Re: Cartoon meme

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon 13 Feb 2006 - 15:49:00 GMT

  • Next message: Jerry Bryson: "Re: Cartoon meme"

    At 01:52 PM 2/12/2006 -0800, Ted wrote:


    >I see three memes here, none of which are the cartoons themselves. The
    >first meme is the idea that the cartoons are good, which exploits the
    >Western belief that Islam, all the way back to Muhammed, is inherently

    Given the history, there is a lot of support for this meme.

    >The second meme is the idea that the cartoons are bad, which
    >exploits the Islamic belief that Westerners disrespect Islam. This meme
    >also circulates in the West by exploiting our fear of retaliatory violence.

    True and true.

    >The third meme is the idea that Muslims don't understand free speech, which
    >exploits the Western belief in the superiority of our enlightened culture.


    >Far from being memes, the cartoons are merely artifacts which, like cows in
    >a tornado, have been picked up and tossed about in a memetic maelstrom.

    The cartoons are also memes. They are replicating information and are now elements of culture. But "so what?"

    Keith Henson

    PS. "Let Us Prey." ( ). Thomas Nast. (New York City's Boss Tweed Gang as Vultures)

    We can always discuss this cartoon for the associated memes if we want to stay away from the current political issues. This cartoon was reproduced in my American history book circa 1953.

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