Thursday, June 30, 2011

Comic 918: A Public Service Announcement


[Comic title: "Google+"; alt text: "On one hand, you'll never be able to convince your parents to switch. On the other hand, you'll never be able to convince your parents to switch!"]

Hey, did you hear that Google just launched a social networking thing? Randy did. Apparently he's excited!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Comic 917: I'm So Meta, Fuck You


[Comic title: Hofstadter; alt text: "This is the reference implementation of the self-referential joke."]

I am obviously quaking in my boots at the imminent return and vengeance of Carl, who will return and find my works lacking and smite me and blah blah blah whatever fuck you.

Anyway, comic 917! This one quite obviously started with Randy coming up with the acrostonym* in question. It don't think it reads the way it's intended to, but I'm not here to take issue with this.

I'm here to take issue with the GOOMH-bait that is so obvious that even one of the fanboys in the previous comment thread noted it:

"Well _I've_ never heard of that guy, because I'm not XKC's target audience, therefore Randall is just being obscure again, GOOMH-baiting the nerds and trying to make them feel important about themselves for knowing who that is. Or he has a crush on one more obscure scientist, I can't decide. Maybe both. Also, porn star daughter Megan nipples har har!"

This was intended to invalidate the criticism by preemptively making it, of course, but the fact of the matter is, this is yet another comic where the entire humor relies on nerds recognizing the topic in question and then saying "lololol I know who that is too." It's exceptionally sad that the pandering is so bad that one of Randy's loyal fanboys is preemptively trying to head off criticism of it. (The irony here, of course, is that Douglas Hofstadter isn't really Randy's type of person--but props for finding someone who has an interest in self-reference, though! My guess is he went to the Wiki page on "self-reference" and noticed a name in the Examples section, and said "I guess he'll do.")
What really stands out here to me, though, is that this marks at least the third time he's put words in the mouth of a famous person. You have Zombie Feynman, Zombie Marie Curie, and now Douglas Hofstadter. (Let me know if I've forgotten any.) While this one lacks the preachiness of the first two, it does share the commonality that Randy is trying to improve his words by making it sound like they are not his.

It's not as bad as it's been before, but this isn't a coincidence. I think this is a sign that Randy is trying to write character humor. I've been noticing it lately: you have a strip featuring Black Hat guy where he doesn't do anything Black Hat Guy-esque--the only way we can tell he might be sarcastic is because he's Black Hat Guy. And then you have a strip with Beret Guy where he is pretty much entirely a passive character, and maybe if anyone could figure out what his personality is supposed to be it would be funnier?

Of course, this being XKCD, Randy actually pulling off character humor is about as likely as an Internet Atheist acknowledging that he's pretty much directly comparable in every way to your garden variety fundie, but these strips all give me this feeling, like he wishes that he were capable of writing in a rich, sustaining universe, where characters are dynamic and interesting and he isn't just writing author inserts and strawmen shouting into the void.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

hey kids it's grandpa carl again

EVERYONE pay attention, it's ME: Carl Z. "Ugly" Wheeler, blogging from a small room near, but not in, Kansas, with a quick bloggin' post.

1. I still love you all and as I promised in an earlier life, still intend to guest post when the fancy strikes me.

2. This is one of those times.

3. Also last week, when I sent rob a guest comic post. The one about kidneys.

4. Sometimes we used to talk about whether xkcd was copying other comics on the internet. Defenders of xkcd said, no, it's a coincidence, it's easy to make the same jokes and I am sure xkcd hasn't heard of this "penny arcades" or whatever the comic is you say he copied. And then I always used to say, "well, if it's just a coincidence, he sure is acting weird about it" with weird defined as "refusing to acknowledge it and shunning anyone who brings it up, instead of just explaining that it was a coincidence." There's certainly no way to prove that an author deliberately stole another person's joke, and it's hardly fair to assume foul play without evidence. So, what I did was set up a general procedure that I (in my unlimited wisdom) recommend to webcomic artists in this situation: If you publish a comic that is suspiciously like another person's comic, it's probably an innocent mistake. But if it's brought to your attention, acknowledge the similarities, link to the original if you want to be extra classy, and get it out of the way. Alas, xkcd has never once done this (if i am wrong on this let me know but I am pretty sure). It just makes me suspicious. If there's really nothing wrong going on, why not just do the online equivalent of laughing it off? Rather than the online equivalent of going to your room and locking the door?

