The events that took place on the UC Davis campus a few days ago are pretty hard to watch. But that doesn't mean that people haven't taken a good, hard look at the incident. People have drawn parallels to historical events involving protests - as well as used the brutal video to further the discussion surrounding the state of First Amendment rights in this country.
And of course, the internet has decided that it's perfect meme fodder.
The most indelible image from the video that went viral last week is definitely UC Davis Campus Police Lieutenant John Pike casually pepper spraying the protestors, who appear to be sitting on the ground in an absolutely peaceful manner. The few-second clip of the high-powered, red-orange spray covering the faces of the students has been played thousands of times across news outlets since last Friday.
If you somehow have yet to see the video, check it out below:
Now, the image of Lt. Pike spraying the students has spawned its own Tumblr blog, the aptly titled Pepper Spraying Cop.
Little did we know that Pepper Spraying Cop has cracked down on so many famous moments in history!! This Tumblr will help document the long pepper spraying arm of this officer of the law!
And it does just that - by inserting the pepper spraying cop into various films, works of art, and famous photographs from history. Here are some of my favorite images from the blog:
Pepper Spray Cop ruins Abbey Road shoot -
Pepper Spray Cop Grinches Cindy Lou Who:
Pepper Spray Cop at the dawn of creation:
Pepper Spray Cop makes immolation a little worse:
Reddit has joined in the Lt. Pike meme fun as well. Some pertinent street art has been spotted. Only the spray has been replaced by butterflies:
Before I could think "That's going to be a really popular t-shirt design pretty soon," someone on reddit already made himself the t-shirt.
Memes pop up sometimes even when the source is decidedly less than funny. But they have a way of keeping things alive, and once you become a popular meme, the memory of you or your actions takes a long time to fade.