0968: "Everything"

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:23 pm UTC

That thing probably gets way more reliable satellite reception than my Dish Network dish.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Otamay » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:06 pm UTC

Beautiful comic, that went directly into my heart

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby SheepEffect » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:17 pm UTC

I'm curious about what Randall meant by this comic. Is he commenting on the nature of love? Is the love in this comic generally the better kind? If so, I'd like to know why he feels that way, because there could be a valuable life lesson I have yet to learn.

I have felt the feelings described in the first two panels, and I believe they represent true, selfless love. It is a real neurochemical emotion, not just hyperbole. My initial reaction to the bliss was, "wow, I wonder if this is what heroin feels like." (I don't intend to find out.)

Has anyone felt that love and discovered that it doesn't work well in the end? So far the comments seem to be from people who've never experienced it. For example, I don't think the sonnet and this comic are sending the same message.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:47 pm UTC

SheepEffect wrote:Is the love in this comic generally the better kind?
He seems to think so, but that doesn't mean you need to feel the same way.

I have felt the feelings described in the first two panels, and I believe they represent true, selfless love.
While others might say that's infatuation.

It is a real neurochemical emotion
That isn't the same as being true selfless love. As you say, drugs give real neurochemical effects, too.
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby siosilvar » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:03 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
SpringLoaded12 wrote:But two panels of silence and then a panel with two dialogue boxes seems a little jarring for some reason. Then again, I see your point, not all the dialogue is necessary... there's no need for nameless-male-character-of-the-day to declare whether or not he has a romantic interest in nameless-female-character-of-the-day.
This comic could have been slightly better, but I'm not sure how to do that. Still, I'd say it's solid.


At the risk of making to too much of an A Softer World rip-off, maybe move the "I want to give you everything" line to the first or second panel. It would be a heck of an improvement.


Here you are.

Image

New text:
Spoiler:
Panel 1: You are not the light of my life.
Panel 2: But... I want to give you everything
Panel 3: Just to see what you would do with it.
Last edited by Felstaff on Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: enabled t'images.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Mental Mouse » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:11 pm UTC

Another AWWWW here!

SheepEffect: The thing is, that rush of absolute devotion, that's a drug handed you by your instincts and your body. It's not meaningless, in that there's a perfectly good reason for it, but it's not particularly rational, either. More to the point, it's perfectly possible (and happens far too often) to feel that overwhelming "love" (quoted because it's not the whole story) for someone who doesn't love you back, someone who means to hurt you (perhaps by running off with all your money), or even an outright sociopath who wants to control you utterly. (Also, these are not mutually exclusive possibilities.) That overwhelming rush -- I'll go with conventional wisdom and say, it's not actually love, but infatuation. It does hold the seeds of love, but the kicker for me is that the infatuation is generally temporary, whereas I think love is about the long term.

So what is love?

Try this: We humans are a bunch of animals -- rather social, but we fight and betray each other as often as we ally and cooperate. But... there are times we really need an ally. Consider a very important project... from an evolutionary perspective, the most important project of all. Due to both our background (high-K mammal, collective hunters/gatherers, predators eying us from the bushes), and our specializations (huge effing brain, take 15-20 years to reach maturity), our child-rearing takes a lot of effort -- even in this modern era, single-parent families face a lot of extra hazards, and their kids face extra risks. This was far worse before we developed the levels of social support we take for granted in modern times!

Well then, it seems there are certain situations, where you really need to know that someone's fundamentally allied with you not just for the moment, but for the long term. So, our animal ancestors evolved a way to do that -- not a general solution to the "trust problem", but a biological mechanism that visibly commits one person to the welfare of someone else, shaping their goals and behavior from the hormonal and instinctive levels. Of course, once it evolved, this mechanism got hooked into several other cases where we need trust -- first, generalizing from mate and offspring to more distant relations ("cousins", tribe), and to found companions ("close friends").

And that's what love is. It's a biologically grounded commitment to someone else's welfare, demonstrated with social signals that we (most of us) are instinctively primed to detect (and to test).

