virus: Re: normativity

steven atkins (
Sat, 28 Jun 1997 12:50:10 -0700

Someone (Eric?) said:

> I don't think any decision needs to be made. Like the Church of
> Freethought, I think the very act of saying that there are no
> particualar meme's we would like to advance is well and good. All we
> need to push is *ways of thinking *about* meme's* Rationality, thought
> tools. "To travel is better than to arrive". Any definite answer to
> any particualar question is always open for re-evaluation. The *way*
> that one gets answers is *more*important* than the answers themselves.
> Cast off the Chains of "Truth"! Freethought!

I agree. (waving to everyone from San Francisco)

I am on vacation right now in one of America's greatest cities where I
like to kill an afternoon or so in the theatre bookstores. (Since there
is no theatre bookstore in Vancouver-- go figure) Yesterday I poked
about Limelight Books on Market Street and decided to pick up some
plays. Since I'm vacationing, I can induldge my tastes and spend a LONG
time selecting a script. What do I select? Plays that I think I might do
one day. They have to meet the following criteria:

1. They must appeal to my moral center, pushing the buttons I like to
push. If they do not, they must be "open enough" for me to pervert them
to my ends.

2. They must be either timely or timeless. I need to know enough about
the political context of a play in order to do it. Or enough about a
period piece to focus it through the lens of "present day" experience.

3. It must be financially "do-able". Since I work in colleges and
universities I am not as daunted as I used to be over large casts. But
lists of characters in their 40s and 50s make me shudder. And I don't
think I'll be doing Angels in America anytime soon.

As I sift through the shelves of plays, I discard those that I won't
do-- not because I don't think they should be done. But because a number
of them don't suit my "company".

The reason I am blathering on about this is I see a parallel between the
CoV and a company of actors-- (or group of disciples, or band of
robbers). We are a company of "meme-practitioners" who are held together
because of our interest in a common methodology. We distinguish
ourselves in our posts from other memeticists-- hollywood directors,
advertising agents, scientists we don't agree with-- much in the same
way that actors distinguish themselves as commercial or fringe
performers, or that outlaws distinguish themselves as robbers or

"Desisions" over the memes we "should" propogate should (and ultimately
does) lie with the practitioner. We have a common Aesthetic (form) to
which we adhere, but not a common dogma (content). Which is great,
because otherwise we'd all be doing Hamlet. And as two or three shelves
of plays from the early seventies will attest, Content changes more
frequently than form.

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