Re: virus: Watching

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Thu, 14 Jan 1999 08:46:42 -0800 (PST)

On Sat, 9 Jan 1999, John Lawson-Particle wrote:

> Music has been used for thousands of years to pass on memes in
> religions. Chanting forms part of most religions. My Grandmother
> chanted this to me when I was young and I don't think I will ever forget
> it:
(indoctrinatory nursery song elided)
> But, come to think of it, it didn't actually work. If anything it
> scared me away from her Christian cult (Seventh Day Adventist, I
> believe).
> Could anyone come up with an anti-meme for it, it sends sssssssshivers
> down my spine every time I think about.

I don't know whether I can help you with that particular jingle, but I have had an IWW song running through my head lately. The Wobblies (International Workers of the World) used to respond to the Salvation Army's street-corner proselytizing (back when said Salvation Army used to go out with drums and hymns) by belting out alternative lyrics. The labor union leaders felt that the Salvation Army's messages were inclined to keep people from protesting in righteous indignation when they were abused in this life, since it promised they'd be treated well in heaven. An excellent illustration of this is their version of the S.A.'s hymn "The Sweet Bye and Bye", which goes, in part, "There'll be pie in the sky when you die (That's a lie!)." This is in fact the origin of the phrase "pie in the sky" to refer to lofty and unlikely promises.