1044: “Romney Quiz”

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby pareidolon » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:26 am UTC

Well I for one laughed my face off. I have this feeling that the MAD poster was a parody of another poster in the same general format, but I can't remember who were being compared. All in all I'd go with "parody of an all-too-common trope" rather than "parody of a parody."

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby babble » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:37 am UTC

The saddest thing of all in this disaster of a comic is that everyone is focusing on the (terrible) film adaptation(s) of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Angua » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:50 am UTC

I thought that too.
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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby zerox » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:59 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I had even seen the Burns parody already (and found it mildly amusing), and fell completely flat on this one until someone reported the Burns parody. I was thinking "I barely follow politics and even I can tell the obvious difference"... which evidently was the point, but if even people who've seen what you're parodying don't recognize it as a parody until it's pointed out, you're doing something wrong.


Well either Randall is a self-centered American who thinks the whole world reads the same stuff as him, or he knows that there will be at least one person in the forums who has. It's not the first time something like this has happened.

AvatarIII wrote:But yeah I mostly don't get it because US politics as seen from a British perspective is completely confusing.


It's even more confusing the other way. We have (more than) three parties!

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby PhingerSpex » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:28 am UTC

AvatarIII wrote:But yeah I mostly don't get it because US politics as seen from a British perspective is completely confusing.


Confusing, and terrifying. How can a guy like Santorum, whose attitudes to world politics, women and sanity aren't very distinguishable from the Taliban, get any support at all in a supposedly freedom loving democracy? And no, I'm not being hyperbolic. He has promised to bomb Iran if he makes office, wants women back in the kitchen where they belong, and believes rapists are one of God's gift couriers.

Normally I can see both sides of any confrontation, but it's difficult for anyone with any intelligence at all to understand Republicans as anything other than ego-centric, anti-science bigots. There are exceptions - Gary Johnson (R) is one of the sanest politicians in the USA.
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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby J Thomas » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:19 am UTC

kizolk wrote:Either Munroe did his research wrong, and genuinely thinks Romney is pro-abortion (which I highly doubt since I assume his real, current views on this issue have been discussed at length in the American media), or 1) not only is he saying "guys, Romney's anti-abortion! We, as young reasonable progressive people who voted for Obama in '08, should totally despise this guy", he is also 2) calling our attention on Romney's flip-flopping. Oh geez, that's really not partisan at all.


But the truth is, Romney did take a pro-choice stand when it was politically expedient, and later he took a pro-life stand when that was politically expedient. That's true. When you say it's partisan to say that, you're saying that we shouldn't tell the truth when you think the truth makes Romney look bad. That is, you're rabidly partisan. You're so wildly partisan that you want people to self-censor themselves for fear the truth makes your candidate look bad. In general people who do that are -- Republicans.

But really, what does it matter? We have had candidates who won based on their personal ethics and personality and such. Carter. Reagan. Clinton. Bush Junior. The results were always awful. And we have had candidates who ran on the issues. Goldwater. Dukakis. Some guy whose name I can't remember, who wanted to do something about global warming. Etc. Actually taking an important stand on the issues, loses. So OK, Romney is a miserable excuse for a human being. He's a politician. Maybe what this country needs for president is a miserable excuse for a human being. His personal integrity is not much reason to vote against him, under the circumstances.
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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Klear » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:24 am UTC

J Thomas wrote:But really, what does it matter? We have had candidates who won based on their personal ethics and personality and such. Carter. Reagan. Clinton. Bush Junior. The results were always awful. And we have had candidates who ran on the issues. Goldwater. Dukakis. Some guy whose name I can't remember, who wanted to do something about global warming. Etc. Actually taking an important stand on the issues, loses. So OK, Romney is a miserable excuse for a human being. He's a politician. Maybe what this country needs for president is a miserable excuse for a human being. His personal integrity is not much reason to vote against him, under the circumstances.


