Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Memeing of Life

The Memeing of Life


Blogs an such online places like here, F’book, Pintrest, Reddit, Tumblr etc. they all thrive on the Meme’s, but what is a Meme? It’s funny usually, yes?! It’s always bite sized. No long discourse or reading required to “get” the joke, so what makes a Meme so appealing? And why do we all seem to be so addicted to them?

Definitly go to that link – it’s a short article, much like the subject, but to put it in an even smaller nutshell: a Meme is an idea with a life of its own and it propagates through our culture transforming people’s thoughts or even ideologies and often is being transformed as well, as it travels from person to person.

You might liken it to a mental parasite if you happen to dislike the Meme in question, or you might call it a mental symbiote if you view the meme in question a little more favorably. Or you just might laugh and send it on to some other folks you think would like it, and or put your own spin on it first and then send it on.
Meme’s also bind people together, in a sense they can become shibboleths or serve as sign post in jokes that define a community. In fact I think they serve more in this sense then as a means of educating or sharing ideas. Here’s a few from the Atheist/Non-Religious community, going back in time we have: 

 The Flying Spaghetti Monster  FSM – a Joke religion. Our current favorite fake religion jokes on the creationists beliefs and has fun details about life with wenching and beer.

Invisible Pink Unicorn – a joke religion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn
This one is very 90's

 A joke religion used as a satirical device and to prove to religious that they can't really prove the existence of god.  

Bob and the cult of the subgenius – a joke religion started in the 70's and is also making fun of alien abduction and other hippie dippiness.  Emphasis on the commercialism of mainstream religions.

Satanists – a real religion - possibly started as a joke 60's 70's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Satan   They start from a point of Atheism and go from there.

Now though it might seem similar don’t get Tropes confused with Memes. Tropes are literary devices, like annotations meant to inform writers and readers alike. Names of Tropes might seem Meme like but they’re definitional and meant to apply to multiple applications / works of writing. So in a sense Tropes are more like Archetypes than Meme’s.


Archetypes are symbols, rich with history, and allegory. Concepts like the Trickster and the hero, snakes and apples etc. – okay all of these have more applications than just literary but I’m focusing there for convenience, however, my head is about to explode with all these different terms!!!
So many different words and ways to analyze our culture, maybe it’s necessary?!, maybe just because there are so many different cultures, writitngs and means of communication now? Well anyway, let me have a little face plant time. . .

So maybe Archetypes are the really old tropes, you know the oldest – Snaaaake! -

 wink, wink, nudge nudge! 

Monty Python bit

And Tropes are now more from the wiki links simple word descriptions based on real world examples, here have a plot coupon, - ah hah! I saw what you did there! analysis with jargon to please us writer geeks and then Meme’s are Meta billboards for our oh so short attention span culture that allow us to talk about difficult subjects with a deflecting sense of humor at play.
Whew! Glad that’s done, (note how I’m using Meme’s to illustrate the other two concepts!!) now go back to your regularly scheduled life of meme’s which is indistinguishable from what we were just doing.. .


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