character, since his personality seems to mostly be 'being a batshit lunatic.' The problem is I know that's not what Randy is going for. Randy wants him to be sweet and thoughtful and in the moment and existential. But these things are apparently utterly foreign to Randall, so he writes a character who has no consistent traits apart from being crazy--and not even crazy in a consistent way.

This is made worse by the fact that Randy once implied (I don't remember where--if someone has a link I'd be grateful) that beret dude was based on a real person. I can only imagine that said real person, after reading a few of the comics, got a shovel, went out and dug himself a grave, put in a coffin with special rollers, and has spent all of his free time since then rolling over in it. Because fuck, man.

(EDIT: xkcdsucks hero "ray" has sent this improvement to the art, which took fifteen seconds in MS paint.)

*with apologies to conor oberst

89 comments:

  1. OMG I'VE SEEN THE STARS AT NIGHT GOOMHR!

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  2. yes kyothine, it's very common for a post that has been up for ten minutes to not have any comments on it. posts tend to accumulate comments over time.

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  3. I'm also one of the people who thought it was a picture frame when I first read the comic. Honestly, given how Beret Guy acts half the time, a picture frame makes as much sense as a mirror does. I figured maybe he was framing the sky because it's so poignant about the stars dying or whatever. I mean this is the guy who gave a woodpecker an electric drill so who knows.

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  4. But the xkcdexplained kids took down the original review, and quietly replaced it with one that uses the mirror instead!
    HOW

    ORWELLIAN

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  5. The comic originally did not have Beret Guy's arm reflected in the mirror.

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  6. You know, at first I thought they where standing in space.

    And the comic made no fucking sense.

    But then after re-reading it 3-4 times, I finally understood that they're on earth, it's just that Randal is incompetent at drawing so he has no way to really be able to visually distinguish the night sky from the earth.

    I don't know why, but these comic makes me more angry than usual, because it almost feels like he's trying to be "deep" and "meaningful" or some other teenage shit he likes to pull from time to time.

    God I hate XKCD.

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  7. FUCK conor oberst

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  8. Are you planning on reviewing Randal's section in the new "Machine of Death" book?

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  9. shit I didn't know he had a section.

    this is quite a dilemma! should i buy it so i can review it? should i buy it because i like the idea and then review it anyway? should i ask rhetorical questions?

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  10. how does it being a mirror make any sense at all? i mean i'm not arguing that it's not a mirror because the art seems to suggest it is (who knows with randy though), but a frame would actually you know, make sense. stupid beret guy wants to preserve the moment so he tries frames the stars.

    a mirror would ... reflect the starlight? how does that make sense?

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  11. I guess I don't think either of them makes sense, but it seems to me like he wants the starlight to... get back home, or something.

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  12. I'm thinking, don't go after Randall in Machine of Death. This blog is a critique of xkcd, and not specifically Randy's other endeavors.

    That said, 812 may be the worst comic in a long while. I know there's always someone who says that about every comic, but the new one is absolutely horrendous.

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  13. so it is not a good time to announce the new feature 'what randy is doing right now,' updated constantly from outside the nearest window?

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  14. Reflected back so it can continue rather than dying. How hard is that to understand?

    It's kind of amusing. XKCD's good factor is inversely proportional to xkcdsucks'. XKCD's actually been better lately, but you refuse to see it.

    So it goes.

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  15. "XKCD's actually been better lately, but you refuse to see it."

    no, that's Stockholm Syndrome.

    "So it goes."

    you are the worst possible breed of human and I hope you die a thousand painful deaths.

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  16. @ Anonymous 9:30 - I certainly liked 811, and thought it was cute though not funny. I understood that it was a mirror, which puts me in a minority, I suppose.

    However, XKCD 812 is a clear disproof to your conjecture that XKCD has been better lately.

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  17. He's the worst possible breed of human because he likes Kurt Vonnegut books?

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  18. no, because he is desecrating Vonnegut's memory by making idiotic references to him.

