0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

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buddy431
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby buddy431 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:21 am UTC

Jared the Great wrote:People know they can walk down an up escalator, right?


Not if there are people below you.

Atomsk wrote: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?


This reminds me very much of a discussion in News and Articles last June

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=61371&hilit=laser+pointer

Laser pointers aren't particularily dangerous when compared to things like guns. The trouble is, most people know that guns can seriously injure or kill someone, while they treat laser pointers as toys (when in fact, many can do significant, sometimes permanent damage).

Similarily, most people know that Hunting people down on horseback is utterly unacceptable and will likely lead to long prison terms or the death penalty (depending on where you do it), and yet might treat blocking the end of an escalator as a funny practical joke. We've had one poster who's boasted that he'd done it, seemingly blase about the injury he caused. We've had several dismiss it as unlikely for real harm to be done, despite similar instances (like the one in the article I posted above) that have resulted in deaths and serious injuries (and there wasn't even malice there, just poor design).
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Eternal Density » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:24 am UTC

My vote is for "what BHG did is seriously bad and not funny, but the way he did it, and the buildup of suspense and such, is quite amusing".

Also, I'm going to be more careful around escalators, and guys with black hats.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby MonkeyBoy » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:33 am UTC

Fer chrissake, five pages of "won't someone please think of the [children/dumb people/psychopaths]" hand-wringing over whether the comic was unfunny, distasteful or irresponsible? I'd expect that in a forum for clergy, middle school teachers, or new mothers, but not this place.

I shrug my shoulders at the funny/unfunny and tasteful/distasteful debates, since those are wholly subjective. (For the record, I come down on the side of funny and distasteful, which I don't believe to be mutually exclusive. Then again, I used to work with Tony Clifton, and found him hilarious.) But for those who are repulsed at the fact that some of us found it funny, and who actually think Randall was acting irresponsibly by posting it and Shouldn't Have Done It™, I say lighten up, Francis.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby StClair » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:39 am UTC

For me, at least, it's not about the possibility of some copycat reader doing this in real life. It's all about the (continued) presentation of a sociopath as someone clever, admirable, superior, and/or "classy."
Yes, he's always been willing to cause harm, even grievous and potentially fatal harm. (Thinking about the "nerd sniping" strip here, in particular - causing people to stop in the middle of traffic, hilarious!)
I don't like the character. He's not funny to me. He never has been.
That a substantial portion of the readership seems to think the character and his behavior is "cool" both confounds and disturbs me.

How many subscribe to the notion that "hurting people is funny and/or justified if they're more stupid than you"?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby dp2 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:49 am UTC

Honestly, what moves this comic from "laughing at pointless violence" to "rather horrifying" is the alt text. That's where the implication of death rather than slapstick tumbling comes from, as well as the extra dose of malice. He barred the doors and set the building on fire, but first he disabled the sprinkler system and jammed the phone lines.

Now, having had enough of this debate, I think I'll go look up some cancer patient jokes.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby hg00000 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:49 am UTC

This is friggin' hilarious. Why? Mel Brooks tells me so:

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.


Is it possible? Yes. Could it be a horrible tragedy if some numbskull pulled this off in real life? Yes. But it's still funny.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby RyanW » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:07 am UTC

This has probably already been posted, but I think that other than the debatable schadenfreude (sp?), this is also funny because it's such a small and innocuous object, a simple chin-up bar, causing such chaos. Also, the pileup in the final panel is just that--a pileup. Not a group of people getting painfully crushed to death, but people piling up several bodies high in a totally undignified and unrealistic way. But that's just my two cents.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby DisreputableDog » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:16 am UTC

The conversation and even the joke made me think of Tyler Durden from Fight Club. Especially this:

"Seriously, why did you bring it?"
"How should I know? I'm not a psychologist."


Really. Read the whole thing in a Tyler Durden voice and it clicks.

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.


People can die from just about anything. We're actually pretty fragile. That whole "this object in the joke isn't funny because people have died via that object" argument is invalid. Someone slips in the snow and dies /=/ snow is no longer a valid funny object. Old lady getting eaten by her cats /=/ cat looking at me licking its chops is no longer a funny object. Someone goes on a mass killing spree with a yo-yo /=/ yo-yo is not a funny or amusing object. And so on.

