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).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Comic 935: Randall's List

I know that by putting this review up so soon after Jon's bingo post might hide it from people, so, if you're into xkcd fora bingo, take a look here. It's good stuff.

And now, onto today's comic.

Title: Missed Connections; alt-text: The Street View van isn't going to find out anything Google won't already know from reading my email.

Hmm...this looks kind of familiar. Where have I seen this before...

Oh. Right. Comic 886.

You know, that one was bad, but it still was better than this one. Comic 886 came from a time when Randall was too lazy to use a ruler to draw lines, but at least attempted to recreate the search fields on Craigslist. Guess that's too much work these days.

Anyway, this comic has -

No, hold on, I can't let this go yet. This is a LIST COMIC. "Drawing" it involved ONLY writing. How do you not have the time to make the header look tolerable? What is this? How LAZY do you have to be to make a comic like this, look at it, and think, "Yeah, that's probably good"? It's shorter than the apartments one as well, with exactly half the entries. Come on, Randall, if you can't give us quality, as least give us quantity. Make it look like you put SOME effort into your strip.


This comic has some wicked show-don't-tell issues; that is, Randall thinks of an arguably "humorous" interaction, and writes it down. Do we get to see it? Do we get context? Do we get a setup? No, no, and no. Although, to be fair, when Randall does start with a punchline and nothing else, he generally destroys it in trying to cram in a hastily written setup. Because of that, some might say this is an improvement. Unfortunately, a 60 is an improvement from a 50, but they're both still failing grades. An improvement from Randall at this point means jack squat.

Furthermore, the way I understand it (I've never used Craigslist), people use the "Missed Connections" section not just for the literal documenting of a missed connection, but also because they want to meet the person again. Why would a person avoiding a car accident care about hooking up with the driver? Why would a husband need to use this to MEET HIS WIFE? How would the wishing well killer EVER get a response? Everyone who goes there is a silhouette to him! Half of these don't even make sense.

Then of course there are the "lol google knows about you" jokes that aren't really funny. I thought I remembered some recent (but not THAT recent) commentary on Google reading emails, so I did a quick search. The oldest relevant article (on the front page!) is from 2007. Google Street View? Released the same year. It would be one thing if these privacy concerns are fresh, but they're not. All the jokes about Google's ubiquitousness have been done.

The only possible excuse I can think of for these constant dated references is that Randall has a big stack of ideas he's written long ago in case he can't think of something. But, as that's clearly not the case, I guess we can just chalk it up to Randall being a lazy, out of touch sham of a webcartoonist.


  1. "....How would the wishing well killer EVER get a response? Everyone who goes there is a silhouette to him!...."

    Who said he was a killer? Who said 'he' was a 'he'? Perhaps instead of killing grievous bodily harm - with or without specific intent - was contemplated?
    Besides, not EVERYONE who goes there would be a silhouette to him/her - think long and hard about that.


    Post Scriptum:
    Nice to see you used the word 'anyway' without appending the letter 'S'. I hate it when the morass of unlettered do that.

  2. What kind of fucked up country do you live in where both 60 and 50 are failing grades?


    This is bad and you should feel bad.

  3. What kind of country do you live in where they AREN'T?

  4. Guys, I totally posted my 'xkcd does CADbortion' comic on the xkcd fora.

    Come see it.

    Notes: the thread is intended for xkcd edits/parodies. I am a regular contributor to that thread. Randall himself used to read it, and loves it.

  5. Jon Levi, I'm going to be honest, that was totally super lame.



  6. Jon Levi, I'm going to be honest, that was totally super cool.



  7. Since when did revealing your forum identity on an xkcd hate blog become okay?

    I don't think it's okay.

  8. Gamer, we all know that Randall's audience is highschoolers where you can pass with a 50, or sometimes even a 45.

    Also I'm not really sure what you're talking about, since I can pass a course with a 50 or a 60, even if I'll end up failing my program should this persist. And since we're talking about individual comics the analogue is a lot more sensibly "courses". So yes he's failing the "program" [read: webcomicking in general], but they're not both "failing grades" since we're talking about comics/courses, not programs/jobs.

    And actually, that supports my thoughts in general. Neither of these comics are particularly poor, and I even think they're okay maybe. But if the mediocrity persists, eventually fans and anti-fans will drop off out of sheer disinterest.

    Except not really, because geeks are pretty stubborn

  9. Oh, and to answer your post, a 60 was the lowest passing grade in my (public) high school, but anything below a 70 failed in my college.

  10. that is just

    so weird.


    I have to keep a 65%+ average to pass my program, but any course above 50% still gets me my credits [at university].

    But the real problem with Randall's comic is that real Missed Connections manage to be more entertaining than his manufactured ones.

  11. Y'know, I kind of liked the original craigslist comic. It didn't involve any actual drawing, but it made me chuckle. "Contains all new wiring and is a submarine." Heh.

    This one really didn't even have that. I had to read the entries closely and laboriously to figure out what he was trying to get at, some of them I still don't get (wishing well? harpoon?) and the ones I do get are just "oh" or maybe "meh." None of them so much as made me smile.

    Hey randall, remember that comic you did with the punchline "communicating badly on purpose does not make you clever?" Communicating badly by accident doesn't, either.