Movies, Politics … and Memes

Here i am again, talking about my pet topic – memes. I’ve talked about them many times – here, or here. Or here. But here we go again!

First of all please understand that a “meme” (rhymes with cream) has only now come to be “merely” an internet meme. The idea of a meme was initially postulated to try and understand how cultural ideas are “transmitted” from one person to another. Richard Dawkins postulated that an idea was made up of memes (analogous to how genes make up the body).

For Example Take a look at this

Check it out! Is this a gangs of wasseypur 2 "viral"? - @aniguha @SupraMario

At first glance you know exactly what it is – yet another one of those political posters that our wonderful politicians put up given any excuse they have. The “MEME” of a political poster is so strong that this is instantly slotted in as one.

… Then you notice that it has “Wasseypur” written on it – yes, its a promotional poster for Part 2 of Anurag Kashyap’s Magnum opus.

Then you read a news article about Some Congress Party workers in Ahmedabad and see THIS image

Congress's 'Gangs of Wasseypur' poster targets Narendra Modi

A typical looking street procession with a typical banner… wait a minute… Does that say Gangs of Chorpur? Yes! The Congress party has taken the “idea” or (meme) of Gangs of Wasseypur and used it to paint their opponents as thieves!

so yes, obviously there’s the whole ironic “Art imitates life” then “Life imitates art” deal, but for me, there’s more.

This is an example of how people use/co-opt memes as they tryto transmit ideas. Its a real life look at how the concept of using a meme is beneficial – the political meme for the film poster, and the movie meme for the politicians!

There’s more to a meme than we give it credit for. Its much more than “Bad Luck Brian”.


About Tarun

Joker, smoker, midnight toker. Teacher, writer, general gadabout
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