1773: Negativity

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Negativity
[Google search] how do I block my lawn
Title text: [Google search] how do I block my lawn

[edit] Explanation

Cueball is going outside for some fresh air because he wants to escape the trolls of the Internet, which is known for hosting several hostile and unpleasant ideas and people. However, as he walks, some grass speaks up to insult him, and Cueball is upset to find that he hasn't escaped the negativity at all. (see 1749: Mushrooms which involves an unusual occurrence of a vocalizing angry mushroom).

The title text expands on this, with him searching Google for how to "block the lawn". Blocking someone refers to a standard setting on websites and online services that can prevent certain users from communicating with you, but it is as yet unknown how this would work for a lawn insulting you. This is made ironic by the fact he is using the Internet to find an Internet technique (blocking) on a non-Internet object, while at the start of the comic, he just wanted to escape the Internet.

The term "blocking" is actually used in lawn-care to refer to techniques where sunlight is restricted from reaching the lower parts of the grass stems and to persuade the root system to grow deeper into the soil.

The negativity Cueball meets on-line is likely due to the results of the recent 2016 United States presidential election and this one was released only three days before the U.S. Electoral College voted for Donald Trump to become the 45th president of the United States, and this was still a bit exciting as there where rumors/hopes that some of the electors would not vote for Trump. (But only two changed away from Trump!) That this is likely is further supported with other recent comics. The first of these 1761: Blame is almost a prequel to this one, as it is about being sad about what happens on-line. This comic here was thus the second sad comics following the election, culminating shortly after his inauguration with a comic simply titled 1790: Sad. (See more on other depressive comic in this trivia.)

Later in 1802: Phone, Cueball cannot go outside for a walk without bringing his phone as he cannot stand to be disconnected from his feed, which is the exact opposite of what he tries in this comic. Although in the title text he does try to disconnect, he then finds that this is also bad because it leads to social isolation.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball walking on grass]
Cueball: It's nice to get outside, away from the pain and negativity of the internet,
[Cueball stops walking]
Cueball: And just enjoy the cool breeze and the grass under my feet.
[Cueball stands there, hands to his hips, looking to the cloudy sky]
[Cueball looks down while pointing a finger at the grass behind him.]
Grass: You suuuuck
Cueball: Hey!


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Discussion

Any chance that 'the pain and negativity of the internet' is a reference to this recent SMBC comic where SMBC's artist Zach challenges Randall to 'out-nerd him now' (seen when you click the red button just below the comic). I've been wondering whether the first XKCD after that (that is: today's XKCD comic) would refer to it. 141.101.104.173 14:55, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

I kinda doubt it. SMBC wasn't being "negative" or objectionable - if anything it was a challenge - and even a kind of complement. An adequate response to that kind of a challenge might take longer than a few days to prepare. If we're going to see anything in response, I suspect it'll be more obvious. SteveBaker (talk) 14:02, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
We better be seeing a string theory joke sometime in the next week... 108.162.216.226 02:38, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Here you go. 162.158.122.126 12:55, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@SteveBaker That was my doubt too. Looking forward to an adequate response from Randall though :) 141.101.104.173 07:44, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
The negative interpretation might as well be humorously exaggerated. Alluding to political correctness gives the defense some weight. A point in favor of our observation, that I came just here to validate, would be the lawn. "Get of my lawn" is a common meme, but even the lawn is impressed with Zach. Anyway I chuckled. 162.158.114.10 17:46, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
The link at the top does not work. This one should . 108.162.246.35 16:00, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

This article mentions XKCD number 1749 as involving "talking to inanimate organisms", but nobody talks to the mushroom in that strip. Neither does the mushroom talk to them, it merely growls. Ajfaraday (talk) 09:41, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

I would object to "inanimate". Things are inanimate, and well, maybe dead organisms; but a growling and talking organism is obviously alive.162.158.91.171 16:14, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
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