I know it’s been a couple of days since the Great Boston Cartoon Terror Scare, but I haven’t been able to comment on it until now.
To sum up, a couple of free-lance “publicists/performance artists” hired by Turner Broadcasting (a division of Time Warner) to publicize Aqua Teen Hunger Force stuck up a bunch of electronic ads for the cartoon around Boston. But they didn’t tell officials about it, and had the poor fortune of carrying out their stunt at the same time a couple of potential pipe bombs were discovered. Concerned officials promptly reacted as if the jazzed-up Lite Brites were terrorist devices, and threw the city into a panic.
A lot of people have mocked and derided Beantown for overreacting, and I’m hardly one to stick up for the Massholes. But in this case, I think they reacted properly.
A lot of people tend to forget that two of the 9/11 flights originated in Boston. Also, Muslims in Boston are fighting to build a huge mosque in the city, and have filed a whole bunch of lawsuits against those who have criticized the project. With that history and that tension, along with a whole slew of other factors, a certain “hope for the best but plan for the worst” attitude is not only understandable, but recommended.
The assholes who did the “guerrilla marketing” stunt aren’t exactly helping themselves, either. They held a “press conference” where all they would talk about was the dreadlocks one of them wore, and 70’s hairstyles in general. And now it’s come out that they saw the police reacting so frantically to the devices, and didn’t step forward to end the scare — but, rather, videotaped it.
These two asshats need to spend some serious time behind bars. And the big companies behind their asshattery got off easy with a mere $2-million-dollar settlement.
On the plus side, the Boston emergency crews had a good exercise. And that’s better than nothing.