Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Comic 929: Universally Lame

speculation

[Comic title: Speculation; alt text: "'I was pretty good at skeet shooting, but was eventually kicked off the range for catching the clay pigeons in a net and dispatching them execution-style.'"]

Oh Randy, I knew you still loved me. You've been so tepid lately, and then you give me this beautiful pile of shit.

The best part about this one is it's multiple layers of terrible. Like how when you clean out your refrigerator it starts out gross and then gets progressively worse as you unearth the various rotting vegetation and enigmatic mold spheres your roommates buy constantly and then forget about. New smells and offenses assail you the deeper you go.

At its core, this is just another in Randy's obsessions with Google Plus. With the possible exception of Wikipedia itself (praise it with great praise), I don't think we've seen Randy get this excited about something in a long time. I suspect that "YouTube Party" and "Standards" are also in some way inspired by Google+. This time around he creates a strawman argument against Google+ which he handily tears down in praise of it--

AND THEN DISASTER STRIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Black Hat Guy, that lurking menace, that sinister figure, disrupts the conversation that they are for some reason having whilst "shooting some hoops," as the kids say, in the most dismal way possible--by shooting the ball with a crossbow! OH THE HUGE MANATEE (the manatee is me, i am fat).

Now, you may be saying "wait, this has absolutely nothing to do with the comic; that's just a completely random punchline with absolutely no bearing on the context." And the beauty of this comic is that you are both correct and incorrect--it sucks both for this reason and for another, deeper reason. Randy tried subtlety, and as per usual failed miserably.

You see, the basketball game is not just random art which Randy has thrown in there to desperately prove that he is capable of drawing more than two stick figures in a featureless room shouting words at one another. It is also an analogy for universal adoption! Black Hat Guy is someone who doesn't adopt to the rules and in so doing ruins it for everyone!

Maybe? I mean, maybe he's trying to undermine his point, which would make this the most nuanced xkcd that has ever been made, but more likely he just thought up an artistic analogy and threw it in because it lent itself to what the kids call "Epic Lulls" and didn't really think to compare it to the message he's trying to convey.

I guess it's equally likely that this isn't the intended message at all--after all, the forumites don't seem to be saying that. Some of them don't even seem to get it at all! (There's also a pretty great conversation where the forumites are arguing that Randy doesn't make comics about things he's interested in. They seem to think that if Randy likes Google+ he must also have recently had his basketball pierced by a crossbow. Your friend and mine "Fernie Canto" is involved, probably!)

There's really just so much awful in this comic. I could go on for a very long time about this one, but I'll refrain in the interests of brevity. (I know, I know.)

63 comments:

  1. "Epic lulls," indeed. Boring, boring strip, notable only for how awful it is.

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  2. The basketball represents love.

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  3. I love how stick Randall (middle one in the first panel) missed the basket. Even though stick Randall is a big a Mary Sue as you can get, he's still a failure.

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  4. Scott:

    Stick Randall is the guy on the left. The one on the right is Megan. Notice how Randall says something obtuse and then Megan corrects him.

    Megan doesn't have any hair because of her chemo treatments.

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  5. And she misses the shot because girls suck ant sports. Derp Derp Derp.

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  6. I assumed black hat guy was in fact a twisted Megan disguising her baldness. The age of the character would mean Randall had planned her cancer in advance to keep her weak and needy.

    And the reason for the character's creation must be self-preservation. He knew the effect it would have on her psyche and creates this stick figure talisman to channel the hatred away from him.

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  7. @9:26: Why would he choose the breast? Unless he thought the self-flagellation that is denial of delicious dairy would cancel out the evil of his plot.

    Also 9:26=9:29 samefag.

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  8. 'my my my!' megan squealed 'that is at least two inches now, randy!'.
    'I know! These new exercises are really good.' he replied happily 'very soon they will accept me at the working man's club!'.


    Life was simple for Randall and Megan, they lived a humble lifestyle, in a small shack in Tibet.

    Every morning Randall would tend the crops and feed the cows outside. In exchange for his farming prowess Megan had let him stay, and, when the need arose, she would feed him with her ample breasts.

    One day in June Megan was worried. During her nightly fondling she had found a small lump in lefty. Too scared to tell Randall, for fear he would leave her, she investigated on Wikipedia.

    The article read 'If you find lumps [1] in your breasts [2] you have [sic] cancer and will never milk again [3]'

    'GOOMH WIKI!' she cried. She knew she had no choice but to tell Randall, for the daily bosom rituals he conducted would be sure to uncover her cancerous secret, and honesty was just as important as milk as foundations of their relationship.


    'Randall...I need to talk to you' she said, nervously.
    'Not now!' he exclaimed angrily 'How many times have I told you not to talk while I am feeding? You may only talk if you impersonate my mother!'

