Sunday, December 19, 2010

Comic 835: If A Comic Sucks In A Forest...

treeeeee

[ALT: Not only is that terrible in general, but you just KNOW Billy's going to open the root present first, and then everyone will have to wait while the heap is rebuilt.]

I had the honor to be present when Randy created this comic. He was eavesdropping outside Megan's window, as is his wont on the cold, dark evenings of a Boston winter, when she mentioned to her family on the phone (tragically distant for the holidays) that she had finally got her Christmas tree. For a few moments, Randy's mind started clicking and whirring, when suddenly, he screamed, "YOU MEAN LIKE THE DATA STRUCTURE??? OH MY GOD I AM THE BEST COMICS ARTIST EVER HAHAHAHA," then fled through the streets before Megan could arrest him for violating his restraining order for the third time today.

Later, at his underground warren in Fort Randy's Mom, he spent hours and hours trying to make this brilliant connection--the word "tree" is not used exclusively to refer to a type of data structure, but it also describes the pointy green thing you put in your living room around the winter solstice for some reason. (Randy is not sure how the pointy green thing is like his beloved data structure, and is fairly certain that the words are actually unrelated, but the lack of similarity only makes his genius the greater.) But how could he convey this connection? He knew that it would need to be a visual thing, so he pulled up the Photoshop gradient shading tool he reserves only for his most artistic of comics. But what could he put in front of the gradient?

He sketched a few trees, of both both the data and the pointy green thing variety, but came no closer until he noticed that the data trees were kind of pointy in shape sometimes! "MEGAN WILL FINALLY LOVE ME," screamed Randy, and he swiftly set about making a pointy green data tree in front of a gradient. But then part of his brain kicked in and reminded him that when you do something like this it is called a "pun," and it is traditional for people to groan and call them "bad" when they like them a lot. So he threw in some characters with gradient-heads and creepy floating glasses and had them tell the genius that is his author-insertion character that his pun is SO BAD they aren't inviting him home next year!

They don't invite him home, Randy decided, because they are jealous of his gifts. WHICH IS FINE, HE DOESN'T NEED THEIR STUPID SOLSTICE HOLIDAY AND THEIR TASTY DINNERS AND THEIR PRESENTS ANYWAY

91 comments:

  1. For the first time in a long time, I'll comment about the review. I feel it lacks a conclusion. It's like it stops mid-bashing. But goody, yea.

    So, this comic. I think everyone agrees it's horribly bad and underdeveloped, so no more on this. Later I'll have something to say on the newest comic.

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  2. I'd love to get a running start, build up lots of momentum (and oh yes, Randy, kinetic energy too! See, you don't have the market on freshman-level computer science and physics cornered!)

    Wait, where the fuck was I... oh yeah, I'd love to get a running start, build up a head of steam, and then when I'm within about 10 ft. of this flaming jackass Randall Munroe, jump from my feet, and execute a flying punch to this bastard's neck. Sure, I'd impart more momentum to the turd if my feet were on the ground, but the satisfaction of flying into this bastard, outstretched horizontally, as my fist connected with his jugular... well, that is pretty close to perfection.

    If this hapless shitbag could stop muddling around in mediocrity, I might give him a break. Nahh.... on second thought, fuck him.

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  3. The only thing i ask for this christmas is that Randy read his criticism and become a better webcomic.... person.

    I might as well ask for a micro nuclear reactor to power my car for the next 1000 years.

    I'm starting to think Randy is trolling us. Or maybe he was trying to at one point but he's gone so deep into the troll he forgot who he really was.

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  4. I bet Rob knows a lot about sucking in a forest.

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  5. This... this is the most hauntingly beautiful Christmas story I've heard in my life...

    I am moved.

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  6. Anon, forests ARE the greatest place to suck. You clearly are missing out.

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  7. Wow. I mean, this post was pretty cool and I think xkcd is pretty bad, but do you ever think that maybe you're taking the hate a bit too far?

    I mean, seriously. What entertainment are you deriving from your absolute hatred of this guy?

    The following reviews are examples of some of the better stuff on this site, I think. The shit you wrote today just reminds me of Randy. You're trying too hard.

    http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.com/2010/12/comic-828-autobiographical.html

    http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.com/2010/11/comic-821-same-again.html

    http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.com/2010/11/comic-817-words-cannot-express.html

    http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.com/2010/11/comic-816-does-sucking-count-as-error.html

    fuck it, why did I even start writing this? I don't even remember how I began this post...

