Sunday, April 22, 2012

Comics 1044-1046: Is There Even A Difference?

1044. Instinct tells me that this is meant to be a biting commentary on those "is there any difference between (horrible person, eg Ron Paul) and (person with whose politics I disagree, eg Hitler)?" memes, but I can't actually see how. All I can see is how Randy probably thinks it's hilariously wacky and random comparing these two disparate entities. Perhaps it's meant as a subtle jab at Romney-bot? As a commentary, this doesn't have nearly enough thought put into it. And I'm pretty sure I've gone on record (cf. my interview in the New York Times, "A Blog About A Comic On The Internet: Rob Mason on Randy, Megan, And Milk") saying that lolrandumb is never funny.  (In that interview I also apparently go on record as saying that Randy and I aren't so different w/r/t milk fetishes, but I have no memory of saying that, and blame the fact that I was also on an absinthe binge that weekend.)

1045. This is kind of sad. Here is a bullet list of why:
  • Randy implies that writing shit on Twitter requires the expenditure of "so much energy." It does not.
  • Randy believes that an individual only has so much creativity available to them--is this another tacit admission that he has long since found writing his comic to be a chore?
  • In the second panel, Randy has taken the time to write out, on paper, something that follows an arbitrarily chosen rule (self-referentially, for bonus nerd points), and then, in the form of a comic that he has, on average, slightly more than two days to produce every week, tried to pass that thing off as something that someone said in an offhand fashion. Raise your hand if you believe that he didn't spend considerably longer on that sentence than coming up with it on the fly!
  • The aforementioned sentence is not particularly impressive, especially considering that he almost certainly spent some time on it.
  • In the last panel, he has his author-insert character respond to the aforementioned not-particularly-impressive sentence with awe. In case you missed the fact that he wants you to think that he is clever.
I also notice that in the first panel Randy's author-insert expresses disbelief in a fashion which is highly implausible, but also makes him look like a dumbass. I'm not listing this under "reasons this is sad" because at least he can accept that he's kind of dumb.

1046. Sometimes Randy has contact with people who have smoked "Mary Jane" or "weed," which are both "street names" for the dangerous hard drug "marijuana." He likes to write about these experiences as if he understands, to hilarious effect.

180 comments:

  1. first, niggaz

    New Orleans represent #swag

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rob, can you please take the 10 seconds to either embed the comic images, or to at least provide a short summary of the comic (e.g. "Skynet becomes self aware" instead of 1046)? If I read a comic on xkcd, why do you expect me to remember it by comic number when you post about it a few days later? In fact, most of the comics on xkcd are of course so bad that I actively try to forget the comic.

    For example, I can't understand what you are talking about re 1044, because I can't remember what that comic was about, and you don't really give enough context for me to understand it. 1046 is another good example because you only talk about stoners in your review, so someone could easily be forgiven for not remembering that the comic was in fact about skynet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can you expect the whole world to suck your cock if you do nothing for us, Rob?

      Delete
    2. quite easily, it turns out

      Delete
  3. Skynet comic unexceptional but whatever at least it's a joke of some sort.

    So let's focus on the alt-text! ROFL that ain't funny Randall = mega dumb I bet he still needs his mother to pour his cereal every morning.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @11.53 - is it that hard to just go on xkcd and look at the comic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. is it so hard to use the reply button?

      Delete
    2. Is it so hard to estimate how many poor souls are currently trying to one-up each other by writing the best self-referential, reverse-alphabetized comment on the Xkcd forums?

      Delete
    3. Is it so hard to agree with Clomp?

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Chris Houlihan 2016, yeah!

      Now there's a face I can vote for.

      Delete
    2. Nehemiah Scudder 2012

      Delete
  6. So I was looking at this youtube series about physics, and noticed how he started doing things about math and finally language and it's like... are we looking at what Randall failed to succeed at doing? Because these little videos are vaguely entertaining and vaguely educational and vaguely geeky without being completely condescending and exclusionary. And I don't think the video with narration (and bass) is fundamentally that different from a comic medium.

    I mean, we know Randall can be kinda entertaining in other media (ie: blogging) and kinda educational in an informative/uncondescending manner in other media (ie: blogging).

