0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

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IllvilJa
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby IllvilJa » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:48 pm UTC

Thinking once more about this comic, I think one of the reasons I like it is that it serves the purpose of illustrating that escalators are dangerous and that anyone who prevents ppl from exiting them at the end is posing a risk.

The effect of this comic is not that the number of such "anyones" increases because some hobby-sociopath decides to play being BHG, they will rather decrease as people are reminded how dangerous escalators might be if someone is to lax/lazy/careless and is too slow to get out of the way of the rest of ppl who comes.

I recall the practice my wife and I had with our pram when using escalators: the one without the pram stands before the one wit but we made sure we had a few empty steps between us, so the first of us got enough time to ensure anyone not paying attention (read "someone who's an idiot") to get out of the way. It's one thing being blocked when you are on your own and can squeese yourself past those who should know better, it's an entirely different business when you have a pram and gets trapped!

So by making a joke about how a sociopath turn a escalator into a dangerous trap Randall reminds us about the necessity of not acting carelessly when exiting the escalator so we don't create the trap by mistake.

(Yes, I do acknowledge that I understand that the thing BHG does with his chin-up bar very well could cause the mayhem depicted in the last panel. And no I don't think escalator incidents are fun IRL. Happy now? And I do know how much harder, jagged and nastier escalator steps are compared to steps in a "normal" (non-moving) stair... "Ouch!!!")

/IllvilJa

PS. Did I mention that I too are part of the "this is funny"-camp? /DS

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Troger64 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:54 pm UTC

Whao, whao, whao.
My brother was killed by a chin-up bar.

NOT COOL, NOT FUNNY, NOT A GOOD COMIC.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby thejevans » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:58 pm UTC

I have to ride this escalator twice a day. This would definitely spice up my trip to work.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:10 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:
PHDrillSergeant wrote:To the people claiming to be offended by this webcomic: You are quite obviously trolls.

Cite one post where someone has explicitly said the comic offended them.

"I don't find this comic funny/good/entertaining" is not being offended.
"Playing a prank like that is dangerous" is not being offended.

Many people suggested the comic was in bad taste considering accidents can actually happen.


This logic bothers me, though. If this comic offends you because people have been hurt in escalator accidents before, surely almost every previous comic has offended you because of people getting hurt in accidents related to the comic's subject. And if fictional people getting mildly (or greatly) injured for comedy is too much for you to handle, please get off the Internet, get rid of your TV, get rid of your radio, don't read anything, don't go outside, don't talk to anyone, don't say anything, because something might offend you. What a travesty that would be. I sincerely hope all comedians, and anyone else capable of commentary on anything, immediately censor themselves; that way, they're less likely to offend people. And anyone who's having fun, stop that right this instant and never do it again, because your fun is offending the people who aren't having fun.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby BurningLed » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:12 pm UTC

To those asking for a joke explanation -- The joke is in the buildup. There are 8-9 panels of awkward, quiet conversation with Black Hat Guy and Hatless Guy; where BHG is carrying a chin-up bar for apparently no reason. Then suddenly, in two panels, the trap is set and chaos ensues. It's the extended period of awkward suddenly turned into mass chaos which makes it hilarious.

That said, yes this can be recreated easily and it is an ungodly horrible thing to do; that alone wasn't enough to make it unfunny for me though. Couldn't hurt if Randall did something like he did with http://xkcd.com/851/ though.

"Note: DO NOT TRY THIS, YOU WILL END UP KILLING PEOPLE."
Last edited by BurningLed on Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:10 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Mr. Burke » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:16 pm UTC

IllvilJa wrote:I recall the practice my wife and I had with our pram when using escalators: the one without the pram stands before the one wit but we made sure we had a few empty steps between us, so the first of us got enough time to ensure anyone not paying attention (read "someone who's an idiot") to get out of the way. It's one thing being blocked when you are on your own and can squeese yourself past those who should know better, it's an entirely different business when you have a pram and gets trapped!

Dude, have you heard of these new inventions called “elevators”?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:17 pm UTC

I can't believe this isn't an X Games event yet, or -- oh wait... there, It officially just became one.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby CDRW » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:21 pm UTC

Actually, now that I think about it, the warning on the front page is very applicable to this situation.

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).