The point I'm trying to make with all this is that the proper response, as odd and labor-intensive as it may seem, does happen fairly often, and it happened most recently at Amazing Super Powers, with the President Kid comic (check the post below the comic). As it happens, neither one of the comics are all that funny so I'm probably going to forget all about this soon. But while I remember: nice work, ASP. Nice work.

5. I read an article the other day about humor research, specifically if one gender is funnier than the other. It's an interesting subject, since men generally dominate the world of comedy, but people tend to be offended if you suggest that men are inherently funnier than women. I don't know what the right answer is (I can certainly imagine social factors that make it easier for a man to be funnier, which would mean that there isn't anything inherently different but there is still a difference). Anyway, it's an interesting topic and one that the study in this article makes no progress on because I think it used a terrible measure of humor.

The study had men and women write captions for New Yorker cartoons, and I guess the logic for this was that the New Yorker is a respected magazine, and every week it has a "write-a-caption-for-this-comic" competition, so let's use that. But that's a terrible measure of how funny someone is! Those cartoons are hard to write captions for! Why, most weeks (when I remember to read it) I don't even think the finalists they pick for the contest are all that funny. In each cartoon, the drawing is already there, so you're forced to work with what they have. And for a lot of drawings, there just won't be too many options! Anyway, I appreciate the fact that they are trying to measure humor quantitatively - something I have always thought was possible, and indeed, if you dig deeply enough, an idea this entire blog is premised on - but I don't think this is the best way. At the very least, give people tons and tons of cartoons (New Yorker and others) and let them see which ones they can come up with good captions for. After all, if your three cartoons are Guys in an Office, Guys Stuck on the Beach, and Guys At Nice Restaurant, you better hope you can come up with something that fits those, or else be deemed Less Funny in the eyes of these researchers.

The old Dysfunctional Family Circus was pretty funny, and that was based on writing new captions for Family Circus cartoons. But a lot of those were based on simplified drawings that could be somewhat ambigious; so you could have your captions cleverly come up with new descriptions of what was actually going on (as opposed to New Yorker cartoons, which are pretty much always just quotes from one person to the other). The point is, there are better ways to do this, but it's a good start.

6. Remind me to do this more often!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Comics 915 and 916: Dying Of Consumption

915. What is there to be said about this comic that hasn't already been said about Ladybird Taint? It's an uninteresting stab at people who call themselves connoisseurs which makes an assertion then backs it up with a hypothetical scenario, trying to derive humor from "lolrandom." (Apparently before the comic went up, he even said in the #xkcd IRC channel that the comic would be late, but as a plus side it included the phrase "canadian surrealist porn.") Next?

916. I forgot that when I say "next?" in the context of XKCD it brings me to another fucking comic. can I take it back? In this one, Randy has discovered security through obscurity and is presenting it as a unique insight he had to protect your valuables--but, in a classic Randallian twist, it only works against geeks!!!

Really, Randy? This is your comic? 'If you have a really hard-to-break safe, people will assume that's where you keep your valuables!' Did you just have someone break into your house and steal your jokes? Is that what happened here? Are you trying to GOOMH geeks into saying "I do this too, but geekier?" (Seriously, check out the forums on this one, it has all sorts of fanboys describing their home security systems. And one nerd lecturing them for how their security system is now compromised.) Or did you really just discover the concept of misleading home security?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Comic 914: Carl "Ugly" Wheeler's Kidneys

[Your friend and mine Carl "Ugly" Wheeler sent in this guest review. -Ed.]


Hello, all, Trusty Carl Wheeler here, back for my one day a year where the prison i am in lets me use the Internet. Today's comic is utterly atrocious, as always, and you knew that it would be bad from the first panel, which features Mr. Beret.

Mr. Beret is a man who shows up in most of the worst comics. His character is basically that he is stupid and misunderstands things, in an "I was raised by wolves and only just this morning came back into regular society" sort of way. So, expectations are low, to say the least.

