October 25th, 2005


Ironic meme

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"If you don't mind being submissive then go for an oxygen"? WTF kind of advice is that? And that picture looks a bit dubious. I'm sure memes were better when I was younger. Blah, blah.

Sneer, Miss!

There really haven't been any good memes lately, have there? That chemical elements one was a bit poor, and I think a couple of people have tried to restart the "Top Million Books In The World EVER" meme, but, well, honestly. I think we should take a leaf out of addedentry's book (pun entended) and compile a list of the Top 100 Things That Don't Exist. No invisible pink unicorns, please. No, really. If you must go for the obvious, at least implement it nicely, like these fake book covers from 'FlapArt' (not a radical women's art collective). I'm reminded of how one of my tutors at Oxford had a book on her shelf with the title "Rosy Fingered Dawn: A Sapphic Romance" (bringing a whole new meaning to her professed field of "devotional literature"), and it took me a whole term of furtively looking at it (and looking at her with poorly-disguised rampant undergraduacy) and trying to find a way to raise the subject casually ... before I finally sneaked a peek (at the book, you naughty readers) while she was making tea and discovered that it was an amusing home-made bookend.

Then there's things that shouldn't exist, but do. First among these this week has to be the announcement of Fatboy Slim and David Byrne's musical about the life of Imelda Marcos. That's got to be more exciting than The Likes of Us, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1965 musical about the life of Dr Thomas Barnardo (yes, that one), which was premiered on R2 on Friday evening. It's not bad, and it benefits enormously from Stephen Fry's arch narratorly interventions, but it's rather a case of having-one's-cake-and-eating-it to come over all apologetically post-modern about one's juvenilia even as it's being launched with great fanfare and an all-star cast.

More wholehearted mockery comes from You Knit What??, a blog devoted to pointing and laughing at knitting patterns. (Ahh, the internet.) There seems to be a fast-growing web genre (for which I'm struggling to think of accurate paper analogies) which consists of excerpting things for the sole purpose of pithily and (hopefully) amusingly tearing them to pieces. Among the sites pointing the (admittedly often deserved) finger of derision are Ugly Dress (bridesmaid dresses), Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing (baby names), Museum of Bad Album Covers and Weight Watchers' Recipe Cards from 1974 (both of which do what they say on the tin -- I know, I know, I've touted the WW Cards and the baby names before, but they're still funny). I guess when publishing is free (as in beer, as in speech, and often as in jazz) there's no premium on contributing nothing but a well-turned sneer. Not that I'm complaining, she sneered.

Don't sneer on your passport photos, though, if you want them to be accepted. Don't smile, either. And when they start using fingerprints as ID instead, don't go swimming or get eczema. Don't indulge in anything resembling anti-social behaviour, either; in fact, go one stage further and proclaim your anti-ASB stance (and your fashion-consciousness) with a classy glow-in-the-dark wristband.

Easy, huh? If only everything was this black and white.