Sunday, February 21

Anatomy of a meme: Epic Beard Man

Below are random media theory thoughts (b.s.) on a recent viral video phenom referred to as "epic beard man". In other words... most people won't care to read this.


It's interesting to note that the modern phenom of image and video remixing may be part of a higher purpose. Through remixing video becomes codified and formalized as a form of language.

Through viral memes we are identifying / citing / developing a formal video based language combining multiple types of audio and visual information.

This new language is in many respects the same as written, spoken and visual language. However what is most interesting is this phenom in combining different types of language which include literal (i.e. spoken word) and abstract information (i.e. body language) thus becoming a sort of complex meta-language.

If only on a basic level parallel audio visual cues (often pertaining directly to the human condition) are through memes such as "Fail" or the "play it off cat" identified and classified.

It is in a way a game of audio visual "go fish" that teaches us a whole number of things not only about oft repeated patterns but also different universal aspects of the human condition.

What's more there's the fascinating prospect that out of negatives such as the above linked to conflict commonly referred to in the "epic beard man video" and others we can see some evidence that there is potentially a new means for establishing consensus on a cultural / moral code.

To be specific the original maker of the video receives negative feedback that is to some degree from an active organized group campaign called Anonymous regarding her own actions in instigating the fight and and racial tensions. Such statements as "kick his white *ss" and the use of the term "pinky" to describe the white male.

She then feels the need to acknowledge and address through a follow up video those specific issues which others feel are outside the boundaries of some cultural / moral code.

In her response we are seeing how on low level new moral issues / boundaries can be identified resolved and codified.

In viral memes we are seeing a new social phenom. It is the meanings and ramifications of these phenom that I find so fascinating.

Update: On the other hand the visual meme generator is absolutely chuck full of racist comments. :(

Tuesday, February 16

Trans Wisconsin! 550 miles of ultra-endurance mountain biking goodness

It's official! The 550 mile Trans Wisonsin has been announced, registration is open, and I've already emailed my registration! See you there!
The midwest's first multi-day, self-supported mountain bike race! These types of events have been popular for several years in the west. It's time we begin to develop this form of mountain bike racing here.

Registration is open! Race day start is June 18th, 2010. To enter you need only to send an e-mail with your name, age, and address as the only information needed.

For more specific information on the race, check out the race details page.

TransWisconsin will follow the 550 mile Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail from Wisconsin's southern border with Illinois to the northern most tip of the Bayfield Penninsula, finishing on the shores of Lake Superior.

Along the route riders will travel through the distinct geographical regions of Wisconsin and towns settled by trappers, farmers, and fisherman. The trail will vary between gravel road, two-track, ATV trail, singletrack, and an unfortunate bit of pavement.

If you've been dreaming of an Ultra Race here in the Midwest, look no further!


Disclaimer: this event has been organized by my brother Joe!! Thanks Joe! You rock!