Look, the guy here was going for a good gag. Kendall Jenner’s much-reviled Pepsi ad, in which she decides to join a protest and then quickly heals America’s racial wounds by offering a cop of a can of soda, has been parodied widely, and so in a Portland city council meeting, one protestor attempted to play off of that, handing the city’s mayor a Pepsi in the midst of a heated exchange. Would the mayor smile and look at his cohorts on the council, minds blown, as the police officers in Jenner’s Pepsi ad did? Would he realize the clever way the protestor had subverted the advertisement by showing its inapplicability to real-world resistance?
No. He sort of freaked out and watched as the man was apprehended by authorities and ushered back to his seat. “Not a smart move,” the mayor says, several times, still sort of freaked out. As the entire room murmurs in frightened confusion, you can see the guy sort of looking around, holding up his own can of Pepsi, waiting to see who got the joke.
Look: Delivery is hard. This guy’s setup—“The language of resistance has not been properly translated to you, so this is for you”—does not prime anyone to think a joke is coming. It makes you think: This man wants to hurt me. He probably could’ve brought up the Jenner ad a little more subtly and pulled the can of Pepsi out while remaining seated. You also need to know your audience: Apparently Portland city council meetings have been hotbeds of protest in recent months, so no one here was looking for a clever appropriation of viral outrage to lighten the mood.
He could probably take a cue from the chill bros who recently requested the city of San Clemente to erect a statue to Paul Walker. They get how to fuck up a city council meeting.