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  8. if you took this post seriously you have more issues than randy has violations of megan's restraining order on his record

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  9. It looks like you just selected random reviews from the last 20 or so as 'examples of some better stuff'.

    Maybe you should try to think, before you post? Might help.

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  10. Alternately, he picked blog posts that would acrostically satisfy the "aswd" alternate for arrow keys? Or maybe I just miss two-player DOS games???

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  11. http://www.webcitation.org/5v6rM2eWA

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  12. NAW COS RANDY DESERES IT COS HE DRAWS BAD COMICS I DINNE KEN WHY YOU DINNE JUST KILL HIM COS THIS IS A BLOG FOR KILLING RANDY AND SHIT

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  13. SLIMBOY! stop being so fing stupid.

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  14. NAW COS YOUR SO UGLY ITS YER NAW YA RANDIE LOVA, GO LICK HIM OR SUMMIT

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  15. How to make a new comic:
    Step 1: Take an old comic from your archives
    Step 2: Strip away the context that made that one a classic or remotely entertaining.
    Step 3: Remind us of your current situation by making it the new context for the comic!
    Step 4: Change the wording of your punchline slightly so that people will say "it's a coincidence" very generously.
    Step 5: Profit!

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  16. Which is to say that it's probably a coincidence, let's give Randall the benefit of the doubt he's dealing with a lot of stuff right now in case you didn't know, guys.

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  17. Well, at least Randall bothered to draw a background in one of the three panels.

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  18. Randy's got it down to a science... But, it doesn't work, bitches.

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  19. horrible, horrible

    "groped for comfort before the slings and arrows of misfortune"

    "begrudge nobody their sources of solace"

    "medical r&d bought us some pretty damn powerful slings and arrows of our own"

    ow ow ow

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  20. Argh, it's just as bad as I expected and more. It totally sounds like a picto-blog post, and I thought that perhaps a punchline could redeem it, but alas, the punchline is such absolute shit that it only makes it worse OH WHAT IN THE NAME OF GOOD CHRIST WERE YOU THINKING RANDALL EFFING MUNROE

    Fin.

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  21. I feel like that did not properly express my rage for this comic.

    You see, I think that this is the worst comic that Randall Effing Munroe has ever made. Let me explain. Every comic so far, yes, every single one, had either a recognizable joke or some sort of "cool factor" as a redeeming quality. Yes, even 631. That had a joke too.
    THIS comic, however, just has Randall Effing Munroe deliver a long rant about how awesome science is, and then deliver the world's worst punchline as an afterthought. Punchline? Really? That's not a punchline. Do you hear that, Randall Effing Munroe? INFORMALITY. IS. NOT. A. PUNCHLINE. YOU FAIL COMEDY FOREVER.

    FUCK YOU.

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  22. I begrudge nobody their sources of solace, but I will call them "bitches"

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  23. (836) Man, he's not even trying any more. The latest one isn't even a comic, just a bitter outpouring of rage.

    About the most generous interpretation I can give of this comic is that Randy is going through difficult times, and is beleaguered by unsolicited offers of advice that he might take mental or spiritual support from religion, which has driven him into a subliminal rage that he has no socially acceptable outlet to express except in his comic.

    And if he's not, then someone should. Just to piss him off.

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  24. I like how white hat guy's only purpose is to set up the other guy (Randall)'s rant.

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  25. FUCK YOU CORY DOCTOROW FUCK YOU
    http://www.boingboing.net/2010/12/19/science-and-hope-aff.html

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  26. @anon 11:58

    That's the exact same purpose he had in the only other comic he was in: http://xkcd.com/796/

    It's like, all of the sudden randall has a problem with the fact that all of his male stick figures are identical? So he feels the need to stick a hat on this guy, to show that he's not 'the main guy' (aka randall author insert).

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  27. Every panel of the new comic adds to my layer-cake of hate.

    the first panel- or OH MY GAWD GUYS REMEBER MY FAMILY ILLNESS? IT MADE MY LIFE SO HARD AND MADE ME SO INSIGHTFUL Oh my family member that actually was sick? who cares! let me tell you about my DEEP Philosophical INSIGHTS.

    Panel 1 will be the munchausen panel

    GUYS if I dress up common knowledge in confused metaphor then it'll sound SMART and INTELLIGENT and MEGAN will LOVE ME. I mean really. Condense what he's actually said.