I get that you're argument is the -intent-, but I'm with the people who think this is funny in a trickster / Loki / Navajo coyote and Loony Tunes coyote / Tyler Durden / Dexter the beloved TV show murderer kind of way. I wouldn't -kill- someone, but Dexter's dark outlook on life, or Tyler's calm way of bringing social ills into the limelight, makes for some good sarcastic deadpan humor. I mean, I don't know what you find actually funny, but you'd be hard pressed to find a joke where someone isn't somehow even -mildly- wronged*.


*Other than knock-knock jokes, and even then, looking at it from your view, why the hell are you knocking on my door to bother me with -that-??

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby jpk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:20 am UTC

(Thinking about the "nerd sniping" strip here, in particular - causing people to stop in the middle of traffic, hilarious!)


What's funny about that is that there are people who are so puzzle-tropic that if you give them something to think about, they immediately latch onto it and just can't seem to let it go until they've figured it out. These are people who get called "nerds", or "geeks", or "hackers", depending on your context and your usage.
(please direct any hair-splitting on those terms to the holy wars area) Some of them do things like invent programs that you use, and enjoy using, and would find your life intolerable without them, except you wouldn't know about them, so it would be fine. Some of them get stuck on Rubik's Cubes (see "Unpickable") and some of them get stuck on mathematical puzzles, some of which have great relevance to your life, and some of which have no apparent use whatsoever. What these people have in common is the tendency to become absorbed in problems, which is what is being mocked in this strip.

The comic is not actually about a way to get people to seize up in the middle of traffic. As with the chin-up bar, it just wouldn't work. It's funny because it forces you to imagine ridiculously exaggerated versions of real human tendencies, and those ridiculously exaggerated versions of real human tendencies are actually funny.

My friend, if you're stupid enough to think that this comic is actually drawn by a raving psychopath who is actually titllated by the idea of causing massive death and destruction by improbably baroque and even Rube Goldbergian schemes, you have to go sit down and have a nice long think about why you're reading this sick, sick fantasy perpetrated by a sick, sick man.


[EDIT: and the oh-so-horrifying alt text? the humor, for the hopelessly thick, comes from the "and reached the bottom three times". The humor is very similar to an old Eddie Murphy routine. The beauty of it is that he executes this, not as a cartoon, not as a recitation (like Murphy) and not even with a drawing - he gets you the whole picture with a fucking caption to a drawing.
This here: call Scott McCloud, this is really a master stroke of comic(s) technique. ]
Last edited by jpk on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:33 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Vnend » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:21 am UTC

Would putting the bar across the bottom of the down escalator be 'better' or 'worse'?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby jpk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:24 am UTC

RyanW wrote:This has probably already been posted, but I think that other than the debatable schadenfreude (sp?)...


As with the previous poster, if you really think that taking joy in other people's misery plays any part in the humor here, you too need to devote much time to introspection. What are you doing reading this stuff, if this is what you think it's about?

If you don't know what Schadenfreude actually means, maybe you should try learning German before you use the word. Not that I expect it would help, but it would mean one less person misusing the term for a while. Once you've learned German, you should refrain from using the word until you master Tzotzil. Then we can talk.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby SadinaSaphrite » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:24 am UTC

What the hell, people. It's a goddamn WEBCOMIC. Calm down! I, personally, found this hilarious. It's been a while since we've gotten a flat out, slapstick, funny comic. This made me laugh, and did not make me fear for my safety or the safety of my friends. Good heavens.
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StClair
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby StClair » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:27 am UTC

Even if Randall isn't (and I'm quite willing to concede that point), several of his readers seem to be willing to take him and/or their black-hatted exemplar at face value.

Nice how you tried to suggest I'm stupid, too. As noted earlier, "stupid people" (a category sometimes as broad as "anyone not possessing specialized knowledge of field (X)") are the go-to acceptable targets around these parts. (The reality is probably far closer to that "sheeple on the bus" strip.)