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  19. Assimilating Kurt Vonnegut to defend XKCD. Worst. Possible. Breed. Of. Human.

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  20. 808 and 812's attacks on belief in the supernatural lead me to believe that a theist recently told Randy how much his comic sucks.

    And the fact that Munroe mocks the idea that having a degree = smart is so hilarious.

    captcha: incitte

    Yeah.

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  21. I thought it was a frame too, but maybe if it's a mirror, he's holding it up so that the stars can see the pretty dots too

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  22. Couple things on 812:

    1. What?

    2. Apparently, Randall has recently again decided that the "language" part of his comic refers to "strong, profane language" instead of, and completely eclipsing, "funny, interesting insights about language." Damn it, Randall, swear words =/= punchline. I thought you had gotten over this.

    3. Also, cite the article from the alt-text. I know I really shouldn't ask that, and it probably won't happen, but the thing he says the article says really sounds like a bad paraphrase and/or taking something out of context, and now I'm really curious.

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  23. 812:
    What the balls? No really, I mean, I know he works on these late at night, but there's no excuse for something this disjointed and random!

    Ugh, where to begin. Well, for one, there is absolutely no reason to put the lines over the half notes. Literally ANY note could be on a line, and all it is is a visual distraction. Oh, and strictly speaking, there shouldn't be two separate notes if the noise is continuous (unless they're joined, which they're not).

    Two. "...Anything break?" Are you freaking blind? Can you not see for yourself whether or not the glass is broken? Randall, is there really no better way that occurs to you to convey that she's trying to break glass other than just saying it (clumsily)?

    Three. They're talking to "Physics" as though it's God. "Physics" is responding. Part of the reason people back science so strongly is because it's pure and constant, and not subject to whim like people often think God is! If you're going to talk up and get a response from above, call it God! Geez.

    Four. Why is Physics so defensive about the Higgs boson that it'll aggressively alter matter in front of people? What the heck is going on there?

    This is just bad. It's awful. It's bad. I need to sleep now.

    Oh wait, Five! What's that garbage on the table in Panel 4? Did Randall start drawing the glass and then scribble it out? What?

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  24. I have blood too GOOMHR!

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  25. Not to comment the comic in question, but I'm just wondering... what kind of (xkcd) comic would Rob et al. actually find even remotely good or funny? Because I bet one of the older (apparently better) ones would get the same shitty treatment nowadays. Everything is either random, trying to be too cute, not xkcd-ish enough, lame, "artsy", boring etc.

    So is it just that the whole essence of the idea behind xkcd has always been crap?

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  26. Yes and no.

    Autesse: An autistic person. i.e,
    "He is an Autesse." Sounds better than "Autistic Person".

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. See now I had to actually go to the xkcd site to see 812 because nobody has it up yet. Update faster, xkcd hate sites!

    Has anyone else noticed the part at the bottom of the xkcd site that says the comic may contain "advanced mathematics which may be unsuitable for liberal arts majors"? How long has that been there? Because I just noticed it.

    Seriously, how is it not yet legal to stab Randy in the face?

    Does he seriously think the high-school-level math in his comics goes over the heads of liberal arts majors? Granted, the comic used to talk about more advanced math, but why assume that liberal arts majors don't know advanced math? It's just so insulting. My degree is in economics- yeah, didn't need ANY math for that, because it's a stupid useless liberal art and not a hard science.

    I'm just SO sick of his constant jabs at the liberal arts. Especially considering that this is a guy who makes 3 horrible comics a week and sells Tshirts for a living. And who went to a liberal arts college and essentially has a computer science degree, not an actual physics degree.

    Maybe if he'd taken more liberal arts courses, his drawing and writing wouldn't be so horrible. And how can he look down on liberal arts when he apparently likes "language" (one of the things the comic is supposed to be about)? And what's his obsession with college anyways? Just UGH. I guess he LIKES alienating everyone in his potential reader base who doesn't have a physics degree. He's just so smug and elitist.

