Andrew W. Meyer, an undergraduate Journalism student at the University of Florida asked some very hard questions to former presidential candidate, John Kerry during one his speeches at the University. Some of them included why John Kerry did not insist on having President Bush impeached. Meyer also asked what it meant that John Kerry and George Bush were both Bonesmen, members of secret organization, Skull and Bones. The microphone was then cut off from Meyer and then the police officers moved in. Meyer resisted arrest and was eventually dragged near the exit and was “tased” with a stun gun while Meyer screamed, “don’t tase me, bro!”
The video of the entire incident became extremely viral on the Internet within the matter of a couple days. “The Meyer arrest video has received 2.6 million views and almost 40,000 new comments since Monday [within 2 days],” stated Wired. People have even created mash-ups for the video. The most creative I have seen so far is a mash-up of the incident with M.C. Hammer’s Can’t Touch This:
This parody got over 600,000 views in about a month and one week.
What makes a video like the one above so viral? When watching the above video, you can easily find yourself laughing, but at the same time think, “Oh my God, that really happened, I cannot believe the police actually tased him. That’s police brutality right there.” As optimistic human beings, we don’t want to be constantly thinking about negative things that happen in the media… Fortunately for us, the Internet is clever. It helps us make light out of serious situations. And the expression uttered from young Andrew’s mouth, “Don’t tase me, bro” provided the perfect comic material to accentuate that cleverness.
The role that the Internet played has made Meyer happy though. “While Meyer was incarcerated, state investigators say the jail recorded two phone calls in which Meyer ‘appears to sound elated that the arrest has occurred and at one point states that he is happy this has happened.’ They spent a lot of time talking about all the “media exposure the incident has generated,’ the investigators say.” And the police that were involved in the incident were all reinstated. Meyer even told the police officers that what they were doing wasn’t wrong when being driven to jail.
I place Meyer in the YouTube Hall of Shame along with LonelyGirl15 and Chris Crocker.