842: Mark

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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[[Category:Comics featuring Cueball]]
 
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[[Category:Philosophy]]

Revision as of 11:15, 18 October 2013

Mark
I'm a solipsistic conspiracy theorist. I'm sure I must be up to something, and I will not stop until I find out what.
Title text: I'm a solipsistic conspiracy theorist. I'm sure I must be up to something, and I will not stop until I find out what.

Explanation

According to Urban Dictionary [1] [2], this is an old grade school/middle school prank. You'd walk up to an unsuspecting schoolmate and ask him if he wants to join the Pen Fifteen Club. You'd tell him that to join, you merely have to write the club name on him. You'd then write "PEN15" on his hand or arm, and everyone would laugh at him (because it looks like "Penis"). In this case, Cueball fell victim to this prank as a child without ever figuring it out. Later on, he created meaning and conspiracy out of two completely unrelated, coincidental events.

In the title text, solipsism is the philosophical idea that the only thing you know for certain is that your own mind exists.

Transcript

[An adult and a child are talking.]
Child: What's that on your arm?
Adult: The mark of a secret society.
Child: If it's secret, why tell me --
Adult: Because I know nothing. I can't betray them because I don't know who they are. I was chosen by an agent 20 years ago. That was my first and last direct contact. It's safer that way.
Narration: Six years later I found a piece of paper in the street with an address on it. The next day I found a can of kerosene in my garage that I'm sure I never bought.
[The panel represents these actions by highlighting the mentioned objects in a world of gray.]
Narration: I didn't know whose house it was. I just knew that I'd been given my orders. And I carried them out.
[A dark figure is silhouetted against a flame.]
Adult: I don't know who or what we're fighting.
Adult: Maybe we're the bad guys.
Adult: It doesn't matter to me.
Adult: It's enough to know that there are forces working beneath the chaos of life, and I'm a part of them.
Adult: That whatever this "pen fifteen" club is,
Adult: I'm in it.
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Discussion

The title "Mark" referring to both the mark on his arm, and the fact that he is a "mark" -- a victim of a prank or confidence scheme. 75.103.23.206 22:18, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Hey, I'm part of this club too! Been burning down houses and killing people for years now. ~JFreund
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