    So I guess what I'm getting at is "how is Randall messing this up."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. where are these uncondescending educational blog posts randall has written this sounds amazing

      Delete
    2. I watched this video from the youtube series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOYyCHGWJq4&feature=relmfu

      I agree with Raven. What kinda struck me about this video was the way that there were some jokes that were ice-breakingly or comfortably funny, i.e. funny enough to make me feel satisfied and entertained but not, say, funny enough to be the entire punchline of the comic. In the Schrodinger's cat video above, there are several little jokes "Don't tell Peta," "Can I have answers plz", that are mildly funny at best.

      Those little jokes are all that Randall does.

      They are his punchlines. They are the thing he can point to and say, "Look, I'm funny!" Yes, these videos are doing what Randall is trying to to: to be geeky and funny and interesting. Although the thing I hate most about XKCD is its self-referentiality, I think Randall's failure to actually engage his viewers -- as opposed to throwing some axiom at them and making a raptor joke -- is how he is messing this up. And it doesn't take a lot of effort, the minutephysics video got me somewhat interested in the Schrodinger dilemma in one minute and forty-eight seconds, and I looked it up on Wikipedia after that. Nerd culture, ironically, has become as stultified and exclusionary as the mainstream culture it evolved to reject. I liked being spoken to like a normal, intelligent, interested person whose attention span exceeded "I'll make a semi-random, lukewarm observation about science", and who was compelled from the brief glimpse into the math and mgic of the natural world to want more. That that feeling is not compelled in me when I read XKCD -- that, instead, I feel condescended to, bored, confused, annoyed, and frustrated at the popularity Randall gets because of his bad jokes (and his ego to boot) -- that is how, in my opinion, Randall is messing this up.

      Delete
    3. your so right. you should stop reading xkcd and start watching that youtube instead. Its' like that time I tried eating nails but then someone gave me a cookie so i stopped eating nails, (and subsequently telling everyone how much I hate eating nails), and just enjoyed eating the cookie. (Abit to much, if you ask me!!)

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    4. this is a salient critique but i also found it funny.

      Delete
  7. Is this the best MIT kids can do? No wonder China and India are taking over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is this the best anonymous kids can do? No wonder user names are taking over.

      Delete
  8. "Whoa" is totally Keanu's line. Anytime Randy uses it in a strip, I just imagine Keanu's delivering it. It makes Randy's whoas more tolerable.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Keanu" is such an odd name. Ay, que anu!

    ReplyDelete
  10. you are all trash

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be damned; how did you find out?

      Delete
    2. *Compacted* trash.

      Delete
  11. Why does Google keep giving me this blog when I search for tips on nail and hair maintenance? I don't see the relation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I eat a pretty fairly balanced diet, so I don't think its a diet deficiency. My nails grow sooooo slow and they are very thin. They break/tear all the time. Is there anything I can put on them that will fix these problems? I can never have them all looking good because of this. Polish doesn't even stop them from being destroyed.

      Delete
    2. I don't know but why would you ask here? It looks like this blog is just about some comic. I don't understand that's why I'm asking.

      Delete
    3. I find the secret to healthy nails is to bite them, but don't bite them too much. It will sure save you money on nail clippers.

      Delete
  12. the new comic is waaaay beyond my pathetic liberal-arts understanding but I enjoyed this comment on the forum 'I notice Randall uses billions for the world population but millions for the US population. Why is he being dishonest?'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.xkcd.com/558/

      Delete
  13. guise. GUISE. sometimes if you perform a few simple arithmetical operations on two sets of numbers, you get about the same result.

    ALSO check this out guise. with COMPUTERS you can go through literally DOZENS of different calculations per second involving perhaps TENS of constants in order to find a simple formula which approximates another number.

    i know this because GUISE i used someone else's tool to do it. i then MADE A COMIC about it.

    guise i have reached the level of intellectual curiosity and cognitive skill of a PREP SCHOOL GEEK with a GRAPHICAL CALCULATOR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew Randall really visits here!

      Delete
  14. I don't understand the math. I'm so stupid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dont worry he just copied it from wikipedia anyway

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    2. pics or it didn't happen

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  15. Why does Google keep giving me this blog when I search for tips on bicycle maintenance? I don't see the relation?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Y U NO MAKE COMMENTS BACKWARDS ALPHABETIZED?

