Tuesday, July 26, 2011
[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.)