Here's what I thought happened the first time I read this comic: Mr. Beret buys some ice, is invited to a sketchy party, and has his liver removed and he wakes up in the bathtub. This is a common urban legend (see here for the usual Snopes treatment) and I was most mystified on two fronts: Why did this comic simply illustrate a well known story, and why did Randall think this would be funny?

You see, I was under the mistaken impression that the bath tub in panel 4 is filled with ice that is covered in blood. Now I know how wrong I was: The joke is that rather than having his kidney stolen and awaking in a tub of ice, he has had his ice stolen and is now awake in a tub of kidneys! A ho ho ho, great laughs are had by all. But the point is, the drawings are so poor that it's not calear what is going on.

In some ways, I wish he had just illustrated the original story; that way, he wouldn't be responsible for how dumb the joke is. The joke is really just taking two words from the original ending and switching them. I tried this with some other Snopes articles to generate a few new comic ideas:

---In the last panel, it turns out cancer is a great way to cure lemons!
---the punchline is, your family sends you a postcard that is disguised as a virus!
---it was actually american POWs who betrayed Jane Fonda!
---and of course, Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by John F. Kennedy is disguise (this one is actually pretty obviously true if you really think about it)

Anyway, the point is: None of these really make any sense. There's not much humor to be found in just changing things around to make less sense. If we knew why the girl wanted to steal ice, but had a great surplus of kidneys, then we could see how an understandable situation turned into the humorous reversal of a common tale. On it's own, I can't get past questions like: Where did the organs come from? Why can't they buy their own ice? Etc. It's just too far removed from anything understandable for me to laugh at.

I did laugh at one thing, but it was an "at you not with you" sort of situation - the fact that the party has a huge banner reading "PARTY!" on the wall. Not like the 99% of parties that have no such labeling, or the 1% that are specific (like, WELCOME BACK, CARL or HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY ROB or something like that). Nope, just PARTY! plain and simple. Why? Because Randall still does not know how to show us there is a party, and has to instead tell us with a huge fucking sign!

Love and kisses, till my internet time is taken away,


Rob again. I also wanted to add that it is my 88th birthday, and I have lately noticed a shift in style of XKCD. It's hard to put my finger on it, but the persistent use of color and a few of the recent comics seem like he's trying something new. Failing, of course, but making a spirited attempt nonetheless!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Comic 913: Journey To The Center Of Lameness


[Comic title: Core; alt text: "If you're a geologist or geophysicist and you don't introduce yourself by saying your name, then gesturing downward and saying "... and I study that", I don't know what you're doing with your life."]

Once again, Randy makes a spirited effort to make his Wikipedia obsessions appear interesting. "I'm not a shut-in who would rather read about the earth's core than interact with someone on a meaningful level," he is saying. "The earth's core is fucking scary, man! Have you read about it???" I mean, sure, it's probably meant as a joke (can't be too sure with Randy), but this is annoying even by Randy's standards of "LOOK AT ME I'M QUIRKY BECAUSE I AM INTO SCIENCE," for a number of reasons.

First, it's not a remotely new thought. I couldn't count the number of times I've read or seen some fiction or film with some variation on "we are tumbling through the universe at insanely fast speeds on a ball of rock that's orbiting a ball of fire and that's scary/intense." The only difference is Randy has managed to add "...and I'm super geeky for thinking that, ladies!" to the sentiment.

Second, it's just not remotely plausible. While the aforementioned "tumbling ball of rock" things kind of work as an existential crisis, this is just saying "lol science." Sure, there are plenty of people who are afraid of the various apocalypses that could happen to our planet at any moment. "The core of the earth" is not an apocalypse. It's just a part of our planet. It's not going to destroy us. People do not freak out about the bare existence of a thing which is entirely non-threatening.

Third, it's just not funny. It relies far too much on Randy's opinion that the planet is incredibly badass, and assumes we can just get on board with that assumption. If it's so badass obviously we can understand why he'd get freaked out about it. I guess I'm just not enough of a science enthusiast to get behind Randy's boring comic.

