0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

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Felstaff
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Felstaff » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:24 pm UTC

dp2 wrote:
DennyMo wrote:Schadenfreude. Look it up.
Schadenfreude?!?! I think you need to look it up.
I agree. Schadenfreude is generally used in the context of taking enjoyment out of other people's misfortunes; not creating the misfortune in the first place.

kargoth wrote:Those preaching are the same people saying that the fact I play violent shooters makes me want to go kill real people.
You're wrong and this ridiculous strawman you've created credits your argument with the same amount of respect as if your pants comically fell down as you were making it.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Pudabudigada » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:32 pm UTC

Trojan wrote:This is in pretty bad taste; people have been killed from escalators malfunctioning and hitting reverse, and other stunts like the one in this comic.

What's also in bad taste is that I've been reading XKCD for however many years, and it took this to prompt me to sign up to the forums. Unimpressed.


People are killed by everything, if we refrain from making jokes because an aspect of them relates, however tenuously, to a tragedy or n, then it will be nigh-on impossible to use humour at all.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby DocMesa » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:35 pm UTC

The fact is that there are disturbed people out there that like to mimic what they see. Some will mimic Manhunt, some will mimic GTA, others will mimic Condemned or the Saw films. Not matter what the source of the inspiration, crazy people will do crazy shit and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

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.

Hatless guy on the other hand, is very *much* aware of what's going on on the other escalator and he's not laughing on the floor either. One other thing that's worth pointing out - Randall is making a *comment* on this situation, he hasn't stuck up huge flashing banners saying *HEY KIDS AND MORONS, TRY THIS NEXT TIME YOU'RE ON THE TUBE!!!!!". It's a sad state of affairs when you can't even make a comment on something without people decrying it and having you burnt as a witch.


For those deploring the senseless horror and unspeakable evil of Randall in even thinking along these lines, I'm sure the Daily Mail will gladly champion your cause in getting this DEPRAVED UNSPEAKABLE FILTH off the internet and away from the minds of children and really stupid people.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby dangerousmemes » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:46 pm UTC

Well like I said, my problem with the cartoon is not based on it involving violence happening to people, I don't see a problem with that.

If black hat guy had taped a chainsaw to the top of the escalator, I wouldn't have a problem. I probably wouldn't find it funny, but I would have no problem with the strip.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby asliceofpi » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:56 pm UTC

Geez, the way some of you are taking offense to this comic, it's like you never watched a Bugs Bunny cartoon in your life. Please tell me you're not shuddering every time Yosemite Sam mistakes a dynamite stick for a cigar because people have actually suffered injury or death from explosions.

Personally, I laughed my ass off because, much like the hat-less guy, I knew something terrible was about to happen and could not figure out what until it actually did. Plus, I love the alt-text.

EDIT: Should've read page 2; lots of people beat me to my first point. :P Whoopsiedoodle. I stand by it anyway!

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby illinoiscentral » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:57 pm UTC

I thought the funny part of this joke was, that people are so used to being effortlessly carried to high places on moving stairs - while on the escalator, they seemingly lose all their ability to perform even minor physical exercise. Black hat guy anticipated this and knew they would be stupefied and just stand there and get rolled on top of other people. (Hence adding meaning to his comment on not being a psychologist.)
I mean... it looks like they can easily push themselves over the bar. (And possibly ninjaroll to the other side, adding to the awesome thrill of movement. 8) )

By the way, before reading this topic I didn't even consider they could die. It's a comic strip. They are all immortal, immune to high jumps and falls and even the most serious injury can be easily cured with two band-aids in the shape of X or pushing that huge swelling bump on the head back to the body.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby lexjw » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:58 pm UTC

Gonna have to agree with others who think this comic is a bit in poor taste.

After reading it, I was immediately reminded of this tragedy from my hometown: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-07-28/news/1991209034_1_memorial-stadium-doc-medich-escalator-accident

It's strikingly similar to the comic and one child did end up dying. Honestly, it's amazing that more kids didn't die that day.

