Monday, 8 August 2011

Bingo has moved.

This blog may have died, but bingo lives on! It is now at the new
xkcd-sucks blog (the hyphen makes it about 20% cooler!) The first bingo posting can be found here.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

I own this place?!

So apparently it is that I run an xkcd hate blog now. This is weird. So weird in fact, I'd like to go back in time and tell my year-ago past self. It would totally freak him out because he's still an xkcd fan. What's that you say? 'You of all people were once a fan?'

Yes. I originally came to xkcdsucks for the Humor Sans font. I was disgusted by what I read. But I stayed there too long, and actually started agreeing with them. I think it was the 'family illness' cop-out that made me switch to the dark side. My role in the hatedom has since grown to quoting the funniest forum posts, making pointless bingo cards, and most recently, impersonating R.

But I don't write reviews. I rely on other people to understand what makes a comic so bad. So don't expect much from this place now that Kitten has left. Here's the deal: I'll carry on with the bingo thing if enough people want it. Do you?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Comics 917-924: Bonanza Mega Review

I'm not doing the alt-texts because fuck it.


Putting words into someone else's mouth is pretty rude, even more so when said words are such a clumsy imitation of an eloquent writer. Technically, the 'autobiography' is not self-referential – the phrase should be 'the acronym of this sentence'. 'This acronym' refers to nothing. Randall at least seems aware of the shoddiness of his work, as the last panel displays a certain insecurity about it.


A fairly simple comic and not terrible, but it is overshadowed by Randall's antics on Google+. Posts where he white-knights, and posts about breast milk and sweating on his smartphone, make the ludicrous persona of Randall suggested by the xkcd sucks community seem quite accurate.


Irregardless of his verbiage, I could care less if Randall should of made this comic, imho.

It's not difficult to string annoying words/phrases together, and not that funny either (unless you do it with the craft and delicacy of ALT-F).


The sentiment is not too bad, but the caption/title taints this comic with implied social failure. Much like calling yourself 'xXx_*wkdkewlgRRl*_xXx' or 'Ravenzomg' will undercut even the best and most insightful commentary, referring to 'Youtube parties' as if they are a planned event will ruin any comic.


This comic would have worked if Randall was capable of building up dramatic tension – then the last panel would be a good reversal. Instead it comes off as a bit of whining with a sudden shoehorned LOTR reference.


The horrible wording of the caption overshadows the blatant hypocrisy. Also, he's about ten years too late for this to be relevant in any way.


Shufti's guest review nicely covers the problem with this comic – the idea is workable, but the execution lacks any imagination.


3D printers are fucking amazing. The idea that we can go from computer design to execution without worrying about manufacturing complications is incredibly powerful, as is the possibility of creating unique and specialised tools independently. They could well revolutionise the current system of manufacture if the process becomes cheap and quick. It would be like the internet made solid – not just information but actual, touchable tools and art zipping between people with consummate ease.

So Randall makes a dick joke about it. A dick joke that doesn't actually make sense.

Maybe one day he will tell us why.

EDIT: Maybe it was to make the otherwise non-sequitur title of ALT-F's guest post strangely prophetic.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

xkcd Forums Bingo: Week 6

917 - Hofstadter

A good serving of squares from the forumites. Sadly no bingo. In short, the thread was everything the haters hate about the xkcd fanbase (minus the GOOMH, which was mysteriously missing). Here are some quotes I'd like to share with you:

Some people thought the alt text was another clever acronym. dumbness ensues:

"There seems to be another acronym in the alt text:

TITRIOTSRJ: the 'tit riot' part makes perfect sense but what does the 'SRJ' mean?"

"tit riot self referential joke"

"Tit riots are jay.
Jays and tits may be more closely related than we thought."

And then there was this... wave of nerd-panderization about Gödel, Escher Bach, which the comic didn't even directly reference. Let's see here...

"Douglas Hofstadter is god."

"Anyone who hasn't read GEB is of course, living in sin."

