Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past 24 hours, you’ve seen the memes that surfaced of Lt. John Pike, also known as the “Casually Pepper Spraying Cop.”
The internet had a blast today making fun of the image the UC Davis campus cop who was captured on film pepper-spraying seated Occupy protesters.
Photoshop geniuses pasted his picture onto everything from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”
Memes are nothing new. We’ve all seen them before. The truth is, these memes will be irrelevant in just a few days.
Buzzfeed’s Matt Stopera brought up an interesting point while talking to NPR. Stopera argued that while memes are merely trends that quickly fade, they are forcing a younger crowd to read the news.
The images spread on sites like Buzfeed, Tumblr, and Wired which are popular with a younger demographic.
“The fact that it’s spreading on Tumblr means that it’s getting to a whole other, younger audience,” he said in the interview. “When you see this image, you wonder, why is the guy pepper-spraying? You go to Google and search it and see the video. The video is so powerful I think it can only get more eyes on it.”
Hilarious and educational? We approve.