So, after Shadows of Liberty perhaps you’ll probably need some humorous alleviation from the dystopian horrors of corporate media control and Cultural Imperialism – a term succinctly explained by Schiller as “a form of transnational corporate cultural domination” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler). Argh, fuck!
Digital natives in the class will probably already understand what is meant by the colloquial term ‘meme’ – generally the word meme is synonymous with virally spread images of pop cultural allusions references, and are almost always intended to make people laugh. But, as I found out last semester, the word meme first coined the word in his 1976 bestseller The Selfish Gene. He explains the term in the following way:
‘Memes spread through human culture as genes spread through the gene pool. Memes can be good ideas, good tunes, good poems, as well as drivelling mantras. Anything that spreads through imitation, as genes spread by bodily reproduction or viral infection, is a meme”.
Dawkins also highlights “An internet meme is a hijacking of the original idea. Instead of mutating by random chance before spreading by a form of Darwinian selection, internet memes are altered deliberately by human creativity.”
I thought I’d share my favourite internet meme series – Hipster Kitty! The last meme is not Hipster Kitty as such, but it still mocks the desperate claim for originality found in hipster culture. Note the free flowing alterations, and the various mutations that mock hipster culture, or at least ideas about hipster arrogance. Also, make sure you check out the hilarious meme video by Dawkins, it’s probably not what you think!
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