Thursday, January 31, 2008

01-31-07: The Day Boston Freaked Out, Big Time

Blog post not withstanding, I'd like to point out that today is also my mother's 60th birthday, and she doesn't look or act a day over 40. Seriously. I'm totally not kissing her ass right now, I mean it. My mom is a hell of an awesome person, and over the years she (and my dad, equally as awesome) has done a lot more for me than any mom should for their kid. I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday!

It was a harmless thing, really. More or less a primitive Lite Brite with magnets on the back. A simple, illuminated picture of a simple, foul-mouthed character from one hell of a hillarious cartoon show for grown-ups.

A marketing firm tasked with promoting a movie based on said cartoon hired two performance artists to hang a number of these Lite Brite knockoffs around the city of Boston, as they had done for a number of other major cities nationwide. Hundreds of these harmless devices hung in obtuse spots in these cities for two weeks, glowing warmly while they shot the finger at people passing them by.

And no one said a word until one Boston commuter, obviously drunk on the government-spawned paranoia about "tur'rests" and "enemies of freedom" and other things the Bush Administration wants you to be afraid of while it pilfers the taxpayers' money, had a fit of panic and called the Boston Police.

What happened next has been called laughable by most, embarrassing to those involved, and to this very day, still called a necessary reaction by the very people who overreacted in the first place. The Boston Mooninite Bomb Scare. It happened one year ago today (Fark Thread).

Yep, a little green dude flipping the bird nearly brought the City of Boston to a standstill, and showed the world just how badly the US Government has messed with the heads of its citizens.

But for some reason, it only happened in Boston. In several other cities around the country, dozens of similar devices had been hung as part of the geurrilla marketing campaign behind ATHF:MFFT. Out of the dozen or so cities involved, only Boston flipped its lid. Not even terror-prone New York City so much as flinched.

Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens were arrested, and when they gave their first post-incident press conference, they pulled a fast one on the media and kept the topic of conversation strictly to Hairstyles of the 70s. Hairstyles of the 70s! Genius! Of course, this didn't make BPD or Homeland Security very happy, but what were they going to do? They just spent millions in taxpayer money to assess and eliminate the threat of a few Lite Brites with vulgar little dudes on them.

The guys got off with community service, and Turner got a little free publicity for the movie out of it in the end. Boston, to this day, maintains that, if given the same situation to do over again, they'd do it just like they did the first time: Act completely irrational because they're terrified little children, afraid of the terrorism boogieman. They've allowed themselves to be told what's right and wrong by Good King Georgie, and as a result, they've made complete asses of themselves.

And hey, come to think of it, that exposed a serious tactical flaw in a major US city's terrorism defense and response plans: YOU JUMP AT THE DROP OF A HAT. You might want to fix that, Boston. Terrorists aren't just stupid, backwards Arabs ignorant of the modern world, you know...

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