I SHARED the article "The unimaginable road to fame" (NST, April 22), with a friend of my generation -- a septuagenarian. And he shot back, tongue-in-cheek: "Onedrfool! Gme moar. Jus b a where dreel worlds moar dan meems! (he even found out and spelled the word "memes" as it's supposed to be pronounced)".
I can see he's getting hooked but is holding back somewhat, which is understandable coming from a more sombre age-band.
The passions and experiences of so many described in the article are fascinating and reveal, in particular, what the younger generation today seems fired up on.
Looking at memes more deeply, this phenomenon seems to reflect our desperate need for community in a world where there is increasingly none.
TV of yesteryear gave us only a handful of stations and we'd meet at school or at work to discuss the shows that we had watched the night before. The radio stations had a limited menu of top-hits that we all knew and many sang along to. Today, we're treated to multi-channels, many of which we don't even view.
What's there, then, that can connect us any more, besides the meme? What the phenomenon of memes indicates to me is the trivialisation of popular discourse.
True, the meme -- an idea, statement, image, jingle, video, etc -- can spread rapidly from source to source through the Internet in a contagious fashion. But, the cultural significance of memes is, in my opinion, not comparable with a more permanent and deep-rooted culture, such as art, music, literature etc.
At best, the meme could be described as a communication form that generates a great deal of interest in a segment of population, during an era. The popularity and numbers committed to such phenomena have a limited lifespan.
So, to those caught up in the meme trend, I'd say, "Great, keep going, seek and find, do your best in what's for your own good now and for your future."
To the rest of us, I'd say, "We all need to consume content, lots of it and rapidly, too. Here's a good way. For what it's worth, try it -- you'll not regret it!"
Rueben Dudley, Petaling Jaya, Selangor