Died in a Blogging Accident has lived up to its name and died... in a blogging accident. That is to say it has concluded. You can still re-live the magic by clicking here to start at chapter 1. For genuine criticism of XKCD, please click the top link to the right (XKCD Isn't Funny).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Comic 920: YouTube, Bruté?


This is Ravenzomg with your review of this thing about this thing called "YouTube Parties" which I'm sure you are all aware of/active participants in.

Title: YouTube Parties. Tooltip: That reminds me of that video where ... no? How have you not seen that? Oh man, let me find it. No, it's okay, we can go back to your video later.

So. It's July 1st and three of us are waiting around at someone's place between "events" in the course of our National Celebration.

And I can't get this song/animation out of my head, so I suggest we look it up.

My friend then suggests, "oh, there's this 5-second film you have to see..."

Long story short, everyone thinks their interests are the shit. Everyone. And this comic communicates this idea.

This comic is like a thing that happened.


Okay, I don't want to stray into ad hominem attacks. But my complaint about this comic is the concept of "YouTube Parties". In my anecdote, we ended up watching four videos for a grand total of maybe 8 minutes before deciding to watch the pilot of a children's show from the early 2000s, and from there we ended up going downtown for various Festivities.

But he's created this idea of the "YouTube Party", where a group of people (here there are five of these Void Creatures) gather and watch videos as the Title Event. They plan it enough to turn off the lights to watch (Randall has put in the effort of shading to show us that this is, indeed, in the dark).

So this opens up two venues:
1) This "YouTube Party" is a real thing that exists, and people ARE in fact this awful and lame.
2) "YouTube Party" is a made-up thing and Randall had to create this bizarrely anti-social situation to illustrate a point that is pretty unambiguous.

I can't touch 1 without calling boring people boring, and I can't touch 2 without saying something you've all heard in 918, namely, "Why don't you understand human context".

Sooo, let's change tact.

Notice that he says "YouTube Parties" as the title, and then "titles" the comic in the image "The Problem With YouTube Parties". Now, I understand some people only get the image and not the title.

But does Randall actually need to spell it out? It's as if he's afraid we won't "get it", and it's honestly the sort of redundant condescension that borders on "irritating".

Is there any ambiguity about the setting here? There's a group of people around a laptop; a bottle and glass are on the table; the first figure mentions that they're watching [or will watch] a "video", and the punchline takes off from there. The fact that it may or may not be a "YouTube Party" is just needless name-dropping baggage, especially given that YouTube is the third most popular website on the internet and when people below the age of 30 say "video" in connection with a computer, you probably think "YouTube" [minus the Party] all on your own.

Randall used to get the idea.

Don't let the presence of a human-ish figure fool you, this was comic#46. He didn't put on a caption "The problem with being Emo" or whatever, he let it stand on its own and make its statement!

The tooltip just elaborates on the joke in a slightly different way, but a) that's par for the course and b) the tooltip, if unoffensive, is basically a "freebie" anyways.

So all in all, he has nice potential in this comic, but he's SMOTHERING IT. There is a talented man in there somewhere, and he I still believe deep down that he just needs an editor to help him escape.


  1. too much crap


    less crap

  2. Maybe there'd be no ambiguity if there was just a big sign on the wall that said 'PARTY'.

  3. I've noticed that Randy is putting much more effort into his drawings lately. Colour, shading, background, etc. It's a good thing, although he's still got a long way to go.

  4. I agree about the title- it was unnecessary, because who seriously has YouTube parties? But I actually liked the comic itself and sort of laughed at it, if only for recognition, since I basically AM one of those losers, even if we never actually called it a "YouTube Party." I always seem to end up having these fwbs that I hardly ever have sex with, and instead most of our time together is spent doing random nerdy activities. I live with one of my fwbs, and the last time my other fwb came over we like spent the whole time playing Mario Party. But I used to have this other, totally different fwb, and this former fwb would always come over and spend the night with me and the one I live with, and somehow the three of us would ALWAYS end up getting drunk and watching YouTube videos for hours. And the situation in the comic was basically exactly how it was for me, because they liked the most horrible videos and I'd just be sitting there waiting for them to be over so I could show my video. One time I had to watch a Puzzelshipping video set to the tune of "My Heart Will Go On." So I dunno, I ended up finding the comic funny.

  5. I swear if you write "fwb" one more time...

  6. ".....Sooo, let's change tact....."

    Is this one of your near-homophonic malapropisms designed to evoke something or other?

  7. i'm just here to ask who the fuck is "Bruté". could you possibly mean the roman senator Brute?

    it's shit like this that makes you laugh when an american tries to pull an "i know a bunch of greek" in a thread about acrostics.

  8. @Chaos: Don't get me wrong, I can sympathize with this comic's message. And it is relatively okay, hence the "nice potential" comment. It just needs... trimming.

    We are pretty well all here because we were once 100% the geeks in these comics, and just because the percentage drops off doesn't mean we can't run into the odd comic that fits us.

    If I didn't think more of you it would sound like you were just using this as an excuse to brag about your veritable harem à la 684, but w/e I am giving you a pass even if you do use that bizarre acronym that I didn't understand until I read into the context of your post. Also as the resident ex-religious nut I feel obligated to say you make baby Jesus cry, etc etc etc.

    @Anon154: Thank the gods you came, sir, or I would've forever been in the dark about this mystery! No longer, for the solution is available. Mystery. Solved.

  9. Randall left a link on that comic page that acknowledged the existence of a similar, previously-done joke. IIRC that was some sort of complaint that got its own article on the no-hyphen blog.

  10. Yeah I was totally drunk and high when I made that post. Not high as in "oh I smoked some weed," but high on vicodin, which is legitimately prescribed to me, and which I don't have to taken very often. I guess you're not supposed to mix it with alcohol, but it doesn't seem to give me any problems...other than the fact that I make stupid comments about my personal life on the internet when I do it XD.

    But, yeah, I agree with what you say- the comic had potential and would have been better if the unnecessary stuff was left out.

  11. Bruté is a French guy who killed a Spanish guy, César.

  12. Bruté is the much cooler senator that believed in diacritic marks. His recorded last words, "By all means must we fly; not with our feet, however, but with our hands!" were, of course, a reference to disc jockeying which he himself had just founded.