Thursday, November 4, 2010

Comic 814: Shockingly Bad

something terrible

[ALT: And the worst part is you won't apologize.]

This comic marks one of the rare occasions that it's so bad I didn't want to touch it or think about it. That's part of why this is late, actually (the other part is the guy who said he was going to write a review of it failed to send one to me). My original response--the first thing I typed after reading this comic--was only the phrase "what the fuck is this shit," on its own. I think it adequately sums up the comic. What the fuck is this shit, indeed?

The fine folks at xkcd explained have an excellent review of this one.

I confess this one is sufficiently terrible that, despite more or less understanding what's going on--the diode is somehow preventing Megan from feeling guilty and/or hearing what Randy is saying--I have no idea why this is a comic. Is it meant to be funny? Some people seem to have found it funny compared to most XKCDs, but these people are almost universally morons. I'm mostly rejecting the idea that it's intended as "funny."

Is it meant to be GOOMHR-I've-heard-of-diodes-too bait? I guess it might succeed at that, but I feel it's slightly too metaphorical for your typical nerdling to have a GOOMHR moment.

Is it meant to be depressing? It's too ambiguous what's even going on in order to achieve emotional resonance. Does Randy's author-insertion character know what's going on? On the one hand, it would make little sense--why would he willingly do something which he knows will make it so that his frustrations can't be vented? But if he doesn't know what's going on, why is he holding the diode? This indicates that he is willing to do anything Megan asks (which we all know Randy is) without question, which sort of raises the question: why is the diode even necessary? She could merely tell him not to apologize.

I'm leaning towards the latter option. This reads like a poor attempt at some form of metaphor on relationships (or, in Randy's case, creepy unrequited love/stalking)--like maybe Randy has been feeling that, ever since she filed the restraining order, Megan has been completely emotionally distant, despite his constant texts, calls, emails, IMs, and Facebook "pokes" (from friends' accounts, of course, whose passwords he has stolen, since she has long ago blocked all of his own). "It's almost like there's a diode that makes it so that none of my eternal, unbridled love gets through to her."

And the seed of a comic is formed. Over the course of five minutes or so it blossomed into the terrible, terrible piece of shit you see today.

One final comment on the comic. Randy returns to form in writing awkward I-have-never-interacted-with-a-human dialogue in "you embarrassed me with my family last weekend." No human would ever utter such a poorly written phrase.

Oh also, I would like to thank the kind anonymous who posted a webcite for this comic.

Hugs and kisses!

93 comments:

  1. Improvements:

    http://i54.tinypic.com/30ww8sz.jpg
    http://i53.tinypic.com/35klulz.jpg
    http://i53.tinypic.com/hsna1c.jpg

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  2. I have to agree with the Suxredux guys on this one.. this comic wasn't terrible. It's a simple joke and it's not too nerdy. It's about as good as XKCD gets these days. Not exactly funny but I smiled a little anyway. No need for all that hyperbole about being "soooooo bad!", sheesh.

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  3. that isn't hyperbole. i literally did nothing but type variations on "what the fuck is this shit" into #xkcd-sucks for several minutes after reading this comic. it was fucking awful. it has been a long time since a comic has made me hate it so incredibly much. I am not exaggerating in the slightest. anyone who likes this comic or thinks it's "okay" is a defective human being.

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  4. Also, I'm pretty sure Doghouse Diaries did almost this exact same thing a long time ago.

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  5. No this comic was pretty bad. When I first read it I actually felt enervated and lost interest in things which usually bring me happiness. It caused an emptiness not felt previously which can only be filled by lithium and years of therapy. That's right, this comic was so awful it caused depression.

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  6. Those improvements are awful. The original is awful.

    AWFUL.

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  7. that first improvement with the candy made me lol

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  8. Clarence BoddickerNovember 4, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    First of all, Randall's a goddamn cocksucker. A bonafide kneepad-wearing knob-gobbler. He wouldn't know what to do with a naked woman if one was delivered on his doorstep with a ribbon wrapped around her tits.

    Secondly, if that tampon-sucking Megan thinks a diode can impede soundwaves (as opposed to electrical current), it just fucking proves that women should stay the fuck out of electrical engineering.

    That little turd should have said to the dumb twat, "Look, you vapid, self-absorbed, mouse-brained cunt: yesterday you fucking pissed me off, and now it's time for some anal sex, finished off with a donkey punch."

    OH, DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION NOW, WHORE!?!?

    But because Randall's pasty puss resembles a freshly-waxed vagina, and he's got the testosterone level of a fucking earthworm, he lets this gaping axewound push him around.

    Fuck you, Randall. Go play in a razorblade factory, you little shit.

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  9. The Super Marsupial, the Wonder from Down Under, the Rocket with a PocketNovember 4, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    Not sure if you are still going to use the Carl categories, but I think this would fall under the "man+machine" one.

    captcha: puper
    So many people in the comments are party pupers.

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  10. Someone in the comments section is sexually frustrated...

    no hints as to who, but it's like, two posts above me.

    Randy... it's okay. You can let it all out.

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  11. "anyone who likes this comic or thinks it's "okay" is a defective human being."

    I second this comment.

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  12. Sometimes I think this site bashes an xkcd installment too much. Yes, it is called XKCD Sucks but I read comics on XKCD that, while generally disapointing when compared to the quality Randall used to produce for us, are still not that bad and if they had been written by anyone else would have had me nod in subtle approval and move on. (I porbably wouldn't make it a daily stop though, don't get me wrong.)