Anyway, I still love XKCD, but this comic, not so much.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby shirosuzume » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:08 pm UTC

Randall's comics are not always intended to be humourous. He likes to point out loopholes & inconsistencies in legal / social rules. A society can have all sorts of draconian rules in place designed to prevent a tiny proportion of the population doing something nasty which inconvenience almost everyone, yet there are all sorts of scenarios like the one in this comic that can have dire consequences that the rules can't prevent (although it's of course quite possible to prosecute the perpetrator after the event).


As regards the "funny/not funny" discussion, I think this is the most important point. xkcd is frequently funny, but not always, and I don't think there's a contract out there anywhere that says that it has to be. I can almost guarantee that every single person on the planet has had a momentary flash of wanting to hurt someone when frustrated or angered by something. For me, it's the unpreventable thought that pops in my head occasionally about how easy it would be to bump somebody into oncoming traffic when I pass them on the sidewalk... and I've never done it, and I never will, and it makes me cringe at myself to admit it... I think this comic made me laugh because laughing relieves the tension that you feel all day long at dealing with people, and then you shrug and smile and help out the next person in line.

Randall seems to use xkcd to express himself and frequently that makes other people laugh. And while I imagine he's pleased when it does, I can't imagine he loses much sleep when someone complains that something that may or may not have been intended to be actually humorous makes other people gasp! shocked! appalled!. And from the sounds of things, it's been a trying time in life lately. Cut the guy some slack when he vents his frustration through his artwork. Cripes. For those who think this isn't funny, never go hang around with a group of doctors, or firefighters, or police officers, or any other service profession, when they're blowing off steam.

(And, since this is my first time posting- thanks, Randall, you've been making me laugh for years. Now GOOMH!)

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby duckshirt » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:08 pm UTC

lotharofthehillpeople wrote:Obstructing an escalator in the Washington DC Metro (where this 70m escalator lives) during rush hour is a $300 offense. Sad to say I know from experience.

Geez, I've been to that escalator a few times and was wondering if it was the largest around.
Last edited by duckshirt on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:16 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
lol everything matters
-Ed

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby dangerousmemes » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:10 pm UTC

Again, it's not that the character is being murderous, it's that he isn't being obviously murderous, especially if you aren't familiar with the character.

Do people seriously think its that unlikely that some one will see this strip and not realise this prank would be lethal? there are plenty of people in this thread who didn't realise how dangerous this would be.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby elicash » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:12 pm UTC

If this is indeed DC metro, then I just have one thing to say to the couple holding hands...

STAND TO YOUR RIGHT! The left side is for people walking. Otherwise, you've got it coming to you... (Okay, they don't deserve this, but still.)

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby jefnvk » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:15 pm UTC

And spoiler: the coyote never died


And unless I am missing something, the comic doesn't show or imply anyone dying, unlike plenty of others. All I see is a comical tumbling of people down an escalator. Maybe I'm a bit childish, but the thought of people in a COMIC STRIP tumbling non-stop down an escalator makes me chuckle a bit, not reflect on all the world escalator tragedies.

Granted, I'm also diabetic and find find this comic absolutely hilarious: http://xkcd.com/531/, so maybe I can just look past the fact that some thing are just not to be taken seriously and to be enjoyed, instead of trying to be offended by everything.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby MadZab » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:15 pm UTC

The mishaps of Will E. Coyote are funny because he builds these elaborate traps time and time again, in his eternal (and undying) hunt of that one bird and they always, always end up working against him. THAT is the humor in it. Now if he were to build an elaborate death trap and it would simply work, killing the Road Runner, that might be interesting for breaking the concept of the show but it wouldn't be funny without the context of it breaking the rule that was established beforehands. BHG casually strapping a piano-wire across a road would have the same effect.

And yes, a lot of people even in this thread seem to think it would be a harmless prank in real life. The internet does indeed make you stupid.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby duckshirt » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:17 pm UTC

Even though I thought this was the funniest comic in a while, I think the people saying it was in poor taste do have a point... Randall often talks about how jokes about rape or cancer are bad, but he certainly has jokes that could be just as offensive.
lol everything matters
-Ed

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby ShuRugal » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:20 pm UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:Black Hat guy just went from playful hijinks to mass murderer.



