Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Keep calm!

At least one reader of the blog didn't quite understand a recent post which was yet another meme variation of the famous poster shown above on the left. It was created in 1939 by the Ministry of Information to encourage Britons to get on with life as normally as possible, in spite of the onslaught of the dastardly Hun! It is, of course, a perfect expression of 'British stiff upper lip'. And its message is far from irrelevant seventy years later. There's a BBC News story about the poster and its history here.

Okay, but what's this about memes? According to Wiki...

"Whilst most versions of memetic theory treat any form of cultural information as a meme, participants in some
Internet subcultures as of 2009[update] use "meme" restrictively to refer to humor spreading quickly over the internetsuch as material propagated through e-mail and Internet forums. Examples include Rickrolling, lolcats, leetspeak, the Pokémon Mudkip, "OVER 9,000!" from Dragon Ball Z, and "All your base are belong to us." Web sites such as 4chan, Something Awful, Youtube, and Fark have become major hubs in spreading Internet memes. The online encyclopedia Encyclopedia Dramatica has documented the evolution of many (if not most) internet memes with explanations of their origins."

So, I think we've clarified all that adequately. I'll keep my eyes open for the next 'keep calm' iteration and, in the meantime, I'll just 'carry on'!

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