Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Martha's Meme Crutch

We've had the definition before, but let's go over it one more time for effect:

meme: an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture

Sometimes it's a youtube video, but sometimes it's something else entirely.

Remember this:



I couldn't make it through a day of junior high without something going all not worthy.

Or how about this:


I don't know when it popped up, but back in college I never said "I know, right?" but now I'm that douchebag that says it all the time. Oh yeah, also, using the word douchebag all the time? Meme.

There was a time no one used the word douchebag to describe someone negatively. Then someone used it. Then it caught fire and everyone used it.

The problem with these types of memes is that they lead to verbal crutches and, in writing, the dreaded cliche.

As a young-adult author, I'm naturally obsessed with whatever Taylor Lautner's abs...I mean...Taylor Lautner is doing so I've been checking out his latest trailer:



There's a point where Taylor Lautner is on the phone with what must be the bad guy.
The bad guy says, "We're going to find you."
Taylor responds aggressively, "Not if I find you first."

That's technically another meme. Somewhere, societally, we decided the badass answer to "I'm going to find you" was "Not if I find you, first."

Even though this makes absolutely no sense.

If I said to someone: "I'm going to find you."
And they said, "Not if I find you first."
My natural response would be, "Oh...cool, well, let's just agree to meet somewhere? What's good for you? I don't mind cabbing it...maybe we could grab lunch?"

If cliche is the enemy of the writer than so is meme...but strangely, not zeitgiest (which we've discussed before in depth on this blog...)

The key is capture the spirit of the times without beating it like a dead horse (ahem...yet another meme turned cliche...)

With all the pressure to keep your writing pristine, thank goodness there's blogging! Where I can say whatever the hell. :)

5 comments:

Sophie Littlefield said...

heee. One of the things i love most about you, martha, is your ability to parse things on a dozen levels at once. that "not if I find you first" thing...I'll never hear it the same way again!

Mysti said...

Taylor Lautner? I don't get him--but I did say "I am not worthy" for ten years longer than I should have :)

Thanks for a merry day, Martha!

(I thought 'I know, right' was a regional thing, not a generational!)

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