    "Life is hard, but we can make it easier using tools like engineering and medicine"

    HOLY SHIT BLOOD IS SPURTING OUT MY URETHERA MY MIND IS SO BLOWN. No dice randy- despite what you may think your chosen nerds are not the only ones on the planet not retarded enough to reach this conclusion.

    Panel 2 will be the poleimic.

    "It works bitches" OH MAN REMEBER THAT COMIC? REMEBER HOW MANY T-SHIRTS I SOLD YOU GUYS MUST LOVE THAT. Let's transpose the non-punchline from that comic and put it on this comic! KOMEDEY GOLD!

    Except- it doesn't work- the original punchline was a tautaulogy and in this context it's a re-hashed tautaulogy- science works because it is science - it's like stapling a killer whale penis to tinkerbell's forehead- a retarded notion from start to finish.

    the REHTORIC PANEL

    So the combination of these three panels- retoric, gaudy words with no real meaning (complete with grating dialouge) and attention-seeking behavior make randy seem more like a religious zealot than the religious and spiritual he presumably lampoons in his comic.

    tl;dr, typos abound

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  28. I didn't mind 826. Didn't do anything for me but I didn't hate it either. Since it so obviously isn't trying to be a joke, it doesn't bother me as those strips that do try and fail horribly.

    He's not saying anything ingenuous but it's still better than some of the recent stuff we've seen. Like 825.

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  29. EDIT: I meant 836 and 835 respectively before.

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  30. Rob, you are my favorite person and this was the most moving Christmas story I've heard all season.

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  31. yay, Rob's trying to be more like redux.

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  32. this comic IS xkcd.

    -floating heads
    -unrealistic dialogue
    -too much of it
    -plagiarism *rehashing old ideas, badly
    -nerd pandering (science works, religion ultimately blows, us genius atheists can handle this cold dark world but those puny sheeple can't...)
    -adding 'fuck' or 'bitches' is Komedy Gold
    -faux insight. actually trite and obvious
    -crappy uplifting speech
    -praised by almost everyone for no reason
    -it sucks tremendously

    just one Megan/creepy away from a bingo

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  33. OMG, _I_ decorated a Christmas tree yesterday. Randall get the hell out of my head!!!



    ;i)

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  34. Copy/pasted from my post on the forums:

    Anyone who thinks this isn't about religion is deluding themselves. I could see the faith healing/alternative medicine interpretation if not for the whole "begrudge nobody their sources of solace" portion. I also feel that that very same sentence is just inserted to help stave off the flood of hate mail, but is really just instead saying "I'll smile and pat you on the head and maybe you won't realize I'm just saying that I think your entire worldview is nothing more than a primitive comfort object". To rephrase, even if he tries to skirt a direct attack on those who are believers, he still dismisses religion as nothing but something for comfort.

    Disregarding all that, the comic is not really cohesive. White hat guy asks if being sick has opened the main-stick-guy to looking for answer besides science. His initial answer is "umm, no". The second panel starts by saying that he does not begrudge those who believe... this still makes sense in the context of the question asked, but then it takes a turn for the weird. "But Science provides tools... and arrows of our own" makes it sound like Randy thinks that Faith and Science are mutually exclusive. That is completely silly. Also, he continues ranting about how awesome science is because 'it works'. How is that answering the initial question that was asked? White hat guy never seemed to doubt it. Also, the last line is obviously pandering to the base, but beyond that it is just a silly breaking of the fourth wall. He is only talking to one guy who never doubted science before, so he must be talking to us, or well... I suppose main-stick-guy could be an xkcd-reader who "sperged out" and quoted an old xkcd strip to clinch his argument. I could definitely see a lot of you forum posters clenching your fist and shouting that out as your voice cracks just a little.

    I also don't think Randall knows what ineffable means. I think he is trying to say that scientists did/do not accept reality as mysterious and unexplainable, but ineffability specifically concerns things that be expressed in WORDS ('words' being the most important word here). I think "people who refused to think of reality as inexplicable" would be more on target. Feel free to call me out on this one and describe how ineffable works though.

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  35. No xkcd comic has ever made me as angry as this one made. This comic is the perfect, absolutely perfect mixture of scientific arrogance and dumbness. My heart burns with pain knowing that there are people spewing such garbage through the world.

    Science DOES indeed work: if you get enough of it, you'll become a pretentious asshole.

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  36. As always- randall's sucking off the scientific pseudointallectuals and SURPRISE SURPRISE it gets posted on pharyngula.

    I honestly think PZ Myers will post absolutely anything provided it compliments or affirms his personal opinions.

