0959: "Caroling"

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austinian
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby austinian » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:59 pm UTC

So... Returning to the topic of BHG's recent dominance of the comics, whatever happened to the chick that stole his hat?

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KShrike
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby KShrike » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:08 pm UTC

samcan wrote:
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.

Nah, don't be sorry, I was being a dick.
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby jpk » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

suzi wrote: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.


chrth wrote: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.



Wikipedia begs to differ:


Black Friday as a term has been used in multiple contexts, going back to the nineteenth century, where it was associated with a financial crisis in 1869 in the United States. The earliest known reference to "Black Friday" to refer to the day after Thanksgiving was made in a 1966 publication on the day's significance in Philadelphia:

JANUARY 1966 -- "Black Friday" is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. "Black Friday" officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing.[11]

[snip]
By the early 1980s, an alternative theory began to be circulated: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss for most of the year (January through November) and made their profit during the holiday season, beginning on the day after Thanksgiving. When this would be recorded in the financial records, once-common accounting practices would use red ink to show negative amounts and black ink to show positive amounts. Black Friday, under this theory, is the beginning of the period where retailers would no longer have losses (the red) and instead take in the year's profits (the black)


Granted, I had the details wrong - in the early '90s I only heard the term used by my friends who worked retail, and in the sense that I cited, but I see that the original sense was actually a reference to the confusion caused to a municipality, not to the hell of working that day. However, the "in the black" reading is clearly an intentional "pity-me" appropriation by the owners of retail establishments.

Now, what I have to wonder is why anyone would believe this obviously nonsensical notion, that a business would operate at a loss for eleven months of the year hoping to recover in the last month. Why are these stores even open from January through October, paying rent and wages? Really, the guys who came up with this aren't as stupid as they think we are...

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cellocgw
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:22 pm UTC

chrth wrote:
jpk wrote:Speaking of "Black Friday" {snip}
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



You sure? The last few times I've gone to a mall on Xmas eve, the place has been pretty quiet and calm. Aside from the expected shortages of some "hot items" (none of which my family would have wanted in the first place), I found it a very easy and nonstressful day to shop.
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Роберт
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Роберт » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:24 pm UTC

kryton wrote: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".

It seems likely that BHG would think of the king rather than the duke when people say "king" Wencesaus, yes?
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby bigjeff5 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:It seems likely that BHG would think of the king rather than the duke when people say "king" Wencesaus, yes?


No, given BHG's history it seems highly unlikely that BHG is actually descended from any of the rebellious nobles, the mongols, or the Czechs affected by the actual King Wenceslaus, as opposed to just being a douche and finding a clever way to troll carolers.

Given BHG's history, the latter is almost a certainty.

Of course, it's just a comic, so BHG can be whoever Randall wants him to be, but I'm pretty sure BHG is just being an ass. A hilarious ass, but an ass.

Mambrino wrote: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:


In Alaska the preferred preparation is as a spicy link sausage. These are served in just about any dish you can think of where a link sausage would be appropriate. My favorites are in omlettes with cheese, onions, and peppers; in breakfast burritos filled with scrambled eggs, hash-browns, cheese, and salsa; and stuffed in a hot-dog bun after being butterflied and grilled. Yum!

I'll have to see if I can find some sliced reindeer meat, I've never seen it around here, but that does sound good.

Oh and "sauté" is basically just a low oil pan-fry method where all ingredients are cooked at once, so if that's what you meant it's fine (though you didn't list anything else to fry with the meat...). If you only cook the meat in the hot fat, then it's not sautéing, it's just pan-frying.

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Someguy945
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Someguy945 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:52 pm 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...


Read the alt-text again, a bit more carefully. Whoever Stephen is, he was feasted upon by soldiers, and is therefore dead. Black hat guy is alive, so he is not Stephen.

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Weiland
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Weiland » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:49 pm UTC

OK for those of you who never studies pagan theology and witchcraft alike, whenever someone speaks of a christian "Saint" massacring a people, think Pagans, because that's usually what happened. You don't have to act on or even believe it to be true, but most of the time, that's what happened. More Pagans have been killed by Christians than Jews and the christian leader (in this case Saint Wenceslas) will typically be rewarded by the church (In this case the catholic church).

