0959: "Caroling"

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0959: "Caroling"

Postby jpk » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:01 am UTC

Image

Punchline: "For a thousand generations we vowed never to forget how his soldiers feasted on our brother Stephen."

Black hat guy's getting a lot of air time lately... Is Randall in a particular sort of mood lately?

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Nicad » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:04 am UTC

"...and saying who those people were is against my religion."

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby KShrike » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:16 am UTC

Black hat guy is having a good week. Too good a week...
Time to troll off some of this steam.
also, inb4 this becomes a discussion of religions and Christmas, and etc....

edit: (classic random statement to pretend you are being offended. yay!)
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Sean Quixote » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:18 am UTC

jpk wrote:Black hat guy's getting a lot of air time lately... Is Randall in a particular sort of mood lately?

I think the more important question is: Wait, so Hat Guy's name is Stephen, now?


...Or am I missing something? Perhaps I should check Wikipedia and actually find out who King Wenceslas is first...

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Hawkwings » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:22 am UTC

"Feast of Stephen" takes on a new meaning huh? Or perhaps just its original meaning.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby iliveoncoffee » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:22 am UTC

Further in the carol (which isn't really a carol anyway)...

deep and crisp and even
refers to perfect frying technique and the line of:

Bring me flesh, and bring me wine
will never be thought of the same way again...

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Magnanimous » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:23 am UTC

Sean Quixote wrote:Perhaps I should check Wikipedia and actually find out who King Wenceslas is first...

First off, he lived about 1100 years ago. That's a pretty short time for a thousand generations, unless you're a rabbit.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:24 am UTC

So, did King Wenceslas actually ever massacre any people?

Magnanimous wrote:
Sean Quixote wrote:Perhaps I should check Wikipedia and actually find out who King Wenceslas is first...

First off, he lived about 1100 years ago. That's a pretty short time for a thousand generations, unless you're a rabbit.

I read it as saying that the vow was along the lines of, "Neither I, nor any of my descendants for 1,000 generations, shall forget blahblah."
Last edited by skeptical scientist on Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:27 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby A_of_s_t » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:24 am UTC

Way too many BHG jokes in a month.
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Editer » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:39 am UTC

Maybe it's just the mood I'm in, but this comic made me laugh loud and long. Yay.
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Sean Quixote » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:42 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:So, did King Wenceslas actually ever massacre any people?

Magnanimous wrote:
Sean Quixote wrote:Perhaps I should check Wikipedia and actually find out who King Wenceslas is first...

First off, he lived about 1100 years ago. That's a pretty short time for a thousand generations, unless you're a rabbit.

I read it as saying that the vow was along the lines of, "Neither I, nor any of my descendants for 1,000 generations, shall forget blahblah."

You can't forget something you never knew. :P

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby DustinErnst » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:45 am UTC

Happy October! I guess this comic signals the beginning of the Christmas season in North America.
I'm cool with that. I love eggnog. Twelve weeks to go. =D

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby samcan » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:51 am UTC

Interestingly, according to the Wikipedia article on the guy, Wenceslas was never a king, but only a duke (of Bohemia). But, he was considered so saintly that they conferred on him the title of king after he died. He is today a Catholic saint.

Can't find anything about peoples he massacred, although he did exile his mother and "defeat" at least one other guy (a rebellious duke by the name of Radslav). I suppose in a war back then, there could have been a massacre. Either way, I don't think it matters. It's Black Hat Guy. He'd willingly lie just to make some Christmas carolers look like jerks.

Incidentally, the Feast of Stephen commemorates the first martyr, Stephen. (You know, the one in the New Testament who while on trial in a Jewish court for blasphemy [by saying Jesus Christ was the Son of God] then has a vision where he declares that he can see Christ standing on the right hand of God, which irritates everyone so much that they rush him, take him outside the city, and start stoning him? And then, while being stoned, asks God to forgive them for doing it? Yeah, that Stephen.)
Last edited by samcan on Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:54 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:51 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:So, did King Wenceslas actually ever massacre any people?

I assume not, but nations conquering by the sword was a pretty regular thing back then, and it's widely known that there's a lot of bloodshed that history glosses over, even if they don't know all the who and where. So most people would probably assume Black Hat Guy's being serious if they didn't already know he's a troll.

(And I just explained the joke. Yay me.)
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby murphyc23 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:54 am UTC

Wikipedia gave me this:
St. Wenceslaus is considered the patron saint of the Czechs.
Perhaps they oppressed Black Hat's peoples?

Interestingly (and unrelatedly), St. Stephen is the patron saint of the Serbs.
Man, that's a minefield. (No horrible joke intended)

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:31 am UTC

I, for one, approve of the recent dominance of the Black Hat Guy.

