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briv
01-31-2007, 10:08 PM
Ad scheme triggers bomb scare
By Jessica Heslam, Laura Crimaldi and Dave Wedge
Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - Updated: 08:10 PM EST

A guerilla marketing campaign for a popular adult cartoon thrust Boston into pandemonium today until 10 circuit boards initially thought to be bombs were identified as battery-operated ads strategically placed around the city by the Cartoon Network.
Boston bomb scares
Federal, state and local police swarmed around the city as reports poured in of suspicious devices, closing roads, tunnels and bridges for hours.
The chaos touched off a traffic nightmare and prompted a tense press conference from Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who assured residents the matter was under control. Fears of a possible terrorist act were quelled when it was determined the devices were part of an underground advertising campaign for the Cartoon Network TV show ?Aqua Teen Hunger Force.?
The device features a character called a mooninite.
?The packages in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. They are part of an outdoor marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim?s animated television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They have been in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards. We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger,? said a statement by Turner Broadcasting, which also owns CNN.
A source told the Herald that a memo is being sent out to City Hall employees notifying them that the devices are part of the marketing campaign. Authorities said there are 38 devices in Boston and Somerville.
City Councilor Michael Flaherty was fuming and demanded that Turner Broadcasting ?reimburse the city of Boston for every dime spent today on this serious public safety threat.?
?It?s outragoues, reckless and totally irresponsible,? Flaherty said. ?What a waste of resources.?
Todd Vanderlin, a New York City student, was visiting his buddy in Boston Jan. 15 when he spotted one of the illuminated devices on a South Boston bridge. He snapped photos of it and took it down.
?I saw one on a bridge. It was glowing. It?s like a light bright,? Vanderlin told the Herald.
Vanderlin said the device, which broke while he was taking it down, is a light-emitting diode or LED that was manufactured in China. It consists of four double D batteries that connect to a large capacitor and photoresister, a device that illuminated the device at night.
?That?s as complex as it gets,? Vanderlin said by phone. ?It?s a simple, little, wiring thing. It?s so harmless it?s not even funny. My friend has it hanging in his office.?
Vanderlin said he spoke with the manufacturer, Interference Inc. in New York. The company had no comment earlier today and a woman said the CEO was unavailable

kz1000ps
01-31-2007, 11:12 PM
I understand the gravity of the situation as it existed before roughly 4:30 this afternoon, but at this point all I can do is laugh my ass off at the whole thing. As a big fan of the show, I know that the Mooninites would be if they were actual living, umm, graphics.

For those who don't know anything about the show and want to test the waters:
http://www.dailymotion.com/visited/search/Aqua%20Teen%20Hunger%20Force/video/xnlqn_athf-403-remooned

statler
02-01-2007, 07:31 AM
Is anybody else completely emarassed about this? These things have been a bunch of major cities for weeks and Boston was the only city to completly lose its shit over them. I think it makes us look like a bunch of paranoid hicks. :oops:

budman3
02-01-2007, 07:52 AM
I don't think it makes us look like hicks at all! Even though Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a casual commonplace amongst a certain demographic, one that is very prominent in this city especially compared to some of the other 9 cities this was tried out in, it is far from a pop-culture standard and a pretty foreign program to most people in the country, including Boston. Boston is the only city that noticed a black disk with wires and batteries and other suspicious mechanics that in broad day light look like they serve no regular purpose hanging from a major highway and other heavy traffic locations across the city. I think its great advertising, and I wish I grabbed one had I known it was glow in the dark and worth anything. But it is far from stodgy or prudish of us to take notice of this. What about the one in Sullivan Square wasn't suspicious? It looked like a haphazard bomb hanging in a heavy traffic location, come on! Hind-sight is 20/20.

bowesst
02-01-2007, 08:31 AM
Is anybody else completely emarassed about this? These things have been a bunch of major cities for weeks and Boston was the only city to completly lose its shit over them. I think it makes us look like a bunch of paranoid hicks. :oops:

No. It wasn't only Boston law enforcement but also Homeland Security and the FBI. If Turner Broadcasting wants to try a new form of marketing that's fine but why would they choose the combination of small electronic packages and locations at bridges and T stations?