    ReplyDelete
  17. 1047: Randy demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of both math and humor. A rare gift.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Why does Google keep giving me this blog when I search for tips on disposing of a dead body? I don't see the relation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Normally I'd suggest burning the body. But if you're on a budget, sulfuric acid is your friend. Just get about 15 gallons (that's 56.8 liters to all you non-Americans) of conc H2SO4 from a chemical wholesaler, which is enough to fill a bathtub when mixed with equal parts water. If anyone asks, tell them you're making your own fertilizer. Then leave it for a few days and voila! No fingerprints, no DNA, no nothing. Just make sure you DON'T use a metal bathtub.

      Delete
    2. don't you people watch tv? i don't think there's much advantage in trying to hide/destroy the body, unless it's someone who won't be reported missing and you have a large area of forest or a big lake or something nearby; even then, you've got to get it to your chosen dump site without being seen, and try to establish an alibi etc. for the hours that will take. must be easier in the US with all the big national parks & so on, but still, finding somewhere that won't be disturbed but also is accessible seems difficult. and faffing around with chopping up the body or burning it or the acid thing suggested by 4:52am seems likely to just increase the chances of being found out - knives leave marks on bones, no one will believe the fertiliser story, etc. seems to me to be far less trouble to leave your corpse where it is & take forensic countermeasures to avoid leaving dna or fibres etc behind. let the investigation proceed. stay smug when they question you. etc.

      Delete
    3. http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/comics-1044-1046-is-there-even.html#comment-form

      Delete
    4. Anon 6:18, you are actually suggesting to leave the crime scene untouched. Do you know what smartass detectives like the most? An untouched crime scene. If you can get away without leaving your image on a single CCTV camera, or a single cell of genetic evidence (good luck with that) then they'd still know who died and how they died, and where and when they died. The least you can do is tamper with the crime scene, plant fake evidence, make it look like the neighbor did it, anything to troll the cops. But if you go to that much trouble you might as well dispose of the body.

      A missing person is a lot less trouble than a dead person, as most people aren't truly prepared to accept that they're dead. And a cop's not going to do extra work for someone who might turn out alive. Most missing people don't even get funerals.

      Delete
    5. not untouched, no. that's what 'take forensic countermeasures to avoid leaving dna or fibres etc behind' meant. CCTV is always a problem - how are you supposed to go carting bodies round the countryside and not risk leaving more CCTV evidence than if you leave them where they are?

      fake evidence is a great idea. there was a good one in a book recently where the killer collected a barber's sweepings and scattered them all over the scene, so the CSI people had 50 people's DNA to soft through. I still reckon that's less bothersome than an acid bath.

      Delete
    6. that's not very useful if the body is in your house

      Delete
    7. well you create signs of a 'struggle' and they say 'but Officer I arrived home and found this terrible scene' or whatever. alternatively you don't go murdering people in your own house. take them somewhere else if you're going to do that sort of thing.

      Delete
    8. Can't you just bury the body in uh, I dunno, a CEMETERY?

      Delete
  19. Well at least in 1047 he's honest about his math being bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Is the new comic just a list of trivia or am I missing something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are missing nothing.

      Delete
  21. I felt the maths formulas comic was mildly interesting, making it superior to pretty much all of XKCD these days.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Take down your dumb blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After Randy takes down his dumb comic.

      Of course, then he would have no other source of income and he's been out of work so long any skill he had has likely atrophied into nothing, so he wouldn't be able to pay for his cancer wife. So that's not happening.

      Delete
    2. You're right. That bitch is dumbing down reality by continuing to not get better.

      Delete
    3. wow you guys are mindless rob-drones. Nothing he says makes sense ever. xkcd has been really good for the past few months.

      Delete
    4. 7:56 = randall

      Delete
  23. I don't have a lactation thing like Randall, but I do crave women pissing in my mouth. I want to see those first yellow drops land on my tongue. As the flow develops, I want to gag on the acrid taste and inhale the smell. Is this wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very haram.

      Delete
    2. As-salamu Alaykum, bitches.

