XKCD Isn't Funny: #1349 - Shouldn't Be Hard

this reminds me of a song I like, but not because I like the comic

Before we get into today's comic, I'd like to ask any of my regular readers (of which, after checking, I realize there are none) if they remember why I started this blog. I pretty much owned up to just starting it because the other two XKCD hateblogs had shut down, and I'm willing to sell to a hungry audience. However, XKCD-SUCKS started back up after just a few weeks, and xkcd sucks has posted something very special the other day. I'll probably keep going (you can't get rid of me that easily), and I'm certainly happy to see Rob come back after his five month absence, but I can't help but be a bit irritated that one of my main motivations for writing this blog seems to have disappeared. I have to also admit that I'm a bit irritated that their posts will probably be better than mine. Regardless, let us commence with the review!:

*clears throat*

Yeah, it SHOULDN'T BE HARD to criticize this piece of crap, but you've made it that way, haven't you, Randy!

It wouldn't be that difficult if there was only one thing wrong with a typical XKCD, but sadly, we have not been blessed with such a universe. Today's comic verges into Not Even Wrong territory, almost seeming like something the guys behind South Park left on the cutting room floor when scripting the "Chewbacca Defense" scene. I think I've used this line before, but it almost seems zen, clearing the mind of all thought.

Randy: "This probably isn't going to be hard."
Other: "Your computer is made of stuff. It's going to be hard until someone else simplifies it."
Randy: "I shalt return the computer to its component stuff."
Other: "I will fetch a tool, but not one you require."

The joke is apparently supposed to be that Randy is replacing the task he may or may not have found difficult with a simpler one. The alt-text adds that the supposed simpler task is actually harder.
1. We don't know what Randy is trying to do at all. He hasn't started yet, we don't know if it's hard or not (BUT I KNOW SOMETHING THAT IS HARD! ;) awwww yeahhhhh).
2. Just because a computer has to be programmed does not make doing things on it hard "until someone else makes it easy". Once you have a computer and the knowledge of how to program one-

-[side note]: although it is hard to invent a computer, saying you have to invent the computer to do things with it is like saying you have to invent sand to make glass. The resources have been made avaliable to you, which is not the same thing as making it easy. Making something easy would be closer to making Blogger so people don't have to start up their own websites to start hateblogs on, rather than putting up a tutorial on how to make a website. [/side note]-

-, it's fairly easy to make "HELLO WORLD" pop up onscreen.
3. Randy is wasting a perfectly good computer there.
4. A blowtorch can't turn a computer "back into sand". You find a way of doing that, we'll probably be on our way to creating perfect, instantanious recycling.
5. It is easy to destroy a computer. Randy's the one who had his stupid point about turning "back into sand". He's making things needlessly difficult for himself.

[EDIT:] To Geoff in the comments that I am unable to reply to directly for some reason: No, I've never actually programmed anything, unless you count a lego robotics course I took when I was like, eight. However, that doesn't disprove my point.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1348 - BEFORE THE INTERNET

Y'know, I could see pictures for sad children pulling this off, like almost down to the wording. But pfsc has those beat panels that really make this type of humor work.

And that's all I really feel like writing about today's XKCD. Could be alright, wasns't. Whatever. #PhoningItInFriday


#XKCD Isn't Funny - #1347 - T DISTRIBUTION

In today's XKCD, Randy has given up on his dream job and has now gotten a job moving stands around differently shaped cardboard standups. The humor comes from his resegnation at being unable to ever be truly happy, shown by his lack of verbalisation, too focused on his job to make anything but the most involentary of sounds.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1346 - CAREER

The joke is that Randy would rather have a job fucking around for sixty-five minutes than doing anything else, including his current job creating unfunny jokes for stick figures to say.

To quote the looped sample that opens Chumbawamba's WYSIWYG, "[fade in] stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid [fade out]"

What's the entertainment in this? I'd understand if his dream job was "[doing something that requires little effort put pays well]" but OH WAIT THAT IS HIS JOB.

The really weird part about this is that, if you think about it, he could have said he wanted to do anything as a dream job, since the joke is supposed to be that one's most desired job would have extremely unrealistic requirements. So he should have put the thing that would have made him happiest, like the common response to "What is your dream job?": "Being payed to have sex with multiple people that I am sexually attracted to.". With this comic he is literally saying that he would be happiest pealing lint from dryer traps. The alt-text takes this further, saying he would be even happier if he came out of retirement for a brief stint of biting wax. To quote my beloved Holy Cabbage, "What the ACTUAL FUCKING SHIT!?".

To humor an alternate explanation, he's using "dream job" literally, e.g.: a job you have in your dreams when you sleep, in which case he's not being surrealistic enough. A dream job would be more along the lines of delivering feet to the guy who played Goblin in Spiderman because of an angry unicorn.

Jesus Christ this was terrible. Fuck.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1345 - ANSWERS

Don't click on this. It won't make it make any more sense.

I had to check explain-xkcd to even get what he was trying to say here. Based solely on the explanation given there, which as of this date may or may not be correct, this comic is an attempt to display the following joke:

"We don't know why we sleep, but no one loses sleep over it."

In which case... what? How could Randy try to portray that, and come up with the abomination shown above? I can't even explain why this fails to be funny, I can barely explain why it fails to show the joke it's supposedly supposed to be showing.

Okay, so:
Dude: "Humanity is curious."
Chick: "No it's not, we sleep, and don't know why."
Dude: "You're right, I'm wrong."

What type of mental gymnastics was Randy doing when he wrote this? This almost comes off as dadaism, all non-sequiturs and moon-logic. So the girl's response is supposed to in some way contradict the guy's opening statement, based on the guy's reactionary closing statement. The problem is, it doesn't. She might as well have said "You're wrong, mice eat cheese.".