    Anyways, 812:

    WTF? Am I to understand that physics-personified is angered that we're looking for the Higgs boson particle? Why does this search anger "physics"? Is it because there's no hard proof that the particle exists, and Randy is thus expressing his disdain for scientists who are looking for a particle that may not exist? Is Randy trying to express his support for alternate theories which say there is no Higgs boson particle- the theories that propose some other explanation for why stuff has mass and the breaking of electroweak symmetry? That's the only sense I can make of this.

    That, and the fact that the particle is nicknamed "the god particle" so I guess that's why "physics" is acting like god? Is THAT the joke? Just that "the god particle" is acting like god and turning water into wine except that it's not wine, it's blood? How is that funny? And then the alt text is...making fun of some person who said that we must have souls because we can't yet explain why electroweak symmetry is broken? Where is the joke here? I hate you, Randy.

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  29. Oh, and I think Rob should review Randy's story in Machine of Death. And everyone should buy the book regardless because it's basically Ryan North's book and he is awesome and does Dinosaur comics. And I read the online preview and the first 3 stories were good. I already ordered mine.

    @ Gone Fishing I can only speak for myself, but I still occasionally find some xkcd comics pretty decent. 796 was alright. But xkcd really WAS better in the beginning.

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  30. THIRTY-THREE COMMENTS

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  31. the new comic is so bad. xkcdsuxredux has a review up already.

    that and a few people have had already said what I was gonna say.

    BASICALLY it's lol randum and science

    also wtf isthat on the table, and lol at randall being all sour grapes in the alt text.

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  32. @Chaos the liberal arts majors slur has pretty much always been there.

    Re #812, you would think that Randy had seen wine by now, and would know it was possible to distinguish it from blood at a glance. But maybe the contents of the glass are as poorly drawn for the characters as well as us, and wine isn't translucent in their universe.

    Also, I'm going to have to go into /etc/hosts and point xkcd.com elsewhere to help me break my habit of looking at it and going "... so? Why the fuck do I even READ this anymore??"

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  33. seriously though, wtf is that on the table in panel 4? did some blood fall out in a lump maybe? has the physics-god made a failed copy of the glass where it used to be? why should a woman making a (presumably) high pitched noise break the glass reliably?

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  34. Fuckin' physics, how does it work?

    Suggestion: I thought the third panel was funny because I thought he'd drunk from the glass to respond in a deadpan, "No, wait. This is blood", but given that the glass is even and we can't tell where his mouth or eyes are, I'm concluding that he's just looking at it. Because otherwise it'd be kinda funny. Randall, tip the glass!

    And wooooah, I just realized that Megan was making the noise. I thought Physics was just making noise to piss people off, which was kinda funny. Come on, Randy! Use your potential! You're like the plague on humour, taking what is ripe for the picking and making it sickly and unproductive.

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  35. Okay, WHY in panel three is the speech for "weird" emanating from high up? Did Megan suddenly grow 3 feet taller? It makes no sense for it to be physics talking there.

    Arrrrrgh I hate this comic so much it makes no fucking sense at all

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  36. If you were planning on breaking a glass via a high-pitched noise (not sure why you would want to do that, but anyhoo), why would you put water in the glass? It's like saying, "My goal here is to spill water all over my table and carpet."
    Also, I don't know much about physics (high school physics only so cut me some slack), but wouldn't having water in the glass screw with the resonance or something? I would assume that resonance is affected by the medium something is in (or maybe I am just an idiot), and nearly half the glass would be in contact with water rather than with air.

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  37. @LostInSpace

    Well, yeah, the resonance would change, but that's not the biggest problem. Simply, the glass wouldn't break at human-voice levels because the water would absorb almost all the energy, and the most you would ever get is some incredibly tiny resonance ripples and ever-so-slightly warmer water.

    CAPTCHA: dancier
    ...than the danciest thing that ever did dance.

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  38. @Suineder

    I think that actually is more like what I was thinking originally, but I wasn't able to articulate it clearly and got sidetracked. Thanks!

