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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Today, we mark the one-week anniversary of the Tase heard 'round the world.

On this most solemn of days, I proffer one humble request: Would somebody please Tase me, bro?

As one UF student reaches in vain for a 901st second of fame, I realize someone must fill the news vacuum left behind.

I am such a man.

Some of you may feel that the Tasering of a fellow student is old news, and perhaps some of you can no longer remember his or her name - this is my point exactly.

It would be my worst nightmare realized if we became distracted by the truly insignificant happenings of the world. This is how the mass media manipulate us into submission.

I, for one, have more important things to worry about than private security contractors in a desert 7,000 miles away. Nor can I be bothered by government housekeeping in Mother Russia. China's economics, disease in Africa - these events clutter the news landscape.

And so, I beg you: Please Tase me, bro.

Please give everyone news that matters. Please give everybody a cause worth fighting for. Please give them something important to protest. Please show us how we can change the world.

We're not that different, you and I. We both want the same things: security for our families, good health, some prosperity … and spinners on our cars, of course.

But I differ in one key point - I want nothing more in life than to be featured on YouTube's most-viewed video of the week.

That student who got Tasered at UF, now a martyr for all our sins, never even asked anyone for attention, and look how selflessly we told his or her story.

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Together, with my thirst for fame and the public's hunger to shamelessly declare its own news, we are unstoppable.

In case you already forgot what I was saying, I will ask you again: Please Tase me, bro.

Andy Warhol said, "In the future, 15 people will be famous." He also said, "In 15 minutes, everybody will be famous."

Of course, Warhol only said these things to confuse people who were expecting another phrase, but that's not important.

I will tell you what's important: I don't want to be famous for 15 minutes - I want to be famous in 15 minutes and for as long as the water will hold.

But I wish it were that simple. How naïve of me.

So much has changed in this post-Sept. 17 world. Today, to be Tasered and videotaped is to be unoriginal. It's been done. It's boring. It's not enough. I doubt CNN would even put me on the crawl at the bottom of the screen. YouTube would laugh me off the Web.

Begrudgingly, I understand. I need to come up with something new, something bold, something brave.

Apart from handing out unauthorized "I Voted" stickers during the next Student Government election, what can I do?

I must find someone more important than a junior Democratic senator from Massachusetts who once ran for president - is Bob Dole still around?

And I need to be more ruthless in my questions.

"Isn't it true that you conceded the 1996 election when you really lost?"

"Didn't you and Bill Clinton once play a game of checkers in the White House basement?"

"Mr. Dole, isn't it true that you never actually used the Viagra you advertised?"

And at "Viagra," my fate will be sealed. I will be deemed disruptive and the fun will begin. I must rehearse my cries for help.

Above all, I must figure out a way to be heard without really saying anything.

If this doesn't work, my only hope is for OJ to get off, only to be arrested again.

Vincent Massaro is a senior majoring in journalism. His column appears on Mondays.

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