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby toastking » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:13 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Cut off all the monologue in the first two panels, and the comic becomes pretty good.

Then the reference to Brave New World doesn't make sense. (one of the themes in the book is all about how human relationships can become trivial and people can not be monogamous or really care for each other)

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby endolith » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:21 pm UTC

"This comic makes me sad. Relationships are all about being obsessive and needy and monopolistic. If you're not murderously jealous and preoccupied with someone every moment of the day, I don't think you really love them. It's not like you could love someone just because of who they are."

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby UniqueScreenname » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:21 pm UTC

Hitaro0 wrote:What use could a stick figure possibly have for a human-shaped mannequin?
Besides building a tank, of course.


That really made me laugh.

SheepEffect wrote:I believe they represent true, selfless love. It is a real neurochemical emotion


I don't particulary think that love should be based simply on a neurochemical emotion. This is why so many marriages end in divorce, because they don't take into account any sort of compatibility, shared interests, or, like the comic says, real fascination with what the person does. If you base love only on the emotion, you could end up with someone that really isn't right for you. What if you love someone that's abusive? Is it enough to live for their smile when he's pounding your face in? I don't think so.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby SheepEffect » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:19 pm UTC

Mental Mouse wrote:And that's what love is. It's a biologically grounded commitment to someone else's welfare, demonstrated with social signals that we (most of us) are instinctively primed to detect (and to test).
Thank you for your detailed response, Mental Mouse. So, would you say that love isn't something you feel, but a way you act? Are there feelings that characterize it, or can you only judge whether you're in love by your actions? If I'm hoping to find someone that makes me feel that way again, am I looking for the wrong thing?


I believe I've experienced two different states of mind that could be considered infatuation. The first I called addiction, or selfish love. I just craved the person; I wanted to be with her, and to a certain degree I desired her more as an achievement than a person. I've felt this way a few times.

The second, which I've only experienced once, is what I thought to be true love. It began as selfish love, but eventually I started to really really care about her. I felt like I would have done anything for her, even if it meant never talking to her again (if I really thought it was for the best). My thoughts did include long-term desires, especially spending the rest of our lives together.

Does that still sound like it's infatuation rather than love?
Last edited by SheepEffect on Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:38 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby rapturemachine » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:30 pm UTC

In a way, this comic is jarring, because of how it debunks the portrayal of love in movies and TV and such as basically just blind infatuation. I'm sure it's different for different people, and some very passionate people may even experience love the way the movies show it - "You are my everything" - but most people don't. I think that for most people, love is the embers that glow and give off a pleasant warmth after the fire of infatuation has died down. But this is something we don't often hear about or think about, and so it's surprising to see a portrayal of that rather than of the cheesy romantic "movie love".
After being with my significant other for three and a half years and recently moving in together, I am personally just getting to that point, and... yes, it's surprising to realize that I do have my own stuff going on, and I can't always make him my absolute top priority anymore. It's refreshing to see something like this comic talking about this, since no matter how much you know logically that this is something that happens in damn near every long-term commitment, sometimes the movies manage to make you feel guilty for not devoting your entire existence to another person.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Mental Mouse » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:44 pm UTC

Thank you for your detailed response, Mental Mouse. So, would you say that love isn't something you feel, but a way you act? Are there feelings that characterize it, or can you only judge whether you're in love by your actions? If I'm hoping to find someone that makes me feel that way again, am I looking for the wrong thing?


Yes, "love is as love does". Sometimes there can even be love without actual affection, though that's often in the wake of Dysfunctional Sh*t. Sure there are feelings, but there's no signpost for the edges. I think people normally start with "free-standing" infatuation and/or affection, but if those have a chance to set roots, they can trigger that deeper "emotional commitment".

I believe I've experienced two different states of mind that could be considered infatuation. The first I called addiction, or selfish love. I just craved the person; I wanted to be with her, and to a certain degree I desired her more as an achievement than a person. I've felt this way a few times.

The second, which I've only experienced once, is what I thought to be true love. It began as selfish love, but eventually I started to really really care about her. I felt like I would have done anything for her, even if it meant never talking to her again (if I really thought it was for the best). My thoughts did include long-term desires, especially spending the rest of our lives together.