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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby buddy431 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:26 pm UTC

I thought the comic was mildly humorous (though I'm not a huge fan of black hat guy in general), but I've got to agree that this was poorly executed - Let's show someone doing a very stupid thing on a very dangerous machine, and make it look like there aren't any realistic consequences. Do you want to know what really happens when an escelator fails?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1361473/Human-pile-LEnfant-metro-station-Washington-D-C-video-shows-horrifying-moment-escalator-breaks-failed.html

Now imagine a stupid kid blocking the bottom.

For most of Black Hat Guys stunts, you'd actually have to be a sociopath to try them. Here, you just have to be a stupid kid who doesn't understand the consequences of your actions.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby CodexDraco » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:31 pm UTC

CDRW wrote:Perhaps the obvious is obvious to other people as well? Perhaps the obvious is so obviously obvious that nobody would actually try the obviously dangerous trick in real life because it would obviously result in some obvious injuries? Perhaps the reason this so obviously unnaceptable prank is so funny is because it is so obviously dangerous and malicious that nobody except, I don't know, maybe a character like the BHG, would do something that would so obviously result in injuries.


Well I thought it was obvious, but apparently it's not.

What bothered me about the comic is that I thought Hat Guy was supposed to be smart and would avoid prison. Instead he just either killed a bunch of people willingly in public or he killed them unwillingly. At least if he had pulled his crossbow the comic would had been much more amusing.

Perhaps the message of the comic is that life is awesome and you should enjoy it because you don't know when an idiot will set a chin-up bar in the scalator you are riding, or that you should avoid scalators at all costs. /overanalyzing

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby bmonk » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

scikidus wrote:For those who are curious, the escalators in question are probably the DC Metro: Wheaton station escalators.

I was thinking it was something like that.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby of the way » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:40 pm UTC

This is how I saw the comic -

They're stick figures. They don't look to be dying. They don't look to be in pain. Some look like 'well that's not good', but the guy holding onto that female's hair looks like 'Bring it on!'. This seems like the sort of comic where you'd live through anything. Maybe it wouldn't seem obvious to everyone that mimicking BHG would be a bad thing, but the comic shows a huge mass of people in a ball. In real life, that would obviously be a bad thing. So while some people may have a tendency to want to try this out, it seems like the comic is actually saying it's a bad idea. People disagreeing with the comic would be the ones to try it out. But again, in this comic, it still seems (to me) very obviously something out of the ordinary. I'm (simply) curious - if the ball of stick figures were shown to make it down to the bottom of the escalator in a writhing heap, and then we were shown the whole ball moving back up and down in a ridiculous manner like the alt-text suggests, would that be funnier for those of you who don't find this funny? Because I think the comic actually does show us that, you just have to make the pictures yourself. Of course, if you wouldn't find that funny, it would make no difference.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby addams » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:02 pm UTC

That is funny. Made me laugh.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby IllvilJa » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:03 pm UTC

Mr. Burke wrote:Dude, have you heard of these new inventions called “elevators”?


No. But I know about a quite old invention by the same name. In some places, they have even built enough of them so there's so much capacity that it makes sense to use them when you got a pram. In other places, they have built far to few/slow elevators so it's quite asocial to use them, I mean, healthy people like me and my wife can take the escalator in those circumstances, pram or not, saving elevator capacity for others who need it more.

So, even with elevators in use in our society, I appreciate Randalls reminder to that one should not cause any kind of obstacle, neither one self or anything else, for those who are exiting the escalator!

/IllvilJa

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Spolin » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:45 pm UTC

I think many fail to remember that BHG is supposed to be an asshole, or more specifically, a classhole. If you think his actions make him an asshole, he has succeeded.

Trasvi wrote:Seriously, I get f**ing frustrated at people who don't walk up escalators.


Most Escalator safety groups state that moving while on an escalator should not be done, at all. I know this because about a year ago my local transit had to remove signs on their escalators that advised people to walk on the left.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby MuskratNews » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:00 pm UTC

I think I see the intended joke, and why it fails. I was horrified by this cartoon, but not by previous ones where BHG does evil things, including murder. The difference is those were always eitehr comical over-reactions to social anoyances, or deeply self-involved issues. This one was ... what? He's mad at people on escalators? He's mad at people who design escalators? It's just random violence.