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  39. One last thing: Randy must've missed that Mythbusters episode where Jamie Vendera managed to break a glass with his voice, fucking MILLIMETERS FROM HIS FACE, after 20 tries. Of course it's not going to break over there on the table.

    http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2005/05/mythbusters_breaking_glass_a_r.html

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  40. @Gamer_2K4: The glass breaking note is usually supposed to be "high C", which would be on a line. That's probably giving Randall too much credit though; his notes are the wrong way up for high C and I would assume he holds music in the same contempt as the other liberal arts.

    What's on the table? The table in the fourth panel is smaller than in the first. The physics poltergeist may be shrinking the table to further mess with our heroes. Since it is a physics poltergeist, mass must be conserved. The extra mass from the original table is placed in a pile on the shrunken table. Either that, or it's the chair sitting part of one character's ass (we can rule out necks, since the heads seem to be at least weakly attached this time).

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  41. One of these days, Rob, you really should just do a redux cross post. Maybe not today since their is so much that can be said about 812, because it really is that terrible, and not just that boring kind of terrible.

    Best part of redux review:

    As it turns out, what’s in the glass is not wine, but actually blood (which is a possible reference to transubstantiation, a word I’m surprised Randall didn’t take the opportunity to put in his comic, which is the crazy belief that some Christians hold that normal wine actually turns into Jesus’s blood during the Eucharist)! Haha! Man, these references are stacking up like LEGO® brand building blocks! The humor just doesn’t stop!

    What!? You thought THAT was the punchline! Oh man, if you thought that one was good, you better buckle up for the real punchline. We’re cruising down the highways of humor at light-speed, and we all know that when Lord Randall’s in the driver’s seat, he doesn’t slow down!

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  42. Way to personally attack someone you don't know because you don't like their comic. "Your mind can go somewhere happier, like a world where XKCD never existed, or where Randy is not sad, lonely, and pathetic." You're an absolute peach. I really value your objective opinion.

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  43. "I really value your objective opinion."

    aww man thanks 11.18 that's real kind of you :)

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  44. XKCDSUCKS MAJOR ENDING SPOILER ALERT:




    every time someone complains about me insulting randy i make it a point to do it even more in the next post

    also the butler did it.

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  45. Right! Because the way you teach Randall that he shouldn't insult or mischaracterize liberal arts majors is by insulting and mischaracterizing the man himself.

    Right?

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  46. no, the way to piss off people who lack a sense of humor is by continually doing the thing that they complain about. my objective is to piss off people who lack a sense of humor.

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  47. ROB'S BEING MEAN

    SHUT DOWN THE BLOG

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  48. You're complaining that people who don't think your site is funny or serves a purpose have no sense of humor? Yet here is this blog, devoted to shitting on a comic because you don't find it funny when apparently a lot of other people do. You are not intelligent or humorous or even creative. Every post on this site is "This comic is bad, if I say something remotely good about it I may combust." For the record, the guys arm was in the mirror from the get-go.

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  49. no, I am complaining that people who complain about my constant stream of insults directed at Randy's sad, lonely existence have no sense of humor.

    but nice appeal to popularity! you're still a dumbass.

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  50. So ad hominem attacks at a man who has done no wrong to you make you feel better about yourself. Nice way to get those endorphins pumping, real classy.

    Also: I'm on an XKCD hate-site as an XKCD fan, how the fuck am I appealing to the masses here? Sure I don't like every comic that comes out, but I don't develop a pathological hatred toward a comic because other people do like it. If anyone is sad and pathetic it sure isn't Randall.

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  51. If anyone's got a sad and lonely existence, it's you. Seriously, why waste your time preaching to the choir? This site's just a bitch fest for the sake of bitching.

    I've never understood people who feel the need to complain about the absolutely harmless things that they happen to not enjoy. I predict serious heart trouble in your future if you can't get over every little thing that bothers you ever so slightly.

