1013: Wake Up Sheeple
|Wake Up Sheeple|
Title text: You will be led to judgement like lambs to the slaughter--a simile whose existence, I might add, will not do your species any favors.
Cueball is going through the traditional loudspeaker-having person refrain about the government having control over our lives and uses the refrain "Wake Up Sheeple", which has been referenced at least two other times in xkcd. Sheeple is a portmanteau (another thing that is loved in xkcd) of "sheep" and "people" used as a derisive term to describe people who thoughtlessly wander through their daily lives going exactly where they are "herded" by the powers that be.
However, in this comic, "sheeple" are instead a race of humanoid sheep-men who have slumbered beneath the Earth for ten thousand years, and who Cueball has inadvertently awoken with his repeated mantra (much as in 555: Two Mirrors). The sheeple appear to be some kind of eldritch abomination who will destroy the human race, and somehow Cueball was the only one unaware of their existence.
The title text says the humans will be led "like lambs to the slaughter" which is a phrase that appears many times in older texts, the Bible as an example. The phrase means that someone or something would be led to its destruction without it thinking to escape from the disaster. The Sheeple are likely to take it amiss, because it indicates the uncaring frequency with which humans kill sheep.
- [Cueball yells into a megaphone.]
- Cueball: Your government has turned against you! Corporations control your every thought! - Open your eyes!
- [Head-on view of Cueball.]
- Cueball: Wake up, sheeple! Wake up, sheeple! - WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!!
- [In between two panels.]
- [The man takes the megaphone away from his mouth.]
- [A half-sheep half-man creature rises through the cracking earth, holding aloft a gnarled staff.]
- [Close-up on the sheep-man's eye.]
- TEN THOUSAND YEARS WE SLUMBERED... NOW WE RIIIIIIIISE baaaaaaa
- [A clearly upset Megan goes up to Cueball, hands held out in front of her plaintively.]
- Megan: OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!
- Cueball: What? But I didn't—
- Out-of-frame #1: He awoke the Sheeple!
- OOF #2: Heaven forgive us!
- OOF #3: All is lost!