Imagine the cartoon if instead of affixing the bar to the top of the escalator, he just starts beating people with it. Like a baseball bat. Bam. Pow. Same net effect -- carnage. Same reason -- none. Is that funny? Killing a guy to keep cutesy behavior secret (#515) is a little funny, because a) it's a gross over-reaction to a common personal embarassment, and b) the contrast between the cute love talk and the extremity of the violence. Here he's not reacting to anything, nor is there any contrast between his random violence and anything but normal, non-sociopath behavior. Or in #611, he's contrasting the normal human urge to see disaster happen (which is real but which we don't act on, and we know is wrong), with his comic over-the-top acting out of. Here there's just "I like to see people get hurt." That's not a joke. That's sadism. Might as well use the baseball bat. Pow. Bam.

I think I know where the author was going. The mouseover text ends with "The stampede lasted two hours and reached the bottom three times." That seems to suggest he's mocking the sheep-like nature of people -- who gets on an escalator where there's a battered mob at the top? The joke then would be on the people who got on in hour two -- what's wrong with you people?!? But we don't see them. We see the people at the very beginning of the disaster, who had no way of avoiding it. Moreover, since when is "failure to carefully scope out the escalator traffic above before getting on" a behavior that annoys us, or we like to mock, which would give us a smidge of sympathy for BHG?

To make this even marginally non-terrible, he would need to have set up the idea early on that BHG is annoyed by escalator passengers as a group, or that everyone shares an unstated desire to create havoc, or something. Or make the last panel "Two hours later...."

BHG over-reacts is a joke. BHG acts out what we all think but flinch from is a joke. BHG hurts people for no reason is just dumb.

I say this as someone who loves XKCD and will continue to read it as fast as it gets cranked out. Everybody misses once in a while.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Skid » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:11 pm UTC

I thoroughly enjoyed this comic. All of you people harping over it being in poor taste or not funny... just do us all a favor and leave the internet now. You should be out telling small children not to run with sticks because they might poke somebody's eye out.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Sprocket » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:27 pm UTC

Didn't this basically happen a few years ago in Porter? Sandry was there.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby MadKingSoupII » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:35 pm UTC

Okay, haven't read all 5 pages of humorous debate about the humour or lack thereof in this strip, but is anyone else slightly disturbed by BHG standing on an escalator like a regular oblivioid, seemingly unaware that you can walk up those moving stairs just as if they were normal stairs?

I'm also vaguely intrigued as to why he didn't jam the bar in a little bit further back from the very end, or even right in the middle of the escalator, which would have denied any passing good samaritan a stable footing from which to unhook it.

I also kind of wonder if the psychological effect mightn't have been heightened by jamming the bar at (or near) the end of the down escalator, so that the fallen would have the sight of giant metal teeth grinding them under as they were tragically trampled and crushed joined by those behind them.

Even better, BHG could have headed for one of several curved escalators in North America, where the impending logjam might have been much less obvious to potential victims participants until they were already inexorably en route.

Not particularly funny, but it does make you think. Just about what I expect from xkcd, then.

<edit> Also "Why aren't you wearing a hat?" is now my stock response to any question directed at me. Regardless of whether I, myself, am wearing a hat. (I'm not sure what I'll do if the questionner is wearing a hat, but it might be interesting just to forge on ahead anyway and let them figure it out.)</edit>
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Hirg » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:41 pm UTC

This is in poor taste.

I read the initial arguments about whether or not this is funny, and then decided it's just ridiculous. Half of you aren't making the connection between what happens when people panic in tight spaces and this comic, and the other half of you are making that connection but think it's funny anyway.

Today's comic is disturbing and disgusting, and the laughter at it is repulsive.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Lerkistan » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:47 pm UTC

DocMesa wrote:Regarding this particular comic, I *did* find it funny, purely down to the behaviour of BHG. He's so casual in the way he carries out his "joke" and then carries on as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening on the other escalator. He's not rolling around on the floor laughing at other people's misery, he's just carrying on normally. It's like he feels the world has some sort of "Bastard Quotient" that needs to be topped up every so often through some random act of heinousness.

That (and the rest of the quoted post) is one part of why I found this funny. Incidentally, I think it would not have been funny with a chainsaw, that'd just be somebody running amuck. Surprise is definitely one of the official reasons for laughing. But what do I know, I'm not a psychologist.
Side note, somebody said the fun can't be due to schadenfreude because "that's laughing at other's harm, not creating it". But WE are not creating any harm, so schadenfreude might still be a candidate for why some of us laughed at this comic.

I also came here without even thinking that anyone could find this distasteful or even that somebody might mimic this.
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Because... wait for it... he was a cartoon character? Unlike the people in this strip?

davidp wrote:
Piskvor wrote:FEEK-SHUN, people, do you know it?


