Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Comic 891: How To Make A Joke Feel Old

[Everyone's least favorite commenter, "The Mole Who Gets Paid Sometimes, I Guess," has submitted a guest review, which is good because this comic is fuck-off boring. -Ed.]

Well, look who's here again? Yep, it's the Mole, and as crazy as ever! And do you know who else is crazy? I have no idea, but I know Randall is suddenly feeling old, it seems. Because, really, look at this comic:



Oops, this is not Wednesday's xkcd is it? Nope, it's one from 5 years ago, when Randall was... 21 years old. Here we see past Randall, a care-free youngster raising a flag for the world to see. And it says: I don't need to grow up, I'm young and I'll seize that for as long as I can. Oh, past Randall, how you have inspired us...

...then, five years later:



Randall is now 26 years old and apparently realized he just spent 5 years making comics starred by stick figures rambling about nerd interests and receiving comments that were, in the peak of its eloquence and significance, reduced to "GOOMHR". Now Randall is feeling old. And I feel no sympathy for him.

Because, firstly, this is not the first time Randall invokes this "fear". There was that shitty shitty comic that dealed with the same stuff. But what is this fear? What the heck is going on that people who barely reached the half of their life expectancies(I'm guessing at least 72 years for developed and emergent countries) are already having middle-age crisis? Where 20-year-olds are complaining about they youth these days, without realizing they are the "youth these days". I know people who feel old before 30 years old and I do tell them "stop that; you're not even 30 years old, stop feeling old, you have a lot to live through. You can get back to it when your 40." And I think it's amazing that I have to tell them that.

And how does Randall choose to show us why we should feel old? Why, he shows us when famous movies were made! Because, really, that shows it, right? Well, anecdotally I can say I really thought Shrek has been launched more than 10 years ago. It has 3 sequels and one spin-off in the making by now. And the phrasing on that last one is incredibly convoluted, isn't it? "Closer to the moon landing than the present day", really? Well, yes, really: 22 years from 1989 to now, 20 years from 1969 to 1989. So, while that's true... it's just plain confusing. That's Randall's writing on board, ladies and gentlemen!

But most important: THIS IS NOT A COMIC. You can't just draw a table by hand and call it a comic, Randall. These things don't work like that! That's not even an inforgraph, it's just a table. A table that could as well be represented as... well, as a table, instead of a big image. So we have shoddy unnecessary art to pair with our stupid argument.

Veredict: the comic is shoddy. It's not even a comic. I rest my case.

Mole out.

168 comments:

  1. My veredict: you should have dealed with spellcheck. Also, inforgraphic.

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  2. this is such a half-assed comic...

    "hey everybody, I can subtract the current year from movie release dates and tell you how old they are!!"

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  3. GOOMHR I am also between 16 and 34 and watch movies.

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  4. @ D Ham: Wouldn't it make more sense to subtract movie release dates from the current year, so you'd get a positive number?

    Also, what Anon 3:15 said.


    And yes, this comic is terribly boring. First table comic in a while. I missed them so.

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  5. This is not funny.
    You are doing it wrong.

    There is a reason why XKCD has an entire forum and you only have four commenters.

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  6. the last post had like 100+ comments dude

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  7. Rob this is the Internet you are only allowed to read one post before making up an irreversible opinion

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  8. actually i think i'd be willing to say that the average post here generates more comments than the average xkcd comment thread

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  9. My spell check didn't point anything wrong, so that's not my fault.

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  10. Well half those comments are from ALtF

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  11. Hey everybody: did you realize things came out the year they came out?

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat

    Hahahahaha NUTS right?

    You are OLD

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  12. dealed.

    I lol'ed.

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  13. PK: yeah, I had it the other way around

    lol @ anon 4:59

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  14. randy randy randy randy randy randy randy randy

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  15. So you don't like it. Does it matter? Nobody's forcing you to read it.

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  16. @ anon 7:06 - :grabs crotch and makes obscene guesture:

    Because a profoundly, childishly stupid statement should be met by an equally childishly stupid response.

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  17. All hail the Empire of the Mole!

