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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Comics 1268-1276: XKCD-SUCKS TRIPLE BUMPER EDITION!

Comic 1276: Angular Size


I want to like this comic, I really do. And I would like it, if it weren't for this one great big glaring error that I just can't look past.


You ignorant yankee schmendrick, Randall! The UK does not have any 'freeways'. We have motorways. It's like a freeway, except you drive on the left. I cannot understate the importance of this simple semantic error. You have disfigured an otherwise good comic with this grotesque transatlantic slur. FFFFFFFFF----------------------- for failing to brit-pick.

Ah, it's good to be back.

In all seriousness though, I should mark this comic down for being poster bait. But it's not visually appealing enough to be a poster. I don't personally think there is anything wrong with poster bait. They are usually the best Xkcd comics. However, I would get tired of looking at them if they were on my wall. Do I get annoyed that other people spend their hard-earned cash on them? Of course, but there will always be meshuginas in the world.

Comic 1275: int(pi)


F for dumb programming joke. A for it actually being quite good. F- for terrible artwork that should have been replaced by plain text. A+ for great alt text that should have been part of the actual comic. 

Comic 1274: Open Letter


Ughh, F for dumb programming... no wait, that's the previous comic. In that case I make it an F for plain text artwork. D for wall of text. C+ for a good joke, and B+ for it being topical.

To be honest though, topicality can go fuck itself. I prefer timeless to topical. And when every other news site is spitting out terrible knee-jerk reactions that will forgotten a day later, one begins to question how important it is for content to be current up to the hour.

And most of an Xkcd comic's audience probably comes from people looking through the archives, fingers on the random button until they can be sure they have seen every single one, and they don't care when they were made.

The best things last. Topical content is nice if we come across it years after the fact and it reminds us of the event. But its importance is overstated, particularly by detractors like me.

Comic 1273: Tall Infographics


A+ for taking a dig at infographic designers! This is also a field Randall himself has dabbled in, so A for self-deprecation. Another A for effective use of colour in an Xkcd comic (haven't had that for a while). I've said it before, but if every comic was like this, then there would be no Xkcd-sucks.

Comic 1272: Shadowfacts


C- for a rather silly Lord of the Rings reference, which I probably would have appreciated more if I'd remembered that Gandalf's horse is called Shadowfax, instead of mentally analysing the comic for a few minutes and coming to that conclusion. Still, I can understand the humour if you had heard the name 'Shadowfax', and thought that it sounds a bit like 'Shadowfacts', and then saw this comic. C+ for GOOMH-bait. B for the punchline of 'Shut up.' It's a cliche, I know, but when used in the right context, it's instant laughter.

Comic 1271: Highlighting


Yes, it's GOOMH-bait, but it's good GOOMH-bait. So have an A. You don't have to be a person who obsessively highlights text to appreciate the funnyness of this comic, but someone who has done anything a bit like this will understand the general idea.

Unfortunately, the joke is presented in a somewhat opaque way. It's difficult to see what it's about until you read the punchline. So that's a C- for clarity. Let me know in the comments if you found it as difficult to read. In fact, post anything in the comments. I'm so alone.

Comic 1270: Functional


I can't tell who is supposed to be the butt of this joke. My logical side is telling me that the stick figure sitting at computer is being mocked for his weird programming fetish. On the other hand, White Hat is always drawn as Randall's strawman, so are we mocking him. But if that's true then there is no joke really. Let's just call it an F for lack of a joke. F- for stick figures sitting at computers, AGAIN. And B+ for good alt text.

Comic 1269: Privacy Opinions


Since this is a multi-part comic, I'll review it in multiple parts. C for the philosopher. A for the crypto nut, because those people deserve to be mocked. B for the conspiracist, although conspiracy jokes are a little overplayed. C for the Nihilist. So are nihilism jokes. A+ for the exhibitionist. It's predictable, but I stand by the fact that this is the best humour Xkcd has to offer. D for the sage, and Beret's complete lack of character traits.

Comic 1268: Alternate Universe


B for the panel. A for the alt text. Again, I feel he could have done more with this premise, and the humorous potential idea of living in an alternate universe where only a few things are different. This should have been a multi-panel comic, not a single panel throwaway. For that, I'm giving it a D- for wasted potential

28 comments:

  1. I hate you for being so late with reviewing (YOU SHOULD BE ON THE INTERNET EVERY FUCKING DAY IF YOU'RE GOING TO DO THIS JOB PROPERLY) and I also hate you for liking 1275, which is meaningless and awful.

    I don't even get 1276.

    I guess you're allowed to like 1273, because not everyone spends as much time as me thinking that all graphic designers since 1980 are shit, and that one day we'll get over this all-glass-or-brushed-metal-or-solid-colours I-feel-so-empty-I-have-to-buy-crap approach to design.

    The rest were crap as usual.

