Meme: an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary 2013
This week = signs were virtually everywhere. Yes, virtually. In my last piece, Right of Spring, I considered religious rites of Spring, Passover and Easter; cultural works of art, namely Stravinsky’s (and Nijinsky’s) “Rite of Spring”; political rights in the Middle East that began with the so-called Arab Spring; and here and now, legal rights, as the Supreme Court grapples with Prop 8 and DOMA and marriage equality for same sex couples. It is the legal right to which I referred as the right of this Spring. While I was considering Rites and Rights of Spring, = signs and other posters (i.e. pictures) were being shared on social media, and in all media. Their impact was immediate and vast. The signs and symbols reflected thoughts and emotions with an intensity (and often humor) that inspired a cultural ripple. These signs may not have changed minds, but seemed to allow people to share in the cultural discourse in ways that they might not have otherwise. The visceral effect of a graphic combined with the immediacy and vastness of the internet allows for memes to not only become “viral”, but to allow people to connect culturally.
When you want to make an impact, consider the effect that graphic arts and other cultural arts have. Arts affect emotion, and engage the senses while connecting to our intellects (ideas and ideals).
Marketers,advertisers, and political consultants know this, but educators and anyone who wants to connect and make a difference could do well to meme what you say and say what you meme.