Sunday, May 11, 2008


Yes, I am a sick and twisted player. When tagged by Hell on Frisco Bay's Brian Darr to participate in the internet's latest meme, I started to sing, "You charm the husk right off the corn, MEME…." (Boom. Ka-THUMP! Where's a kazoo when you need one?)

I participate only for fear that—should I not—Brian will do something drastic. Ordinarily I hate this sort of thing. Unlike Brian—though initially intrigued by Facebook—I've come to hate email invitations from friends of friends of friends wanting me to be a friend of a friend of a friend in a thoroughly misguided notion of social networking that eschews the face to face encounter or—at the least—a handwritten note in the mailbox and resembles something akin to an amoeba's promiscuous indiscretion. Let it be known here and now that this is the last meme I will ever respond to. And let me strongly suggest that the rest of you follow suit. If not now, when? If not you, who?

So here are the weapons of mass instruction:

1) Pick up the nearest book.
2) Open to page 123.
3) Locate the fifth sentence.
4) Post the next three sentences on your blog and in so doing...
5) Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

Being that I was in my office when I received Brian's email, I was surrounded by thousands of books, many of which actually do make it to page 123, and some even to a fifth sentence (dependent upon definition). On the desk proper, however—bracing for a Lewton aftershock—was Alexander Nemerov's Icons of Grief: Val Lewton's Home Front Pictures; a volume I have no reservations recommending over and over again.

Here are the requisite three sentences: "In a more limited sense, the slowing down fits the film's conscience-liberal wish to show the gravity and dignity of black people. Yet a deeper force at work in these characters is a fear of forgetting—specifically, a fear that histories of racial violence would be forgotten. The freezing of motion disputes the flow of images that makes a movie frame ephemeral." (Footnote omitted.)

Now here's the part that I find most reprehensible about this meme. The fact that it lays responsibility at the foot of the person who has furthered it (Brian Brian Brian B-R-I-A-N!!! Picture me with the palms of my hands pressed to both sides of my head screaming at the top of my lungs), but likewise incriminates by announced reference the next five. We all know who you are and we will all know if you refuse to participate.

Girish Shambu, because he doesn't have enough to do already.
Darren Hughes, because he doesn't have enough to do already.
Doug Cummings, because he doesn't have enough to do already.
Peter Nellhaus, because he doesn't have enough to do already.
Bob Turnbull, because he doesn't have enough to do already. [Accepting the meme on Mr. Turnbull's behalf, Pat Piper.]

Which leads me to my favorite playground quote: "Neener neener neener."


Bob Turnbull said...

Damn you Darr!!!!!!

Quick mental note...Never, ever tag Michael. Ever. Could result in locusts in my front yard.

Love your book choice though. I've just added it to my amazon wishlist.

Brian Darr said...

That wasn't so hard now, was it? Thanks for being a good sport, Michael. I shall order a copy of Nemerov's book from the library.

And here's your kazoo!

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad that I didn't give in to my initial impulse to tag you for the meme, Michael. I had the e-mail written and was about to hit "Send" but then I recalled being warned about that infamous temper of yours. So, I sat back in front of the computer, tented my hands, and said aloud, "Better let Darr take the heat on this one, heh, heh, heh..." :D

Michael Guillen said...

Being old and cranky is the best offense.

Poor Brian, a mere pawn in these Machiavellian memes.