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, August 3, 2011

Comic 933: Cancer is the new Wikipedia

Title: Tattoo; alt-text: I calculate that the electrons in radiation therapy hit you at 99.8% of the speed of light, and the beam used in a 90-second gamma ray therapy session could, if fired with less precision, kill a horse (they did not let me test this).

Well, all the fanfiction was right. Megan's the one with cancer. And SHE LOVES IT.

You know, I've tried to hold off on making fun of Randall's situation. Cancer sucks, and you never want anyone to get it. Even if you hate someone or their work, it's crossing the line to make fun of an illness in their family.

BUT HOLY BALLS RANDALL. Give it a freaking rest already! I never thought I'd hope for a return to the Wikipedia comics, but please. Bring them on. I'm sick and tired of hearing about cancer. And you know what, maybe it's not even that. Maybe I'm just sick and tired of awful, awful comics that use cancer their focal point.

And that's what this is: an awful comic. The strip is little more than "Want to see my tattoo?" "I HAVE CANCER" "You're right, my tattoo sucks." You know why you should hate barbed wire tattoos? BECAUSE THEY'RE DOUCHEY. "I need chemotherapy" is NOT a valid form of tattoo oneupmanship. In fact, it's not a valid response to anything except maybe some tool whining about how badly his life sucks. But that's not the setup, is it?

The idea here seems to (maybe?) be that anything, even cancer, can sound freaking awesome if you put it in the right terms. But you know what? IT'S STILL CANCER. Megan is DYING and all the guy can think is, "Gee, no one shoots particles at MY tattoo. I'm so ashamed."

The reaction is completely disproportionate to Megan's already inappropriate boasts. Megan SHOULD have said something like, " got a tattoo to look like a dickhead? Mine is there to SAVE MY LIFE." But she doesn't even mention that side of it! Instead, she just brags about her cancer tat like it's a good thing, and the guy totally buys it. Oh, and what's with the "I'll just put a shirt on" line? Is the barbed wire tattooed across your WAIST or something? Well then you really are a tool. Welcome to Doucheville, population you.

The art? Awful. My biggest issue is the zooming in on that faceless oval of a head. It looks bad. Really bad. And the floating head issue is especially egregious as well, most notably in the second panel. I had thought once that it was just a stylistic choice of Randall's to draw that way, but given the inconsistencies, I'm pretty sure he just draws the bodies first and tries to add a head. Is it really so hard to do it the other way around?

And of course, the alt-text is retarded. Really? They didn't let you test that theory? Man, if only I had some indicator of that, like you using the words "I calculate" instead of "I've proven." Oh wait, you did that? Huh. Guess you're just grabbing at straws for SOME joke, even in the alt-text, since you sure didn't manage to fit one into the strip itself.

I had hoped to be able to use the "worst of xkcd" label sparingly. I guess I should've known better.


  1. "....zooming in on that faceless oval of a face...."

    Faceless oval of a face? How could that be?
    I can understand:
    'zooming in on the faceless oval of an area that would otherwise normally constitute a face if it were not for the abscense of a face and hence it, the area, being indeed without face and in need thereof'

    Clarity, my friend!

  2. Yeah, that was ugly; I was in a rush. I've changed it now.

  3. Also it's 933 not 924 you 2k4 megalomaniac.

  4. whaaaat

    Man, I'm worse than Randall. Fixed.

  5. HOLY BALLS, indeed, Batman, this comic is stupid and infuriating and I WANT IT TO DIE IN A FIRE.

    Cancer, or any other disease, isn't magic or cool or "hardcore". And once she's had the parts of her "that are holding [her] back" removed, she's going to feel weak and shitty because cancer treatment is hell.

  6. I've never spent any time thinking about barbed wire tattoos, or any tattoos for that matter. What exactly makes a barbed wire tattoo douchey? That's an honest question- is there something particular about barbed wire that makes it douchier than any other kind of tattoo?

  7. Argh I hadn't noticed the floatage in panel 2. Cannot unsee

  8. edit: chemotherapy -> radiation therapy