It’s okay, Karkat, you tried. The problem was the tool you had to work with.
[transcript: Homestuck characters painted over an xkcd comic as so:
PANEL 1: Eridan and Karkat are drinking at a table together.
ERIDAN: I’ve been learning tricks from Earth pickup artist forums.
KARKAT: Pickup artists are dehumanizing creeps who see red relationships as adversarial and targets as sex toys.
PANEL 2: In the background, Rose and John are hanging out at another table.
ERIDAN: No, it’s just a bunch of tips! Like negging: you belittle chicks to undermine their self-confidence so they’ll be more vulnerable and seek your approval.
KARKAT: Just talk to them like a fucking person.
ERIDAN: Nah, that’s a sucker’s game.
ERIDAN: OK – Wish me luck!
PANEL 4: At Rose and John’s table. John is getting up.
JOHN: I’m going to the bathroom to roll a ball down under the line of stalls.
PANEL 5: Eridan heads off towards Rose’s table.
KARKAT: Oh no.
ERIDAN: You look like you’re on a diet. That’s great!
ERIDAN: How’s the fruit plate?
ROSE: Ooh- Are we negging?
ROSE: Let me try!
ROSE: You look like you’re going to spend your life having one epiphany after another, always thinking you’ve finally figured out what’s holding you back, and how you can finally be productive and creative and turn your life around.
ROSE: But nothing will ever change. That cycle of mediocrity isn’t due to some obstacle. It’s who you are.
ROSE: The thing standing in the way of your dreams is that the person having them is you.
ROSE: OK, your turn! Ooh, try insulting my hair!
ERIDAN: I think I need to go home and think about my life.
ROSE: It won’t help.]