Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Paranoia makes people really, really stupid.

You've seen the Aqua Teen Hunger Force "bomb scare" on all the networks and you may have heard statements from Boston officials such as, "We're not going to let this go without looking at the further roots of how this happened to cause the panic in this city."

Hmm. I don't think they need to look very far. The cause of panic lies not in the harmless guerilla marketing campaign, but the mind boggling over-reaction of Boston law enforcement and local officials. (We can blame the culture of fear created by the federal government and the news media too, if you like.)

Just what level of terror are we talking about here? "It had a very sinister appearance," Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley told reporters. "It had a battery behind it, and wires."

Holy shit! Wires! Hide the children and grab the duct tape!

Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke praised Boston authorities for sharing their knowledge quickly with Washington officials and the public. "Hoaxes are a tremendous burden on local law enforcement and counter-terrorism resources and there's absolutely no place for them in a post-9/11 world."

Valid point - if it were a hoax. It's a marketing campaign. It's not pretending to be a bomb or anything other than an advertisement for a cartoon. It's comforting to know our Homeland Security spokesman has such a fine grasp of those tricky one syllable words.

Also of note, the campaign has been up in ten major cities across the US for the past two to three weeks. Way to go with the quick response! If they were real bombs (rather than LED cartoon characters) we'd all be... uh... yeah...

At least I know what to get all my friends in Boston for Christmas.

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