    But anyway, this means that alot of the reviews, while they usually contain some good points, seem overly critical from a logical standpoint. It is entertaining to read a real scathing review but not relevant as often as this site employs them. This...

    is not one of those times. This is one of those times when Rob is 100 percent justified in pointing out what a bodgy piece of dungb this comic was.

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  13. New comic: it's cute, it's short. What more do you want? Well I guess you could want less graphs. In that case might I recommend that you go look at some pictures of kittens instead?

    Question for the pedantic: why does productivity dip again for very high coefficients of friction?

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  14. 814 was so terrible that it almost steals the energy out of you, leaving you speechless and unable to rant.

    It's just that shitty.

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  15. I agree, this comic is horrible.

    So I guess there's not going to be a rant about Randall's story in Machine of Death? I wanted to see one.

    I'm kind of sad that nobody commented on my thoughts (in the last thread) on Randall's chapter in Machine of Death. Did anyone read my comment? Agree/disagree with it?

    Or maybe none of you guys bought Machine of Death. You should, though, as the majority of stories are really good.

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  16. http://www.webcitation.org/5u0PNh8fz

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  17. Chaos - I wrote a review of Randy's story which Rob should be putting up this Saturday (he likes keeping non-xkcd stuff to the weekend).

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  18. that's right. I read Randy's story (haven't got to the rest yet) and it was pretty awful. which was sort of disappointing! I was hoping it would be good, because sometimes I like to pretend that Randy would improve if only he'd lose the XKCD format.

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  19. The new XKCD is a fucking piece of shit. My undergrad is in Art History, and even I can tell Mr. I-worked-at-NASA-for-two-fucking-weeks that his physics is wrong. I've worked in some offices, and I consider my self something of a chair-spinning afficiando. THE COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION OF THE CHAIR IS NOT WHAT MAKES SPINNING FUN. The spinning of the chair is usually impeded by the pneumatic tubes that they use to raise and lower the chair, not by the metal and plastic that let it spin around. Moreover, if you want to, say, slide from one end of the office, crash into your boss, and knock some stuff off a desk (always a good) time, almost all chairs have the same CoF on those stupid plastic casters they use. The fun comes when you are sliding on a surface that has a low CoF, such as tile or plastic mats, rather than commercial carpeting. Fail Randall, fucking Fail.

    Furthermore, this graph makes ZERO FUCKING SENSE YOUR RETARD YOUR MOTHER SHOULD HAVE ABORTED AT FIVE WEEKS. Spending time spinning around in my chair took time away from work. It has never made me more productive. There is absolutely no reason for the graph to go immediately up and then gradually slope downward.

    Lastly, I've never fucking spun so hard I've levitated in the center of the chair like that. Learn to draw, motherfucker.

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  20. Wait, why does productivity go DOWN again after a certain point?

    HERR DERR MAH DESK CHAIR DON'T ROTATE NONE I DUN CAN'T DO NO WORK NO MORE

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  21. Coefficient of friction goes up, it's less likely to slide, so you can spin faster without something bad happening.

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  22. low CoF = you can spin like a madman. productivity goes down.
    high CoF = you spend your time going 'wtf, my chair wont move properly. guys, how do i get mainenance to fix my fucking chair?''. productivity goes down.

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  23. the problem with that, cuddly, is that at cof->infinity, you just have a normal, nonrotating chair.

    calling maintenance at very high cof would then be like staring stupidly at a stopped escalator, wondering how you can get down.

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  24. I stared at my screen and re-read this comic at least 5 times before i literally called a friend over to my apartment so he could also read it.

    We both stared at the screen in silence for about 15 minutes before we both said in unison, "What the fuck is this shit?"

    This is by far the worst comic i have ever read on the internet (including an MS paint comic i drew in 7th grade about a ninja wielding a computer mouse). At this point, i am considering paying Randy to stop drawing comics (Uwe Boll comes to mind). Sure i could just never read XKCD again, but did ignoring the holocaust make it better? XKCD has become a humor-holocaust to me.

    Fuck.

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  25. Joke time! Q: How many Randall Munroes are necessary to change a lightbulb?
    A: Five!
    One to draw a comic on how changing lightbulbs is SCIENCE;
    One to draw a comic on how changing lightbulbs is MATHS;
    One to draw a comic on how changing lightbulbs is NERDY;
    One to draw a comic on how changing lightbulbs is TOTALLY NOVEL;
    And one to hide the fact that Zach Weiner had already changed the lightbulb days before.

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  26. Q: How many Randall Munroes are necessary to change a lightbulb?

    A: LIGHT BULBS BREAK AND SO DO RELATIONSHIPS, BUT IN MY METAPHOR I MAKE THE MELANCHOLY OBSERVATION THAT IT IS MUCH EASIER TO REPLACE A LIGHT-BULB.

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  27. Euler-Mascheroni constant of Randall Munroes. Because MATH.

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  28. Anyone who thinks 814 is really that big of a piece of shit is a tool. Your criticism by your own accord is just you going what the fuck over and over again.

    Disappointing: F--

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  29. Q: How many Randall Munroes are necessary to change a lightbulb?

    A: i Randall Munores. Because changing lightbulbs isn't a job for a NASA GENIUS like Randall.

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  30. Q: How many Randall Munroes are necessary to change a lightbulb?
    A: j Randall Munroes. Because I'm an electrical engineer.

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  31. That guy sure is having fun floating and being surrounded by floating rings.