The other thing I don't understand is how this would be an effective ad campaign if the chaos that happened yesterday didn't happen. Some guy who has never heard of the show is on Storrow Drive and sees the "ad" hanging from the bridge. Suddenly he knows what the show is about and can't wait to get home to watch it? The only reason this was successful is because it was on the national news all day yesterday.

statler
02-01-2007, 09:01 AM
But why wasn't this scene repeated in any of the other cities? Are they really less observant? New York? Really?
I haven't heard anything from the other cities yet, but I'm guessing they were probably placed in similar areas, spotted, maybe investigated and dismissed as non threatening. Boston was the only city to go into hyper-panic mode over these things.

Waldorf
02-01-2007, 09:29 AM
This is turning into the Red Scare of today. People are getting arrested, the authorities are instilling fear into the public, and Cartoon Network characters are being destroyed. What next, a massive arms race with Frylock?

PerfectHandle
02-01-2007, 09:45 AM
The problems began when the police called the contraption at Sullivan a "suspicious package." It may have been suspicious, but it wasn't a package. Putting that out there gave the impression that there was a wire filled bag hanging under the highway and thus gave the terrorism angle legitimacy and freaked everyone out. From there, it's easy to see why others across the city might have felt unsafe about the MOONINITES (!!!) that they had been seeing for two weeks (!!!).

It looks to me like the Police had to project some type of seriousness to justify shutting down a T line and 93, so they used vaguely threatening language to describe the lite brite Mooninite and then exploded it with a water cannon. (I'm still laughing that they did this. It's completely ridiculous and sensational.)

While it was stupid for Turner/PR Firm/Cartoon Network to do this without saying anything to BPD or the State Police, I will certainly have to burn out my ear drums if I hear the phrase "in a post-9/11 world" one more time.

Waldorf
02-01-2007, 10:08 AM
^ I agree. They didn't have to use all of that rhetoric. Now the media keeps referring to the event as 'the terrorism threat'. That is utterly irresponsible of the Globe and the Herald. It is was not a terrorism threat - ever.

kmp1284
02-01-2007, 10:17 AM
It was also a very shotty ad campaign to begin with. What Joe Schmoe is going to go home and watch a tv show that is only capable of advertising itself with a nintendo style figure flipping you the bird. It said nothing about what the product was or anything, as far as I am concerned they should all just be taken down and smashed with baseball bats just because they are so stupid looking. I watched a youtube clip and was immediately compelled to ask what kind of person actually watches this crap.

statler
02-01-2007, 01:47 PM
*Sigh*

Here's part of an article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Cartoon Network publicity stunt sparks panic in Boston -- but not here

The King County Sheriff's Office confirmed Wednesday that several illuminated "cartoon figures giving the finger" have been turned in, but it is reacting differently from law enforcement authorities in Boston, where the devices caused a bomb scare, shutting down streets, bridges and a section of the Charles River and forcing an evacuation of a hospital. Two men were arrested.

"To us, they're so obviously not suspicious," said King County sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart. "They're not suspicious devices or packages. We don't consider them dangerous."

Waldorf
02-01-2007, 02:55 PM
Dolphin's toy mistaken for a bomb

January 31, 2007

WINDLEY KEY, Fla. --A dolphin's toy that resembled a bomb scared spectators Wednesday and prompted officials at a marine park to call 911. A dolphin playing in a tank at Theater of the Sea surfaced with several items, including one that looked like a homemade bomb.

The toy in question was a softball-sized glass jar containing a black substance and covered by a white substance, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities said about 15 people, mostly employees, evacuated the facility around 11 a.m. while the sheriff's bomb squad investigated, The Key West Citizen reported.

lexicon506
02-01-2007, 03:45 PM
even though after the fact it is pretty embarassing for the city of Boston, I'll laugh when Seattle blows up! :twisted:

lexicon506
02-01-2007, 03:53 PM
Don't you guys find it a little strange that these ads were up for weeks without anyone taking notice, then all of a sudden the police got several phone calls in one day. If you ask me, the advertising company is behind those calls, without yesterday's scare, their campaign would have been completely ineffective.....I love conspiracies :D

Jasonik
02-01-2007, 09:31 PM
http://bostondirtdogs.boston.com/Headline_Archives/BDD_err_2.1.07.jpg

statler
02-03-2007, 07:14 AM
Obviously the electronic devices/bombs/secret advertisements were considered dangerous once they were discovered partially obscured in difficult to reach public places by officials in Boston, otherwise all the other cities would have left them alone. The fact that they were removed in all cities shows that they were considered to be a threat on a national scale.

