Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Poodle with a Mohawk

I'm so out of it that I have no idea what a "meme" even is. Sophie's lovely Bouchercon post on Monday was no help at all, and Rachael's delightful essay still leaves me feeling, well, still a little unclear on the concept, a little out of it.

But this is no surprise. A good many of us authors --nearly all, perhaps?-- were hopeless book nerds in high school. I've never really "gotten" the latest meme, much less have I been on the cutting edge...I've never once said, for instance, that "I saw that video when it only had a few hundred hits." I'm the last one on the bandwagon, folks. And I really don't mind my seat in the rear.

About the only time I ever exhibited anything approximating coolness was an awesome T shirt I had the second year of college. It featured Fifi, a poodle, who was "small, black, and mad as hell."

(Check out the copyrighted artwork, by Lynda Barry, here.)

"He knew what people thought of his kind: High strung. Spoiled rotten. French." But once he becomes Poodle with a Mohawk, "You'll never call him Fifi again!"

It was the kind of culturally-loaded humor that young people love: in order to get the joke, you had to know the kind of pampered poodles that were prevalent amongst the suburban folk; you had to understand the political statement implicit in the Mohawk hairstyle; and you had to embrace an ironic way of looking at the world.

These days, I'm lucky to check out the Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger (narrated by Randall) at about hit number 17 million. Yes, I said it: 17 million. But check it out...I may be late, but the view from the back is pretty good:

Funny, huh? Wish I still had that Poodle T shirt, though. It was rad. Which meant cool, a very, very long time ago.


L.G.C. Smith said...

Would it count as an old fogey meme if I use this same theme for my post next Monday? Cuz what you said, Julie, is what I have on this one: I am hopelessly meme-free and I don't care.

Or wait. Didn't we used to have old fashioned academic names like 'social and cultural replication' for memes? Or, in an even more reductionist vein, 'language and culture?' Yeah. Maybe I'll do a tour of Flintstone Village (With Memes) for all the other dinosaurs. Dinosaurs with Mohawks ride free. It'll be tubular.

Juliet Blackwell said...

Lynn, I love that you're always with's definitely tubular! Since you're so great, it makes me feel like being out of it isn't so bad ;-)

Rachael Herron said...

I am the honeybadger when it comes to writing! I am! I am!

Lisa Alber said...

What I want to know is how the term "meme" came to be...Does anyone know?

Martha Flynn said...

from Wikipedia: The word meme originated with Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene. To emphasize commonality with genes, Dawkins coined the term "meme" by shortening "mimeme", which derives from the Greek word mimema ("something imitated").
Dawkins states that he did not know of the "mneme",[citation needed] and said that he wanted "a monosyllable that sounds a bit like 'gene'". Dawkins wrote that evolution depended not on the particular chemical basis of genetics, but only on the existence of a self-replicating unit of transmission – in the case of biological evolution, the gene. For Dawkins, the meme exemplified another self-replicating unit with potential significance in explaining human behavior and cultural evolution.
(Isn't Wikipediaing memeish now, too?)

Vickie B said...

I still don't know what a meme is, but I know I snort laugh my way through this one every time I watch it. One of the crews where I work has renamed themselves the Honey Badgers. Makes me grin at changeover with them.

Sophie Littlefield said...

oh, julie, that's the one problem with me and you hanging out - we have so little contemporary cool between us! oh well. i like you just the way you are.

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