    Maybe Randy is saying happy people are more productive? Or he thinks that being able to rotate more (But not too much!) will allow you to do things like...turn around faster.

    His lack of experience in anything beyond Perl is hilarious.

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  32. Q: How many Randall Munroes does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: Two. One to make a joke about it, and the other to talk after the punchline. You see, Randall has the tendency to write in unnecessary dialogue after the actual joke has been made.

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  33. I'm gonna actually side with the Redux folks on this one, and say that in comparison to most of Randall's shitty comics, this one is not that bad.

    He sets up a joke and has a 'punchline'. There is no Post-Punchline dialogue. It's not a very funny joke, but hey, the punchline is SILENCE. That is a big step in subtlety for randall! The punchline doesn't involve Full. Fucking. Stops!

    I say this comic is moving in the right direction.

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  34. Yeah, this comic (the one in the review) is bad, but not as bad as, say, the current one. Nowhere near as bad in fact. Rob is just practicing his hyperbole with each review. Most of his reactions to the comics are completely interchangeable and predictable.

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  35. Clearly he used her family to embarrass her last weekend.

    I mean, how else could you interpret her second line?

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  36. There's absolutely no reason for this to be a graph. Randall doesn't offer any explanation for the decline in productivity at high CoF. And I'm not going to try to explain it myself; Randall didn't have anything in mind with that decline. He probably thought it just made the graph look better.

    So we can ignore the right side of the graph. And the alt text takes care of the left side. Actually, there's absolutely no reason for this to be a comic. The alt text covers the entire "joke"; the illustration contributes nothing.

    Actually, I'm pretty sure this doesn't qualify as a joke. It's observational humor without the humor. "Spinning in chairs is more fun than working. I know some physics terms."

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  37. anon 6.58 = winner

    New comic: er. It is literally "hay guys spinning in chairs is fun". I could say that the graph is unnecessary; I could say "the punchline of the graph is on the left and the rest is, er, post-punchline graph"; I could say lots of things. But this is not actually a comic. It's just, a thing. A bad thing.

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  38. Kudos to anons 5:57 and 6:58.

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  39. Is the whole point of xkcdsucks to completely misinterpret the point of XKCD? Because y'all need to sit down, chill out, and take off your shit-tinted glasses so perhaps you can actually correctly interpret things.

    For instance, obviously not every XKCD strip is supposed to be funny. Why do you always assume XKCD is always trying to be comedy gold. That was a hypothetical question because I know the answer, and the answer is "Because I need to feel like I'm worth something so I'll post these half-assed blog articles.".

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  40. see, there you go again with the "being completely illiterate" thing. I have, in fact, discarded the premise that this one is attempting to be funny. so I don't always assume it's trying to be comedy gold! I frequently assume that it's not trying to be funny at all.

    and since some people seem to have missed the memo, let me reiterate: this post is not hyperbolic w/r/t how fucking terrible this comic was. happily the only people who think so are just further proving my premise that anyone who doesn't think this comic is an abysmal piece of shit are worthless, defective humans.

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  41. Are you putting words in my mouth? How adorable :3

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  42. As for why the graph looks like that - it looks like the attachment energy for particles sorbing to solid surfaces.

    But in the context it makes no sense. The comic itself is cute and relatively harmless.

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  43. I like Ian. Ian said all that actually needs to be said; no more, no less. His criticisms were phrased elegantly, he was to the point, and there wasn't .9 pages of unnecessary filler.

    If Ian wrote a blog criticizing xkcd I would read it with probably little complaint.

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  44. Mr. Pitchfork @10:39 A.M. said:

    "Why do you always assume XKCD is always trying to be comedy gold[?] That was a [rhetorical] question because I already know the answer, [which is, 'So I can post these half-assed blog articles because I need to feel like I'm worth something.']"

    Mr. Pitchfork @10:58 A.M. said:

    "Are you putting words in my mouth? How adorable. :3"


    Unless he did it intentionally, he's pretty fucking hypocritical. Also, Mr. Pitchfork, you'll notice that I edited your first message to correct punctuation, grammar, and the flow of the message in general. Also, hypothetical != rhetorical, dumbass.

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  45. @Mr Pitchfork 11:12

    But Ian's post isn't even a criticism. It's a few minor observations about the comic. If there were a blog comprised of such posts, it would probably just look somewhat like this: http://xkcdisnotamusing.blogspot.com/
    except more boring.

    You liked Ian's post because it says virtually nothing about the comic, let alone anything bad.

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  46. CaviosDaryll, you sound like a writer for xkcdsucks.

    In that you're avoiding the point because it evades you utterly.

    Instead of trying to correct peoples' grammar and punctuation, how about you correct their statements.

    Also: language is about communication, not following rulebooks. I can put whatever the hell punctuation I want wherever I want, because punctuation is meant not just to organize sentences but also to provide pacing. Where there are ambiguities, I will provide appropriate punctuation. Where there aren't, I will punctuate as per my normal speaking habits.

    I concede that perhaps I misinterpreted some of this article. I hold you, CaviosDaryll, and also the writers of this blog, to in turn concede that none of you know what you're fucking talking about.

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  47. ThePirateKing, I think you've become desensitized to what criticism actually is.

    Oh and also CaviosDaryll, my name isn't Mr. Pitchfork. My name is Mr Pitchfork.

    (Putting a period at the end of an abbreviation is inelegant, ugly, stupid, unnecessary, and confusing to people who are learning English)

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  48. I bet the cuddlefish are high-fiving over how much division is taking place on this post.

