Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id PAA27482 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Fri, 15 Jun 2001 15:04:47 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745F0F@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Mooning Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 14:59:14 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
I'm not so sure it's actually much of a taboo, rather a generic form of
displaying contempt or defiance. Showing one's bare behind to potential
opponents suggests a lack of fear as well as of contempt (re: the scene in
'Braveheart' where Mel and the boys raise their kilts to show bare arses to
the English at a battle- don't know historically is this was done by Scots
before battle or not, but certainly lots of ancient armies fought naked, or
near naked to provoke fear in the opposition).
In terms of your question about general behaviour, there was that experiment
whereby a man stands in a busy city street staring upwards, most passers by
ignore him. Put five people standing together staring up though, and large
numbers of people will stop to look up also. I believe this has something
to do with social compliance, at least that's how the social psychologists
Of course, the memetic element rests on whether or not people copy what they
see. It does raise the issue of social learning and memetics though.
Perhaps mooning like other aggressive/critical gestures are products of
social learning not memes?
> From: Philip Jonkers
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 2:30 pm
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Mooning
> Interesting anecdote,
> > Sociologists would argue that the word, the act, and its meaning are
> > strongly tied together. Most memeticists probably agree that these
> > three
> > spread together as a meme complex.
> Members of a meme complex (memeplex) do have strong mutual
> ties too, right? At least they shouldn't be incompatible or
> mutually conflicting as the memeplex otherwise would disintegrate.
> Therefore both interpretations are mere
> reformulations of the same statement I would say.
> >The meme may get its fitness from pushing a sexual button, according to
> >Brodie's theory (2).
> De act defies or breaks a sexual taboo and therefore has an
> impression on observering bystanders likely to share the same
> sentiments as the actual mooning-initiators. This may help the
> mooning-wannabe's to cross the threshold imposed by the taboo,
> thus promoting the adoption of the same provocative taboo-breaking
> behavior by means of memetic transmission (imitation).
> Is this an example of a more general type of behavior?
> Once someone breaks a taboo (temporarily) as a provocative
> act of defiance. Its observers and bystanders, perhaps en masse,
> imitate the actor and as such break the taboo as well.
> A memetic avalanche effect by means of taboo-breaking?
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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