Know Your Meme

Friday, November 26, 2010

Transcript

The term “meme” was coined by British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins to describe a concept that self-replicates, mutates, and changes across culture, not unlike a gene. The internet, a cultural petri dish of sorts, is rife with memes. Mike Rugnetta of the website knowyourmeme.com talks about what constitutes a meme and how the internet is the ideal place for them to grow.

Comments [38]

Victoria Caudle

i find it funny how a small interview can be made into a song. the song was hilarious to me and it's crazy how they can make the voices sound different and have different tunes to go with something that was just a voice. but you got to remember that it is a very serious topic but because of the song people took it as a joke.

Dec. 09 2010 08:46 AM
Ryan Duell from United States

i font think its that serious, but i do find it's interesting how a little interview turned into a song, just by auto, music & instruments, i mean even A&T college made its own version with there band! This is crazy, but memes are entertaining and the old spice one was funny too!.

Dec. 06 2010 09:46 PM
D.Winters

I dont think it was funny, how america took a very serious and touchy topic and made humor of it. Think about if you were Antoine Dobson, would you want someone taking your family problem and turning it into enetertainment. It doesnt matter how funny it is, it's wrong. Memes? Just down right disturbing.

Dec. 05 2010 06:39 PM
shannondanielle

after hearing the antoine dobson song all over youtube, seeing how famous he became because of it, i would enjoy being a meme very much. yes, the song was created about a serious issue in the community, however; the song still was hilarious. memes can be entertaining at times, but sometimes a bit disturbing, but overall they are ambitious to watch.

Dec. 03 2010 12:07 PM
brittbrat2013

Its interesting seeing people follow people over silly stuff. bt im not gonna lie i loved this song/interview lol. it was funny, catchy and entertaining. my friends and i always remix or meme songs and what people may say and do all the time bt i nver thought that doin stuff like dat is is popular...its cool

Dec. 03 2010 11:54 AM
brittbrat2013

Its interesting seeing people follow people over silly stuff. bt im not gonna lie i loved this song/interview lol. it was funny, catchy and entertaining. my friends and i always remix or meme songs and what people may say and do all the time bt i nver thought that doin stuff like dat is is popular...its cool

Dec. 03 2010 11:54 AM
brittbrat2013

Its interesting seeing people follow people over silly stuff. bt im not gonna lie i loved this song/interview lol. it was funny, catchy and entertaining. my friends and i always remix or meme songs and what people may say and do all the time bt i nver thought that doin stuff like dat is is popular...its cool

Dec. 03 2010 11:54 AM
brittbrat2013

Its interesting seeing people follow people over silly stuff. bt im not gonna lie i loved this song/interview lol. it was funny, catchy and entertaining. my friends and i always remix or meme songs and what people may say and do all the time bt i nver thought that doin stuff like dat is is popular...its cool

Dec. 03 2010 11:54 AM
Arianna Allen from Raleigh, NC

I do not think that it is that serious. Everyone loves laughing, most of time, YouTube is the main source of fulfilling that need. The media has always made things seem worst than what they are in reality. If it were that big of a deal, I do not think that the director of the marching band would have allowed this to happen.

Dec. 03 2010 10:08 AM
Ayana

Memes are entertaining, but also nonsense. Sometimes I find some of the things that we find funny ridiculous, and pointless. We're not appreciating people that have true talents, and instead we're spending our time making fun of people and making them famous, even for no reason.

Dec. 03 2010 09:28 AM
Zachary Hinton from North Carolina

I would love to become a meme, an internet sensation. I actually heard from a friend that Antoine Dobson's song is now on itunes and has made a large amount of money from the song. The topic does make me think though, are we beginning to lose our hearts ? lol, I mean we can't forget that Antoine Dobson became famous because of a very serious topic. His sister was attacked! And now he is on itunes.

Dec. 03 2010 09:14 AM
Kendra Douglas

When I saw that this was one of the videos posted I had to watch. Though this is a serious matter its funny how he has become so famous on youtube.

Dec. 03 2010 08:58 AM
Cameron McAllister

That video is funny and very entertaining. Making it into many different genre's is a good and bad idea in my opinion. Its good because it would keep people entertained, and its bad because some people might get annoyed by all the publicity behind it.

Dec. 03 2010 08:54 AM
DIAMONIQUE WHITE

people are always looking for some type of entertainment. The media is always expanding and people are going to do something to try to get there 15 minutes of fame. Auto-Tune can make that possible. I dont think there is anything wrong with what is being done, it's just fun and games !

Dec. 03 2010 08:08 AM
Taylor S.

It just goes to show that each generation is getting smarter when it come to the entertainment world.

Dec. 02 2010 10:05 AM
Terrell Poole

It’s really not a big deal, people are just having fun with music and being creative in different ways and everyone is happy.

Dec. 02 2010 09:55 AM
Mr. Harris

This is just showing how entertainment is and how it has evolved from its different things. Everything is just full of creativity.

Dec. 02 2010 08:50 AM
Bacchus Grant

There is someone everywhere that is remaking something. The reason why is either because it something they feel strongly about or they simply have no life. The internet is full of them and they will never stop unless the create some type of ban which i doubt they are going to wast there time on.

Dec. 01 2010 02:20 PM
Daniel Z

I thought that this kind of stuff was amazing. I love seeing memes at work and seeing how quickly they can take off and open peoples imagination to create their own ideas.

Dec. 01 2010 10:53 AM
Daniel Z

I thought that this kind of stuff was amazing. I love seeing memes at work and seeing how quickly they can take off and open peoples imagination to create their own ideas.