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  52. "So ad hominem attacks at a man who has done no wrong to you make you feel better about yourself. Nice way to get those endorphins pumping, real classy."

    no, pissing off people who have no sense of humor (eg you) makes me happy. I don't really need to feel better about myself--certainly not compared to you, or Randy (did you hear about his Halloween plans? he has rigged up a device with a fake trick-or-treater that will ring his doorbell and say, in Megan's voice, "trick-or-treat, will you go down on me" and he will say "yes megan I will"). but I do need amusement, and watching people freak out that I keep pointing out that Randy's shrine to Megan has tripled in size since last week is kind of hilarious.

    "Also: I'm on an XKCD hate-site as an XKCD fan, how the fuck am I appealing to the masses here? Sure I don't like every comic that comes out, but I don't develop a pathological hatred toward a comic because other people do like it. If anyone is sad and pathetic it sure isn't Randall. "

    appeal to popularity: "a bunch of other people like it, therefore you're dumb for not liking it." that is what an appeal to popularity is. sorry you're a dumbass. maybe your next year of remedial kindergarden will help?

    "If anyone's got a sad and lonely existence, it's you. Seriously, why waste your time preaching to the choir? This site's just a bitch fest for the sake of bitching."

    I guess no one in the world has a sad and lonely existence then? good to know!

    as for why I do this: well, for starters, it's not really preaching to the choir. lots of xkcd fanboys come by, desperate to defend the tattered honor of their sad, lonely god, and a fair number of them are converted to the world of truth.

    but beyond that, it's fun. you should try making fun of something you hate sometime, it's quite fun.

    "I've never understood people who feel the need to complain about the absolutely harmless things that they happen to not enjoy. I predict serious heart trouble in your future if you can't get over every little thing that bothers you ever so slightly."

    I've never understood people who think that because I make fun of xkcd I'm angry. I make fun of xkcd because I find making fun of xkcd enjoyable. it's a nice way to unwind. I'm going to assume you're projecting, since I'm clearly not being angry (or why else would I be taunting you?)--you should really calm down. if you don't like people making fun of xkcd (or as I'm sure you like to call it, your MWF wankfuel), you don't have to read their blog!

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  53. We should really get to know each other better... seems we go to the same school.

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  54. Can I do a guest post about how much webcomics.me sucks?

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  55. Who says I'm freaking out? This is how I unwind, watching someone who thinks they are better than me act like a petulant jerk for the sake of being a petulant jerk. I find it hilarious, so I do in fact have a sense of humor. (P.S. Sorry to kill the erection you had going by admitting I'm not shitting myself in fury, I don't mind if you keep picturing me that way, honest)

    As for this dumb-ass business you seem fixated on: Is that you projecting at me or are you again just trying to get your rocks off? Obviously you know absolutely nothing about me and in your first comment directed at me you judged my character. That certainly wasn't nice. I may not be a genius, but I wouldn't say I'm stupid. Oh well, maybe you're right.

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  56. that was to anon 7:38.

    but skully, my old friend, if you really want to, email it to me and i will probably throw it up this weekend or some shit

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  57. you doubt we go to the same school?

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  58. "As for this dumb-ass business you seem fixated on: Is that you projecting at me or are you again just trying to get your rocks off? Obviously you know absolutely nothing about me and in your first comment directed at me you judged my character. That certainly wasn't nice. I may not be a genius, but I wouldn't say I'm stupid. Oh well, maybe you're right. "

    i can tell you're a dumbass because you keep responding with the telltale complete lack of a sense of humor that only hardcore xkcd fans can exhibit--they must get it from their god, whose loneliness is matched only by his complete inability to conceive of something which could ever be thought of as funny.

    "you doubt we go to the same school?"

    yes.

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  59. Really now? You're a Husky, aren't you? I might have done my research wrong... Hmmmmm

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  60. well, in the sense that I am very fat, yes, I am husky.

    but no, I do not currently attend Northeastern. I'm on the wrong end of the country for that sort of thing.

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  61. I uh, I don't like a lot of XKCD comics, actually. You also seemed to ignore that whole first bit, you know, where I said I'm NOT angry at you trying to bait me?

