virus: Re: virus-digest V3 #108

Heidi Nordberg (
Thu, 22 Apr 1999 11:07:17 -0400

Dear all:

I've been reading for a while, and have a few comments. First, I am writing a dissertation on emergent mythologies of the virus in 20th century fiction. So far, vampire fiction, meme theory and Burroughs's language is a virus, thrillers and paranoid conspiracy, AIDS fiction, intelligent virus/computer related science fiction, nanotechnological and biotech science fiction. Any comments from any of you on these topics might be quoted in a footnote! (fair warning)

On the Colorado incident, I am most worried about how these things are used to increase the pressure on teens. My stepson (16) has just been suspended for ten days and will be attending a hearing for expulsion because he was caught with a _box-cutter_, which is considered a weapon. They wanted to search him another time for standing too close to someone smoking a cigarette (a tobacco cigarette). His rules and regs include lighters, matches, and water pistols (or any gund lookalike, including a picture of a gun mounted on a popsicle stick) as weapons. I have attempted to argue that a pencil is a weapon and that lots of things can be USED as weapons, but that this is a tool--one readily available in his art class, by the way. No dice.

I get tired also of seeing things blamed on the goths--OK, goth is passe, but these kids don't know that and in my mind, goth is better than the cheerleading squad. When I was in school, everyone was worried about KISS (YOU know, Knights in Satan's Service?)--before that the Beatles, before that the tango. Now everyone thinks goths are neo-Nazi supremicists because of one or two psychotic teens? I have been trying to educate my highly educated colleagues about basic facts--like that in this century, the all-black costume meme starts with existentialism and jazz.

In America, people tend to believe that signs are stable, but they certainly are not. Perhaps the Torah is a successful replicator, but I think Brodie (and Baudrillard) are closer to the idea of what is really happening. Signs are transparitions more than stable indicators.


Heidi L. Nordberg