Meme sample 4 for Writing II

10398602_1361034887334774_1264224153922483735_nThis is a popular meme, one that I was ready to share with others on Facebook or Twitter, which is a primary measure of whether a meme works or not. This one works. For those creating their own meme for Writing II, it is not a good example of the kind of meme that takes an issue and lends insight, the kind of argumentative, issue-based meme you will be producing.

The reasons why are not that complicated and have a lot to do with a common problem in critical writing, the use of cliches. This meme is based on an extension of cliches about
“living in the moment,” of which there are several since it is such a popular idea. Carpe diem, gather yon flowers whilst thou may, cowabunga, dude, and so on. It’s been a popular idea through the ages, leading to cliched language and individual cliches, which are phrases or metaphors used so often that they lose meaning as a unit and keep it as used language. For example, the phrase “hare brained idea” has now morphed into “hair brained idea” or even “air brained idea.” All connect to a metaphor of a tiny brain , like a hare, a cousin to the rabbit would have. However, when changed to the homonym hair  or even air by those who don’t know what a hare is, the phrase dilutes and becomes even more of “just something people say,” a common description of a cliche. Good academic writing works by looking for a gap in the literature, for a stance that not everyone agrees with. Building new knowledge won’t happen with stock language.

Back to the meme. If the basis of your meme is a cliche, that means it is also shallow enough in meaning that it can’t be used to convey a complex idea. Avoid cliches like the plague. Seek the higher ground. In today’s society, we like topics to be hotter than a stove lid, to be something that is the bee’s knees. Right? Right.

Meme example 3 for Writing II

This is one of several meme images  out there purporting to be screenshots of texts, Facebook profiles, or Twitter pages that are carefully constructed to present the person in a non-neutral, heavily female-identified way. This is not women as women see themselves necessarily, but it very much is women as how women are commonly portrayed in the media, how they are portrayed in ways that diminish achievement.

Meme example 2 for Writing II

Once again, this sample is from Facebook, but this time with an identified user, Ben Richards. The strength here is the strong optimism of the text contrasted by the dismal conclusion, supported by the iconic figure of Cthulhu, who is most optimistic about his/its destroying practices. Villains gotta vil and monsters gotta mash. This is a strong visual reminder about leopards, spots, politics, and how even the best intentions sometimes end up.


5ives for Rhetsy

I subscribe to the email list Rhetsy from Collin G. Brooke and find it always gives value. Brooke recently called for lists of fives for an upcoming Rhetsy, so here is my attempt.

Five Things that Will Make a Difference (for the better!) in Your Home Life

  1. Stop putting things down “for now.” Put it away, or, if you don’t have a spot for it, make one.
  2. For every new possession, subtract an existing possession. I subtracted two until I had a place for everything. This rule led directly to my owning a Kindle.
  3. Color matters. Don’t surround yourself with things that function, yet make you cringe when you look at them. Ultimately, good design gives more value.
  4. Always keep the living room (front room) clean and tidy. The rest of the house may not be great, but this is the room unexpected visitors will see.
  5. Always have a clean bathroom. I’m pretty sure there doesn’t have to be a reason for this, but I still regret the day I didn’t let a little old lady into my house after she took me to lunch because I didn’t want her to see my bathroom. She asked, “Would you really risk me peeing my pants?” and I answered “Yes.” and went in the house. Don’t let that happen to you.

World Cup

Even though France is no longer in the running, the Netherlands is, so I foresee more good soccer today.


The photo was taken with Glass. I use auto-backup, and Google occasionally takes a photo and selects an effect for it through a feature it calls Auto Awesome. The result this time is a bit psychedelic.