9.25.2005

Damn Gypsies

A friend of mine who doesn't write for a living has decided that all writers are paranoid and delusional. The problem is, he has proof of this statement in the form of at least two writing sites outlining some of the different paranoid and delusional thoughts most writers experience at least once in their careers. I know there's a third one out there, too, but I haven't been able to find it again. They probably moved it so I couldn't report on its existence.

He's recently indicated that he doesn't believe writers sleep either. Ever. I think he's been reading this blog because we recently discussed not sleeping. And then he asked if writers ate. Yes, I definitely think he is lurking here. Reading. Gleaning all of our writerly secrets. But for what deep, dark, and nefarious purpose could he be using them? Is he plotting to take over the publishing industry?

I've shown him the opening scenes from my novel-in-progress. He wants to see more. I don't know why. He has discriminating tastes in reading material and I write trite, cliché space operas that no one in their right mind would ever read willingly. When the manuscript is done, I'll probably have to bribe my writing group to read it by offering to read their glorious pieces of prose that will drive me further to despair -- you know that's what the writing group wants, don't you? To drive me over the edge so there will be one less writer they are competing with in the slush pile.

But never mind them. They can be dealt with. Later. Right now I must learn what my friend is scheming, why he would want to read my hackneyed prose. But what if it isn't hackneyed? What if it is brilliant and I am just too close to it to see it? What if...

Oh, no. That's it. That must be it. There can be no other explanation.

My manuscript is brilliant. It is the best written novel of the current century. And my friend, he's signed a contract with Satan and is in league with the gypsies!

8 Comments:

Blogger MacDuff said...

What is a meme please?
I keep coming across this word but cant find a definition.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Coyote Mu said...

Hi, MacDuff--
A meme (pronounced "meem") is a cultural theme--or in the case of the internet, a sort of game--whereby an idea is reproduced, traditionally verbally, from one mind to another.

You can find a more formal definition here. Among other things, that linked definition says: " [philosophy] /meem/ [By analogy with "gene"] Richard Dawkins's term for an idea considered as a replicator, especially with the connotation that memes parasitise people into propagating them much as viruses do."

An internet meme seems to be a sort of unholy meld of that definition, with the idea of an identifiable cultural unit. The result is those annoying pass-it-along email forwards, asking things like, "If you were ice cream, what flavor would you be?"

The way that plays out on the web is in those sorts of games, where one blogger answers a specific list of questions, then "tags" others to answer the same questions on their own blogs, and so on.

I've sort of been waiting to collect a bit larger pool of readers before we did one here--but I think it might very well be almost time...

9:42 AM  
Blogger MacDuff said...

hello,
Richard Dawkins has had another idea apart from God dosnt exist you say?
The way an idea passes from mind to mind is language and the enitity which so passes is an idea.
What is the point of inventing another term?

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Coyote Beta said...

But what is an idea?

9:23 AM  
Blogger MacDuff said...

I think a good definition would be anything of which a brain is conscious.
But you might say does that include the computer before which you sit and so I would have to modify the answer a bit.
That might prove a little difficult but I am sure its been done. In any event whatever dificulty I might have in establishing the meaning of 'idea' is as nought compared to establishing a distinct idea of 'meme' and it's mode of existence.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Coyote Beta said...

I think scholars have been trying to do it, but they haven't really come up with any better answers than anyone else. They're just say "I don't know, but I think..." in a lot fancier language than the rest of us.

I think memes, as a cultural idea, are interesting, because we are all a product of the culture and society that raised us, but since people are just people wherever you go, it is fascinating to consider how differences in cultures arose. Not as much fun, maybe, as using memes as a game.

I think I'm babbling. I wish Mu would come along again for this part of the discussion. They have a much better understanding of memes.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous ebooks said...

Hi I am interested in ebook and software of all kinds I recently found a website reading_material that has loads of different titles, Some very amusing and some not so,
All very facinating stuff food for the mind I suppose .. Anyway thanks for putting up your blog it all makes for a better world

2:10 AM  
Anonymous information said...

Hi I am interested in ebook and software of all kinds I recently found a website reading_material that has loads of different titles, Some very amusing and some not so,
All very facinating stuff food for the mind I suppose .. Anyway thanks for putting up your blog it all makes for a better world

4:22 AM  

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