Sunday, April 27, 2008

Don't Taze Me Bro

One of the news stories/pop culture phenomena that occurred between the writing and the publishing of Schadenfreude, Baby was the YouTube sensation: "Don't Taze me, Bro." Leave it to YouTube to turn issues of political protest and the use of force by police into a comedic catch phrase.

In case you spent the past year living in a cave: "Don't tase me, bro" was shouted by journalism student Andrew Meyer of the University of Florida as officers removed him from a speech by Sen. John Kerry. News networks may have aired the clip to spark debate about how police handled the situation, but most of its viewers were rubbernecking or giggling at the student's choice of words. Deep, dark, Schadenfreude.

"Don't Taze Me Bro" topped the 2007 list of most memorable quotes compiled by the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations. And my excuse for mentioning it today is a follow up story published online at about changes in policy at the University of Florida following the event.

Incidentally, the second item in the list of most memorable quotes for 2007 could also qualify as Schadenfreude. It came from Lauren Upton, the Miss Teen USA contestant, who surely wished people would just forget all about her incoherent response to a question about why one-fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a map:

Why did people revel so much in poor Lauren's embarassment? It made all of us kinda-goofy-looking folks feel a little bit superior. I may never win a swimsuit competition, but I can find America on my map. The universe is in balance.