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  18. munroe munroe munroe munroe munroe munroe munroe

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  19. Anyone know if at his thousands of conventions and Q&A rounds if anyone's ever asked him how long he plans on doing this before getting a real job or grad school or...something? He's ~obviously~ not getting any younger.
    A Ph.D. program takes 5 years to complete already, if he actually had delusions of being a scientist again, shouldn't he stop dicking around drawing cartoons and get to work on it?

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  20. Yeah, but when he discovered that careers are more complicated than the study-and-succeed world of academia he decided to stick with selling shirts.

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  21. What gets me angry is when I'm reading some stupid pointless shit on the internet, and some asshole inserts the "obligatory XKCD reference." Fuck.

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  22. If I could make my living by drawing three unfunny stick figure comics and/or charts per week, I sure as hell wouldn't bother with going to school or getting a job.

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  23. huh, xkcd is 5 years old? Well fuck, sucks to be Randall then that he's getting older and feeling remorse for the last 5 years.

    Now what I don't understand is that considering all the effort he put in at the beginning and continues to put in these days why DOESN'T Randy have a day job? You know the amount of quality sacrificed by that course of action? Probably 0 so what the fuck Randy?

    A bigger what the fuck for what that graph is supposed to really mean, movies are old? Why I never, next you'll be telling me that books I read as a youngster are 10-20 (depending on your age) years older. Shocking

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  24. Just another thing. He cops out at 35, it's like he didn't want to do any research to make this "comic" able to make older people feel old.
    Where's Indiana Jones? (My dad freaked when he realised the first was released before I was born)
    Where's Star Wars? I'm sure some people born in the 70's would freak out, plus he only mentioned that movie last comic, didn't he notice it?

    Seriously, knowing The Matrix came out in the 90s doesn't make me feel old. I know I'm 24, and that isn't old. I don't think this kind of chart needs to start before AT LEAST 30.

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  25. @Chaos: Fair enough, but the nerd ethos Ramdall claims to celebrate means enjoying your geeky work so much that you do it for love of the challenge.

    Like abusive sockpuppet Scott Adams before him, Raindall never really had any interest in science, math or engineering. He doggy-paddled through the motions, sure, but took the hoist out of the shallow end at the earliest opportunity. Any real scientist/technophile would be rocking back and forth to waves of insanity, not being able to cope with his brain being engaged in so little cognitively stimulating work.

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  26. I'm not sure that this comic even entirely works. 29-year-olds would've been about nine when Terminator 2 came out, and (I hope) would not have been in the habit of watching R-rated movies. 29-year-olds aren't going to get nostalgic about watching T2 in the cinema, they're going to get nostalgic about watching Beauty & the Beast or Hook.

    Ditto The Matrix.

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  27. randall might do some stuff outside of the comic. it's not like he talks about himself much. and surely xkcd can't take too much time to write.


    1:11 i think that's part of the (attempted) joke. if you see that you're not even on the chart, you'll feel even older. or something

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  28. @R: It's possible that Fandall is a productive but highly secretive genius who merely plays a standard bearer for pompous mediocrity on the Internet during his 30 minutes a week of free time.


    But it's not likely.

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  29. The scariest thing about this chart for Randall is how many references he has to keep on file to appease the nerd base of readers. I can't wait for his "wisdom" about how every generation has its ubiquitous references *gag*

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  30. I, for one, am surprised that there wasn't a massive Firefly/Star Wars reference right in the middle of the comic. Not to make people feel old, particularly, but just to say "Look! I know these things! They exist and I am aware of them."

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  31. Sorry, "right in the middle of the infograph."

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  32. @thomas

    You don't have to.
    http://xkcd.com/794/

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  33. Anon@3:58

    You enjoy being first to comment on a blog post? You're in luck. They are literally millions of blog posts out there that don't have a single comment yet. Go to the blog search on Google. Search for a small city (Sioux Falls, Peoria, Redmond, Nyack, etc.) and an interest/hobby (cooking, motherhood, bicycles, photography, etc). Chances are almost all of the results of your search while be pristine blog posts just waiting for somebody to say "First!".

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  34. 10:38 & Pro Mole = samefag

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  35. I once knew a dropout called Randall -
    To the witty he held not a candle.
    Now the comic he pen's
    Met by losers' amens!
    To the critics his fandom's a scandal.