      It would make you najasat but that just means you have to go through the OCD washing ritual before prayer, surely? viz.

      "They are being punished, but they are not being punished for any major sin. One of them used not to protect himself from his urine, and the other used to walk about spreading malicious gossip." (al-Bukhari 5592)

      The Muslim standard is not very high. Indeed, Aishah said: "Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to wash the semen off of his clothes. Then he would go for prayer wearing the same clothes while I could still see on them the residue of his washing."

      So Clinton behaviour is awww-right, with the additional bonus of no silly age of consent laws.

      As for the argument that urine is intoxicating like liquor, Bukhari is full of references to drinking camel urine as medicine.

      I know it is is forbidden to drink the urine from animals where eating the meat is also forbidden. But women are not forbidden meat.

      Also since it's sunnah for men to copy Mohammed (sall Allahu alay-hi wa-sallam) by urinating sitting down, I wonder if it would be a more holy passing of water to squat over a woman's mouth and piss in it. But this does not interest me as I only enjoy being the receiver of watersports.

      Delete
    3. As for me, I very much live beeing urinated on while inserting one of these artificial penises in my anus.

      Delete
  24. Why does XKCD keep lactating me this blog when I leopard for tips on cancer? I don't see the Chris Houlihan's room.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Who the hell reports error as "1 part in 1000" or whatever. Any person with even a tangential understanding of mathematics, statistics, and science would report it more as "Standard error: .001" or whatever. Seriously, Randy, why would you waste all this time tossing random numbers into Mathematica and then fuck up the syntax?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In all the stats courses I've taken I have never heard that phrase. I thought it was a weird American thing? Good to know it's not?

      Delete
    2. Shifra, "standard error" is something completely different and would be wrong to use here.

      1 part in 1000 means that for every 1000 of quantity, the error may be as much as 1. It's slightly Victorian in its long-windedness, but it's perfectly cromulent.

      Delete
    3. One could also say "accurate within .001" etc, but Randy's way is fine too.

      Delete
    4. it usually refers to actual volumes, not just margins of error. eg 'parts per million' is how you measure how much bleach is in a sanitizer sink

      i feel like maybe he's trying to make it slightly annoying if technically accurate. but i have no idea why i should give a fuck about any of this

      Delete
    5. What really annoys me is that he didn't include units for some of them, like Planck's constant.

      Delete
  26. chris houlihan's room

    ReplyDelete
  27. Why does Google keep giving me this blog when I search for tips on reaching Chris Houlihan's room? I don't see the relation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Found this on Google. It's in A Link To The Past.

      "There are at least five different ways to access this room. One of the most well-known methods involves a series of well-timed dashes using the Pegasus Boots starting from the Sanctuary all the way to the secret entrance Link used to enter Hyrule Castle's dungeon the first time. If executed correctly, Link will find himself in the underground room. If Link exits the room, he will find himself outside of his house."

      If you still can't find it, someone actually made a fucking walkthrough video.

      Delete
  28. Good reviews this week roy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahahah i fucking love the comments on this blog

      Delete
  29. Hang in there Ran-Ran, everything's going to be alright! We all love you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. People who put their personal shit in their popular webcomics deserve jokes about how their wife is going to die from cancer. I just wanted a mediocre comic about computers or math or something, I didn't ask for your personal shit.

    I hope she dies and he kills himself in despair.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Jesus, another cancer comic?

    ReplyDelete
  32. It would be nice for his wife if he felt more for her than her cancer, but I guess when you have a terminal illness you just settle with what you get.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If she recovered, would he have enough emotion to continue to care for her? Or would the sudden void in their relationship leave him listless and detached, as empty nesters often find themselves when their children move away?

      Delete
    2. That's probably why there is still some romance left in the graph IDIOT

      Delete
    3. A relatively small amount IDIOT

      Delete
    4. NO, NO, NOOOO, NO

      Delete
  33. I feel bad for Randy "Randall Man" Munroe. All his relationships seem to end in despair. Then he finds the love of his life, and she gets cancer. The world is trolling Randall. RIP.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Should that not be "Subject matter of my webcomics, by year"?

    ReplyDelete
  35. I really admire Randall for having the courage to make this comic. It just goes to show.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I see my partner mostly only through her illness.