Saint Wenceslas exiled his mother for being a Pagan. Paganism was the main religion of Bohemia, the country he grew up in. He was deemed a saint by the catholic church for bridging the political relationship between Bohemia and the Roman empire. Doing so, requires a lot of converting of Pagans, a people that does not convert very easily to Christianity in all cases. Most of the time, Christian societies will convert as many as they could, then outlaw the practice of non-cristian magikal rituals (then called by Christians as Black Magic (really funny when you realize that witches worship white and black colors as equally good powers. In Paganism, much like Judaism, there is no good and evil. The great spirit is both at the same time, unlike the bipolar opposites of Jesus and Lucifer. There is much more grey area in Paganism than in Christianity. It doesn't translate all that well. See Divine Feminine for more examples.))

It's probably not that accurate, but here's an alternative site to read (look up "witch" on Wikipedia and you'll see how bias the writers can be):
http://www.elsecretodelabruja.nl/diamonds-holy-roman-antiques-charlemagne-good-king-wenceslas-modern-europe/

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby braindancer » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:02 pm UTC

austinian wrote:So... Returning to the topic of BHG's recent dominance of the comics, whatever happened to the chick that stole his hat?


She's in the kitchen cooking reindeer meat.

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rhomboidal
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:18 pm UTC

Happy late Autumnal Equinox, everyone!

chrth
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby chrth » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:30 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:You sure? The last few times I've gone to a mall on Xmas eve, the place has been pretty quiet and calm. Aside from the expected shortages of some "hot items" (none of which my family would have wanted in the first place), I found it a very easy and nonstressful day to shop.


That's your perspective as a shopper. As a retailer, there's several obnoxious things going on:

* Day 30 (if you're lucky) of Christmas music on the overheard speaker
* Frantic and impatient shoppers (granted, this is closer to the norm every day now)
* The fact that you really don't want to be there (granted, this is also closer to the norm every day now)
* Staying 2 hours after the place has closed to convert for the post-Christmas sales/discounts/etc.

For the record, the busiest shopping day of the year is actually the Saturday before Christmas, not Black Friday.

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AvatarIII
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:43 pm UTC

DennyMo wrote:
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...

Just because it happens doesn't mean we have to be happy about it, if the joke was a bit more self aware it would have been great though.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby A_of_s_t » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm UTC

austinian wrote:So... Returning to the topic of BHG's recent dominance of the comics, whatever happened to the chick that stole his hat?

Wouldn't a better question be: why are people caroling in October?
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chrth
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby chrth » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:58 pm UTC

A_of_s_t wrote:
austinian wrote:So... Returning to the topic of BHG's recent dominance of the comics, whatever happened to the chick that stole his hat?

Wouldn't a better question be: why are people caroling in October?


The answer is actually the same: she's one of the carolers.

And already knew.

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Louis XIV
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Louis XIV » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:34 pm UTC

I just read the text of Good King Wenceslas for the first time (it's not known in France). Well, it's a strange carol. Very strange.

Note that the "good king" doesn't actually do anything. It's his page who is sent back home through the snow to get wine, flesh and pine logs. When the page comes back, struggling under the weight of heavy bottles, meat and wooden logs, the king is kind enough to accompany him to the peasant... Without carrying anything, of course, because, you know, those logs are heavy. Not to mention the bottles, and the bags full of meat. And, after all, he is king, isn't he ? No need to make one's hands dirty when you have manservants.
Then, when the poor page eventually complains that he "can go no longer", does the king take some logs and one bottle of wine or two, to lighten his burden? Does he go to a nearby farm to borrow a wheelbarrow? Does he at least grant a sit-down to the poor page? No, he just says "Step into my foodsteps, it's less cold there", and walks on.

Frankly, what an asshole.

(Of course, it's the king who will be sainted afterwards, not the page. Life isn't fair.)

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Linux0s
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Linux0s » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:59 pm UTC

You gotta be kidding me... caroling gag in the beginning of October?!? WTF? Someone please buy Randall a calendar!
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Cownose » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:31 am UTC

I want to be the Black Hat Guy for Halloween.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:09 am UTC

Linux0s wrote:You gotta be kidding me... caroling gag in the beginning of October?!? WTF? Someone please buy Randall a calendar!

Indeed! By law, people may only make jokes during the time of year that matches the jokes' subject matter!

Just kidding though, I get what you mean. Oh well, I guess *shrugs* it's a fair joke at least
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby Brian-M » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:35 am UTC

chrth wrote: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

Since we don't have thanksgiving here, we don't have what you guys refer to as Black Friday (shopping). Instead we have the Boxing Day Sales (day after Christmas; the stores are packed with bargain hunters).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day#Shopping

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby hthall » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:53 am UTC

feyayeruka wrote: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!


