Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Some Silliness: Memes and Other Ways of Getting Attention

The idea of memes has always seemed to me to be unscientific. Wikipedia says that Richard Dawkins introduced the idea in his book The Selfish Gene “to describe how one might extend evolutionary principles to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena.” The article goes on: “in everyday use the term 'meme' tends to be applied specifically to fast spreading running jokes on the internet, like those propagated through e-mail forwards and Internet forums.”

So, we’re supposed to dignify gossip or (often) questionable humour by imagining that, just as a physical basis for inheritance was found in genes nearly 100 years after Gregor Mendel’s pioneer work, we’ll isolate something concrete to explain why Tina Fey’s Sarah Pallin imitation swept through cyberspace last fall?

Hmmm. I'm not so sure about that. But it seems that I was "memed" yesterday--in essence, one of my writing cronies sent me a sort of virtual chain letter which invites bloggers to reveal/promote themselves. Because Ray Argyle is a such a good guy, I'll go along with the conceit.

Here is what you're supposed to do:

One: Link to the person who tagged you. Here.

Two: Post the rules. That's what I'm doing right here.

Three: Write six random things about yourself.

This is harder that you might think. When you've been blogging for a while you've said a lot about yourself already, and you're likely to have set out guidelines about what you want to share with others. So, this time out, I'll just free associate:

1. Once upon a time I had brilliant red hair and was known to dance on tables occasionally.

2. When Lukas and Sophie got married I danced for four hours straight in high heeled shoes, and had trouble unbending my toes the next morning.

3. I know the words to lots of Broadway musicals, and if you don’t watch out I’ll sing them.

4. Back in my table dancing days, my father offered to buy a radio for Lee’s VW if I persisted in singing. In the end he didn’t, and Lee never stopped regretting it.

5. But I’m sure one of the reasons why Elin became a musician is because my terrible but enthusiastic voice showed that you could enjoy making music no matter how many mistakes you made along the way.

6. Now that that my hair has faded to a sort of light strawberry-blonde (not white yet though!) I volunteer Friday afternoons at Hôpital Sainte-Justine, one of Montreal’s two children’s’ hospitals. When I rock the babies on Unit 6-3, I croon show tunes, songs from my childhood and French ditties like Sur le pont d’Avignon. What puts them to sleep quickest, though, is a simple three note hum repeated again and again which would probably drive both Lee and my father nuts. Who cares, though?

Four. Tag six people. See below.

Martin Langeland

Jack Ruttan

Patricia, Guylène's friend



Tom van Milligen

Five. Inform the tagees and the person who tagged you. Done

Enough silliness for today. Gotta get to work.


patàmodeler said...

Hi Mary,

Hihi! I am not Guylène's cousin, but an old friend of hers. We met in school when we were 5, and lived in the same neighborhood before her parents moved where they still live now.

And aïe aïe... I saw you had been memed yesterday and after reading what the heck it was, I thought phew, I don't know anybody who could meme me... Wrong wrong pat, now it's your time to go to work. Because yeah, it's not as easy as it looks!

Have a nice snowy end of day (before it gets very very cold)
patricia :)

Martin Langeland said...

See what a moil I hath rot.

The title, of course is a riff on the old actor's line in "The Fantastics": "Die Again, Mortimer. Die Again. But I never would."

lagatta à montréal said...

Yes, a big hello to our editrix friend skdadl, and her cats.

Funny how us raven-haired lasses turn auburn in middle age... That is very féministe mais féminine Parisienne. When my hair is silvery that will look nice, but the salt-and-pepper is just dingy. Not interested.

Not going out tomorrow unless I'm paid to (all scheduled paid stuff is on the computer) though I would like to find an old-fashioned exercycle to keep minimally flexible.

I saw a perfectly good one thrown away at the corner of Dante and de Gaspé, while I was scouring the neighbourhood looking for my missing cat, but I could not be distracted from my search.

Jack Ruttan said...

That's done, but it was a huge pain in the neck. Noticed that one of the people I had first chosen had already had one, but it had been squared into 16.

That would have taken all night!

Mary Soderstrom said...

Thank you Jack and Martin: nice posts.

Patricia, I've changed the reference to you and Guylène. Looking forward to learning six more things about you too.

Maria, keep warm!


patàmodeler said...

It's done!

patàmodeler said...

Mary, you have to see this: http://tinyurl.com/8h644y

(marketing efficace...)