An embarrassment? Hardly. If only they had checked and acted on the no fly list on 9/11. That minor oversight and inaction resulted in thousands of deaths.

Agree 100%. I'd rather be "embarassed" at something like this as opposed to what went on during 9/11. So they might have overreated a bit, I'd rather take measures and have nothing be wrong than not take measures and have something go horribly wrong.

I'm not worried about being laughed at either. I'm so scared of what the Aqua Teen Hunger Force watchers think of the city and the people who live here.
Does it really make feel safer knowing that our bomb squads, ATF and Homeland Security agents can't tell the difference between a bomb and a light brite?

Do you really feel better knowing that rather than a calm, rational response to what briefly could have been a real threat, the city went into full-scale panic mode?

You are not embarrassed by the fact that when it became obvious that our officials screwed up on major scale, rather then admit they made mistakes, promise to review policy & procedures and correct any all errors, they launched into a diatribe vowing to hold responsible anyone (other than themselves, of course) involved in this mess.

Do you like the fact that, rather do some actual investigative reporting, the local media just swallowed the official line whole, without ever stopping to question what the hell they were doing? Not to mention adding an insufferable layer of hype and panic to the proceedings?

And lastly, are you really comfortable with the fact they we have arrested a man, who is in U.S. on political asylum, for hanging up a fucking sign!?! Were we afraid he might get homesick?
When they do it, it's social injustice. When we do it it 'safeguarding the Commonwealth.'

castevens
02-03-2007, 07:21 AM
Seriously, as I stated in the other thread, I agree 100% that there was an overreaction, but I am COMPLETELY unfazed by the overreaction.

Like I said, now the terrorists know what to do. Put 13 lite-brites up in the city, and a 14th one connected to C4 on the back side of it, connected to a support column on the Zakim Bridge.

The Police SHOULD have been worried, just in case. They probably shouldn't have gathered so much media attention in the process, but they SHOULD have been mobilized. These were electronic devices, albeit unharmful ones. But one wire, painted the same color as the bridge support, could have lead to any amount of C4.

statler
02-03-2007, 07:53 AM
Seriously, as I stated in the other thread, I agree 100% that there was an overreaction, but I am COMPLETELY unfazed by the overreaction.

Like I said, now the terrorists know what to do. Put 13 lite-brites up in the city, and a 14th one connected to C4 on the back side of it, connected to a support column on the Zakim Bridge.

The Police SHOULD have been worried, just in case. They probably shouldn't have gathered so much media attention in the process, but they SHOULD have been mobilized. These were electronic devices, albeit unharmful ones. But one wire, painted the same color as the bridge support, could have lead to any amount of C4.
You are right, the actualy bomb squad and various agents probably did know the signs were harmless but needed to follow up anyway.

It wasn't so much much the action of the squads but the reaction of the officials.

A simple "False alarm, nothing to see here." would have been the appropriate response, (which is what the other cities did) but instead they frothed with anger like they had been the victim of some massive hoax designed to terrorize the city, when in fact it was obvious to anyone with half a brain that it was a simple misunderstanding. (With the exeption of the two actual "fake bombs" -why is nobody talking about them?) This is what I'm so embrassed about. All the other cities handled this situation sooo much better.

Someone came up with a good analogy. If a tree branch scrapes against my my window and I think it is a burglar, so I shoot out my window, it's not the tree's fault I have a broken window.

Lastly, any true terrorist worth their salt will paint the entire device "concrete gray" and place it completely out of sight. Why would they even risk it being discovered?

Jasonik
02-03-2007, 11:23 AM
Timeline Of Events In Scare

A message from the Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

"I would like to commend everyone involved in the response to yesterday's events. The citizens of Boston had their lives disrupted by what turned out to be a misguided publicity stunt. The men and women of the Boston Police Department and our various law enforcement partners responded to the situations presented to them efficiently and effectively, the way they have been trained to respond."

Officers raced across the city in response to calls reporting bombs and other suspicious devices. As trained, our officers placed themselves in harms way to protect the public. Tough decisions were made to ensure safe situations. I cannot say enough about the rapid, efficient and skillful response by everyone involved in the day?s events. This response resulted in officers being held over to address the threats, which were being reported throughout the Boston area.

