Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Character Meme

At the risk of sounding really uncool... can someone tell me what "meme" means? I know what it is -- a collection of questions that you are honor-bound to answer if someone tags you. Kind of like a chain letter, except without the promise of horrendous luck if you fail and dozens of pairs of socks if you succeed. (Honestly, I've gotten chain letters like that.) But is the word "meme" short for something? Is it an acronym? It sounds kind of acronym-ish to me. Someone educate me so I can appear cooler in the future.

Anyway, I've been tagged to do Miss Erin's Character Meme, so here goes:

Character you'd most like to have over for tea?
The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Yes, she's rather arrogant, and she could turn me into stone. But if she promises to bring that hot chocolate and those Turkish Delights, she's invited.

Character you'd most like to have as a sibling?
Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. She'd probably drive me a little nuts, but (A) she'd be fun, and (B) she'd always be in more trouble than me. :)

Character you'd most like to be friends with?
One of the telepathic dragons from the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. It doesn't need to be a bronze or a queen dragon. But I'd prefer one that isn't snooty or grumpy.

Character you'd most like to have as a cousin?
Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I think it would be useful to be related to a wizard. And fun at family parties.

Character you'd most like to have an adventure with?
Silk from the Belgariad by David Eddings. He's the quintessential "thief" character-type: smart, resourceful, funny. He'd both keep me entertained and keep me from being eaten by a grumpy dragon. Not that the dragon would want to eat me, since we'd be buds (see above).

Favorite quirky character?
Fred, the belching black hole from So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane, because who doesn't love a belching black hole? (Or is it a white hole? Gotta go reread...)

Favorite love-to-hate character?
Severus Snape from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Friend or foe?

Favorite bad guy?
Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth. I know, I know, it's a movie. And he's David Bowie. But come on. You know he's cool.

If you'd like to do this meme too, please consider yourself tagged. :)



At 8:20 AM, Blogger Ryan Freebern said...

"Meme" was originally coined to describe a single cultural idea that can be passed from person to person and "evolve" as it moves. Basically, it described the way people share thoughts and concepts, like catchphrases or urban legends, and how those concepts change as people integrate them with their own experience. You might think of a "meme" as a conceptual virus: a person "catches" it by hearing about it from someone else, and then passes it on to others, and in doing so may (consciously or unconsciously) mutate it slightly.

The word itself is analogous to the word "gene," since both of them describe fundamental units of information that change over time -- but it's not a great comparison, since people don't share genes with anyone but their direct ancestors and descendants.

Since the advent of the web, "meme" has come to mean "any little thing that a bunch of people share on their blogs," which is a rather stunted version of the idea -- web quizzes and the like are only a small subset of what the idea of memes, and the (currently rapidly evolving) study of memetics encompasses.

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Faith said...

Jareth the Goblin King!!!

Sometimes I think I'm the only person who still watches that movie, even if only for the hotness that is David Bowie, and then there is you. I'm not alone! Of course, I do like it more than for the hotness that is David Bowie, but I won't deny his appeal.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

RYAN: Cool! I had no idea. Thanks for sharing this info.

FAITH: We're definitely not the only ones. There are a surprising number of homemade videos on YouTube consisting of clips from Labyrinth set to various songs.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Ryan Freebern said...

Ha ha, no way. My wife and I own three copies of Labyrinth: one old, old, old one on VHS, one regular edition DVD, and one super-ultra-special edition DVD. I think maybe it's time to toss the VHS one (since we don't even have a VCR hooked up these days) and give the regular-edition DVD to someone who has never seen the movie, so we can spread the love!

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Yay! Thanks for your answers!
And--*gasp*--there are some books here I have not read. I must add them to my ever-expanding to-read list...

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

ERIN: Books you haven't read?!? Go, get thee to amazon.com!

At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred was a white-hole. I recently found out about that series, but I'm only one high wizardry
-Maxine Lane

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Anonymous: Fred's an awesome character. I adore that whole series.


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