31 January, 2007

Security Theatre. Comedy for the whole family.

Havoc, fear, confusion, and panic. The Mooninites would be proud. From Making Light:
Boston menaced by cartoon promo; traffic grinds to a halt

Major roads and highways around Boston, and everything along the Charles River, were shut down today after nine “suspicious devices” were spotted in various locations.

The Turner Network has now confirmed that the devices, which look mysterious and have blinky lights on them, were part of a promotion for the TV cartoon show Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

In reaction to this gross overreaction, the city of Boston has gone into batshit crazy p.r. damage control mode.

In order to save face, Boston authorities have arrested Peter Berdvosky for having had a hand in installing them, and -of course- posting a video of it on the YouTube.

This is what being fed FUD on a daily basis has done to us. We've become a paranoid society that jumps at the slightest rocking of the status-quo, so mired in the details of our fear-filled existence that we fail to see that most of those fear are completely and utterly fabricated -usually by either the media or the government- until its's embarrassingly too late.

As much as I hate corporate 'guerrilla advertising', Turner and Adult Swim shouldn't be penalized for being creative. It's not Adult Swim's fault that our society has become a paranoid one, and that our government is enamored of its so-called security theater. It certainly doesn't justify arresting some hapless artist, thereby making his life a bloody nightmare, just for taking a check from and ad agency and putting up some street art. Then again, they do this to real street artists all the time. I don't know why I'm surprised.

If anything, Boston authorities should be taken to task for overreacting, fomenting the panic mentality, bowing to knee-jerk politics in shutting down the city, and now persecuting innocent parties in order to save face. Anyone paying attention will have realized that these devices have been up for weeks, not only in Beantown, but in NYC, SF, and other cities.

By the way, a point of order: calling the Mooninites installations a 'hoax' is extremely disingineous, and tantamount to alarmist propaganda. The 'devices' look nothing like a bomb, nor do they imply that they might be. If anything, they look like Lite Brites, ffs! Labeling this a 'hoax' as opposed to a publicity stunt (which is what it is, for better or for worse) is a classic example of the media enabling the persecution of undesirable elements by the government in the name of fear-mongering. If it weren't so funny, it would be very scary. Or is that the other way around?

The goal of terrorism is to instill fear into the population. I *fear* that the terrorists have won. I for one welcome our LED overlords.

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