I think candidates who run on the issues have similar chances to turn awful when elected. That's just how it is - elected officials tend to turn awful, no matter what their pre-election stances are, IMO.

Edit: And if the ones running on the issues don't get elected, it's kind of a moot point, since it makes the preposition untestable =)

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby meat.paste » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:52 am UTC

As a voting US citizen who actually thinks about which candidate to vote for, I can assure the foreign readers of this comic that our politics are confusing to the US citizens too. :)
Huh? What?

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Sasquach » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:55 am UTC

PACrivellaro wrote:Hardest I've lol'd at an XKCD in a long time.

It's not really political. It's satirical of politics themselves, not picking a side therein. Not at all.

Kudos to Randall for making a very off-kilter comic this time. Surprisingly fantastic.



I took this comic in the same way....the Romney comments aren't ultra-controversial (take the inverse of each statement and see how easy it is to find someone to agree with you), it's just that we now avoid a sincere discussion of policy (because it's boring and nuanced) and replace it with fun quiz (which isn't helpful overall).

The above is a messy statement but it's early and I have to prepare for the weekly meeting....

Cheers!

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby J L » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:15 pm UTC

The Burns one was funny in stressing the similarity between Romney and Burns.
This one was funny in an absurdist way, juxtaposing unrelated statements of a very dissimilar character with statements Romney himself wouldn't subscribe to any more.

And asking "Is there even a difference" (with the difference being quite obvious, in contrast to the Burns one) indeed stresses the pointlessness of the whole circus of politics. That's all.

It might be easier to laugh about if you're willing to laugh about Romney or politics in general, that's true.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby beav » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:16 pm UTC

what's the chance we could have an equally humorous version comparing Obamacomments to lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

that one might actually be funny.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby addams » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:21 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:This comic confused me at first, the first quote is something good, then it kind of went the other direction.

gothick wrote:I just got stuck on working out "what's 'SOUD ROTING'?" on number 2, then figured the whole thing was based too deeply in the politics of another country to be funny for me.


It's supposed to be "Solid Footing".
But yeah I mostly don't get it because US politics as seen from a British perspective is completely confusing.


US politics is completely confusing from a US perspective.

Hey! The Willy Wonka thing, just, clicked. US politics is not one rich guy, but, a club of rich guys; Capricious, immature and irresponsible. With more power and wealth than Solomon.

by Beav:
"what's the chance we could have an equally humorous version comparing Obamacomments to lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

that one might actually be funny."


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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby BKNorton3 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:26 pm UTC

The worst part about this comic is how it sparks a political debate on the forums.

This wouldn't happen if we just elect Mitt Romney to the Presidency. :P

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Exodies » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:42 pm UTC

Romney, Munroe - is there even a differenc? y u?

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Yoduh » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

J L wrote:The Burns one was funny in stressing the similarity between Romney and Burns.
This one was funny in an absurdist way, juxtaposing unrelated statements of a very dissimilar character with statements Romney himself wouldn't subscribe to any more.

And asking "Is there even a difference" (with the difference being quite obvious, in contrast to the Burns one) indeed stresses the pointlessness of the whole circus of politics. That's all.

It might be easier to laugh about if you're willing to laugh about Romney or politics in general, that's true.


I was going to post something very similar. There's way too much overanalyzing in this thread, like in most threads actually where the "how is this funny?" question pops up... While most "who said which quote" quizzes like this are meant to strike the type of discussion that some people are trying really hard to bring up with this comic, this comic is just silly and makes no sense, and therein lies half the joke. I think the other half of the joke is this thread, which I'm beginning to think Randal does on purpose.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby radtea » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:02 pm UTC

18chai wrote:I'm pretty sure the point is that even though it's clear what Charlie Bucket has and has not said, I still don't fully believe that the others are from the Romney of today. (Though I don't find it hard to believe he HAS SAID those things in the past. *cough* flip-flop *cough*)


While changing one's public position on a matter of high principle to pander to an addled electorate is reprehensible, changing one's mind is not.

