0752: "Phobia"

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gordysc
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby gordysc » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Personally, I feel Anatidaephobia would've been a funnier fear than snakes...

But props on the alt text, made me lol

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Gamer am I
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Gamer am I » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:43 am UTC

I actually quite liked this one. Here's my interpretation:

The blond girl makes a remark about how she is afraid of snakes, a rather common and unremarkable fear. The brunette responds by saying that she is afraid of forever putting off a potentially fulfilling relationship, a much more significant fear, the kind that is actually worth addressing and overcoming. However, rather than overcoming her fear, she decides to be a storm chaser, so that she can face another kind of fear. Thus she is staying within her "comfort zone" when it comes to what kind of fears she faces: she faces relatively predictable fears (snakes, tornadoes) rather than her real fears (relationships), the fears that are worth facing.
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby ZeroSkulleton » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:10 am UTC

Twister reference?

xnick
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby xnick » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:29 am UTC

My impression is that this story is going to have some kind of follow up... right?

EDiT: Alright, after re-reading the strip after reading the forum, I found a maybe-funny interpretation. The brunnette girl is about to confess her lesbian love to the blonde, because she thinks there's an excellent opportunity after the blonde conffesed her phobia. But when the blonde is beginnig to realize that, the brunnette changes the subject and makes an unexpected turn, just because her stated fear. Would this explanation make the comic funnier?

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby logixoul » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:11 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:That's a hell of a hidden message. I didn't think Randall would have read Ulysses. Great comic, laughed my ass off.

I haven't read Ulysses, can you tell the story behind today's xkcd?

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby RabbitWho » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:15 pm UTC

What's with all the questions? Two people decide to ignore fear and worry and excuses and take their lives into their own hands, flying snakes be damned.

What's to not understand?

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby tetsujin » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:24 pm UTC

weex wrote:I wanted to hear what follows "Do you -".


She was going to say "Do you want to make out?" The blonde thinks storm chasing is fun,too, and enjoys the chance to spend more time with her lifelong friend, but for a fleeting moment she dared to hope that today would be the day that their friendship would finally blossom into lesbian love.
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Cartofel
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Cartofel » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:34 pm UTC

Anyone else surprised at how detailed the stick-anatomy is in the last panel? Like, actually a bit unnervingly with the tiny arms with things that aren't really hands and stuff...

But yay brunette's detailed hair :)
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SirMustapha
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:22 pm UTC

Hasn't Randall done already about 200 comics with THAT SAME MESSAGE? "Enjoy life guys don't waste the day do something cool etc. etc. etc." OKAY, WE GET IT.

Also, he must have been wanting to make the largest number of complete non sequiturs on the same comic ever.

Ugh.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:49 pm UTC

Okay, I at first didn't get it because "everything's complicated" made it sound like it was purely about relationships, and not about everything in life. Now I get it.
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby saus » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:03 pm UTC

I also read it as Gamer am I's relationship interpretation where they are chasing tornados instead of facing their fears.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby nihil » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:11 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Hasn't Randall done already about 200 comics with THAT SAME MESSAGE? "Enjoy life guys don't waste the day do something cool etc. etc. etc." OKAY, WE GET IT.


Looking at people, all around, tells me it's never enough.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Sire Styx » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Vote for your worst XKCD disaster.

Snake Tornado, Flaming Alligator Hurricane, Sentient Windfarms, or something else?


Talking about disasters, has everyone forgotten about the flying sharks?
http://xkcd.com/585/

I know you could probably just shoot it down, but it'd be awesome/quite scary to see sharks flying down the street!

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby HighLowSplit » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:46 pm UTC

I like this one. I've been wanting to go backpacking for years and kept putting it off. This year I decided "I'm doing it, no question asked." So I worked an absurd amount of hours to pay for it, and two week ago I bought my plane ticket. I leave for Thailand in a month.
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Komodo » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:59 pm UTC

This is one of my favorite XKCDs of all time, but maybe that's just because I find it personally relevant right now. I'm planning to quit my current job and move to Europe, and have been dreaming of doing something like this for the past few years, but uprooting your life is always complicated. In March I made the decision to go ahead and do it, but am currently struggling with the poor housing market (can't sell my house), and a thousand other smaller details. I could put it off until next year and try again, but it'll be complicated then too. Pursuing your dreams is always complicated.