Some have criticized the response to these incidents without having all the facts and circumstances known to them.

As the day unfolded the law enforcement community was informed in the early morning hours of the arrest by British authorities of several terror suspects.

* At 6:53 a.m. DHS reported that a Washington D.C. Metro station was closed down due to a suspicious package.

* At 8:18 a.m. an MBTA worker reported a suspicious device attached to a stanchion supporting Interstate 93 and near the train line. Appropriate units responded and determined that this device was suspicious and had components consistent with improvised explosive devices.

* At 8:52 a.m. DHS notified Law Enforcement officials that at least 4 people were being treated at a post office after being overcome by fumes emanating from a package at a post office in New York City.

* At 9 a.m. The Boston Police Bomb squad is requested by the MBTA to Sullivan Square and examines the item. As a precaution I-93 is closed and the device is rendered safe and determined to be some sort of hoax device at 10:21 a.m.

* At 12:54 p.m. the Boston Police Bomb squad receives a call for a suspicious device at the intersection of Stuart and Charles Street. That device appears similar to the first device containing batteries, wires, magnets and other components similar to the device in Sullivan Square. Using approved procedures the item is photographed, X-rayed and eventually rendered safe.

* Six minutes later at 1:02 p.m. Boston Police received a call from New England Medical Center Security that they had uncovered a pipe bomb in their building in a desk drawer. Shortly thereafter Hospital Security reported that a suspect had been seen leaving the area of the pipe bomb in an agitated state stating, "God is warning you that today is going to be a sad Day." The suspect was reported to have fled the hospital. Boston Police continue to investigate this incident. No further details at this time.

* At 1:08 p.m. the Boston Police Bomb Squad arrived and confirmed the existence of an item which appeared to be a pipe bomb inside the hospital.

* At 1:11 p.m. information was received and a request was made by the Massachusetts State Police to have the bomb squad assist with locating devices under the Longfellow and BU bridges.

At this point we had multiple reports of possible improvised explosive devices of various types. As those devices were being investigated and rendered safe, detectives from the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police were running down information on a cartoon character possibly associated with these devices, that later led to websites associated with that character and individuals placing these devices around the area.

Boston Police begin to receive numerous calls for similar devices throughout Boston and surrounding areas.

* At approximately 4:30 p.m. detectives from the Boston Police Department were contacted and were verifying information from representatives from the corporation responsible for this advertising campaign.

* At 4:51 p.m. Turner Broadcasting representatives were verified as taking responsibility for placing devices with the cartoon character. This was at the same time a press conference was underway at Boston Police Headquarters.

Officers identified a device (possible pipe bomb) at the New England Medical Center which turned out to be unrelated. Another type of device was located under the Longfellow Bridge, which is being investigated by the Massachusetts State Police.

During this time, ATF, FBI, Federal Protective Services, United States Secret Service, Massachusetts State Police, Federal Park Police, Transit Police, and our UASI Partners pulled together and redeployed resources in the event a larger response was needed.

Later in the evening the emergency event was declared resolved.

"I recognize that this event caused you to work extra hours, to inconvenience your families and cause them concern. I want to convey my deep appreciation of your dedicated service and my pride in the manner in which the members of this Department responded to this incident."

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/10903594/detail.html


Phony threat escalated real danger in hoax
By Peter Gelzinis
Boston Herald Columnist
Friday, February 2, 2007 - Updated: 07:58 AM EST (http://news.bostonherald.com/columnists/view.bg?articleid=180586&format=text)

It wasn?t the blinking ?Mooninites? that had the Boston Police Department running at Code Red Wednesday.

Quite the contrary, what kept the cops on edge for a few hours were the two packages that didn?t blink . . . the ones that looked just like pipe bombs, rather than SpongeBob SquarePants.

According to Boston police Commissioner Ed Davis, the phony pipe bomb discovered inside Tufts-New England Medical Center at 1 p.m. Wednesday was accompanied by a security guard?s description of ?an agitated white male? fleeing the hospital saying, ?God is warning you that today is going to be a sad day.?

As fate would have it, this no-nonsense bomb call surfaced in the middle of a coordinated hoax. And it was immediately followed by another call for a ?pipe bomb? device tucked under the Longfellow and BU bridges.

