“Viruses of the Mind” is an essay by British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, first published in the book Dennett and His Critics: Demystifying Mind (1993). The essay discusses how religion can be viewed as a meme*, an idea previously expressed by Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976). Dawkins analyzes the propagation of religious ideas and behaviors as a memetic virus, analogous to how biological and computer viruses spread.
Dawkins stresses his claim that religious beliefs do not spread as a result of evidence in their support, but typically by cultural transmission, in most cases from parents or from charismatic individuals. He refers to this as involving “epidemiology, not evidence”. (X)
*A meme is “an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. The word meme originated with Richard Dawkins’ 1976 book The Selfish Gene. The concept of language as a virus was explored in The Electronic Revolution by William S. Burroughs
Ah yes, gaze upon my trash collection. I was not kidding when I said I’ve been watching almost nothing but 8oo10Cats/TBFGQOTY for the past few weeks. So pretty much everything is just an assortment of face studies and junk I found funny. Rachel’s face comes directly from here cause it’s fucking beautiful.
I need to do a page of just Joe being a beautiful freak and Jon being adorable cause right now it’s mostly Jimmy causeIreallylikehisface.
I really need to work on personal stuff ahahahawhoops.
i think one of the most amazing things about conversing with richard siken about johnlock isn’t that we get to rub it in other ships/fandom’s faces but that this is an example of a fandom, specifically a fandom advocating for a queer ship, getting attention - positive attention.
it’s so easy to make fun of fandoms. superwholock… shipping wars… gross fanfic and fanart… it’s so easy. and in some aspects, understandable. at times, fans can get out of hand and people can get hurt. but there’s always a risk with widespread love for something, isn’t there? on the other side, however, amazing opportunities arise! we get to communicate with the writers or the actors or in this instance, with a wonderful, devoted poet who is just trying to have fun and serve the people well.
siken, it seems to me, looks at the sherlock fandom and the johnlock shippers as people who have a passion for something, people who are incredibly intelligent and worthy of attention and positive reinforcement. he’s a figurehead and spokesperson for queer representation and great poetry validating this concept of a “ship,” something that is so often treated as a pathetic joke mostly because it’s popular with women. this is happening in our fandom not (just) because john/sherlock is a popular pairing, but because the fans’ devotion for these two characters is applicable for other fandoms and even other romances that don’t get enough credit because they’re queer.
obviously, the greater meaning of this communication could be a stretch on my part because i’m not as informed on the situation or bob’s reasons for unveiling himself. probably should go snoop some more. either way, it seems that this is an award-winning poet basically pulling up at the OTP drive-thru and saying “hello yes, i’ve been ordering from the phone for a few months now and i’ve really grown fond of your product. i’d like to just thank you for being here and tell you that i see you. also can i please have a librarian/booklover trope with a side of commitment issues? thanks again, love the work.”
like do you understand that this is a big deal in regards to visability? so many times have male/male or female/female pairings been thrown aside as some sort of “lustful wannabe writer teenage girl” phase and never really seen as a plea for representation or just damn good romance! especially with characters as known as holmes and watson! i’m literally so awed by this right now! siken is lovely for treating us so well and writing for us and talking to us and seeing us! reading our work and answering our asks! like i’m so thankful for it! thank you bob, seriously!
but overuse of exclamation points aside: this is wonderful. and i, along with everyone else following this news, am very thankful for this (lack of a better word) validation. he’s so kind about it all, too, which is great.
plus, i think this is huge step for fans and shippers of all fandoms, not just sherlock.
so thank you, richard, and keep on shipping our hot mess doctor/detective pairing. you’re honestly so great.