    Look, Rob, you gotta settle down. Like, this post proves that you need some kind of multi-point test to decide how terrible a comic is. Like, you've given this one a 9.5 on the Monroe Scale, and barely anyone can concur with you. How about this, consider the following factors:

    1. Is it trying to be funny, or just witty? How well does it approach each?

    2. How subtle is the punchline? How thick is the buildup to the punchline? Does the comic end on a punchline, or does he try to scrap up some humor by attempting multiple punchlines or further explanation?

    3. How much does he try to place objectivity in his approach? Is he GOOMHing? Is he GOOMHing to 15 year olds with "relationship problems"? Is he completely eschewing humor so as to make what he believes to be a witty commentary on romance or liberal arts majors?

    4. Is it an actual comic, or is it a pictoblog? Or is it a pictoblog on how much he misses Megan? Does it do either with or without satisfying the prior criteria?

    5. How good or bad is it upon first glance? Do you have to try hard to get it, and once you do, do you enjoy it more or less than you would've without the need for analysis? Do you have to try to analyze it to make it appear awful instead?

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  49. @ Mr Pitchfork

    Putting a period at the end of an abbreviation identifies it as such, rather than a normal word. I would think it would be more confusing for those learning English to go without.

    "What's that word?" "Oh, that's just an abbreviation for mister." "Huh...wouldn't it be nice if they indicated that some way?"

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  50. That being said, let's approach this comic by those criteria:

    1. It's a pretty dramatic situation, so I'd presume more witty than actually funny. But it is witty: a quick google of diodes show that they carry energy one-way, and the comic obviously conveys that their relationship is one-way. Metaphor achieved.

    2. The punchline is subtle enough. It's not covered in curse words or unnecessary punctuation, it's not a bad retread of old jokes, it's simple and original and takes a little bit to think about, and the buildup complements this well.

    3. This is a science topic, but you already knew this was a science comic; if you can figure out what a diode is in a 15 second trip to google, it's not explosively GOOMHing. Of course, you might say it's GOOMHing to people with relationship problems, but we already know Randall is romantically insecure.

    4. Obviously another statement on Megan, but it's at least a witty, comical approach, so I think we can let that fly. Otherwise, just make a blog post instead about how unhealthy his obsession with her is; it'd be a lot more amusing than the review you posted.

    5. Frankly, the analysis here is brief and offers a reasonable payoff. It won't have you laughing your ass off, but it's not like you have to read a 20 page article on Geonomic Hyperfusion to get what the fuck he's actually talking about. And clearly you did have to analyze hard to find out what's wrong with it, because all you could say over and over again is THIS IS TERRIBLE WHAT'S GOING ON HERE I BET HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON HERE while meanwhile the rest of us critics are like "I get it, it's just not that funny." Seriously though, stop trying too hard; it makes Randall look good.

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  51. @ Rob

    Just like Randy can't force humor into his comics with profanity and references, you can't force quality into your review with blind rage. Like everyone has said, we're here because we appreciate a thoughtful analysis, not because we feel like being contrary.

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  52. Genuinely interesting point, Gamer_2k4. I'd retort with a strong point but now I have to actually sit down and revisit my ideas about written styles before I can say something meaningful.

    Also, I really like recentAnonymous's suggestion to a more helpful and rigid method of criticism, and Gamer_2k4's sentiments on the execution of the purpose of this blog are very good.

    It almost makes me feel like not being a dick.

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  53. This comic really wasn't that bad when it comes to XKCD. The comic makes sense and the joke is clear and all, but it's just not that funny or witty.

    Also, Rob, I think you should really calm down before doing reviews. I understand that the funny part about your reviews is your anger behind it, but lately that's been overshadowing the actual reviews to me. So instead of:

    75% Review
    25% Rage

    I've been seeing:

    80% RAAAAGE
    20% Review

    You're pretty much always right, but the anger/Randy-is-a-loner-freak shtick is getting pretty old fast. Learn from XKCD, and don't fall into an annoying rut.

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  54. While i realize it sounds like people commenting on the comment about diodes are using hyperbole "OMG WORST EVAR," but this is one of those rare occasions where Randy has gone above and beyond the call of duty to make an exceptionally terrible comic. The diode comic earns him the medal of honor of terrible comics (the medal of shame maybe).

    To answer those points,

    1. Attempt at humor. A normal situation is altered by use of an unusual prop. This makes this comic an attempt at prop humor. It fails spectacularly in that the prop is used with as little creativity as possible; the prop is being used almost exactly as a diode is used. The only change here is that the diode is now transmitting emotion rather than current. This is boring and completely uncreative.

    2. The comic actually follows the prop comedy formula. There is the seemingly normal set up, the wacky use of the prop, and the revelation of what the prop is with the punch line. This comic fails utterly in the second stage though; the prop is not used wackily. The diode is being used like a diode. This leaves the punchline holding the bag when you realize "wow the diode is a diode. for emotion." That is assuming you have the clairvoyance to know how a diode works (something this comic assumes).

    Also the set up is extremely blunt, almost to the point of "WE ARE MAKING A JOKE, THIS IS A DIODE."
    "YES WE ARE MAKING A DIODE JOKE, GET READY FOR THE PUNCHLINE."
    "PUNCHLINE'D."

    3. Its more relevant to point out when he isn't trying to GOOMH a subset of his audience. One of the main reasons why you don't hear Dane Cook references anymore is that reference/nostalgia jokes only work so long until they stop being nostalgia. Randy has entered this realm at light speed. This comic is a thinly veiled attempt at combining a handjob for EE majors and a reach around for people who suck at relationships.

