Thursday, February 1, 2007

Bomb scare? Seems more like a ROM scare!

Okay, that makes no sense. Sorry. Anyway, my wife and I were watching Futurama on Adult Swim last night, and as the show was coming back from commercial, rather than the usual jokey text on the screen, there were several paragraphs with an apology to the city and people of Boston about any hardships caused by a marketing campaign. We thought it was strange, so I looked it up today to see what I could find out. Here's an article on So apparently, the marketing scheme was to place lightboards like this one:

all around the city as a promotion for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. For some reason, people thought these things were bombs and called the police. It sounds like the whole city went crazy, with traffic shutting down and bomb squads being dispatched.

If you ask me, the whole thing is ridiculous, and emblematic of our country's current level of panic anytime the word "terrorism" is invoked. Somebody sees a sign with a goofy character, and assumes it's a bomb. Really? I mean, I recognize the characters, so I wouldn't think anything of it, but even if I just saw some random cartoon guy flipping me off, I don't think I would assume it was part of a terrorist campaign. Very strange. And this quote from a Boston Congressman cracks me up:

"Scaring an entire region, tying up the T and major roadways, and forcing first responders to spend 12 hours chasing down trinkets instead of terrorists is marketing run amok," Markey, a Democrat, said in a written statement. "It would be hard to dream up a more appalling publicity stunt."

If I were him, I would be more upset about the overreaction to an innocuous "publicity stunt". Ridiculous.

UPDATE: Here's another article about the guys who did the promotion being arrested and held on bond. The interesting detail: the signs were in place for THREE WEEKS before anybody noticed.

We're going out of town this weekend, and then the Bears are playing in the Super Bowl, so I doubt I'll have any new content. Unless I do something tonight. So, see you next week, (imaginary) readers!

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