And yet a certain type of person finds any changing of any position by any politician defacto proof that they have done so based on pandering, not Bayesian reasoning.

Granted that this is a valid inference--that all <em>changes</em> in political position are based on pandering and not Bayes' rule--it follows necessarily that all <em>prior</em> positions are also based on pandering, and that all politicians everywhere are doing nothing but pandering to the electorate.

As such, the accusation of "flip-flopping" is completely meaningless. The people who make it have a set of beliefs that imply all political positions are pandering, and all "flip-floppers" have done is get caught in the act. But since the people making the accusation must know it is an act (because that is implied by their beliefs) the question arises: why do they only make it when someone changes their beliefs, and not before?
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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Exodies » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:04 pm UTC

Yoduh wrote:I think the other half of the joke is this thread, which I'm beginning to think Randal does on purpose.


That would be trolling
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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Robocop » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:05 pm UTC

I LOL'd.

These types of quizes are designed to cast a particular candidate in either the best, or worst possible light, and I think this xkcd parodies that perfectly.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Someguy945 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:10 pm UTC

gormster wrote:Um, this seems... super positive on Romney. Is Randall a Republican?


If anything, that first quote ("abortion should be safe and legal") might have been intended to make Romney look like a flip-flopper.

But I'm gonna stick with what I said before - this comic does not appear to be intentionally politically charged for or against Romney. It's just a parody of quote-comparison lists like the Mr Burns one I linked on page 1.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby marsman57 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:11 pm UTC

As I read through the first few lines, I was excitedly looking for the punchline. I never found it.

At least the Burns poster gave me some insight into where he was coming from, but the execution was terrible.

This is probably literally the worst xkcd every written.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby VioletSkies » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:19 pm UTC

Long time reader, first time poster.

The "Who said what?" trope has been used for more than political candidates. The first time I saw it, the version was Charlie Sheen vs. Muammar Gaddafi, and pretty classic:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/quiz/2011/mar/01/muammar-gaddafi-charlie-sheen-quiz

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Stargazer71 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:26 pm UTC

The joke subtly lies in the statement:

"Is there even a difference??"

... Yes ... yes there is ...

The joke (as near as I can tell) is an attempt at irony--making a comparison between two completely different people using quotes that are incredibly easy to distinguish from one another. A good try, but it falls flat.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby hdhale » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:30 pm UTC

Actually if you want to go route of actually comparing Romney to either Mr. Burns or Charlie, then that begs the question who is comparable to Obama. That debate would prove far more entertaining but would ultimately end badly after someone pulls a fifth ace out of the deck along with the race card.

Note to author: Nice try, but...really the wrong subject and the wrong time of the President cycle for this. You'll not get one logical conversation about it. Not one.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby gruene » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

Arrrrgggghh, All you haters!

Just because I might not be an expert on say, Biochemistry, doesn't mean I declare a good Biochem joke to be "the worst xkcd ever written".

This is extremely funny for people who follow politics regularly. These sort of "pick who said what" quizzes are done routinely, typically cherrypicked in an attempt to illustrate the supposed sameness of two figures. This one is funny because it is crystal clear who said what and there is no inherent political spin in the spattering of Romney quotes, (with the possible exception of the abortion one, reminding us that Romney's views changed on the matter)

Anyway, my girlfriend and I both laughed for about five minutes. Good work, Randall.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Hawknc » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:41 pm UTC

I don't know about you guys, but I grew up on a steady diet of The Simpsons, so the Romney/Burns quiz wasn't really any harder than Randall's parody here. The humour for me lay in "Is there even a difference?" - the answer to both being yes of course there bloody is. To me, it felt like he's just taking the piss out of a modern political meme which purported to equate Romney and Burns but was actually really easy to sort who said which quote.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby cellocgw » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:42 pm UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:Romney's actually not that bad. As a Massachusettian I've heard from everyone I know who grew up with him that he always acted just as their friend's father. Politics.. meh. I don't know. The healthcare thing hasn't caused turmoil here though, so...