    4. I believe that Randy's relationship problems have become a backdrop for every single comment, and no longer need to be pointed out. As with GOOMH's, it would make more sense to point out when he ISN'T making a Randy's Wacky Relationship Ride reference.

    5. I am the anon who posted earlier about calling a friend over to my apartment to see if he got it. I literally had a friend drive to my place, to look at my screen, just to see if he got it. The answer is no. After staring at the screen for an extended period of time, my brain oozing from my ears, i realized it really was a joke about how diodes work. Randy really is rapidly transforming into the Uwe Boll of webcomics.

    I hope he reads this blog and tries to be a better writer. One can hope

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  55. Okay, I'm going to rename the former recentAnonymous to Anonyman, and the new recentAnonymous to Anomaly. I hope this gets confusing.

    Anonyman provided legitimate points without stupidly misinterpreting the point of the strip. It obviously wasn't an attempt at humor; a deviation from normal reality doesn't mean it must be an attempt at humor. Sure, as Anonyman said it is not intended to be depressing and serious. It is, in contrast, intended to give you a sympathetic frowny-face for a few seconds until you decide that those three seconds are over and you move on to do something else.

    Anomaly, I would like you to illustrate how exactly the prop is used in a wacky manner. I would like you to explain how there is anything wacky at all about today's strip. I would like you to-- what's that? You claimed in one sentence that the strip follows prop comedy format and then, in a different sentence, you make a full ninety degree turn and claim that it DOESN'T follow prop comedy dialogue? Make up your mind!

    You start out with the assumption that this strip is an attempt at humor, then try and make points to back up the assumption, then you contradict those points while still somehow going on about how the strip is trying to be funny.

    And what's with you guys and Munroe's life? One would assume that if you don't like the guy and his work you would try and stay away from it and focus on actual productivity, but instead you leech onto his success like a large-breasted whore onto a dying oil tycoon.

    Now, I'm not saying criticism is bad. Shit needs to be pointed out as shit instead of dressed in cutesy clothing and paraded around the shopping mall, getting skidmarks on all the children's toys and cheap pretzels, but come on. There's no need to look at legitimate works of varying degrees of quality and then piss yourself with rage over the popularity of it when at one time the strip was smalltime and relatively underground. You're not mad at the strip, you're mad at everybody quoting it all the time due to their inability to hold insightful discussion unless it's porn fantasies.

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  56. People still care about "valid" criticisms of xkcd? That's the whole reason why Carl became so boring! We always get the same shit from Randy, so the criticism is always gonna be basically the same.

    I think the rage is funny. Why? Because it's "fake" rage over something so meaningless, just look at the quote under the xkcd sucks banner.

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  57. I care about valid criticisms because that's the only way to improve things. Frothing and shouting instead of providing insight isn't funny, it's just unnecessary and useless.

    It's the same reason Family Guy sucks. Zero contributions to real humor, just jumping the shark over and over again with shock value.

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  58. Anonymous (think of a name for THIS one)November 5, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    @Mr[.] Pitchfork

    We know it's not trying to be funny. The strip presents plenty of evidence such as NOT being funny.

    It's not dramatic, either. Some guy wants to talk with some girl (we assume they're boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, whatever). Guy tells girl he's sorry, girl doesn't, and there's a metaphor about a diode. A bad metaphor, but a metaphor nonetheless.

    It's also not very insightful. Ok, the diode thing is new, but it doesn't really say anything other than "THIS GIRL'S AN UNFORGIVING BITCH". We kinda already got that from the last couple hundred posts.

    So it's not funny. It's not dramatic. It's not insightful. It's not anything. THAT's why it's a terrible comic. It did nothing but waste a few seconds of my life and give me good fodder for why xkcd is long past its prime.

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  59. Not putting a period at the end of a sentence is inelegant, ugly, stupid, lazy, and insulting to people who have learned English.

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  60. @Pitchfork:

    And you expect xkcdsucks to improve xkcd?

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  61. Nonymous (which is your name now; since you have a name, you are no longer anonymous), that is entirely legitimate.

    Mrs Anonymous, that was good. The delivery is simple yet effective. Who is the lucky spouse?

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  62. Anonysept: I would prefer that a popular criticizing body make an effort to make actual improvements, otherwise the criticizing body is utterly useless.

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  63. I care about valid criticisms because that's the only way to improve things --Mr Pitchfork [[Why are people making a deal about the missing period? It's not like someone will actually say mrrrrrr pitchfork like some deranged sort of cat-man. Oh, wait, this is XKCDsucks -- ad hominem attacks are just a fact. Ummm... Gamer_2k4! You are an unsightly and unsavoury lady...?]]

    Randall Munroe doesn't acknowledge critique -- and if it's blindingly unarguable, he'll correct it and... proceed to never acknowledge the original error. So Valid Criticism has more or less become pointless.


    Oh, also, people still read those posts at the Top? They're basically just page-references to index this one long pointless thread. Because XKCDsucks is primarily about a community, not the frothing Librarians who structure the site. It's a community of petty morons who have nothing better to do than insult each other, Randall Munroe, and bitch about the "hip" topics of the day. And THAT'S what's important here. Honestly, this site has basically devolved into a parody of itself.

    Also, Randy is a corporate whore. This isn't slander, this is a fact he keeps reminding us of. Just in case you guys forgot.

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  64. It did. And it was. So what's the point anymore?

