Saturday, January 22, 2011

Comic 850: Randy Drew The Maps

maps maps maps

[Comic title: World According to Americans; alt text: It's not our fault we caught a group on their way home from a geography bee. And they taught us that Uzbekistan is one of the world's two doubly-landlocked countries!]

If there is one thing Randall Munroe dislikes more than being rejected by Megan, it is being told that he is dumb, even indirectly. And while he enjoys laughing at the stupidity of others, he is also dimly aware that he, too, is an American, and he certainly doesn't match the stereotypes presented in one of the maps he is here satirizing. Affronted by this, uh, affront to reality, Randy set out to prove everyone wrong.

Of course, Randy doesn't know the first thing about geography, but this is the webcomic "Randall Munroe Knows The First Thing (And Several Subsequent Things As Well) About Everything," so he couldn't let his readers know that. So he opened up Wikipedia and possibly some previously unused books, and began his work. He ultimately spent several hours of painstaking research to bring us his final product, a map which is meant to look as if it was drawn in a few minutes by some people who have an expert level of familiarity with the subject.

Then he sat back and did that thing people do when they're done with projects where they dust off their hands, even though there's no actual dust on them, and said, "Yes. Yes, I am incredibly brilliant and clever. Nobody could have ever done this, and now the world knows how smart I can appear to laymen when I have unlimited and undisclosed time to do the research."

But then a disaster occurred--how could he convey this message to the world while making them (a) want to buy it as a poster and (b) burst into fits of hideous laughter, Natalie Portman-style? Fortuitously, his original inspiration would serve him there. Randall "I Know My Audience Exceedingly Well" Munroe did not earn his nickname by not knowing his audience exceedingly well--they had no doubt laughed at the maps that earned his ire, just as he once did before his startling revelation. So he would prepare them to laugh at the stupid, as is their wont, and to marvel in the greatness of Randall Munroe, at the same time.

And then, because Randall Munroe is a firm believer that the only element to humor is subverting one's expectations, he would pull an epic subversion on them by making the map in no way funny. Oh, how they would laugh!

UPDATE: Noted Hitler fan "ray" has sent me this map, which removes all of Randy's sad attempts at commentary on this one.

====

On an unrelated note, I was watching Fox News the other day, as is my wont before I write angry, racist comments anonymously on news items about the president and go to bed, and I was alarmed to hear about this new, terrible thing which is happening online, called "trolling." I wanted to warn you all about this serious problem, and to assure you that if any of these so-called "trolls" are found here at xkcdsucks, they will not be given a "bridge" to "hide under"! You have my assurance of that!

102 comments:

  1. Good job, Randy. You drew a map.

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/detective-conan-episode-1-online#English

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fox News only just discovered trolling? Haven't they been watching Glenn Beck's show?

    ReplyDelete
  4. cape horn is the tip of south america, not of africa.

    ReplyDelete
  5. i would buy this but only if It cost at least $100. man Randy is so great! =)

    captcha: perierap. what I would use to preserve my poster!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Trolls are a serious problem Rob. That's why you should use condoms.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I iz teh troll!!

    Beware!

    I will not leave until I have gone too far!

    nothing you can do will stop you from getting your feelings hurt!

    captcha: predwe predators=we vicims=you

    ReplyDelete
  8. This isn't Fox News, it's a local affiliate. So not really much of "LIBERALS LIBERALS ARGH" there.

    ReplyDelete
  9. u got an ugly face

    ReplyDelete
  10. So.....
    With only 29 countries labeled (well 9 more were labeled but not even given borders) this is a pretty poor attempt at drawing a map. With there being 195 countries in the world, this gives Randall a nice big F.

    Clearly the group was coming home after being eliminated from the first round of the geographical bee.

    Also a point to think about: they're able to accurately draw the coastlines of the country, yet can't distinguish the borders of say Spain and Portugal, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, or any South American country besides Brazil. Even I can tell from memory that Chile is situated on the south-east coast of SA.

    Randall just proved in this comic that America's best is still shit.

    ReplyDelete
  11. * Should be "coastlines of the continents: hehehe

    ReplyDelete
  12. cape horn
    scandinavia/finland
    "paupa" new guinea

    etc

    ReplyDelete
  13. Won't somebody PLEASE think about the Uyghurs they are NOT Tibetans they eat way more sheep

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rob is fake... and gay.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, this comic is bad. Randy has made too many attempts in the past at making jokes about subversions of expectations. This being a horribly done example of that.