In conclusion: Get out of my head, Randall!

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Omerprime » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:08 pm UTC

I failed to understand this one...
So she hates snakes, and then thew brunette hates living in a box, and then they go to become stormchasers...? WTF?
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:25 pm UTC

rocketrat wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Vote for your worst XKCD disaster.

Snake Tornado, Flaming Alligator Hurricane, Sentient Windfarms, or something else?

Sentient windfarms are the best disaster!

Agreed. Especially with the Don Quixote reference :mrgreen:
I never finished that book :oops:

For those who don't get it, pay close attention to what she says about things being complicated. Basically, she's saying that she's tired of her lifelong dreams being impossible to achieve because she's tied down by too much everyday crap. She decides to finally ignore such crap and pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a stormchaser.

Live the dream, hon. Live the motherfuckin' DREAM.
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby BrianTung » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:28 pm UTC

And just when I was thinking there were so few romance xkcd comics anymore.

I've actually read Ulysses, but I guess I don't see the reference. A little help?

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby BrianTung » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:35 pm UTC

itsmattknox wrote:Exactly, I don't quite see what's not to get.

"I'm irrationally afraid." followed by "I'm afraid of wasting away because of irrational fear." followed by "Whoa, let's just do something crazy and live."


Mmm, it's possible, but it seems to rank low for Randall on any of the following scales: funny, insightful, snarky. Honestly, your interpretation applies equally well to perhaps 12 percent of Reader's Digest "Drama in Real Life" articles. (Do they even still have those?)

The romance angle is more appealing to me as an interpretation because although it's not insightful or particularly funny, it's at least snarky in a "love stinks" kind of way.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby KramlmarK » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:43 pm UTC

RANDALL GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby dreamcontrol » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:44 pm UTC

I'm surprised no one's mentioned http://xkcd.com/640/. I think that's a much stronger reference than http://xkcd.com/402/

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Lleu » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:57 pm UTC

Am I the only one who found this funny? There's a setup to a relationship discussion, but it's denied when we find out the black-haired girl was actually talking about storm chasing. It's funny because it's not what you expect. And then Randall spends an extra panel showing off his l33t drawing skills.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:20 pm UTC

nihil wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:Hasn't Randall done already about 200 comics with THAT SAME MESSAGE? "Enjoy life guys don't waste the day do something cool etc. etc. etc." OKAY, WE GET IT.


Looking at people, all around, tells me it's never enough.


No, it is. If people don't hear you the umpteenth time around, either you're doing it wrong, or people just don't want to know. Get over it. Be creative and move on.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby morgothcr » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:28 pm UTC

xnick wrote:Would this explanation make the comic funnier?

Yes, it does! In my opinion it's a lot better than the other possible explanation (the "live life to its fullest" message)

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby meat.paste » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:36 pm UTC

My (mother/best friend/dog) was killed (maimed/psychologically scarred) by a snake filled tornado. She(he/it) was in the back yard whilst flying a kite in thunderstorm then the tornado came by and dropped about 15 cottonmouth snakes in an angry ball on the kite. The slithered down the string and caused death(severe injury/PTSD).

Not funny. Not a good comic.
Huh? What?

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby kcr » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:43 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
nihil wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:Hasn't Randall done already about 200 comics with THAT SAME MESSAGE? "Enjoy life guys don't waste the day do something cool etc. etc. etc." OKAY, WE GET IT.


Looking at people, all around, tells me it's never enough.


No, it is. If people don't hear you the umpteenth time around, either you're doing it wrong, or people just don't want to know. Get over it. Be creative and move on.


But even the people who get it still need to be reminded sometimes.

