Memes Evolve

One of the most fascinating people I’ve met at A2FF this week has been media ecologist Gerry Fialka. Gerry is not only well-informed, off-beat and articulate, but he’s willing to enter in new discussions even if they go against his current views. He was on a panel with Scott Beiben of the Lost Film Festival this afternoon. Gerry says we need to look for new questions to ask and new paradigms.

Started me thinking. About chaos theory. And about leadership (again). Chaos theory shows chaotic systems going through periods of temporary stability; periods where it looks like order. Like, maybe, society. Maybe society is in a transitional phase, looking for the next paradigm; the next period of order. Maybe the memes are evolving.

Scott spoke about lots of cool stuff too. The panel was about Cultural Jamming, or Culture Jamming. I’ll look it up later. Anyway, Scott’s approach to film exhibition (and I guess production) is way on the fringe. At one point he said something like, “I don’t believe in law or nation states or sovereignty.” Yours truly heckled, “Hey, you’re George Bush!” Minor titters.

There does seem to be a shared worldview at opposite ends of the American political spectrum. Do what you want, it’s not right or wrong, just “appropriate” or “inappropriate”, a “service” or a “disservice”. Is it too politically correct? Or are the memes, also, evolving? It feels like America needs those new paradigms, the new metaphors arising from the new questions.

Perhaps, once it’s got a handle on them, there’ll be some real leadership at the top, on both sides, instead of vaccillation countered by tantrums and people in the middle looking for an easy buck. It occurs to me, though, that the meme everyone’s looking for is “think global, act local”. Humans still want to reach other humans; community spirit. It’s about what’s pro-social. That’s good.

Here endeth the thought bubble.

*****

PS. Sometimes engaging people doesn’t work. You can talk and talk but if they don’t want to listen, don’t want to change, you’re wasting your time. You can also preach to the choir but so what? Frankly, the answer to that is: you can’t force people to change. You can create the opportunity for them to change, support their freedom of expression. In the end, though, change is about leadership and, yes, there is more to that meme than engagement alone.

2 Responses to 'Memes Evolve'

  1. Simon Says:

    Marty Shay? 21 Carbs? Been on at Cinequest? That’s where my film Asylum (The refuge) won an award. We are linked – there is a connection. We are like brothers

  2. Keith Says:

    Yes, Marty Shea, 21 Carbs. He was working as the 2nd 2nd on a feature last year which we saw at the weekend. Keep Your Distance is an excellent thriller from second-time feature director Stu Pollard. Stu hung around afterwards and provided lots of invaluable info to those of us a couple of steps behind him. We also hung around with Stu at the after-party on Saturday and he answered some more questions.

    By the way, Keep Your Distance is packed with talent including Kim Raver in a main supporting role. Having spent a good chunk of the past two weeks absorbing all of series four of 24 on DVD, it was kind of bizarre to finish watching it the day before and then see “Audrey” in another role. One of those, “Hey, it’s Audrey!” moments. Something like that.