0931: "Lanes"

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby mojacardave » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:06 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:
BabblingGorilla wrote:
dp2 wrote:At risk of sounding cold or missing the point, I've lost plenty of people to things that weren't cancer, and that big cloud might as well say "LIFE" on it.


Yeah, you are missing the point. This is about CANCER. We (the collective we) are not stupid... death is an inevitability. Its at the end of everyone's timeline. But not everyone gets cancer and that is specifically what this comic is referencing. I apologize if I'm being rude but to try to dilute the message by bringing in the mundane is callous. Feel free to make your own comic and expound on every other obvious facet of life but leave this one alone to the people to whom cancer has insinuated itself.

Fuck cancer.


Um.. what? Because people who die from cancer suffer so much more than people who die from other diseases? Because not everyone gets cancer, so other causes of death are 'mundane'? You're the one being callous here, and it certainly doesn't make me feel better that the colleague I just had die on me didn't have cancer, or that the fact I lost a friend in a car accident was an 'obvious facet of life'.

Fuck you.

To everyone else who has lost a loved one, cancer or otherwise, my sympathies. But there is a strong current running through some posts in this thread that cancer is the worst thing that can happen to people, and I think some people would do well to remember that it's not the only cause of suffering out there.


That wasn't the point of people's criticism at all. The comic is about how PERSISTANT cancer it is. The fading lines tailing off the graph are deaths FROM CANCER. There aren't a lot of other things that would fit in the cloud at the bottom that follow the same pattern. If you're nearly run over by a bus, you aren't at risk of death 5 years later because the bus was never fully out of your system. It's not trivialising other forms of death. It's just saying that once you have cancer, you can never be sure whether you're going to live long enough to die a different way. I found if very effective and moving - more so from knowing it's based on personal experience.

Testify wrote:I am sorry your fiance or whatever has cancer, but seriously, grow up and make some decent comics before you alienate your fan-base and are forced to subsist off of the pity your cancer surviving wife manages to throw your way once in a while.


Did you seriously just tell somebody else to grow up, amidst that stupid rant? You only need to read this thread to realise that this comic is one of Randall's best received posts for a while.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Cathy » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:07 pm UTC

Fuck Cancer. My dad had Hodgkin's Lymphoma and has been in recovery for 5 years now. My uncle just went into remission from prostate cancer, and my grandfather was just diagnosed with prostate cancer.

My very, very best wishes to the author, whom I hope to God isn't reading this thread with so many ignorant jerks' comments. Blessings.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby mojacardave » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:07 pm UTC

ritvax wrote:Maybe we're taking the wrong approach here. There are many charities and foundations out there dedicated to cancer research. Do people pay attention until they are affected by it? What if there was a foundation charity called, "FUCK CANCER." Sure, it's not polite language, but maybe people would pay attention and be more likely to donate and support?


Noble cause, but they wouldn't be allowed to advertise.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby billsmithaustin » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

Thank you. My wife was treated for an aggressive form breast cancer. She is cured in exactly the sense you described, and each day I live with the knowledge of "cured" means in that context.

Another thing: each of us has cancer cells in our body; it's just that most of the time, the body manages to deal with them before they become a problem.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Cathy » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:14 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:
ritvax wrote:Maybe we're taking the wrong approach here. There are many charities and foundations out there dedicated to cancer research. Do people pay attention until they are affected by it? What if there was a foundation charity called, "FUCK CANCER." Sure, it's not polite language, but maybe people would pay attention and be more likely to donate and support?


Noble cause, but they wouldn't be allowed to advertise.

I'd donate to that! Heh, I'm sure something named that could make quite an internet wave with viral advertising until the "family language" groups caught up with them.

But seriously, fuck cancer.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Tomo » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:That wasn't the point of people's criticism at all. The comic is about how PERSISTANT cancer it is. The fading lines tailing off the graph are deaths FROM CANCER. There aren't a lot of other things that would fit in the cloud at the bottom that follow the same pattern. If you're nearly run over by a bus, you aren't at risk of death 5 years later because the bus was never fully out of your system. It's not trivialising other forms of death. It's just saying that once you have cancer, you can never be sure whether you're going to live long enough to die a different way. I found if very effective and moving - more so from knowing it's based on personal experience.


Yeah, I got that. I work doing research into cardio vascular diseases though, and there are a fair few similarities. Not exactly the same, but there's a lot of people who are at high risk from sudden cardiac death and have to live knowing that. Also, the graph still looks pretty similar for anyone who doesn't have cancer, just each lane has a different cause - not to mention people without cancer get cancer too. It doesn't make each lane any less meaningful when they're different routes to the same destination. I do think the graph trivialises other forms of death.