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  36. Sometimes Randall will make a chart that isn't remotely funny, but I will still enjoy it. This is not one of those times. The more I think about this particular comic the more I begin to understand why many of you hate xkcd so much.

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  37. Because they're joyless old men, right?

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  38. Comic sucks what's new

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  39. Sometimes, I fear for humanity.

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  40. At least they restrained themselves for a whole 25 minutes.

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  41. I will give credit to the new comic, it confused me until I read the alt text and realized oh, the character is retarded.

    Ha.

    I shouldn't have had to read the alt text nor should a "math" comic be making Statistics 101 jokes.

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  42. Mencken's hypothesis: no-one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the american people.

    Randall's corollary: any group of idiots sufficiently pandered to will regard themselves as smart and love you for making them so feel.

    Rob's dilemma: does a man give away his manwich to make space for a Megwich?

    captcha: "retsu," the channel greeted, as Sun returned from his latest successful skirmish and was immediately given +o.

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  43. I had to hear someone else in the computer lab I was in turn to his lady friend, estimate her age, and then ask her if she realised that X came out in Y, blah blah. She was completely nonplussed. So, he paused for a little while, then showed her the whole chart. She remained nonplussed. But boy did he make sure to explain that the funniest part was the one that mentioned the moon landings! Oh, and then he read the alt-text out loud to her.

    This is why there is an XKCDsucks.

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  44. Lads, want some rootin' tootin' fun? I mean a bit of the heave ho, in-out-in-out if you know what I mean? Show a lady an xkcd comic and explain the joke to her. She'll get so aroused you'll be slipping on her lady fluids as you both rush off to find the nearest bed.

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  45. I'm talking to the American people among you, dear xkcdsuckers: do you really study the concept of a null hypothesis in the 8th grade?

    Because if it is so, I have now far less trouble understanding your vast technological and scientific superioritey.

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  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  47. @ 4:10
    We did. I think. Maybe? Imma gonna go ask the capitalist overlords and see what they think. All hail Donald Trump!

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  48. A fine quote from the xkcd forum on 892:
    "I wouldn't have appreciated it much a year ago, but I've studied so much statistics lately that it's hilarious.


    If nothing else, it should shut up the "remember when xkcd was funny?" crowd. Assuming they're part of the target demographic of this particular one."

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  49. And another!

    "The comic works in several ways: Highlighting common ignorance about terms very important to how technology/science move on; this should arguably be taught to everyone at school. A particular null hypothesis is rejected in any study that has an interesting result.

    It could also be criticism of a perceived trend that threatens sound science: Big industries (and some political / religious groups) are accused of throwing money into big studies (statistics works best with big numbers of test cases, preferably you also want to test against expected sources of error... that's a lot of work, so bigger is better) until they have the results they want. The comic takes it one step further: A 'big study' has disproved the concept of the Null hypothesis and killed sound science as we know it."

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  50. 8:06 was quoting. Look more closely at 8:06's post, and you'll see the second part is still in the quotation marks.

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  51. you know what XKCD892 is? It's the sort of awful joke that appears in a newspaper comic that's been syndicated for over 5 years.

    also, we get it, Randall, you're taking a first year Probability and Statistics course (which is to say you're taking one of those combined 2-in-1 Probs&Stats regularly reserved for students who aren't studying math (which is to say you're taking it by correspondence (which is to say you're doing it on the internet (which is to say you've spent the past month reading up on Statistics on Wikipedia and Wolfram (which is to say you've been reading up on Statistics on Wikipedia))))), we're very proud of you for trying to "keep up to date" on your subject matter.

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  52. This is the fist time I've ever really looked at the Wikipedia page for a topic an XKCD comic referenced, and I am appalled. Who the fuck gives a shit just because Randall Fucking Monroe mentioned the NULL HYPOTHESIS? AUGH. SHEEPLE.. There, I said it.

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  53. God, your so dumb. The joke is that it is not because you disproved the null hypothesis in one particular experiment that it means that it has been disproved for every experiment, because otherwis, scientists would stop doing experiments.

    Don't criticize the comic if you don't get the joke...

    Geez

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  54. OMG H0 is such a moron he doesn't know how to read what is being written he thinks people don't get the joke and he's seriously being so serious about it OMG OMG LOL

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  55. xkcd is better than penny arcade, I guess. At least it has that, however small that may be.

