Creative Infidelity Carried On


What fascinates me in the whole process mentioned above is the power of the meme; the sound-bite meaning-laden concept which serves a dual purpose.  In physics it is now said that energy is both a particle and a wave at any given time, but not both at once.  I sense that a meme is similar. Based on some event or mere proclamation, at one point in time an emergent meme stakes a claim in the cultural landscape proclaiming its arrival and existence. “I’m here! It’s my turn now! Look at me! I’m the new New!”   And , we of swivel-necked short attention spans turn our heads en -masse and collectively jump on the bandwagon. This is now facilitated by traditional and social media networks that spread memes globally at lightning speed, for better or worse.

 Many memes simply arise, but they can also be planted on purpose. It is even considered successful marketing if your meme (whcih becomes known as a key word phrase) wins the Search Engine Optimization prize of high Google ranking or makes it on the Oprah show.

 That meme, having established itself as the new norm, now becomes the reference point from which cultures and corporations start their thought processes in relation to that issue and from which they take action.  In French the word meme means ‘same’. So it helps us understand that the concept of meme deals with getting alignment of new thought among the masses so they all think the same way., at least until the next meme pops on the scene.  So there’s an inter-weaving  between  seminal moments in time where a meme enters human consciousness and the subsequent flow and viral spread of a meme.

 Here’s an example of what  I mean.  Small business grew into big business  from its ability to offer many jobs and offer a desirable product or service to the masses. That was considered a good thing until the corporate system squeezed out the little guys and became mechanized through cost-benefit market efficiencies. The meme shifted.  Now Big Business was decried for its inhumanity, which eventually bred a meme for CSR- Corporate Social Responsibility- which was born to be able to re-humanize corporate structures and activities for both insiders and those affected by the reach of the organization. This has now evolved into a new field of Corporate Virtue and Ethics as a base from which strategic decisions are made and new reach is sought in the name of doing good.  And so it evolves over time.