I suppose for his recent appearance-hike, Randall's just been thinking up a string of ideas (one can lead to another) which work best with BHG as the main character.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby fealuinix » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:45 am UTC

For no apparent reason, I've been thinking of Christmas carols lately, even though I usually refuse to tolerate Christmas music until at least black Friday. So kindof a 'get out of my head, Randall' reaction to today's strip.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby svick » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:54 am UTC

Hey! Wenceslaus I is something like a hero-king to us Czechs. And he even wasn't a proper king (just a duke). So, don't make fun out of him.

You're a very mean man, BHG.

(I had no idea there was an English song about him until now.)

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby jpk » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:20 am UTC

fealuinix wrote:For no apparent reason, I've been thinking of Christmas carols lately, even though I usually refuse to tolerate Christmas music until at least black Friday. So kindof a 'get out of my head, Randall' reaction to today's strip.


Speaking of "Black Friday" did anyone else notice how in recent years that name has undergone a bit of NewSpeak re-etymologizing? When I first heard the phrase, well over a decade ago, "Black Friday" meant the worst day of the year for retail workers. About five years ago, if memory serves, I saw the term explained, I think in the Times' business section, as a reference to the idea that it was the day the merchants made their first profits for the year - a savage bit of appropriation, if you ask me.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:34 am UTC

jpk wrote:
fealuinix wrote:For no apparent reason, I've been thinking of Christmas carols lately, even though I usually refuse to tolerate Christmas music until at least black Friday. So kindof a 'get out of my head, Randall' reaction to today's strip.


Speaking of "Black Friday" did anyone else notice how in recent years that name has undergone a bit of NewSpeak re-etymologizing? When I first heard the phrase, well over a decade ago, "Black Friday" meant the worst day of the year for retail workers. About five years ago, if memory serves, I saw the term explained, I think in the Times' business section, as a reference to the idea that it was the day the merchants made their first profits for the year - a savage bit of appropriation, if you ask me.

It seems to be heading back towards the negative connotations even more recently, what with incidents of customers and retail workers getting killed in the chaos that ensues when the stores first open.
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Invertin » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:40 am UTC

Sean Quixote wrote:
jpk wrote:Black hat guy's getting a lot of air time lately... Is Randall in a particular sort of mood lately?

I think the more important question is: Wait, so Hat Guy's name is Stephen, now?


...Or am I missing something? Perhaps I should check Wikipedia and actually find out who King Wenceslas is first...

"our brother stephen", not "me, who's name is stephen"

and also he isn't being feasted on

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby feyayeruka » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:53 am UTC

My mother died in a Christmas Carolling accident. Not funny, not a good joke, not a good comic.

And now I have that damn song stuck in my head!

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby scarletmanuka » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:31 am UTC

See, to my mind this is much funnier than "Chin-Up Bar". Especially with the title text. :) I'm just glad it isn't the actual carolling season yet, so this has some time to fade in my mind before I start hearing the song around the place.

I do wonder, though, what BHG would do to other Christmas carols. After all, you can't expect every group of carollers to be singing "Good King Wenceslas" at the point in time they reach your house. Surely he is prepared for other songs.

"I'm allergic to holly. And ivy."
"I have some reindeer meat on the grill right now. Would you like to try it?"

I don't know. I think these could be done better, and there are several carols for which I can't see a good approach. Anyone else care to have a go?

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:48 am UTC

oh god, Christmas jokes in October! Come on, at least save them until after Hallowe'en!

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby automan33 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:06 am UTC

samcan wrote:Can't find anything about peoples he massacred...


To Wikipedia we go to change that :)

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Brian-M » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:32 am UTC

Nicad wrote:"...and saying who those people were is against my religion."

Checking Wikipedia, the only mention of Saint Wenceslaus defeating any one was the Duke of Kouřim. I suppose, in theory, Black Hat's ancestors could have come from there.

But given that Wenceslaus only ruled Bohemia for 10 years before being murdered at the age of 28, and during that time was attacked and defeated by King Henry I the Fowler, he didn't have too much time to go around massacring people. (Plus, it would have gone against his good-guy reputation.)

jpk wrote:Speaking of "Black Friday" did anyone else notice how in recent years that name has undergone a bit of NewSpeak re-etymologizing? When I first heard the phrase, well over a decade ago, "Black Friday" meant the worst day of the year for retail workers.

For me, Black Friday has always referred to Friday the 13th (71 people were killed in one of the worst bushfires in the world over here on a Friday the 13th back in 1939, and so Friday the 13th has been known locally as Black Friday ever since), but people use it to mean different things in different parts of the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday
Wikipedia wrote:Black Friday is any Friday the 13th or any Friday darkened by catastrophe.
(Black Friday, used to refer to a day of shopping in the USA is on a different Wikipedia page.)

