Re: virus: Watching

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 8 Jan 1999 23:46:21 -0800

N CASHE wrote:

>I like to look at the phenomena of, say, Marilyn
>Manson. Can't we say that without memes, Marilyn Manson would not exist?

Certianly. Don't forget, even his moniker is a memetic hybrid. He's no fool. He's adopted many of the memes of the past--including 90% of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust/Alladdin Sane schtick--updated it and combined it with musical elements (memes) from industrial and metal, turned the futurism of the glam-rock on its head in true 90's pre-millenium post-1984 form (circa NIN), and added generous helpings of <DANGER!> memes in such a way that memeticly it is nothing short of pure genious!

Listening to the last album I was struck by how well crafted it was sociologically as well. A parent would have to be criminally irresponsible to *NOT* be worried about a child listening to Marilyn Manson. And yet the <DANGER!> memes are just that; red flags and nothing more. There is the "appearance" of danger, but no real substance to it. The music and message is not dangerous in the least, in fact its not even all that new. (One critic here even said of Mechanical Animals, "Once, people might have hailed this as a pretty good Bowie album. Like, 25 years ago.") But even though it's truly only about as dangerous as Disney's Space Mountian is, in the same way he's cloaked it beautifully all the trappings danger and fear in order to generate that impression. It really is a brilliant work!

>(I hope you won't say he is insignificant, because he is--or maybe by
>now was--a person who has disseminated his ideas to many, many people.)
>What are the memes which allow "him" to exist, to sell platinum records,
>to be nominated for a Grammy???

See above.

>I think he is aware of these "memes" and
>is very much involved in the manipulation of many minds. Do you know he
>compared himself to Hitler and Mussolini in an interview?


>He said many
>others like him have seen the gateway to the end of the world, or
>something like that. Then he gave these names of historic figures who we
>associate with horror.


>I hate to splatter your usually academic
>discussions with the neon nothingness of popular culture.

In this case, neon seems to be one of the best lights in which to easly view memes and their interactions.

-Prof. Tim, creaking himself, more and more these days.