Birds, Bombs, Boston and Bewilderment


If you have been following this story from yesterday you might be under the impression that the folks in Boston massively overreacted. Some people are not under that impression, but then again some people are idiots. The fact that the press keep calling this a “terrorism hoax” is just disgusting. It wasn’t a hoax at all. It was an ad campaign for a cartoon network that had nothing to do with terrorism at all. The link with terrorism only came when the afore mentioned idiots assumed “electronics = bomb” and freaked the fuck out. Can I just say that I’m proud to live in one of the cities that has these things all over them as well where no one assumed they were terrorism related? Thats right, Boston wasn’t the only place. They are up in 8 other major cities. Here’s posts from our blogs in Austin and Chicago with photos of the local ones there. Funny, I don’t recall either of those cites shutting down in panic anytime over the last few weeks that these have been up and around. I don’t have photos of any in LA, but I’m looking for them and want one for my living room so bad I can taste it. If I can’t find one, I’m going to have to settle for an “ATHF is the bomb!” shirt. In a comment on this post Wil has smart-bomb like accuracy:

“Equating a silly viral marketing stunt with a bomb threat, is just retarded, and it actually devalues actual threats and hoaxes. Remember when DHS, at the direction of the Bush campaign, jacked up terror warnings whenever Kerry began to rise in the polls, or Bush began to sink? After the third or fourth time that happened, did anyone take any of those warnings seriously? I know I didn’t, and that’s where the real danger in this whole thing is: the media was so irresponsible and overreacted so supremely in this instance, if there’s a very real threat in the near future, how many people won’t take it seriously, because they remember this one?”

There’s been up to the minute play by play of this over on Metroblogging Boston if you want to see how it unfolded. At this point, Boston law enforcement and politicians needs to say “Ooops, sorry, we’re doofs” drop all the charges and get on with their lives.

UPDATE: This photo says it all.

15 thoughts on “Birds, Bombs, Boston and Bewilderment”

  1. Seems LA has been down this route before too. Who’s “retarded” now?

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – A newspaper promotion for Tom Cruise’s upcoming “Mission: Impossible III” got off to an explosive start when a county arson squad blew up a news rack, thinking it contained a bomb.

    The confusion: the Los Angeles Times rack was fitted with a digital musical device designed to play the “Mission: Impossible” theme song when the door was opened. But in some cases, the red plastic boxes with protruding wires were jarred loose and dropped onto the stack of newspapers inside, alarming customers.

    Sheriff’s officials said they rendered the news rack in this suburb 35 miles north of downtown Los Angeles “safe” after being called to the scene Friday by a concerned individual who thought he’d seen a bomb.

    Times officials said the devices were placed in 4,500 randomly selected news boxes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in a venture with Paramount Pictures designed to turn the “everyday news rack experience” into an “extraordinary mission.”

    It was just that, at least for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arson squad, which destroyed the box.

    “This was the least intended outcome. We weren’t expecting anything like this,” said John O’Loughlin, the Times’ senior vice president for planning.

    The devices are to remain in the boxes until May 7, two days after the film is scheduled to open.

  2. I retract my (mutual) desire of yesterday to seek out and grab one of these for my very own. The way I figure, if a few people in 9 US cities can make and install these and post the results to Flickr and Make, then I can make my own and install it on my wall.

    As far as public art goes, I give this a B-, on account of this being a promotional campaign, but goddamn they’re cute and I really want one. I think I’ll add the words “Bomb this!” to the display…

  3. isn’t Boston still “retarded” for closing down swaths of the city? Blowing up a newspaper box in Santa Clarita is HARDLY the same.

  4. Santa Clarita isn’t even in the city of L.A. its not even close to the same.

    how uptight do Bostonians have to be to freak out at something so silly?

  5. Oh man. You did NOT just hand Santa Clarita around out necks, did you?

    We’re having a hard enough time dealing with The Valley, and now we have to own Santa Clarita, too?

    Can’t Lancaster own Santa Clarita? How about that? We’ll totally trade Santa Clarita to Lancaster for . . . um . . . how about a player to be named later?

  6. Seems like all of this mumbo jumbo in Boston caused the ads to be more effective than they would’ve been alone without the chaos

  7. I can’t help but think that this kind of chaos is exactly what the Moononites would have wanted. As Err would say, “Don’t question it.”

  8. This is the most ridiculuous thing in the world that only seems to prove to me that Boston either has no slackers and stoners amongst their population or they’re too busy burning sacrifices to the Red Sox gods or something.




    end caps lock.

  9. Okay, I have to add my own chuckle to this, from this CNN report:

    Mayor calls stunt “outrageous”

    Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis called the stunt “unconscionable,” while Boston Mayor Thomas Menino called it “outrageous” and the product of “corporate greed.” Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, a Boston-area congressman, added, “It would be hard to dream up a more appalling publicity stunt.”

    It’s obvious and quite sad the Mayor has never seen the WKRP in Cincinnati episode where Carl Carlson says, “As god as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.” Now that was an appalling publicity stunt!

  10. here was my gin soaked speculation last night.

    it’s not about who put the things up, it’s about who dropped the dime – called in the ‘disturbance’.

    what if the good citizen who called it in was a southie hoodlum on the bankroll of someone just removed from a media outlet who has something to gain from turner getting slapped?

    too much to ponder now that the scapegoats are in chains and the civil liberty lawyers are circling like sharks?

    of course the pundits will rail in their power suits.

    that street artists across the land who dabble in all forms of post-graf street art, like l.e.d. sticky things, stencils, stickers, tiles etc. – they tend to use an ironic term for the craft of getting up – ‘bombing’.

    we’re living in the clampdown; events like this merely lift the hood from the eyes of the nonbelievers for a minute, at least until some pantieless frau gets out of another sportsaloon in front of the paparazzi and distracts’m again.

    when bushco. hits persia, the detention centers will crawl with bike advocates, taggers and anti-war moms. when you see me in there, say hello.

    ah gin. so sublime with lime.

  11. To BAFC23:
    Lay off the gin, you’re running at the mouth.

    Concpiracy. Theory.

    I don’t know where. my periods. are at.

  12. From youtube:

    “January 31, 2007: Boston was nearly shut down and flooded with police, homeland security, and bomb squads because they thought cartoon network ads were explosives.

    With half of our members currently finishing up school in Boston, we decided to make this video as there was nothing better to do yesterday with the city on lockdown over this crazy bomb scare.”

  13. People who use the word retarded when not referring to those who are unlucky enough to actually be retarded tend not to be intelligent or insightful people.

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