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  56. I don't like Penny Arcade. It isn't usually funny. I think it hits the mark way more often than xkcd.

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  57. Yeah, Penny Arcade is funny much more often than xkcd. Which is to say maybe once a month. Plus it has better drawings. Oftentimes the drawings are nice to look at even if the comic is boring to read.

    xkcd has one advantage over PA, however. It doesn't regularly dish out revolting streams of prolix phrasing which get praised as masterworks. I used to think he did it in parody, but I'm no longer all that sure. I guess we have to bear in mind that PA maintains an audience which doesn't read outside of "nerd" genres and considers Dragon Age to be a game driven by superb plotting and characterisation, but I still think somebody needs to make a pennyarcadenewspostssuck.blogspot.com.

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  58. Penny Arcade is a class act. Especially compared to xkcd.

    2011 hasn't been that great tho...

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  59. UndercoverCuddlefishApril 29, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    at least you can tell the guys at pa are intelligent and put effort into what they do

    "remember when xkcd was funny?"

    me neither

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  60. I am pullin Randall's pants down and putting my ass all over his red penis

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  61. Outside of the comics, compare their contributions to the Geek Community in the "Real World":

    PA gave geekdom two big-ass conventions, PAX and PAX east.

    Randall gave us a geohashing game, where he gives us numbers every week [which are now produced by an algorithm] and let's us make our own meetings!

    Yeah.

    Captcha: restgo.

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  62. Overall, PA is sometimes funny, has actual art, and is never infuriatingly smug. While erection it's not consistent, I would have to say that it's pretty rare to find a webcomic that is. And as Raven pointed out, nerd culture has seen a real benefit from PA outside of the comic itself.

    I'd definitely rank xkcd below PA. Not that that would be a controversial opinion here, this being an xkcd hate site and all.

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  63. I think ALTF has departed. Thank god for that, since no one could stand her at all. But we didn't want to tell her, it was like how you don't want to offend the retarded kid at school. It's just common decency.

    Well I hope she finds a community where she can be appreciated and not this great place which is not made out for burmese faux-intellectual fanatics

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  64. I'd doubt she's gone for good.
    She tends to disappear for a comic or so now and then, and come back stronger[citation needed] than ever.

    Also, goomhr, I can make terrible jokes, too!

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  65. Insulting ALTF when shes not even posting?! You guys really are obsessed with her...

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  66. 892, Randy was on Wikipedia and found out what the Null Hypothesis is.

    If the dude was smart enough to read and understand a scientific paper where the Null Hypothesis of whatever subject it was treating was disproved, then he should be smart enough to know what a Null Hypothesis is.

    If Randy had only included the "We disproved that in 8th grade" then it might be funny in the sense that the character had simply misunderstood what the Null Hypothesis is.

    All the paragraphs in this comment end with the words "Null Hypothesis is".

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  67. Anyone posting about ALT-F is actually just ALT-F. Including this post.

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  68. ALT-F is RANDALL!

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  69. ALT-F x is Megan incarnated by sheer willpower of Randall's supportive fanbase.

    captcha: munfal, but sexy gal fantasy pick 'im up again.

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  70. Penny Arcade never infuriatingly smug? What planet does that guy live on?

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  71. Sheesh, I's a popular cunt. Innit?

    Today's rollicking gambol:

    Compose a story using only six words:

    "Sex change. Time machine. Fuck self."

    Or......

    "Rob regretted never having learned to count."

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  72. Penny Arcade is consistent enough- a good 90% of its output is witless tripe. Conventions and charities don't count when discussing the quality of the actual comic.

    But it's definitely better than xkcd.

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  73. @ Anonymous 12:07 AM

    I am always here Tuesdays and Saturdays and sometimes other days when me mam lets me.

    @ Anonymous 2:08 AM

    It is not possible to insult me - I've no ego.
    And the cunts frollicking about this cloaca do not obsess nearly enough! Yet.

    There are at least two people here who know who and what I am.

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  74. Sheesh!
    Some people are just rollicksome pedantic cunts.

    Innit?