    Randy might as well have seen a few Harry Potter spoofs, and gone "Hey, I should do that too, but instead re-write all the books as they actually are! Nobody would expect that, so it'd be hilarious!"

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looks like a local Fox affiliate and completely not Fox News.

    But ok.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Those Americans he mentions in the comic can't have been that good at geography if they think Cape Horn is off the coast of Africa.

    Maybe he means "unexpectedly good for Americans." I mean D level knowledge of geography IS pretty good for most Americans.

    *Disclaimer: I am American and know fuck-all about geography.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If he means "unexpectedly good for Americans," there isn't even a feeble attempt at making a joke. There would just be... nothing. A pointless fiction.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "Battling Trolls".

    Also, if Twilight Struggle says Libya is part of the Mid-East, then it most definitively is, Randall.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This news report is highly alarming, I am going to buy some curtains and a dog to protect myself from these "trolls."

    ReplyDelete
  21. If websites weren't providing metaphorical bridges for the trolls to hide under it would be a lot easier to weed them out. Good on xkcdsucks for standing up to the phenomenon.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm pretty sure the "world according to America" image that this is presumably supposed to be an answer to has been doing the rounds for the best part of a decade now. Right on the bleeding edge of contemporary satire as always...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Something that bugs me about this comic:

    If these Americans could have "taught us that Uzbekistan is one of the world's two doubly-landlocked countries!" then why isn't Uzbekistan even drawn on the fucking map?

    captcha: stompl. This comic makes me want to stompl Randall's face.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I just don't get it...I mean, I normally get it, regardless of how bad it is. But I don't get this joke, like at all.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh no, I do, I do. I thought it was an attempt to subvert the old meme and boy did I feel like a fool when I realised what it really is.

    Get ready to feel like a moron, cause you're about to.

    My problem was that as nice and well educated as the people who drew the map were, they were still "moron Americans" you know, the ones who don't know anything about the geography of the middle east despite the country having been at war with most of it for quite a few decades now. The ones who don't know anything about the continent CONNECTED to it apart from. "They speak portugese in brazil, spanish everywhere else." Yeah...great...

    I have a theorey about this, my theorey is that Randall has never actually SEEN the original version(s). (Well, he has, but when you're forced to plagarise most of your creative output you have to conveniently "forget" things.)and what we have here is the most delightfully subtle and gentle joke about Americas racism and small mindedness, with none of the coarse and overpoweringly simple humour of the original.

    Brava Randall, I get it mate, hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Holy shit, google "interesting facts about geography" click the first link. Look at the third fact.

    LOLAPALOOOOOOOZZZZZZAAAA

    ReplyDelete
  27. The funny thing is, we DON'T speak portuguese in Brazil

    ReplyDelete
  28. they speak mexican like all the other illegals

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh wow. Those allegedly interesting geographical facts were less intriguing then the shit Randy pumps out. I applaud that feat.

    ReplyDelete
  30. "The only populated continental land south of 40° South Latitude is cold Patagonia, the southern tip of South America. On the other hand, most of Europe, Asia, and two-thirds of North America are north of 40° North Latitude"?

    ReplyDelete
  31. @Ex-ambivalent, 2:22 :

    The answer is obvious : the map is too small and randy's not a good enough artist, and besides, he couldn't tell Uzbekistan apart from the other countries whose name end in "-stan".

    Typhon

    ReplyDelete
  32. There's a sort of style of telling a joke where it sets you up to expect a punchline (usually offensive) and then the actual punchline is that it isn't a punchline at all, sort of the predecessor of that buzzkilling meme I guess. Like this:

    Q: What do you call a woman flying an airplane?
    A: The pilot.

    I have reason to believe that Randall apparently finds those kinds of jokes to be just about the most hilarious and awesome things ever.

    ReplyDelete
  33. That pilot joke is hilarious!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. The mention of megan in the 1st sentence of this review caused more lulz for me than the majority of xkcd comics combined.

    ReplyDelete
  35. the pilot joke only works like this:

    Q. What do you call a Muslim flying a plane?
    A. A pilot you racist bastard

    ReplyDelete
  36. Unlike this xkcd that pilot joke is funny.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is what confuses me about this comic:

    Randy obviously drew the maps, but what he doesn't make clear is why the 'narrator' is not american, who drew the maps and who met the americans.