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby jpk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:10 am UTC

StClair wrote:Nice how you tried to suggest I'm stupid, too. As noted earlier, "stupid people" (a category sometimes as broad as "anyone not possessing specialized knowledge of field (X)") are the go-to acceptable targets around these parts. (The reality is probably far closer to that "sheeple on the bus" strip.)


That wasn't me "trying to suggest". That was me asserting. If you can't grasp the humor in this comic, you're a dim bulb indeed. No specialized knowledge required to get either the comic currently under discussion or the "nerd sniping" strip you cited.

Some of the strips do require a passing familiarity with the way the world works, it's true. I doubt if you'd find "Centrifugal Force" to be very funny without a certain degree of exposure to physics, and people who don't know databases or web work probably didn't get much out of Bobby Tables. But these things are hardly specialized knowledge: high school physics is enough for the first, and it's very hard to know anything about computers without getting at least enough background for Bobby Tables to work for you. There really isn't that much here that an interested and aware person, a person who takes an interest in the world around them, won't be able to grasp, it's not like he's relying on anything very obscure, but this is not even at the level of "Centrifugal Force".

This is just being able to grasp that what's funny here is not death and destruction, but the notion that this could possibly have the effects described. It's a laughable setup, and we laugh. Some of us laugh, anyway - you whine and bitch and threaten to cancel your subscription or whatever it is you're going to do about it. To me, that seems unutterably idiotic.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby folo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:23 am UTC

jpk wrote:This is just being able to grasp that what's funny here is not death and destruction, but the notion that this could possibly have the effects described. It's a laughable setup, and we laugh. Some of us laugh, anyway - you whine and bitch and threaten to cancel your subscription or whatever it is you're going to do about it. To me, that seems unutterably idiotic.


Why you mad bro?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby jpk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:05 am UTC

folo wrote:Why you mad bro?


Not mad. Depressed. These fuckers are depressing. If you can read the comments posted here and not be plunged into a fit of depression you're either far more cynical than I am or hopelessly naive.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby muntoo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:18 am UTC

If BHG put it on the downwards escalator, at "tripping-level", he'd be able to create one of those football-pile-on-person thingies. Forgot what they were called (if they had a name).

If BHG put it on the downwards escalator, at "chest-level" the 'pile-on' would be a bit more 'guaranteed' than the execution of the previous method, IMHO.

This is all assuming that the escalators are "dense".

Moral of the story: Don't go on "dense" escalators; or at least, wait a little while, and if the person behind you is pushing, punch them in the face and ask them if they'd like to die in a escalator accident because they couldn't wait 5 seconds. (And give them a piece of paper with xkcd.com/954 written on it.)

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby mgabrys » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:23 am UTC

+1 if you heard bowling pin sound effects in the last panel.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby muntoo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:28 am UTC

Bucho wrote:Ok... I normally enjoy your comics... so much so that I've got your RSS feed bookmarked and I obsessively check every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evening before going to bed... but this comic is downright outstanding. It's so good that I had to register for the forums to express how profoundly hilarious it is. Bravo, sir. I award full marks and present you with 1 (one) internets.

/golfclap


... Are you trolling, after all those comments about how unfunny this comic is to people who can't take sadistic yet extremely amusing (for me) jokes?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby drwho » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:35 am UTC

I am not about to debate what escalator is the longest/tallest etc, but I know approximately where Randall lives, so it is most likely the long escalator at the Porter Square subway station in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, Earth, Milky Way, Normal. This would be the same escalator which killed a man who passed out drunk, fell down and was strangled by the cords of his hoodie.