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  75. Repost-

    I want to know what ALTF's profession is. If she's a student I want to know her major, where she went to University, whether she went to medical/graduate/law school, anything to shed light onto her most likely unwarranted sense of self worth. I want to know if she really has "far too much medical training for her own good" and why she is "indeed arrogant - and for good reason." Enlighten us.

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  76. Also,

    "It is not possible to insult me - I've no ego."- ALTF

    "I am indeed arrogant - and for good reason."- ALFT

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  77. @ Anonymous 10:54 AM and 10:56 AM

    A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma and shoved up a dog's bum I am.

    And I'm hung like a Hyena too!

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  78. the only person who cares about aquarians is herself. she is unfunny, annoying and irrelevant. stop talking about her/yourself.

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  79. this attempt at a persona is pretty shit. i can't even tell if you're trying to be funny or if you're trolling. if you're trolling, why? your only responses are from yourself posting as anons and me telling you to shut up. that has to be incredibly boring and pointless. if you're trying to be funny, why here and not somewhere else? it's completely irrelevant.

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  80. Dearest R,
    Even I don't care about me.

    I am indeed completely irrelevant.

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  81. So, how does the accounting industry mean that you have "far too much medical training for her own good?"

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  82. I am a conflation of Howard Hughes and Humbert Humbert, much like Salinger. Speaking of Salinger, all through reading “A Perfect Day For Bananafish”, I wanted to yell at the girl: “Run away! He’s bad news! And he’s lying about the fish!.” Boy isn’t that just the goddamdest phoney Norman Rockwell kind of crap you ever heard? It’s enough to make you cry.

    Do you find any ‘funny’ in the above?

    If so you have joined the few. We few, we happy few, we band of sisters. For she today that sheds her chortles with me shall be my sister be she ne'er so vile - especially the vile!

    @ Jon Levi,

    As Odysseus says to Polyphemus on the Island of the Cyclopes: "I am No One"

    Anonymous @ 11:23 AM said:

    "....i can't even tell if you're trying to be funny or if you're trolling...."

    Aye, there's the rub!
    Is it incumbent upon me to render my dross in such a manner that alleviates your indecision? Or is the burden on you to try harder to understand? Since I write to actually minimise the number of folks who could possibly understand me I reckon the latter is the case.

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  83. Oy, scotland. Innit?

    Go Myanmar. Indeed, forsooth are the dross ol' chaps there.

    Oh and don't try to criticize me, imbecile, for there are only two people in this world who understand me, for I've no ego. I am simply the nether reincarnation of Hamlet or Daniel Deronda. Innit?

    Wazoo wazoo, some kind person please put me out of my misery.

    Innit?

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  84. I'm blushing, not that any of you lot would notice such on a person with my lack of pallor.
    High libido.
    Low albedo.

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  85. How does the accounting industry mean that you have "far too much medical training for her own good?"

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  86. I think it was me who said:

    "....Oh and don't try to criticize me, imbecile,....."

    There is no 'Z' in the word 'criticise and I am an idiot - not an imbecile. I am not smart enough you see.

    Idiot - 0 to 50 IQ
    Imbecile - 50 to 70 IQ
    Moron - 70 to 90 IQ

    Daniel Deronda?
    Fuck me from behind with a Menorah, but that's Madonna-esque Kaballistic rubbish.

    @ Anonymous 1:03 PM,

    Keep thinking - you'll figure it out eventually.

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  87. @John Levi
    Soylent Green?

    @ALT-F
    I think you missed a quote mark.

    'criticise and I am an idiot - not an imbecile. I am not smart enough you see.

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  88. altf is literally worse than hitler

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  89. Thank you Vukrin. I shall try to be less complacent in the future.

    Mr. Levi may have been referring to Barbara Streisand. The guy whose cold, dead hand will be relieved of its burden is too obvious and nerdy. Innit?

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  90. Ooooops.
    Make that less complacent AND less complaisant in the future.

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  91. You know at least the rabid XKCD fans are smart enough not to encourage ALTF.

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  92. HEY GUYS LET'S JUST NOT RESPOND TO OR EVEN MENTION ALTF FROM HERE ON OUT.

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  93. @ Anonymous 1:37 PM

    Since you have decided, heretofore, to ignore your own pronouncement of my complete and udder irrelevance, I’ve no choice but to submit.

