Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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This comic uses the starting lines of an innocent children's book and creates irony by delivering a dark message.
In the book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume, the opening lines are "Are you still there God? It's me, Margaret. I know you're there God. I know you wouldn't have missed this for anything! Thank you God. Thanks an awful lot..." These lines describe a traditional prayer, in which Margaret privately speaks to God, expressing gratitude and seeking guidance.
Margaret stands alone talking. After quoting "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret", she goes on to tell God she knows it is listening, and continues asking God if it is scared, pausing and telling God that it should be. This is similar to threats delivered in super violent action movies, such as Transporter and Commando. The final panel is a shot of Margaret standing imposingly in a dark landscape, and a caption over the top of the image says "Margaret is coming for you", making this comic reminiscent of an action movie trailer. The irony is that "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." is a very innocent book, especially when compared to a super violent action movie.
The title text is a mashup of three of Blume's other books: Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, The Pain and the Great One, and Then Again, Maybe I Won't, and likely the inspiration for the dark lines in the comic.
I know you're listening" may refer to an earlier XKCD comic, 525: I Know You're Listening.
The idea of turning an innocent children's book into a violent movie was previously touched in 633: Blockbuster Mining.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret was previously referenced in the title text of 1354: Heartbleed Explanation.
- [Margaret, shown in full body, is alone. She is talking while looking out towards the reader.]
- Margaret: Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret.
- Margaret: I know you're listening.
- [Zoom in on her face and torso.]
- Margaret: Are you scared, God?
- Margaret: Are you?
- [Zooming so far in that not even her whole face is visible.]
- Margaret: You should be.
- [Zooming far out showing her in a white silhouette against a black sky, standing on the white earth.]
- Margaret: Margaret is coming for you.
- There seems to be a typo in the title text with double the:
- I will bring pain to the the Great One
- It could however also be a reference to the book The Pain and the Great One, so this is the "The Great One"
- Maybe it was supposed to be thee "The Great One".
- This is another take on the joke where people threat/insult God. Here are some other examples:
- In one episode of the sitcom One Foot In The Grave, the grumpy old man protagonist is incapacitated. Upon waking up in hospital he finds a bearded patient in a white gown looking down upon him, and for a few seconds believes himself to be dead. He speaks three lines: 'Oh, it's you.' Then in a much angrier tone 'I've been waiting to see you for a very long time.' He then proceeds to grab the patient around the neck and attempt to throttle him while screaming in anger about every misfortune and annoyance in life.
- One episode of The Outer Limits features a very old man who has spent his entire life fighting to survive - with such determination and success that he almost overturns the supernatural structure of nature, which should prohibit immortality. At episode's end he finally loses, having resorted to every trick fair and foul in his quest to live another day. In the final shot a mysterious force approaches to collect his soul - and the ghost of the man is seen, readying himself for a fight as he speaks the final line at the oncoming form: "I'm ready for you. I hope you're ready for me."
- The final (non-revival) episode of Red Dwarf ends with Death himself coming to collect the supreme coward Rimmer, incarnate as the traditional black-robed figure with a scythe. Rimmer knees him in the groin mid-sentence and flees.
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