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.


  1. The things that bothered me most about this comic were likely the alt text, and the fact that this magical hovering man can control his computer using a little receptionist-bell.

    The only part that I liked even a little bit was that it's called 'Turgidax,' but that's just because I think the word 'turgid' is hilarious.

  2. I have to disagree with Gamer2k4, here. Have you read some of the things XKCD's fans say? Especially now that Lord and Savior Randall Monroe said so.

    Also the latest comic sucks. I swear to god he just pulls these things out of his ass now (more than before). Like, "Oh shit; it's almost midnight and I have no comic!" Whereupon he promptly visits Wikipedia and quickly fingers the "Random" link until he finds something he likes.

    I'm beginning to hate chart comics.

  3. So...Randall is in the 30-42 bracket, eh?

  4. Turgidax(R)は、一晩であなたのペニスのサイズを3倍にします。そして、あなたの性的魅力と心血管の状態を向上させます

  5. Razenzomgは気持ち悪いオタ。死ねばいいのに、ヘタレ。

  6. Oh man i wanna write a review for the next comic.

  7. God the 'Ages' one makes we want to punch Randall in the face, and I've been completely indifferent to the last few hundred.

    Capcha: speramo

  8. Yeah, the latest surprised even a hardened veteran like me with it's shittiness. It combines graphs, the concept of elderly sex, and Randall's apparent desire to have a slutty daughter.

    Captcha: manurow

  9. "it's not a textual overload"
    WRONG. It's 600% text.
    "the wording isn't awkward"
    WRONG. Read the caption. READ IT.
    "and the joke should almost be worth a smile"
    "decent Wikipedia strips"
    NO. Those weren't decent. Also see "Malamanteau" and the other 800 strips where he just saw a wikipedia article and made a lame pun about it.
    ""Wikipedia has trained US.""
    He's only said that to more immediately elicit a GOOMH response.

    Who is this seve-year-old cracker?

  10. I'm starting to think that Randall does comics like "Ages" on purpuse. It's NOT POSSIBLE that a grown up, healthy human being can scribble something like that, look at it, think "yeah, THAT is funny" and publish it on his webcomic. I just CAN'T CONCEIVE THAT.

  11. Ravenzomgは日本語が話せますか。Ravenさんが大好き!

  12. At least three things wrong with this comic:
    a. Shitty observational humor. "People drink a lot in college! Men leave the toilet seat up! What's the deal with airplane food?"
    b. Presupposing that everyone is as immature, even as adults, as Randall. Also, no one has a job until they are 31.
    c. Assumes that everyone goes to college, which is a little offensive if you aren't an upper-middle class white kid like Randy.

  13. @K That's not a receptionist bell, that's a joystick. He's running GEOS on a Commodore 64 (GEOS works with both mice and joysticks, but Commodore mice were a peripheral that few people owned).

  14. So will he quit when he's 31?

  15. @11:04, at the rate he's going now? Probably not.

  16. i must say i completely agree with the assessment that people are non-sentient in their early infancy and fully support abortions up to the third year

  17. yes babies are as intelligent as bacteria

    if this were anyone but randy i'd expect a comic by monday decrying this and smugly asserting that the word is in fact sapient. but it's not so we'll get an unmentioned edit

  18. All hail the Earth Mother, long may we poison her with our presence!

    @424: Speaking only if it's the theme song of Demon Detective Loki: Ragnarok. ....Also maybe a few K-On songs >.>

  19. GOOMHR I'm wasting the earlier part of my life writing stupid comics instead of developing skills but still expect to start a successful career at the belated age of 30 too!

  20. Comic 907 revised:

  21. @Gamer_2K4: I was sat down at an anime marathon and we watched the first season. I admit that I was not not enjoying myself.

