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Lt. John Pike: Is it wrong to make fun of the UC-Davis pepper spray cop?

Getting pepper-sprayed, most people can agree, is not much fun.

Getting pepper-sprayed, most people can agree, is not much fun. Your eyes feel like they're on fire, you feel like you can't breathe, sometimes you even vomit from the pain.

So why then is the Internet having so much fun with the image of Lt. John Pike, the UC-Davis campus cop captured on film this weekend pepper-spraying sitting Occupy protesters at point-blank range? Anyonymous Internet wags have been Photoshopping him into everything from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" for days. Why, of all things, did this turn comedic? Is everything a meme these days?

In short, yes. But we think it goes deeper than that. The abuse in the pictures is so blatant, so baldly debunking those claims that the only police violence taking place at the Occupy protests comes when officers are provoked, that the only logical response to it is to laugh at the insanity of it all.

So laugh at these, full-heartedly, without feeling guilty.

More on UC-Davis:

Are the memes of Lt. John Pike making younglings read the news?

Pepper-spray cop suspended without leave

Students silently confront UC-Davis chancellor Linda Katehi