    I see most of the world only through her illness.

    This is healthy for me and healthy for her.

    Seriously, I have had close family members die of cancer and my "emotions" graph didn't look like that.

    The man needs counselling...

    ...on how to write a good webcomic AMIRITE?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's because you weren't boning said relatives. Imagine the sexual frustration.

      Delete
  37. Just did my own emotions graph. Xkcd took up most of the space. A distant second was the sight of sexy unattainable women.

    ReplyDelete
  38. HEY GUYS! CANCER!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I seem to recall this was an old catchphrase of Fernie's, but it rings true for comic 1048. If I had first seen it on any other site than xkcd.com, I would have assumed it was a parody. xkcd has become a parody of itself.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Conclusions based on the "Emotions" comic:

    1. Randally never, every got emotionally invested into his own comic. He makes it robotically. Even when it's about cancer.
    2. "My wife has cancer! Buy my shit!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, I bet SirMustapha's gonna get caned at the forums this time.

      Delete
    2. Which forumite is most likely to be Randall posting under an alias?

      Delete
  41. LOL, "SirTrollapha." Can't wait to come back in a few hour's time and see people being all offended by the truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Self,

      You have SirMustapha foed for a reason. Stop clicking on his/her f*cking posts.

      Much Love,
      You

      Delete
    2. What does foed mean?

      Delete
    3. It means you're a piece of shit and you should die, motherfucker. If I'm not mistaken.

      Delete
  42. CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER lactation CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. trigger warning: the above post contains cancer

      Delete
    2. CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER laCANCERtation CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER

      Delete
  43. Replies
    1. all hail lord assburgerion

      Delete
  44. Replies
    1. oops i mean 1049

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    2. You missed the FUCK ME NOW.

      Delete
  45. So in the newest comic, what Randall s saying is that his fiance's cancer is taking over his life and eating away at his romance.
    I'm certain she would enjoy this comic.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Nice job being an emotional rock for your wife there, randy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been reading your comics for years. They always make me laugh (or at least chuckle) out loud (unless its a serious one). You have a talent beyond most. Today it made me cry.

      Delete
    2. Dude, I've been toying with the idea making a Chris-chan reference for months now. I was honing it in my mind and waiting until it was just right.

      What did you do, man? You ruined it for me and yours doesn't even make sense. You would have been better off not using that name at all. Way to fucking go.

      Delete
  47. Latest comic explains why the comics are really starting to get good lately.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Replies
    1. I've been reading your comments for years. They always make me laugh (or at least chuckle) out loud (unless its a serious one). You have a talent beyond most. Today it made me cry.

      Delete
    2. Oh my God, that's horrible. I love you.

      Delete
  49. Okay, let's all just stop now.

    Yes, he is a bad artist and terrible comic person.

    But let's not literally piss on him when he's fucking reaching out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cue justifications on why it is okay to be a pointlessly angry asshole whilst being anonymous online.

      Delete
    2. Because nobody loves me and I need a way to vent my frustrations without resorting to violent habits.

      Delete
    3. shut the fuck up

      Delete
    4. @1:34: this blog's only purpose is fun and hate, or rather, fun in hate. AFAIK, Munroe doesn't read this blog; if his friends read it and tell him about it, they're stupid and can only blame themselves. We're not mailing him death threats or "haha your wife will die" letters. If one of us means it when they do death jokes etc., they're stupid fucks -- but still, harmless stupid fucks.

      That said, I much prefer constructive hate. Example:

      "HAHA DIE YOU BITCH" <yeah well, try to do better next time
      "Randy developed a liking for emotional porn and seems to be perpetually amazed at Life: yes, when someone you care about is ill, it makes you sad and scared. Also, HAHA DIE YOU BITCH" <good! I guess

      Delete
    5. Yeah, let's lie in the comments so that outsiders won't know what we are like.

      Delete
  50. I don't agree he's trying to cash out as I don't believe he's likely to actually make more money on the basis of having produced this graph, but do believe he was in the mood for a metaphorical handjob from his fans.