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  65. 'Cause nothing says "with the times" like coding an entire post as a link. Yessssss.

    Captcha: Frooplyr. That teenage girl who thinks she's a vampire, but you totally can't remember her name. Like, you know? That Frooplyr.

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  66. "I literally had a friend drive to my place, to look at my screen, just to see if he got it."

    Ever heard of something called the internet? You send the url, then your friend clicks on the link, then he reads the comic and explain it to you.

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  67. ... by mail of course. Or he can use this thing called a phone.

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  68. Randall updated the xkcd blog today.

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  69. lol at the people commenting on my comment:

    You're right, its not much of a critique simply because there's not much to critique about it. The most that can be said about it is that its ... relatively harmless.

    Its simple, not that funny yet - a similar situation to Zero Punctuation's description of Halo:Reach.

    Also: I don't like writing TLDR critiques of a 1 panel comic.

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  70. The thing about 814 is that there's not much you can say as positive critique. About the best thing you can say is "This is wrong, stop doing shit like this." And Randall doesn't read this, or at least take what's said here to heart, so he'll never stop. So all we can do is tell him to not to this anymore, except that's telling him to quit his (incredibly easy) job, so it's not going to happen.

    What Rob has done is all you can do, and it will never reach the person whom it needs to reach.

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  71. Anonymous 1:55, unfortunately, Randall once stated, on an instant messenger, that he doesn't read criticism because he feels thinking about people hating his work will affect his work, or something to that effect.

    I wish I could find that, I know it's somewhere in the xkcdsucks archives. And I just wish more xkcd fans saw that. I think that would make a lot of them lose respect for him. There's a ton of people I hate but respect because they can handle criticism and satire. Randy is not one of those people.

    And dear Jesus, how have I not noticed? Randall Munroe, aka Randy M.? He's fucking Randy Marsh of South Park. Leading the stupid masses, and his ideas are so stupid and inane that you can't help but laugh?

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  72. Well, laugh at the fact that there exists a person that actually thinks those ideas are good. Obviously Munroe's ideas themselves don't make me laugh.

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  73. Ha i figured out how to add a name so as to not be Anonymous. This is the anon who has been referred to as Anomaly and also the same anon who called a friend over to his apartment to read the comic. (I am also the same semicolons from webcomics.me.)

    @ Pitchfork: You are right, i did kind of take a twisted path through logic town to make my criticism. Let me try to clear it up.

    The comic follows the basic prop comedy formula. That formula is, get a prop, use the prop, deliver the punchline involving the use of the prop (think back to the prop part of Who's Line is it Anyway). Its not the ONLY way to do prop humor, just the most basic.

    So keeping those 3 steps in mind, the diode comic has pretty much followed them (steps 1 through 3 correspond to the panels 1 through 3).

    Now this obviously an attempt at prop humor. He's followed the basic outline that i provided. What i meant to show in my lengthy post was that he followed the basic formula extremely poorly. I won't restate my points because that would boring to read again, but hopefully now you understand why i structured my argument the way i did.

    This the formula for criticism i learned in college; you provide a set of criteria, show how the material fits into the criteria, then criticize how well it fits. This is just a basic method of literary criticism (and one used by most published movie critics). It seems i have just done a lack luster job in my critical analysis. I'll try to be more clear in the future.

    And yes, i could have sent my friend the URL, but i needed to see his reaction first hand.

    I hope that has cleared up my point. I really do have valid reasons to hate this particular comic!

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  74. Alright, Pitchy. I hurt your feelings by keeping my maiden name. You embarrassed me IN FRONT OF xkcd sucks.

    I'm sorry.

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  75. "Look, Rob, you gotta settle down. Like, this post proves that you need some kind of multi-point test to decide how terrible a comic is. Like, you've given this one a 9.5 on the Monroe Scale, and barely anyone can concur with you."

    I think exactly four people have disagreed. Most people (including everyone who isn't a dumbass) agree with me.

    "How about this, consider the following factors:"

    ignoring the fact that this is an incredibly fucking boring way to look at a comic, I answered all of your questions in the post. so basically you suck.

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  76. "
    5. Frankly, the analysis here is brief and offers a reasonable payoff. It won't have you laughing your ass off, but it's not like you have to read a 20 page article on Geonomic Hyperfusion to get what the fuck he's actually talking about. And clearly you did have to analyze hard to find out what's wrong with it, because all you could say over and over again is THIS IS TERRIBLE WHAT'S GOING ON HERE I BET HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON HERE while meanwhile the rest of us critics are like "I get it, it's just not that funny.""

    actually I said "what the fuck is this shit." which is to say: "I get it, but dear god this is the single most terrible thing I have ever fucking read." that was on first glance. on subsequent reads it was "I still get it, and it's still the single most terrible thing I have ever read." do strive for some precision in language, it's so lacking among you XKCD fanboys.

    "Seriously though, stop trying too hard; it makes Randall look good. "

    i put zero effort into this, dude. sorry you think that "disagreeing with you and hating something which is the worst thing that has ever been written" is the same as "trying too hard" though!

    "Also, Rob, I think you should really calm down before doing reviews. I understand that the funny part about your reviews is your anger behind it, but lately that's been overshadowing the actual reviews to me. So instead of:"

    i'm an extremely calm person.

    "You're pretty much always right, but the anger/Randy-is-a-loner-freak shtick is getting pretty old fast. Learn from XKCD, and don't fall into an annoying rut. "

    as I have repeatedly explained, I do the "Randy-is-a-loner-freak shtick" for the express purpose of annoying people who complain about it. it's a small pleasure but it keeps me going. when it stops paying off I'll probably lose interest.