    I understand what the premise is, but it is completely f*cking retarded. He's pretending to not be an american who ran into americans and asked them to draw a map that he's pretending he didn't draw himself? And he's also engaged in witty banter with these americans while Randy is pretending he didn't draw the map?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Why are East and West Germany still seperate on the map?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Which of the Americans was excitedly writing down their witty banter on the map?

    ReplyDelete
  40. I like how there's this "I don't know a thing about Africa", and the Africa has, from the look of it, more countries labeled than any other continent. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Randall gave us a pretty poor example of "unexpectedly good".

    I thought maybe he was grouping countries by language families (explaining why Mexico appears to go all the way down to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina and why Africa looks like one big country), but then that doesn't make sense, because according to that logic Canada should be grouped with the U.S.

    Also - someone already pointed this out, but "Paupa" New Guinea?

    I think Randall might've been trying to "subvert" expectations by thinking that the audience was expecting a genuinely accurate map. At worst, this comic just makes him look like a complete idiot. At best it's just not funny at all.

    ReplyDelete
  42. It can't be by language families cos there are hella loads in Africa and also they speak Arabic in most of North Africa not just the Middle East and also they don't speak Arabic in Iran *inhale*. So yeah I must admit I'm not really sure why he chose to spilt South and Central America into language families like that. Probably he felt that would make him seem smarter than doing the normal countries would. Yeah.

    ReplyDelete
  43. "Randy might as well have seen a few Harry Potter spoofs, and gone "Hey, I should do that too, but instead re-write all the books as they actually are! Nobody would expect that, so it'd be hilarious!"

    this would be a ripoff of a Borges short story

    ReplyDelete
  44. http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/9899/worldc.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  45. lol

    http://tinyurl.com/c28krv

    ReplyDelete
  46. http://goatkcd.com is better

    ReplyDelete
  47. Kjoreto: those jokes really are funny, but Randall couldn't pull one off if Megan's life depended on it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Pierre Ménard, author of the Quixote

    ReplyDelete
  49. Anonymous, Author of Pierre Ménard, Author of the Quixote.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Randy gets jiggy with it.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I feel like more could be done with the Na comic

    ReplyDelete
  52. I don't know about you, but I have had more laughs licking the shit out of cocks fresh out of my asshole than with xkcd 851.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Two things:

    1. This comic elicited a chuckle out of me, not because it was particularly funny, but because I understood all the references. This puts me squarely back into xkcd's target audience. Curses!

    2. I just noticed this: what good is it to put a warning to viewers about your comics AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE? Shouldn't it go closer to the header? Or, y'know, above the comic?

    ReplyDelete
  54. I don't know if anyone else here is a metal-head, but for 851 I was totally thinking of Blind Guardian's And Then There Was Silence [link to that part of the song because, honestly, who has 14 minutes?].

    It is truly epic live, just sayin'.

    Captcha: Bicommon. I'm just really used to it, you know?

    ReplyDelete
  55. Guys, what's up with typing in your captcha and trying to come up with a meaning for it? It hasn't been funny once, so that can't be it. Are you hacking the website by doing this? Are you getting people's credit card numbers? Are you spambots showing off?

    I long for an understanding of this

    ReplyDelete
  56. If you know, you know -- if you know, you know.

    Captcha: Ballycal. This thing, apparently

    ReplyDelete
  57. Leave it to Randall to fuck up something like 851.

    There aren't enough "nas" before "Katamari Damacy." There should be four more before that. Also, there's THREE "heys" before "goodbye," Randall has only two.

    ReplyDelete
  58. @Anon959: It is for much the same reason that Randall's fans' attempt to win the Megan-look-a-like contest every halloween after which they all take turns desecrating their costumes for what she's done to their beloved lolololeader Randall. This is followed by reciting his comics in a dark room. Yes, it is for the same reason that the denizens of xkcdsucks prove how good they are at googling random words the captcha system spits out and then declaring their hatred of Rob's greasy, rolling rolls of fat.

    I speak of mating rituals.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Why did he come up with this idea and only do four songs when there are so many others that could have been added? Isn't this supposed to be his job? If I only packed half a pallet and then went home saying "extrapolate the rest for yourself" I would be so frigging fired that I would owe the company backpay.