    "Tho' I've belted you and flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Anona - Mous!"

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  94. fuck off from life

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  95. I know
    It's only Rob and Mole
    But I like it.

    So the podigal fossorial one has returned?

    “Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).

    @ Anonymous 1:55 PM

    Are you daft? Ignore me!

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  96. You gotta tell 'em! Listen to me, Anonymous! You gotta tell 'em — ALT-F IS PEOPLE! We gotta stop them! Somehow! Listen! Listen to me… PLEASE!!!

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  97. Hey guys, remember Automata? I hope Penny Arcade does more of those because it's amazing.

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  98. Fuck this blog and it's comments section.

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  99. Comparing Penny Arcade to XKCD is ludicrous. One is stick figures that spout references, the other is an actual comic. Even when PA misses it has good art (whereas XKCD can't rightly be said to even HAVE art).

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  100. But Jasper, what about those times when Randall isn't telling a joke, but being creative? What then, huh???????

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  101. stick figures that do nothing, raven sir!

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  102. Randall is never telling a joke, I fail to see your point.

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  103. @Jasper

    It has okay art. I don't think, by any stretch of the imagination, Penny Arcade could reasonably be considered 'eye candy'- something that could be enjoyable because of the art. From this angle I don't think Penny Arcade really has that much over xkcd simply for 'being an actual comic.'

    The thing that can be said in Penny Arcade's favor is that it has maintained a pretty consistent level of shittiness over its 12+ years, while xkcd went from alright in the early strips to bad from ~300-400 onward and from ~800 on has become almost unbearably awful.

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  104. "I don't think Penny Arcade really has that much over xkcd simply for 'being an actual comic.'"

    The people in Penny Arcade have FACES. I rest my case.

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  105. To date I maintain that the funniest thing "produced" by P.A. was the letter of refusal from Golf Digest in response to their submitted "Bogey Golf" comics, which I can only assume were produced to be intentionally awful. Still, the letter in its bizarre succinct form stands head and shoulders above anything else they can/have/will produce[d].

    That or my taste is awful, but we already knew that.

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  106. I've never seen that Bogey Golf stuff. That's hysterical.

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  107. Bear in mind that those drawings are done by one person. There is another guy who does nothing more than write that crap, and not all by himself either. He does it with input from the guy who also draws it. Without Gabe, Penny Arcade would be xkcd. The primary difference: Tycho actually considers himself a writer, while Randall even more delusionally considers himself some sort of scientist or science's mouthpiece or somesuch baloney.

    I believe Tycho does also have a sense of his own inadequacy. As he never strives to improve he clearly doesn't realise just how inadequate he is, but I suppose it's something.

    By the way, in case there is any doubt, rest assured that my insights into these people's inner worlds are 100% accurate.

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  108. "Without Gabe, Penny Arcade would be xkcd."
    No. Without Gabe, Penny Arcade would be a gaming blog.

    You're forgetting that XKCD is just a webcomic. The "blag" is almost never updated. Tycho's half of PA is the commentary provided at regularly scheduled intervals. Gaming blogs aren't my thing, but some people like them, and I know PA readers who are drawn to the site in part for the gaming news/opinion. If Gabe quit tomorrow, Tycho wouldn't start drawing stick figures; he'd just write his opinions about stuff without attaching a comic. It's not an unknown concept.

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  109. Oh yeah, I forgot that PA has those rambling newsposts to affirm just how terrible Tycho's writing ability is. +1 to xkcd.

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  110. i assumed his prose was some kind of awful joke?

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  111. R, therein lies the crux of the matter, I suppose. Is PA worse for being willfully pretentious and self-absorbed or is xkcd worse for being ignorant of its lack of content and absent of production value?

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  112. Raven, where did you find that upload? Did they ever post the other twenty-eight comics? (Not that I actually want to see them. Well, maybe the crab fishing one. I'm curious.)

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  113. @jagwio:

    Tycho's writing has gotten better. You could argue that he's a pretentious ass (I would disagree some days and agree others), but his writing has certainly improved over time. Gabe's art has improved (although I think he hit his peak and passed it somewhat), and he certainly has gone through several stylistic changes. The interludes they do with The Lookouts and such have an interesting and distinct tone.

