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:
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.Anyone else notice that the comic is blocked by addblock+? That was a nice touch.