XKCD Isn't Funny - #1505 - Ontological Argument

Ah yes, The Ontological Argument. Y'know, that one singular ontological argument?

No, seriously, what the hell, Randy, ontology's a whole field of study, there isn't "The" ontological argument any more than there's "The" philosophy debate.

[Edit: One day later:]
Greg you goddamn arrogant moron, the ontological argument is a basic shorthand for a common religious argument that you saw back when you were a whiny atheist preteen, remember? You would have known this if you'd bothered to just google "ontological argument", you absolute hack.

I should start counting the comics that just have these two characters walking and saying the end of a conversation we didn't get to see. (See: #1315#1345) It's like hearing fifteen second excepts from a bad comedy podcast.

Speaking of comedy podcasts, I recently found the The Worst Idea Of All Time Podcast podcast, which is kinda like this blog, except instead of XKCD it's Grown Ups 2, and instead of me it's two actual established comedians. Go listen to it! It's good, and not bad, as the segue into my mentioning it might have you believe!

Have you ever walked into a conversation just as someone gets to the punchline of a story, and everyone laughs but you?
VR Simulation for those who haven't: "...and it turns out my underwear had just bunched up." / *laughter*
That's also what this comic reminds me of. They know what the hell they're talking about, we don't. Especially not when Randy calls it "The Ontological Argument".

I don't understand why he doesn't just add a panel or two of expository dialogue before dropping the punchline, like in #1404.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1504 - Opportunity

I'd like to thank Randy for giving me this opportunity to

As I sit here listening to "Black Widow", I must say I'm disappointed by the oh-so poor tune Iggy's made in

When browsing 8chan, I often wonder: Should I side with OP or th'unity of the replies when I

O, port-u-nightly, you truly are a great moving van company in my time of struggle with my new

I like the punchline of this one, partially because its just fun to imagine a really really old rover furiously defending an entire half of a planet, but also because it's just nicely done. It's not using the reference as a punchline, like in #1380, it's using the reference as a stepping stone to the actual punchline.

The setup feels kinda clumsy, tho. It has that really direct writing thing going on, where people will talk almost like a bad "news" article: "After six years, Spirit is down, but Opportunity is still going strong.", etc.

"Given what it did to the Mars 2020 rover..." wouldn't it be better if we saw their reaction to the destruction of the 2020 rover as it was happening, rather than three years later?

Just generally the setup in this comic reads like Randy was just trying to get the information across as unambiguously as possible without considering how people actually talk.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1503 - Squirrel Plan

[Halfway to the Sun ...] Heyyyy ... what if this BALLOON is full of acorns?!

I remember this joke from back when I was six and it was about moths wanting to go to the sun. It made more sense then, too: Moths are attracted to really big bright things, unlike squirrels (generally).

Seriously, it's the same joke. Except worse, because it doesn't make as much sense.

I understand that some jokes are just easy to make and that certain pieces of comedy are going to be similar to each other for various reasons, but this is a rehash of a really, really simple joke that kids think up on their own. It's especially obvious when the usual stick figures are swapped out for animals, which has never happened before.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1502 - Wasted Time

Since it sounds like your time spent typing can't possibly be less productive than your time spent not typing, have you tried typing SLOWER?

I am so confused right now. Is White Hat... not the strawman? I can't read this comic with No Hat as the intended winner of the argument. Did Randy draw the hat on the wrong person and then just not bother to fix it or something? What is the deal? As my favorite ever YouTube video title goes: "Why? :| FOZEND".

If I just pretend the hat is on the other foot here, then it is essentially exactly what we've come to expect from White Hat: strawmannery and condescension.

Have you seen some people text? Their fingers are like blurs, just ratatataying text out faster than some people can speak. I know it's possible to type something faster than a keyboard can register it, so a faster keyboard could actually be legitimately helpful.

Unlike other comics recently, I don't think the mockery comes completely out of left field, but as usual, White Hat's cloying personal atmosphere of straw makes it hard for me to enjoy it. This comic reminds me of those really stupid, generalizing tumblr posts. The focus is more on attacking the target than on making any sort of punchline.

Semi-obligatory: "I don't care how fast that keyboard is, it won't make up for all the TIME that I WASTED on XKCD!"


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1501 - Mysteries

 At the bottom left: the mystery of why, when I know I needed to be asleep an hour ago, I decide it's a good idea to read through every wikipedia article in the categories, 'Out of place artifacts', 'Earth Mysteries', 'Anomalous weather', and 'List of people who disappeared mysteriously'.