    Captcha: Inest. Incest that you can't C OMG these things really are hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  60. It's like folding paper cranes -- explain enough Captchas and you'll transcend the English Language.

    Captcha: vilesho. Randall put on a vilesho today... not that I'm surprised.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Ok, my comment got eaten apparently

    Randy has shamelessly plagiarised this (from Aug 2009): http://loveallthis.tumblr.com/post/166124704

    which was reposted on a website he almost certainly reads just 3 days ago: http://flowingdata.com/2011/01/21/hey-jude-flowchart/

    ReplyDelete
  62. Charles Augustus FortescueJanuary 24, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    The Na comic would have been more current if it had mentioned My Chemical Romance's recent pop hit, "Na na na na na na na na na".

    ReplyDelete
  63. good show, rob, good show. You've made a prime example of how NOT to write reviews!

    current score:

    Rob: zilch
    Idiocy: 1
    Randall: zilch

    i've decided to keep score. try some real reviews, not ad hominem.

    AA signing out.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Always anonumous- you're jut hurt that nobody's stunned by your ability to tell the difference between WEST YOORUP and EEST YOORUP

    ReplyDelete
  65. asspain "true to his name" Mgee:

    I briefly considered including posts such as that in the idiocy score, but then I realized that poor Rob and Randall would have even less of a chance to score higher than idiocy.

    btw, you spelled "anonymous" wrong.

    AA signing out.

    ReplyDelete
  66. AA, you failed to capitalize the first letter of your third sentence! HAHAHAHAHA I FEEL SO SUPERIOR TO YOU RIGHT NOW OH MAN!

    ReplyDelete
  67. > good show, rob, good show. You've made a prime example of how NOT to write reviews!

    Do you see what he did there? With the NOT? That's grade A cleverness right there

    ReplyDelete
  68. who the fuck "signs out"? are you a sad old man in a basement pretending to fly a plane in ww2? a socially outcast highschooler pretending to fly a ship in star wars?

    this is text, we can tell your post is over!

    you need to be less obvious xkcd fan material.

    ReplyDelete
  69. obviously 4lw4y5_5n0nym0u5_197393982 is from the OLD SCHOOL INTERNET where they didn't have your fancy hyperlinks or usernames and you had to MANUALLY SHOW where your post ended and the next person's began and there weren't any of these UPPITY KIDS who haven't been using the internet for 20 years

    ReplyDelete
  70. You tell 'em, Chiggy Chugga!

    Inest is incest without the cum, bee tee dubs.

    ReplyDelete
  71. neeeeow dakka dakka dakka TRRRRRRR squadron leader to red 5 squadron leader to red 5 ZZZZZOOOM whooosh chunka chunka chunka BOOOOM

    ReplyDelete
  72. The fucker can't even spell Philippines.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I feel like more could be done with the Na comic

    When I read that, I was expecting a comic about sodium. Guess that's a bit out of Randall's league, huh.

    @Alsworth

    I just noticed this: what good is it to put a warning to viewers about your comics AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE? Shouldn't it go closer to the header? Or, y'know, above the comic?

    I think, strictly speaking, that makes it a disclaimer. In other words, Randall is an idiot. (Who knew?)

    Captcha: crumbr. Like a number, but with crumbs.

    ReplyDelete
  74. @Gamer_2k4

    I was also expecting a comic about sodium.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Dearest Chiggy Chugga:

    If I was xkxd fan material, I would've given randall that score. As it is, I am looking for actual reviews. However, Rob doesn't seem to be able to deliver. Therefore, Idiocy gets the first point. As seems to be human nature.

    Also, am I not allowed to have a signature?

    AA signing out.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I'm quite /able/ to deliver actual reviews, I just have no interest in writing them. sorry that I don't have any interest in your favorite genre, king cuddly.

    also, i'll just leave this here.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Randy: "I can't believe I forgot Hey Jude.
    I don't get do-overs, but I couldn't resist making this fixed version."

    Yeah you don't get do-overs... except for every other time you made a mistake and fixed it without acknowledging the mistake.

    WTF!

    ReplyDelete
  78. @Ravenzomg: yeah, now that you mention it, it does remind me of one of my favorite parts of that song!