Finally, concerning the alt text, I'd like to quote one of our esteemed anonymous commenters from the last thread:

What are you pointing at, dude? Your feet (podiatrist)? The floor itself (architect)? The stuff the covering the floor (textile science/wood science/linoleum science)? Maybe we're outside. Are you pointing at the plants on the ground (botanist)? The soil under the plants (pedologist)? The sidewalk (highway engineer)?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Comic 912: Never Forget

[Noted hobo "Seth" has sent me this guest review, further proving that the quality of guest reviews is going way the fuck downhill. -Ed.]

manual override
[Title: Manual Override; Alt Text: "I think you mean GNU Info Override"]

So! What to say about this comic here. Well, there's a lot one could say about it. There's a plane (with no snakes) that's crashing, and something about a GNU page. My question is, who cares. Who cares about this plane and this GNU page I don't even know what that is. I'll tell you what's more important than this stupid crap, and it's a little thing called Friendship. That's right boys and girls, today we're going to discover the importance of our fellow man.

The story I'm about to tell you is one of hope and perseverance and learning to trust others, even on the internet. I know this isn't your usual thing but just try to open your mind a bit and see where life takes you. I promise it will be worth your while.

There was once a man who was questioning his sexuality. He had, until recently, had a fetish for the mutilation of barn animals, and had developed a small internet community around that subject matter. Running that website became a way to escape the monotony of his minimum-wage job and disappointment at his various failures in life, and he made a great many friends who had bonded over their mutual object of obsession, an especially close bond when the object tends to be a fetish that is not accepted in mainstream society. He had laughed and loved and felt passion every day when he sat down at his computer, his pants around his ankles. These people, even though he had never seen them, became closer to him than any member of his family. Despite his inner shame at the objects of his lust, he grew as a person among the community of perverts he called home.

One night, as he had finished yet another round of fapping and discussing the day with his internet-friends, a magical genie appeared out of the pile of used-up tissues next to his desk. The genie said that he was born of the combined potential of the many many possible offspring he could have fathered over the years, and as the man was never going to be able to have a child in his current state, the genie offered a gift to the man. He would take away this strange fetish of his so the man could live normally and develop normal relationships and, hopefully one day, father a child. The man thought for a long time, and considered the genie's proposal heavily. One one hand, he wouldn't have to live in shame anymore. He could devote his time and skills to creating something worthwhile and die as if his life had meaning. On the other hand, not only would he be forfeiting all of his online relationships, he would no longer be able to find exposed horse intestines sexy, which they obviously were.

The man looked up and told the genie that while he appreciated the offer, he would have to reject it. The genie, incensed that he was doomed to live a life of crusty tissue hell, placed a curse on the man and all the people he knew. Instead of becoming a mutually caring community based around a disgusting fetish, he and all his friends would instead devote the rest of their foreseeable futures be forced to read and hate a terrible but harmless webcomic, and instead of breeding camaraderie and trust, the members of the community would tear themselves apart with misplaced hate and forced irony until the only thing that made the day tolerable was striking down their fellow members in the comments of each discussion about the comic. And the man would not only gain three times his current bodyweight in fat, so as to be permanently unlovable, he would be cursed with the added gift of seeing the stupidity of his fellow man with remarkable clearness until he becomes completely jaded, and he would be the one to run the site and be forced to watch his former friends become the objects of his disgust. The man cried out in despair but the genie was not merciful in the least. As he lay blubbering and sobbing on the floor, the genie bent down and with a wicked smile whispered in the man's ear:

"Abortion is murder, bitch."

And that's why we should work to overturn Roe v Wade guys.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Comics 910 and 911: More Good News From The Home Front

910. I didn't really have much to say about this one, because it just holds absolutely no interest for me. But looking back, there are three distinct "jokes" here, as is Randy's tradition--throw a bunch out there and see what sticks. Joke the first: "lol I spend a lot of time thinking about server names." GOOMH-bait. Joke the second: "lol I didn't spend much time choosing a name for my hot porn star daughter." This builds on the first, core joke, and you could argue that it's part of the same joke--but this one isn't GOOMH-bait, it just serves to underscore the first one. And finally, joke the third: "lol drugs."

I give Randy credit that these jokes are actually vaguely related, but this just means he doesn't lose quite so many points for not just picking one joke and sticking to it.

911. The Magic School Bus was a show about learning through empirical observation rather than by simply reading and regurgitating information that is the product of other people's observations. Randy's joke is, apparently, "what if instead of going and observing things they just looked things up instead? wouldn't that be boring?" Or perhaps this is an earnest paean to Wikipedia. "Wikipedia is just as exciting as the Magic School Bus. I would rather sit on my ass and type random words into the little search box than go on adventures."