You clearly missed the IP Over Demographics comic.


There should be a disclaimer on BHG comics stating "no people were harmed in the drawing of this comic". Christ guys, it's a bunch of stick figure drawings. No-one got killed, crushed, or maimed because Randall drew this comic...

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Piskvor » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:21 pm UTC

GulliNL wrote:Next thing you know people are demanding safety labels on the website

Wait, you mean that this is not a safety label?

xkcd.com wrote: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).


Emphasis mine.

Yes, creating panic in enclosed spaces can be lethal, and thus it's NOT a good idea. In other news: when you get hit by a boulder, you don't become two-dimensional but then recover without harm; cutting a hole in your car and pushing it with your feet is not an effective method of transportation, and stealing a nuclear submarine is harder than you'd think. Do you think this is meant in earnest: http://xkcd.com/20/ ? FEEK-SHUN, people, do you know it?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby thrpwood » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:27 pm UTC

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

Except in this case feekshun is based on reality.

Would you also laugh at comic where BHG captures a plane and crashes it into a scyscraper? Of course no corpses will be drawn, just stick figures jumping from 100th floor.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby exotica » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:30 pm UTC

In case anyone is contemplating those telescoping bar-type chin up bars, they are useless. If the door frame is wood, it will warp if you apply enough tension to use the bar at all. Furthermore, the high-friction-coefficient rubber ends of the bar will leave black marks, and worse, they will eventually weaken and shear, leaving lovely black marks along the door jam as you and the bar fall.

The good ones are the lever-type pull up contraptions that use the upper moulding on one side of the doorway and the side moulding on the other side. They can still theoretically cause problems if the upper moulding fails, but it's much less likely.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby davidp » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:31 pm UTC

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.

JMike66
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby JMike66 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:33 pm UTC

Are you referring to the escalator at the Porter Square T stop in Somerville, Massachusetts? Does that escalator still have all those bronzed gloves on it?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Adam H » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:34 pm UTC

MadZab wrote:Hahaha! Remember that one time we put concrete slabs on the train lines and derailed that high-speed train! Hilarious!
Or when we pushed that mother with the baby-cart infront of the subway train? Man we had a laugh!

Seriously - I don't get it.
I laughed. At both of those.
dangerousmemes wrote:If black hat guy had taped a chainsaw to the top of the escalator, I wouldn't have a problem.
I also laughed at this.

thrpwood wrote:Would you also laugh at comic where BHG captures a plane and crashes it into a scyscraper? Of course no corpses will be drawn, just stick figures jumping from 100th floor.
If I thought that no one who ever knew anyone who died from a similar tragedy was nearby, and it was cleverly and funnily written/drawn, then yes. I would laugh.

Oh god I'm going to hell.
-Adam

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Leak » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:36 pm UTC

First thing I had to think of after reading the strip was the video to Battles' "My Machines" - although it's just one guy continuously falling down the escalator:

http://youtu.be/4D7RzUtFEps

(I take it I need to post more before I can link to anything, right? Serves me right for not registering sooner... :))

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby JMike66 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:37 pm UTC

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

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby RogueCynic » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:37 pm UTC

To those of you who thought the trick was dangerous: Did you think the Simpson's escalator to nowhere was dangerous? That one was probably 70 meters. The humor was that it was a high construction to nowhere, everyone knew it went nowhere, but people still rode it. People do stupid things knowing they are stupid. Watch "Johnny Knoxville's Jackass".This comic, in my opinion, is funny and did not need the alt-text. As to NHG's inquiry carrying the chin up bar in the first place, he was at the mall and probably just bought it. Will you people stop posting while I'm trying to submit my post?
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Ferronic » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:37 pm UTC

Because a comic is the only thing standing between me and mass murder. Let's be realistic and stop overreacting.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Piskvor » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:41 pm UTC

I'd worry about this list far more (even though it doesn't currently exist):

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

There are people idiotic enough to do everything, therefore nobody should even think about anything. BAN THOUGHTCRIME NOW!

