RE: New Memes Book

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Mon 11 Apr 2005 - 23:18:41 GMT

  • Next message: Steve Wallis: "Re: Creatures of memetics"

    --- Vincent Campbell <> wrote:

    > <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).
    I made my wrong turn into a movie theater when that movie was still out in the cheap draught (we call em draft) theater. It had its better moments and I was thinking of it as a sort of _Texas Chainsaw_ like movie. Scary inbred mutants from hell. Rock star Rob Zombie has cast his lot with a _Texas Chainsaw_ theme with that _House of 1,000 (?) Corpses_ movie and a new one coming soon along the same lines (with the same evil characters I think). These charcters aren't inbred mutants nor do they live in the woods but they are about as mentally deranged as the other movies.
    > 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?
    Maybe its still PC to bash rural folk.

    West Virginia has had its share of stereotyping, not unlike New Jersey. I get the impression New Yorkers like to pick on their sister state (remembering a Joe Piscopo "I'm from Jersey" character from an earlier incarnation of Saturday Night Live).
    > Moreover why is this apparently popular at the
    > moment?
    > Are mountain men another way of representing
    > 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)?
    It could be a more PC way of outgrouping people to make oneself feel better. I'm not sure poor Appalachian people have a pressure group that acts as a watchdog in the media making sure they are represented well.
    > You see this is where I think memetics has
    > 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.
    The X-Files was a very popular show for some reason. I recall the UFO craze of the late 80's after _Close Encounters of the Third Kind_ came out, forever giving Devil's Tower an eery look. I watched something called
    _Project Blue Book_ as a kid that was IIRC a TV show set in a quasi-factual X-Files sort of way.

    Then there was a post _Star Wars_ space craze that still has some hiccups to this day. A product of that era _Battlestar Galactica_ has just concluded a new season with a revised storyline. I wonder what ever became of the _Star Wars_ franchise long ago---in a galaxy far away.

    BTW, I saw a little short about _The Ring 2_ on HBO last night and I can't recall that Koji Suzuki's name ever came up. I think someone attributed the concept to the director that did the Japanese movies and this new one. I wonder if we might have a bona fide case of
    "copy the product" here. Instead of going to the original blueprint of Suzuki's books, maybe they just focused on the first _Ringu_ movie and took things from there as they modified it to fit an American context for both _The Ring_ and _The Ring 2_. If they would have "copied the instructions", perhaps _The Ring 2_ would have been called _Spiral_ and would have had a different storyline.

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