Friday, January 25, 2013

The nine muses of social media

First in the pantheon of social-media muses comes Antipathy. It is she who inspires drunken late-night rants on facebook, intemperate blog-postings, fuming and fulmination in the comments. Invariably, she holds an opinion different to you. She disagrees just as much with the rest of the Muses. In fact, somehow, all of her opinions are always different to everyone else's opinions, no matter how paradoxical that may seem. She inspires in her devotees rage, ire, cantankerousness, and feelings of overwhelming self-righteousness.
SYMBOLS: Empty pint glass, the sword.
ASSOCIATED WITH: Ares, the God of war, who, according to some myths, she is having an affair with, although according to other myths, the people who tell the first set of myths are liars and out to be ashamed of themselves.

Long summer days, or late at night in front of the computer screen - these are the times devoted to Procrastina, the happiest of the muses. Her manifestations are extremely erratic, but when she does come her followers worship her at such length, and with such ardour, that pretty soon days, weeks, and even months have passed without their being aware of it. She is said to be amongst the most beautiful of her sisters, and it is perhaps this beauty that seems to inspire her followers to engage repeatedly in what seem the most mundane and pointless of activities - clicking on a link, refreshing a page to see if a comment has come up, looking at video after video after video of gerbils on the internet....
SYMBOLS: A Lolcat chasing a computer mouse, flowers.
OFTEN DEPICTED AS: A person with an empty computer for a head.

Narcissia is commonly depicted as a beautiful muse, the youngest amongst her sisters. She has a full, rich, and complex emotional life, which she is forever posting about, emailing about, taking quizzes about, etc. She takes frequent pictures of herself and posts them on the internet. Her worshippers are many, though they won't talk about it much as they prefer to talk about themselves, in as many social fora as possible.
SYMBOLS: The mirror, a camera. 
ASSOCIATED WITH: Herself, who else? (This can cause problems on certain social media websites with relationship buttons).

The most caring of the muses, Petitia is forever circulating amongst her friends emails, posts, and online forms about various causes, which she herself received from the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of the dog of a friend of a friend of hers. Her votaries will then circulate on these petitions, recruit others in the signing of these petitions, attend social events to do with these petitions, and so on. Petitia, however, is known to be one of the most easily persuaded of the Muses (less devoted souls might call her gullible) and will perform many favours for her worshippers upon being presented with a petition. She does not care for sacrifices at all - unless people are sacrificing their cash for her causes, that is.
SYMBOLS: A piece of paper and a pen.

Muse of inverted commas, semi-colons, apostrophes, the followers of Pedanticus are always ready to discuss the difference between litotes and meiosis, or weigh a non sequitur and an ad hominem in order to determine the mathematical difference between the two examples. They offer their exacting muse due worship by endlessly correcting friends and enemies, caring nothing for the context; many spend their time in penning emails to local newspapers about minor glitches they observed in the classified column. Although they have sent many emails and letters and made many phone calls in their time, they shun text messages: it is almost impossible to send a sternly-worded SMS.
SYMBOLS: A hair being cut with an axe, an ant being destroyed by an atom bomb, the head of a pin with her followers dancing upon it. 
DEPICTED AS: A question mark for a body, an ampersand for a face.

This mysterious muse is associated with contrasts: private and public, male and female. Her or perhaps his identity is fluid, and even the most knowledgeable amongst the followers of Androgina cannot truly say who she was yesterday, or will be today. The followers of Androgina are not always obvious, even to themselves, and occasionally they will have fights over who is a true follower of the Muse, and who is a fake follower. Many myths tell the story of how Androgina hops, in disguise, from computer to computer, from anonymous comment to anonymous comment, hearing much and revealing little.
SYMBOLS: The veiled cloak, light and dark
ASSOCIATED WITH: Hermes, Tiresias.

The muse of online love, Amoritus, looks upon with favour and blesses all unions made via websites, emails, text, etc. She inspires young men and women to write fervid emails full of fruity metaphors; however, it is said that some of her most devoted followers become cynical and jaded as they age.
SYMBOLS: Turtle doves, chocolates, roses. 
ASSOCIATED WITH: Venus, Eros, Cupid.

To this muse, a million rip-offs, knock-offs, unaccredited quotes, and copied blog posts is considered barely praise enough from her millions of devotees around the world. She is known by many names to these devotees: Plagisima and Imitatimus are merely the most common. She is honoured by repeated pressing of the CTRL + C function. Myths say that she frequently appears in large crowds, and although sometimes being hard to spot, will gradually reveal her glory to one and all.
SYMBOLS: A pair of scissors.
DEPICTED AS: A girl with a cuckoo sitting on her right shoulder and a fox standing by her side.

"O holy and holier/we summon Spamolia" - these are the words of the Spamolian hymn  with which, it is said, followers call Spamolia into the world. Although why they would have done so is a mystery, as, while Amoritus, Narcissia, and Procrastina are said to be the most beautiful amongst the muses - and while even Antipathy seems to have a sense of humour - Spamolia seems downright annoying. She is frequently associated with obsessive and robotic behaviour, and her followers will bear this out by endlessly circulating on to you emails and texts inspired by or written in honour of the Muse.
SYMBOLS:  Endless reams of paper.
DEPICTED AS: A naughty schoolgirl.
ASSOCIATED WITH: The son of the Governor of Ouagadougou, the Princess of Saudi Arabia, and various other dignitaries of fable and myth.


TimT said...

No prize for the first person who says 'but Tim, there are ten people in that picture....'

Caz said...

The two at the end, on the right, are twins.

TimT said...

Well I hadn't noticed that!

Caz said...

They count as one, so it's all good.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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