Does that still sound like it's infatuation rather than love?

It certainly sounds like you were starting to go for something deeper. You don't say how that ended, though, which makes it tricky to respond!

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby SheepEffect » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:39 pm UTC

Thanks, I think I've gotten the answer I was looking for.

Mental Mouse wrote:It certainly sounds like you were starting to go for something deeper. You don't say how that ended, though, which makes it tricky to respond!
Yeah, I was kind of avoiding that so that people wouldn't blindly dismiss what I was saying. It never really started. We were just friends who made each other laugh and smile. I never got a chance to tell her how I felt, mainly because I'm a detached, awkward introvert, and partly because it couldn't have worked out anyway. Oh and just for context, I was a senior in high school at the time.

But yeah, I came into this thread expecting to be wrong, since I really lack experience. I know that what I experienced was just a fantasy, and that it can't be compared to reality. If love can only occur in a relationship, then I must have just felt infatuation.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Mental Mouse » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:53 pm UTC

Well, it's not unusual to be slow to recognize love in oneself -- indeed, it's the stuff of a thousand romances, rom-coms, and so forth. The thing is, it's not just a binary, "love"/"not love". There can be degrees of strength, and degrees of ability to do anything about it.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby ZeeB » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:00 am UTC

It depicts the process by which one falls in love. The negative reversals of the cliches show that he is not yet in love with the girl, but she does excite him in a way similar to falling in love, "And I've never met anyone like you." To explore this feeling he brings out items which represent fragments of his personality to see how she interprets or reacts to them. The final construction reveals much about her and them. The result is magnificent, albeit menacing, much like love is at its first stages.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:03 am UTC

ZeeB wrote:The negative reversals of the cliches show that he is not yet in love with the girl
That's an interesting interpretation in a death-of-the-author cultural context sense, but I strongly doubt it's what Randall was going for. This seems like the sort of sentiment he'd have toward someone he's really truly deeply in love with.
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Thomas Andresen » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:54 am UTC

I made an account just because I felt the need to point out, explicitly, that love doesn't have to concern romantic relationships, or even family. It can sometimes(I was about to say "just as easily", but I don't think that's the case) be for good friends, as well. A man can "love" a male friend without being homosexual(I will not use the slang "gay" for "homosexual", I'd much rather use the word for it's original meaning). Many homophobes are scared of the word because they are deathly afraid of being labelled as homosexuals, and are equally afraid of showing care for others, of their own gender, particularly.

These are my thoughts on the subject. When you meet a person, you care for him/her no more than most other people, and trust is based solely on first impressions, or perhaps a bit more(on both counts), if it's a friend's friend. Then, as you get to know the person and establish a personal relationship, your care and trust for him/her grows. You eventually become friends, and some friends, usually the ones you feel that you could trust with anything, are considered to be close friends. Everyone cares for the ones they would call friends, or more, and I believe most people have some measure of care for any human or animal, and caring about someone is wanting the well-being of that person. In a way I think love is an extreme version of caring, yet more. It's not something that's easy to put into words. If an acquaintance or a distance friend suffered a tragic accident(not talking fatal*), someone you care about, yet aren't particularly close to, you would be concerned but no more than that. If, however, a close friend suffered the same, the concern for that person would be potentially overwhelming, just as easily as if it where a family member.

Again, these are my thoughts, and I know that there's bound to be at least 3 billion people in the world that disagrees, and I know that these matters can be extremely relative based on whose emotions we are talking about. I also think this subject is extremely hard to put into words. In short, emotions are electrochemical reactions produced by various drugs that the brain generates, based on your mental and physical state, and affects your mental state(there's an extremely vicious circle there if you look). But though it can be explained scientifically, to a degree, neither logic nor reason can be successfully applied to it, and if logic and reason fails, so do I.