    I wouldn't surprise me if he started selling posters of catholic priests in the act of raping young boys.

    It wouldn't surprise me on account of how said rape imagrey would have more artistic and intallectual merit than the newest xkcd

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  37. I will unload the entirety of my hatred later, but for now: fernie made an amazing post on the xkcd forums. Major props.

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  38. As a third-year undergraduate who has just finished a second-year statistics course, I can say with certainty that the alt-text is funny if you're a second-year who has just taken a statistics course.

    Outside of that tiny little segment of the Venn diagram that we (Randall) call life, I cannot speak.

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  39. Yeah, but then you grow tired of p-value jokes.

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  40. I... I'm sorry...
    I'm an asshole...

    p-value jokes are funny

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  41. So, two statisticians are hunting birds together. The first one shoots, but misses the bird by two inches on the right. The second one shoots, but misses it by 2 inches on the left.

    They then high five and scream in joy: "WE GOT IT ON AVERAGE!!!"

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  42. Thank you, Ves. I'm usually content with posting my provocations on the forums and going off my merry way, checking out later what were the reactions; but this particular comic made me so phenomenally depressed and irritated that I realised a short, simple mockery wouldn't make it justice. I suppose you could say that is a merit for Randall...

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  43. @R. You forgot to add that he made himself a character. And, also, the absence of dialogue.

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  44. I refuse to read a comic with that much text in one panel - if he wanted to write an essay, should have done that on his blog. Definitely not appropriate for a comic.

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  45. Can someone link to Fernie's forum post? I don't feel like wading through the wretched hive of memes and flowing praise that is the echochamber.me.

    @836: I think other people have said everything that needs to be said.

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  46. The further XKCD pushes you towards ragequitting this blog the funnier your reviews get.

    XKCDExplained didn't make it past the infamous double thought bubble shame of mankind.

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  47. For those looking for Fernie's post:

    http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=67023&start=40#p2429845

    You can see after that how the "I begrudge nobody their sources of solace" is a clear cover-your-ass statement since everyone cites that. Which to me is like saying "Nothing personal, but you smell like a rotten fish."

    As Karl has already pointed out, Randy's attempts at prose come across as trying too damn hard. Maybe if Randy had spent more time in a "useless" subject like literature, he'd have a better grasp of what's "elegant" and what's "overwrought".

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  48. I think maybe both Rob and Randall should quit...

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  49. To be fair to Randall, "I begrudge nobody their sources of solace" is pretty much exactly as backhanded to say to a religious person as a religious person saying to an atheist, "Has X event opened you up to looking for answers beyond science?"

    Because asking an atheist that is basically saying, "Have you admitted you're wrong yet?" and is every bit as smug as anything Randall responded with. I'd say it's a strawman but people seriously do say things like that. It's still the format of a strawman though, with one person saying something solely for the other person to tear apart their rhetoric.

    Still, wtf? How is this a comic? It's a guy talking for a long time about a boring subject in an awkward way and then saying a curse word. Is the humor in the juxtaposition of the overly verbose rant with the crudeness of the 'punchline'? Is it in how 'right' the dude is supposed to be? If it's not supposed to be funny, is it supposed to be enlightening? Well... it's saying nothing new and doing it with a confusing "weaponry" analogy that really never goes anywhere and just muddies the point since the topic is sickness.

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  50. Randall, Wayward Virgin of E-comics

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  51. Panel 1: Randall shaking the hand of Carl Sagan
    Panel 2: Randall giving Carl Sagan a blow-job
    Panel 2: Randall - "Science, it works, BITCHES"

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  52. Except it just comes out as "mumble glomph glop mumble", because he is saying it while giving Carl Sagan a blow-job.

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  53. I wonder if Randy DOES suffer from some form of M√ľnchausen syndrome (possibly by proxy)--he sure loves to revisit the topic of his ill-fallen relative(s). I accepted it during the 5-minute comics week--If someone visited xkcd during the middle of the week and saw a different format they'd want an explanation. But now it's about 3 weeks since the guest comics, and I find it unacceptable. WE KNOW, RANDY. YOU HA(VE|D) A SICK RELATIVE; THESE THINGS HAPPEN.

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  54. "Except it just comes out as "mumble glomph glop mumble", because he is saying it while giving Carl Sagan a blow-job." lol

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  55. hey does anyone know what are these mysterious illnesses that have befallen the randall-household? cause sure, MY ILLNESS sound way more serious then MY INFLUENZA.

