The main focus of this blog is now Died in a Blogging Accident, for which there will be new chapters every week (RSS link above). Click here to start chapter 1. For genuine criticism of XKCD, please click the top link to the right (XKCD Isn't Funny).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Comics 1280-1282: Oh, we're halfway there

Have you heard that they're phasing out alphabetical grades in the British GCSE system? That means their getting rid of the A* grade, and I for one think it's a travesty. Future generations' grades be made better through association with a celestial body. You can rest assured that xkcd-sucks will continue to use alphabetical grades for the foreseeable future. Now on with the reviews.

Comic 1282: Monty Hall

I know it's making reference to a semi-obscure logic problem, yet it's sort of essential to understanding the joke. And it has Beret, second only to Black Hat in his inconsistency as a character. And yet I just can't criticise it. Missing the point of the Monty Hall problem and taking the goat instead strikes like 'typical Beret' and 'something Beret would do'. Furthermore, it's so damn cute. So yeah, A* for just being a perfectly heartwarming comic, and doing what xkcd should do more often. Oh and the alt text is just perfect.

Comic 1281: Minifigs

Liking two xkcds in a row? What's wrong with me? Hear me out here. It may be a graph joke, but it's a good graph joke. A* for concept. The concept of Lego people outnumbering human people is not funny in itself. But it's something that no one else has thought of. Having said that, someone probably has thought of it before. It also gains A* bonus points for being true (probably).

The execution is really great too. This may be a happy accident from the data he's got, but he's labelled the graph so that the label for the 'unfunny' world population graph is what you read first, and then you read the 'funny' data for the world lego population. A for comic timing and data presentation.

B- for the actual punchline though. It feels a little bit like post-punchline dialog, or repeating what the reader already knows. He'd only have to do one thing to improve it. Move the caption to the top, so it's the first thing the reader sees. As it is, the title telegraphs the punchline too much, so maybe change it to something like 'Outnumbered'. Then it would be perfect.

I'm losing it as a critic. I never claimed to be objective, but I can't hate xkcd when I need to. Let's see if the next comic is any improvement...

Comic 1280: Mystery News

Ah, that's more like it. D for concept. E for execution. F for humour. 'Most of my news' is absurdly exaggerated, and not even in a funny way. If I ever get one of those awful auto-playing videos and I can't find the tab it's playing from, I don't stop and listen to it, like this comic implies. F- for implying that anyone would do that, EVER. I usually resort to more drastic measures to avoid listening, like systematically destroying all 6 million tabs pressing the mute button. It would be funny if... no, I got nothing. Also, DETENTION for Gizmodo repost.

Yes I know I'm a week behind. Remaining comics to follow shortly.


  1. 1282, there is aboslutely NOTHING in this comic which enlightens the reader on the Monty Hall problem. You're an idiot, Jon Levi, and so are explainxkcd and the fora. Although fangirls will probably all remember that time they read about the MH problem (because they're all math-fans rather than real mathematicians), the joke goes no further than, "The guy is happy going home with what's supposed to be a bad prize." That's it.

    It's saying WOULDN'T IT BE FUNNY if somebody preferred to win one of the runner-up prizes. LOLOLOL SO WITTY. What next, Randall? Someone happy to have come in 2nd place because the gold would clash with their brushed metal iMac? WIT!

    1281. [number of normal things] [number of hilarious variants] [observation that at some point in the near future, "hilarious variant" will take over] This wasn't even original the first time, Randall.

    1280. You're still too generous here. I'd have been more impressed if Randall had taken a picture of a Type 7 stool, force-fed it to Megan while hiring a naked+masturbating Richard Stallman to video it, then presented a series of stills with the contrast turned right up so all I could see was blocks of white.

    1. 1282 - you're entirely right, and I hate myself for liking 1282. You're probably right about 1281 as well, but I stopped reading at the second bracket clause.

      If you want to see better reviews, there's nothing stopping you from posting yours. I'm not just saying that in a snide "if you want an iOS 6.1.3 jailbreak so much, why don't you code it yourself?" kind of way. I am genuinely interested in representing opinions on this blog that aren't my own. My email address is still up there. And I haven't got any takers yet.

      1280 - I think I speak for the entire hatedom community when I say I'd quite like to see that.

  2. OMG. The blathering ignorance continues.
    This has nothing to do with the Monty Hall math problem. It's just a reference to the actual Monty Hall game show, from which the math problem got its name.
    It's as if there were a comic with a TV talking to a viewer and you'll say, "huh, it's like that show Big Brother".

    1. You're wrong. The Monty Hall game show would not be nerdy enough for xkcd readers to enjoy. Moreover, every explanation I've heard of the Monty Hall logic problem has the two goats and the car, including the Wikipedia article, where Randall most likely got his inspiration from.

    2. You're both wrong. It's a goatse reference. Note the wide gaping passage, the heart representing a wedding ring, and the fact there is a GOAT there should have been a major hint I would think.

    3. All four of us are wrong. It's a dadaist (lol story arc lol) depiction of wildebeest gathering at a watering hole in the Serengeti. And by watering hole I mean your mother's ha'penny. And by wildebeest I mean black cock. And by Serengeti I mean Croydon.

  3. Hey look! xkcd wants us to stop critiquing the societal and economic impact of new technologies! I assume it's because those conversations bore him. And why shouldn't he be bored? He knows all the answers to all the questions and here he has kindly supplied us with all those answers. Thanks xkcd! Now you can go back to memorizing Wikipedia and we don't have to waste all our time thinking about how 3D printers could change what it means to buy or own physical objects in our materialistic society. Whew.

  4. Aren't most of those awful auto-playing videos adverts anyway? Since when did they play news on those things?

    1. Since ages ago. Often at news sites that you might have visited to read an article, but at other places too.

    2. Jan Loovi, you are worse than Gamer_2neckbeard4. Write something I am entitled to the fruits of your womb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Well, I posted the update just for you, Anonymous 2:51, because you asked so nicely.