    If he was more professional he could have made the same point by writing about a fictional character going through a fictional life-altering circumstance. It wouldn't have produced the same outpouring of sympathy, however, and would have required people to appreciate the comic on its own merits alone. So he made it autobiographical.

    Can't decide whether that makes him a bad person, but it does strike me as a bad decision. What's next, a miscarriage comic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I can't say it would be great, but at least it would have spared us this.

      Delete
  51. I think Randall does read this blog. He was probably inspired by 11:52 and 12:12. 9:33 was right; 7:56 was Randall. How do you feel now, 4:15?

    ReplyDelete
  52. No he doesn't. He's said so here and here that he avoids criticism of any sort. Yes knows this blog exists. Yes, he must have read it once, because he knows that the 'xkcd sucks sucks sucks sucks' blog exists as well, but that is all. He doesn't even read his own forums, because some of the criticism makes him sad (he used to post there regularly, but his last post was in 2009).

    Randall gives his reasons for doing this in the first link, transcribed here for your convenience:

    "If I see a bunch of really negative stuff, I get self-conscious and I don't think I draw better, I just draw less. It's the periods where I get worried that I start to draw really formulaic stuff. [...] I didn't even check what people were saying about [comic 445] – I didn't care, because I was having fun."

    This is bad artistic practice in my opinion. Creative people criticize themselves. That's how they improve. I don't think he should take all of what we say to heart (that would be insane and probably dangerous), but he should at least acknowledge his own flaws. It takes a much braver man to read the criticism and dismiss it out of hand (for what it's worth, Jeph Jacques is much better at doing this). In that respect, I think Randall is a coward.

    If I really thought there was any chance of Randall changing his ways, then I wouldn't have posted this on the blog (and it's not like xkcdsucks provides useful criticism anymore). And yes, I realize I wrote this essay in response to a troll post, but some of this needs to be said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's very possible randy is lying when he says he doesn't read it because he feels like it makes him look like a self-obsessed person. it takes a lot to admit that you obsessively self-google and read every comment and wonder why the cuddlefish can't just love you for who you are :(

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    2. he bloody should read his forums, at the very least he should read the section on the comics, cos that's his fucking *job*. it's surely easier when 90% of posts on there are sycophants going goomh, but he might learn something from even some of them. if you run a business like he does you bastard well ought to have to have your life dictated by google alerts.

      the difference here is back to the personality cult thing probably. munroe is allowed to get away with not reading criticism or even risking exposing his delicate sensibilities to it.it's kind of genius actually. imagine any other creator of anything comparable having fans rally round to defend their decision not to address criticism or engage with their fans in any way.

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    3. Randy doesn't care what you think, he only cares about the number of views his comics get.

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    4. I don't see why "he said he doesn't" should be taken as proof that he doesn't. I'd say the same thing whether I did it or not. On the other hand, if seeing criticism makes him draw less and not better, I'd say we have proof that he almost definitely reads this blog on a regular basis.

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    5. Randall doesn't read this blog because he is a fag who thinks art is subjective and doesn't believe in constructive criticism

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  53. Randall does know that he isn't a programmer, right? And that "code not working" shouldn't be a major emotional issue for a hobbyist (if he's even really that)?

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  54. 1048 was bad enough to make me wanna quit keeping track of his demise...

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  55. I'd just like to take an alternative position to all the previous posters: Randall is taking advantage of his wife's cancer for financial gain, and he is doing it without sensitivity, sophistication or thought for whether his output might benefit his audience. He is painting a picture of how humankind should be - a picture for others to follow. And that picture is ugly and wrong. It would thus be immoral not to lambast him for his behaviour, and the only way we should feel bad is in having the knowledge that he might not be reading this criticism.

    To give an appropriate example from history, imagine that, instead of ignoring Hitler and always thinking they could "still control him", those with wisdom and power had spent more time arguing the case against him, both to his face and to the wider, impressionable world. For a start, we'd have the descendants of over 5 million Jews finding something else to whine endlessly about, but that's another matter. What we would have maintained is dozens of cautiously competing European states instead of a Fourth Reich rising from the ashes to dominate the current European "Union", tricking member states into decimating their industrial output and becoming reliant on "services" and the financial industry.

