2017-01-20

XKCD Isn't Funny - #1755 - Old Days & #1756 - I'm With Her


I've long since given up on my (incorrect) stance that XKCD should stick to one level of comedy, but if we're going to make jokes about old school coding, do they have to be so impenetrable? I'm not wrong, right? Enjoyment of this comic is 90% predicated on knowing what it was actually like in 'old days'. The humor comes from the total historical inaccuracy of what Notbald is saying.

And yeah, you can kinda understand that she's not being serious even if you don't actually know much about computing history, sure. HOWEVER, the humor is still devalued by a lack of understanding on behalf of the reader vis a vis where the falsehoods begin exactly.

Dara O Briain has a really good bit early on in his second stand up DVD where he talks about why he doesn't do jokes about Muslims. It's better in context and I do recommend you watch the full thing, but for the purposes of this review the relevant quote is "I could research and write the greatest Muslim-based material you've ever heard [...] and you'd all be there going 'Is that a thing? I've never heard of that, is that a thing?'"

Of course comedians should never limit themselves just because we're all ignorant and all artists should strive to challenge their audience in some way, but y'know, there's making difficult music and there's making twenty minute compositions for wind machines.


Speaking of wind machines, politicians! Get it?

You really have to wonder what Randy was thinking when he made this comic. He just doodled stick figures doing random shit on top of the Hillary Clinton logo. And like, that'd be fine, except he also has some on chairs and flying kites? Is that supposed to be funny? Cute? Ironic? It makes the comic look less serious, like he's trying to distance himself from any kind of serious endorsement.

I'm not going to get political here, since the system is rigged so that any form of meaningful choice is taken from the people and it doesn't matter what you believe, but this comic is just a bad idea. It's fine to show support, but this is such a vacuous message that it should have just been a note under the header like he's done before. Instead he made it into a comic with no substance that became dated in less than a day.

I'd be less critical of this comic if there was some persuasion or explanation attached, something to say "I'm with her because [X]." But even that wouldn't have meant much since this comic went up on election day, and most people have made up their minds by then.

Basically what I'm asking is who is this comic for? It's not convincing, it's not funny or cute, it's basically worthless now that the election's over, and it went up so late that the information that could be useful probably won't get to most people that would see it.

Also why is the list of links labeled "How to help"? It's a really pretentious way of saying "Here's some stuff to help you out if you're having trouble voting". Sure, voting is helping, but in a really abstract way, it's not like volunteering or demonstrating on behalf of a candidate, or -even more importantly- arguing with strangers on the Internet.