11/22/11

Pepper Spraying Cop Strikes Again...and Again...and Again

I know I love a lot of things. Typical fangirl I guess. But THIS is something I really really love. A brand new meme brought to you by the recent blatant injustices perpetuated on peaceful protesters by some overreacting police officers.

"Pepper Spraying Cop" has turned from an actual villainous moment in this unfortunate man's personhood into a hilarious wave of internet art in which said cop (Although, to be fair...there are so many more than just this one and I bet he's really confused about the right thing to do and also being prompted by his chief and other authority figures.) has been placed into comedic situations in which he is shown pepper-spraying other unworthy recipients.

Like The Daily Show, Monty Python's Flying Circus, every Charlie Chaplin movie ever and plenty of Looney Tunes episodes, comedy in general, (and satire in specific) can reverberate the sentiments of the masses...



In this case, the new Pepper Spraying Cop meme represents thousands and thousands of us (likely millions)  who watch the news every night and go, "Seriously? They pepper-sprayed people for THAT?" The disturbing trend is not in and of itself funny at all. It's disgusting, bizarre and eerie for what it foretells. That peaceful protests and the right to gather and make our voices heard is not, in fact, our right anymore. You see, when something is your right, you have the right do it. Said right includes not being exposed on purpose to poisonous chemicals, but you know...I guess some people think that's a gray area.

But when we can all collectively make a joke that alludes to the fact that these cops might as well be spraying Fraggles or famous film characters or other innocent bystanders, not only is that funny, it's amplifying our thoughts and feelings across the landscape of pop culture. It allows us to look at each other, virtually and go, "I'm not crazy, that's really wrong, right? Okay, I thought so."

I don't like to get too political on this blog. This blog is about escapism and empowerment and self-actualization through media and geekdom. In this case, there's more than a little crossover.

For more intelligent commentary on just exactly why such violent and militaristic actions are being taken out on some of the Occupy protesters, read THIS. It really boils it down if you don't understand what's going on with all this stuff lately.

That is all.

P.S. Before a can of worms is opened up in the comments, I feel it necessary to say that I come from a military family and my father was a prison guard for many years and he did his job well and I'm SUPER proud of our military legacy. I also believe that the police are almost always just trying to do the right thing.

I also believe that some of the Occupy camps did need to be cleared out. So I'm not 100% pro Occupy camps and protesters all the time. Like many others, I think it's time to organize a little bit better. Voices have been heard, now make some plans and demands for real change and action. But the pepper-spraying of students sitting down, without weapons, who aren't threatening anyone (let alone the police) is just plain wrong. I also believe that sometimes the police escalate situations.

Think of it like Gary Oldman's speech in "Batman Begins" toward the end of the movie. (Yes, I realize that this is an absurd leap in logic, but I'm going with it.) Batman escalated everything by bringing this renegade force to Gotham and therefore tempting some of the crazier criminals to rise to his level of shenanigans. He meant it for good, but it inevitably caused some zany backlash that may not have occurred had he not showed up on the scene. (I'm sorry...I've been playing Arkham City.)

The same is true of undue police brutality. If the police show up at a peaceful protest and start firing rubber bullets and spraying people and beating people...yeah...that's going to cause some violent reactions that may not have ever popped up in the first place that will then be used as reverse justification for unnecessary actions.

But here's the thing about the internet, the word can now be spread and shared about that absurdity. In this case...in the form of a hilarious meme.

Okay. That is all. For real this time.

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