    Randall hasn't done any of that. Same stick figures. Same unrealistic dialogue. Same nerd-pandering. The comparison between XKCD and PA is not apt on many levels.

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  114. Can anyone explain 893? Is he talking about the moon landings? Can that really be classified as another world? I'm hoping the alt-text supplements something, because it seems to be broken, as of writing this.

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  115. Nope, it (the alt-text) didn't add a thing.

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  116. Randall's topical as always. you'd think he'd been able to scribble a 5 minute comic about all the news thats been going on for the last hour

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  117. @9:08
    I'm sure he'll be able to think of something "funny" to say about that in a couple weeks.

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  118. @ anon 5:12
    Are you fucking kidding? "+1 to xkcd?" No. Just, no. Tycho's posts are pretentious as shit but they're understandable, up to date, and about subjects that his readership cares about. If you want to say his writing style doesn't work for you, fine. I feel the same way. But it's more valuable by far than anything on XKCD.

    Penny Arcade is, despite many faults, better than XKCD by any measure.

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  119. It's the choice between a mediocre pile of pretentious shit and an uninspired pile of pseudo-intellectual shit.

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  120. I think the graph is a mildly amusing take on the sort of anti-climax that human space exploration has been since the excitement of the space race. Better than your average graphed observation, anyhow.

    The alt-text is however complete nonsense. The main thing isn't that it's economically irrational, at least not in the monetary terms that are probably meant. We barely have the technology and resources to reach uninhabitable "worlds" beyond the moon, let alone sustain life on them for periods of time sufficient to maintain regular human trips. We have enough trouble sustaining the life we do have on the one already-inhabitable planet. Our planet would be stripped down to a graveyard a lot faster if we gave sufficient focus to fulfilling Randall's daydreams.

    Then again, maybe if NASA had adequate funding they would have been able to keep him on full time. Imagine how far ahead we would have been by now!

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  121. @9:26

    No, not kidding. I considered +2, but that would have been going too far. I don't think I'd call the writing pretentious, it's just cumbersome and uninteresting. Purple, even. It takes three paragraphs to convey what should have been expressed more effectively (in terms of both aesthetic and function) in a few sentences. Then when you come to what he was getting at, you wonder why he bothered saying anything at all. It adds nothing to what has already been said to death by other people.

    It has just as little value as xkcd, which is to say basically none. xkcd, however, gets its bonus point for at least being a less hefty bag of fool's gold.

    I should add that I haven't actually read any of the Penny Arcade newsposts for over a year, but doubt they have improved in that time. The most recent one seems to indicate they haven't.

    Oh yeah, and as for the style of prose being a joke: I have always suspected such, but if so the joke has been driven so far into the ground that it has popped out the other side of Earth and is currently hurtling directly into the sun. I'd actually be interested to see evidence of Tycho being able to write well when called upon to do so, however.

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  122. @10:41
    I thought evidence of Tycho being able to write well was, you know, the actual comic.

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  123. So is the alt text in favor or against manned space exploration?

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  124. @ 11:05,
    The alt-text seems to be lamenting the economic inviability of space exploration. Randy's definitely for manned space exploration [because he is a scientist], but he seems to be acknowledging how unrealistic it is financially. So the alt-text is for space exploration, but accepts that people with money aren't.

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  125. Anyone else get the feeling he penned this one as the closing credits of this week's Doctor Who were rolling?

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  126. That would have required him writing the comic a day in advance, which is just a silly thought. Also it would have had a reference awkwardly shoehorned in there. Time Lords, amirite?

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  127. speaking of doctor who, how shitty is the latest HijinksEnsue:

    http://hijinksensue.com/2011/04/29/something-blue/

    i guess they haven't read

    http://nedroid.com/2011/02/advice-about-comics/

    to top it all off, when i tried to point this out in their comment thread, i found that my ip had been blocked.

    it so happens that once (only once) in the distant past i made a disparaging remark about one of their more white-whinish comics, something about HAVING to watch Smallville even though it's shit.

    apparently they're really bad at taking criticism?

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  128. well they do identify as geeks

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  129. now that i've read that comic... it's pretty bad. what is the joke there? "something blue but the tardis is also blue"? "what if thee doctor was at the wedding wouldn't that be hilarious"?
    "what if the media misinterpreted Doctor Who LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE even though they make Doctor Who would't that be so funny"?

    it panders worse than xkcd. are all his comics this bad?

