Butterfly in the Sky
November 15, 2011 § 3 Comments
Yesterday I ended up teaching my College Composition class about the joys of memetics, and challenged the assumption –made explicit in our reading for the day– that folklore generally, and urban legends in particular, must be transmitted orally in order to qualify as such. As evidence I told them the touching tale of several hot new teenage drug trends, first Jenkem and then the unfolding saga over vodka gummies, a story that’s been rumbling along quietly for the last few months and which has (d)evolved to include vodka-soaked tampon insertion and what the silly old willys in the lamestream media are describing as “butt-chugging,” which sure sounds like something kids today would do!
The lesson went over well, in part because –in this case anyway– folklore can be very funny. Folklore is also very easy to watch unfold, especially online, since all it requires is basic plausibility. And basic plausibility (at least in the “if you can cite it you can say it” sense) is one of the things that INTERNET does best. In some ways, folklore is the discipline best (“best” = not better as much as most naturally calibrated, in possession of an existing language etc) equipped to deal with online shenanigans. Verily was my saving grace after I defected from English, because BOOX???? In conclusion, poop-gas, it’s helping teach the Youth of America to read!