Friday, October 14, 2005

Do Re Meme

Saw this on Bonnie's blog (Frogma). Bonnie is an old classmate from Iolani:

"Hey, and as long as I'm doing memes...I'm going to do one I saw on Rivertyde too. This is such a nice simple one that even I can't complicate it...only I'm going to, a little. Here are the rules: 1. Grab the nearest book. 2. Open the book to page 123. 3. Find the fifth sentence. 4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions. 5. Dont search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do whats actually next to you."

Here's what I got:

"However, the scales on the skin did not overlap as they do on some reptiles."

from A Guide to Dinosaurs, by Brochu, Long, McHenry, Scanlon, and Willis.

Don't ask why this was the nearest book in my office, but it was. The text refers to a Carnotaurus, only one specimen has ever been discovered, in Patagonia.

Interesting. That got me thinking. Then I got distracted. What the hell does she mean by meme? She's been blogging much longer than me, so I dug a little. Meme meme meme.

One of the definitions: "A meme is a cognitive or behavioral pattern that can be transmitted from one individual to another one."

OK, so meme (rhymes with dream) is/are simple, yet complicated. We use them often. Just in context, one can determine that meme are patterns that differ per individual. The meme above follows a pattern, and if someone else does it, will achieve the same result, but with a similar structure. Most common are the "surveys" that get e-mailed around to everyone where you answer your name, sign, favorite movie, first place you were hit with a mango, etc. The key to it being a meme, is that it "infects" others, it is transmitted to other people, i.e. the dreaded "send this to everyone you know."

For example, if you look at my post on October 8, "Billy Needs", that is also an example of a meme. I encourage any and all readers to do what you will with these when I come across them.
Hey, post them as messages if you so choose.

Just to illustrate my Meme-ness, I have unearthed the following treasure. Although not particularly interesting, it is more fascinating that I still have access to this and that I recalled doing this when talking about meme.

From my earliest journal, roughly covering my formative years (HA!), 1983-1986. The journal had the working title of Your Guess is as Good as Mine, Jr.

August 23, 1983: "Right now, I'm going to pick a book (I'm in a library at Univ. of Cal./Dominguez Hills) & I'll take the first word from each chapter (repeats: I'll take 2nd word etc.) & try & do something with it!

[At this point, at Cal State/DH, not Univ. of Cal., I randomly grab a book where I am sitting trying to while away the time as Dad works]

Book: Aspects of Educational Technology Volume III
Damn! No chapters! Try again
Damn! Volume IV! Try again
Damn! Software for Educational Computing by K. Ahmed, D. Ingram, & C.J. Dickinson has only three parts. Try again
Let's try Educational Research in Classrooms in Schools: A Manual of Materials & Methods by Louis Cohen

Sec 1: Individual Sec 5: Whereas Sec 9: Science
Sec 2: There Sec 6: What
Sec 3: Methodical Sec 7: To
Sec 4: As Sec 8: In

[And here is the result. I warn you. It's not pretty. It is juvenilia at its worst.]

"As to what Methodical individual?" he asked, pulse racing.

"Whereas," she gasped, "There! In SCIENCE."

"Goddamnit!" he screamed. He looked very angry. "Cecelia, what does methodical individuality have to do with science?"

A pause. She stared at him coldly. "Look, Dave," she whispered as she pointed to a nearby periodical on the nightstand.

"Forgive me Cecelia," he cried as he saw that she had pointed to the latest issue of "SCIENCE" magazine, "I'm so. . .".

"The article on methodical individuality is marked, Dave," she said. Then, putting on her clothes she left his bedroom. She told him that she never wanted to see him again. But,unfortunately for Dave, he did not hear her. He had become engulfed in the article.

When Dave woke up in the morning, the magazine still in his hands, he noticed her absence. She was the second most important thing to him, and he loved her. He never found her and died brokenheartedly.

Cecelia, on the other hand, had moved to Indianapolis, married an orthodontist, had three children, and lived happily ever after.

Creative efforts of a 16-year old. Interesting? I guess, but moreso in the latest context as the meme from Frogma reminded me of this self-imposed writing exercise from 22 years ago.

1 comment:

bonnie said...

Good twist at the end!

I may have to do your desk toy game. Actually, back when I was in banking, the stuff on my desk tended to be pretty boring, but in children's publishing, you end up with toys on your desk whether you like it or not. Being toyless is not an option, it would mark you as being an outsider.

Plus I have one that I found in the Hudson River. How many people can say that?