Yes, I have thought about blocking the escalator, or trying to put a slinky on it, but never considered the crown dynamics which would result. I should have. Brave, class-hole black-hat man, I salute thee, and thine apparent Donnie Darko reference.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby drwho » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:40 am UTC

The lesson of this story applies to road traffic as well as escalators: keep adequate difference from the person in front of you, and discourage tailgaters. Keep an eye on the conditions ahead. If there is a jam, be prepared to use a second dimension to lessen the crush (i.e. jump over to the down escalator or middle platform, if possible, or in the case of automobile traffic, seek the breakdown lane and shoulder if available). It also brings up the point that people can be as obnoxious walking as driving, or perhaps worse, i.e. people in Boston hardly ever observe the walk-the escalator-on-the-right-side heuristic.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby drwho » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:48 am UTC


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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby madjo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:39 am UTC

To the complainers about how this isn't funny and that no-one should laugh about it, here are a few examples of similar actions done by the classhole, that were deemed to be funny in the past:

Classhole fed rocks to kids in a park: http://xkcd.com/72/
One of the earliest examples of the classhole being an asshole.

He has lead people to roads where their tires rupture and then when their tires burst and they get out of the car, he shoots at them: http://xkcd.com/611/

Getting nerds killed with math problems (aka nerd sniping): http://xkcd.com/356/

All of those comics involve our 'favourite' dysfunctional psychopath the classhole black hat guy. How many of you didn't smirk at the nerd sniping comic? Did you not realize that getting hit by a truck is kinda lethal?

And there are many more where those came from.

My point is, that, YES, what he did was highly dangerous, and NO, no-one would advocate doing it in real life. But it's also very much in character for the black hat classhole. And in the ridiculousness of the comic world, it's funny.
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby SeaBeecb » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:21 am UTC

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


*gasp* You mean...Black Hat Guy actually...KILLS PEOPLE?! Egad, Holmes:

http://xkcd.com/123/ Centrifugal Force
http://xkcd.com/190/ IPoD
http://xkcd.com/206/ Reno Rhymes
http://xkcd.com/515/ No One Must Know
http://xkcd.com/542/ Cover-Up
http://xkcd.com/611/ Disaster Voyeurism
http://xkcd.com/804/ Pumpkin Carving

But maybe you count murdering young people with nitroglycerin as "playful hijinks?"


So far as I can see in every other comic, except for the James Bond one (which is arguably, fictional, with respect to the xkcd universe and in which hat guy is representing a movie archetype from the bond films, rather than himself), hat guy does not interact directly with the victim. According to social psychology research people are more willing to harm one person to save several, when there is more distance between them and the person being harmed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs0E69krO_Q). However, the paradigm that demonstrates this, described in the video, is flawed, because it is unlikely that even a very fat man would provide enough force to stop the trolly. That said it is possible that we find hat guy's actions in this comic, as opposed to others, because of empathetic reactions we have to seeing him interact with one of the victims and then we see him turn on the victims. When we witness these interactions, it reduces some of the distance that we can maintain from hat guys victims, as readers. Since hat guy is the character we are familiar with, we see things through his perspectives. When he kills the victim he has been interacting with (and the others), due to the suspension of disbelief we have, when reading the comic, it makes us uncomfortable (or at least it should make us uncomfortable) with identifying with hat guy's perspective. While I agree, like many things Hat Guy does, the action in real life is psychotic (he is hardly a good role model), we might be more inclined to see his actions as funny in this comic, if we he had more distance from the victims or we did not witness his interactions with them.
Last edited by SeaBeecb on Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:20 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Chaoszerom » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:27 am UTC

Has anyone seen the episode of the Simpsons where everyone rolled through the town in a ball? Did that seem as negative as this?

I mean, I see where the dislike is coming from, that its a feasible and common and dangerous situation, but that doesn't mean that everyone is going to try it! No one is displayed getting hurt, is that your problem?

A good question might be "What would make you not worried about this comic?" I found it funny due to the unfeasible situation at the end -- people don't roll up into a giant ball of flesh and roll a lot down an up escalator! The uncommonness is the cause of the hilarity!

I'm sorry if my points seem disjointed, cut and paste my words as you will until it makes sense :P

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Mr. Burke » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:28 am UTC

madjo wrote:My point is, that, YES, what he did was highly dangerous, and NO, no-one would advocate doing it in real life.

Have you actually read this thread?

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby TimeSpaceMage » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:51 am UTC

Came on to the forum to say I laughed my ass off at this comic.
These are stick figures you guys, it's funny when they get hurt.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Tova » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:06 am UTC

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.