    Humor =/= intelligence, just as an aside.

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  62. Well, currently you say... So you did at some point? Also, you might want to update your blog location, since it still lists you as living in Boston.

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  63. "I uh, I don't like a lot of XKCD comics, actually."

    keep telling yourself that.

    "You also seemed to ignore that whole first bit, you know, where I said I'm NOT angry at you trying to bait me?"

    yes, yes, you're just dumb enough to take the bait. I figured I'd just let it stand as it is, an eternal and unvarnished testament to your stupidity.

    "Humor =/= intelligence, just as an aside. "

    but lack of humor == being a dumbass.

    "Well, currently you say... So you did at some point? Also, you might want to update your blog location, since it still lists you as living in Boston."

    for a while, yeah. I've never worried that people wouldn't (or would, for that matter) be able to stalk me from the internet so I am bad about updating. but I guess I can make it slightly more accurate.

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  64. What's wrong? Transferred out because the coursework was too much for you? Also, just so you know, I was in the top 5% of the entering class of 2013 and I'm on the Dean's list. Just to show you how completely stupid I am. I guess that must be why I find XKCD funny. Huh. Oh well.

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  65. actually I got the hell out of Boston because it's filled with insufferable douchebags. as with all things that I do, I was effortlessly brilliant at everything I did.

    being in the top 5% at northeastern isn't saying much. class of 13, though! that's pretty cute. you'll get over yourself eventually. until you do, you're a dumbass.

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  66. "keep telling yourself that."
    For as long as you keep telling yourself you're a real writer.

    "yes, yes, you're just dumb enough to take the bait. I figured I'd just let it stand as it is, an eternal and unvarnished testament to your stupidity."
    I wouldn't say I took the bait as I didn't get angry even though that is your intent. I'm also really, really unsure what system of intelligence you are using here. Gardner's, Sternberg's? Maybe Binet's?

    Hmm, none of these seem to list a person's subjective humor as an appropriate gauge of their ability to reason. Guess they're all wrong.

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  67. I'd say that you took all those insufferable douchebags with you when you left. Or just the one. Hm...

    Also, simply as a point. I'm not the one belittling random people on the internet for my own amusement. I don't think I'm the one who needs to get over himself, but hey, I could be wrong.

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  68. You're attacking people because they disagree with you? ORWELLIAN! :D

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  69. "For as long as you keep telling yourself you're a real writer."

    i've never told myself that. but yeah, good effort! I guess I should

    "I wouldn't say I took the bait as I didn't get angry even though that is your intent. I'm also really, really unsure what system of intelligence you are using here. Gardner's, Sternberg's? Maybe Binet's?"

    i'm using Rob's system, which clearly states: "if you are dumb enough to take the base, you are a colossal idiot." nice pretentious pseudo-intellectualism though! you should definitely try that more often. "which standardized intelligence test are you using to call me stupid? OH YOU CAN'T THINK OF ONE ARGUMENT INVALID I WIN!!!"

    it will definitely convince people that you're super intelligent and well-learned, and not that you're an insecure kid with an intro to psych textbook who finds it incredibly irksome that someone would dare besmirch his nonexistent intelligence.

    "I'd say that you took all those insufferable douchebags with you when you left. Or just the one. Hm..."

    no, you're clearly one of them. have fun pretending you go to a good university though!

    "Also, simply as a point. I'm not the one belittling random people on the internet for my own amusement. I don't think I'm the one who needs to get over himself, but hey, I could be wrong."

    and I'm not the one who thinks listing resume credentials indicates that he is a super-smart genius person. but you shouldn't worry--most people eventually get over themselves, and eventually you'll learn to interact in real human situations without screaming your GPA at the top of your lungs any time you feel threatened.

    it'll take some time, though, and you seem to have it bad.

