* It can and has been claimed by that the humor in XKCD is superficial, driven more by the dog-whistle power of recogition of cultural signs and signifiers than by a "true" or "significant" humor. Of course, an equally valid critical response questions the notion of "truth" and observes that the free play of signs and signifiers unmoored from a confining narrative core is a potent artistic force driving the work.
* A persistent debate between critical factions regarding XKCD is the question of whether those who claim XKCD is superficial don't understand the scientific and cultural references in the work, which debate is addressed by a direct recitation of those references in XKCD Explained.
* A common critical observation about XKCD that may not be obvious to the lay reader who does not closely track the comic is that it might be repetitive, which is to say that when the comics are stripped to their narrative kernel, many of the comics are essentially the same.
* Another common observation that may not be obvious to the lay reader is that it might be derivative, with comics repurposing the narrative and conceptual core of other, non-XKCD webcomics. This of course is an invalid critique, as XKCD exists intertextually with all other webcomics and is in fact enjoined to make use of and amplify the key ideas of those other comics.
* A more easily observable concern with XKCD is the relationship between the comic and gender, and in particular with sex, that concern being itself the observation of a subtext that implies that all references to sex are titillating to its audience, within which audience broad cultural norms have precluded actual experience with the reproductive act, and often contact with the opposite sex.
* Which of course drives us to the key concern with XKCD AND XKCD Sucks, which is that the authors of both works, being themselves bound to the norms of the media of English text, believe men are superior to women. Note the phallic symbolism of the letters "X" and "K", and the subordinate positions of the vaginal characters "C" and "D", the last of which represents (semiotically) the supressed but controlling desire of the male writer to maintain a pregnant state in the female reader.
Unless you're parodying something in which case WOOOSH
His nerd jokes were occasionally actually really good. When they weren't, they came across with the air of "Fuck you, I'm not putting these comics online for you." Occasionally he'd hit upon a nice riff with his heartbreak comics, too, and his whimsical outlook towards life was a lot more sincere and less forced. Then he homogenized, began repeating joke concepts, and started spitting out a lot of derivative work, with only the occasional truly clever idea. It's never gotten worse than mediocre, but it's very frequently mediocre.
I guess what I'm trying to say is all of you should read Achewood instead. The nerd jokes are better (http://achewood.com/index.php?date=09232002), it's funnier than any comic I've ever read (it's the comic that topped Calvin and Hobbes after seventeen years on the top of my list), and it's a real start-up, selling monthly premium updates rather than relying on any advertising whatsoever.
It sort of amazes me that so many people can be fans of discomfort humor and missed-context humor (like in "The Office" or "Parcs and Rec") and yet when it is applied to something friendly to them they flip out. We all agree the outrage over this silliness is part of the fun in this project. You could probably apply this same joke to ANY webcomic if you have the right tone. If you want to see someone doing it wrong, check xkcdsucks.
Note: He seems to have issues with XKCD's apparent feminist slant.
That said, I don't think the comics are a particularly good expression of this. The male is always being rational-logical and the female intuitive-wholistic, which seems a bit sexist, even if the rational-logical character is always the butt of the joke.
It will be a birthday present to me from my wife, so I used her credit card. I had previously been concerned that purchasing it from her and for me would have required me to explain every, single comic. Now I can send here this link instead.
She can also tell her friends she bought me "a subversive book on gender relations" rather than "a comic about that Linux thing".
I think for some reason I'm going to go and make her a sandwich.
The blonde girl calls megan’s boyfriend and convinces him to make some delicious nachos. However, he doesn’t know that the blonde girl’s real motive was to kill megan’s wifi signal with the microwave he uses because they were playing a first person shooter video game against each other over the internet, and the blonde girl wanted to kill her.
If you're going to write something scathing about how foolish thing X is, you had better make damn well sure your writing is actually better than thing X. This reads like a bright 12-year-old posted it (but not that bright.)
Who would expect that? It's a old cliche that explaining a joke isn't funny or entertaining. I certainly wasn't expecting humor when I looked at it.
(Nor did I find any, but then, the "it's funny because it's not funny" shtick is right up there with "Bill Clinton is a horny guy, amirite?" jokes in Dated Gag Heaven.)
Now, if there were an additional level of description, something could be salvaged.
"The writer of the explanation characterizes a 'full rugby uniform' as lacking any trousers, belt, or shoes to invoke homophobic stereotypes about the English."
...Meh, maybe not even that would help.
If this were some other kind of writing, like a forum post or a blog entry, no problem, stuff like that wouldn't faze me. But I think you have to clear a high bar in quality if you're writing some sarcastic & condescending criticism of something else... especially when the "something else" is already aiming at a (relatively) highbrow audience. Otherwise it's not credible to me and not funny.
Anyone who doesn't get that graphing historical toilet usage times resulting from tragically poor medical science against modern toilet usage times resulting from pathetic laziness and/or extreme nerdiness regarding laptop computers is hysterically brilliant and funny, needs to get a life or at least go away and stop bothering people.
I don't know the guy, but judging from the hot girls modelling T-shirts on the website, I'd take a guess that the author of XKCD is not a male hyper feminist as the critic tried to claim. Hot girls don't go for male hyper feminists. He's simply a confident male who has figured out that making smart girls happy (thru fun comic strips starring smart girls) tends to get him laid. In this he is no different from any man who tells a gal a joke to help her relax.
Criticizing a wildly popular work of art known for weaving complicated math and science topics into quality jokes is dangerous to begin with. There is so much danger that the reason you don't "get it" is because its over your head and you don't know it. To then express the criticism with such poorly-written captions is just sad.
The "real" joke is that, hey, this guy that people call "funny" occasionally makes unfunny comics - and we can find unfunny ones from years back! No? Uh, the "real" joke is that there is no humor, so it's a joke. ...Or, um, would you believe that the "real" joke is that people find our shtick dumb and object, because they're just not cool enough to give a thumbs-up to half-assed attacks on things they like?
Everyone. just. wants. attention. It's that simple.
Invariably, unless I write this sentence, someone will accuse me of wanting attention; don't.
(Edit; Also, if you're going to over-explain the joke, at least over-explain the alt text too!)
Well, now I do feel like I've just killed a frog.
Except I'm still not seeing it.
The second explanation has the benefit in that "blackhats" are generally considered bad guys (descending from the old Hollywood western tradition of bad guys wearing black hats and good guys wearing black hats).
You seem to like taking the worst possible interpretation of Randall possible.
Not only did those two posts forget the funny, they might actually create trouble for the xkcd (politically correct activist + google search + no understanding of humor or satire = pain in the ass). Stupider things have happened.
At some point I have to question if they guy is doing it subtly on purpose or just completely oblivious, and neither is good.
P.S. We didn't "forget the funny." We went searching for it, and these descriptions are what we came up with.
Ok, you went searching for the funny and never found it. Look, even in satire, implying someone is a racist is bad (I really hope this is satire and the "At some point" sentence is not actually serious).
As for the eww, check the forum http://bit.ly/4rD9cU for an explanation.
This bodes ill for The Producers, doesn't it?
I suppose the exception would be people who are admitted racists.
Or porkpie hats, or fedoras.
Nicely done, I guess. I figure this one will ping up to 150+ with this crowd.