Mental Mouse: I believe your comment about evolution is not entirely correct. To the best of my knowledge, forgive me for not researching further before posting, humanity hasn't gone through any significant evolution in the last, oh, 10 000 years, if not 100 000. I'm not so sure about the numbers, but a significant amount of time, certainly, though a drop in the ocean when talking about evolution. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe many, if not most, of our social tendencies have been found in other highly social animals. I believe elephants and monkeys can be considered at least nearly as social as humans.

ZeeB: Wow. I never saw that. Excellent point. I was going to say something about devoting your entire attention to a loved one is foolish, but with this description, the comic makes much more sense. I suppose it's not unnatural to view a new and strange emotion as a point of curiosity. I myself have a tendency of drawing conclusions to such emotions too quickly, resulting usually in embarrassing situations.

Oh wow.. this post got lengthy. Even for me. I'll try to restrain myself in the future, but I doubt you'll see too many short posts by me. :wink:

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby CasualSax » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:47 am UTC

Leave it to love to cause a thread to go a million directions at once.

I want to point out two things: First, this comic does not debunk/insult or even comment on emotional over the top love, except to say that this guy isn't experiencing it. It isn't a good thing, it isn't a bad thing, it just is. Second, he is getting a rush out of novelty. Appreciating someone's personality and not hiding from strangeness is a great thing. Building a long term relationship on novelty for novelty's sake is asking for trouble.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby irishnut » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:41 am UTC

Does no one read the blag??? Randall just got married! Doesn't take a genius to see it's a little love letter to his new wife. Also I love the sentiment behind it. :D

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Eternal Density » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:15 am UTC

StClair wrote:Puts me in mind of Agatha Heterodyne and her boyfriend(s).
Oh, now it makes sense.
irishnut wrote:Does no one read the blag??? Randall just got married! Doesn't take a genius to see it's a little love letter to his new wife. Also I love the sentiment behind it. :D
Nope.
I guess that's why the comic was late :(

[edit] *reads a bit more of the thread* I have little to no idea what any of you are going on about.
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What is the actual comic referencing?
Ah, I knew there had to be a song reference in here, and that someone in the thread would explain it.
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Hanyou Hottie » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:22 am UTC

This TED talk is quite relevant to those discussing the neurochemical and sociological natures of love: http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_tells_us_why_we_love_cheat.html

Also, I find it quite interesting that most people in this thread are interpreting the comic as "Honest adoration without the need for false hyperbole", while I, and apparently the second poster, saw it as being sociopathic detached interest. I actually think the latter is more beautiful than the former.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby CoryG » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:52 am UTC

rpgamer wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:Swift ninja skills right there. That sounds like a sociopath's mind, I don't care about you, but you fascinate me.

What, really? That's not normal? Crap.

I'm with you on this - it seems perfectly normal and not sociopathic at all.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Red Hal » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:40 am UTC

Hmm.

Needs more dakka.
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:48 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:I guess that's why the comic was late :(
Um, they got married almost two months ago. I'm going to go ahead and guess that isn't why the comic was late...
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby beggenbe » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:12 pm UTC

I guess she couldn't find a use for the miniature Eiffel Tower replica. Unless maybe it's inside...

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

irishnut wrote:Does no one read the blag??? Randall just got married! Doesn't take a genius to see it's a little love letter to his new wife. Also I love the sentiment behind it. :D


Wow, now that is one "love letter" I would never, ever want to receive from my spouse: "I really don't give a shit about you and I couldn't care less about your happiness, but you have a ReAlLy QuIrKy PeRsOnAlItY and I like to watch your actions like one would watch a freak show."

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:39 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:ReAlLy QuIrKy PeRsOnAlItY
RALQIKPROAIY. Every other...OK nevermind...
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:13 pm UTC

Then it's a good thing you're not the person he married.

Also, the comic says exactly fuck-all about not caring for another person. You can be a light in my life without being *the* light. Making you happy can be a dream of mine without being the greatest dream. I can live in part for your smile without it being all I live for.
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby beanyk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:30 pm UTC

To me, the language and sentiments sound more like "parent to child" than "husband to wife". Certainly I'm more interested in what my child might do with stuff I give him than what my wife might do, since I know her quite well already.

Perhaps Randall's expecting?