    'Randall...I'm sorry, I think you need to stop feeding...I have something to tell you, it's urgent' she replied.

    'What can be more important than milk, Megan?'

    'I have cancer' she said, holding back tears.

    'Oh god, Megan... Don't worry, don't worry. I have planned for this. I will make a post on my blog...'


    To be continued...

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  9. Very funny site. The humor is so nuanced and subtle. Have you ever considered writing for Family Guy?

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  10. @2:03: Would you say that xkcd was either nuanced or subtle? If not, would you say that Randall Munroe ought to contribute to Family Guy?

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  11. What the hell are they even playing? At first I thought they were playing actual basketball, then I realized they were being too cooperative, so I thought they were playing HORSE. But then why are they just passing the ball around.

    It's not really a criticism (though the fact that their physical actions make no sense weakens the comic further), but I';m genuinely curious if I'm missing something here.

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  12. A+ great review rob. would read again.

    +++

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  13. Oh, Rob, you BET I am involved. It's impossible that such a heated and bizarre conversation regarding the merits of xkcd, back in the Alternate Universe, could not have my participation. (of course, one other thread had an even more heated and bizarre conversation about audio standards featuring a complete jackass being a complete jackass, but I wouldn't butt my head into THAT one).

    I realise that it's just plain amusing to see how DENSE people can get, whether intentionally or not, when jumping to the defense of their favourite deity. So once I say that Randall inserts bits of his personal life and interest into the comic, then EVERYTHING featured on the comic must be an interest of him. Can you believe that??

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  14. yeah I saw that and I was like "this guy, he doesn't understand how the world works."

    it's not really even a criticism to say "Randy must be really into google +" but these guys have very carefully attuned psyches. even the barest hint of criticism sends them leaping into action.

    I just didn't remember if SirMustapha was you (but I was pretty sure)

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  15. Breast cancer? More like BEST cancer!

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  16. WTF Randall, you incompetent hack. Where is the large version of 930? I can't read that tiny text. Admittedly, I'm on a shitty internet connection right now, but I'm pretty sure a 404 means the problem isn't on my end.

    Also, the contrast of some of the colored text makes it even harder to read, and the whole hand drawn/shaky not-really straight lines thing looks like crap when you're trying to display quantitative information. Edward Tufte would not approve.

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  17. in fairness to randy, dude's name is Tufte

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  18. How can I know whether to start saving pocket money for the poster if I don't get to see what this looks like in large format? HURRY UP AND FIX IT RANDALL YOU FUCK.

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  19. Megan has been too weak to let Randall FUCK since the chemo.

    Before that, Megan just didn't want to.

    Of course, before she could resist - now he just forces himself on her.

    Randall Munroe rapes his cancer-riddled fiancee: truly an awful thing to hear, and to be indexed in an Internet search engine forever more.

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  20. 930 is actually rather good. Women have most periods on Sunday, Monday and Friday. I presume they are too busy making sandwiches to sync with the Wednesday xkcd.

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  21. 930: It's an uninteresting topic and any humour in it is impossible to find because it's so damn hard to read. The best one of these was probably his movie plot one.

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  22. "XKCD was terrible on ________" has a perfectly even distribution among all update days. Weird.

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  23. who would buy this*. it's not clever or funny and it doesn't say anything about anything. it's also hard to read

    *i know exactly who would buy this but it's still disappointing.

    U-, Randy

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  24. ".....enigmatic mold spheres...."

    Come on now Rob, no mold sphere is ever truly enigmatic.

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  25. The big version of 930 is up now, and WTF. Even if you care about the "data" of Google results, that is the most difficult to read format possible for that information.

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  26. I don't give nearly enough shits to decipher what the hell the joke is Randy's trying to make in 930. I do see it's yet another Google trend comic, so that's probably all I need to know anyway.

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  27. "....I don't give nearly enough shits to decipher...."

    What number of shits would be necessary for you to be willing to give before you were so inclined to engage in the needed decipherment?

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  28. SHUT THE FUCK UP, ALTF.

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  29. ALTF - did you by any chance attend the inaugural music festival at the Irvin N. Anderson amphitheater on July 6th?

    I hear it was a blast.

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  30. I mean, there's usually so little to do in International Falls, Minnesota on a saturday, that this must have been pretty exciting. I hear as many as 3,000 people showed up.

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  31. Hi, I'm Anonymous and I'm a MANJuly 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    930 is pretty awful and pointless, but not as awful and pointless as 929.

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  32. 3,000 people?
    People?

    You are being kind. As they are all Yankees they are at best a 3,000 strong bevy of waddling UgChubs.

    Cruising the main drag in our pickups and poppin' a few Pabst Blue Ribbons at Smokey Bear Park are also choice activities at the weekends.

