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Monday, October 21, 2013

Comics 1277-1279: My Secret Shame

If you are using a mobile device, then email me and I will personally send the alt texts to you. I am not even joking.

Comic 1279: Reverse Identity Theft


This is a good idea, ruined by bad execution. I would have liked to see a multi-panel comic in which someone with an email address in the format of firstname.lastname@ gets a deluge of emails from services he/she never signed up for, and eventually pieces together the puzzle at the same time as the reader does. But instead, this skips to the conclusion of the story. Randall gets paid by the poster, not by the panel.

B+ for idea. D+ for timing. D for wall of text. D- for essay length alt text. F for general laziness. And DETENTION for Gizmodo repost.

You may think I'm being too harsh, but I have noticed a lot of xkcds lately that fall flat because I don't actually realise what they're about until I read the punchline, and then I have to re-read the rest of the comic to complete the joke. It's sloppy. Someone brought up this same point about 1271 last week, and I have to agree.

Comic 1278: Giraffes


Now this is what I prefer to see from an xkcd comic. Simple yet effective. It's science-y, but not confusing or intrinsic. B for humour, which is enhanced by an A for standalone value. A for delivery - you don't need to overcomplicate a joke like this, and he didn't. C for the 'my hobby' format, which I feel it didn't really apply to this comic as much as some of the others.

Comic 1277: Ayn Random


I don't want to admit that I liked this comic. So I'll just get the grades out of the way first. F for people sitting at computers. D+ for stilted dialog. D- for White Hat as the obvious straw-man. F- for the external reference that will confuse many readers.

For those who don't know, Ayn Rand is an author who wrote some very preachy (and boring) books, most notably Atlas Shrugged (which Randall once referenced in comic 1049). He basically said that people are better when they work on their own and don't try to help each other. He explained the amount of unfairness in the world by saying that some people are intrinsically better than others. There. You've learned something. Did that make the comic funnier? No. You had to know that BEFORE you read the comic.

Fortunately for me, I already knew that. AND I LAUGHED MY FUCKING HEAD OFF. And it was an annoyingly high-pitched laugh. You haven't heard my laugh, but it sounds just like British comedian Jimmy Carr's famously annoying howl. It is the sort of thing that can't really be described in mere words, but this video will do:


I feel dirty now. I'm not sure if I can carry on as an Xkcd reviewer with the knowledge of this out in the public. Please tell me in the comments if there are any other Xkcd comics you laughed at, but shouldn't have. It might make me feel better.

27 comments:

  1. Wait, no comments yet? Whoa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could have said first when you had the chance. What stopped you?

      Delete
  2. Jon Levi, I got the Ayn Rand joke too. Maybe the reason I didn't laugh is that I don't consider it a particularly obscure a piece of knowledge.

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  3. Ayn Rand was a woman. Other than that, I agree with your analyses.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yo nitwit, I've seen you be ignorant before, and let you know via comments.
    But fucking referring to Ayn Rand as "he" fucking takes the fucking cake.
    By the way, she was referenced, by name, at least twice in The Simpsons. So you can't say she and her works can't be regarded as common knowledge.
    You could have done something here, Jonny boy. You could have cracked something about "Ayn Randall generator". But no. You had to go the ignorant douche way. For shame. F-.

    ReplyDelete
  5. JAN LOOVI UR SO DUMUMDDUMDUMDUMD DIDNT U KNO THAT AYN RANDD WAZ A WEMAN UR SOO FEKIN STOOPOD GOD OH I CANT BARE IT NE MOREEE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your suffering is exquisite.

      Delete
    2. Jan Loovi is more of a woman than Ayn Rand, you misogynist.

      Delete
  6. 1279: "Older people"?
    1278: In what way does the "my hobby" format improve this sort of idea?
    1277: The alt-text certainly suggests a fun quiz show idea. Maybe it could air in the Stephen Kingdom. It would be great unless we all die of Sir Albert Boredom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the stereotype that old people are bad with computers has yet to be conclusively disproven. Hence 1279.

      My point with 1278 is that it doesn't improve the idea. Hence why I ranked it as the weakest aspect of an otherwise strong comic. I shoulda made that more clear.

      Delete
  7. you changed the layout and i hate it. you suck jon levi

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    Replies
    1. What's so bad about it? (inb4: everything)

      Delete
    2. I'm not gonna lie. I did not notice that typo until you pointed it out. I assure you it was unintentional.

      Will I correct it? No. Will I leave it up as a now-intentional effort to troll the internet grammar Gestapo? Oh hell yes.

      Delete
  8. 1278 is just more of Randall's dinosaur worship.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure how 'pathological fear' crosses over into 'worship', given his past attitude towards velociraptors, but who am I to understand what goes in in Randall's head?

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    2. Not exactly an uncommon feature of religions.

      Delete
  9. I stand by my comment that if the devil were real, he would look like Jimmy Carr.

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  10. jon levi post the review

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  11. Levi has usurped rob for greatness. If it is in size or merit, we must wait and see.

    ReplyDelete