The joy of viral art inspired by UCD pepper-spray video

"LeDejeuner sur L'herbe," images of the Founding Fathers, even the Sistine Chapel. None has been immune from being pepper-sprayed by the now virally famous police officer at the University of California at Davis.

There you are, enjoying just another day at the office. There you are, just doing your job as best you can.

How can you possibly know that one little pro forma action of yours will spout hundreds of imitations across the Web?

This must have been a thought of Lt. John Pike, the University of California at Davis policeman who had clearly eschewed paper pushing for finger pushing.

Pepper-spraying cop meets Edouard Manet's 'Le Dejeuner sur l'Herbe' (The Luncheon on the Grass). James Alex/Tumblr
Lt. Pike shows up in Andrew Wyeth's 'Christina's World.' James Alex/Tumblr

Should you have been suffering from unreasonably stingy eyes of late, you might have missed video of Pike mistaking his pepper spray for his plant food and a group of seated students for his rhododendrons.

If only the video could have shown a little more of his face, I am sure we would have seen a man entirely focused on growing the next orderly generation of university students. Some might have been temporarily fooled, however, by the fact that, before he begins to emit his fluid, he holds up the pepper spray can as if he were a magician holding up a sword before he chops his assistant in half.

Naturally, millions of viewers were enthralled by his performance. So much so that (ironic) tributes to his bravery have, well, peppered the Web.

Pike even gets to Michelangelo's work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Know Your Meme

Perhaps the sheer plethora of these is a reaction to the fact that Pike has been suspended from duty. (I have, though, heard unconfirmed reports that he is being encouraged to go for a trial with the Oakland Raiders this week.)

I present just a few of the (not so flattering) artistic tributes, courtesy of Know Your Meme. I do this in the hope that, this being Thanksgiving week, we can be grateful for all the good things in the world, as they occasionally buttress us against some of the chilly red peppers of life.

A new subject in Archibald Willard's 'The Spirit of '76.' James Alex/Tumblr

 

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