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Uzh » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:51 am UTC

samcan wrote:Incidentally, the Feast of Stephen commemorates the first martyr, Stephen. (You know, the one in the New Testament who while on trial in a Jewish court for blasphemy [by saying Jesus Christ was the Son of God] then has a vision where he declares that he can see Christ standing on the right hand of God, which irritates everyone so much that they rush him, take him outside the city, and start stoning him? And then, while being stoned, asks God to forgive them for doing it? Yeah, that Stephen.)


Did they really stone him? I recall St. Stephen being killed in a more unusual way - not being stoned or crossed like so many other martyrs. They shot him while he was bound to a tree. Or so I remember him in many baroque pictures.

Brian-M wrote:For me, Black Friday has always referred to Friday the 13th (71 people were killed in one of the worst bushfires in the world over here on a Friday the 13th back in 1939, and so Friday the 13th has been known locally as Black Friday ever since), but people use it to mean different things in different parts of the world.


To me Black Friday refers to Oct. 25, 1929. That's what makes us different.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby kryton » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:10 am UTC

Good King Wenceslas -> Duke Wenceslas of Bohemia (Sainted) 807-935, granted the noble title "King" posthumously by Holy Roman Emperor Otto the first.

Wenceslaus I Přemyslid -> King of Bohemia from 1230 to 1253, put down a rebellion of the nobles led by his son, turned back a mongol invasion, and made several attempts to annex Austria to his Czech dynasty.

So it seems Black Hat is having a great time with a historical "mash up".
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Calluin » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:19 am UTC

The funny thing is, even though St. Wenceslaus is the patron saint of Czechs and every kid is taught how he was murdered by his brother, the carol is of English origin. There are translations, of course, but it is neither traditional nor widely known here in the Czech republic. Most Czechs are surprised when they hear about it; I was, too :-)

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby MadLogician » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:21 am UTC

Uzh wrote:
samcan wrote:Incidentally, the Feast of Stephen commemorates the first martyr, Stephen. (You know, the one in the New Testament who while on trial in a Jewish court for blasphemy [by saying Jesus Christ was the Son of God] then has a vision where he declares that he can see Christ standing on the right hand of God, which irritates everyone so much that they rush him, take him outside the city, and start stoning him? And then, while being stoned, asks God to forgive them for doing it? Yeah, that Stephen.)


Did they really stone him? I recall St. Stephen being killed in a more unusual way - not being stoned or crossed like so many other martyrs. They shot him while he was bound to a tree. Or so I remember him in many baroque pictures.

Georg


You're thinking of Saint Sebastian.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13668a.htm

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby chrth » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:41 am UTC

jpk wrote:Speaking of "Black Friday" did anyone else notice how in recent years that name has undergone a bit of NewSpeak re-etymologizing? When I first heard the phrase, well over a decade ago, "Black Friday" meant the worst day of the year for retail workers. About five years ago, if memory serves, I saw the term explained, I think in the Times' business section, as a reference to the idea that it was the day the merchants made their first profits for the year - a savage bit of appropriation, if you ask me.


You have it backwards, probably due to your age. Originally it was the day when merchants went profitable for the year. Then it became an event. Then it became the 2nd* worst day of the year for retail workers.

*Christmas Eve is still the worst

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby blackhatmatt » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:10 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:oh god, Christmas jokes in October! Come on, at least save them until after Hallowe'en!


Damn. Beat me to it. :)

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby wvoelcker » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:17 pm UTC

I, for what it's worth, would quite like to see some more excerpts from "A Christmas Carol" featuring Black Hat Guy.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby DennyMo » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:32 pm UTC

blackhatmatt wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:oh god, Christmas jokes in October! Come on, at least save them until after Hallowe'en!


Damn. Beat me to it. :)

Why? Lowe's has had their Xmas lights out since the middle of September, Walmart wasn't much later...

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby idgarad » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:45 pm UTC

Black Friday in the USA is a reference to the standard accounting practice of indicating negative numbers in red ink. Being "in the red" means you are currently have a negative balance, e,g, you haven't made any money yet. Roughly around November is when many retail businesses prior to the 60s finally broke into the black (they were turning a profit for the year.) Retailers, to push their numbers up started doing sales the Friday after Thanksgiving (since Thanksgiving was on the Thursday many people took Friday off for a long weekend.) This Friday, coupled with the sales became a solid watershed moment for retailers and truly became Black Friday, the day they left the red and hit the black on the balance sheet. Financially investors look at Black Friday sales volumes as an economic indicator along with the Consumer Confidence index. This is also why there are a lot of Midnight deals. It pads an extra 8-10 hours of business to the day and why there is also additional bookkeeping done that Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to tabulate the Black Friday numbers. (Retailers track that whole weekend for metrics.)