Anyway, the traffic accident (It was a drunk driver, not a bus :( ) example was aimed at the guy who specifically called someone who had lost people to other causes out on trying "to dilute the message by bringing in the mundane". It's really fucking shit to describe anyones personal loss as mundane, imo.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby gracecourage » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:25 pm UTC

Breast cancer. I'm at 4 years and counting.

<3

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Cathy » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:37 pm UTC

gracecourage wrote:Breast cancer. I'm at 4 years and counting.

<3

I wish all the luck I can manage to you from the diety of your choice. <3
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby charolastra » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:40 pm UTC

ritvax wrote:Maybe we're taking the wrong approach here. There are many charities and foundations out there dedicated to cancer research. Do people pay attention until they are affected by it? What if there was a foundation charity called, "FUCK CANCER." Sure, it's not polite language, but maybe people would pay attention and be more likely to donate and support?


Http://stupidcancer.com. We use "fuck cancer" quite often internally.

As a 23 year old with a cancer that could kill me before I'm 25, I do not feel in any way unjustified saying fuck cancer all the way to hell.

I also say this while sitting in the infusion room in chemo waiting to get stuck with a ginormous needle in my chest and then sit here getting pumped with chemicals for 4 hours that will make me sick for the next week. And then do it all over again 5 more times before this is over.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby TDF » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:41 pm UTC

Being a newbie, I don't know who Randall is or what the situation might be, but I can surmise from the comments that it's not good and I offer my sympathies and support. I'm not terribly familiar with the comics themselves other than in passing but a friend forwarded this one to me today and I just had to join the forum to comment.

I'm just coming up to my 5 year mark as a breast cancer survivor myself - I lost my breast and a bunch of lymph nodes and then went through some pretty hellacious chemo, before I thought I was 'cured'. Only now am I realizing I was never 'cured', I was only in remission. Because now they've found a fast growing mass in my uterus and preliminary PET scans have it lit up with a rate of 7 SUV (2.5-3 or higher SUVs usually means malignancy), so it looks like I'm now facing uterine cancer. I'll be having surgery this coming Friday so that they can take multiple biopsies to confirm the diagnosis and after that, if it shows cancer, yet more chemo. I've spent the last 5 years sick to my stomach with worry that it'll come back in my other breast and yet now I find myself facing a potential recurrence in a whole different part of my body. So the sentiment expressed in the last panel of the comic, 'Fuck cancer.'? I couldn't possibly agree more. Fuck cancer and all the lives it's devastated, whether through loss or misery and sickness through treatments. Fuck cancer and the horse it rode in on, because I didn't give up then and I'm not giving up now and it's going to have a hell of a fight on it's hands.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:47 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:Um.. what? Because people who die from cancer suffer so much more than people who die from other diseases? Because not everyone gets cancer, so other causes of death are 'mundane'?
No. Because the person drawing the comic has a fiancee with cancer, and not another disease.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Felstaff » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:48 pm UTC

Hello hello hello. It's touching that so many of you are registering to share your cancer stories and offering of empasympathy with Randall. However he doesn't read the forums!

You can find him on irc.foonetic.net or somewhere in that northeastern conglomeration of the United Americas (Bostonish) and track him down there.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Belial » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:52 pm UTC

Note: Do not track him down.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby jdotcole » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:53 pm UTC

For the record, my grandmother was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer 6 months before I was born and told that she wasn't going to see me.

I just turned 24 and she's still going.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Corcoran » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:59 pm UTC

I signed up for these forums just to say I wholeheartedly agree with that last panel. FUCK cancer.

I've lost more than a few people to it, and all of them lived with this same knowledge nagging at the back of their heads constantly. It's horrible.
I hope your fiancee makes it through all this.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Tomo » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:15 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Tomo wrote:Um.. what? Because people who die from cancer suffer so much more than people who die from other diseases? Because not everyone gets cancer, so other causes of death are 'mundane'?
No. Because the person drawing the comic has a fiancee with cancer, and not another disease.


Not to get into a fight with you, because you're cool, but did you see the post I was responding to? He dismissed another poster who had lost people to other causes. that part of that post was directed at him, not the comic or Randall.

BabblingGorilla wrote:
dp2 wrote:At risk of sounding cold or missing the point, I've lost plenty of people to things that weren't cancer, and that big cloud might as well say "LIFE" on it.

I apologize if I'm being rude but to try to dilute the message by bringing in the mundane is callous.


I take offense at that response, and painting the loss of others as mundane is pretty horrible.
Last edited by Tomo on Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby janhunt » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:18 pm UTC

My heart goes out to you and your fiancee, Randall, and to all the others who have posted their stories here.

Some day there will be a cure. To speed that up, and to thank Randall for all the joy he has given us, let's all make a donation today:
https://www.cancer.org/involved/donate/ .

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby bearing » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:32 pm UTC

Concurring with those who say your instinct for visual representation of quantitative information is spot on. Edward Tufte could take art lessons from you.

