Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling for October 06, 2007
Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling Evolution of a Hip, Ironic Catchphrase September 17, 2007 The first time the phrase is used, by a disruptive student at a John Kerry speech, it appears to have been meant literally and non-ironically. As in: "Please don't tase me." Man: Don't tase me, bro! September 18, 2007 After video of the incident sweeps the Web, the phrase is instantly co-opted by hipsters as an ironic phrase with little or no meaning. Man #1: OK, see ya later. Man #2: Don't tase me, bro. September 20, 2007 But the phrase loses its coolness factor when less-than-cutting-edge hipsters begin using it in an actually meaningful way, roughly translated as: "Don't get on my case, familiar person." Man: You forgot the Sun Chips. Woman: Don't tase me, bro. September 21, 2007, 10:13 a.m. Despite its declining hip status, the phrase receives another jolt of pop culture relevance when the Leave-Britney-Alone Guy uses it in one of his YouTube diatribes. Leave-Britney-Alone Guy: Hasn't she been through enough? Don't tase her, bro! September 21, 2007, 4:18 p.m. But overexposure eventually strips the phrase of its cachet, and its use, regardless of ironic intent, becomes a mark of total dorkiness. Phone: Don't tase me, bro. Man: Is that your ringtone?! September 22, 2007 The phrase falls into general disuse, only occasionally used by the unhippest of demographic groups, such as old people and toddlers. September 27, 2007 The phrase roars back as an ultra-hip nostalgic retro-phrase, ironically evoking the earlier era of ten days earlier. Once again, the phrase has been stripped of any meaning, except post-modern nihilistic irony. Man: "Don't tase me, bro." September 30, 2007 But the death knell for the phrase is tolled when the former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan uses it in a television appearance, responding to accusations that he encouraged home buyers to use adjustable rate mortgages. Alan Greenspan: Don't tase me, bro. MEET THE PRESS October 1, 2007 All ironic and self-referential uses of the phrase discontinue, and it returns to the literal meaning it had when it was first created. But who knows what meanings the phrase will take on in the distant future of one or two weeks? Man: Don't tase me, bro!
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