This week's Friday poll of the New Times staff is a timely one, seeing that my favorite cartoon, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is now being persecuted over this mess in Boston where harmless light boxes -- devices meant to promote the show -- were mistook for bombs by Beantown's finest.
People are outraged! There are calls for prosecutions, jail time, fines, public floggings. However, I think this proves that the residents of Boston are not quite as swift as the proximity of Harvard and MIT would seem to suggest. I mean, Christ, even if I didn't know that the lit-up Space Invaders-like image on the device was either Mooninite Ignignokt or Err flipping Boston the bird, I'd still be able to tell it's not a freakin' bomb, people. One -- just one -- of the Boston po-po's bomb specialists should've been able to peep that thing and know it's not going to go ka-blooey. And for this they closed down the Charles River?
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has referred to the incident as a "hoax." It's not a hoax. The marketing dudes behind this didn't intend for this to be a bomb scare. Plus the blinking light boxes have been up in 10 cities for the last 2 to 3 weeks, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, etc., but only in provincial Beantown did they freak out over a friggin' cartoon character.
But don't let my pro-Aqua Teen Hunger Force partisanship affect your participation in the Friday poll, the question being: Did the Boston authorities overreact by closing bridges, roads, the Charles River, etc., sending Boston into a panic and causing nightmare traffic jams over Lite-Brite-type toys? Or did they act correctly, and should those responsible be thrown in the hoosegow and/or fined?
What follows are the top ten answers of the New Times editorial staff. This is one you should stand up and be counted on! Otherwise what will we do when the real Mooninites invade planet Boston?
10) from a guy from Boston: "They overreacted. Plus, everyone knows that the Boston police force is incompetent."
9) from a frequent double-dipper: "No wonder some of the 9/11 highjackers were able to board at Boston's Logan International. It must be all that inbreeding they got goin' on up there."
8) from a dood in authority: "Are you crazy, fool!? Of course they didn't overreact! You can't put bomb-looking devices under bridges and in subway tunnels in cities, in this time of terrorism mania, and not expected to get your ass arrested and thrown in the clink."
7) from a hella-cool chick: "Hey man, there coulda been mass seizures on the road from those stroboscopic boxes. Really, it's a stupid reaction that smacks of some scary paranoia. Meatwad, a terrorist? C'mon..."
6) from a part time actress: "Having seen how Brits react to unattended suitcases for the past 15 years or more, it doesn't seem odd to me that authorities get jumpy when there's a weird object in a public place. But I don't think anyone should be prosecuted."
5) from a dood with a beard: "Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a show by stoners, for stoners, and only a stoner would come up with a dumbass plan like this. I hope those dudes who put it up -- the Rastafarian and the other guy -- enjoy getting banged up the butt in prison."
4) from a fine-ass dime: "I'm on the fence. I saw what the things looked like -- they looked like toys. On the other hand, they did have wires and batteries sticking out of them. What were the cops supposed to do? They couldn't ignore them. They're the cops! They had to err on the side of caution. Yeah, it's pathetic, but that's the world we live in these days."
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3) from a former resident of Mogadishu: "They totally overreacted. First, they were up weeks before they were found, right? If the police had been on the ball, they would've found them right away. And second, if they don't know the difference between a circuit board and a bomb, then we're in some big ol' trouble."
2) from a hard-nosed reporter: "These Bostonians are fucking idiots! People in NINE OTHER CITIES recognize a silly marketing campaign for what it is -- and yet Boston is so mortally wounded the city fathers have to launch a criminal prosecution? If nothing else, though, it makes you realize that all the crybabies/bicycle-helmet wearers/morons in Phoenix aren't a total anomaly... There are idiots everywhere in this country. People who think they're confined to Red States have some explaining to do on this one..."
and the number one New Times response on the ATHF/Boston brouhaha, from a man who bathes once a week whether he needs to or not,
1) "Jesus, don't those dumb micks watch TV?"