Until those guerrilla marketeers at Turner Broadcasting finally owned up to their Mooninite shenanigans late Wednesday afternoon, Davis said that the chorus of law enforcement agencies had no choice but to assume that gag devices had been systematically planted all over town as a distraction for ?real? ones that had also been placed.

In other words, the police weren?t quite as punk?d as all those ?Aqua Teen Hunger Force? hipsters out there in the blogosphere would lead you to believe. It wasn?t those LEDs tacked onto all those circuit boards that police worried about, as much that guy with no light on upstairs, running away from what looked a helluva lot like a pipe bomb.

?Had we simply found these cartoon characters stuck here and there,? Davis said yesterday, ?I can assure you this thing would have been tamped down in pretty short order.

?But what troubled us was the discovery of those other two devices that looked very real indeed. And it wasn?t until the people from Turner took responsibility for what they had done, that we could think about the coincidence of what had taken place.?

Graced with 24-hour hindsight, Ed Davis said he could begin to view Wednesday?s hijinks as a ?useful opportunity to test the combined response of law enforcement.? Still, praising his officers, along with the efforts of all the other agencies, did not erase the quiet anger in his voice.

Almost two hours before the first Mooninite board was spotted under I-93 at 8:18 a.m., Davis was aware that a Metro station in Washington, D.C., had been evacuated because of a suspicious package.

Some 45 minutes later came another report of four people in a New York City post office overcome by noxious fumes wafting from yet another suspicious package.

Ed Davis also thought about the world biotech conference headed to Boston this spring and all the threats that are bound to accompany it.

?It was almost like we had a kind of perfect storm of circumstances falling into place,? he said.

Of Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, the two guerrilla artistes charged with tying a city in knots, Ed Davis chose to defer to the courts.

?They weren?t 14 years old,? he said, ?and we happen to live in a time when we have to be sensitive to such an incident.?

Berdovsky and Stevens have taken credit for pulling this techno-geek false alarm. The crime in sticking a blinking Mooninite under a bridge is not the bogus threat to the Homeland, but the life of a cop or bystander put at risk in the race to take it down.

Yet they can?t be the only two bozos made to pay for this stunt. The biggest culprits in this fiasco were not in Charlestown District court yesterday. They were hiding in their pinstriped suits - in glass highrises in Atlanta and Manhattan.

statler
02-03-2007, 12:04 PM
As fate would have it, this no-nonsense bomb call surfaced in the middle of a coordinated hoax. And it was immediately followed by another call for a ?pipe bomb? device tucked under the Longfellow and BU bridges.
hoax (hōks) pronunciation
n.

1. An act intended to deceive or trick.
2. Something that has been established or accepted by fraudulent means.

This is another one of my pet peeves. The Mooninites thing was not a 'hoax'. There was was no intent to deceive or trick.
The only people that should be in trouble over this are the people responsible for the Medical Center 'bomb' and the BU Bridge 'bomb'. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Everyone involved in the Mooninites thing should be absolved of all wrong doing and offered apologies. If anything, they can charge them with littering and/or some zoning rule about improper placement of signage, but I think that would be just petty. But, hey Boston officials wouldn't do anything petty, would they?

LeTaureau
02-03-2007, 01:42 PM
I don't think the bomb squad has overreacted in this "hoax". They're just doing their job. Its the media thats overreacting.

Scott
02-03-2007, 06:54 PM
They should be glad I don't get to choose their punishment because tar and feathers don't easily come out of dreadlocks.

btw-Was it ten years ago that a policeman was blown up by a real bomb some idiot planted under a car in Roslindale?

statler
02-05-2007, 07:17 AM
Hub's fright is fodder for comics

By Lisa Wangsness, Globe Staff | February 5, 2007

Hey. The rest of the country is laughing at us over that cartoon thing!

Last week, after discovering that the blinking electronic devices that triggered a massive antiterrorism response were not bombs but ads for a cartoon starring a meatball and a pack of fries, Boston politicians spoke with one voice.

It's not funny, they said.

Begging to differ are the late-night comedians and pundits from New York to Los Angeles who have spent the last few days snickering over the city's, ahem, comprehensive response to the scare.

