Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Book Meme

Annie in Austin tagged me for a book meme and not wanting to be a cyber curmudgeon I decided to play along. I have seen mention of memes in blogs, but I am not one hundred percent sure of what they are. I have thought of them as a form of linking internet chain letters, with the link aspect being the important part since links are crucial to how the system works. So now I am going to look it up and find out what a meme is.

The short version of an incredibly long entry in Wikipedia is: The term "meme" coined in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, refers to a replicator of cultural information that one mind transmits (verbally or by demonstration) to another mind.

I need to do another search.

From a Google search using "meme + blog + definition" comes this from About.com: In the world of blogs and bloggers, a meme is an idea, question, statement or project that is posted in one blog and answered to in many other blogs. Memes are used to propagate ideas in the blogosphere. Some blogs or web sites post memes on a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

I guess the linking part isn't as important as I thought. It just happens.

Here goes.














1] One book that changed your life?

Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as The Big Book and one of its companion books Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

2] One book that you have read more than once?

The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux. It is a primer of sorts for living on a desert island.

3] One book you would want on a desert island?

I live on the desert side of an island and it seems the word stranded may be missing here. This is a hypothetical so I get to have a hypothetical book. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Basket Weaving and Macrame.

4] One book that made you laugh?

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. This book is set in New Orleans with a cast of southern eccentrics and there are some unfortunate similarities of personality between me and the main character.

I also have to add Visit to a Small Planet by Gore Vidal

5] One book that made you cry?

The Color Purple by Alice Walker back when Oprah was maybe just a millionaire and long before the movie.

6] One book you wish had been written?

I am not dead yet. It may still get written.

7] One book you wish had never been written?

This is not likely to be an original thought but it is still going to be controversial. The Bible and the Quran. I think this is particularly appropriate in light of current affairs in the world today. And so as not to appear anti-semitic and to get to the source of both of the above I will include the Talmud.















It does make a handy door stop in a windy environment and yes I stole this book from a motel drawer.

Being that it is a full moon, I will howl. I think the "Civilized" people of the world might do themselves a big favor and take a serious look at some of the spiritual beliefs and practices of indigenous peoples who had more earth centered beliefs and numerous gods and goddesses. The Hawaiian mythology before the missionaries was a long standing oral tradition, a meme, with common roots through out Polynesia.

Monotheism seems to be reaching an apex of sorts similar to Ultimate Fighting contests and is really a rather limited and limiting translation of the mysterious.

8] One book you are currently reading?

Not really reading anything currently. I have put down unfinished because life is so distracting, Grace from the Garden by Debra Landwehr Engle.

9] One book you have been meaning to read

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It keeps popping up in my life as something I should read.

10] Tag 5 people to do the meme.

I hate chain e-mails and those Forward FW [fw] (fw) (Fw) sugary sweet puppy dog kitty smiley cute stories that I have to send out to ten people in twenty minutes or I will die an agonizing death from the plague if I don't or receive a million dollars in the mail in ten days if I do. I delete them all and I feel fine. I am hesitant to tag anyone for a meme as well.

I seem to have as many lurkers on this blog as commenters so anyone who would like to do this book meme speak up and tell us where to look.















Raindrop Bubbles on a Swimming Pool Surface or Through the Eyes of an Alligator


The Meme

1] One book that changed your life?
2] One book that you have read more than once?
3] One book you would want on a desert island?
4] One book that made you laugh?
5] One book that made you cry?
6] One book you wish had been written?
7] One book you wish had never been written?
8] One book you are currently reading?
9] One book you have been meaning to read
10] Tag 5 people to do the meme.

7 comments:

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I especially like your answer to #3... Your hypothetical book is the one I'd want!

Annie in Austin said...

You're an awfully good sport about this, Christopher - thank you. A meme is not the kind of thing I do, either, but it's been fascinating to see the variety of answers. I've got a lot of books to find and read! We have one in common - my Hortus Third is a few feet away.

It's been years since I read "The Color Purple" or "Mosquito Coast", but Philo and I still quote "Ice is civilization" to each other, and "A Confederacy of Dunces" is now on my list. A decade ago Robin Chotzinoff wrote "People With Dirty Hands/The Passion For Gardening", which may have been the last century's "Grace From The Garden".

I don't think faith can be commanded; maybe it can be discovered - but what do we see in the past and present? One group trying to command another group to believe, usually led by men. I know little about earth-based religions, but my estrogen-based question would be whether any of them treat women as fully human beings? That would be a novelty.

I'd be interested to see your unwritten book be written, too.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

This was far more interesting than a chain e-mail, seeing all the different responses. It does make me feel just a bit under read when I hear and see people talk about books. I wonder how they find the time?

Christina, my Basket Weaving book I figured would keep me busy, give me useful objects and If I got really good I could weave a boat.

I am no expert on indigenous culture's mythology but I know there are many powerful forces and dieties asigned to women. If that gets them better treatment in real life beyond the work horses of many native cultures I do not know.

In Hawaii Pele is the major female god of the volcano.

the eternal optimist said...

I always enjoy reading your blog, but am today totally in love with the painting, Raindrop bubbles on a swimming pool surface. Is this something you did? Where did it come from?

As far as books, I will have to think and get back to you. Many have changed my life in small ways, Joseph Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Faces" came at a turning point. John Irving's "The Cider House Rules" is probably my favorite. Will keep thinking...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Christopher,
Now I see... You're one of those people who makes the best of a bad situation, right?

The reason I thought you were joking about #3 is because most of us would probably go insane if we were stranded (alone) on a desert island -- I know I surely would... And in the old days when people went to the insane asylum, basketweaving was one of their artistic therapies.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Insanity is always an option and the keep me busy part is a reference to that of sorts. Living where I do and seeing it on TV, I have always noticed how Polynesians can make the kind of crap we buy at Walmart out of shrubberies. I'd like to step up a notch from mere survival and have a well furnished hut for guests. I may not want to leave my desert island.

Raindrop Bubbles is a painting I bought from a friend and recent refugee from California, Karl Hensel. He dabbles in painting and had a show at his house a few years back. It was mostly a series of night time scenes of Maui. This one stood out and was my favorite. I was fortunate to have some money and be able to buy it before someone else could.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Christopher,
I finally decided on #9 -- which book I'd like to read next (after I read A Confederacy of Dunces). I want to read David Sirota's book Hostile Takeover: How Big Money & Corruption Conquered Our Government -- and How We Take It Back.

I'm guessing you're already familiar with David Sirota, but just in case you aren't, or for anyone else who's interested, I'll post a link here to his SirotaBLOG