Of course we know it. We're just worried that this will end up on this list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xkcd#Inspired_activities

Because there are people idiotic enough to do it.


But that list doesn't feature anyone mimicking anything dangerous, right? It's almost as if xkcd readers had not only humour, but also common sense.


That notwithstanding, to anybody who thinks people will not fall down if you tried this in reality, let's do a simple estimation

- first person reacted to slowly to climb over the bar, making it impossible for any subsequent people to do that (they'd have to climb over person 1)
- person 2 takes 0.5s to realise and decide on "proper" measure, i.e. just walking back down
- person 2 need 0.5s to turn around and make a step (that's quite fast)
- according to a website I just found on google, escalators move 27m to 55m per minute. Assuming a slow escalator (30m/min), that's 0.5m/s

Thus, in the second person 2 reacts and turns, the escalator moves 0.5m. That's 2-3 people that move into him and press him upwards while he was supposed to go down.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:54 pm UTC

Woopate wrote:We initially see BHG on the escalator with a strange device. The second panel establishes that BHG knows exactly what escalator this is and this allows us to infer he is there for a reason. Immediately we think 'oh god what is he up to?' because we know he is black hat guy. We do not know what the thing in his hands is yet. I think this is the critical part of the humor. And is a common comedy trope "what is (trickster) up to?". We know through xkcd canon that BHG guy will likely act maliciously. What is he going to do with the world's longest escalator? And what is that thing in his hand? It's obvious that it is a "what is (trickster) up to?" joke because even when confronted, BHG acts coy and gives no straight answers. We are invited to try to figure out what he could possibly be doing with a chin up bar on an escalator? Who is his target? The man talking to him? Some as yet unintroduced character? Might we get more details as to why he needs a 70 meter escalator?


This. There is no punchline in the comic, so how come it's funny? The buildup of suspense. I especially loved the "I'm not really a hat person" - "I'm not really a not-carrying-a-chin-up-bar person" panel.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby New User » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:00 pm UTC

BytEfLUSh wrote:
Woopate wrote:We initially see BHG on the escalator with a strange device. The second panel establishes that BHG knows exactly what escalator this is and this allows us to infer he is there for a reason. Immediately we think 'oh god what is he up to?' because we know he is black hat guy. We do not know what the thing in his hands is yet. I think this is the critical part of the humor. And is a common comedy trope "what is (trickster) up to?". We know through xkcd canon that BHG guy will likely act maliciously. What is he going to do with the world's longest escalator? And what is that thing in his hand? It's obvious that it is a "what is (trickster) up to?" joke because even when confronted, BHG acts coy and gives no straight answers. We are invited to try to figure out what he could possibly be doing with a chin up bar on an escalator? Who is his target? The man talking to him? Some as yet unintroduced character? Might we get more details as to why he needs a 70 meter escalator?


This. There is no punchline in the comic, so how come it's funny? The buildup of suspense. I especially loved the "I'm not really a hat person" - "I'm not really a not-carrying-a-chin-up-bar person" panel.

I thought the reaction "face" in panel 6 was the best part. Seriously. A reaction face on a stick figure with no face. That's comedy gold.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby keithl » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:03 pm UTC

Funny/Not Funny? Inspiration for psychopaths?

How about inspiring thousands of XKCD readers to think differently about escalators.
    Will you pay more attention around escalators?
    What can you do to help others if you encounter a similarly sabotaged escalator?
    Will you watch for psychopaths disrupting escalators, and stop them?
    Will you watch for idiots dangerously mis-using escalators, and stop them?
    Will you lobby/testify against designs for insanely long, uninterrupted escalators?
    Will you use elevators instead?
    Will you use the stairs more often? You need the exercise!
One of you reading this may save my life on an escalator someday. Thank you in advance.

I live in a world with some black hat guys in it. I do not fear them, but I do want to be prepared to deal with them. Escalators are the stairway equivalent of HTML email - easy but dangerous. This "comic", and some of the real world experiences shared by others on this thread, helped open my eyes. I am now more prepared to do the right thing if a black hat does the wrong thing. We do not have to be passive victims.

XKCD teaches us to look at the world differently. That can be funny, and it can be very grim (sometimes both). Those who want nonstop giggles are in the wrong place.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:14 pm UTC

New User wrote:I thought the reaction "face" in panel 6 was the best part. Seriously. A reaction face on a stick figure with no face. That's comedy gold.

