The Meme Machine

Started thinking about Facebook today. Joined it about a month ago. These were the thoughts that jumped out of me this morning on the spur of the … well you know… maximal stuffing, pour on salt, make a wish, and throw it behind your left shoulder with your right hand, then turn around three times and sing the International Anthem backwards while typing I will not visit FB again, I will not visit FB again… at least till this ends…

Maybe that’s all FB is, a meme machine: it gathers media trivia, and academic shop talk across the global spectrum, shifts the image gaze to precarious hot spots, or dazzles with the latest influx of the Mediatainment Complex’s death spiral; or the pranks of ludicrous politicos, who have already become doubled-images of narcissistic selfies – avatars of a virtual playground where the next reality index metric is the voter’s last plug-in from the micro-inflections of a Twitter buzz… we seem to follow each others lifestyles and thoughts as if to change the world was only to change channels on the global capitalist network. We see atrocities, climate disasters, birds falling from India’s skies due to heatstroke and the lack of water; we ponder comic strips; the daily cyberpunk game; the next great movie fest; the strip routines of fabricated Wall-Street gold runs; DNA routines for the self-modifying DYI CRISPR aficionado; or 3D spin-wheel of hypermusic, where sounds from the 4D space-dimensional hyperlanes print out our momentary songlines, and we become our own music fest singing to the cellular enclaves of nanosims floating through the artificial celluloid of the noosphere… yes, we’ve become bored with life and distraction, too. Twisting our way among the electronic zombies, stopping to gaze upon the voodoo gods of the static microworlds below the hivemind. Possibly we are the children of an apocalypse youtube chrontopia; based not on some grand explosion sequence or ultimate terrorist plot, but rather of some enamored fondness and allure for the soundbytes of passing blip-machine culture: one so full of clutter and mindless information it gathers into its corruption the memories of our wasted lives – the circulations of alternate paratimes where our dis-patriated non-life still wanders; then we force feed the late citizens of the virtual pipe-dream with the fitted out typologies of blasted Briggs Myers’ personality index-reports, wherein the Other becomes a reduction of its former neon dream, last seen walking across the tweets of its INTJ Halloween, a Master Mind or Criminal Holy Man of the calypso night; else, an ESFP Performance Artist scrying the electronic voids for instant happiness wafers. Yes, we’re those who have become bored into oblivion like slow learners in an insta-dance not to the stars, but rather for the Satyrs of a dark network where viral agents split the difference and inhabit our Avatars like professional clones who have forgotten the punch line to a joke no one remembers, not even the wiki-board’s GO shuffle masters pushing the buttons through a binary black hole to never-never land. Maybe in the end we’re all digital refugees in search of a new homeland of the heart, a sort of non-territorial space where the weak can find the hovel of their broken lives made whole again lest the strong among us chain them into the techno-commercial circuits of their fliptop agencies of despair. Hooked into the neurofeeds of globalized spheroids our digiflesh lights up across the hyperwires like denizens of Pandemonium, the City of Sacred Pain. Eclipsed by the fading myths of Cthulhu or Lemurian time-bandits we measure our lives in instagrams, while datasplicing biogenetic engrams on our simskins. We are the last members of a species desperately trying to lose itself in the streaming neuronets of futurial migrations, exiting the fold of our dataminds we spring up from the tributary flotillas of technicity into the endless rhizome inscapes, where the shadow images of our former lives go on and on and on… along the trackless way!

S.C. Hickman ©2016

4 thoughts on “The Meme Machine

    Steve Hilton, a visiting professor at Stanford University and former advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, argues that our lives, from government and healthcare, to the ways we live and eat, are becoming too distant and industrialized. In More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First, he advocates for local solutions that prioritize the needs of individuals over large-scale economic and political goals.


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