Memes for World Peace?
Today was perhaps the first time a head of state makes reference to an Internet meme in a speech. This is both funny and potentially really interesting.
Mexican President Felipe Calderón during a speech given to the national delegation participating in the Panamerican Games made reference to a popular Internet meme known as El Fua. Calderón said:
You must know how much your are worth and you should go the extra mile… I was going to say something else, well, El Fua! (laughs) for being Mexicans, for the value of being Mexicans, for the pride for being Mexicans, feel it there.
Ethan Zuckerman’s Cute Cat Theory of the Internet argues that cute pictures of cats (i.e., memes) are precondition to the spread of more powerful ideas, like democracy. Perhaps the Arab Spring revolution was one of those ideas, we don’t know for sure, but if a silly Internet meme made it to the president’s mind, could the same happen to other bottom-up ideas? Could one of those be a change of policies related to the war on drugs? One can hope.