    "Just like Randy can't force humor into his comics with profanity and references, you can't force quality into your review with blind rage. Like everyone has said, we're here because we appreciate a thoughtful analysis, not because we feel like being contrary."

    heh. "everyone." I'm here because I like making fun of things on the internet. most people on here are here because they are similar--the legions of cuddlefish, be they fantrolls, concern trolls, or just troll trolls, are not here for a thoughtful review. this is a community built on hate.

    if you want thoughtful analysis, you can, I don't know, read the analytical parts of my reviews? most of them are analytical. and while frequently the rage is mixed in with the analysis, I have never actually written a post which didn't contain analysis. and the insults, as previously mentioned, are mostly there because people keep complaining. (though in this case it was helpful and illustrative.)

    the problem comes when people start complaining about my particular formula of hate versus analysis. it's usually, in my experience, because they disagree with my conclusion (or are trolls). see, the analysis is all there. if you want to talk analysis, I'm happy to talk analysis. but instead of arguing or disagreeing with the analysis (there's lots of it in this post!) people just complain about the rage. if you are actually here for thoughtful analysis, maybe you should fucking respond to it.

    this is how you make a blog: when people respond to something in a way which you like, you do more of that thing so that people keep responding.

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  77. It's funny how hypocritical this blog often is (including the community). Even though Randy is mostly hated on for doing the same things over and over in his comics, Rob and the commenters do exactly the same. But instead of awkward relationships/math etc. it's unnecessary jokes about Randy's personal life (which have become incredibly stale).

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  78. "it's unnecessary jokes about Randy's personal life (which have become incredibly stale). "

    it hurts me more than it hurts you, but you keep forcing my hand.

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  79. Ravenzomg, your taste in comedy is absolutely abysmal to the extent that I have made it my life's mission to find, mutilate, flay, pour salt on, and brain you.

    (I gave it the benefit of the doubt and hooooshit did it abuse that.)

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  80. I've said this before but I love this nonsense comment thread

    GROUP A (cuntlefishes)- BAWWW YOU ARE NOT POLITE AND YOUR CRITICISM OF RANDALL IS INVALID BECAUSE YOU USE SWEARS

    GROUP B (Carllingists) - BAWW THIS REVIEW IS TOO BORING AND HAS TOO MANY ANALYTICAL POINTS IT NEEDS TO BE FUNNIER AND LESS CRITICAL

    never change

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  81. True Carllingists secede from the blog

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  82. "it hurts me more than it hurts you, but you keep forcing my hand."

    How am I forcing your hand? And if it apparently hurts you more than me, then why continue to do it? A little rage is always good for emphasizing your points (like with the comedian Lewis Black, for example). But it's not good when you can only make a review funny by going overboard with the rage.

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  83. multi-point-analysis-frame-providing-anon here:

    Rob you are a stupid fat fuck. I don't like XKCD, at least not at this point, but I have the decency to tell when a comic has ascended from completely fucking terrible to simply mediocre. But apparently for you, this comic does not have a variable scale of change in quality; it has a scale of linearly-decreasing quality with respect to time. Which is to say, it can't be better or worse on any randomly given day, it is always a set amount worse the day after another.

    Your response is horribly Munrovian: I criticize your methods of response and offer a new approach so as to attempt to cut your losses and restore some bit of dignity to your rapidly-decaying reviews, and you respond by saying WELL YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW TERRIBLE THE COMIC IS AND OBVIOUSLY YOU MUST BE A CUDDLEFISH AND HATE FUN. I used to come here because the responses were pragmatically critical; now they strictly adhere to the Rob law of "XKCD Is Always Worse Than It Was Yesterday." You've become the Munrovian Anti-Randall, continuously raising an army of cuddlefish-who-hate-cuddlefish and GOOMH on your /b/-grade LOLTHISISTERRIBAD bullshit.

    Please do the world a favor and either die of a heart attack from your disgusting morbid obesity, or grow the fuck up, stop thinking it's cool to troll and act apathetic towards your own work, and actually write a fucking critical review on a site about critical reviews.

    Or you have a third reasonable option: just stop abandon this sunken ship and post a link to suxredux advertising it as the only reviews of this comic worth reading. Because those actually function on an objective analysis of what makes humor/wit and functional composition.

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  84. *just stop and abandon

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  85. Randall in my vaginaNovember 6, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    @11:39

    The big difference is that we do not make a ruthless profit off of this. Nor are we Internet celebrities. You can avoid all of xkcd sucks's repetition by simply avoiding xkcd sucks.

    You can only avoid xkcd by avoiding the Internet. And apparently some people talk about it in offices and post comics up in college dorms. (I personally have never encountered this, though.)

    Not to mention, I think a lot of people doing the dumb attacks on Randy's personal life know that they are being immature. Randy thinks he is both insightful and hilarious. It's the difference between Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert.

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  86. I'm gonna call bullshit on that, Mr. Randallvadge. This blog has to take itself seriously enough, or else it wouldn't function as a critique; whereas people here resort to the "oh I'm just teasing" or "lol i was just trollin" argument when they've reached the point where their bullshit is exposed.

