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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, November 23, 2011

Comic 981: A Double Helping of Suck


Title: Porn Folder; alt-text: Eww, gross, you modified link()? How could you enjoy abusing a filesystem like that?

Let's ignore all the dialogue for now. Normally, this would improve xkcd vastly, but in this case, it only serves to highlight Randall's awful attempt at illustrating the conversation. As my eyes were drawn to the missing headrest component in panel 2, the ridiculous angle of the chair in panel 3, the fact that the guy picks up his laptop to turn around (who does that?), the uneven lines on the desk and computer, and so on, I realized something. That computer setup looked familiar. Could this be...consistency?

For a second, I was hopeful. Sure enough, a jaunt through the recent archives led me to many more instances of it in comics past. Consistency! However, I soon realized something. Unless the entire cast lives in some fraternity house and are compulsive furniture movers, this doesn't make any sense. Sometimes there's a laptop on the desk. Sometimes it's a computer monitor. Sometimes it's a TV. Sometimes an easy chair is facing the desk, and sometimes it's facing away. Most of the time an office chair is there. My best guess is that Mr. Xkcd (does the generic guy have a name yet?) lives with Megan. Megan is friends with Sarah (the blonde girl). Mr. Hat is that guy that everyone kind of knows but no one really likes, and he just comes over whenever he's bored. It's really the only explanation!

Or, you know, Randall is just awful at drawing, and he can only draw one couch, one chair, one desk, one laptop, and one tv/monitor. Or, worse still, he's NOT that bad at drawing, and is just so darn lazy that anything taking longer than 5 seconds isn't worth his time (unless it's poorly researched collections of colored squares). And the worst thing is, Randall's been doing this for six years. I get that stick figures are his "minimalistic" thing, but flat-out REFUSING to improve the other aspects of the strip is just insulting to the medium.

Okay, I'm done with that little tirade. Bring back the dialogue, toss out the art, and we'll proceed to the second half of the review.

Remember that thing I said about consistency? Yeah, it doesn't exist in xkcd. Megan (who I assume is the person off-screen here) made it very clear 267 strips ago that her porn is NOT about filesystems. In other words, as usual, Randall just makes up personalities for the sake of jokes. I complained about this in just my fourth review here, and it still bugs me. Apparently the appeal of "lulz this is something a super-nerd might do" is enough to create a completely contradictory comic for the sake of that "joke."

And that's really all this comic is. Is this something someone would actually do? Of course not. (More to the point, I doubt someone would be in denial about their porn at first but immediately switch to unashamedly defending it a second later.) And why use the "porn folder" context to frame this joke? The "joke" is "You're not supposed to create hard directory loops and yet this person is doing it." How is that funny? What mood do you have to be in (besides last-minute panic) that your brain generates this idea and you think, "Yeah, that's a pretty good idea for a comic"?

And yeah, I know this is nothing new for Randall. Mediocrity has been his M.O. for years. Still, it's frustrating that comics like this are all xkcd will ever be, and yet legions of fans praise him for it.

xkcd sucks.


P.S. Why are Mr. Xkcd and Megan sharing a drive on a laptop? Isn't the point of a laptop largely that it's your own, and you don't need to share it? Are they really so poor that they can't afford separate computers? (And how could they be poor if they don't have kids?) Personally, I can't imagine sharing a computer with someone (even if they had a separate partition), and I don't even have anything to hide. It's just...it's MY computer, you know?

15 comments:

  1. Normally I read these reviews to get another usually honest opinion.

    And I often agree.

    But your tirade sucks. There was no insight and all your points were hollow and had no real backing. I felt like you just said things that were made to make it seem like its worse than it is, and to bring anger.

    This is not reviewing, my friend: this is trolling.

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  2. Anonymous is right!

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  3. My only comment here is that we really have no reason to think that's Megan off-screen.

    Jokes about porn, in whatever form, are almost always made by/directed at men. If Randall meant to break that, he'd probably make a huge point of doing so.

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  4. I agree with Anon above me. You make the whole argument based off the assumption the offscreen character is Megan - which it's probably not.