I think that Randy is kidding on the square here: of course it's boring, but at the same time, this is what Randy is reduced to. He sits and idly consumes, because his job is to sit at his computer and read Wikipedia until he comes up with a way to make one of the articles into a comic. It's reached the point now that he no longer even tries to hide it: lately he's done nothing but praise Wikipedia and all of its greatness.

I liked the alt text for this one though. As many people observed, the structure of this one is quite sound--it has a setup, some beats, and a punchline. The problem is there is no humor to be found anywhere. If there were the alt text would be particularly well done--but alas, the joke is about as humorless as it's possible for something to be.

Maybe next time, Randy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Comics 908 and 909: The Depths

908. I don't understand how this could possibly be imagined as funny. At all. Why is Black Hat here? He's not doing anything malicious. There's two possible ways to interpret his dialog here: either he's being moderately ironic, or he's being stupid. But the "joke," insofar as you can call it that, seems to be nothing more than "black hat guy can totally destroy all of cloud computing." Am I missing something here?

909. Hot damn, Randy's done it again! I love the comics where he tries to pass off his obnoxious nerd habits as something charming and quirky. "Look, the reason I buy expensive flashlights is because I like to imagine situations in which my expensive flashlight is the only thing between me and certain disaster, OKAY?"

Survival nerds do this sort of thing a lot. Of course, they aren't being delightfully quirky when they spend far too much money on a flashlight they never use, or on their apocalypse survival kits. Things which they are quite certain they would employ to badass effect if a situation ever arose in which they would use it. It's the nerd equivalent of a gun on the mantlepiece. The mere possession of this "badass" gear implies to the untrained eye that you use it, or have used it, or at least know how to use it. This is true even if you have never left your room.

I'm having some trouble imagining a scenario where you would need to go diving after some wreckage that is so time-sensitive you can't buy or otherwise acquire some appropriate diving equipment. It's a flashlight. You can get a mini maglite for ten dollars for your day-to-day functionality, and then spend more on something with the features you want when you find yourself needing it.

I'm too afraid to check out the forodes on this one. My prediction, though, is that, GOOMH-bait as this comic is, it will be full of some pretty insufferable descriptions of the various nerdy things with useless features the forumites have purchased in the past, and why they decided to buy the one with useless features.

GOOMH, Randall, I once bought a laptop that was impact-resistant because I was afraid it might get trampled by horses!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Comic 907: Poorly Aged

[This time Swedish political advocate and monarchist "The Pirate King" actually sent a review that didn't make my computer commit suicide. Here it is. -Ed.]


Hoorah, a one-dimensional graph comic! Isn't that just the most exciting and humorous type of graph there is? I feel so deprived, having to go eight comics without one.

Now let's talk about the content, or more importantly, the statements Randy is making and what they say about him.

First off, he says anyone from zero to like... three? is non-sentient. Now I'm no pro-lifer, but that is a pretty creepy thing to say. He is basically equating three year olds to slime molds. I know maybe he's trying to be all dismissive and dark, or whatever, but it is disturbing to me. I remember taking a psychology class (not nearly as "pure" as Randy's physics, of course!) and being amazed at the amount of definable developmental landmarks that occur in the first few years. But nope, disregard all of that, "non sentient". I just hope he's not serious, because if he is, I'm guessing he'll go on some sort of baby-eating rampage. Rather than getting comics about Megan's tender nipples, we'll get ever-more disturbing comics about the moist, succulent flesh of infants. And I'm sure his fans will GOOMHR like never before.

Next he breezes through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, nothing really out of the ordinary there except the assumption that everyone gets drunk at college (which is probably all randy did).

And then, apparently, according to this graph, Randy JUST learned that relationships are hard, like a year ago. I suppose that explains a lot, but I don't really like being generalized into having the same dysfunction as Randy. He did this in the last comic too, as Gamer_24k pointed out.

So we move on through adulthood into middle age, Randy makes hackneyed references to stereotypes about these age groups, and we get to old age. Apparently, old people get all the sex.

