RE: New Memes Book

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon 11 Apr 2005 - 10:57:14 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Re: New Memes Book"

            <Contagion movies are pretty popular in themselves.>

            Movies do go in bursts and waves.

            I watched 'Wrong Turn' on digital last night (Elisha Dushku getting chased around West Virginia by inbreed hillbillies) and I've also recently seen the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (as an aside why are they still referring to the Amityville horror remake as a true story? Surely, given the family admitted it was a all a big hoax means the movie is breaching trade descriptions acts?), and saw the original 'The Hills Have Eyes' not long ago. Wrong Turn actually cites Deliverance in its dialogue (blank stares from the youthful cast hint at the likely lack of awareness of the target audience of the film).

            What is it with the US meme of the dangerous inbreed/mutant cannibals who live in the woods/mountains? Why are they always white people too?

            Moreover why is this apparently popular at the moment?

            Are mountain men another way of representing the dangerous other_inside_America (I remember studying Deliverance as a student and being taught about it as a possible allegory of the vietnam war- natives in the wilds terrorising the unknowing, disrespectful city folk)?

            You see this is where I think memetics has merit, providing an underlining framework for understanding trends in the stories we tell ourselves- whether entirely fictional, pseudo-factual (like UFOs and alien abductions), or the verging on factual like the moral panics about things like immigration, child murder etc. Not least because these things can be very clearly traced in their appearances in the media.

            One day, maybe, I'll get around to doing a proper comparison of some of the media studies concepts that appear to parallel memetics in many ways, like the theory of moral panics.


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