We all remember "Change" so well, possibly because it has collapsed on itself with an embarrassing irony that characterizes the monstrous absurdities and doublespeak throughout modern Americanism. Now, nearly four years since the Bush Administration, "#fuckyouwashington" has become a trending hashtag meme on Twitter. Rawstory reports:
"Although the tag may have been inspired by the current impasse over raising the debt ceiling, it seems to have released a much wider sense of frustration. Within a few hours, message boards like Democratic Underground were gathering some of the best tweets using the tag."
"#FuckYouWashington For Forgetting WHO you represent, Families, Elderly,Moms,Kids, WORKERs..NOT the CoporatePigs who you cater to...#ShameOnU" one reads.
"#fuckyouwashington for sending our soldiers on 6, 7, 8 tours to combat zones yet thinking it's too much to ask the richest to pay taxes" say another."
"And @YourAnonNews -- a Twitter account associated with Anonymous -- tweeted, "#FuckYouWashington for thinking activists are the same as terrorists."
The originator of this meme is Jeff Jarvis, "a journalism professor at the City University of New York, an expert on new media, and the author of What Would Google Do? "Jarvis attributes the hashtag's popularity and resonance to a political
climate that's simply an "effed up mess" and citizens that aren't going
to sit back in silence anymore."
Given the historic spike in widespread media-power, and thus meme-power, that characterizes the digimodern age (a once generally passive, receptacle-like populace is a now participatory, creative populace); it begs one to ask, what are memes, media, words, minds, and meanings?
Beginning with the news headline summary, our "news" has become an evermore media-rich the mementicized version of reality. The meme is the bite-sized version. "I'm bi-winning" is the memetic summary of everything regarding Charlie Sheen's departure from and return to sobriety. Sloganeering, propaganda, tensions between artistic schools, and meme warfare is nothing new. What we seem to be dealing with regarding memes is a mere popularity/believability contest and right now many, regardless of political bent are more than dissatisfied with Washington.
As the reality-engineering comicbook author and modern meme magician Alan Moore has said, “The science of manipulating symbols, words, or images to achieve changes in consciousness…Indeed to cast a spell is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness." Using this metaphor, the first spoken word that was comprehended was the first spell—thus all language-bearing homo sapiens became, ipso facto, “magicians.” Perhaps a cellular phone is our wand, memes are our spells, and websites are our altars—simply these are all used in conjunction to create. Regarding all of civilization, both the positive and negative aspects thereof, author Jiddu Krishnamurti declared “Thought is responsible for all of this!” With all these new tools, expressions, powers, meanings, communities, memes, machines, and possibilities, the only question worth asking ourselves is “What to create?”
Image by quapan on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.