No accounting for taste, I guess. I didn't find it funny, myself. A bit too realistic.

Mind you, I've just been reading another comic with slapstick humour which someone else took seriously but I thought was pretty funny.

Don't ask me to explain it. Either it hits your funny bone or it hits your anxiety bone. This one just made me thing "that's horrible."

Mind you, I've never found black hat guy hilarious (never had a negative reaction before though, I guess because the others were obviously slapstick and this one, to my mind at least, wasn't really).

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby MrRubix » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:46 pm UTC

I think part of it may be the fact that in the past, BHG's largely just full of funny threats. Yes, we see him drag a body bag, but we never actually see the act itself, and the scope of the comic falls into the "obviously not a common occurrence" category. We know someone's joking when they're talking about nerd sniping or acting as a James Bond villain.

In this case, we're actually seeing the pileup occur, and it's not an over-the-top way to cause harm. It's more "realistic." BHG comes across less as a funny threat and more of an unlikable asshole, whereas in the past, BHG was a likable character despite his nature.

I also think this comic does give derpy nerds stupid ideas (and I hope nobody tries it), but I actually think, on second pass, that it's not the main reason I dislike the comic.

I dislike the comic because we're seeing BHG in a way we haven't before, and it doesn't fit within the context of the webcomic itself.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Jamaican Castle » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:55 pm UTC

I think the moral of the story is, use the stairs. It's all part of Randall's insidious fitness-based conspiracy.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby zume » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:04 pm UTC

I think the extent to which you find this funny depends on how much time you spend on escallators, especially big, crowded ones. On the Rosslyn VA metro station, if there was a pile-up like this in the morning, dozens of people would die horribly. If it was done at the right time of the day one of them would be me. On the other hand, in reality, people would just kick the bar out of the way.

You know what's really funny? Setting off a smoke bomb in a theater and then a real one in the parking lot ten minutes later. why doesn't black hat guy do that? That would be hilarious!

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby jpk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:09 pm UTC

zume wrote:You know what's really funny? Setting off a smoke bomb in a theater and then a real one in the parking lot ten minutes later. why doesn't black hat guy do that? That would be hilarious!


I don't get it. Why is that funny? Maybe if you drew the strip, I could get the humor of it, but your pitch isn't making it for me.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Vnend » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:40 pm UTC

madjo wrote:To the complainers about how this isn't funny and that no-one should laugh about it, here are a few examples of similar actions done by the classhole, that were deemed to be funny in the past:

Classhole fed rocks to kids in a park: http://xkcd.com/72/

He has lead people to roads where their tires rupture and then when their tires burst and they get out of the car, he shoots at them: http://xkcd.com/611/


No.

In the first one, he claims he did something awful; but he could be leading the other character on. He compares tricking people into remote areas and disabling their cars and shooting out their windows to the other character admitting that she sometimes cheers for the hurricane to hit a city, he doesn't even say he did it, let alone is he shown doing it.

Technically, he didn't kill anyone in 'Nerd Sniping' either. The truck driver did (failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk near a school or college?!). I agree that he would bear some civil (if not moral) responsibility, but criminal liability? Good luck persuading a jury of that.

What, you've never said "Fire phasers/photon torpedos/disintegrator beam!"* at the annoying driver in front of you? Wishing your annoyances away is a harmless way of blowing off steam. Unless you have a ring or lamp with a genii handy.

*This works best if your passenger can do a good Spock imitation and answers "Their oblivionum shields are too strong for our weapons to penetrate."

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby FertRaccoon » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

Vnend wrote:Would putting the bar across the bottom of the down escalator be 'better' or 'worse'?


:idea:
Actually, putting the bar at the very top or bottom would only require one brave intrepid soul to walk over and remove the chin up bar.

Now, putting the bar, say, 5 meters from top, as BHG is riding the escalator up, would require that brave intrepid soul to walk quickly down the excalator while trying to twist the bar off. AWKWARD! Also, people who could vault over the bar now need to vault from a moving escalator onto a moving escalator.

