Hours before Memorial Day, Tom Roeser returned to Christ. Tom was a brilliant original thinker among a throng of 'Wait, Wait -Don't Tell Me!' group thinkers. Group thinkers are the readers of Cliff's Notes for Life or Redaction Graphic Novels. Cutting edge.
Across the pond of our continental east, lies the island nation of my forebears. The insular Irish are recovering from economic disaster and cultural vaporization. The Irish are Euro's - chock full of PC. The Irish pews are empty and the Mass Rock now has PC mold. During and after the Famine, the Faith kept the people resilient. The Faith is now Meme'd as the Sex Scandal of Cassocked Buggers and Croziered Cover-ups.
RTE -Raidió Teilifís Éireann or Irish PBS crows doctrines from its secular pulpit - just it it does here in Yankland.
Against this tide of slick imbecility is writer Kevin Myers of the Irish Independent. Mr. Myers is a witty, well-read, principled and courageous social critic, not unlike Chicago's angelic curmudgeon and 18th Century Man Tom Roeser.
Where there is original thought given voice there is hope. Last week I read two insightful criticisms by Mr. Myers of group thought - one on Aggressive Feminism and the other on the daffy Arab Spring ( Arab Spring was developed by NYT's Tom Friedman, or fed to him by NSC Samantha Power to remind us that the Mideast all of us helots that 'Just Like" Prague in 1968). In both cases, Kevin Myers links the atheist Darwinian Richard Dawkins' Selfish Gene - Meme. Meme is the hot word tossed out by hip tossers and poseurs in print and on the air-waves.
Meme one writer states, "A meme is an idea that behaves like a virus--that moves through a population, taking hold in each person it infects."
Thus, Casino Gaming cures Budgetary Cancers; Marriage Can Be Legislated; Racists Don't Hope.
Kevin Myers is especially brilliant in taking down the goofy notion (meme) called the Arab Spring. This is the current group thought in currency among readers of the New York Times, Salon, listeners of NPR and viewers of PBS.
However, what makes the Arab Spring meme so fascinating is its sheer power. Consider Prague, home in 1968 to one of the finest symphony orchestras in the world and to one of the greatest ballet companies in Europe, with many lively schools of philosophical and literary debate.
I must have missed this somehow or other, but is there a Cairo Symphony Orchestra? A Syrian National Theatre? A Saudi Ballet Company, whose quite Diaghilevian brilliance, alas, is largely concealed by the ballerinas' burkas? Is there an intellectual ferment in Yemen about the role of the welfare-state in a post-Marxian neo-Hegelian dialectic? Does Kuwait resound to the chatter of female students discussing the maternal rights of lesbians? Are gays in Algiers preparing their first wedding ceremony, to be conducted by a transsexual rabbi?
Now that is one solid palate cleansing gulp of insightful original thought. The Meme crafters or the Selfish Genes in popular culture and print have succeeded in underminng Faith. Why understand human behaviorin the light of Faith? The Meme Doctors tell us that the Koran and New Testament are alike. Don't bother reading the Koran, trust us.
Imagine, if you will, Carol Marin objecting to the patriarchal hierarchy of the Imams,with the same vim and vigor that she castigated the Catholic Church for not ordaining women. Would Carol's noggin be receptive to stones and boulders of Islamic critics?
Current Memes demand that we accept on faith that !. Gay couples and married couples produced the same number of children, after all homosexuality is Gay! Think not? Homophobe!!! All convictions are the result of coerced confessions. Coerced Confessions are the result of torture; All Convictions must be paid off in millions of dollars/
Mosaic Law? Shucks we got these here Memes and there are only seven.
Aaron Lynch described seven general patterns of meme transmission, or "thought contagion":
1. Quantity of parenthood: an idea that influences the number of children one has. Children respond particularly receptively to the ideas of their parents, and thus ideas that directly or indirectly encourage a higher birthrate will replicate themselves at a higher rate than those that discourage higher birthrates.
2. Efficiency of parenthood: an idea that increases the proportion of children who will adopt ideas of their parents. Cultural separatism exemplifies one practice in which one can expect a higher rate of meme-replication — because the meme for separation creates a barrier from exposure to competing ideas.
3. Proselytic: ideas generally passed to others beyond one's own children. Ideas that encourage the proselytism of a meme, as seen in many religious or political movements, can replicate memes horizontally through a given generation, spreading more rapidly than parent-to-child meme-transmissions do.
4. Preservational: ideas that influence those that hold them to continue to hold them for a long time. Ideas that encourage longevity in their hosts, or leave their hosts particularly resistant to abandoning or replacing these ideas, enhance the preservability of memes and afford protection from the competition or proselytism of other memes.
5. Adversative: ideas that influence those that hold them to attack or sabotage competing ideas and/or those that hold them. Adversative replication can give an advantage in meme transmission when the meme itself encourages aggression against other memes.
6. Cognitive: ideas perceived as cogent by most in the population who encounter them. Cognitively transmitted memes depend heavily on a cluster of other ideas and cognitive traits already widely held in the population, and thus usually spread more passively than other forms of meme transmission. Memes spread in cognitive transmission do not count as self-replicating.
7.Motivational: ideas that people adopt because they perceive some self-interest in adopting them. Strictly speaking, motivationally transmitted memes do not self-propagate, but this mode of transmission often occurs in association with memes self-replicated in the efficiency parental, proselytic and preservational modes.
Behold! The Meme Septalogue!
Memorize and repeat after me: Thou shalt have no God other than Meme.