Leave it to the Internet to boil everyday scandals down to a catchy meme! Enthusiastic Photoshoppers have taken a photo of UC Davis campus police lieutenant John Pike pepper spraying Occupy UC Davis protestors this past Friday and injected the unfriendly officer into great works of art from the Sistine Chapel to Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” — not to mention mocking up a Twilight riff and finding a way to shout out to Denver Broncos’ QB Tim Tebow.
The meme plays on Lt. Pike’s apparent casualness in blasting the harsh chemical into the eyes of the nonviolent protesters — two of whom were consequently admitted to the hospital. As a result of public uproar over the altercation at Saturday’s Occupy Wall Street off-shoot, Pike has been suspended pending an investigation. While Lt. Pike’s fate is decided, check out the latest and greatest iterations of the meme as you laugh through the harsh chemical tears.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Is it really true that, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry? Can you appreciate Lt. Pike being thrown into all these different contexts, or is it a disservice to those who were injured and arrested on Friday? If you’re a fan, where would you like to see Lt. Pike and his pepper spray can next?