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  5. Post unrelated: Achewood has returned from its hiatus. Happy days and jubilation!

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  6. It's not consistent because there isn't a consistent cast. The generic stick figure isn't always the same person. Sometimes he is even more than one person at the same time.

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  7. Mr Munroe would probably like us to believe that it's a different person every time, and over the years he has given us cute little snapshots into the lives of hundreds of people. The trouble is, they're all so bland and similar to each other, and the artwork only emphasizes this.

    The prime demographic of xkcd fans loves this; they look into Randall's vision of blandness and see themselves. And so, I'm not sure why I called him Mr Munroe earlier.

    Captch: iness. Sorry guys, I can't keep up my commenting schedule due to a family iness.

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  8. I think the connection between weird directory loops and porn is that people often like to hide porn in them. And then, wouldn't it be funny if there weren't actually any hidden porn, but the loop itself was the porn? Come on, that's funny, isn't it? Right? Aww, come on, guys…
    In all seriousness, though, I don't like this comic too much. I think the one about money is pretty good, though. I appreciate the perspective, and there's no reason to call it ill-researched (although the hypothetical Long Island Express thing is pretty stupid).

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  9. Dude is at a lan-party, Dude #2 shared his "Porn" folder on the network because his fetish is other people discovering his illicit looping directory and judging him for it... it's like a sadomasochistic nerdgasm.

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  10. Rather than bothering with a long post how about I just put up a link that this whole blog is copying of xkcd.
    Don't care if you rage, but really searching that much for just consistency of one web comic? People just have to find something in life to make themselves feel useful I guess.

    http://xkcd.com/406/

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  11. I agree that it would be foolish to search for consistency in some webcomics (like SMBC, for example). And yes, xkcd is a joke-a-day comic without any real storylines, so it's tempting to say it's exempt from expectations of consistency. However, when you can only draw five characters (guy, guy with guy, guy with beret, girl with black hair, girl with blond ponytail) and something like three pieces of furniture, I don't see how it's possible to avoid making the connections I did.

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  12. Because the connections suck.

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  13. The inverse hookup thing was pretty funny, though it makes me uneasy with the thought that Randal is either desperate to stay relevant to kids these days (he's been out of college for a while) or he's awkwardly bragging because he got some fangirl tail.

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  14. Not an X fan, but...November 30, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    "Unless the entire cast lives in some fraternity house and are compulsive furniture movers, this doesn't make any sense."

    Cast? Where is that stated? You are the one who is pretending this is MEANT to be the same scene all the time, so you can criticize the webcomic for not being consistent. How ridiculous.

    "Mr. Hat is that guy that everyone kind of knows but no one really likes, and he just comes over whenever he's bored. It's really the only explanation!"

    Why is it the only explanation? Seriously???

    "Or, you know, Randall is just awful at drawing" (...) "Or, worse still, he's NOT that bad at drawing, and is just so darn lazy" (...) "And the worst thing is, Randall's been doing this for six years."

    And you STILL don't get it? yes, xkcd is a webcomic drawn (mostly) with stick figures. It's definitely not the most demanding kind of art, and is what this guy decided to do. If you can't stand that... I don't see why do you keep on coming back to criticize THAT aspect of xkcd.

    "Remember that thing I said about consistency? Yeah, it doesn't exist in xkcd. Megan (who I assume is the person off-screen here)"

    Take YOUR assumption out of the equation and what you say here makes no sense. Again, you're creating the conditions that allow you to attack xkcd.

    "Why are Mr. Xkcd and Megan sharing a drive on a laptop? Isn't the point of a laptop largely that it's your own, and you don't need to share it? Are they really so poor that they can't afford separate computers? (And how could they be poor if they don't have kids?)"

    This is so retarded that doesn't need any explanation.

    This post alone has more than a triple dose of sucking.

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  15. OR MAAAAAAYBE that's white hat guy who's pining for some folder sex?

    Yeah remember white hat guy? He had like no personality so you could write a joke around him whenever? It all makes sense!

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