It was once said in another context that being in close quarters with such a volatile person was like being locked in a phone booth with an enraged ferret.
Divorce filed on behalf of Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, quoted in the Las Vegas Sun
Meme, the idiom of the Web. From the Greek mimema, meaning “something imitated.”
Figaro will miss Jim Gibbons, who just lost the Republican primary for governor. He dallied (or something) with a former Playboy centerfold and a cocktail waitress, then claimed he hadn’t had sex with anyone, including his wife, in decades. (That admission probably shocked Nevadans more than the centerfold and cocktail waitress.)
Best of all, he’s responsible for the enraged ferret, an expression that has entered the zeitgeist as an Internet meme.
A meme can be a phrase, a picture, a joke, a grammatically challenged cat, or anything else that can be imitated. Coined by Richard Dawkins in his book, The Selfish Gene, the meme is the cultural version of a gene, something that spreads and replicates itself in the cultural body.
So why does Figaro call a meme the Internet version of an idiom? Because, like an idiom, it can stand on its own, has a discrete meaning, and can get imitated. Like a barrelful of monkeys or wooden nickels, the idiom and the meme are in the same kettle of fish. The “enraged ferret” is a cat on a hot tin roof, without the cat and the roof.
Someone has already reserved the web address. Expect LOL Ferrets to follow.