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, October 12, 2011

Comic 963: Graphing the Cavemen

Today's guest review comes from a fellow named T-Jack. Enjoy.

Title: X11; alt-text: Thomas Jefferson thought that every law and every constitution should be torn down and rewritten from scratch every nineteen years--which means X is overdue.

As you may have noticed in the short time I've been a guest reviewer on this blog, I usually try to build my reviews in such a way that they end with a general idea of why the strip in question sucks (or, rarely, doesn't suck) and set forth a sort of a guideline on how to make better comics. I don't have to do that here, though, because any reader will immediately know what the major message of this review will be: Graph comics aren't funny! They have never been and they never will be hilarious, funny, amusing or even fucking chuckleworthy. Unfortunately, there is still much more wrong with the comic, so let's get started.

Basically, what Randall is saying here is that the longer he can go without having to configure X.Org Server, the better he feels about himself, the joke (why bother with the quote marks?) apparently being that the configuration file is so mind-numbingly difficult that it saps happiness out of any poor schmuck who dares to work with it.


That's not funny. It wasn't funny the first time this joke has been told (it went roughly like this: "Ug hate banging rocks together to make fire. It make Ug want to kill himself.") and it's not funny now, no matter what the context. It's just nerd pandering.

Randall also shows his ignorance in the alt-text, where he characterizes X, which is a GUI development software, with laws and constitutions. Do I even need to explain how stupid that is? Software is neither a law nor a constitution and doesn't go away when you "tear it down and rewrite it". Instead you end up with two versions of a program, both of which are going to be used by people around the world. It won't get rid of your problem, Randall.

So what's the lesson today? I'll tell you: No graph jokes, no old jokes and especially no graph jokes ABOUT old jokes. That's all.
by T-Jack


  1. It's funny how the people who believe that Linux is way better than Windows are also the ones complaining about how difficult it is.

    "Linux is great because of the level of control you have! Windows doesn't give you any of that!"
    "Oh yeah? Like what?"
    "Well, there's this thing called an xorg.conf file..."
    "What does it do?"
    "Man I dunno, it's a huge pain to deal with so I never touch it."
    "But I could if i wanted to!"

    Also, it's an interesting that the comic implies that Randall's quality of life is more dependent on his computer than on, say, his cancer-ridden wife.

    But maybe that's just me.

  2. Like three people I follow on G+ have already posted this comic with a "so true!" type comment... I am very glad that Ubuntu now has a great built in tool to help me configure displays, xorg.conf was the source of endless torment to me in my earlier linux experiences.

    Also; Shameless Self-Promotion:

  3. Randy is showing his ignorance here. Xorg *IS* the version that was re-written, after Xfree86 changed their license to become GPL-incompatible in 2004.

  4. I think xkcdprime should merge with xkcd-sucks. The xkcd hate audience isn't large enough to be inspired to visit three different blogs.

  5. Sucksless: Replace the axis on the left with "my general faith in the capabilities of mankind" and the bottom axis with "time since I last opened".

  6. think xkcdprime should merge with xkcd-sucks. The xkcd hate audience isn't large enough to be inspired to visit three different blogs.

    I thought so too, but SindbadEV insists that his isn't a hate blog, so he'd rather not be grouped with one.

    Also, the hate audience that comes to this blog is VERY different than the audience of the original blog. Just read the comment threads over there.

  7. I just thought I'd mention the Unix-Haters Handbook, published in 1994 (that's even before Linux was big), which has dedicated the whole chapter to expertly yet humorously dissecting the rotting asspie that is X.

    So yeah, there was a damn treatise on this topic for 18 years now, and Randall comes up with this pathetic three-line excuse for a comic... I'd say this is almost a new record for shittiness and un-timeliness.

  8. Hey, SinbadEV, there's an official xkcd forum thread for sharing edits if you don't want to throw in with revolution.