What’s more, trolling in this newly-established subcultural sense, whose most conspicuous characteristic was that participating trolls proudly identified as such, was directly plugged into, and in fact provided a great deal of creative fodder for, a little thing called meme culture.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the woman I’m marrying.
Whitney Phillips in The Daily Dot - A brief history of trolls (or, what exactly is a troll?)
Moms have memes too.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Well, you could, but that wouldn’t be funny.
Regarding the “no more memes” conversation… This is where we’re at. Glenn and his coworkers at Klick Health all dressed up like those funny people they see on the Internet and danced in front of a green screen so that they can spam the shit out of you and everyone you know because… health is important apparently?
As the site began to take shape on the backend, Chris Menning who also never gets enough credit was in charge of populating articles. I had hired Chris as my first assistant writer for Rocketboom and assigned him to help write entries for the database. We had a tumultuous relationship because I was so controlling and demanding over the writing but Chris endured, grew and grew and continues to do a great service to internet culture.
Establishing the right academic voice for the meme entries was crucial. Not too long ago there was some confusion over who wrote the “first database entries”. Though Jamie’s name is stamped on them, it’s because he was the one who set up the database and thus was the first user that everything went under. Chris was actually the one that wrote the bulk of the first articles based on what we could salvage from the best entires we had written on the wiki, and anew. The voice of the articles was critical because this is what would guide others when creating their own articles. I insisted it be extra academic along the lines of the episodes while Chris injected many crucial style elements as well.
When I read this article about The History of Know Your Meme on The Daily Dot, I was kind of hurt to have been completely left out.
As Andrew mentions in his post, we had a tumultuous relationship, but I’m just really grateful that his account of KYM’s history is actually fair about my contributions to the site.
The House That Fox Built: Anonymous, Spectacle and Cycles of Amplification
“In terms of their engagement with media, and based on the marked similarities between trolling and sensationalist media practices, I would argue that trolls jam the culture not by directly challenging the dominant culture, but by embodying the dominant culture, specifically by exploiting the very sensationalist imperative that keeps advertisement revenues high.” - Whitney Phillips
Good Guy Greg
Scumbag Rick Perry
Tea Party Ted
Are there any archetypical epic stories in western culture where the hero is trying to DO something positive?
I find myself watching movies lately empathizing more with the villians.
The villians have a PLAN. They are focused, talented, skilled. They have something they’re actually trying to ACCOMPLISH.
The hero? The hero’s job is usually the same: to STOP them. To keep things the same.
Are there ANY adventure stories where the hero is actually trying to DO something?
Seriously. Star Wars— stop the Death Star. Every James Bond movie— STOP the billionaire villain’s plot. Superman— stop Lex Luthor. Harry Potter— stop Voldemort. etc.
Why is our archetypical hero someone who just preserves the status quo, quelling threats? Why isn’t our hero someone who CHANGES the status quo for the better?
The evolution of story is darwinian— those plot memes which resonate with people survive and replicate into other retellings and stories, until they become archetypes, thereby drawing a portrait of our cultural subconscious.
Presumably, stories originally were most valuable as ‘warnings’, hence the passive “bad guy wants to do X, hero stops them” or “protagonist does X, and learns not to”. (“And the moral of the story is, don’t talk to strangers.”) <——-(terrible moral)
Another contributing factor: Since we now know that most humans value loss-aversionover equivalent gain, it makes sense that ‘saving from loss’ resonates emotionally with the masses more than ‘significant gain’, even if this outlook — one based on avoiding amygdalic fear — is not in their best interest.
These two factors alone are enough to explain why ‘heroes’ are so passive.
The only exception I can think of is very genre-specific: Heist movies. This is why they’re so popular, even though they hold the assumption that ambition is bad, and therefore the protagonists are ‘bad guys’. Therefore the first act of any decent heist movie serves to villainize the heist victim (see: Terry Benedict in Ocean’s 11) in order to morally justify the heist (and give us permission to empathize with and shamelessly enjoy it). But still, the genre presumes ambition to be, on some level, fundamentally ‘evil’.
1. What kind of story can we create that would successfully insert a meme into our archetype whereby the hero actually ACHEIVES something, rather than merely STOPPING someone else’s (implicitly evil) ambition?
2. Are there any heroes in current successful popular stories who are active— heroes who are heroes not because they stopped a bad guy and kept things the same, but because they actively did something changed things for the better?
This one’ll get you thinking.