RE: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed May 02 2001 - 23:52:27 BST

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    Subject: RE: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics
    Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 18:52:27 -0400
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    >From: Vincent Campbell <>
    >To: "''" <>
    >Subject: RE: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics
    >Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 14:38:52 +0100
    >Hi Scott,
    > <I'm not sure what you're saying here, but I have noticed soap opera
    > > magazines ("fanzines"?) displayed at the grocery store. Somebody must be
    > > buying this stuff. Maybe things are different in the U.S. than other
    > > places.
    > > I wonder if one were to open one of these magazines how many websites
    > > would
    > > be advertized.>
    > >
    > Yes there are soap magazines here in the UK too (although they're
    >relatively new). I've not done any systematic analysis of them. The point
    >I was making that the demographic of fans significantly influences the
    >of activity used by those fans. Sci-Fi fansa routinely have used
    >to explore their interests- e.g. using video for early slash fiction, and
    >the net for discussion lists etc. In the soap audience, the
    >characteristics, traditionally have been very different- of a group of fans
    >whose knowledge and intimacy with their interests are every bit as strong
    >S/F fans, but who have never in significant numbers engaged in
    >fan culture. This may in part be due to the nature of what they're fans
    >ongoing serial narratives, that when successful continue indefinitely (or
    >for 30 years or so in the case of the UK's 'Coronation Street'). Unlike
    >Star Trek, where the fans kind of have to write their own stories because
    >there were a finite number in the first place, soap fans get something new
    >once a week, twice a week, or even daily.
    > <Isn't professional wrestling kinda like a male soap opera? I
    > > memeticists would be onto this popular form of "sports entertainment". I
    > > suppose Vince McMahon could be considered a "memetic engineer"
    > > extraordinaire.>
    > >
    > Wrestling's real!
    Did you accidently hit the "!" key instead of the "?" key?

    McMahon tried to branch out into professional football (North American
    style) with the XFL, but I'm not sure how successful he was in that venture.
    > <The only tolerable soap was "General Hospital" and that was only on
    > > rare occasions. The Luke and Laura thing was overplayed. BTW, Rick
    > > Springfield and John Stamos started on GH (not that those are very good
    > > selling points). IIRC Demi Moore did too, but I'd have to double check
    > > that.>
    > >
    > Dallas was fun- and Sunset Beach was one of the most bizarre things
    >on television I've ever seen (but was also fun).
    "Who Shot J.R.?" was one of big questions back in the day. I wonder if Dubya
    is riding the wave of any Dallas "memes" with his fancy cowboy hat.

    I forgot about the prime time teen soap "Beverly Hills 90210" and its
    spinoff "Melrose Place". Aaron Spelling has had quite an impact on
    > In the UK, our soaps tend to be more working class and worthy- but
    >good for that. Arguably one of the best media fiction treatments of HIV has
    >been on 'Eastenders'.
    One of the General Hospital characters (Robin Scorpio?) contracted it. I
    think they had some "red ribbon" shows several years ago on GH.

    I forgot al about one of General Hospital's most popular alumni, Ricky
    Martin, though IIRC he got his start in Menudo.
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