Memes that AREN’T so good

So this meme goes around, where you plug in a sample of text and it tells you who you write like.

I give it four selections from the prologue of Midnight Never Come and get four different results, ranging from Dan Brown to James Fenimore Cooper. I roll my eyes at the uselessness of the meme and move on.

Then nojojojo links to this post, which points out that <sigh> yet again it’s the same old carnival of white guys, with a tiny number of white women (and Jewish men) tossed in for “variety.” Sure, it’s a stupid meme, who really cares — except some of us do care, because that’s a problem that gets iterated over and over in other places, and it got old a long time ago. (Especially the responses the guy gave when called on the homogeneity of his list.)

THEN, just to thicken the plot, Jim MacDonald at Making Light points out that the meme results come with advertising for a well-known (and well-criticized) vanity press. Yes, folks, this appears to be a promotional tool for a scam.

So. What started out looking like a dumb meme turns out to be sketchy from several different directions, quite apart from its failure to carry out its supposed purpose in an effective way.

Meh. Give me more Old Spice riffs, please. This one was broken from the start.

Edit: It appears that the promotion of the vanity press came after the meme took off. Still. Not cool.

0 Responses to “Memes that AREN’T so good”

  1. auriaephiala

    I’m glad I didn’t bother with it.

    Even if one was only looking for writers with distinctive writing styles, there are many women writers who would qualify. Toni Morrison, Flannery O’Connor, and Rosellen Brown come immediately to mind.

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