Oh, that too. I also loved the way he looks at people on the sabotaged escalator in the last panel, he really does look horrified. :)
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby MrFrothy » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

I'm pretty sure this escalator is in the Rosslyn metro station. Either that or Wheaton.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby KShrike » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:09 pm UTC

The people who feel offended by what is obviously a really funny webcomic really need to loosen up.
It's like cartooning. Back in the day when you would see a bunch of slap-stick humor, and now you have boards of people who would flag newer shows that would try to do the same because it's too "Violent for kids". Good God! Why won't people loosen up?
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby blowfishhootie » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:14 pm UTC

davidp wrote:
Piskvor wrote:FEEK-SHUN, people, do you know it?


Of course we know it. We're just worried that this will end up on this list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xkcd#Inspired_activities

Because there are people idiotic enough to do it.


I would just like to point out that not one single example on that list is violent or lethal in nature. I'm not even sure if any of them are illegal without doing further reading that I don't care to do.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby soren121 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:20 pm UTC

CodexDraco wrote:What bothered me about the comic is that I thought Hat Guy was supposed to be smart and would avoid prison. Instead he just either killed a bunch of people willingly in public or he killed them unwillingly. At least if he had pulled his crossbow the comic would had been much more amusing.


The alt-text indicates that he planned this well ahead of time, so it's possible that he blacked out the security cameras. Also, there are only a few witnesses to him placing the chin-up bar, and they've likely gotten concussions or similar.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:35 pm UTC

Do I dare....


Well, theoretically, I could. But I would (for concious and legal reasons) have to pad the entire elevator and make sure that only physically-fit subjects were on it, spaced enough not to hurt each other.

Great idea in the comic world. Maybe not so much in ours.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Atomsk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:01 am UTC

CDRW wrote:
CodexDraco wrote:The first thing I thought when I read the comic was that it was so obviously dangerous...I hope nobody actually tries this.

Perhaps the obvious is obvious to other people as well? Perhaps the obvious is so obviously obvious that nobody would actually try the obviously dangerous trick in real life because it would obviously result in some obvious injuries? Perhaps the reason this so obviously unnaceptable prank is so funny is because it is so obviously dangerous and malicious that nobody except, I don't know, maybe a character like the BHG, would do something that would so obviously result in injuries.

If it's so obviously obvious, why are there at least three posters in this thread that are convinced it'd be harmless because of course it would, because the escalator is so slow everyone would just duck out of the way or because the escalator would be "too weak" or whatever the imagined reason was, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is "obviously trolling"?

That's the problem here, it's not obvious. You need to think about it.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:19 am UTC

Atomsk wrote:If it's so obviously obvious, why are there at least three posters in this thread that are convinced it'd be harmless because of course it would, because the escalator is so slow everyone would just duck out of the way or because the escalator would be "too weak" or whatever the imagined reason was, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is "obviously trolling"?

That's the problem here, it's not obvious. You need to think about it.


Well, in most FPS games you need to shoot someone many times before he is dead. That being said, in earlier FPS games the victim did not show any signs of pain when you shot it. So, why don't people shoot someone just once (so he won't die), as a prank?
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Atomsk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:36 am UTC

BytEfLUSh wrote:
Atomsk wrote:If it's so obviously obvious, why are there at least three posters in this thread that are convinced it'd be harmless because of course it would, because the escalator is so slow everyone would just duck out of the way or because the escalator would be "too weak" or whatever the imagined reason was, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is "obviously trolling"?

That's the problem here, it's not obvious. You need to think about it.


Well, in most FPS games you need to shoot someone many times before he is dead. That being said, in earlier FPS games the victim did not show any signs of pain when you shot it. So, why don't people shoot someone just once (so he won't die), as a prank?


Maybe it's the late hour, but I think you're saying "guns in games may seem harmless, but real guns are obviously lethal so people won't use them for pranks."

If that's the case, how does that relate? If it's not, what are you trying to say?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Vnend » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:54 am UTC

Well, it is funny because it was not expected. It is funny *because* it is horrible (the classic "I'm laughing to keep from crying" sense).

Tricksters are not nice people. They can be inspirational ("I don't have to put up with that?"), terrifying ("But that could kill someone!"), delightful ("I never thought of that!") and cruel ("He was left with his tail frozen in the ice.") all at the same time. Their function is to make you (re)consider the world and your place in it.

