2378: Fall Back

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Fall Back
Doing great here in the sixth and hopefully final year of the 2016 election.
Title text: Doing great here in the sixth and hopefully final year of the 2016 election.


Daylight saving time ends in the United States at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November, when 2 a.m. becomes 1 a.m. Election Day in the United States is on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

In 2020, Nov. 1 is Sunday, so the shift from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time will happen two days before the 2020 election. This has the effect of making Sunday, Nov. 1 a 25-hour day. The switchover is sometimes referred to mnemonically as "fall back," with its springtime counterpart (a day of 23 hours) being "spring forward" as mentioned in 1655: Doomsday Clock.

At the beginning of the comic, Cueball incorrectly calculates the time until the election day polls close (this varies from state to state); in the second panel, Megan reminds him about falling back. She goes on to possibly sarcastically treasure this extended moment, one more hour to experience the bitter election cycle and the COVID-19 pandemic. Megan describes herself as dissociating here, and it is possible she is actually treating these emergencies as good now, instead of bad. The behavior could be seen as an indirect demand for the situation to change, a demonstration that she may lose her sanity further if it does not. Cueball hears how intense she is saying her experience is, and says he thinks they've both spent too much time engaging with the news (a sentiment echoed from other recent xkcd comics, like 2371: Election Screen Time and possibly 2374: 10,000 Hours). When he mentions the 24-hour news cycle, Megan corrects him again, as Sunday will be a 25-hour news cycle.

The title text refers to a popular sentiment that the issues and emotions raised in the 2016 United States presidential election were not settled when the election was over and have continued unabated since then. Even though the election itself was held in November 2016, the primary candidates officially announced their campaigns in early 2015; thus, 2020 is the sixth year since that campaign season opened. The implication could be that the whole nation, or at least Randall's community of political followers, has had to be in an altered state of consciousness to handle the past six years. It could also be a reference to ongoing strong campaigning, in excess of what people have seen in the past.


[Cueball is looking at his phone.]
Cueball: It's 8 PM. Exactly six days until the polls close here.
[Megan walks in from Cueball's left, holding up a finger. Cueball has lowered his phone.]
Megan: Six days and one hour.
Cueball: Oh right, fall back.
Cueball: Ugh.
[Megan holds out her arms.]
Megan: Personally, I think it's great.
Megan: Don't you want this moment to last as long as possible?
[Close up on Megan.]
Megan: My pandemic anxiety and election anxiety have finally fused.
Megan: I have ascended.
Megan: I get breaking news alerts in my dreams.
[Back to Cueball and Megan.]
Cueball: I don't think the endless 24 hour news cycle has been good for either of us.
Megan: Well, then I have good news about Sunday!
Cueball: Ughhh.

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Ah, that American thing. Late to The Great War, late to WW2, every year late turning the clocks back in autumn... ;) (Seriously, though - at least under xkcd terms - surely 29-hour days.) 02:02, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

That schedule doesn't change the length of the day, though, just the sleep cycle to accommodate 20 hours of wakefulness. OhFFS (talk) 16:40, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

Seebert (talk) 19:51, 29 October 2020 (UTC)Yep, both sides are convinced the other side has been in a state of altered consciousness for the past 6 years. And the 20% in the center thinks that both sides have gone insane.

The election has only been bitter to the liberals, because they are going to loose. SDSpivey (talk) 21:16, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

Well, if you meant the liberals were showing signs of loosening (?), I can't say whether or not you were right, because I don't know what that means. But if you meant the liberals were going to LOSE, you were wrong. Sorry about that. [Dated November 13, 2020.] 13:00, 13 November 2020 (UTC)

Hwat? What makes you believe that? Nobody can be absolutely certain at this stage. The election hasn’t happened yet, so it isn’t “bitter” to anyone. Liberals are stressed out about it, because they m I g h t lose

This comment did not age well.

Everyone! Look here at the bumbling fool! He’s at it again!

@SDSpivey: Right? I still really like XKCD, but the peppering of political bias in the last few years is irritating. Not everything has to be fused with political commentary. Can't XKCD be it's own thing? It feels like how different TV shows start off great, then with their success start just riding the wistless wave of popular culture and public opinion in a sad attempt to stay relevant without making any substantive commentary (think about Simpsons, for instance). We've gone from normal life being fine to now EVERYONE having to state what side of every issue they're on. Just... be you. Stop making everything about whatever current story is in the news. I miss XKCD being XKCD rather than another player on the public stage imposing their political opinions. Just be a human we can all relate to, no matter the political persuasion. Political ideology doesn't correlate with IQ, and since XKCD caters to an audience with above-average IQ, Randall's making the same mistake as everyone else by isolating half the audience. [[User::Anonymous|Anonymous]] 16:01, 29 October 2020 (MST) Everyone! Look here at the bumbling fool! You can’t just not be political. Even if you could, you wouldn’t be obliged to do so. Randall has literally always been expressing his views in XKCD. From the start.

I don't think most people are aware how political the expressions that seem normal to them, seem to people of opposing politics. 00:35, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
Randall's only human. He's worried about the world too, since he live in it. He isn't working in a vacuum after all. His life experiences shapes the way he writes, both consciously and subconsciously. And outside 'I'm with Her', he hasn't written a single comic where he explicitly or implicitly states who you should vote for - Only that you SHOULD vote.The others simply explore the consequences the government's and people's decisions have wrought, and general comments on the news cycle.
Hello, you two. Look at the comic. Look at the explanation. Look in this segment. Look at your two comments in particular. Which bit is stating an actual full on bias/preference? The bit with you two in. We know which way Randall leans as preference, as it happens, but if we thought he leant the other way the same comic coming from the anti-Randall would still work as well. If you can't see that, the problem isn't with xkcd. (And even if it was, everyone is free to find and appreciate anti-Randall's 'dckx' webcomic. In fact, if you know a good one, I wouldn't mind a look.) As to the result, those who can and wish to vote should do so (if they haven't already) and only when everyone has done that and been tabulated will we know this. If you have a sincere prediction, remember that loads of others have similarly sincere (but dissimilarly tinted) predictions and the universe isn't going to automatically obey your personal preference without everything else lining up. So maybe you'll he lucky. Me, I've got no skin in the game (except as someone living on the same planet) and can't influence the election even by a single vote. This isn't about changing opinions, it's about changing attitudes. And that's even less likely. Meh. 01:02, 30 October 2020 (UTC)
I have bias, I admit that. Everyone should. All the bitterness I have seen this year has come from the liberals (news reporters, comedians, actors) who claim to care about all of us, but really just care about their own pet projects, or just want to seem like they care.I don't care what my favorite entertainer thinks, just entertain me. That's what we pay you for. SDSpivey (talk) 02:36, 31 October 2020 (UTC)

No. Just no. First of all, you do not pay Randall. Also, Randall has literally always used XKCD to state his opinions about things. Even if it isn’t about politics (which he has talked about for literal years), XKCD has never been this romantic bias free pure entertainment blob you seem to be longing for. Never has. Politics isn’t an abstract concept, and what happens affects actual real people. Randall is a literal human person on earth, who uses his platform to spread ideas and messages. He literally always has. Also, the rant about famous people or whatever acting bitter is completely unrelated. Plus, this comic is not even political. Many of Randall’s comics are political, but this one is not. It doesn’t remotely express a political view.

Yeah, and that's exactly what this comic pokes fun at - all the fearmongering the elites spread through their outlets causing anxiety to shoot through the roof, and in this comic, to such a point that Megan has started dissociating herself.

[citation needed]