People are studying sleep (thus, the 'no one loses sleep over it' is incorrect), which is mentioned in the alt-text, leading me to believe this comic may have been so incomprehensible that even explain-xkcd couldn't understand it, and honestly, its explanation is the best one out so far. The forums have mostly been ignoring the lack of sense in favor of debating what we know about sleep, and I thought it was just a rehash of #203.

As a second point, the odd way of describing sleep also makes the reader think the joke is just in the way of describing. There's not even a real lead-in to the supposed second half of the joke.

If anyone has a better understanding of this comic, please say so, and I'll add on a bit to this post explaining why the comic sucks at portraying that, too.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1344 - DIGITS


This is an incredibly standard example of what is known as The Tetris Effect, even name checking Tetris in the alt-text. It's so absolutely bland that I have come to believe that 2048 (doesn't work on IE for some reason, use Chrome if you're one of those cool people like me that switches between browsers) was actually made by Randy, and this is an ad for a work he felt was not getting enough attention.

Thus! I shall not review the comic, but instead I shall review the game, with the addendum that all of my review statements will also apply to Skrillex's debut full length*, Recess.

It's minimalistic and smooth, but it's still able to be addictive. It can get repetitive at times, but if you're doing something else at the same time, like those cool people like me that play games while listening to music, it's rather enjoyable. 8/10

*Penis joke.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1343 - "MANUALS"

i mess the images up because it counts as remixing

It's almost comforting, in a world as uncertain as ours, that some things can be counted as consistent, like the relative strength of gravity, the way a recording will play back, and XKCD sucking.

The problem with graph jokes is that graph jokes are often the simplest way of getting the joke across, and more often then not, the simplest way of getting a joke across is the least humorous. There is no joke that can only be communicated in one way, and Randy knows this. It's not like it's much more effort to draw stick figures talking about the same thing.

(rough script)
Megan: "Ugh! I am having the troubles reading this manual! This tool, I know not how to use it!"
Dudeguy: "I had a problem like that once, my dear lover Megan, that I intercourse with regularly. That problem also involved reading a manual!"
Megan: "Tell me more, oh lover of mine, that is handsome and attractive and smart!"
Dudeguy: "The occurence was when I wanted to learn how to use a tool!"
Megan: "You have such a good memory, Dudeguy!"
Dudeguy: "I know, Megan. And every night with you is another memory!"
Megan: "You're so romantic, Dudeguy!"
Dudeguy: "Whilst learning how to use a tool (the tool was a hammer) I consulted its manual!"
Megan: "That is what I did! You're so understanding, Dudeguy!"
Dudeguy: "Yes I am, Megan! But when consulting the manual, I found to my mounting horror, that the manual was complicated!"
Megan: "You're so brave, RanDudeguy!"
Dudeguy: "Not only that, Megan, but I also have a large penis!"
Megan: "Thank you for reminding me, Dudeguy, I might have forgotten as I suffer from long term memory loss. You're so considerate!"
Dudeguy: "You're welcome, female of my race! Let me continue to astound you with my tale! The manual had a "How To Read This Manual!" section!"


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1338 - LAND MAMMALS


I'm not sure if you remember, but last post I discussed how it seemed that all Randy wants to do is make infographics. And now, looking at XKCD's follow-up to it's funniest comic in months, I must discount that possibility and go back to my earlier hypothesis: that Randy is just a lazy bastard that uses infographics as filler because he couldn't be bothered to think of an attempt at a joke.

Look at that chart. It's useless. Firstly, it's formatted really weird, so you can't easily count the squares in any given group. Secondly, fifteen of the twenty-one groups (~71.4%) aren't labelled, so you don't know what they are, other than if they're wild or tamed. Thirdly, several catagories of animals aren't counted at all, which makes the post even more useless than it was already.

Also, some people have trouble reading the light gray labels on the white background.

To quote Atop The Forth Wall, this comic sucks. It fails to be informative, it certainly fails to be funny, and it even fails to be interesting on anything more than an extremely simple level. Ugh.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1337 - TRANSFORMERS


When I first looked at this comic, I gave it a pass. Maybe I was just feeling lazy. Maybe I legitimately thought it was funny after a long week. Maybe I thought xkcd-sucks, back from the dead, would take care of it. Either way, I gave it a pass.
Then I read #1337.

Disregarding how it’s weird he didn’t make a leet-speak joke, read it again. That was brilliant. The art was good where it needed to be, even if it did skimp where it didn’t, the pacing and format were pleasing, the punchline didn’t require prior knowledge, and it doesn’t make you go “wait…” after thinking about it. Even the alt-text is short and sweet, instead of the paragraph we’ve come to expect. #1337 deserves to be praised, even if only for being the best xkcd in goddamn months.

Look back at the comic that disgraces the top of this review, the one this review is actually about.  The only good thing I’m going to say about it is that the trees are drawn well, but that just highlights the horrifically rendered robots.
The most obvious problem to this strip to me is the pacing. Bait-and-switches like this require little-to-no transition between the two. Keep the first and last panels, ditch the middle two. Secondly, what panel four is supposed to show is an example of metamorphosis (a.k.a.: something I learned about in preschool). Transformation, in nature, is something a bit different; replace the final panel with either a joke about that type of transformation or one about electrical transformers and the joke would be so much better.

This comic is, in a way, the easiest kind to write about: The kind where you make one or two simple changes to the joke and it’s perfectly fine (ex: “Tap That Ass”). In another way, it’s annoying, because once I’ve pointed out the two glaringly obvious flaws, there’s nothing else to say.
Anyway, don’t worry, John Levi, I’ve got this one.