Thursday, February 09, 2006


Memes as questionnaires

I guess I'm just bad at memes. Janelle "tagged" me with this meme more than a week ago, but I only get around to it now.

I'm still not completely clear on the concept. I like the concept expressed in the formal definition
A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.
Blogs seem to have great potential for spreading cultural practices or ideas this way. But when I see bloggers share what they call "memes," it more often takes the form of a chain letter. When the content of the chain letter is "let's have your riff on this idea," it still seems at least somewhat like that above definition of meme. When the content of the chain letter is "here's a list of things about me/ things I like! Okay, now your turn!" -- a blog version of the guys doing their top five lists in the record store in High Fidelity -- it seems less like a meme. Unless it's the "cultural practice" of making lists, rather than the content of those lists, that you consider to be the meme in question. But that's so "meta." (On "the ironic mutation of the term 'meme' for these things," see Jeremy here.)

Anyway, with a mixture of feeling flattered that I was "tagged" and feeling mild dismay and annoyance for having, essentially, to fill out a form by doing the meme, here goes. Forgive me if I go off script from time to time, but I've decided to answer the questions freely by revising the questions.

Five Things

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following lists and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.
That's kind of tedious. Not gonna do it.

Next, select five people to tag.
Allright, this is already feeling like a chore. So, no...

What were you doing 10 years ago?
To the month? To the hour?

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Apparently, I was blogging about neckties.

Five snacks you enjoy have either impulsively bought in the last six months or could desperately cobble together out of ingredients currently found in the back of your pantry:

1. smoked oysters
2. muffaleta and salami on toast with melted provalone
3. orange flavored almond butter on oat bran graham crackers sprinkled with chocolate chips
4. all the black beans you could eat in a month if you were under doctors' orders to do so
5. emergency drinking water

Five songs you know all the words to whose lyrics are, incredibly enough, taking up space in your brain and make you wish that your memory was like a hard drive and you could delete the lyrics to create more disk space:

1. 76 Trombones (from The Music Man)
2. Theme song from Man of La Mancha
3. Any of several songs from Once Upon a Mattress
4. Any of several songs from James Taylor's 1977 hit album, JT
5. Any of dozens of 1970s and 1980s pop songs that I'd name for you, except that if I did, they'd start playing in my head, and I'd have to shoot myself.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire gazillionaire:

1. Squash Bill Gates like a bug
2. Contribute heavily to various congress people and then, quite ironically, pressure them to implement rigorous campaign finance reform
3. Start a foundation and give away money until I am pictured in Time Magazine holding hands with Bono. Oh, what the heck, why not French kissing Bono?
4. Use my powers for the good of mankind.
5. Wonder why I am not perfectly happy.

Five bad habits:
1. Fretting about losing my hair
2. Obsessing about mid life crisis
3. Checking Site Meter too much
4. Fretting about why you're not reading my blog more often
5. Fretting about why your friends are not reading my blog more often

Five things you would never wear again:
1. Clam diggers
2. Flaired pants of any kind, unless the "sailor suit" fad comes back and extends to grown straight men.
3. The sailor suit I wore when I was five.
4. Trendy shoes of any kind.
5. Store bought Halloween costumes.

Ironically, the meme / questionnaire goes on to ask "five things" about two more things. I'll stop at five.

It must be genetics. I also have smoked oysters in my pantry. And I am the only one in my household who will consider eating them. Funny thing though -- I didn't discover them until I was out of the parental house we shared for at least 10 years.

xqfttpkt - "excuse me for taking packets."
I was kinda hoping that you were going to tag me. Oh well . . . .
Wendy -- that's a useful abbreviation for people who load up on sugar substitutes like "Splenda" when they go to the chain family restaurant. That's not directed at you -- the directee knows who he or she is.

Tonya, consider yourself tagged.

qpwdyj -- ("kwip-wittage") -- the degree of wittiness attributable to a quip or quipster.
I don't know what to say. I'm left with a mixture of feelings, too, after reading this post. So confused I was/am that it took me this long to post a comment!

Where am I? Who am I? Ahhh!!!!!

(janelle renée has left the room in a state of hysteria. I'm monkey-boy, her trained, well, monkey, and I have resumed typing where janelle has left off. I don't know English, except for the sentence before this one, and the one before that one, and this sentence here.)*

*a "Family Guy" reference. The TV show, not a real family guy, guy.

ffgipyh- I better person than I could come up with something I'm sure.
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