Eight years ago I lost my 54-y-old mom to lung cancer (adenocarcinoma, which strikes nonsmokers as well as smokers, and it sucks that I always feel I have to add that to stave off the "she must've brought it on herself" haters).

A sobering thought is that every kind of cancer is a distinct disease, meaning that the comic Randall drew shows only one highway on what is in fact a huge interconnected system. Every one of those highways has a different view. But they're all scary. Fuck 'em all.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Total Cult » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:33 pm UTC

My mum has had breast cancer and my maternal grandad died of cancer. There used to be an ad here in the UK that says cancer ultimately "affects" one in three people.

Not every strip has to be funny. It's like the end of Blackadder Goes Forth - a "comedy" suddenly going serious makes it all the more poignant.

By the way, the "fuck cancer" thing reminds me of the Mitchell & Webb "sod cancer" sketch. (I googled Youtube and I googled Google, couldn't find a video)

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:34 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:I do like the comic, although I do feel it trivializes other forms of death. While the comic does stand out on it's own merits regardless, and I assume most people aren't arrogant enough to assume a disease is more important just because they have experience with it, it is still worth keeping in mind that cancer isn't the only disease that takes this form, and that's what I was trying to point out to people like the person I've quoted above.
While I.. don't know what you mean by cancer not being the only disease that takes that form, as with the hundreds (or is it thousands?) of forms of cancer there's not just one form....

I don't see how highlighting or mentioning one method of death trivializes all of the others. Nowhere is there a comment about how this is the worstest killer or the mostest important SRSLY GUYS type of thing. Just talking about how fucked up cancer is.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby XbHW_TestEngr » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:36 pm UTC

I lost my wife, the mother of my 3 kids, to cancer after a 3 year battle with cancer. What I really like (don't like) is the depiction of the lanes going off into the blackness. We did that loop around - back to square one. But, just when life seemed to be back on the rails, her lane ended. That was 1992.

Thanks for sharing your stories ... Fuck Cancer!
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby bavariati » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

After treatment, the docs gave a dear friend of mine a percentage probability that she would survive 5 years.
This Monday, it'll be 5 years. She's a DISH ("Damn, I'm Still Here!") and she's getting a tattoo.

My mother has survived cancer twice (uterine and breast respectively). My mother-in-law appears to have survived a very strange sort of Leukemia.

Cancer can just piss right off.

P.S. I just registered, and the ReCAPTCHA was "Uterine heirchni". Google scares me sometimes.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Erise » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:59 pm UTC

God I wish we could scan for individual cancer cells.

*Hugs* to Randall, his fiance, and everyone else out there affected by this cancer beast.

Fuck cancer.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Propaddict » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:32 pm UTC

Am I the only one who thinks xkcd needs to sell "fuck cancer" shirts in the sTore and donate a portion of the profits to charity?

Damn I want an xkcd FUCK CANCER shirt...

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby spikesd17 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:35 pm UTC

Several labs are trying to develop strategeies for detecting cancer using nanoparticles and MRI. Here is an example of one lab (not mine) that does this kind of research: http://www.stanford.edu/~amatin/MatinLabHomePage/MatinLabHome-Page.htm.

Right now it seems that the limitation is defining what to look for to decide what is a "cancer" cell vs a "normal" cell, since the gene expression patterns often overlap. Recently, miRNAs have emerged as potential biomarkers for cancer and may be more reliable than other gene-expression/surface-marker based detection strategies. Search google/pub-med for "miRNA cancer signature" to learn more.

There is hope. Researchers are trying really hard to fix these diseases. Read the primary literature and challenge your doctor... they don't necessarily know what's been going on in science over the past 5 years.

As a researcher studying prostate cancer, my heart goes out to all of you. You are the reason I do what I do.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Iudex » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:35 pm UTC

This is a very timely topic. I'm a black belt in TaeKwon-Do and early September we are doing a charity event for cancer research. We are working with the Van Andel Institute. Cancer really is a horrible class of disease.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby jpk » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:35 pm UTC

Total Cult wrote:(I googled Youtube and I googled Google, couldn't find a video)



Yes, but did you bing bing? Did you twitter facebook?

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby tuxedobob » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:42 pm UTC

So I got 52 lanes. Is that what everyone else counted?

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Tomo » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

Edit - Nevermind.
Last edited by Tomo on Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:13 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby tuxedobob » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:49 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:Um.. what? Because people who die from cancer suffer so much more than people who die from other diseases? Because not everyone gets cancer, so other causes of death are 'mundane'? You're the one being callous here, and it certainly doesn't make me feel better that the colleague I just had die on me didn't have cancer, or that the fact I lost a friend in a car accident was an 'obvious facet of life'.

Fuck you.

To everyone else who has lost a loved one, cancer or otherwise, my sympathies. But there is a strong current running through some posts in this thread that cancer is the worst thing that can happen to people, and I think some people would do well to remember that it's not the only cause of suffering out there.