thrpwood wrote:Except in this case feekshun is based on reality. Would you also laugh at comic where BHG captures a plane and crashes it into a scyscraper? Of course no corpses will be drawn, just stick figures jumping from 100th floor.
Newsflash: all fiction is based on reality, to a greater or lesser extent. Also, XKCD has covered that scenario before, and yes, I laughed. http://xkcd.com/690/

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby cphite » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:46 pm UTC

MadZab wrote:The mishaps of Will E. Coyote are funny because he builds these elaborate traps time and time again, in his eternal (and undying) hunt of that one bird and they always, always end up working against him. THAT is the humor in it. Now if he were to build an elaborate death trap and it would simply work, killing the Road Runner, that might be interesting for breaking the concept of the show but it wouldn't be funny without the context of it breaking the rule that was established beforehands. BHG casually strapping a piano-wire across a road would have the same effect.

And yes, a lot of people even in this thread seem to think it would be a harmless prank in real life. The internet does indeed make you stupid.


I don't think it's so much a matter of people thinking it'd be a harmless prank in real life - though a few people have rightly pointed out that it wouldn't be the "mass murder" that some are suggesting - I think it's more a matter of people realizing that it's just a cartoon drawn with stick figures.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Soma » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

The best part is that people seem offended by it!

:D

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby thrpwood » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:54 pm UTC

Piskvor wrote:I'd worry about this list far more (even though it doesn't currently exist):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanide_an ... activities

There are people idiotic enough to do everything, therefore nobody should even think about anything. BAN THOUGHTCRIME NOW!


Cyanide & happiness is one of my favorite webcomics, and a perfect example of cartoon violence done right. It (as well as buggs bunny, coyote, etc) has NOTHING in common with this strip. The reason it doesn't have this list is because it DOESN'T INSPIRE real life activites. Reason xkcd has - because it DOES.

Piskvor wrote:Newsflash: all fiction is based on reality, to a greater or lesser extent. Also, XKCD has covered that scenario before, and yes, I laughed. http://xkcd.com/690/

Yes, and it is the extent that is important. This comic is a too close recreation of real-life accidents all over the world.
The strip you are linking to is making readers laugh at 9/11 conspiracies, not 9/11 victims.

cphite wrote:I think it's more a matter of people realizing that it's just a cartoon drawn with stick figures.

Does it matter if these are stick figures or actual actors? In both cases human brain interprets them as "people", otherwise this comic would not work at all. I mean, do you seriosly think someone considers this comic to be about bunch of lines, dots and circles inside rectangles?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Rhomphaia » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

elicash wrote:If this is indeed DC metro, then I just have one thing to say to the couple holding hands...

STAND TO YOUR RIGHT! The left side is for people walking. Otherwise, you've got it coming to you... (Okay, they don't deserve this, but still.)


Well the guy from that couple is known to the state of California to be a total douchebag.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Piskvor » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:03 pm UTC

Additional warnings: water is wet; do not microwave live animals; peanuts may contain peanuts. There is no hope for humanity. Piskvor out. http://xkcd.com/386/

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Matt_Zero » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:08 pm UTC

I didn't find it funny, I understand why it could be found funny though.

As previously pointed out, THERE IS A DISCLAIMER!

And let me repeat what has already been repeated multiple times. Nobody was hurt in the making of this webcomic.
Also let me add do you people who are whingeing about murder, death and violence really think the people who read XKCD have the propensity to act upon this as opposed to the ones who play violent video games?
Or even that they won't get their inspiration from somewhere else? Should XKCD be the flagship for common sense?
Is XKCD part of the problem? Moreover aren't you reading a LEETLE BIT TOO FAR INTO THIS?

XKCD is not meant to be a commentary on the stupidity of the human psyche and its not the pandora's box which upon reading will make people act like imbeciles.

I mean really people COME ON.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby KShrike » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:09 pm UTC

I demand to see footage of this happening in the real world.

Ultimate troll move.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby javahead » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

ysth wrote:Well, this was first.

I was really hoping it was an oboe, but I don't know what the punchline (punchimage?) of that would have been.