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  130. So everyone, THE FIRE ESCAPE DOESN'T HAVE A LADDER http://v.cdn.cad-comic.com/comics/cad-20110502-d1770.png

    I know, we all know CAD is shitty and all, but THE FIRE ESCAPE DOES NOT HAVE A LADDER

    Since we're still arguing about PA vs. XKCD: Jerry's newsposts may be running the overly verbose joke into the ground, but at least PA has effort put into it. Jerry probably spends more time writing one newspost than Randall spends making the comics in a week.

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  131. I'm not even sure how this is a contest when it's clear that Ms. Arcade is capable of writing not just two, but several characters with personality traits other than "has mammary glands" or "is a psychopath".

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  132. that fire escape thing is hilarious

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  133. I was very confused by 893 until I realized that Randall's small, awful text read "PROJECTED from actuarial tables" and not "protected from actuarial tables."

    He just gets lazier by the week.

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  134. The latest comic should be a one sentence blog post. He doesn't attempt a joke, it's not even GOOMH-bait, and there's no reason for it to be in a visual medium.

    "By 2040 there will probably be no living people who have walked on the moon"

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  135. Oh my God you guys, Osama bin Laden, a man responsible for the deaths of thousands of people and the most wanted man in the world, just died. Can't you guys find SOMETHING to talk about other than bitching and moaning about an actually not that bad webcomic?

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  136. WHERE'S THE LONG-FORM DEATH CERTIFICATE???

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  137. I have it on good authority Osama actually died due to the convulsions of hilarity prompted by Friday's ex kay see dee

    (his house had no Internet so he had to wait for it to come in the post from a friend of his)

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  138. for this day, everyone around the world will have to talk about osama, or not at all.

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  139. FOX News: Deeply religious old man dying of liver cancer murdered on Obama's orders.

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  140. I thought 893 was a sombre lament about the death of human space exploration, then I read the tooltip.

    And you know what that is? It's just fuckin' "life would be better if we climbed random trees!" and squirrels.

    In other news, gods damn it Osama, you're making the stocks too expensive today! Couldn't you have fought off the assassin for like 4 more days?

    RE Penny Arcade Bogey Golf: BET YOU GUYS WISH YOU READ THE NEWS POST NOW, HUH? [but not really, 'cause I just saved you the trouble]

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  141. I still think 893 is a somber lament about the death of human space exploration.

    Its a good pictoblog entry.

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  142. Number of bogeymen America is chasing

    1__ ___________
    0__/ \
    2001 2011
    -1_ \
    -2_ \

    vvvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvvvvvv
    actual projected from today

    Haha I'm so funny like Randall I can combine two of his shitty comics to make two bad jokes.

    Also fuck proportional fonts and multiple space removal. I'm sure you can guess what this plot originally showed.

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  143. Oh look, it's precisely the Lebensraum argument:

    (1) [group] is supremely important and must survive at all costs;
    (2) [group] is under some very real threat of extinction;
    (3) resources must be redirected from the support of men currently living to the future needs of [group] imagineered from (1) and (2).

    Guess what, Randall, you dumb bastard? There really is no hurry to colonise space. But there /is/ a fairly pressing need to manage the population right here. And, fuck me, if you really want more space, we've done a lot less in the ocean.

    This is all quite irrelevant because any alien species bumping into man outside his home planet and subsequently finding a single xkcd comic in any human cultural archive will immediately destroy every last earth-borne organism across the galaxy. We should be grateful for our containment - it means we do not yet have to defend the indefensible.

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  144. No, actually, I can't. I request a screen shot of what you typed.

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  145. @Anon 11:22 basically a graph showing "number of bogeymen America is chasing" going from 0 to 1 in 2001 and back to 0 in 2011, then down to -1 and -2 in subsequent periods. See also xkcd 605.

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  146. UndercoverCuddlefishMay 3, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    seriously is there a reason blogspot does not allow pre or code tags in the comments i mean i guess the vast majority of its userbase does not have any programming skill or a pressing need for preserved spacing but why punish those of us that do

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