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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby thevicente » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:27 pm UTC

You crazy people. Do you seriously, sincerely, frankly believe escalators are "very dangerous machines"? look at yourselves.

Back to topic (becasue the above really wasn't on it), I would very much like to see this comic in animated form.

There is a very good animated version of "The man who felled sideways" in youtube. If that guy made one of this it would be cool.

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BlackHatSupport
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby BlackHatSupport » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

Now make an animation for "Battle Room" and suffer xkcd Nostalgia.

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Avenger_7 wrote:You are entitled to your opinion though. Even though it's wrong.

rcox1
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby rcox1 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

MuskratNews wrote: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.

...


If If the BHG started beating everyone with a baseball bat it might still be funny, but not in the same way. Everyone is focusing on the end result,and not the process. The funny thing here, as I have said, probably are doing many things to protect themselves. They might have guns, they might limit the amount of money they carry, they have cell phones to call for help, they might have hand to hand self defense training. Then there are all the security measures at the station that are intended to prevent just such a massacre from happening. All this effort potentially thwarted by some crazy person with too much time on their hands.
<p>
This comic is funny in an important way because it brings forward the fact that many in the US are ready to defend against movie plot threats, or a single rational attacker, but not against a crazy or clever person with no conscious. Many of the negative comments here boil down to the idea that even thinking about such things is wrong because it gives other ideas, or that such actions would be "unfair" because it is outside the realm of what we can defend against. Both of these ideas are common in a general public who is desperate to feel safe and has little tolerance for any kind of risk. We see this also with the indignation of the home invasion. It is no better or worse than any other kind of personal attack, but many people feel extra violated because it is unfair.
<p>
The hypothetical consequences of the BHG attack would be horrific. It is not funny. It is even scary to think that there is no defense against it. But do we deny that such consequences and lack of defense are so horrific that they become funny, in the same way the ending of Dr. Stangelove was funny? Do we bury our head in the sand and pretend that current security measures are effective? Or do we laugh, face reality, and try to make things better?
<p>
What scare me is that i have not ready many if any at all that blame the design of a long escalator. As the old adage goes, security and safety are designed in from the beginning or not at all. And if you fancy escalator is dangerous by design, then that is the basis of responsibility.

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rigwarl
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby rigwarl » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:56 pm UTC

I strongly disapprove of this comic, similarly to how I disapprove of the Grand Theft Auto series for causing all those murders.

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Lon Hregva
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby Lon Hregva » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:08 pm UTC

On a completely different note, maybe BHG is doing science - is this an inverted Oslo ricepile experiment?
Would bring a completely new perspective to the term "self-organised criticality"...
(For context, google: "ricepile project" - 1st link; "self-organised criticality" - 3rd link; or "sandpile" in Wikipedia).

And how about a new line in the store: perfume?
-> GBH by BHG

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6453893
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Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

Postby 6453893 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:10 pm UTC

It embarrasses me that the people I generally agree with so often resort to calling the "other side" stupid, emotionally retarded, sheltered, crazy, bitching idiots, dim bulbs, hypocrites, autistic children, whinging multitudes, ridiculous, trolls, overly literal, unable to understand jokes, born without a sense of humor, annoying, and god knows what other condescending terms. Many of them resort to such insulting hyperbole and laughable strawmans that I can see why their arguments are dismissed out of hand. Here's a hint: people are less inclined to listen to your arguments if you make them like an arrogant asshole. I don't think this comic was perfectly executed, but I don't think the concept inherently in poor taste. Most violent comedy reflects real life in some way, if not intentionally, then because people have died in a lot of ways. I don't think the fact that escalators are actually dangerous are a valid counterargument, but I also don't think as many people would feel the need to bring this up if the comic itself had been differently executed. If anything, the comic just needs to be more over-the-top, both underscoring the very-real danger of BHG's prank, and adding the touch of surreality that allows us to distance ourselves and really laugh at violent comedy. Notice how I presented my point of view without once saying "Oh me yarm its bloody stick figures u guys get over it111."
Last edited by 6453893 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:15 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.


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