Except that he was then, as now, a lying greaseball. Kind of like Reagan, who you might recall did a 180 (that's pi to you ISO adherents) on many positions as he went from CA gov. to presidential candidate. Romney as MA gov. constantly repeated the lie that a businessman knows how to run a government. Not that he was a businessman -- he was a flatout money leech.
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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby MrRubix » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:44 pm UTC

gruene wrote:Arrrrgggghh, All you haters!

Just because I might not be an expert on say, Biochemistry, doesn't mean I declare a good Biochem joke to be "the worst xkcd ever written".

This is extremely funny for people who follow politics regularly. These sort of "pick who said what" quizzes are done routinely, typically cherrypicked in an attempt to illustrate the supposed sameness of two figures. This one is funny because it is crystal clear who said what and there is no inherent political spin in the spattering of Romney quotes, (with the possible exception of the abortion one, reminding us that Romney's views changed on the matter)

Anyway, my girlfriend and I both laughed for about five minutes. Good work, Randall.


Yes, this is how I interpreted it too. "Who said what" is a common thing in politics, meant to put two dissimilar people together who say similar things as a way to trip you up. "Oh, Romney said that." "Nope, it was Mr. Burns!" "WHAAAAAAAA--"

Only in this comic, it's bloody obvious who said what. I guess if one hasn't seen these types of quizzes before, the joke falls flat.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby philsov » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:45 pm UTC

I got all the questions on the Quiz correct!

Yay me :mrgreen:
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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby FrobozzWizard » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:48 pm UTC

I should point out that this is at least the second political XKCD comic, the other one (that I'm aware of) being http://xkcd.com/617/ (Understocked).

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Klear » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:49 pm UTC

gruene wrote:This is extremely funny for people who follow politics regularly. These sort of "pick who said what" quizzes are done routinely, typically cherrypicked in an attempt to illustrate the supposed sameness of two figures. This one is funny because it is crystal clear who said what and there is no inherent political spin in the spattering of Romney quotes, (with the possible exception of the abortion one, reminding us that Romney's views changed on the matter)

Anyway, my girlfriend and I both laughed for about five minutes. Good work, Randall.


The fact that you understand the joke doesn't mean you have to find it funny. I got it. I still don't think it's funny.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby dmm » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:53 pm UTC

I despise Obama's policies, and this comic is shouting "Vote Obama!" by comparing Romney to a kid in a silly movie. Even so, I'd still be willing to laugh at good political humor. This ain't it. About all I can say in response is, "You're weird."
p.s. Usually I love xkcd.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Someguy945 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:00 pm UTC

I'd like to apologize in advance for this post. Okay, here goes:

hdhale wrote:Actually if you want to go route of actually comparing Romney to either Mr. Burns or Charlie, then that begs the question who is comparable to Obama


Image

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Story » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:01 pm UTC

This comic was awesome. Anyway, it's not for or against Romney. It's a parody of a common political trope.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby wappentake » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:28 pm UTC

I think this comic is merely drawing a parallel between the primary process and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Don't you remember when Michelle Bachmann dropped out after she turned into a giant blueberry?) Mitt - like Charlie - is just the last kid standing.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Роберт » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:37 pm UTC

Okay, I have to laugh a bit at the people in this thread.

"It's not accessible"
Maybe you didn't get it, but xkcd has only sometimes tries to do humor that everyone can get. Donner, party of 4, anyone? It's funny if you do get it, but he can't explain the joke or it isn't funny. Same with this one, although I suspect a much larger percentage of people got this one. http://xkcd.com/35/

"It's the worst ever"
That honor goes to whichever one it was that started off with a diagram of a vulva or whatever.