I'm getting this picture in my mind... a teenage Randall, saying to himself "when I'm in my twenties, then, then I'll get all the sex!" And then a barely adult Randall saying to himself "when I'm 20, then, then I'll get all the sex!" And then he just skips over about thirty to fifty years and decides it must be when you're really old that you get to have a lot of sex.

This is a sad, sad story, but not one that we should be surprised by.

That's all I have to say about this comic. Just watch the headlines: "Disgruntled webcomic artist Randall Munroe arrested for the murder of 12 infants!" You'll see.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Comic 906: Randy Makes The Same Mistake Twice

[Your gamer "2k4" sent me this guest review. I also got one from The Pirate King but I am having considerable difficulty extracting it from gmail for some reason. Sorry The Pirate King. -Ed.]

Title: Advertising Discovery; alt text: When advertisers figure this out, our only weapon will be blue sharpies and "[disputed]"

Gamer_2k4 here. It seems I only review strips which I absolutely hate, or find mildly appealing. Comic #906 happens to, paradoxically, be in both categories. And, to say what I feel is becoming my catch phrase, there's a lot to like about this comic. It doesn't really have any of the modern xkcd tropes like Megan, retarded quirkyness, post-punchline dialogue, elitism, white knighting, misuse of Mr. Hat, and so on. It's not blantant nerd pandering, it's not two talking heads, it's not a textual overload, the wording isn't awkward, and the joke should almost be worth a smile. As an added touch, the citation hyperlinks are actually colored, and at least one of our own has admitted to trying to click them (I think I made an attempt, too). In other words, it works.

So, we've finally hit a good xkcd, huh? Well, slow down, cowboy, I'm not finished yet. There are a couple of flaws that I won't allow to slip past. First of all, there's the obvious reference to Wikipedia YET AGAIN. I don't mind this as such; Wikipedia is a pretty big part of internet culture (and real life), so it fits the strip to have a reference here and there. Heck, Randall's made some pretty decent Wikipedia strips in the past. The problem is that it's quickly becoming a substitute for originality (what little was left, that is). Counting this one, there have been three obvious references to Wikipedia in the past seven strips (899, 903, 906) and one strip that was likely inspired by a trip there (902). That's a problem. But, you know what? It's not the biggest problem.

There's one glaring, undeniable flaw in this comic, and it's the thing that angered me enough to prompt this review. See that little text at the bottom of the comic? The part about the dumb guy being trained by Wikipedia to be a sucker for the blue numbers? Oh. Oh wait, no, hold on. It doesn't say that the poor sap at his computer falling for the spam is the one with the problem. It doesn't say "Wikipedia has trained me." It says US. "Wikipedia has trained US."

Excuse me, Randall? You think we're the same? You think that all of your shortcomings are something that everyone has? Well, I guess you'd have to believe that; how else could you feel superior to everyone unless your flaws are ones the whole human race shares? Well let me tell you something, Randall. Not everyone is like you. Not everyone has a crippling addiction to Wikipedia. I know it's what gets you through the day, but the rest of us have LIVES. We have friends and interests and activities and hobbies and JOBS.

So don't include us in your stupid generalization. This comic is funny if it's just the gullible fool in the comic who has the problem. Maybe there's a little self-deprecation there, maybe not, but the point is, it's a guy with a theoretical (or real?) problem, and we can have a laugh at his expense. But let me tell you something, Randall: That stick figure there does not represent "us" at all. It represents YOU.

I'm a lot of things, but I am NOT Randall Munroe.


This is Rob again, hello! I'd just like to remind you all of the time about 30 comics ago when Randy made the exact same mistake with the file name as he did this time. That comic was 870. In it, the file name was "advertising.png", thus causing most adblock filters to block the file outright. He ultimately fixed it by changing the file name. And then he apparently promptly forgot about it and made the same mistake 30 comics later.

Of course, I made the mistake of checking the forums, which is mostly full of people discovering the problem and acting like they are clever for doing so, and some people who are apparently not clever enough to figure it out on their own. But there is one that stands out above all others:
Anyone else notice that the comic is blocked by addblock+? That was a nice touch.
Emphasis mine. This person thinks it's clever for Randy to be so dumb he gets his comic blocked by adblock filters twice in the same way. This is what we're facing here, people. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against cuddlefish, against morons, against the mindless legions of xkcd and against the hated GOOMHbas of the internet.