  22. I find it interesting that Randall's reference to college has [not] worked in two ways:

    1) it seems to be autobiographical; he went to college and he's projecting his own life into a comic which is supposed to be about human life in general

    2) the reference to alcohol-fuelled undergraduatehood would be relatively less of a "GOOMH!" for xkcd fans and more a "GOOMH!" for people who don't even read xkcd -- the plebeian fraternity goons that Randall is/was so much more intelligent than, and whom were busy drinking alcohol while Randy Randall was building robots and masturbating to lactation hentai

    also it's a chart so fuck it

  23. You're wrong about #2, 12:29. The idea of being a drunkard as well as bookish is quite popular amongst the type of nerd xkcd appeals to. I imagine it's mostly a fantasy about being well-rounded and adventurous, a genius that habitually cuts through the red tape that your average scholar is bound with. The reality that by and large they're so socially retarded that any alcohol they imbibe represents an attempt to escape from a world that they can never comfortably live with is irrelevant.

  24. Yeah, I hate nerds too. What a buncha assholes, with their books and stuff!

  25. Haha! 2:10, i totally agree with you! Nerds are... well they're nerds! They read books and do math because they can't hook up with ladies.

  26. Help! I'm trapped in a well!... ladies.
    It's like a jacuzzi with really high walls.

  27. @1:44: I seem to recall Aloria would post guest reviews here while drunk.

  28. This comment string is what it sounds like, as Prince would say, when doves cry.
    Then choke you.

    Time to go crazy.


  29. Well-rounded people are just compensating for something, this is a psychological fact everyone knows it, probably sexual abuse as a child?

  30. 5 year olds aren't "non-sentient" you fucking faggot

    FUCK YOU RANDALL MUNROE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Truly well-rounded people have better things to do than read xkcd.

  32. Truly well rounded people are perfectly round.

  33. Is there like a law against creating a fund to represent the common desire for Randall to choose to jump off a tall building? The money wouldn't actually be spent on anything but its amount would serve as a metric of the will of the people. We could even draw a number line and move a little arrow along it.

  34. Every review on this website should consist solely of the words "homestuck exists."

  35. The age comic is idiotic, at best.

    1) Not everyone goes to college. Not everyone who goes does the 4 years of partying thing. I personally doubt the Randall had a blast.

    2) Careers and relationships are both lifelong projects, not two events that can be tied to particular decades. Most of us struggle with careers before thirty, and continue to put effort into relationships past twenty-nine.

    3) Old people having sex is just a dumb punchline without a relevant buildup.

    4)Randall is 26. 26. As in, a guy who still has years left before he finishes up his twenties. Why exactly is he giving us voice-of-experience shit? He's a young man who has never married or held a real job. If I wanted to know what it's like to accumulate years and experiences, I talk to somebody more qualified.

    Latest xkcd had shitty punchline, obnoxious setup.

  36. @5:01(4) I once had a long conversation with a PR man from News International, Murdoch's tentacle in the UK. (The company was sponsoring me for some prize, and the guy was clearly bored out of his skull as he'd been sent along for the day to interact with... me... in order to make his company look like a good corporate citizen.) He explained that Murdoch doesn't really sell papers by telling people what to think, just by repeating what his readers want to hear. The group makes its fortune by pandering to the crowd, and every disturbing, misleading story you hear isn't written to push a particular viewpoint - but to rile people up because then they'll buy more papers.

    Similarly, Randall is a preacher, preaching to a choir. He isn't reflecting reality - he's reflecting what his readership wants reality to be.

  37. 902 inspired by Wikipedia? I figured that episode had probably been rerun on Syfy.

  38. are negroes really people?

    recent research suggests "no".

  39. lol 7:21 it's funny cause it's /b/ and /b/ is retarded

  40. Wow, you guys *do* take things too seriously.

  41. I read a couple of the reviews in this blog, in fact, i find it very interesting! i think that you spend more time to write strip reviews than Randall does drawing 'em!!
    it's pathetic!!

    tengo mucho tiempo felkhwa lkhawi!
    don't try translate it with google,'cuz it's mixture of spanish and arabic plus 7assassa and 9ortassa.

    marci bcp pour tn tmps, while reading this, je sais pas pk tu continues, pero, mafilyadi 7ila, azul... thalla f rassek akhay.

    wa la tansa, kol chai2in fi da9atine wa7ida

  42. I believe it's called sarcasm. You can probably look it up in wikipedia.