Which song--Black's "Friday"? (j/k)
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chrth
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby chrth » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:35 am UTC

Brian-M wrote:Since we don't have thanksgiving here, we don't have what you guys refer to as Black Friday (shopping). Instead we have the Boxing Day Sales (day after Christmas; the stores are packed with bargain hunters).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day#Shopping


There have been attempts to turn the day after Christmas (although the Yanks, of course, do not call it Boxing Day) into a major shopping event, but it's hard for retailers to pull off because many people travel that day because they're due back at work on the 27th.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby RogueCynic » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:09 pm UTC

Since we're on the topic of Christmas carols:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV1HXdVYufY
Someone's gotta show me how to embed videos on this site. BHG is not a douche or an asshole. He merely is a guy who points out people's foibles and uses thier idiocy to his advantage. Perhaps Randall is posting Christmas carols because he is looking forward to a Christmas wedding?
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gnoitall
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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby gnoitall » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:06 pm UTC

RogueCynic wrote:BHG is not a douche or an asshole. He merely is a guy who points out people's foibles and uses thier idiocy to his advantage.

Maybe you use a different definition of "asshole" than most people, but the emphasized portion of your statement is pretty much the classic definition of asshole.

That said, BHG truly isn't a douche or asshole. He's black pixels arranged to look like a stick man.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby jpk » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:49 pm UTC

gnoitall wrote:
RogueCynic wrote:BHG is not a douche or an asshole. He merely is a guy who points out people's foibles and uses thier idiocy to his advantage.

Maybe you use a different definition of "asshole" than most people, but the emphasized portion of your statement is pretty much the classic definition of asshole.


Not for me, it isn't. It might be that some examples of "using another's idiocy to one's own advantage" are also cases of "being an asshole", but that is neither necessary or sufficient to make an action an act of assholery.
For example: if we're playing chess, and you leave a bishop alone and undefended, I will take it, and I will take advantage of your idiot move to try to win the game. Or, contrariwise, I will have made an idiot move, opening myself up to some scheme of yours by taking that piece, and you will take advantage of that and win the game. Neither of us is being an asshole. If we're competitors in business, similar situations would arise and the same logic would apply. Or do you think it's asshole behavior to respond correctly to your competitor's actions?

For another example, if I'm riding my bike down the street, and you take a left turn against the light, without looking, and knock me over, you're an asshole. You didn't take advantage of any idiocy on my part, you were just driving without regard for others. (This is why all people who yammer on their chatterboxes while operating motor vehicles are assholes. Without exception.)

I would say that assholery is acting to one's own advantage without regard for others, or to their real or potential detriment, in a particularly blatant or unforgiveable way. The degree of the offense is directly proporitional to the injury or risk of injury, and oddly, inversely proportional to the advantage. not so odd, I suppose: I can imagine kicking your grandmother in the shins for a bazillion dollars, but not for a nickel.
(don't worry, I won't kick your grandmother in the shins really, but I could imagine doing it for a bazillion)


That said, BHG truly isn't a douche or asshole. He's black pixels arranged to look like a stick man.


Wow. Pedantry of the highest order. As a grade-A certified pedant, I bow to your excellence in the art.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby kazvorpal » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:33 pm UTC

samcan wrote: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.


Yes, I think the whole joke was that he was making crap up to make the carolers feel bad.

I looked up Wenceslaus on Wikipedia when I read this, and ended up having to add a lot to the article...sadly, I wasn't willing to sully my account with anything fun, and sock puppets get abused so much that it's put me off of using them, so someone else will have to go add the thousand generation cannibalistic stephen massacre.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby foxnewsfan » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:05 am UTC

Great comic. NO character would have been more perfect in this scene doing what hat guy did than hat guy.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:00 pm UTC

foxnewsfan wrote:Great comic. NO character would have been more perfect in this scene doing what hat guy did than hat guy.


Yeah, absolutely no character in the cast of... um... two recurring characters in xkcd.

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby webgiant » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

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

Christmas Carols are subject to a lot of mondegreens, altering their meaning entirely.

For example, I find it difficult to sing the referenced christmas carol as anything other than "Good King Wenceslas car backed out, on a piece of Stephen."

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby keithcampbell » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:39 pm UTC

Saint Wenceslaus, about whom the song was written, was Duke of Bohemia and died in 935. He was posthumously given the honorary title of "King" by the Emperor.

The massacre referred to is probably the one at Prague in 1389 (Look up Prague in the Jewish Encyclopedia). This was under the rule of Wenceslaus IV, who was certainly NOT a saint and lived more that 400 years AFTER "Good King Wenceslaus".

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Re: 0959: "Caroling"

Postby TV4Fun » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:46 pm UTC

Obviously BHG is just trolling the ancient Yuletide carol.
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