On his ABC comedy show, Jimmy Kimmel broadcast a fake message from the Department of Homeland Security juxtaposing pictures of Yosemite Sam and Garfield with a real bomb: "Bombs kill," a somber narrator deadpanned. "Cartoons are funny. Report bombs, not cartoons." On Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert reported that Boston was besieged by what were "clearly the Lite-Brite doodlings of terrorists."

"That Al Qaeda are getting sneakier and sneakier, aren't they?" chuckled Craig Ferguson of "The Late Late Show" on CBS .

In an interview yesterday, Councilor John Tobin , who booked comedy acts before turning to politics, said, quite soberly, that it is far better to be safe than sorry. He added that he is confident that Bostonians are tough enough to take the teasing by others in stride.

"At the end of the day, I think they're jealous because they'd rather live here," he said of the out-of-staters doing the ribbing.

Jealous perhaps. Relentless, certainly.

The Dayton Daily News ran a cartoon, reprinted in The New York Times yesterday, of Paul Revere riding into Boston, calling out, "The Cartoon Network is coming!"

The NPR news quiz show "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!" gave the episode a thorough going-over this weekend.

"They're all over the place, but only in the Athens of America were the little animated aliens thought to be working with Al Qaeda," marveled host Peter Sagal .

One of Sagal's guests, humorist and author Tom Bodett , cut in.

"Think of it though, from their perspective, if they think they found a bomb -- and a terrorist so bold that he put a flashing box of french fries on it flipping you the bird before it goes off -- what are they capable of?"

A column in the Dallas Morning News was subtitled "When a city is brought to its knees by a Lite-Brite, I fear for our culture."

"Can you spell 'overreaction,' boys and girls?" wrote Jeffrey Weiss , the paper's religion reporter. "It was a perfect storm of intentional stupidity meeting maximum-strength inflexibility, all on live TV."

Other cities where the devices were planted without incident blinked astonishment at Boston's reaction. A headline to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle preened, "Calmer Reaction in S.F." and quoted a local art gallery owner calling the signs "cool."

"But those people are pretty paranoid," the gallery owner said, referring to Bostonians.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann , who devoted no less than six minutes and 40 seconds to the story Thursday night, also wondered why only Boston reacted with such alarm -- two or three weeks after the electronic signs were quietly hung.

"What am I missing?" he said. "Did they start humming, or smoking, or ticking, or what happened?"

MSNBC's counterterrorism expert, Roger Cressey , joined Olbermann in concluding that Boston's politicians should have taken more responsibility for their role in creating what he called an overreaction.

"The political leadership had an obligation to get out there and say, 'We've taken a look at a couple of these, and they're Lite-Brites giving you the middle finger, OK?' " Cressey said. "This is not Al Qaeda's M.O."

But some of the comics also turned their wit against the guerrilla marketers responsible for the ads. Colbert lamented that thanks to them, he would have to cancel the marketing campaigns he had planned.

"For instance, to market my new show, 'Time to Travel,' I was going to go to major American airports and leave unmarked suitcases with clock radios taped to them," he said. "To get the word out on my winter-themed charity gala, I was sending out envelopes filled with fake snow. And I was so excited about my new Times Square ad campaign for this show: 'The Colbert Report: It's the Bomb."'

Others also directed their barbs at the marketers.

"Those wacky marketing guys at Turner Broadcasting," wrote David Hiltbrand , TV columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Because, let's face it, nothing says cartoon hijinks quite like a level-red terrorist threat."

Hiltbrand noted, however, that the devices were also planted in Philadelphia, "without causing much of a stir."

Lisa Wangsness can be reached at lwangsness@globe.com.
Link (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/02/05/hubs_fright_is_fodder_for_comics/)

Corey
02-06-2007, 12:39 AM
It was also a very shotty ad campaign to begin with. What Joe Schmoe is going to go home and watch a tv show that is only capable of advertising itself with a Nintendo style figure flipping you the bird. It said nothing about what the product was or anything, as far as I am concerned they should all just be taken down and smashed with baseball bats just because they are so stupid looking. I watched a youtube clip and was immediately compelled to ask what kind of person actually watches this crap.

On the contrary, it sounds like they got a lot of exposure for both the show and cartoon network after this whole thing in Boston went down, thus making it a very successful ad campaign. :)

Waldorf
02-06-2007, 08:18 AM
This is a modern day Salem Witch Trial. The Puritans in New England can't shake there old rigid habits. It just wouldn't feel right. Their Puritanical ways can still be found in our law enforcement and political bodies. Let's step into the 21st century and be genuine free thinkers and not let stupidity rule the day.