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  70. Hmmmm I suppose that's true. See though, I normally don't spout my GPA whenever I feel threatened, nor did I really do it here. I don't feel threatened by you. You're a douchebag hiding behind the internet. You're not even a particularly intelligent douchebag, considering that your fallbacks are "get over yourself," "you have no sense of humor," and "you're a dumbass."

    I'm not upset by you, not on a personal level at least, though the existence of such a sheer mass of belligerent idiocy is an affront to my senses, nor, as I stated, do I feel at all threatened by you. Been a pleasure plumbing the depths of your moronic nature but I'm afraid I have more entertaining ways to waste my time, and I'd much rather get to those. First on the list, watching paint dry.

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  71. Ah, see I had thought you were using something reasonable for this whole, whatever you want to call this. Well, out here in the real world where intelligence is measured by the ability to reason and solve problems, I'll consider myself intelligent. Considering standardized tests are what will actually get me a job and a degree, I would venture a guess that those determinations of intelligence hold quite a bit more weight than yours.

    Again, you seem unable to grasp that anyone could be as calm, cool, and collected as you make yourself out to be. Considering you went so far as to list Pretentiousness under your likes, and that you call anyone who disagrees with you a dumbass, I say you're on the high-horse. I don't care if you smear my intelligence because you really don't know me.

    Alas, I am ducking out of here because I do have other things to do, see you next blog post, honey.

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  72. "Hmmmm I suppose that's true. See though, I normally don't spout my GPA whenever I feel threatened, nor did I really do it here."

    except for the part where you did. it's okay to cry, you know.

    "You're a douchebag hiding behind the internet. You're not even a particularly intelligent douchebag, considering that your fallbacks are "get over yourself," "you have no sense of humor," and "you're a dumbass.""

    okay! actually I didn't tell you to get over yourself, I merely implied that you eventually would. which was not entirely accurate: while many people do, many also never get over themselves, and continue to live their lives as you no doubt will, deriving importance and self-worth from arbitrary numbers fed to them by the academic-industrial complex.

    "I'm not upset by you, not on a personal level at least, though the existence of such a sheer mass of belligerent idiocy is an affront to my senses, nor, as I stated, do I feel at all threatened by you."

    you know, it's not very convincing to say you aren't upset by someone and then say that "the existence of such a sheer mass of belligerent idiocy is an affront to [your] senses." just saying.

    "Ah, see I had thought you were using something reasonable for this whole, whatever you want to call this."

    right, that's because you're a dumbass. you are the type of person who thinks that when someone calls someone else an idiot on the internet, they are being serious and making an actual statement that they can defend with--I'd say Debate Class Infallibility but you didn't even know what an appeal to popularity was, so let's go with Logical Rigor.

    "Well, out here in the real world where intelligence is measured by the ability to reason and solve problems, I'll consider myself intelligent."

    it's funny, but the people who "consider themselves intelligent" tend to be the biggest dumbasses out there. the wisest man is the man who knows he knows nothing, etc etc. but yeah, keep deriving validation from those standardized tests!

    "Considering standardized tests are what will actually get me a job and a degree, I would venture a guess that those determinations of intelligence hold quite a bit more weight than yours. "

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    "Again, you seem unable to grasp that anyone could be as calm, cool, and collected as you make yourself out to be."

    no, I'm quite aware of that. the problem is nobody ever /is/ as calm, cool, and collected as I make myself out to be, and it's super depressing.

    "Considering you went so far as to list Pretentiousness under your likes, and that you call anyone who disagrees with you a dumbass, I say you're on the high-horse."

    oh dear. first: you should probably not try to dig into someone's blogger profile as fodder for arguing, especially if you're just going to say "you listed X as an interest in your list of interests, so that means you suck."

    second: you should probably spend some time learning about irony and all of its varied uses. it would help you out a great deal in communicating.

    third: I don't call anyone who disagrees with me a dumbass. I call people who disagree with me in a stupid fashion a dumbass. plenty of people are intelligent about it. you are not one of them.

    "I don't care if you smear my intelligence because you really don't know me. "

    and yet here you are defending yourself.