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  33. Oh look, a mildly successful liberal Jewish guy. Can't have that now, can we? Better make an entire site devoted to mocking him and calling him a terrible person. Maybe even call him a Nazi! That'll show that kike!

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  34. ".....Oh look, a mildly successful liberal Jewish guy....."

    Mildly?

    No need to be pejorative.
    You're a cunt. And no mistake.

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  35. "What number of shits would be necessary for you to be willing to give before you were so inclined to engage in the needed decipherment? "

    At least a brazilian.

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  36. As I sport a sublime natural glabrousness, the concept of the numerical cognate 'brazillian'(sic) is foreign to me.

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  37. brazillian = twenty one in nihongo


    fuck you altf. errybody knows that

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  38. I said "brazilian," not "brazillian," you Randall fellator.

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  39. "....fuck you altf...."

    Brings to mind a variety of Dionne Warwick via Burt Bacharach tunes - many are apropos.

    I am not 'errybody'(sic).

    @ That's What She Said,

    I know.

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  40. u guys just hatin cuz japan is better than your countrys.

    we do maths

    with words.


    CHIBI NEKO DESU NIHONG GINKO!

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  41. "I konw(sic)"

    Neither my voluminous vocabulary nor my official lexicon of accepted English nouns subsumes the slightest traces of this "konw" of which you speak.

    And my name is "That's what she."

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  42. "....And my name is "That's what she."...."

    Or so you say. Frankly, I think it is a nom de plume.

    Making malicious adjustments to another's dross so one can add a '(sic)' is just to die for.

    Innit?

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  43. Yes, it is rather delightful.

    "Frankly, I think it is a nom de plume. "

    Don't call me Frankly.

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  44. Everybody was

    KUNG FU FIGHTING

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  45. Carl Douglas Loves To FuckJuly 27, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Everybody was

    CUNT FU FIGHTING

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  46. With the Libyan diplomats expelled, I'm selling my stock in Madame Jo-Jo's on Brewer Street in Soho.

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  47. Altf, the C word offends me. Don't say it anymore, please.

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  48. you guys are fucking assholes and should go die in a hole you stupid ass sons of bitches. btw woppy if you didn't want to hear the "c-word" (what are you in fourth grade you fag?) then you shouldn't be on the fucking internet.

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  49. @ALTF I tried to sell my stock there once but they couldn't get the stains out...

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  50. Can't even keyboard the word 'cunt' can you? I dare say you can't vocalise it either.
    Yet 2:07 can pixelate 'fucking' and 'assholes'.
    You Yankee cuntbutlers are so damn cute.

    @ Anonymous 2:24 PM,

    Try a jigger of Pimm's No 1 Cup and a decilitre of bleach - works a treat it does.

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  51. a new meme has born

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  52. 2:33, the M word offends me. Don't say it anymore, please.

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  53. ".....a new meme has born...."

    A new meme has born(sic) what?

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  54. OIC what you did thar

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  55. Good for you Muff.
    Now if you can refrain from the use of horrid txtspk you might be borne on the back of Brunhilda to Valhalla to be born anew as a literate non-Mousterian Muff.

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  56. wat u tlkin buot ALTF

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  57. ALTF, valkyries were rather like the SS officers who chose whether you went to the left or the right at holiday camp - they may have ridden horses but you certainly didn't get to ride them.

    And, following the holiday camp theme, while you may have enjoyed a hearty feast and a shower upon your arrival, there was no rebirth.

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  58. My life's in jeopardy
    Murdered in cold blood is what I'm gonna be
    I ain't been home since Friday night
    And now my wife is coming after me

    Give me police protection
    Gonna buy a gun so
    I can look after number one
    Give me a bodyguard
    A back belt Judo expert with a machine gun

    Gonna buy a tank and an aeroplane
    When she catches up with me
    Won't be no time to explain
    She thinks I've been with another woman
    And that's enough to send her half insane
    Gonna buy a fast car
    Put on my lead boots
    And take a long, long drive
    I may end up spending all my money
    But I'll still be alive

    All I did was have a bit too much to drink
    And I picked the wrong precinct
    Got picked up by the law
    And now I ain't got time to think

    Gonna buy a tank and an aeroplane
    When she catches up with me
    Won't be no time to explain
    She thinks I've been with another woman
    And that's enough to send her half insane
    Gonna buy a fast car
    Put on my lead boots
    And take a long, long drive
    I may end up spending all my money
    But I'll still be alive

    And I'm oh so tired of running
    Gonna lay down on the floor
    I gotta rest some time so
    I can get to run some more

    She's comin'!
    She's comin'!

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  59. 930: Randy has heard some funny anecdotes involving statistics and now seeks to turn every perceived pattern into a joke, except based on googling so the numbers don't mean shit.

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