828: Positive Attitude

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 828)
Jump to: navigation, search
Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude is almost tautologically good for your mental health, and extreme stress can hurt your immune system, but that doesn't mean you should feel like shit for feeling like shit.
Title text: Having a positive attitude is almost tautologically good for your mental health, and extreme stress can hurt your immune system, but that doesn't mean you should feel like shit for feeling like shit.

[edit] Explanation

Cueball feels bad because he's sick, and his friend tells him to think positively because that will make him feel better. After thinking a bit Cueball notices that, following that reasoning, if he feels bad it is his fault for being so pessimistic. That makes him feel even worse as now he's not only sick, but also feels guilty of his own sickness.

In the fourth panel, he throws away all the previous reasoning and decides his mood is not the problem: the problem is that he's sick. Also, he decides that whatever he feels now he'll finally get better because he's treating his disease.

In the last panel Cueball notices his last comment was actually optimistic, so that makes him feel better. At this point, it should be expected that Cueball's friend would say "see? looking at things in an optimistic way actually helps". However, he puts optimism as something bad by using the phrase "you suck at pessimism". Cueball then tries to be optimistic at his "sucking" by thinking he'll "be better at pessimism tomorrow". Of course, being good at pessimism is something he should avoid, as it was his very problem in the first panels.

The title text takes a serious turn, and acts as an advice for people feeling bad for being sick. The point is that sickness makes one feel bad enough by itself without having to feel guilty for feeling bad when one's sick.

In the first panel, Cueball is connected to a monitor and an IV (Intravenous therapy). In a real hospital this might be recording data, such as heart rate (HR) and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) however in the comic, INT, CON and CHR are also recorded. These may be a reference to character stats in some role playing games. In the "Adventurer Conqueror King" system, INT=Intelligence. CON=Constitution and CHR=Charisma.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball sits hunched with his knees drawn up to him on a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV. A friend stands by.]
Cueball: I'm sick and I'm scared.
Friend: Well, remember - having a good attitude is the most important thing. Think positively and you'll get better.
[Darkness surrounds Cueball on the bed. The friend is off-screen.]
Cueball: So if I'm sad or afraid or feel like crap sometimes, then...
Friend: ...then if you don't recover, it will be your fault.
[Cueball clutches his hands to his face and leans back.]
Cueball: Well that makes me feel even worse.
Friend: See? You're doing this to yourself.
Cueball: No!
Friend: Stop it!
Cueball: Argh!
[Close up on Cueball, holding up his hand, pointing to himself.]
Cueball: Okay, you know what? Screw this. My attitude isn't my problem. - My disease is my problem, and I'm treating it. - I'm going to be glum and depressed and pessimistic some days, and I'm going to get better anyway.
[Cueball sits on the edge of the bed, his friend still standing in front of him.]
Cueball: Wait, that ended up sounding optimistic.
Friend: I guess you suck at pessimism.
Cueball: Maybe I'll be better at it tomorrow.
comment.png add a comment! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


What is an IV instrument? It has to be explained. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:58, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

I've rewritten all the explanation, expanding it a bit, adding the title text part and the IV explanation. So I've also removed the incomplete tag. Hope it can be now considered "complete". 02:49, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

I can't believe no one has mentioned the INT, CON and CHR stats on the monitor CardaStcol (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?