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).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Comic 1370: Randall's Midlife Crisis

So it occurred to me that the 1366th comic milestone went unnoticed. As of three weeks ago, there are more XKCD comics than there are horizontal pixels in my 1366x768 monitor. Moving on,

Comic title: President

Alt text: Anyone who thinks we're all going to spend the 2032 elections poring over rambling blog posts by teenagers has never tried to read a rambling blog post by a teenager.

At first sight, we have yet another preachy XKCD comic that lacks a punchline. Right? Wrong! This is a harbinger of Randall's midlife crisis. Let me explain why.

1370 picks up on a few of XKCD's common themes - the passing of time. This is something that was picked up on as early as 354. He seems surprised that [insert name of movie] came out closer to the moon landing than today. Clearly this is something Randall thinks about a lot. It's like his mind was fixed in 1999, and the idea that time has passed since then comes as a shock.

This is something that he was bound to confront eventually: the idea that he, Randall, is no longer of the young generation.

Randall has long considered himself the voice of this generation. XKCD is quintessentially a young man's comic. It makes jokes about todays technology and pop culture. And it's read by an audience of high schoolers.

Eventually though, the unthinkable will happen: Randall's XKCD will cease to be culturally relevant. It won't happen suddenly. It will be slow. Arguably it has already started to happen. Randall can't bring himself to confront that fear, so in his usual style, he wrote a comic about it.

The comic is a sincere acknowledgement that the older generation are mistrusting of the new, and handing over the world to them is a scary prospect. The little girl is here to ridicule the older woman for having these views. Randall would very much like to identify with this girl.

But on a subconscious level, he identifies with the woman. She is older, and like Randall she has felt the cognitive dissonance of time passing when you don't expect it too. Randall refuses to believe this, which is why he drew her with the blonde ponytail, a character design he usually used for his straw-men.

But make no mistake about it: this comic is a cry for help, to which I say: Randall, stop doing XKCD before it becomes culturally irrelevant.


  1. You're implying it already isn't.

  2. Culturally irrelevant comics! How will we even survive??

    1. I know. He might have to resort to jokes about urns containing a grandfather's ashes. OH WAIT.

  3. Nice review and bonus points for reprinting the alt-text.

    Hey have you noticed how terrible the latest comics are? Yeah yeah I know, xkcd's been terrible for a while but seriously, no no no, bad. Man, how uninspired is he to churn out shit like Urn and Astronaut Vandalism, especially the former. I honestly find it sad, and not just in an ironical, let's make fun of Randall way. I mean, when you think about it, the guy made a pretty big life decision when he decided to make a living out of his comics/goodies, but I have a hunch he realized this is gonna be tougher than he thought since he lost inspiration, plus the ill wife thing, he's probably quite scared about his future. Midlife crisis indeed.

    1. I'll take that as a request for a review of the urn comic. Thanks!

  4. actually what is the diffences between traditional and modern novel?