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  73. The funny part was when he posted as "anonymous" about how Rob hides behind the internet.

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  74. "I wouldn't say I took the bait as I didn't get angry even though that is your intent. I'm also really, really unsure what system of intelligence you are using here. Gardner's, Sternberg's? Maybe Binet's?"

    hahaha. "look mam! i memorised the names of fifty eight philosophers so that makes me one too! I'm a genius!"

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  75. Wow, that anon is *really* bothered about being called a dumbass. Last time I saw someone defending their intelligence so feverishly with lame statistics, I think I was in high school and someone was shouting about their PSAT score.

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  76. "I can only imagine that said real person, after reading a few of the comics, got a shovel, went out and dug himself a grave, put in a coffin with special rollers, and has spent all of his free time since then rolling over in it."

    At the risk of defending xkcd, that sounds a lot like something beret guy would do.

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  77. UndercoverCuddlefishOctober 30, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    the best kind of person to troll is the kind that lacks the good sense to just shut up and ignore trolling attempts even after the troll admits that he is just annoying them for fun

    "hey i am trolling you for kicks"
    "no you are not trolling me i am not bothered"
    "if you really were not bothered you would stop responding"
    "but i really am not bothered and i am still responding which means you are wrong and definitely does not confirm your previous statement"

    at some point you will realize that shutting up is actually the only valid (and correct) option

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  78. As another Anonymous user who, while admittedly younger, has gotten a 36 on the ACT and a near-perfect on the SAT (which... okay, yeah, disappointing) I am going to agree with... Rob!

    Now, I clearly have some degree of the intelligence you value here. So, with that, I have the choice of being a psuedo-intellectual (because seriously, the "definitions of intelligence," let's drag in the exceptionally non-scientific philosophy of psychology in here because that's impressive and not useless at all) or being someone who has a sense of humor.

    Dear other Anonymous; having credentials does not make you correct. Or smarter. Honestly, you'd think that people who are high up in their class would realize this; some people know more about certain topics than you! Some people have different intelligences in different areas than you. In fact, if you're going to argue about intelligence philosophies at all this should be high up in your mind because most of them do not emphasize academic credentials as a display of intelligence. Like, at all.

    You are pretty smart at being a pretentious dick who whips out his academic accomplishments as defense, though, as well as someone who says "You are bad for attacking other people on the internet" while attacking someone while posting anonymously on the internet.

    You did exactly what you were fighting Rob for doing. How did you not... how did you not realize that

    What you do remind me of is the honors student who decides that in order to prove his worth, he must fight anyone possible in an intellectual debate.

    It is an excellent way to remain a virgin your whole life. So enjoy that.

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  79. "Dear other Anonymous; having credentials does not make you correct. Or smarter. Honestly, you'd think that people who are high up in their class would realize this; some people know more about certain topics than you! Some people have different intelligences in different areas than you. In fact, if you're going to argue about intelligence philosophies at all this should be high up in your mind because most of them do not emphasize academic credentials as a display of intelligence. Like, at all."

    it reminds me of this Mark Twain quote which goes something like "I will never let my schooling interfere with my education."

    I've often found that many of the top-of-the-class people tend to be the ones with the least common sense and the least actual understanding of how the world works. it's not a universal rule--as I mentioned, I've always been effortlessly brilliant at everything I attempt to do--but it's pretty reliable. people who think their grades are the most important things in their lives are not, by and large, very good at living.

    it's not that being good at school is bad. it's just that thinking being good at school is important is bad.

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  80. Wow... some people should get tested for Asperbger.... seriously.

    It's just a really sweet comic with the guy not wanting to kill the Photons and instead sending them back

    *puts comic on wall*

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  81. people are given jobs based on standardized test scores?

    HOLY SHIT i can stop schoolings nao. anon who argued with rob, you are a dumbass. and a hypocrite. and probably fat and lonely.

    ray's fix for the comic was awesome. unfortunately it couldn't fix the travesty that was 811.

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  82. People had trouble figuring out that was a mirror?

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