Me and my Memes

In one sense, this blog is meant to be impersonal, and as little of a diary as possible. In another sense, the primary subject matter of this blog is me. As Montaigne said, "I myself am the matter of my book." Part of understanding me is understanding my style. And to understand my style is to become attuned to the mental states being conveyed by my words, gesture, personal habits, and general manner of comporting myself.

Memes are precisely those phrases, turns of phrase, or simple little jokes that I use again and again. If they spread, ultimately, I'm flattered. But often times, they are not mine to take credit for, as I have most likely picked them up from other sources. Little phrases like: "I ain't afraid;" "I'll fight a man;" and "We're just walking!" all have specific contextual meanings. Thus, any use of these phrases is not only meant to loosely apply in terms of content, but is also being said in order to evoke a past context. Evoking a past context is to implicitly gesture at a common feature of the temporally distinct occasions. On the one hand, when I say "I ain't afraid" during conversation, the literal meaning of the phrase makes sense in the context of the conversation. However, as I am most likely saying this to someone I already converse with regularly--or at least intend to--it is already known that this is meant humorously. It is humorous precisely because it gestures at the inherent absurdity of a singular phrase being coined in a particular context in a spur-the-moment fashion--a phrase so utterly perfect for that occasion--resonating with the current occasion. Thus it is meant as a creative gesture. One which actively judges of the current situation, predicating a feature of it by way of analogy. But this is a specific form of analogy--mimesis, because one literally imitates what was said in the past.

You may have noticed that one of my tags is "We're just walking!" This refers to a specific occasion (of course) in which a friend was walking through a campsite and a camper asked him to quiet down. "We're just walkin' here lady!" was his indignant reply. Regardless of who was in the right, the phrase goes down in history. What's a man to say when he's doing his thing, just being himself, slightly unaware of what that means in a given situation, and someone points out what "just being me" actually means in that situation? Well..."we're just walking!"

That's what I'm doing here. I am a peculiar unity of style, habit, aims, interests, idiosyncrasies, moves, and gestures. I'm just trying to intimate a sense of who I am and what I care about. But you, dear reader, are an essential part of this endeavor. In this sense, we're here, together, attempting to understand one another. We're just walking.

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