I'm disappointed that "Your fetish" wasn't on the "Weird as hell" side.

This is one that I just honestly don't see the humor in it. It's kinda neat to see a list of mysterious events, I guess, but there's not really a joke here UNTIL...

....you get to the alt-text! Like, seriously, mouse over the comic, it is worth reading (if a little wordy for an alt-text). It's kinda self deprecating, which is a nice change of pace, and it's, y'know, a joke. However, it also really takes away from the comic. It's nice to know that Randy's literally just giving us a folddown of his Wikipedia experience of the night. I've said before that certain comics look like they were written after hitting the "random" button on Wikipedia a few times for inspiration, and now we know why.

In conclusion, seriously, @theneedledrop, only 5/10 for Strangers To Ourselves? I mean, it's no Jenny Death, but it's still at least a 7/10, dammit.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1500 - Upside-Down Map

 Due to their proximity across the channel, there's long been tension between North Korea and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Southern Ireland.

Those continents sure are upside down.

Is this going to be a new tradition, these really random targets for insults? We've had timelapse videos, Kim Dotcom (in the alt-text), and now upside-down maps. Upside-down maps, may I add, that I've only ever seen once before, on single post on tumblr (about how white people are all self centered or whatever).

Now, I'll do a few semi-random attacks on here, but they're usually in some kind of reference format, for instance: This comic has worse production values than Damon Alburn! Look at how Randy put every single country in there instead of using the time to think up an actual joke.
I've said it before (but with different words) but it's like the computational linguists comic if he removed Black Hat's monologue that sets everything up.
btw Channel Awesome sure is fucked, isn't it?

Furthermore, I think it's perfectly legitimate to be interested in what the Earth looks like upside down. For ages we only see the shapes of the continents one way, on maps, globes, etc; it's not at all shocking to me that people would be surprised when they saw the familiar shapes reorientated. Yeah, if people were really overdramatizing it, that could be worthy of parody, but I've literally never seen it.

And even if it was worthy of parody, this is a really shallow attempt. For example, Spaceballs is a great (if low replay value) parody of Star Wars. It doesn't just redo Star Wars in silly voices, it takes the ideas of Star Wars and makes jokes based on that.

Also my friend Drew made this. Check it out!


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1499 - Arbitrage

 The invisible hand of the market never texts me back.

I kinda just want to link to the explainxkcd page for this one. It (at least at of time of writing) goes into all the reasons why this comic is wrong. For example , chips are not highly resellable, especially not restaurant table chips which might have sat out for days.

This is a verbatim quote from explainxkcd: "[...] Cueball, who is (depending on how you interpret the simple art-style) holding his hands up in front of his mouth in shock, covering the lower half of his face in shame, covering his eyes out of denial, cradling his forehead in his hands to soothe the oncoming headache, sliding his palms down the front of his face in disgust, or eating chips. Possibly all six in sequence.". That's not me being nitpicky about the art, that's the fans not knowing what it's supposed to be.

There's also an issue that hasn't been mentioned yet, which is that if people just took free chips en masse, to the point where the restaurant would lose money, the restaurant would stop buying the chips to put out for free.

My friend Will, who's with me as I write this, says "Looks like the spiky haired douchebag's swiping all the chips.".


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1498 - Terry Pratchett

 Thank you for teaching us how big our world is by sharing so many of your own.

I struggled a lot more than I usually with what to say for this one, what kinda tone to take, etc. This is something I can totally understand the motivation behind, having done a similarly lame tribute, early on in this blogs history, to Bomb the Music Industry! when they broke up. I would, however, like to point out that I also reviewed the comic in that post.

This is something that I can't blame him (at all, not even a little bit) for wanting to say, but I'm unable to help feeling like this should have been a blag post. Or, if it was still a comic, should have combined the tribute with a joke based off of Terry Pratchett's work somehow. Like, if was me tributing Mike Oldfield, maybe I'd work as many of his song titles into the review as I could or something like that, in addition to a tumblr post or whatever.

I'd like to conclude the review by acknowledging that criticizing a this comic is akin to kicking a small cat, and saying that I promised my readers I would review every comic, and I promised myself I'd always be honest.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1497 - New Products

If you ever hear "Wait, is that Kim Dotcom's new project? I'm really excited about it and already signed up, although I'm a little nervous about whether everyone should hand over control of their medical...", it's time to dig a bunker in your backyard.

