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Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Comic 948: It's Just You, Megan
Title: AI; alt-text: And they both react poorly to showers.
So, Randall has discovered a particular YouTube video. He thinks it's "hilarious." Obviously he's wrong (it's really not funny at all), but that might explain why he has a similar low standard for xkcd. He probably laughs his nuts off every time he finishes one of his strips. However, that's neither here nor there. The problem with this strip (besides the age-old "not funny" thing) is that the setup is so contrived that the joke loses all of its punch. Randall picks two things that computers can do and one thing they can't, then takes a shot a Burning Man attendees (two shots, counting the alt-text).
I don't really care about the insult all that much (the forums, funnily enough, are a different matter), but when that's all the joke is, it totally falls flat. It reminds me of the alt-text of Comic 764, which, in my mind, is Randall at his absolute douchiest (not helped in any way by the fact that he thinks belatedly adding "Zing!" to the end makes it all better). One forumite suggests changing the target of the joke to computer programmers, which admittedly makes just as much sense. The only reason to single out the Burning Man people is because computers can "drive across the desert." You know what else computers can do? Keep an airplane level. Heck, modern fighter jets and bombers can't be flown otherwise. Oh, but that wouldn't fit in with your little insult, would it Randall? Even the chess thing doesn't really apply (at least, not specifically), so why is it in there? And where does Randall "Do me without a condom" Munroe get off making fun of people who can't hold a five minute conversation? Isn't he their king or something?
I know I say this a lot, but this is just a bad comic. It's contrived, it's unnecessarily insulting, and it's just poorly structured. The comic essentially outlines Randall's thought process from "Hey, Cleverbots talking with each other" to "Burning Man people sure are dirty!" No editing was done whatsoever. The way that Randall is explaining the thing to Megan, you'd think she was retarded. But if he didn't say exactly that, how in the world could comic-god Randall tell this joke??
Perhaps I'll leave that question to our "xkcd Sucks Less" submitters.