Re: virus: Power

Ken Pantheists (
Fri, 26 Jul 1996 11:10:48 -0700

John Porter wrote:

> There is a meme that presumes that memes can be categorized into
> two classes: those memes that allow the validity of memetics, and
> those that do not...

I'm bot sure if I have properly understood what you said-- but here's my
stab at it.

I don't know if they are two classes of memes- I think they are two
modes of employment. Memetics, after all, is always memetics.

The meme that does not allow for the validity of memetics is not a true
meme-- it is simply ignorance of the subtleties of memetics.

A person ignores memetics for, possibly, two reasons:

S/he has never heard of it.

S/he has heard of it but is addicted to a given meme pattern and does
not want to face the possibility that the meme pattern could be
dismantled.(eg. curiousity kills the cat, or "I have too much to lose.")

I guess the whole thing comes down to this:

The metameme is a great key for understanding a lot of things.

But it is possible to "use" memetics and ignore the metameme.

eg. Nike's advertising campaign for "No Fear" scares the crap out of me
sometimes-- it uses the same editing pattern and "pallette" as most
horror films. But nowhere do they say "We're scaring you into buying
Nike." That's left up to the customer.

Another example: Nike's other advertising logo "The swoop" looks (to me
anyway) like a check mark. Everywhere I see people walking around with
checkmarks on their chests and foreheads, like they've been approved by

Brilliant really-- grabs two markets; pessimists AND optimists.

It wouldn't be in Nike's interest to inform people of how they are being
manipulated. In fact, they're going to work hard to disguise all that
work that's going on in the wings. They're going to use jerky camera
shots so the whole thing looks amateur, gritty and "on the moment".
There going to edit it so fast that you won't know exactly what you're
seeing and you'll be asking, "what am I looking at? what is this? help
me out!" and then that swoop comes in and saves your poor brain and then
you say "Oh NIKE!!"

Anyway-- back on topic.

The metameme helps our poor besieged brains.

The metameme is the Virus upon which this church is based.

The metameme gives the individual power.

John said in his last post that there's a presumption that are two
memes; one gives validity to memetics and one doesn't.

I think there are two ways of using memes consciously and unconsciously.
Maybe a third-- consciously keeping others unconscious.

Ken Pantheists                          
Virus Theatre           
TooBa Physical Theatre Centre