After hearing the news, about how Boston Police shut down overpasses because a viral marketing campaign placed blinking icons from Aqua Teen Hunger Force on various buildings and bridges, I have to ask:
a) How idiotic is the Boston Police force, really? And the Mayor? I'm sort of stunned really to learn that Tom Menino is still Mayor, but not so stunned to read his inflated comments about how he's going to go after Teh Evol Corporations who set this thing up. Enough, already.
b) How is it that the viral marketing campaign failed so miserably in the OTHER nine cities: New York, LA, etc?
Well, at least Ray Flynn (who presided during the notorious Charles Stuart dust-up) isn't around. I remember Menino making some fairly idiotic comments during that fiasco, but all in all I think he's wicked more competent than Ray, Me Boy. Every time I hear about the Boston Police overreacting, I always come back to Charles Stuart murdering his wife and blaming it on some darkie in Mission Hill. The police, the politicians, the media, everyone was so ready to jump on that story. Wrestle families from their homes for strip searches, harass parolees, it was all for a good cause. After all, a PREGNANT white woman had been attacked. Justice and Vengeance can only be protected if we all act swiftly. None of this staring at our navels wondering if there's an alternate explanation. Ugh.
And the whole "post 911" aura of this latest Boston craziness (They're BLINKING! OMG! Bombs blink! I've seen it on TV!), also makes me nuts. Does ANYONE make a blinking bomb in real life? When your computer is "thinking", do an array of square blinking light flash on and off? Because that's the way computers "think" in the movies.
My little itty bitty town, I've been told, is apparently on some list somewhere of high-risk terror targets. I've heard seventh in the state, and seventeenth in the nation. This is because there are three interstates, two bridges, two oil refineries, and a railroad close by. So, add those up, and we pop to the top of some list. For a few years there the City website included a Terror Alert Status icon. Because at any moment the Terrorists were coming to blow up a bridge to nowhere.
Hello! No one in San Francisco knows where we are. Are we really thinking that they are going to bypass the Golden Gate Bridge, the Oakland Bay Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid Building to come here to attack our bridge or very small refinery? Really?
Yep. Just talk to any police officer in our town. They are getting ready. They are preparing. They live secure in the knowledge that the terrorists do their research, and they will tabulate the damage per hit ratio and figure out that it's better to attack us than it is to attack the Golden Gate.
Kind of like those guys in Boston who saw a blinking placard with a robot giving them the finger and thought, "It's TRUE! The terrorists do love us more than New York! Our day in the sun has come! Crisis Response Team, GO! Swat team, GO! Bomb squad, GO!"
Did it occur to no one that perhaps even one of your universities was pulling a prank? Say MIT, known for its quirky sense of humor? Or BU? BC? Northeastern? or...oh hell, look them up yourself: Colleges and Universities in Boston With that many, I'm not sure how the Boston Police ever get around to taking anything seriously. Except the everpresent danger of black men walking the streets.