I really liked this comic. Maybe it's just one of those "right place, right time" things, but it resonated.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby ritvax » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:52 pm UTC

Comic had a thoughtful message, but the alt-text made me laugh out loud. :-)

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby ccoldsmoke » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:01 pm UTC

I like to think that this is a natural follow-up to the "what are you most scared of" comic from Mitch in Wonderland. The second I read it, it made me smile, largely because I know the feeling. I'm also afraid of snakes and running out of time to not be afraid of snakes in tornados. Or Liza Manelli.

http://www.mitchinwonderland.com/archive.php?strip_id=101

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby KestralTweet » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:24 pm UTC

I think it's similar to the way Zak Bagans is afraid of snakes, something that would seem silly to be afraid of when you go into rusty old dark buildings in the dead of night on Ghost Adventures. If there is no staging going on, it's silly. If there is staging going on, the producers are sillier.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby dogrose » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:34 pm UTC

I've been reading xkcd for years now (and transmitted the virus quite a few times), but had never come here...

I gave my boss my resignation letter today, after a week of sterile discussions. I came back to my desk feeling rubbish, and decided to go for my one browsing-at-work indulgence... and laughed out loud, puzzling my colleagues big time =)

Thanks, Randall.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby lsdigit » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:37 pm UTC

The awkward moment of personal disclosure has been explored before in http://xkcd.com/65/ and to be fair things are always funnier with snake tornado's. (for me, why only this morning...)
One thing that seems to be forgotten is xkcd's byline
A webcomic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language


sometimes mirth might come second, or third.
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby lsdigit » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:44 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:No, it is. If people don't hear you the umpteenth time around, either you're doing it wrong, or people just don't want to know. Get over it. Be creative and move on.


Yeah, you are right, Also while you are at it Randall stop with the internet/math/chemistry/biology/nerd sniping/meme/technology (etc) jokes and get some creativity. (actually marine biology could be worked a little harder, there still some juice in those flying sharks)
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby aldld » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:58 am UTC

Okay. Now that I am reading it again today, and I am actually alert, I can finally say that I completely understand what is going on in this comic ;)

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby DVC » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:58 am UTC

Interactive Civilian wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Vote for your worst XKCD disaster.

Snake Tornado, Flaming Alligator Hurricane, Sentient Windfarms, or something else?

???

Are you kidding? While I also don't mind the former two, that last one was brilliant! Can I simply assume that you didn't get the Cervantes and Picasso references? Or did you get them and just not get a kick out of them?

Because, in my opinion, that comic was clever and well drawn.


Not to mention the War of the Worlds reference!

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby tastelikecoke » Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:47 am UTC

I don't get it.

Because Randall parsed "I'm afraid of saying 'everything's complicated right now, but maybe next year' until there are no more years left" as confusing as the word "what is this I dont even."

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Mustachio88 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:39 pm UTC

I thought it was pretty obvious.

It should go: "Do you- (want to make out, want to fool around, ect)" because the little speech she made makes it sound like she's in love with the blonde but she's afraid to admit it and afraid that she doesn't have much time left to admit it. But in classic XKCD reversal, instead of her letting her finish her "do you-" which would probably be an awkward situation, she said she wants to be a storm chaser, which is probably as far from lesbian exploration as possible. bravo!

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Esoto » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:16 pm UTC

I think he made the comic purposefully confusing/ambiguous/random so people would be speculating over what it meant. :mrgreen:

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Louis XIV
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Louis XIV » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:40 pm UTC

Child: Do not try to find the joke. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Child: There is no joke.

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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:16 pm UTC

Louis XIV wrote:Child: Do not try to find the joke. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Child: There is no joke.

...Then you will see that it is not the joke which is found, it is only yourself.
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Re: "Phobia" discussion (#752)

Postby Eshru » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:24 am UTC

Esoto wrote:I think he made the comic purposefully confusing/ambiguous/random so people would be speculating over what it meant. :mrgreen:

So wait, he communicated ineffectively on purpose for an ulterior motive?

Hmmm.


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