I’ve been hard pressed to keep up with my blog reading, but today I stopped in at Just Muttering and what did I find? ooh-la-la, well-wishes to dad. Thank you very much.
Just Muttering allows her readers to leave comments. I’ve been tempted to do the same, but if you saw the amount of garbage that this site receives despite the comment feature being turned off, you’d understand my reluctance. I do love to hear from readers and encourage you to send your comments to me via email. Anyway, a Just Muttering reader read my Soul Music quotations and wanted to recommend a link to the Sigmund, Carl and Alfred blog — thank you, Ligneus.
Why am I so behind schedule? Besides preparing for the launch of my ArtistShare site (coming very soon), and writing liner notes for a two-CD collection of Jim Hall tracks on Concord Records (it won’t be out until October 24th, but I’ll remind you about it then), I also completed a re-design of Nancy Wilson’s website. In addition to heralding the August 22 release of Turned To Blue, her new CD for MCG Jazz, the site includes a discography with a search engine that lets you find specific songs, and lots of photos and CD covers from throughout the years. I’ve got more recordings still to add, but I think it’s off to a good start.
While blog-hopping I see a lot of memes propagate across the world wide web. These memes are usually series of questions that one blogger answers and then tags another blogger to do likewise. The word meme rhymes with dream, but I have always thought of it as Me Me — you know, like the kids in class who raise their hands and call out “me, me” so they can tell everyone *their* answers.
Today I decided to look up the word’s proper meaning and derivation. It’s not in the old Webster’s New Riverside dictionary that sits on my desk, but it is in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary — “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture,” the derivation being mimesis, or imitation/mimicry.
So, a meme is not just a series of clever questions and answers, it has to be contagious
“Memes are contagious ideas” (memecentral)
which makes it sound like a living organism. And it has to be cultural,
“a replicator of cultural information that one mind transmits (verbally or by demonstration) to another mind.” (wikipedia)
making it both a virus of the mind and the building blocks of culture.
“meme: (pron. ‘meem’) A contagious idea that replicates like a virus, passed on from mind to mind. Memes function the same way genes and viruses do, propagating through communication networks and face-to-face contact between people. The root of the word “memetics,” a field of study which postulates that the meme is the basic unit of cultural evolution. Examples of memes include melodies, icons, fashion statements and phrases.” (memex.org)
That’s a lot of baggage for a word used to describe an innocuous series of questions, statements and/or lists such as these:
- the Meme of Four (here, here, and here)
- Ten Things I’ve Done that You Haven’t
- One Book
This last one is one of my favorites, not only because I am always on the market for new ways to procrastinate, but because it is a good writing exercise for clearing the cobwebs and getting the creative juices flowing.
Over at About Last Night you’ll find that TT and OGIC are champion web surfers as well as magnificent memers, responsible not only for bringing many of these to my attention, but also for introducing me to many other wonderful blogs. Thanks, guys.