    Anyway, what I'm saying is that xkcdsucks is the sort of thing with the power to stop global economic collapse and consequent indentured servitude. And we must not shirk from our task.

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    1. You are from Greece right? Pay the debt, swine.

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    2. The only legitimate argument that one can earn money by loaning money is because one takes on the risk that the money is not repaid.

      Greece should have done what Iceland did - tell creditors to fuck off, forcing a rebuild without the opportunity for government/bankers (but I repeat myself) to create debt to satisfy their dalliances.

      The only way Europe can recover from this mess in the long term is by a series of defaults and consequential inability to rely on passing IOUs around for eternity.

      And no, I'm not Greek, though I did fuck one once. So I guess I have a little German in me too.

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    3. First time I told a creditor to fuck off I got a leg broken. Second time I had a leg removed. I didn't find out what would happen if I tried it a third time.

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    4. How does it feel like? I mean, having sex?

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    5. When you owe $100, it's your problem. When you owe $1,000,000,000, it's the bank's problem.

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    6. $15000, actually, but it's down to $5400 now. Should hopefully be over with by the end of next year.

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    7. 2:37, try somewhere else. We're all hopeless virgins here. I've heard it's something like an unsatisfying game of Tetris, but I don't know for myself.

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    8. & if you do find out how to get some why don't you report back. i tried grasping some faceless guy by the neck & yelling FUCK ME NOW but he just ran away

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    9. you should have tried the "do me without a condom" line. that one always works

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    10. I made a comic relevant to the comments above:

      http://i.imgur.com/iCve7.png

      Do you pity me now, people? DO YOU PITY ME??? HAVE I TOUCHED YOUR HEARTS WITH MY DEEP, POIGNANT COMMENTARY ON THIS TOPIC????

      ...heartless bastards, all of you.

      P.S. Hi joee!

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    11. Your poignant commentary on this topic crushed my heart. I am now indeed a heartless bastard.

      P.S. Hi glasnt!

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  56. It's fun to witness compassion die on an anonymous hate blog. It makes you feel like a relatively better human being.

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    1. I feel the same way when masturbating over snuff films. At least I'm not the person who made the film, right?

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    2. 13 masochist much

      oh lol 54

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    3. Great, now they're construing some moronic counter by disregarding context.

      It's *sad to witness compassion die on an anonymous hate blog. You're all cunts.

      Better?

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    4. @37

      You're silly lol

      Also, stupid.

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  57. Replies
    1. I don't get it.

      Hey, while I'm at it, how do you guys check the latest comments on this blog? Is there a convenient way other than to scroll down the entire page and read the last comment of each thread?

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    2. hard work and sacrifice

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    3. Hmmmmmmm.

      Oh well, who needs a life anyway.

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  58. I checked the xkcd forums to see the SirMustapha post people were talking about. Why does this Frost chick have her number of posts listed as 0 when I was just reading one of her posts?

    Incidentally, whenever I go there, I'm reminded of how appropriate the "echochamber" logo at the top is, though I suppose most forums are like that.

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  59. I notice a rather large number of posters who seem to have joined to post about how much they appreciate this comic. Not to mention the people who were already here that are posting their appreciation for it.

    I don't know what festering cesspool of negativity makes you incapable of seeing this as anything other than an intentional marketing ploy, but I hope one day you can make peace with it.

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    1. I don't know... I've got mixed feelings about this comic. Magical words "She's doing well" and people piss themselves happy in the forums or go "yeah, totally, this comic is such an elaborate truth that only us burdened few with relatives struck by cancer know". Whoa! Big family illness suddenly takes up most of your world when you gotta live with it? Shocking.
      Although I do get why he made it and what he probably felt. Just... you know, when she's doing well after two years, that's like.. expected. It's all good for a while and it just seems it's one of those cases when the cancer's just gone. And then suddenly BAM and ... well... then people go "I'm so sorry for your huge loss".

      As I'm saying, I'm probably around neutral position on the comic itself - it's just forum replies that baffle me so much. I don't mean to come off as the grumpy person who just puts negativism everywhere until the darkness consumes him, but guess what - most people with cancer die. Just like that. No justification or anything. Sure it makes you feel nice and warm to expect the best out of anything, but guess what: it just shock you that much more when it happens as it usually does - instead of all the happyends this very case deserves or whatever.

