From Gene to Meme: The Rhetoric of Thought Contagion in Koji Suzuki’s Ring Cycle
This chapter focuses on three such harmonies: conflation of biology and technology; propagation; and transgression of the gap between narrative and observer. Hermetic categorization, however, has a tendency to break down. All imposed segregation, even that as seemingly pure as the digital one and zero, exists in a world that is unavoidably messy, variable, and heterogeneous that is to say, analog. No separation, not even the digital binary, is discrete enough to prevent the eventual intrusion of noise into the system. To explore the implications of seepage in The Ring, it is productive to begin with the concept of the virus. A virus is literally a biological pathogen, but of course it has a technological double. In The Ring, these analogous yet seemingly distinct entities become fused. Soon after watching the cursed videotape, the films protagonist Rachel Keller begins to manifest physical symptoms of its influence, such as nosebleeds and burn marks on her body.