Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My First Meme: A Bokonist Interpretation

Although she probably was unaware of the significance, Utah Savage has introduced me to the world of Memes.*

The Rules:
1. Go to the 4th folder in your computer where you store your pictures.
2. Pick the 4th picture in that folder.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same.

This is my half of the string of photos that my best friend and first college room mate Tish and I took in a photo booth somewhere in Texas in 1979 - I think. Could have been 1978.

As it happens, I have already posted this very item on which is why Tish's eyes have already been erased. She never gave me permission to post her photo on Classmates. She didn't give me permission to post it here either - but what the hell? Tish and I were virtually inseparable until I ran off with a Yankee (it was Buzz Kill). We were Tish and Trish.

I have been told that we look like we could have been in Dazed and Confused by someone who didn't know that we went to High School down the road from Richard Linklater, the fellow who made that film. We must have partied at the same park - the one in the movie where the guys climbed up the tower - but to my knowledge we never met. I don't know the real name of the park. To us kids, it was just High Park.

In the photo, I am wearing one of my very most favorite shirts from that era: an emerald green and white soft ball shirt from Mount Olivet. The shirt came from the Goodwill, as did most of my favorite clothes, and I have no idea if Mount Olivet was a school or a church or what. If the cut offs I often wore were visible in this photo, it would be clear why I had guys following me around a lot back in those days.

If I wore shorts like that these days, I'd probably still have a pack of assholes following me around even though an incurable, auto-immune disease has scarred my right leg from ankle to hip. Funny - back then they were just guys. Now they're a pack of assholes. See what a person can learn in the course of 30 years?

Upon reflection, is not that different from being surrounded by guys (aka a pack of assholes) back in college. First off, are always a couple you have the hots for who won't pay attention to you. There are also hundreds you glance at and never speak to for one reason or another. They could be wonderful people or complete jerks or somewhere in between. You'll never know. Then there are the ones who hit on you that you would not go out with in a million years. A few you'll go out with who are okay, but not for you. And swirling around in all of it, there are probably a few who are just right - if you could find each other.

I'm still thinking this is the time of my life where I'm not supposed to be seeing anyone. I've been Boyfriend-less for almost seven months now for the first time since before that picture was taken. That picture is from before I was engaged to the Man from San Antone, but after I'd met my True Love. Could have been from around the time I was engaged to Ed who went away in the Peace Corps. I loved Ed. He looked like a cross between a Marlborough Man and a Surfer.

Maybe when that picture was taken, I wasn't engaged to anyone at all.

Looking at this exercise from a Bokonist perspective, this picture happened to turn up for the Meme because that's As it was Supposed to Happen. As a Bokonist, I can interpret this happenstance however I like because what ever I like to believe is just fine. Bokonists believe that everything anyone ever says about Religion, God, Politics and stuff like that is a pack of lies - foma - because none of us will ever know what is really going on.

At the very beginning of Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut writes, "Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy."

I'm thinking choosing this picture says that I've completed the difficult but essential work of freeing that radiant spirit which has been squashed and/or petrified by thirty years of revolving around someone else like a satellite. Being on my own is pretty cool, and when the time is right for me to be part of a couple again, I'll like it better because I am now an independent spirit instead of an independent spirit that has been squashed and petrified. Big Difference.

I Tag:

Gail at Know Your Its
Kimberly at She Shoots to Conquer
Jaliya at Pushing Fifty Gently
Kittywrinkle at Kitty's Bloggy Bits

*definition from

/meem/ [By analogy with "gene"] Richard Dawkins's term for an idea considered as a replicator, especially with the connotation that memes parasitise people into propagating them much as viruses do. Memes can be considered the unit of cultural evolution. Ideas can evolve in a way analogous to biological evolution. Some ideas survive better than others; ideas can mutate through, for example, misunderstandings; and two ideas can recombine to produce a new idea involving elements of each parent idea. The term is used especially in the phrase "meme complex" denoting a group of mutually supporting memes that form an organised belief system, such as a religion. However, "meme" is often misused to mean "meme complex". Use of the term connotes acceptance of the idea that in humans (and presumably other tool- and language-using sophonts) cultural evolution by selection of adaptive ideas has become more important than biological evolution by selection of hereditary traits. Hackers find this idea congenial for tolerably obvious reasons.


Blogger Kitty said...

You look cool in the photo - I remember that 70s hair. I'm sure my photo won't be that cool.

Oh, and you are STILL not selling to me ;-)


January 31, 2009 at 4:45 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

I'm not winning any points as a spokesperson that's for sure. Deleting Men has gotten boring too.

January 31, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

Great photo! And you tagged me? Wow, well, I have some photos but I am not in any of them. what's that all about? :-)

Love gail

January 31, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Easy - you took the pictures.

January 31, 2009 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Comrade Kevin said...

Though this was before my time, I am told that high school everywhere in the south during the late seventies was similar to the portrayal in Dazed and Confused.

Dating's a bitch, isn't it? I've been recently led on by a woman who promised to contact me at some point this week and then never did. I might see her tomorrow and nicely ask what gives.

January 31, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Kimberly M. Wetherell said...


The 4th photo in my 4th folder was a Bugs Bunny still, called "Bridal March", where the pink girl Bugs Bunny (Babs?) is carrying Bugs over a threshold.

I mean, I know I'm bossy and shit, but please. What's that supposed to mean, again?

ps - that is a GREAT ohoto!

January 31, 2009 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

I choose to believe it means we need to go out Boy Scouting very soon. What could happen?

February 1, 2009 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Life As I Know It Now said...

you certainly look fetching enough to have some of those boys chasing you.

I would agree with Kitty about

February 2, 2009 at 12:54 AM  

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