Dec. 01 2010 10:53 AM
Dominique Jackson from Raleigh, NC

The spread of local entertainment is evergrowing because there is always going to be different people creating new forms of music, fashion, "slang" ect.

Dec. 01 2010 09:52 AM
Passer-by

Josh--

Yes, but that wasn't the way Bob said it on the show, IMHO. It sounded like a cheap shot. It's one thing to make cheap shots about greedy banks; another to do it to someone who hasn't done anything wrong.

You're right about why people were shocked. Susan Boyle was within normal parameters for average people. Most people don't look like show biz folk. (And *they* generally need a lot of help to look the way they do.) Plus she evidently has some developmental or learning-disability issues; AIUI, she was sheltered by her mother, who--when dying--urged her to get out into the world.

Re the Antoine Dodson video:
I'm not of his culture; it seemed bizarre to me. Not to detract from the horror of the crime or his feelings about it. (:votive:) But maybe that was what people were reacting to? They may not have absorbed that his rant was about a real and terrible situation--they just got caught up in the style. Not excusing what people did with that.

They really are similar situations, in some ways.

Nov. 30 2010 09:31 PM
Josh Burnett from Tallahassee, FL

Passer-by:

Actually, "singing opera, while unsightly" was pretty relevant, because that was pretty much what the appeal of the clip was all about. People had apparently been so trained by reality tv and other media to expect unattractive people to always be untalented that they were shocked when she could actually sing.

With that having been said, the Antoine Dodson thing does bother me. Everyone thinks it's funny that a black guy is indignant that a rapist is terrorizing his neighborhood? Uh, great.

Nov. 30 2010 08:21 PM
Kat

... and here i was thinking it was pronounced "meh meh."

Nov. 30 2010 11:40 AM
Michael Baker II

Its astonishing to see how quickly a piece of entertainment in a local town can be spread across the nation in a matter of hours. But the simple fact that you have people out there who are capable of twisting media to a person's enjoyment at home creates the ability for the entertainment you see today in the media.

Nov. 30 2010 10:09 AM
Erin E

I find it amazing how something as simple as a news interview or a political campaign, something that is not necessarily meant to be funny, can explode throughout the world. People can get so creative with remixes; it hilarious. And some people claim we're in the Dark Ages. I think not!

Nov. 30 2010 10:06 AM
Devin Burch

I personally don't think there is enough evidence to show that calling meme is compared to a British viral. It makes me feel bad that they would compare meme to a viral.

Nov. 30 2010 08:58 AM
Mack McFarland from portland OR

I don't think there was enough evidence to show the difference between a meme and something that's just gone viral. If a meme is a "unit of cultural ideas" what is the idea being spread by the many takes on Antoine Dodson? It saddens me to think that an idea as rich and ripe for understanding culture has been relegated to ranking popularity on the Inter-webs.

Nov. 30 2010 03:40 AM
Passer-by

"Susan Boyle singing opera, while unsightly, went viral."

"Unsightly" is just mean, and wholly unnecessary. Strangely, when doing the "Zero Views" segment, you at least acknowledged that your comments in *that* segment were "unnecessarily mean-spirited".

How about dropping mean-spiritedness altogether?

Thanks.

Nov. 30 2010 01:35 AM
Alex Goldman - Producer, WNYC from New York City

Hello. I am the producer of this segment. Thank you for your requests for links to the Bed Intruder remixes. They can all be found on the Know Your Meme page for the Bed Intruder meme, which is located here:

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/antoine-dodson-bed-intruder

Thanks again for listening.

Yours,
Alex Goldman
Producer, On the Media

Nov. 29 2010 12:44 PM
hoeltuy

There's lots of great memes or not-so-memes they could have used, but I think Bed Intruder worked really well as an overall example and, although it's never been my favorite meme, it definitely works best for the audio media of NPR. Bed intruder is all about music. Downfall has its best impact when you can see it. And many of my all-time favorite memes are completely visual.

Nov. 29 2010 03:46 AM
Michael from Barcelona

I second the shout out to the hitler meme using clips from downfall. Surprised you didn't mention it in the piece. You had just talked about out in may this year. The Hitler meme and fair use.

Nov. 28 2010 06:03 PM
John Edwards from Atlanta GA

The "Having Fun, Library Card' video, which I have not had an opportunity to view, takes its audio at least from an episode of the PBS series Arthur.

Nov. 28 2010 03:00 PM
Zeb from NYC

I second the request to include links to the clips you use. Your followers will share them. I found the marching band one ~ http://zeb.tumblr.com/post/1716156888/brilliant-antoine-dodson-bed-intruder-adapted

Nov. 28 2010 01:19 PM
Just a Thought

The meme of the bunker scene in the German film "Downfall" has dozens of topical remixes.

Nov. 27 2010 08:34 AM
Sarah in Brooklyn

Great segment, thank you for this, if for no other reason than I now know who Antoine Dodson is. The marching band and other acoustic clip you used after the segment were great - links, please?

Nov. 27 2010 08:17 AM
papa smurf from santa's lap

okay debbie downer. Go wash your hands.

Nov. 26 2010 08:04 PM
Don Mac Gregor

So how many Americans have produced "mashups" and "autotune" remixes of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center? (I don't feel like looking for the answer - I might puke if I see the results.) If we as a culture can trivialize a man's anger over a serial rapist, we can trivialize everything...9-11...Katrina..Hatian Earthquake.
God bless America. [REACHES FOR THE BARF BAG.]

Nov. 26 2010 06:36 PM

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