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).

Friday, January 20, 2012

1006: You're a douche and I don't care

Alt-text: Roger Ebert once called you directionless and unwatchable.

Hello, dear readers, I'm back after two long weeks of no posts. Yay. The reason for this absence is that the last few strips were pretty meh and I couldn't find anything the least substantial to say about them (and apparently I'm the only one who posts reviews here anymore). Not today, though, because we have a doozy that needs to be taken care of.

So this comic is Randall's commentary on the countless "if they made my life into a movie" jokes, as well as a standard "smart female pwns dumb male" strip. It's strange that the person delivering the verbal smackdown here is a man, but on the other hand since the Featureless Stick Figure screams "author avatar", I can't help but wonder if Randall has unwillingly gotten into a conversation where this line has been said and he only thought of a snappy comeback a few hours later, so he turned it into a comic. See? That's what happens when you draw such a minimalistic comic; people fill the blanks with their own theories.

Although I called the comeback "snappy", it's pretty weak when you think about it. Nobody in movies talks like in real life, and for a good reason, and that includes movies based on real stories. Furthermore, it's ironic that this comment made it into one of the few xkcd strips that actually contain somewhat realistic speech.

The alt-text only reinforces my belief that there actually is a real short-haired, goatee'd man that should feel insulted by it. As it stands, it's decent (for once), but Randall just comes off as a jerk. For that reason, I offer an alternate one: "They probably should've left this scene out."

Honestly, this strip might've been good, but the problem is that the only thing I had been thinking after reading it was "You're a douche and I don't care". That, and it's not that funny, clever, or original.


  1. Comic 1008 - My first reaction upon the picture of the game they're playing and the mentions of census data was that they were playing Guess Who? (or Cluedo, you limeys) with census data.

    That'd be awesome and hilarious. Which this comic isn't.

  2. "Guess Who?" isn't called "Cluedo" in the UK, "Clue" is called "Cluedo" there.

    Which game are you referring to the "Figure out who I am by me asking questions about distinguishing characteristics" one or the "Figure out who committed the murder and where and with what" one?

  3. Xkcd used to be about the humanity of geekiness and the joy of love and life in the context of science and math. Now it's just about ways to be a dick to people by proving you are smarter than them. I mean "smarter than they." Dammit Randall get out of my head!

    The joke in the Suckville comic is that by taking a jocular tease completely literally you can shame the teaser. Or maybe the joke is that a good friend, like a good improv partner, will play along with your literalism and help you recontextualize and revise the tease until it's humorously meaningless. In either case, we start with two people playing a game and we end with one person dicking the other over by undermining the perfectly normal game banter. That's how to be a dick for no reason other than to make yourself feel smart. I'm actually surprised this wasn't a "My Hobby" cartoon ("My Hobby: Embarrassing friends who beat me at card games by fact-checking everything they say.")

    I dislike Garfield because sometimes the punchline is simply the fact that Garfield kicks Odie or smacks Jon in the face or calls someone an idiot. That's a reverse kind of schadenfreude where you feel good by identifying with the aggressor. It's fine if the aggressor is fighting some injustice or inequity, but it's ugly when the aggressor is lashing out at a happy dog, a loving owner/parent, or a friend playing a game. That's bully humor and it has no soul. I fear that now we have witnessed the complete Garfieldification of xkcd. It is no longer a comic about math and language and sarcasm and such; it is now just an instruction manual for geeks who need cultural permission to be dicks and laugh about it.