Let’s Revisit “Don’t Tase Me, Bro”
Welcome to part 23 of our Internet Nostalgia series, which looks back at phenomena that captured the internet’s imagination and attention for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. This series looks back at those olden times and what they told us about the internet and ourselves. If you have a suggested topic, email me at email@example.com. Last week: “Bros Icing Bros.” This week: “Don’t Tase Me, Bro.” (It’s a Bro fortnight.)
When: September 17, 2007.
The Story: Andrew Meyer was a freshman at the University of Florida who was generally well-liked but known for being perhaps a wee bit, oh, too passionate about issues he cared about. One of those issues was the 2004 Presidential election, in which George W. Bush won re-election over Sen. John Kerry. Meyer had recently read a book by the quixotic (and ever-crusading) journalist Greg Palast called Armed Madhouse, which argued (among other things) that the 2004 Presidential election may have been “rigged” (Meyer’s word, not Palast’s) for Bush. Meyer felt that Kerry had conceded the election in the wake of “voting irregularities” too easily, and he wanted to ask him about it. And with Kerry’s appearance at the University of Florida, Meyer had his opportunity.
The problem was that he wasn’t the only one who had a question for the Senator. After two hours of questions, the moderator said “we have time for one more,” and that “one more” was not Meyer’s question. So the freshman, dialed-up as ever, grabbed a microphone and began to talk. Police officers in the auditorium, already eyeing Meyer warily, began to close in on him, but Kerry insisted Meyer have the opportunity to ask his question. Meyer handed his phone to someone standing nearby and told them to start recording. And then this happened:
Meyer ended up spending the night in jail, but that would be the least of his punishments. (Charges…