Ironically most businesses track their profitability quarterly (due to many paying taxes on a quarterly basis) so the Black Friday reference it now more or less traditional.



An for the record I do most of my Christmas shopping in January and people get gifts in February. Love me my 50% off after-holiday sales. Year End Clearance FTW!

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby dexeron » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:53 pm UTC

MadLogician wrote:
Uzh wrote:
samcan wrote:Incidentally, the Feast of Stephen commemorates the first martyr, Stephen. (You know, the one in the New Testament who while on trial in a Jewish court for blasphemy [by saying Jesus Christ was the Son of God] then has a vision where he declares that he can see Christ standing on the right hand of God, which irritates everyone so much that they rush him, take him outside the city, and start stoning him? And then, while being stoned, asks God to forgive them for doing it? Yeah, that Stephen.)


Did they really stone him? I recall St. Stephen being killed in a more unusual way - not being stoned or crossed like so many other martyrs. They shot him while he was bound to a tree. Or so I remember him in many baroque pictures.

Georg


You're thinking of Saint Sebastian.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13668a.htm

http://tqsmagazine.co.uk/gay-pirates-cosmo-jarvis/


And technically Sebastian wasn't killed by arrows either - he survived and was later clubbed to death, though the arrow incident is the most popular portrayal of him in art.

Stephen's martyrdom is related in Acts 6 and 7, and is the aforementioned stoning.
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby KShrike » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:24 pm UTC

samcan wrote:Incidentally, the Feast of Stephen commemorates the first martyr, Stephen. (You know, the one in the New Testament who while on trial in a Jewish court for blasphemy [by saying Jesus Christ was the Son of God] then has a vision where he declares that he can see Christ standing on the right hand of God, which irritates everyone so much that they rush him, take him outside the city, and start stoning him? And then, while being stoned, asks God to forgive them for doing it? Yeah, that Stephen.)


Hmm... are you being snide? Because this makes perfect sense in my theology.
Christ was put to the death by the Jews that he came to save (be it a cruel and sick irony) because of "blasphemy", that he declared he was the son of God.

Jesus before Pilot and Herod
Luke 22:70-71 wrote:They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He [Jesus] replied, “You say that I am.”
Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”


Now the passage of Acts that you mentioned:
Acts 7:55-60 wrote: But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.


There... now we have the passage without the snidity, if it is even relative to the comic, which it isn't.
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby suzi » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:33 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
jpk wrote:
fealuinix wrote:For no apparent reason, I've been thinking of Christmas carols lately, even though I usually refuse to tolerate Christmas music until at least black Friday. So kindof a 'get out of my head, Randall' reaction to today's strip.


Speaking of "Black Friday" did anyone else notice how in recent years that name has undergone a bit of NewSpeak re-etymologizing? When I first heard the phrase, well over a decade ago, "Black Friday" meant the worst day of the year for retail workers. About five years ago, if memory serves, I saw the term explained, I think in the Times' business section, as a reference to the idea that it was the day the merchants made their first profits for the year - a savage bit of appropriation, if you ask me.

It seems to be heading back towards the negative connotations even more recently, what with incidents of customers and retail workers getting killed in the chaos that ensues when the stores first open.


Black Friday -is- the first day of the year that retail businesses traditionally go "into the black" on their reports ie. not negative/red ie. profit. Most stores justify their existence starting on that day. It might be a pain for retailers, but it is the life blood. The huge hype for sales and early opening and crowds only serves the retailer.

My mother told me this years ago and I've heard it from my retail employers as well, so I don't think it's really appropriated in the way you think. I've been going (read: dragged) to "black friday" sales for 15 years and I think the term is older than that. I feel that the way you heard it originally was appropriation of the term by exhausted workers, which is totally reasonable ;)

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Mambrino » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:53 pm UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:"I have some reindeer meat on the grill right now. Would you like to try it?"


Reindeer meat is not grilled on a grill. It's first sliced (nowadays you can buy pre-sliced meat) and then fried (or sautéed, I don't know how it's said in English) in fat on a pan. Traditionally it's served with mashed potatoes, pickled cucumber and lingonberry. Delicious! :wink:

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby samcan » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:04 pm UTC

Hmm... are you being snide? Because this makes perfect sense in my theology.


Oh no, I wasn't trying to be snide...I was just retelling the story in a way that I thought might make other xkcd'ers appreciate what exactly happened, and that Stephen was actually cool.

I'm sorry.


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