I can haz photoshop ur Pepperspray Cop

When does copycatting become a meme? A new craze has kicked up in the US in the wake of an “occupy” protest at the University of California in Davis where police lieutenant John Pike strolled down a line of students sitting with arms linked, and casually pepper sprayed the lot of them. And then the photoshopping started.

Source: Knowyourmeme.com

This picture has now become the germ of a new meme: Inserting Lt Pike into the Christ with Little Children, Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence and Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. More rapidly followed, and whole pages are now dedicated to new examples as the meme takes hold (and anger at the police in the US intensifies).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJmmnMkuEM&w=560&h=315]

This has become a major vein of Internet humour in the last year or so — not a new one, but the rapid spread of a couple of humorous photoshoppings to a global humour meme has been hugely entertaining. The best so far is surely Photoshoplooter tumblr blog that popped up post the London riots in August.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC_dSEY81BY&w=420&h=315]

Humorous, sure. Even laugh out loud funny. And because the photoshoppers use the highly visible images from mainstream media as a source, it’s also a fantastic meta-critique of globalised wire-service media, where five or six images become the sole visual record of events — scores of websites and newspapers, all using the same images.



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