The ghosts of John Winthrop and Samuel Blaxtone still haunt us today.

kmp1284
02-06-2007, 10:29 AM
After the fact it exploded into a brilliant ad tactic, but the advertising object itself, without any national news headlines stating its purpose, is not particularly good. It only stands to remind current consumers of a product and does nothing to enlighten non-viewers of what the "joke" is.

statler
02-06-2007, 10:48 AM
I think the idea was to place them where lots of college-age students travel and would notice them. Thus resulting in conversations such as:

Student 1: "What the hell is that thing?"
Student 2: "Dude, you don't know what a Mooninite is? The're on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. That shit's hysterical, you should check it out."

Or thinking:
"Huh, it's a Mooninite, I havn't watched that show in a while, I'll have to see if it is still on."

etc...etc...

Ron Newman
02-06-2007, 11:07 AM
but how many college students even know where Sullivan Square is, let alone ever go there?

DudeUrSistersHot
02-06-2007, 02:24 PM
This is a modern day Salem Witch Trial. The Puritans in New England can't shake there old rigid habits. It just wouldn't feel right. Their Puritanical ways can still be found in our law enforcement and political bodies. Let's step into the 21st century and be genuine free thinkers and not let stupidity rule the day.

The ghosts of John Winthrop and Samuel Blaxtone still haunt us today.

right on

kmp1284
02-07-2007, 12:10 AM
My question remains, what kind of remotely intelligent person watches that crap, if you're in college, go get drunk or stoned or do something, you're too old to watch stupid cartoons.

kz1000ps
02-07-2007, 12:23 AM
Obviously you're not our age and have most likely watched maybe 5 minutes of the show total. Otherwise, you would never pose such a question.

And for the record, I'm college-aged, used to get stoned and still get drunk, and love the show. I also love South Park, Family Guy, the Simpsons, rocko's Modern Life, Hey Arnold, Ren and Stimpy, Doug and Rug Rats, and those are all cartoons.

Waldorf
02-07-2007, 12:41 AM
I h8 thoze stoopid kartunes.

DudeUrSistersHot
02-07-2007, 12:49 AM
rocko's Modern Life, Hey Arnold, Ren and Stimpy, Doug and Rug Rats, and those are all cartoons.

ah, old nickelodeon. what happened to that channel?...

kz1000ps
02-07-2007, 08:52 AM
It got kEwL cartoons like the Wild Thornberries and Jimmy Neutron!

...:roll:

kmp1284
02-07-2007, 04:40 PM
Actually I'm 23, I attended Wharton for a semester but just really hated college at large, thus I dropped out and moved to London.

At that time of night I am often too busy with grown up things. My idea of a good night in this city consists of a going out to places like foundation lounge, eastern standard, the bristol, the oak bar, city bar, azure, bar 10, lockeober, avalon, ruth's chris, s&w, via matta, mistral, vox populi, the bso, a show, sushi, a party, whatever really, I'm just not that into sitting in my den watching cartoons.

bowesst
02-08-2007, 08:36 AM
Here is a map of where the Mooninites' were installed (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/02/01/Where_the_Mooninites_were_installed/).

bosdevelopment
02-08-2007, 09:09 AM
Actually I'm 23, I attended Wharton for a semester but just really hated college at large, thus I dropped out and moved to London.

At that time of night I am often too busy with grown up things. My idea of a good night in this city consists of a going out to places like foundation lounge, eastern standard, the bristol, the oak bar, city bar, azure, bar 10, lockeober, avalon, ruth's chris, s&w, via matta, mistral, vox populi, the bso, a show, sushi, a party, whatever really, I'm just not that into sitting in my den watching cartoons.

Dude you're gay. I bet you haven't been to half of those places. Why would you really go to the bristol lounge other than say - dinner.. with your parents... gay?

kmp1284
02-08-2007, 09:56 AM
Because I can afford to and I've done something with my life other than become a loser property manager. And if I did happen to be gay, so what of it, at least I'm not living in a redneck conservative fantasy land. But you should probably be running along, I hear Mrs. Jones up in 16B has a clogged toilet.