This is such an old observation. TV Tropes even has a whole page for the first two quotes, and probably one or two others that could also apply I'm forgetting.

I actually have an explanation for this sort of thing (that I suspect I might be stealing from a speech my dad gave to me once). When something meets our expectations, we don't take note of it, for the same reason that we aren't surprised when we wake up in the beds we fell asleep in. But when something goes totally against what we believe, we do notice it, for the same reason you'd notice that the sky had suddenly turned pink.

There are of course exceptions to this behavior pattern, although right now I'm pretty tired and can't think of any easy examples off the top of my head other than annoying pricks who say "I told you so" out loud.

This comic of course loses the usual points for being text-only when it could easily be converted into a comic proper. Just replace the text with little one-panel scenarios. Easy peasy.

In conclusion: Apocalypica - "Conclusion".


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1496 - Art Project

Why are time-lapse videos worthy of such mockery and scorn? I think they can be pretty cool, and they obviously take a commitment and a decent amount of effort.

It takes a real dick to brazenly insult something that took a lot of effort and that a lot of people enjoy. ;^)

That's not actually hypocritical. It would be if I took out the "effort" part, though. Burn!

But seriously, what is the point of this comic? Like, is there a sudden upturn of amateur time-lapse videos that I've been unaware of? It doesn't even have a justifying buildup like #114.

I'm probably being redundant here, but that punchline is awful. It reminds me unpleasantly of #1475 (not that I could ever be pleasantly reminded of #1475).


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1495 - Hard Reboot

The joke is intended to be that Randy has given into using an easier system that will damage his computer in the longterm. If the light timer happened to reboot while the computer was doing something important, then that could potentially cause various errors.

This, I patiently explain to Randy from across the bar as I drink a martini in my custom suit, could be completely averted if he just shut down his computer at night. "Like a normal person", I say before popping one of those tiny hot dogs with bread into my mouth.

Randy, covered in rags and his own tears, can only fall over from the COLD LOGIC that I just spit at him, his glass of water shattering beside him.

"You know..." I admit to the bartender now that our enemy is unconscious, peering down sadly into my second appletini of the night, "I'm not actually totally sure I understood the comic."

"Hmm?" the bartender replies as he polishes a glass, a thick Russian accent coming through the hummed syllable.

"Yeah, I mean, I checked explainxkcd, but there's always that danger that I'm completely misinterpreting everything. And if I am, you should totally correct me in the comments."

And that was when I passed out from drinking too much, having had a cosmo before the appletinis.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1494 - Insurance

LIFEHACKS: You can just take all the luggage off the airport conveyer belt and leave with it. They don't check that it's yours at the door!

So is this basically just #1469 but worse in every way? No background jokes, less art, and instead of Megan we have some guy with a terrible haircut. Nothing has been added. It's just insulting.

I don't get how thinking of insurance fraud before knowing it's illegal is inherent to programmers in any way. I mean, when I was like, five or so (probably not the actual age) and first learned about insurance, that was my first reaction, and I don't think I even knew what programming was then. #AboutMe

Also, if it worked, it wouldn't be a hack, it'd be a bug. A hack would be having God come in and give you free insurance. If you could undertake a certain in-game series of actions to get results not intended by the developer, that would be a bug.

[EDIT, two days later] It would be a hack in the technical meaning of the word, if not exactly in the casual sense. Thank you to Qaz Mlpok in the comments for the correction.


XKCD Isn't Funny - #1493 - Meeting

 Here at CompanyName.website, our three main strengths are our web-facing chairs, our huge collection of white papers, and the fact that we physically cannot die.

I feel like this comic is vaguely representational of XKCD as a whole. It's a good, (kind of) original joke that just happens to be presented horribly.

We've got three gags here, in order:
1. Beret is oblivious to the reality that he lost control over a car, potentially endangering hundreds.
2. This is not an actual company, but they get money somehow.
3. A pun on the different meanings of the word "bug".

The best, of course, is the first. Stupidity is always an easy avenue for a larf, and it's nicely left up to the reader's imagination as to how a carpool completely lost control of a car. But then the comic wallows, like an emo kid in self pity or your mom in a swimming pool, sticking around for two far weaker punchlines that are both basically derivative of #1293 (covered by the magnificent Jon Levi here).

Also: huge missed opportunity in having companyname.website just redirect to the XKCD mainpage.

However, this comic is still better than watching Henry Rollins pretend not to be bragging for 20 excruciating minutes. At least with XKCD most given comics are going to be over quickly.