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:34 pm UTC

Yeah, he is.
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Роберт » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:10 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Yeah, he is.

Woah. I saw he got married on his blag. I didn't realize he was going to get started on a family already. Good for him!
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:20 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Also, the comic says exactly fuck-all about not caring for another person. You can be a light in my life without being *the* light. Making you happy can be a dream of mine without being the greatest dream. I can live in part for your smile without it being all I live for.


The comic didn't say anything about stick-guy caring about stick-girl either -- and considering it is such a massively bitter, unsubtle and obvious (nothing new to xkcd) deconstruction of romance clichés, it's very, very naïve to assume that making stick-girl happy is stick-guy's SECOND greatest dream. Also, essentially, stick-guy wants to have stick-girl as a toy: give her things and see what comes out for his own shits and giggles.

Note: I am not criticising the comic for that. I think that's a pretty amusing idea, actually. I just think the efforts to distort this comic all the way into happy-flowers-and-ranbows-land is pretty ridiculous, really. Randall was just trying to be funny, and all that monologue in the first two panels is mostly due to Randall being unable to be concise with his jokes.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:32 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:It is such a massively bitter...deconstruction of romance clichés
Looks to me like you're providing all the bitterness yourself, though. Which, again, is a fine and even potentially interesting reader-response style criticism, but which should at the same time not be construed as having anything at all to do with the author or his sentiments toward his wife.
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Will » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:58 pm UTC

Yeah, if the only way you can interpret "Making you happy isn't my greatest dream" as "I don't give a shit about you," then maybe the comic (or its author) isn't the one with the problem.
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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby SheepEffect » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:38 pm UTC

Yeah, I agree that this comic is a genuine romantic sentiment. I took it to mean, "I'm not head over heels in love with you: I have an even better reason to be with you." I imagine the author prefers his reason because it's more objective, whereas the other reason is just an emotional reaction. Reading into it a bit more deeply, I get the vibe that the author isn't quite certain that his reason is the best reason, and that he might feel slightly guilty because of it.

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby cemper93 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:15 pm UTC

It never really started. We were just friends who made each other laugh and smile. I never got a chance to tell her how I felt, mainly because I'm a detached, awkward introvert, and partly because it couldn't have worked out anyway. Oh and just for context, I was a senior in high school at the time.
I just wanted to quote that to tell you that you are not the only detached, awkward introvert out here who experienced this.

Yeah, this is a "me 2!!!"-comment, but it's a highly valuable "me 2!!!"-comment ;)

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Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby neoliminal » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:34 pm UTC

People often say to me

You can't have everything. Where would you put it?


I reply

I do have everything. Do you like where I've put it?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073YYXRC
Read My Book. Cost less than coffee. Will probably keep you awake longer.
[hint, scary!]

plnyyanks
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:32 am UTC

Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby plnyyanks » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:58 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Yeah, he is.

awwwww.... Good for him!

Karen_Luaren
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:46 am UTC

Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby Karen_Luaren » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:26 am UTC

/tissues/
I read that as:
I have a life.
So do you.
Perhaps we'd have better lives with each other.

TaoGuy
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:15 am UTC

Re: 0968: "Everything"

Postby TaoGuy » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:34 am UTC

Maybe it's just me, but I actually feel like this one may have less to do with love then all the previous posters. To me, it somehow feels like a commentary on the relationship between government and the military industry. I think the characters are proxies for actors on a bigger stage. In many ways, if you assume the character posting is the government, they have given **everything** to the military, just to see what they can do with it. Given the silhouette in the last frame, which looks like one heck of a war machine, it seems to imply that given everything, we'll just create new ways to kill each other. The alt text seems to align with this - Government is trying to hang on as military creates new "gyrocopters" and finds uses for them.

BTW, I'm a pretty conservative son of a Marine, so I'm not anti-military, just can't shake that there is more to this than a commentary than love. Why the war machine in the last panel, unless Black Hat was involved? Without Black Hat, it seems to have more meaning about bigger issues.

I know, first post, I'm sure I'll get shredded, but after reading this comic faithfully for the last 18 months, I decided it was time to get in the mix.


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