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'Casually Pepper Spraying Cop' Meme Takes Off
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'Casually Pepper Spraying Cop' Meme Takes Off

America

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And the spraying of protesters at U.C. Davis has also spawned a visual Internet meme, a repeated theme that's mutated and gone viral.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Campus police Lieutenant John Pike can now be seen embedded in iconic paintings, courtesy of photo editing software.

BLOCK: And, Robert, one of these caught my eye on Facebook over the weekend. It's Officer Pike making his way through the George Seurat pointillist painting from the 1880s, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." He is pepper-spraying elegant ladies as they sit daintily under parasols.

SIEGEL: Yes. I've seen it. Here's another one making the rounds: Officer Pike zapping that howling figure in Edvard Munch's painting, "The Scream."

BLOCK: And Pike's images made his way to Andrew Wyeth's painting, "Christina's World." Christina is getting a face-full of pepper spray.

SIEGEL: And in the famous John Trumbull painting that shows the signers of the "Declaration of Independence," Officer Pike is there, too, dousing the document itself with orange spray.

BLOCK: You can see that image and the Seurat painting and find more at npr.org.

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