My understanding is that even surviving cancer can be a pretty hellish experience.

No one's trying to take away the loss you feel for your friend. It just happens to not be what we're talking about right now.

Personally, I think a quick death is, at the point of death, preferable to a slow one. I'd rather die instantly than have to live in my body as it wastes away with me still in it. On the other hand, I'd like to have some warning it's coming so that I could get my affairs in order if I had to, and those two desires are typically mutually exclusive. You don't often die quickly and with warning, except maybe when talking about capital punishment.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby tuxedobob » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:53 pm UTC

jpk wrote:
Total Cult wrote:(I googled Youtube and I googled Google, couldn't find a video)



Yes, but did you bing bing? Did you twitter facebook?


When you bing bing, you get this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k85mRPqvMbE

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:56 pm UTC

Tomo, no-one's loss is trivial, but this is not a discussion about all causes of suffering. It's a discussion about cancer. Should we follow you around, waiting for you to talk about your friend who died in a car accident, so we can jump in on cue to obnoxiously "remind" you to give some shits about people killed by malaria or heavy metal poisoning?

And then persist in stubbornly arguing our case for ten or twenty minutes while everyone with a modicum of sense either ignores us or gets so disgusted they just leave?
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Tomo » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:08 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Tomo, no-one's loss is trivial, but this is not a discussion about all causes of suffering. It's a discussion about cancer. Should we follow you around, waiting for you to talk about your friend who died in a car accident, so we can jump in on cue to obnoxiously "remind" you to give some shits about people killed by malaria or heavy metal poisoning?

And then persist in stubbornly arguing our case for ten or twenty minutes while everyone with a modicum of sense either ignores us or gets so disgusted they just leave?


Oh ffs. Fine, since people refuse to listen.
This whole "argument" began because someone else, not me, posted they had lost someone, and then one of the posters in this thread told them to fuck off with their "mundane" experiences. That is all I had a problem with, everything else was explaining my position to people who misrepresented my views. I haven't been arguing against the thread at all - I couldn't, because I agree with almost everything posted here.
Last edited by Tomo on Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:17 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:14 pm UTC

Such a shame he had to spoil the message by using a low form of art. Fortunately, I've decided to make a painting of this comic, thereby turning it into high art.
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:19 pm UTC

And then complain that someone else started it?
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby Samik » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:37 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:This whole "argument" began because someone else, not me, posted they had lost someone, and then one of the posters in this thread told them to fuck off with their "mundane" experiences. That is all I had a problem with, everything else was explaining my position to people who misrepresented my views. I haven't been arguing against the thread at all - I couldn't, because I agree with almost everything posted here.


It has been my experience on this site that people often just read the last three or four posts in any given thread (or maybe the last page, anyway), and then comment based off of that, with no appreciation for how the discussion actually got to the state they find it in.

That said, I can see both a.) how babblinggorilla found your original post insensitive, and b.) how you would find babblinggorilla's response equally insensitive. However, your point that all of your subsequent posts were specifically addressing gorilla's "mundane" line should be plainly obvious to anyone who read the entire progression of comments, and I don't see that you should be getting any flak on account of them.

As far as your first comment, which started this whole thing, goes, I think both positions are valid:

1.) All other causes of death suck too.
2.) This comic was specifically designed to address not just an illness of which the author is presently experiencing (peripherally) the effects, but some specific number of its somewhat less well known characteristics that took him by surprise. To criticize it for being too narrow-view is akin to criticizing a movie because it's not also all other movies ever made at the same time.



EDIT: Eeesh... aaand I really need to work on my reading comprehension if I'm going to criticize others for such. I completely failed to notice that Gorilla's original comment was not actually in response to you at all. Amend the "as far as your first comment..." line to read "as far as the first comments..." or something along those lines.
Last edited by Samik on Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:54 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby McClow » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

I loved this comic. It might not have been funny but it was one of Randall's best.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby McClow » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:53 pm UTC

McClow wrote:I loved this comic. It might not have been funny but it was one of Randall's best.


...visually and contentwise.

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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby meat.paste » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:57 pm UTC

We all die. A goodly chunk of us will die from cancer (25% of men and 15% of women). It's a shitty way to go.

My $0.02, don't dwell on the off-ramp. Enjoy the drive instead.
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TaylorP
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Re: 0931: "Lanes"

Postby TaylorP » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:58 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:Such a shame he had to spoil the message by using a low form of art. Fortunately, I've decided to make a painting of this comic, thereby turning it into high art.


I personally disagree with you there. The message isn't definitely not "spoiled" because of the way it's drawn or presented. In fact, I find that many of Randall's comics have a lot more value than pieces of so-called "high art." But I don't have an arts degree so I'm probably wrong. :roll:


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