I was just guiding a religious studies major — related to anthropology — through some of the back alleys of 2020 presidential politics, North American style.
The Yang Gang (those backing the candidacy of Andrew Yang) are hip to the fact that internet wars are fought with memes. Tulsi knows this two, and they’ve paired up in some of the propaganda.
Per my basket-weaving here on Medium, I’ve bought in to STEM + PATH, where the + represents a bridging operation, over what we used to call the C.P. Snow chasm. I’ve also paid attention to the A’s insertion into STEM, making STEAM, however I’ve kept the A meaning Anthropology, with Art under that umbrella. Then PATH has the same A (standing for the same thing), meaning we might cross them Scrabble-wise, while keeping our memes coherent.
Memes relate to mnemonics (memory palace stuff), as well as to memetics (the study of memes). The term “meme” itself was coined by Dawkins to mirror “gene” as an element of the genetic code. The memetic code is epigenetic, and includes language and culture. Memes connect to icons, emoji, and the collective almost-conscious.
If we’re talking about connecting the dots to form webs or networks, then individual memes could be those dots.
What some literature does at this point, is take the graph theory inherent in any talk of “connecting dots” (by means of edges), and marry that to polyhedrons, wire-frame skeletal graphs that close around to make containers.
Lets get back to the Yang memes, which include gun toting and weed smoking as socially acceptable activities. There’s no pandering to prudishness, in that an Asian sense of eroticism infuses the Youtubes.
My religious studies friend has more exposure than I do to the memes circulating in Kathmandu. She sends me pictures of wall art and graffiti, at times explaining their significance. She understands the political parties there more than I do. However, she’s not a political science major, and her focus is on more esoteric matters having to do with Sanskrit, Raga, Charya Geeti (Tantric music) and Charya Nritya (Tantric Dance). There’s a lot of Theater in what she does (the T in PATH), as well as Philosophy (the P) and History (H).
The Yang campaign’s flagship meme is “the bag” as in “secure the bag” which in turn is short for “money bag”. The “Yang Gang” has pioneered the meme of “$1000 a month” for every American, called the “Freedom Dividend”.
Twisting and turning behind the scenes, like a dragon, is the General Systems Theory view that we’re all beneficiaries of an extraterrestrial inheritance in the form of ergs (joules, rhymes with “jewels”), a fancy way of saying the Sun, its solar fusion, is underwriting the play we’re in. No one is so much an “extra” that the Studio can justify letting them starve thanks to malign neglect.
The priority of Reality TV has to be finally solving some of these problems. Ridding the world of death by starvation (hunger as a cause of mortality) has been a long term goal of The Hunger Project since the 1980s. We have the food. What we lack is good taste (in terms of the scenarios we stage).
Speaking of food and world hunger, the religious studies student and I paid a visit on foot to a Food Not Bombs serving. The destination was under two miles away. We got there right when the bicycles did, pulling their trailers full of fresh produce (to give away) and cooked food (to serve, for free).
We enjoyed a classic FNB experience. Neither of us had been to one of these in awhile. Everyone is well behaved, no drugs or alcohol were involved, and we dispersed without a trace. Other park goers were undisturbed by our presence, which included people from ages six through sixty. I was probably the oldest present.
You’ll see if you explore this archeological layer, of politically informed Youtubes around 2019, that NPC or Non-Playable Character had taken off by then. Twitter had become concerned.
The political base behind the current occupant of the Oval Office has been patting itself on the back for being better at meme wars than the weakling PC “SJWs”. The Yang campaign tips its hat in respect, to the other spin doctors in the room, but then moves in, hip hop style, to assert its primacy. One way it does this is by adapting the Pepe icon (a frog), and turning it into Pepe the Dragon.
Understanding the role of Pepe as an icon, in today’s politics, would require a long detour. I bet other Medium guides will be happy to take you around, show you the sights. Youtube has many insightful reviews of the topic.
Once you tour a memetic landscape for awhile, like flying over hexagonal tiles at low altitude, in some computer game, you’re maybe then able to zoom back, if only in your mind’s eye, and see the tiles connect around, to include twelve pentagon among them. A hexapent is born, a polyhedron of hexagons and pentagons. That’s an icon for our mode of play, our signature global matrix.
We go from graphene up close (an endless plane), to a fullerene from a distance (a buckyball polyhedron).
We tune in a whole world, a planet.
We get one of the layers, one of the frequencies, a channel.