    It's more like Bill O'Reily and a liberal Bill O'Reily who just criticizes the first using an equal amount of poor foundation and ad hominems, and then when people say "you're just like Bill" responds with "LOL I WAS STEPHEN COLBERT ALL ALONG"

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  87. "But apparently for you, this comic does not have a variable scale of change in quality; it has a scale of linearly-decreasing quality with respect to time. Which is to say, it can't be better or worse on any randomly given day, it is always a set amount worse the day after another."

    except that's clearly not the case. you only think that is the case because you are one of the useless, defective wastes of human flesh that thinks this one is not utterly terrible. I have no qualms with calling something mediocre when it's mediocre. maybe you're confused because I usually post guest posts when all I have to say is "this comic is aggressively mediocre"?

    "Your response is horribly Munrovian: I criticize your methods of response and offer a new approach so as to attempt to cut your losses and restore some bit of dignity to your rapidly-decaying reviews, and you respond by saying WELL YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW TERRIBLE THE COMIC IS AND OBVIOUSLY YOU MUST BE A CUDDLEFISH AND HATE FUN. I used to come here because the responses were pragmatically critical; now they strictly adhere to the Rob law of "XKCD Is Always Worse Than It Was Yesterday." You've become the Munrovian Anti-Randall, continuously raising an army of cuddlefish-who-hate-cuddlefish and GOOMH on your /b/-grade LOLTHISISTERRIBAD bullshit."

    first: you are a cuddlefish. there is no "must be." you are an anonymous commenter on xkcdsucks. that's all it takes. the term is derogatory, of course, but that doesn't mean it doesn't apply to you.

    second: I have never said that they're always worse than they were yesterday. I'm sorry that you have decided that when I utterly detest a comic that you find mediocre that it's because of some bizarre, nonsensical rule of descending quality rather than simply that I happen to detest the current comic. (protip: when I fucking detest something, it will always be worse than the comic preceding it. I do not fucking detest most of the comics.)

    I think you overestimate the degree to which people care, at all, about my posts. Randy has cuddlefish--I have piranha. but you should definitely keep accusing me of disingenuously hating comics.

    "grow the fuck up, stop thinking it's cool to troll and act apathetic towards your own work, and actually write a fucking critical review on a site about critical reviews."

    it really bothers you that I have no interest in writing (your idea of) critical reviews here, doesn't it? the fact that I'm primarily writing for the entertainment of the xkcd-hating masses rather than to stroke your pseudo-intellectual cock must fill you with untold rage.

    this blog has never been about rational intellectual discourse. that happens sometimes in the comment threads, of course--usually when people actually discuss the ideas presented in the post instead of complaining that the blog doesn't write the posts you wish it would.

    I note you completely ignored my comment w/r/t the fact that there's plenty of analysis in each of my posts that you could respond to and have a pseudo-intellectual wankfest to your heart's content.

    "Or you have a third reasonable option: just stop abandon this sunken ship and post a link to suxredux advertising it as the only reviews of this comic worth reading."

    but his posts are so fucking boring. why would I inflict that on people?

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  88. Mr. Randallvadge (I like that)November 6, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    @4:29

    Good point. I reassess the parallels as
    -xkcd is Fox News
    -Cyanide & Happiness or some other overrated webcomic is MSNBC (still pretty bad, but has a much better image*)
    -xkcd sucks community is CNN (still dumb...but better than the above)
    -Carl WAS The Daily Show
    -xkcd explained and goatkcd are purely satirical stuff like the Onion and the Colbert Report
    -The Redux guy is a Daily Show correspondent

    *Though in reality, I'm pretty sure xkcd has much less haters than a lot of other popular webcomics... It truly is depressing how most people are either in love with Munroe or simply dismiss it. I would go as far to say that it deserves more hate than CAD, Sonichu, Garfield, and the Star Wars prequels combined. (Okay, okay. Just CAD and Garfield.)

    I guess it's just like facing the sad reality that the majority of people see absolutely nothing wrong with where they get their news from.

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  89. Rob, the only problem I have with your reviews (as I previously stated) is that you're a bit of a hypocrite. XKCD was once good, and then became progressively bad for rehashing the same predictable and old crap over and over.

    And you were once good as well, but lately you've been rehashing Randy hate jokes that aren't very funny, and have become stale. Hence me thinking you're being a hypocrite.

    And unlike most people on the Internet, I'm not trying to be offensive or an asshole. I would just like it if you focused more on the reviews themselves, and only pepper them with Randy hate-not pour it all over it to make a not delicious, peppery blog. and yeah.

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  90. Carl was Jon Stewart*

    Carl being an entire show doesn't make that much sense.

    Rob might, though. (LOLOL FAT ROB JOKE)

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  91. To add onto what 9:49 said, I think these out-of-control Randy insults have made it unclear as to which comic truly deserves how much hate. It all just feels like a blur of bad, when in reality xkcd ranges from bad to REALLY BAD to okay.

    Leave the stream of insults for the REALLY BAD ones and it makes them all the more sweeter.

    captcha: critizat
    Hey xkcd critics, critizat!

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  92. @9:57: The trouble is that there haven't been REALLY terrible ones in a while because they're all just particularly bland. Randall isn't sucking in an interesting way [heh], so Rob is forced to "shake it up" which basically means emulating Carl. God help us.

    @Suineder: I'm just working with mindless nonsense quotes the Cuddlefish give me. Also, you clearly just aren't the IT crowd's intended audience/you just don't understand it/you're just jealous of its success/you're a homosexual manticore. If you really don't like my style of humour, then start a passive aggressive blog that makes potshots about my sexuality; this is how the internet works, you know. Slut. [[Also, what exactly is "brain[ing]" me? If I'm following you, is that where I get a new brain à la Scarecrow?]]

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