    ReplyDelete
  79. This comic could have been good, but it's a piece of shit. The Katamari Damacy one has way too few Na's, the Hey Hey Good Bye one needs another Hey as well as two less Na's, and there should have been more songs like Hey Jude and what not instead of this festering pile of turd shit which Randal compiled in about 3 minutes if that. I can't wait til this shit is in poster form.

    ReplyDelete
  80. A much better summary exists at: http://twitter.com/irandallmunroe

    ReplyDelete
  81. DOES GLENN BECK A SECRET COMMUNIST??

    HE SAID ON HEIR THAT COOMMUNIST CONTRIES BECONING CAPITALIST A BAD THING THAT CAN ONLY MEAN ONE THING RIHGT.....................

    ReplyDelete
  82. Local Fox News is actually worse than cable Fox News.

    ReplyDelete
  83. "I don't get do-overs, but I-"

    No. Stop right there, Randy. You've frequently redone and retconned your comics in the past to be less offensive, correct dumb mistakes, etc. This is not okay.

    ReplyDelete
  84. @ Anon 4:03

    For I minute I thought that was Randall's actual twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I applaud Randy for calling it "851 make it better" rather than "make it good". Technically, three pounds of rotting flesh is better than two pounds through the axiom of Greed.

    ReplyDelete
  86. The other Hey Jude flowchart is actually sort of funny! Randy's effort gets an F minus in comparison.

    Always Anonymous, your whole internet language makes it clear that you're all about the xkcd.

    First the absurd request for thoughtful reviews, because in your mind Randy can't simply be dismissed, he deserves an argument. Then the "scores", which give away the fact that, in your mind, it's RANDY VERSUS ROB, there's a real conflict going on, and it's important enough to be scored. (When Jim Davis gets trashed nobody thinks of keeping score.) And finally the signing out bit, which is sort of a very ritualistic thing (bellicose connotations aside), like a formality, which people instinctively do when they feel they are in a hostile environment. It's almost like a sad little battle cry.

    Your whole set-up would be fantastically improbable in someone who thinks xkcd sucks.

    Choke on a cock.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I think my last comment got spam filtered so I'll try this again.

    If you go to youtube, search for Land of 1000 Dances, the first video you get is FILLED with comments about how awesome xkcd is. Including this highest-rated gem:

    "XKCD: The force that decides what I google, What MUSIC I listen to, and in general everything else I do around the interwebs. Thanks Randall"

    ReplyDelete
  88. People who seem to think Rob is trying to make a stand here, or actually make something happen à la Lucifer vs God, really need to consider the situation:

    a) God didn't need to edit the world 5 hours after publication to fix an error [he just let that shit sit as was]. Randall? Well....
    b) Lucifer had great hair. Rob? Not so much.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Actually in the original Milton Lucifer has the same hairstyle as Rob because that was the haircut king Charles had and Milton wanted to cut off his head.

    ReplyDelete
  90. There was nothing before Gustave Doré -- Gustave Doré always was, is, and will be the only illustrator of Heaven, Hell, and all Creatures Therein. Anything else is XKCD by comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Ravenzomg obviously hasn't seen Todd MacFarlane's work.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Wait so Randall added more to the comic without actually fixing the shit he got wrong the first time? How does that even happen?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Nate: By a desire to not be wrong that is so strong it warps the fabric of reality.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Now that it's a full half-year later à la Randall Munroe,

    April 1, 2010: "E-Book Burning"

    June 7th, 2010: "Book Burning"

    Just sayin'.

    ReplyDelete
  95. "Lucifer vs God"

    I wasn't aware of a fallout between the king of Babylon and God.

    ReplyDelete
  96. then I guess you haven't read the passage in the bible where god is all like 'lucifer you're a dick'?

    ReplyDelete
  97. not everyone is a bible freak like you rob, jesus christ

    ReplyDelete
  98. well the thing is saying that Lucifer refers to the king of babylon rather than Satan is primarily a contrarian standpoint that stupid people take based on that passage. so it's exceptionally confusing that someone who is taking that contrarian standpoint has not, apparently, actually read the passage in question.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Rob if I'm stupid does that make me a bad person- or am I only a bad person if I demonstrate this stupidity?

    ReplyDelete
  100. you're only a bad person if you like XKCD

    ReplyDelete
  101. Guys, guys, I know why it's coloured like that!

    It's definitely about the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_color_theorem.

    ReplyDelete