Brown note?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Ferronic » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

Now wait a minute, just because XKCD has inspired people to do things in the past doesn't mean people recreate ALL of the comics, nor does it mean people all of a sudden lack common judgement. If a lone comic is the trigger for someone to cause havoc, the reader is at fault, not the writer. It reveals the reader's mental instability, not the writer's sadism. Someone who is so easily tipped over to violence by a comic strip will have many other problems in his life, comics aside.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby dp2 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

shirosuzume wrote:
Randall's comics are not always intended to be humourous. He likes to point out loopholes & inconsistencies in legal / social rules. A society can have all sorts of draconian rules in place designed to prevent a tiny proportion of the population doing something nasty which inconvenience almost everyone, yet there are all sorts of scenarios like the one in this comic that can have dire consequences that the rules can't prevent (although it's of course quite possible to prosecute the perpetrator after the event).


As regards the "funny/not funny" discussion, I think this is the most important point. xkcd is frequently funny, but not always, and I don't think there's a contract out there anywhere that says that it has to be. I can almost guarantee that every single person on the planet has had a momentary flash of wanting to hurt someone when frustrated or angered by something. For me, it's the unpreventable thought that pops in my head occasionally about how easy it would be to bump somebody into oncoming traffic when I pass them on the sidewalk... and I've never done it, and I never will, and it makes me cringe at myself to admit it... I think this comic made me laugh because laughing relieves the tension that you feel all day long at dealing with people, and then you shrug and smile and help out the next person in line.

Randall seems to use xkcd to express himself and frequently that makes other people laugh. And while I imagine he's pleased when it does, I can't imagine he loses much sleep when someone complains that something that may or may not have been intended to be actually humorous makes other people gasp! shocked! appalled!. And from the sounds of things, it's been a trying time in life lately. Cut the guy some slack when he vents his frustration through his artwork. Cripes. For those who think this isn't funny, never go hang around with a group of doctors, or firefighters, or police officers, or any other service profession, when they're blowing off steam.

(And, since this is my first time posting- thanks, Randall, you've been making me laugh for years. Now GOOMH!)

This is the closest I've seen to a justification of the comic: it's not supposed to be funny. Okay, then, what is the point? I could agree with you if BHG was targeting some generally hated demographic, or had some personal vendetta against them, as in "No One Must Know". This is random violence.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Woopate » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

This comic made me recall when I would cause crazy pedestrian jams at the local train station. How I did it? Held a door open. People felt obligated to use the offered door and ignored the ENTIRE BANK of unused doors, causing a lineup that got quite amazingly out of hand. They would wait in line and be irritated that it was taking so long.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby endolith » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:19 pm UTC

Oh man, when a train was not running, I hastily got on a packed escalator to go down to a different subway platform, and only when I was actually going down could I see that the platform below was already packed with people. I imagined the escalator pushing so many people onto the platform that the people on the platform got pushed and started spilling off onto the tracks, but it didn't happen. The people just squished closer together until a train came. Escalator should probably have been turned off at that point, but no big deal.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby savanik » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:27 pm UTC

Woopate wrote:This comic made me recall when I would cause crazy pedestrian jams at the local train station. How I did it? Held a door open. People felt obligated to use the offered door and ignored the ENTIRE BANK of unused doors, causing a lineup that got quite amazingly out of hand. They would wait in line and be irritated that it was taking so long.


Ok, that's pretty epic right there.

I'm not sure Randall intended any sort of ethical or moral point to this comic. BHG is just doing what he does - tormenting people. If I were to come up with a takeaway, I'd say: 'Your safety and well-being in a crowd depends on everyone following rules all the time, and if they can't or won't, you are in deep shit with no control over the consequences.'

Or to put it another way: 'A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.'
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Felstaff » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:39 pm UTC

Matt_Zero wrote:do you...whingers...really think the people who read XKCD have the propensity to act upon this as opposed to the ones who play violent video games?
Seeing as someone in this thread has already done it, resulting in injury in which he was jailed for, and actually came here to boast about it...

I think you overestimate the XKCD fanbase. It is quite big, and not just a quiet nook for the intellectual and socially exiguous. Some of them really are as stupid as the rest of the world in which they loftily look down upon.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.


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