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  56. 836: MY CHLAMYDIA (alt text: Did you know you can catch it from oral sex? Thanks Megan!)

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  57. I just want to say I am having the time of my life trolling the shit out of xkcd mouthbreathers on the forums.

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  58. PS the redux hacker is currently losing his shit and having a meltdown like a 12-year-old. It's absolutely hilarious. Trolls, activate!

    Onward!

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  59. haha, "i'm working on hacking the big one"

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  60. The redux hacker is my favoritest cuddlefish of them all. He's so incredibly stupid :3

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  61. yeah he's pretty great. though I feel "hacker" is too kind of a name for him.

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  62. My mistake, I forgot to put quotes around "hacker".

    If you're open to suggestions, there are several names I use for him on the redux blog, you can take your pick.

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  63. Surely Wordpress has some means of handling issues like this--he can't expect to control that blog forever. I also like how he "knows more hacking"--He probably looked it up on WikiHow.

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  64. they probably do, but apparently redux hasn't bothered with it. my understanding was it had been a few comics since redux had posted (I have never bothered reading his posts so I couldn't say for sure) when the "hacker" found his password in the Gawker leak, so it's very probable he doesn't even know/care.

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  65. I am major hacker, I will SQL injection into your eyeballs. Fear me

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  66. I hope the slapper (like a hacker, but with less force and worse instruments) never dies. He's an incredible vindication of how randall's fanbase have SERIOUS INSECURITIES and read XKCD to affirm their 'smartness'.

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  67. "i'm working on hacking the big one" is of course a "Rob is Fat" joke, so look out for someone you know and loathe, Rob.

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  68. I think I agree with Anon 7:24 on Rob's review of this comic.

    I think you took the Randy hate too far, Rob. I feel that the whole of the review could have been put into a paragraph in the beginning, and could have been a starting point-rather than being the entire review.

    I don't mean to sound like a tool, just putting my opinion out there.

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  69. if you don't mean to sound like a tool then why are you taking it seriously

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  70. Anon 6:04 - too late!

    Randy is the worst

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  71. @Rob I'm not really taking it seriously. I just think that when it comes to reviews (of any kind), the actual review should be the core, rather than having the whole thing be based on a joke (xkcdsuxredux has done this many times).

    Also, I think it's interesting how you're using the argument that I shouldn't take it seriously, when you have said the same thing about XKCD. Hey, if I don't take it seriously, maybe I'll get a laugh out of it, instead of actually paying attention to if there's actually humor in it.

    And what do you mean, Ves? Are you referring to the newest comic?

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  72. you can pay attention all you like. when you are complaining about going "too far" it is clear that you are not actually reading the joke as it's intended. but hey, whatever helps you sleep at night!

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  73. What makes you say I'm not reading it as intended? You obviously made the review based on the idea that Randy got the idea from spying on Megan-which is good, but I think should have just been a short part of the review, not the whole thing. As I said, that's just my two cents on the matter.

    By the way, analyzing something=/=taking something too seriously. You seem like the kinda guy who would understand that.

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  74. you aren't analyzing it, you are saying that I--and I am pasting your exact words here--"took the Randy hate too far." that isn't analysis, that's mistaking the joke for sincerity.

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  75. By taking it too far, I meant that the joke went on (in my taste) too long in the review. I like it when that kind of joke is more of a launching point (as I previously said) rather than the entirety of the review.

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  76. you should probably learn to actually communicate the ideas you are feebly attempting to express then

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  77. I thought I made it obvious, but apparently I didn't-sorry about that x]

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  78. If this post gets 150 comments I won't hack this blog. GO!

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  79. oh go on, hack it. you know you want to.

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  80. I'm an atheist and I agree with the basic message of 836-- however, that does NOT mean I liked it. I agree that the dialogue is awkward (though maybe Randy actually talks that way) and the whole comic is annoyingly preachy. Kind of like a bizarro Jack Chick tract.

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  81. Haha, the xkcdsuxredux asshole threatened to "ping [us] all offline." I guess he doesn't realize that fucking with an ISP is different than fucking with a petty blog.

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  82. Oh no you guys, redux couldn't make good on one empty threat so now he's making another! Whatever shall we do

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  83. ah yes, he is referencing historical hacks.
    1997 called, it wants its 56k modem back:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ping_of_death

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  84. the latest post makes me pretty sure this is just redux fucking around (the picture is one of Randy, not Ryan North, and this kind of fake ignorance is kind of his thing)

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  85. you might be right rob

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