Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The Inaugural Meme... (Part one of Two)
I was tagged to do this by the author of one of my favorite blogs, RockStarMommy. It is what is known as a meme, and for those who are as clueless as I was initially, I have included Wikipedia's definition of the word.

The term "meme" (IPA: not "mem"), coined in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, refers to a replicator of cultural information that one mind transmits (verbally or by demonstration) to another mind. Dawkins said, Examples of memes are tunes, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Other examples include deities, concepts, ideas, theories, opinions, beliefs, practices, habits, dances and moods which propagate within a culture. A meme propagates itself as a unit of cultural evolution analogous in many ways to the gene (the unit of genetic information). Often memes propagate as more-or-less integrated cooperative sets or groups, referred to as memeplexes or meme-complexes.

Some proponents of memes suggest that memes evolve via natural selection in a way very similar to Charles Darwin's ideas concerning biological evolution on the premise that variation, mutation, competition, and "inheritance" influence their replicative success. For example, while one idea may become extinct, other ideas will survive, spread and mutate, for better or for worse through modification.

Some meme-theorists contend that memes most beneficial to their hosts will not necessarily survive; rather, those memes which replicate the most effectively spread best; which allows for the possibility that successful memes might prove detrimental to their hosts.

For those in the know, if this is not using the word in its proper form, correct me. Also, tell me where, then, the name Meme comes from in this instance?

ANYWHO....RSM asks that I give you a glimpse into my head regarding obsessions I have had throughout my life. When she did it, she broke it down into nice tidy little timelines, but as she is OCD and I am more scatterbrained and lucky to remember much at all chronologically, mine will be more jumbled, I'm sure.

As a child I was raised in a very tidy little life in a very tidy little town by a very tidy little set of parents. Very 'normal', if you will. My obsessions ran the usual course of little girls everywhere.

Barbies: One could never have too many Barbies and my parents built my sister and I the most fabulous Barbie house as a Christmas gift from the guy in red. This thing was HUGE. My mother, being oh so creative and my Father, being oh so studious and organized (when properly directed with a given task by the boss of the house and something NOT home plumbing related) produced a bloody mansion, right down to running water in the little Barbie sinks and the tiniest little handmade drapes on tiny little wooden curtain rods. This house had I believe eight rooms. Gargamel (My pet name for my baby sister) and I played with that thing for years. I recall doing the Barbie thing all the while wondering if somewhere, out there, there was some lifeform playing with us like we were barbies. I still wonder that sometimes today. (Maybe that explains something about me?)

Little House on the Prairie: Wow, have I aged myself, or what? I recall rushing home from school specifically so we could sit down on the floor in front of the TV to watch it. I used to fantasize about being alive in the time of the Ingalls and dream that it would somehow be a better life. What a nutjob! Perhaps it had something to do with my long red braids and the freckles on my face?

Pippy Longstockings: Again, probably something to do with the braids but I fancied myself Pippy. Afterall, she got to have a horse and a monkey in her house. No rules and regulations! I wanted to latch onto this idea, for sure. The more level heads of my parents prevailed, obviously...Something that still bugs me today. Ah well, what do ya do?

As you can see, my childhood was pretty predictable and very typical of what I always assumed was the way everyone lived, with a Mom and Dad and siblings in a nice tidy little world. Of course I had the typical childhood fears, monsters in the closet and the dark, but these never really got the better of me so I would not consider them obsessions. The closest thing to an obsession that was awful was clowns. Clowns are evil. To this day, I see no redeeming quality in clowns. What is cute or endearing about a made up face, a sinister ugly disguised face?? Clowns are bad!

Adolescence was a much murkier time for me, as I am sure it is for most. I, like all, grew an attitude the size of Texas and thought I knew it all. I still think that for the most part my obsessions were very standard.

Boys: The constant quest for the boyfriend. I chose some dorks.

School: Not in a good way, but I obsessed about getting out of school. I put in time in school and that was it, much to the chagrin of my parents, who paid dearly to put us kids through private school. School felt like a prison sentence to me, because afterall, what could anyone teach me when I already knew everything?? To this day, my complete abuse of my education is a true regret.

Cadets: My Dad was the commanding officer of the local Army Cadet Corps and this is something all of my siblings and I were very active in. I know my Mom didn't like it much as it kept my Dad away from home for long hours but as kids, it was really cool quality time where we learned a lot from my Dad. Oddly enough, skills that still come into play today, things like first aid, a sense of direction, self discipline etc.. As well, this was my first introduction to boys in uniforms. Boys. And we got to go on co-ed camping trips with boys. Oh, and did I mention boys? And boys in uniforms?

Nuclear War: Growing up on the tail end of the Cold War, this is something that terrified me. I used to have recurring nightmares about our whole town being enveloped by this huge mushroom cloud and scavenging my way through rubble looking for a familiar face. Entirely unreasonable and silly. Why I figured that someone would want to wipe Fort macleod off the map is beyond me. Delusions of grandeur perhaps?

Being Possessed by evil spirits: I used to believe that cats were evil. Vessels of demons and a direct link to the underworld. I also used to believe that life on this planets was ALWAYS a battle between angels and demons and that letting your guard down even the tiniest bit would result in your mind and body being taken over by demons. Did this have something to do with movies such as The Exorcism? The Omen? Something to do with the good old Catholic guilt? Perhaps..who knows. I understand spirituality much more now and do not live my life in fear. Laugh if you will, but that was a pretty big feat for me.

Dying: I used to fear dying like nothing else. Specifically, dying in a car crash. I recall times in my life where to even get into a vehicle was something that took every ounce of my will and determination and the entire time I was in a vehicle I was on the verge of an anxiety attack. Teeth clenched and legs rigid as though by sheer determination I could ward off any oncoming doom. Wow, I sound like a total crack pot! hahaha..I guess in this regard it was a good thing I was raised in a one horse town and didnt have to deal with the traffic I do now!

Getting out of the town I grew up in: I wanted nothing more than to move away. I felt like it had nothing at all good to offer me and I craved an Urban life. I didn't even know what an urban life WAS and yet I wanted out. Far, far away. As soon as I could I moved to the nearest city and thought I had achieved something. It was pretty much the same but now there was access to more of it. Later hours. Sunday shopping. Oh, and more boys. Little did I know that life would eventually see me thousands of miles from where I grew up with fond memories of my childhood and all it offered!

I am going to stop here and save young adulthood and beyond for tomorrow as this is rather long-winded. Surprise, surprise!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the dream of living life like the Ingalls is because your great Grandmother was born and brought up in the Dakota Territories, and lived in a LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE?

Blogger Dee G. said...

haha Mom, you are so mysterious posting anon!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very informative,
you always were a chatterbox, I guess that comes from trying to get a word in edgewise when you have a house full of people all talking at the same time.

Now you know why I am a person of few words!!!

Its like when everybody responds YES but they're not really listening, they're from the same family of not me and i dont know.

Seriously though, you do write well,
perhaps its time for a novel..

Bye now,

Anonymous Tig said...

Dee writes extremely well. As a frustrated wannabe author I can honestly say I'm quite envious of your prose. Very nice darlin.

And your fears and obsessions are nothing out of the ordinary. War, evil, discovering the opposite sex, clawing your way out of the one-horse-town that insists on smothering you...oh yeah, think most of us have been there. Being a guy I didn't play with Barbie but there was this one tall blonde girl back home...

Blogger Dee G. said...

I'm so vain I'll comment on my own blog. Tig, you are a brat. You do manage to always make me smile though, Tex!


Blogger RSM said...

'Bout time, woman!

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