From: Tim Rhodes (email@example.com)
Date: Sat 11 Feb 2006 - 03:10:57 GMT
Wade Allsop wrote:
>>>As far as I understand exposure to the cartoon meme came in two major
stages. Firstly on the initial publication of the cartoons in Denmark in September which was surrounded by plenty of media attention so that almost everyone in Denmark would have known about it within a couple of days, then after the visits of the Danish fundamentalists to promote the idea, the cartoons suddenly swept Europe and the Middle East within 3-4 days and then a couple of days later became a global story.<<<
IMHO this may be a mistaken reading of the timeline in question.
The Danish-based European Committee for Prophet Honouring (the "Danish
fundamentalists" you mention) reported on the cartoons to the Organization
of the Islamic Conference (OIC) at a December 6th meeting. Yet it was not
until the following January when the story first begins to take on global
proportions. This leads me to believe it would be erroneous to attribute
the rapid gain in this memes distribution to the work of the ECPH in
throughout November and early December.
To me, a more probable catalyst for the rapid increase in distribution of
the meme in question would seem to lie in the legal case(s) surrounding the
initial publication of those cartoons in Denmark. If we follow the timeline
of that story -- as the catalytic co-meme responsible for this gain -- I
think we see a more compelling explanation for the resulting memetic mass
~ On September 30, 2005 the cartons are published by Jyllands-Posten .
~ On October 27, 2005 a claim is filed with police in the name of several
Muslim organizations under the Danish Criminal Code, sections 140 (publicly
ridiculing or insulting dogmas of worship of any lawfully existing religious
community in Denmark) and 266b (dissemination of statements or other
information by which a group of people are threatened, insulted or degraded
on account of e.g. their religion).
~ On December 7, 2005 Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights expresses concern over the cartoons and says that United Nations is
investigating racism of the Danish cartoonists.
~ On January 6th, 2006 the Regional Public Prosecutor in Viborg decides to
discontinue the investigation of whether Jyllands-Posten had committed an
offence by publishing the cartoons and closes the case.
[This event, I believe, is the primary catalyst which triggers the rapid
distribution of the cartoon meme -- and its associated memes of anti-Islamic
racism, oppression, culture wars, etc.]
~ January 7, 2006 two of the cartoons are printed in the Swedish newspaper
Expressen and its sister editions Kvšllsposten and GT.
~ January 10, 2006 the Norwegian Christian newspaper Magazinet publishes all
12 of the cartoons.
~ January 22, 2006 the Brussels Journal publishes the cartoons.
~ January 23, 2006 the Danish government delivers its official response to
the UN Special Rapporteurs' request of 24 November 2005, citing the January
6 dismissal of the case in Viborg.
~ January 24, the government of Saudi Arabia issues its first public
condemnation of the cartoons
~ January 26, Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador from Denmark & the people
of Saudi Arabia begin boycotting Danish products.
~ January 27, boycott begins in Kuwait
~ January 29, protests begin & riots follow, etc.
As we can see, immediately following the Jan 6 dismissal of the case against
Jyllands-Posten other papers begin publishing the cartoons; in part as
"meta-stories" covering the "free speech v. hate speech" case against J-P. This rapidly increases the dissemination of this story (meme) across a much larger audience -- one which also includes a Muslim population already familiar with the back-story and primed to react to what will see as an injustice perpetrated against them by the Danish legal system.
The pattern of expansion and reaction here is very reminiscent of the Rodney
King riots in Los Angeles several years ago.
The extreme emotional reaction & resulting riots do not follow in a direct
line from the initial meme distribution (I.E. the cartoon's publication or
airing of the video of Rodney King's beating by police), but rather come as
reaction to the perception by the minority group that it is unable to find
appropriate justice within the society's laws.
I think one may be misguided in hoping to understand the recent furor by
simply tracking the expansion of the initial memes (cartoons) themselves
without concentrating an equal focus on the memetic variations, mutations,
and meta-memes that become associated with it.
Eyes, Ears & Memes, NSC / SIL2K
New Style Collective / Strategic Improv Laboratories
www.newstylecollective.org / www.sil2k.org
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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