"I am a better, nicer, more practical, and happier person because I read Gödel, Escher Bach and I am a Strange Loop. They may very well change your whole outlook on reality. Thick as it gets, but more than worth the investment."

All that said, there were some good parts.

"I am glad that you read it. You are now better, nicer, more practical and happier.
I will remain in sin. I don't want to read it."

918 - Google+

Nothing happened here, the xkcd fans just spent the whole thread talking about Google+. By my guestimate, about 1% of the discussion was about the comic. Oh and speaking of guestimates.

919 - Tween Bromance

And in this thread they spent most of the time talking about words. And someone said the comic's title reminds them of the Lady Gaga song.

I don't know why I'm still doing this. Maybe one day I'll explain why.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

xkcd Forums Bingo: Week 5

#914 - Ice
A good distribution of squares. Two almost-lines. E4 made its fourth consecutive appearance. Of course, A1 and E5 were practically guaranteed given the incoherence of the comic. Too bad we haven't seen Glasnt and Joee in a while.

#915 - Connoisseur
We had an appearance from the rare A4 square. "Jeebus crêpes -- onto the second page of comments and nobody's mentioned inverse snobbery?" Well, cream wobbly, you were the first to mention it. Congratulations, your post concerning the matter will be immortalized in this bingo square.

#916 - Unpickable
Pff, a largely uniteresting thread, with people mostly bragging about their security systems and discussing the technicalities of 5x5x5 rubiks cubes.

Maybe one day the forumites will explain why.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Omega Essays Part 1: GOOMH

XKCD is a comic for nerds, written by a nerd. So what is a nerd?

To be a nerd is, apparently, to have: a love of sci-fi and fantasy and a blindness to the trash that permeates so much of both genres;  an almost fanatical appreciation of the scientific philosophy; a fondness for technology, even in its most worthless and wasteful forms; social awkwardness and poor hygiene; and an immature, sometimes almost dysfunctional, view of sexuality.

But these characteristics can be regarded as symptoms of two more fundamental traits, namely physical cowardice and intellectual egotism. This synthesis should not be particularly surprising - it remains the standard portrayal of a nerd in virtually all media. It is why you will hear nerds complain that all sports are a waste of time, but debating Joss Whedon trivia is not. It is the basis of the 'nice guy dilemma', where a lack of courage, confidence or assertiveness is viewed not as a failing, but as some form of intellectual and moral high ground. It is why anonymous debates on the internet inevitably spiral toward attempts to prove intellectual superiority, where the shit-flinging antics of status-challenging chimps seem like a Galilean dialogue by comparison.

Nerds are, in short, fairly contemptible, and it is for that reason that GOOMH-baiting in XKCD is so offensive.

Pandering to a particular demographic in and of itself is not annoying. PhD comics is quite well regarded, despite the fact it specialises in drawing out the laughter of recognition from post-graduate students. Penny Arcade and a thousand other webcomics are aimed solely at those who play video games, and it is not a matter of contention that they pander to the sensibilities of their audience. Stephanie Meyer, however, attracts veritable hurricanes of scorn for fulfilling the wishes of impressionable teenage girls, a social group that is considered misguided at best, and the cause of all cultural ills at worst.

And like the Twilight author, Randall compounds this problem by being so blunderingly cack-handed. To pander to the egos of nerds, he must make his comic obscure and difficult to understand. The difficult, but more elegant and artistic way to achieve this would be to make comics that are clever, and require some thought and understanding to unlock. The far easier way is to throw in references to things that are considered the domain of 'clever' people. We all know which method dominates xkcd.

Remember though, when you next complain about GOOMH-baiting - it is not so much the references, but the audience at which it is aimed that bugs you so much. You hate nerds, maybe you even hate the nerdish qualities in yourself, and that is why you hate xkcd. After all, if pandering itself were offensive, you would find the overwrought, pedantic and frequently inaccurate reviews found on this and other, similar blogs equally annoying, wouldn't you?

Monday, 27 June 2011

Comic 917: Cockroach exasperation

Sorry guys, no review today. The blog got hacked. :-(