Do you guys know most early memes, and if so name a few. Plus, are they still abundant?
When I was a small child in the late 80’s wandering around my parents’ offices, I noticed that many people had faxed around a poorly drawn picture of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes with a speech balloon reading, “God put me on earth to accomplish a certain numer of things. At this point, I’m so far behind, I will never die.”
Other instances of the Calvin cartoon had replaced the phrase with, “I have exactly one nerve left and YOU’RE GETTING ON IT”
Some had taken either of those phrases and used a picture of Bill the Cat from the old Outland cartoons.
In the 80’s there were fax memes. I’m willing to bet that there have been HAM radio memes and even telegraph memes to some extend.
There have been memes as long as there has been human culture. With each advance in communication, memes have manifested.
PS: I can’t find that the Calvin fax meme ever made it’s way onto the internet, but I would love to find it.
I wonder if sometime from now, a thread like this shows up, and someone pulls up “All your base” as an early meme.
Can you consider the Che Guevara meme old? I know you consider the Nighthawk meme old, Chris.
Read about the japanese monkeys that learned to wash their potatoes by imitating one in their group to get an idea of what prehistoric memes might have looked like. Also read about Kelloggs experiment in the 30s with bringing up a baby chimp with his son to learn what copycats we are compared to chimpanzees! (hint: his wife ordererd him to stop the experiment because the boy only imitated the chimp)
Probably more than ingenuity or planning, our ability to copy each other has given us culture. Our failure to imitate each other exactly all the time gives the variance needed for selection (although trial and error are problably needed as seeders).
Don’t forget “That’s what she said”
Yes I consider the Che meme old, but that’s not the problem. It’s a great meme that is very relevent to art history. The original image was very iconic. Warhol’s was image was influential as well. The image inspired many others to copy it, as all great works of art do.
The same goes for Nighthawks, and to a lesser extent “that’s what she said.”
But all of this happened well before the internet. And this is a site about Intenet Memes. There may be new instances created online today, but if the meme was already huge prior to or outside of the internet, it should not be classified as an Internet Meme.
Hmm, more criteria to consider when submitting a meme.
I just realized how often Wikipedia gets it wrong.
Okay, I understand what you mean by that. Oh well, it’s an awesome meme nevertheless and I’m just happy I got through to making an entry of it. I’ll get to work on the internet meme I’m supposed to be working on in a couple of minutes, so expect another entry from me on the way (you already know what it is).
Hmm, I should get to work as well. I’ll look for photos, if I can get computer access in the next 20 minutes.
I remember when a video of a chimp scratching it’s butt, sniffing it’s finger, then falling out of the tree it was sitting in spread through e-mails some time in the 90’s. I wouldn’t be suprised if that chimp made it’s way to YouTube by now…
I’m not sure if it is quite memetic enough, but it was viral nonetheless
*A-ha!! Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeprCmg3Crg
Ah cool. I noticed that many people have uploaded that video. The link I had just happened to be the first one I found.
I found this pearl on page 10.
Need moar early memes.
Kilroy was Here
kilroy is forshour an early meme
Kilroy is like the first widespread IRL meme. Personally, I love Kilroy.
ummm… im not sure, but CHEEEEEEEEEEEENN from touhou might be an early meme. i believe it started from the M1 comedy contest. not sure though
EDIT: Crap, do you mean like memes that are really old?