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).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Comic 924: Concerning Penises

No, it's not what you think. Randall has not actually drawn a penis, so the score is still (if memory serves) 2-0 in favor of female genitalia. But, even without such an inclusion, the comic still sucks. Imagine that.

Title: 3D Printer; alt-text: I just can't wait for the Better Homes and Gardens list of helpful tips for household reuse of sixteen-inch acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene phalluses.

So, 3D printing. Randall has just found out about it via Wikipedia (as evidenced by his listing of the actual material names in the alt-text to sound smart), and he thought, "Gee, how can I make this funny?" Problem is, 3D printing isn't inherently funny, so Randy has to come up with some WACKY application for it before his 12:00AM EST deadline. That didn't happen (the deadline part, anyway). Instead, we get the idea that once dildos can be made cheaply, they'll be mass mailed to everyone. REALLY?? That's where you took this, Randall? A whole world of opportunities, and that's the BEST you could come up with? Holy balls but you make my job easy sometimes.

Listen, I'm no expert on spam email. I never see it, so I could be wrong on this next point. However, I'm pretty sure that the "enlarge your penis" mails (man the ads for this post are going to be OFF THE CHAIN) are just text. "Buy this pill! Get these results!" I'm pretty sure that they don't actually give before and after example pictures. In other words, they don't rely on showing you what you could look like, and therefore wouldn't send out plastic models. Also, just because you can make something cheaply doesn't mean you can distribute it cheaply. The fact that that should go without saying just proves how stupid this idea is. If spam doesn't even contain PICTURES of enlarged penises even now, it sure as heck is never going to contain the actual thing.

If that wasn't enough, we also have the girl's (does the blond ponytail chick have a name yet? we should give her one) ridiculous "I give it a week" statement. What? Aside from the fact that her response SHOULD be "Oh my gosh. He's psycho," the sentence itself makes no sense here. Is widespread deployment of rapid prototyping machines going to take a week? If so, why didn't she say that in the first panel? If not, just what the heck does she mean? While there is in fact a point where you can say, "Okay, 3D printers have had widespread deployment now," the actual threshold is a good deal more hazy. "A week" from that hazy threshold means jack squat.

It's really the sort of line that could work if the setup was different; that is, if there had been some headline like "recent advance allows average Joe to afford a 3D printer," THEN it would make sense. There's a clear-cut, "things are different now" starting point. "Google+ has been made open to the public. How long do you think it'll be before it hits 10 million users?" "I give it a week." THAT works. This doesn't.

Oh, and the alt-text is boring and stupid and again fails to apply. Did Better Homes and Gardens ever release a "helpful tips for reusing those AOL disks" list? No? Alright then.

So, in short, Randall took an unfunny idea, pulled off a wicked non sequitur with it, and just left it at that. You know what real cartoonists do when they can't think of a funny twist on an idea? They drop it and look for something else. You know what Randy does? He thinks, "Oh balls it's 2AM, I have to upload SOMETHING," and calls it a day. Is it any wonder xkcd sucks?

P.S. Why is that guy holding a wrench? Is he building a 3D printer? Is it a model he's replicating? Who knows?


  1. " the score is still (if memory serves) 2-0 in favor of female genitalia. But, even without such an inclusion, the comic still sucks..."

    If that be the case, should not the comic 'lick' rather than 'suck'?

  2. The wrench comes from the video below, which has gone viral in geek circles recently, and is obviously where Randy got his inspiration for this comic.

  3. It's a spanner, actually.
    Or that's what the Brits would call it.

  4. I think he is saying that when all people will have 3D printers connected to their computers and regularly distribute 3D models by email for replication in their own home fabricators... [some logical leap only Randall could make] ... people will somehow inadvertently print these 3D penii that are being spammed to everyone.

  5. I assumed he was holding a wrench to indicate that he was an engineer, but Anon1238's explanation also is pretty good.

  6. I think the idea is that it's a 3D fax machines.

  7. Are you sure Better Homes and Gardens has never published ideas for using AOL discs? I wouldn't be surprised if they had. Maybe that issue got lost in the post... I'd demand a refund on my ten year subscription if I were you.

  8. Let's hope that CTRLH never finds out about this place, although I may be Tempting Fate.

    Captcha: hyper. Does this even need explaining?

  9. If he does, I'll just delete all of his posts as they come in. I have admin powers, after all (something Rob doesn't have).

  10. Jon Levi, I only have 2 issues with you, bro.

    1. You link to tvtropes way too fucking much. I know, it's useful for explaining certain uncommon or rarely-encountered concepts, but "tempting fate"? Really? Who wouldn't know what that meant. It's a common-ass phrase. I get that this blog mainly panders to retards and neckbeards (i.e. gamer2k4) but still.

    2. Your last name seems to indicate Jewish origin. If this is not so and I am mistaken, I will gladly withdraw my claim. I really hope I am wrong, you know. I'd hate to have read the writings of a kike.

  11. Obvious troll... *sigh* is obvious.

  12. Thanks to Jon Levi's research, the blonde girl's name is now Sarah. NOTE THIS FOR FUTURE REFERENCE.