A reworking of individual comics from Randall Munroe's webcomic xkcd.com. Got questions? Go here

Monday, July 5, 2010

Comic #762

For reference, a simile is an explicit comparison via the preposition "like" - "a simile is like a metaphor". A metaphor, conversely, is the same thing without "like" - "a simile is a metaphor". The difference is the degree of similitude; in a simile they're comparable, yet not identical, whereas in metaphor the two are interchangeable (or some quality is implied to be interchangeable).

Source Comic


Redone Comic (click to enlarge)


I'm kinda disappointed in how this one turned out. The ultimate joke (in mine) is that there's awkward gay tension after he said "I still want a sandwich"; I'm not sure, based on the lack of expressivity of stick figures, that I could've pulled it off in so few panels. At the same time, though, it would've taken an absurd amount of time to do it right (it took me an hour to do this alone in GraphicConverter, which - while still much better than Paintbrush - is about 4x as long as it would take in MS Paint. Glorious, glorious MS Paint.) All-in-all, I feel fine explaining the joke and hoping that perhaps I'm too close to it to see it well, or whatever.

As for the original comic, the dialogue is so mind-numbingly stupid it defies explanation how even Randall thought it would fly. Let's bullet point the action of the comic:

1) Stick Dude In Chair (or Rob) makes a sex joke about a threesome.
2) Megan says she isn't good with metaphor and instead suggests she make a simile instead.
2) She never makes a simile. Instead, she wordlessly leaves to make a sandwich for her patriarchs.
3) Rob points out the astonishing truth that a simile is like a metaphor. If you have even a passing knowledge of analogies (like, if you read the italicized paragraph at the beginning), you know this already.
4) Other Stick Dude (Carl) points out that "simile is like a metaphor" is a simile.
5) Rob then asks for the meaning behind a statement he, Rob, made. Yeah, really.
6) Carl plays along and introduces the word "analogy"...
7) ...which allows Rob to act smug and disseminate his Great Knowledge that similes and metaphors are both analogies for no real reason...
8) ...except to now allow Megan to spout off the mildly clever circular logic that Randall thought up the other day when he was hanging with his Heterosexual/Mathematical Life Partner Steve and making him sandwiches and talking about how easy liberal arts majors have it.

I'll name this list "Obvious Stupidity".

Y'know, there's also a lot of latent anti-feminism in here. Instead of Megan responding to Rob's sex joke with "No, eww" it's "Nah, how about I make a simile?" Unless she's a moron or a slut she would not say this. Hell, even if she was a slut she would be mildly coquettish about it, instead of brushing it off like it never happened. So the moron woman then goes off to make sandwiches for the men after spouting off a second line of dialogue, the existence of which could only be justified as it introduces the word "simile" for the "smart, intellectual" men to logically debate over (in other words, even her dialogue is subserviant to the men). Then, at the very end, she chimes in with what I guess is supposed to be a victorious final phrase, yet is really more awkward, pedantic, idiotic dialogue, the equivalent of which is "Hey guys, I'm still making sandwiches in here! Look at me making sandwiches like a good woman! I also make good analogies! Please love me!"

Now, don't get me wrong here, I don't think the concept of a woman making sandwiches for herself and her friends (or *gasp* as a housewife for her husband) is innately bad or anti-feminine. I've met women who honestly enjoy that - no parental brainwashing or domestic abuse or emotional blackmailing involved. That's not my point. It's that, given the widespread usage and connotation behind the phrase "Bitch, make me a sandwich" - a phrase I and undoubtedly many others thought of after reading Megan's first line of dialogue - and given Randall's extreme white-knighting in so many other comics against, say, the stereotypes of women concerning housework...I mean, you'd THINK he would've picked up on this. But you'd be wrong, because Randall is, in actuality, a misogynist who only sees women as objects for his pleasure. It's okay, though, because he recognizes the TRUE VALUE of his objects, unlike those unevolved apes who use them for icky sex. Heterosexual/Mathematical Life Partners Steve and Randall would never do that! Their sex together, I mean with women, is totally not short and unfulfilling like their penises. No, wait, not THEIR penises, THE penises they saw on those beautiful, musclebound men in the hardcore gay porn they accidentally got from Blockbuster (it was right next to the lesbian porn, they swear!). That didn't stop them from watching the porn all the way through, though (for the plot, of course).

Damn, this comic creeps me out.

[EDIT] Oh yeah, and lest I forget, his usage of synecdoche (in the alt-text) is wrong as fuck.

No comments:

Post a Comment