Taylor Swift’s “ME!”: An Ode to Narcissus with a Nod to Winnie the Pooh

To call Taylor Swift’s newest single an exercise in narcissism is to say that rain is wet, or perhaps that rainbows are colorful. Obvious, maybe, but denied by the second most hyped thing to come out of this week. Swift herself says the song is about “embracing your individuality and really celebrating it, and owning it.” (Not, apparently, about the nature of color and light, … Continue reading Taylor Swift’s “ME!”: An Ode to Narcissus with a Nod to Winnie the Pooh

The Landscape of History… in Memes

How can history be discovered from memes and geography? (A meme can be defined as something that “conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation.” A picture with something witty pasted over it in Impact font or the phrase “Perfectly balanced, as all things should be” are modern flavors of memes, but the definition here expands it to any bit … Continue reading The Landscape of History… in Memes

A Not-So-Brief History of Time: Meme Archaeology

Everybody knows what a meme is and can give examples of one, but did you know there’s actually a scholarly definition for it? In 1976, a meme was defined as something that “conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation”—in other words, it’s a piece of cultural information that gets passed on, sort of like a more-benign form of … Continue reading A Not-So-Brief History of Time: Meme Archaeology