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    1. How do you know I'm not on the Internet 'EVERY FUCKING DAY' and I spend most of that time avoiding you guys? If you wanted more reviews that badly, you could have sent me a guest post. I left my email address in plain sight, and I haven't had one email, not even a spam one. Poor effort, guys.

      I'm not sure how you don't get 1276. What's to get? It's not a joke, it's an infographic. These happen when Randall learns a fascinating piece of science trivia and decides his readers should know it too. Since the idea of angular sizes is new to me, I don't mind. (The ice sheets one though, what the fuck?) I guess the only thing close to a punchline is "Dude, the Voyager probes are like sooooo far away." which I have heard before. And they're actually a lot closer than most of the stars in the panel above. They just have a smaller angular size because, oh I dunno, they're tiny manmade objects that are a lot smaller than stars.

      Delete
    2. Angular diameter may be interesting to people who lack the nous to have thought about it, but Randall is mapping angular diameter to the size of things on the earth's surface, assuming an observer at the centre of the earth. This is arbitrary.

      Delete
    3. Also I'm not sure why you think it's acceptable to be on the Internet EVERY FUCKING DAY yet not also respond to queries posted on your blog within 24 hours.

      I value my time on your web site at thruppence a minute and you, Sir, owe me sixpence.

      Delete
    4. I can assure you I waste more time on this site than you do. That last blog post took me an hour and a half to write. YOU SHOULD BE PAYING ME.

      Delete
  2. What scale are you grading at? Is it relative to XKCD, or meant to be some kind of absolute grading? Because if an A+ is meant to say "this is the best XKCD has to offer (and therefore still kind of meh)," I can see where you're coming from. But if A+ is meant to say "this is among the best things humanity has ever produced," I have to question your logic.

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    1. A+ is a good Xkcd, maybe even a great one. But you're right. I don't think anything Randall has produced anything that is worthy of being called humanity's best, barring the ass-car one perhaps.

      Delete
  3. 1270 does have a joke, you just missed it (again). Recursion, X being its own Y, har har. C at best. But still, a joke.

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    1. F- for explaining the joke, RANDALL.

      Delete
    2. Unlike Randall, a useful recursive algorithm stops eventually.

      Delete
  4. THANK YOU JON LEVI for saying what I was going to say about 'freeway'. FUCK YOU, MUNROE. I live in london, I fucking hate it, but even though I fucking hate it I find this xkcd fucking OFFENSIVE. fuck off and talk about your fucking american shit like you usually do, you talentless twat.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah! FUCK YOU AMERICA! And fuck your aluminum and your sulfur!

      Delete
  5. also, ha he had a fucking star named after himself? the fucking egocentric fucking tosser

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    1. Someone else named an asteroid after him, weasel.

      http://blog.xkcd.com/2013/09/30/asteroid-4942-munroe/

      Randall may be many things, but egocentric is hardly one of them.

      Delete
    2. Please, we are all egocentric in our own ways.

      Although the fact that someone went as far as to name an asteroid after Randall Munroe, in perhaps the ultimate act of fanboy fellatio, makes me wonder how many Xkcd fans have named their children after him.

      Delete
    3. I hope an alien will examine our catalogue of space exploration, see that someone named a thing after the author of xkcd, and destroy us all immediately. I'm not normally one for gruop punishment, but I deserve this.

      Delete
    4. sorry anon, but even if someone else named it, putting it in his shitty 'comic' is egocentric as FUCK

      Delete
    5. sorry anon, but even if someone else named it, putting it in his shitty 'comic' is egocentric as FUCK

      Delete
    6. And no one thought to name it after me, what a shame. 4942 Levi has a nice ring to it.

      Delete
  6. Typical old world backwardness. In Australia we have motorways and we have freeways and we have highways and we have goaways (the last one is for use by refugees).

    Not sure about the difference. I think the motorways are generally tolled or something

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  7. MY HOBBY!! I REALLY DO THIS FOR REALZ!! ITZ MMMYYY HOOOOOOBBBBBYYYYYYY!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Yes, it's GOOMH-bait, but it's good GOOMH-bait."

    Is it? My initial reaction to 1271 was that it was truly the weirdest and most specific GOOHMR bait that xkcd has ever seen. "Surely no-one will rise to this?" thought I. But then I remembered that xkcd's fans are composed almost entirely of nerds with OCD who were reduced to tears by 1106, and, sure enough, 1271's forum thread is littered with anecdotes from cuddlefish who apparently can't even highlight text on a webpage without it being neat und tidy.

    Nice to have you back, Jon.

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  9. I, too, found 1271 pretty unintelligible until after the point where the joke would no longer be funny after I figured out what it was.

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  10. In 1272, the joke is that pedantry is annoying. The irony of that is worth a chuckle though I doubt that was intentional.

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  11. The Sage in 1269 is anything but. Hey, news flash, Randall: data is NOT imaginary. You of all people should know that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Just because it's imaginary, doesn't mean it doesn't exist."

      Delete