Blogging about Memes

 WHAT ARE THEY EXACTLY, YOU ASK?

Well, memes are cultural units that are passed on via word of mouth, media, TV, email, blogs, newpapers, radio, etc.  Memes can be many different things including catch phrases, urban myths, YouTube videos, email chain letters, and much, much more.  As Michele Knobel and Colin Lankshear (2007) state, the subject of memes can be humour, political statements, manga fan purposes, and hoax purposes.  Usually, the original spark for the meme is alterted in some form while keeping some of the original aspects.  What I have seen done is quite clever, really.  Knobel and Lankshear go on to define three important characteristics of successful memes:

  • Fidelity - which refers to the qualities of the meme that allows it to be readily copied and passed from mind to mind relatively intact;
  • Fecundity - which refers to how fast the meme is copied and spread;
  • Longevity - which obviously refers to how long the meme survives.

Some examples that you may know or remember are on the internet; things like 'Dancing Baby', 'Hamster Song', 'Numa Numa Dance', 'Ellen Feiss' and the 'Star Wars Kid'.  After looking at some of the originals, I decided to look at some of the copies.  I did find that the copies were usually more entertaining than the actual original source the meme stemmed from.  Below are some links to some of the funnier examples I have found.

Watch this mutation of the Numa Numa dance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHJjY0Lj1oA&feature=related

I laughed and laughed.  But then again, Yoda is my favourite character from Star Wars and I love 'Singing in the Rain'.  The stormtrooper just doesn't seem to have Gene Kelley's dancing talent, does he?  It must be hard to whistle through that helmet too!   

I also found some of the political commentary quite funny too, especially since I have always been a fan of Lionel Ritchie.  Watch this one with Bush and Blair:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNpoS6jOty4

I did notice some disturbing comments under the original 'Star Wars Kid' video on YouTube.  One person posted on May 16, 2008 that the kid ended up committing suicide because of all the attention he received.  I am not sure whether this is actually true or not, but I do think it makes us think about the darker side of memes.  Memes are really embarrassing to the original people involved and often harmful.  I don't particularly find making fun of an autistic boy's lost frog flier funny or even watching the original version of 'Star Wars Kid'.  The fact that the meme can turn into a witchhunt, as in 'Dog Poop Girl', is particularly concerning since personal address details were given out over the internet.  A more recent embarrassing moment has happened for the Miss South Carolina contestant in the Miss Teen USA 2007 contest.  Watch it below here:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww&locale=en_GB&persist_locale=1

How embarrassing for her!  Can you imagine the humiliation she'll encounter at university and beyond?  However, some funny versions containing some dark humour have emerged.  I thought one was particularly entertaining:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=F226lI-lo5M

Now, I have shown you mainly YouTube memes, but let me say that there are many, many other memes out there especially from TV.  For example, the phrase, "Am I boverd?" comes from Catherine Tate's comedy sketches.  I have even recently seen a version of the 'Star Wars Kid' on the American TV programme, 'Arrested Development' and if some of you remember, 'Dancing Baby' appeared on Ally McBeal.  Like the Miss Teen USA 2007, some memes begin from other media such as television or radio, and end up on the internet.

Keep your eyes peeled for any interesting memes you see or hear about.  I know I will.

 

Feeling fine

Hi Everyone!

Now that I have handed in my draft and completed reports as well as parent-teacher interviews, the world seems like a much calmer place.  I only wish it was sunny and warm now...

Quite excited to have my YouTube video on the front page of Nick AND Jackie's blog, so check them out in my blogroll - Digital Beginnings and Digital Newcomer!  I feel like quite the star!  So, thanks guys!

Hope to see you all here soon...

:-)  Misti xxoo

 

Welcome to my blog!

Hi everyone,

I really hope you guys are not as stressed as I am about this research project!  I don't know about you, but I am WELL behind.  I can't wait to see you all on YouTube... I should have my post by the end of the week and will give you a link!

Take care for now as I must rush back to doing exciting lit reviews! tee hee!

Misti xxooTongue out

 
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