Judging by the volume and vehemence of the discussion here, the comic succeeded, and, unlike with a 'real' trickster, no one was injured/broken/killed in the process. Sounds like a success to me.

As a few others have pointed out, the art work is wonderful in this one. Randall gets a lot of expression out of his stick figures. Look at BHG's companion in the last panel. Is his hand on his chin, contemplating the mayhem behind them? Or is it covering his mouth, in an Oh me yarm expression of amazement? If the figures were more fully rendered it would (probably) be obvious which it is. But with the stick figures the ambiguity becomes part of the charm, and the wonder.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:07 am UTC

Atomsk wrote:
BytEfLUSh wrote:
Atomsk wrote:If it's so obviously obvious, why are there at least three posters in this thread that are convinced it'd be harmless because of course it would, because the escalator is so slow everyone would just duck out of the way or because the escalator would be "too weak" or whatever the imagined reason was, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is "obviously trolling"?

That's the problem here, it's not obvious. You need to think about it.


Well, in most FPS games you need to shoot someone many times before he is dead. That being said, in earlier FPS games the victim did not show any signs of pain when you shot it. So, why don't people shoot someone just once (so he won't die), as a prank?


Maybe it's the late hour, but I think you're saying "guns in games may seem harmless, but real guns are obviously lethal so people won't use them for pranks."

If that's the case, how does that relate? If it's not, what are you trying to say?


Dumb/sociopathic people may use guns for pranks. Dumb/sociopathic people may also use chin-up bars at an escalator for pranks. It's up to damn people to decide how would they like to cause harm. I can't see how this comic could cause any harm.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby jpk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:35 am UTC

JMike66 wrote:Meh, forget that Porter Square comment, that one's a measley 143 feet. I'll just go fade back into obscurity now.


Yeah, but it feels like it goes forever, and it's in Randall's stomping grounds. It's long enough to give you time to have some ideas, anyway.

(and yes, the gloves are still there... in case you ever got the idea of sliding down, don't it would be quite painful. Or am I the only one who sees that 50-foot elevator and thinks "look, there's a slide in between them!"?)

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Jared the Great » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:50 am UTC

People know they can walk down an up escalator, right?
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby jpk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:02 am UTC

As for the whinging multitudes - I just read through the whole five pages (so far) of bollocks, and I can tell you none of you have given me any reason to doubt my default position of misanthropy. You all read a comic which qualified as a very good five-second funny. It occupies your head for five seconds, and then it's over and you move on. Apparently, a bunch of you are pathetic enough that your first thought was "what if there's a psychopath in this world? someone could get hurt!"
Well, yes there is a psychopath in this world. There are a number of them, in fact. And yes, people do get hurt. Sometimes, they get hurt because of the psychopaths, sometimes they get hurt because some damn stupid moron isn't paying attention while they're operating a motor vehicle (anyone who complains about this - if you ever use a phone for any purpose while operating a vehicle, you can just shut up right now, you fucking hypocrite, and I know there's at least a few of you). Sometimes they get hurt because the dominoes fell that way. Life's dangerous - in fact, it's 100% fatal.

But here's the thing: psychopaths don't get their ideas from comic strips. They get their ideas from being fucking psychopaths. That, in fact, is what makes them psychopaths: they think about ways to hurt people, and they think it's fun. So if you think this comic is going to create a bunch of copycat escalator massacres, well, you're too stupid to continue breathing. Please go play with a plastic bag for a while and make room for some new people, hopefully smarter than you.
They can't be dumber, that's for sure.

(by the way: did it occur to you that planting a chin-up bar securely enough, while on a moving escalator, that it would take any effort to dislodge it would take more effort than dislodging it? It wouldn't work, people. This isn't a blueprint for a massacre, it's a silly idea that occurred to him when he was getting off the T to grab some groceries on the way home. I think Heinlein was right: to calculate the effective IQ of a mob, take the average IQ of it members, and divide by the number of people that compose it)

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Jared the Great » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:09 am UTC

jpk wrote:That, in fact, is what makes them psychopaths: they think about ways to hurt people, and they think it's fun.

Actually, psychopaths have very shallow emotions. It's not that it's fun; it's that it's preventing them from doing what they were going to do, and therefore aiding the psychopath.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Maxpm » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:11 am UTC

This was the best xkcd in a while! It's certainly one of my new favorites. I especially liked Megan(?)'s expression in the final panel.

"Oh God!"


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