Friday, October 06, 2006

My First Meme

Susanne at Living To Tell the Story hit on me, er, I mean tagged me (can't get a handle on that dern blogging lingo) last night, which means she threw out some words that I'm supposed to write about.

My first meme--someone take a picture! Uh, well a month ago, I didn't know what a meme was. It's only a writing prompt, but it's also any kind of cultural tidbit passed from one gen to the next, like cultural DNA. Sort of like the recipe handed down for your grandma's chocolate cream cookies. The recipe is cultural DNA. And if Grandma was in the habit of licking her fingers, the beaters, or spoon, she would also then be technically passing on her real DNA in all of that spit. This two-fold legacy might be where the term "meme" originated, from "Mimi's Spit Cookies."

But before we hastily jump into this new venture, let us revisit the historic origins of word association so that we can be equally enlightened as we traverse this psychological landscape. Here is what Wikipedia, the font of unreliable information, has to say about it:

(Best read in a Freudian-Viennese accent. By the way, Freud's given nickname was "Schlomo" [I am not making this up] which could explain why he hated his mother so much.)

"In zee early years of psychology, many doctors noted that patients exhibited behavior that they were not in control of. Some part of the personality seemed to have an influence on that person's behavior that was not in his/her conscious control. This part was, by function, unconscious, and became so named, The Unconscious." [Quite cleverly named, I might add.]

"Carl Jung, the Swiss Psychiatrist and Analytical Psychologist, theorized that people connect ideas, feelings, experiences and information by way of associations. These groupings he named, Complexes." [I'm guessing because groups are made up of more than one thing making them, shall we say, complex.]

"The quest for the early analysts was how to access and free the contents of the unconscious. Early methods of this treatment included word association. Word association research started as a psychological science with Darwin's cousin, Sir Francis Galton, [evolved from a Darwin?--teehee--] who thought that there might be a link between a person's I.Q. (intelligence quotient) and word associations." [To prove the validity of this theory, if you say the word, "dog" to me, because I have a highly evolved IQ, I would probably answer, "The Bounty Hunter with the big wave hair," or "Heuchler Canis Shrillius," which literally translated from German and Latin and Lindanian means: "Pretender Dog of the Shrill Bark," which would then lead to my pseudo dog's name: "Zoe."]

"Dr. Jung became curious about the time delay that occured in responding to certain words. Jung theorized that the delay between stimulus and response indicated some sort of block in self expression. One type of block might be that too many possible answers rush to the surface and create a sort-of expression log-jam, and that one is unable to answer until one sorts out all the possible answers." [Translation: men are not less verbal than women, they are merely "log-jammed."]

"Another possibility is that the individual feels “uncomfortable” with the response, or that the response is “inappropriate”, thus they resist expressing the answer." [Translation: if you say, "Hon, is that girl cuter than me?" His hestitation is because he's thinking it's probably inappropriate to say "Oh YEEEEAH!" and he might become very uncomfortable if you stomp his foot and huff away.]

So I've decided to free associate this meme from Susanne. Mainly because I can't think of anything remotely seriously interesting to say, and you would leave here thinking, "Man, that Linda is one lame memer."

The first word is TEACH: What I thought I was going to be paid to do after I earned my English degree from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. Turns out I've been doing it for 20 years for free to my 3 kids. I have also passed all kinds of cultural DNA to them, as well as remote, irrelevant grammatical rules that are useless in real life.

2nd word: SHRILL: My dog's deafening scream when the doorbell rings. You'd think we were pulling her ears off. It is the most assaulting noise on the planet. It should be used as a wartime torture device, being the nonlethal equivalent of nerve gas. I'm not kidding.

3: MEMENTO: Honestly, the first association that came to me was "Mentos," specifically, the "Mentos + Pop = Fun Words cannot begin to describe the awesome eruption that is created from adding Mentos candies to a 2-liter bottle of soda. The eruption is enormous... and so is the learning if you consider the chemistry." (Here's the video.)

4: ABUNDANCE: Ahh yes, abundance. OK: Corn. Indiana cornfields. Hoosiers like to say, "There's more than corn in Indiana," but don't believe them. Hoosiers have complexes that make them exaggerate the glory of their state. We can't help it; it's passed down through cultural DNA. So the big deal in Indiana right now since it's officially fall is "Battle of the Corn Mazes." Corngrowers are wooing people through radio and newspaper ads to come and wander around in a corn maze for $10.00. This ranks right up there with our biggest tourism events, such as "Ball Glass Canning Jar Days."

OK, there it is, my first meme. Whew! Who knew it would be so erudite and deep?! Susanne, I hope I did ya proud.

Above: Actual Exciting Indiana Corn Maze

Actual Exciting Indiana Ball Canning Jars


Susanne said...

And I thought a meme was just a simple little tag game! Who knew the great ramifications of this blogland phenomena!

You did a great job, Linda! I'll never do another without thinking of you and your first! Now I need to go look up the work "erudite"

Beck said...

Great job! I love that memento brings "mentos" to mind. When we tried exploding a bottle of pop, all that happened was that I got soaked. :)

Carol said...

Linda, You've never been tagged before?

After this one, you may never get tagged again. Most of us are like,

Teach - something I'm trying to do with my kids.

Shrill - how I sound when I fail.

Memento - the sea shell we picked up on the coast.

Abundance - a lot of sea shells.

And we totally miss the psychoanalytical expositories. Because, after pumping out a kid or two, we can count our remaining brain cells on one hand. With fingers left over.

This was hilarious! So, who'd you tag?

Linda said...

who'd I tag? That sounds like an invite! Now there's all this pressure to think up good words!