"Politics, in MY xkcd?"
Because he's neverput political candidates into comics before.
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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby Klear » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:45 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:"It's not accessible"
Maybe you didn't get it, but xkcd has only sometimes tries to do humor that everyone can get. Donner, party of 4, anyone? It's funny if you do get it, but he can't explain the joke or it isn't funny.


Not that I don't generally agree with you, but read the alt text in that one.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby savanik » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:56 pm UTC

Someguy945 wrote:I'd like to apologize in advance for this post. Okay, here goes:

hdhale wrote:Actually if you want to go route of actually comparing Romney to either Mr. Burns or Charlie, then that begs the question who is comparable to Obama


Image


I've seen this particular line of argument from quite a few rather intelligent people, but I have to point out - more English speakers use 'beg the question' with the literal sense of the word 'beg' ('to plead for') rather than to use it to refer to the specific logical fallacy. The fact is, both uses are proper because people at large have accepted the former usage as part of standard American English. If anything, using it in the former sense is more proper at this point, because hardly anyone is referring to the logical fallacy with the phrase.
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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby evac156 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:56 pm UTC

Even though I agree with it, I didn't think it was all that great, particularly because (as others have pointed out), all of them were completely obvious as to who said them. Granted, Mittens could have been announcing that he had received a Golden Ticket, because he obviously has, but the similiarities end there.

Charlie had one big break handed to him, but he'd been in hardship all his life, and we don't see any evidence of him forgetting where he came from. Instead, we see that the other kids and parents, far more privileged than Charlie and Grandpa Joe, are driven by their greed, and are punished for it. When Charlie does get greedy, he learns a lesson and repents.

If we wanted to do some digging, maybe we could come up with better lines that were more ambiguous between Charlie and Mittens. But somehow I don't think Charlie ever made any comments about dressage horses, or needing a new elevator installed in the garage. Oh, wait, Charlie undoubtedly did have some elevator comments to make, so there's a possibility.

Maybe there's a better fictional character to compare Romney against? Richie Rich automatically springs to mind, but I think the Riches were a little more in touch and compassionate about regular people's lives. Richie did have Freckles and Pee-Wee as friends.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby mzanders » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:09 pm UTC

You and your girlfriend laughed for five minutes? Really? Mkay, that says a lot more about you than it does the comic.

I can't stand people who come on these forums and bash the comic and/or the author. In fact, I only registered a long time ago in order to advise these misanthropes to demand their money back from Munroe. I mean, seriously. Move along.

And yet. I find myself agreeing with marsman57: "This is probably literally the worst xkcd every written." Yep, I understand US politics; that used to be my profession. No, I'm not a Romney supporter or hater. Yes, I've seen the various "What's the difference" pieces. Yes, I have a keen sense of humor and a tolerance for various grades of it. And it's just a big wet splat.

It must be mind-numingly difficult to come up with funny comics on a deadline, time after time, especially with the depth that Munroe works with, and with the consistent high quality he normally achieves. So there are going to be clunkers, fair enough. But this one is such a failure it would have been better to miss a day than shovel it out the door. Sorry.

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Re: 1044: “Romney Quiz”

Postby ertdfg » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:14 pm UTC

PhingerSpex wrote:
Normally I can see both sides of any confrontation, but it's difficult for anyone with any intelligence at all to understand Republicans as anything other than ego-centric, anti-science bigot


You're parodying the "tolerant liberal" who loves tolerance, understanding, and diversity... but only as long as you agree 100% with them ... right?

Oh, you're not parodying anyone? You're really under the impression you're a tolerant understanding person; but you're also certain Republicans are coming from a position of stupid racist selfish bigotry with no other possible motivations?

Well ok then... good to see that you're open-mined to the concept that someone else has another idea; accepting of differences between people, and self-aware enough to avoid making a mockery of your entire person and beliefs in a single comment. I'd hate for that sort of thing to happen, and it wouldn't be funny at all and I wouldn't be laughing at you.


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