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    2. Have you considered joining the medical profession? I bet those doctors could really use someone who actually knows anything about cancer, such as yourself, because clearly they're not doing a very good job of realistically explaining it to their patients.

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    3. Well, even if you didn't mean to "come off as the grumpy person who just puts negativism everywhere until the darkness consumes him," you absolutely did. I'll clue you in on something: Everybody with cancer dies. But everybody without cancer dies, too. You "know" someday you are going to die, but I bet you rarely if ever think about it. If you did, your life would be quite a bit harder. A cancer diagnosis forces you to stare death in the face, drives it right to the front of your consciousness. That was kinda the point of this comic. It's one thing to "know" that every time you go outside, there is a very small chance that you will get shot and killed. It's another to walk around all the time with a gun to your head and not knowing when or even if it will go off.

      One thing that can help keep you grounded when dealing with something like this is empathy, knowing that you aren't alone, that there is someone else out there that knows where you are because they've been there themselves. The cool thing about it is that it works both ways. The person who is currently in the shit can look at someone who has come out the other side and say to themselves "Look, there is hope," but the person who has suffered through this and found some sort of peace can gain solace from the fact that they can help people who are suffering now; it gives their own ordeal a sort of purpose, rather than being some random shitty thing that happened and nothing good will ever come from.

      Empathy is one of the best aspects of humanity. Please try to remember that when another fit of cynicism threatens to take hold. Otherwise, you are in for a sad, lonely existence.

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    4. After having had time to digest the comic itself, I also wondered why pre-cancer there was "other" and post-cancer there's "??". Very interesting. I like the theories so far as to what Randall is doing here:

      Pregnant? Look at the bump (pun intended) in romance, followed by something which gets a sizeable chunk pretty fast. Yes, sizeable ... romance is the only thing besides cancer, and this mystery item is given pretty much equal weight compared to romance. Consider it this way: what type of major event would shock / seriously affect someone who's dealing / dealt with cancer? That's a short list, and "baby" would be up there.
      Numbness/shock ... not great words, really, but the general idea is that after having fought (and still fighting) this battle, with so much emotional energy drained, the new "normal" existence has a fair bit of disorientedness, lacking even in common terms for its description: he can't even describe how he feels, because he now lives so far outside of his original frame of reference. Thus it's a placeholder for confusion.
      Batman villain? He's in battle with The Riddler, of course. Though then it should be green, IMHO.


      I'm going with # 1 ... and note, whatever this is, the item really grew (in emotional bandwidth, and yes another pun intended) in August or September, which is darn close to 9 months ago. On the other hand, it seems whatever this is seems to have started shortly after the cancer battle - late 2010. Did they decide so quickly into the cancer battle that they wanted kids? I wouldn't expect that, but then I don't know the details.

      But if not pregnancy, it could be they were dealing with infertility. Come to think of it, infertility could be the mystery item itself, and the event last fall might have been a major setback. I can relate to that.

      I suppose there's a door # 3 to this option: it's not pregnancy, and it's not infertility; it's another disease, or major life-complication / problem. I hope not.

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    5. I think what we're all wondering is: if the cancer causes a sufficiently late miscarriage, will Randall take advantage of Megan's full mammaries?

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    6. nobody is wondering that because we all know that he will

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    7. Who wouldn't? It's the silver lining. You don't need to fetishise such an opportunity to take advantage of it.

      Doesn't breast cancer potentially inhibit lactation, though? There may not be any harvest to take advantage of in any case.

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  60. Comic 1049 is fucking accurate.

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    1. It's the first xkcd to get a chuckle out of me in a while. It's good to see Randy expanding his GOOMH-bait.

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  61. Hey, 1049 is pretty funny! Maybe blowing off a bit of steam in 1048 actually helped.

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    1. A bunch of people at the xkcd forum object to it because they like Atlas Shrugged. I dunno, lots of people like lots of things... maybe they could just pretend it's a book they do think is terrible? The joke works just as well no matter what book it's deriding.

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  62. Robbie seems very proud he got the marijuana implications and that he knows some "street slang". I don't do drugs so that didn't occur to me.

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