PerfectHandle
02-08-2007, 10:19 AM
Dude you're gay. I bet you haven't been to half of those places. Why would you really go to the bristol lounge other than say - dinner.. with your parents... gay?

Why be a dick all the time?

kz1000ps
02-08-2007, 10:51 AM
Bosdevelopment, great to see your vocabulary hasn't matured at all since your frat house days. Real tactful

At that time of night I am often too busy with grown up things.

For the record, if I'm watching cartoons, it's because someone has a DVD of them since nobody I know has cable....

Lastly, you deride "cartoons" as if every one of them are for people 18 and under. What about the Simpsons? Family Guy? South Park?


.....moop!

statler
02-08-2007, 11:13 AM
Re: The Dude/Bosdevelopment stuff:
It's an internet thing. Anonymity + an audience = being a dick (for some people.)
I don't really get myself, but seems pretty true everywhere online.
I can sort of understand the Dude stuff because he is a little kid, so that sort of thing is still fun, but I can't understand what a grown adult gets out it. Strange.

As for the cartoons. It is not an either/or thing.
A lot of smart sophisticated people who eat at places like Ruth Chris, The Oak Bar, etc watch shows like ATHF. The trick is to not devote your life to it. "Appointment TV" is sad and pathetic, saying "Fuck this, it's cold as balls out, I'm staying in and watching the Simpsons." is fine and in fact probably healthier. You'll probably even learn more watching the Simpsons then you would hanging out with your friends.

kmp1284
02-08-2007, 11:15 AM
The simpsons and family guy are tolerable. I don't watch them because like myself, most of my friends don't like to sit around and watch television when we could be out doing other things but if cartoons do it for you, that's great.

statler
02-08-2007, 11:28 AM
Sorry, I had to drag this out:
:P

Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television

February 9, 2000 | Issue 36?04

CHAPEL HILL, NC?Area resident Jonathan Green does not own a television, a fact he repeatedly points out to friends, family, and coworkers?as well as to his mailman, neighborhood convenience-store clerks, and the man who cleans the hallways in his apartment building.

Jonathan Green, who tells as many people as possible that he is "fully weaned off the glass teat."

"I, personally, would rather spend my time doing something useful than watch television," Green told a random woman Monday at the Suds 'N' Duds Laundromat, noticing the establishment's wall-mounted TV. "I don't even own one."

According to Melinda Elkins, a coworker of Green's at The Frame Job, a Chapel Hill picture-frame shop, Green steers the conversation toward television whenever possible, just so he can mention not owning one.

"A few days ago, [store manager] Annette [Haig] was saying her new contacts were bothering her," Elkins said. "The second she said that, I knew Jonathan would pounce. He was like, 'I didn't know you had contacts, Annette. Are your eyes bad? That a shame. I'm really lucky to have almost perfect vision. I'm guessing it's because I don't watch TV. In fact, I don't even own one."

According to Elkins, "idiot box" is Green's favorite derogatory term for television.

"He uses that one a lot," she said. "But he's got other ones, too, like 'boob tube' and 'electronic babysitter.'"

Elkins said Green always makes sure to read the copies of Entertainment Weekly and People lying around the shop's break room, "just so he can point out all the stars and shows he's never heard of."

"Last week, in one of the magazines, there was a picture of Calista Flockhart," Elkins said, "and Jonathan announced, 'I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. Calista who? Am I supposed to have heard of her? I'm sorry, but I haven't.'"

Tony Gerela, who lives in the apartment directly below Green's and occasionally chats with the 37-year-old by the mailboxes, is well aware of his neighbor's disdain for television.

"About a week after I met him, we were talking, and I made some kind of Simpsons reference," Gerela said. "He asked me what I was talking about, and when I told him it was from a TV show, he just went off, saying how the last show he watched was some episode of Cheers, and even then, he could only watch for about two minutes before having to shut it off because it insulted his intelligence so terribly."

Added Gerela: "Once, I made the mistake of saying I saw something on the news, and he started in with, 'Saw the news? I don't know about you, but I read the news."

Green has lived without television since 1989, when his then-girlfriend moved out and took her set with her.

"When Claudia went, the TV went with her," Green said. "But instead of just going out and buying another one?which I certainly could have afforded, that wasn't the issue?I decided to stand up to the glass teat."

"I'm not an elitist," Green said. "It's just that I'd much rather sculpt or write in my journal or read Proust than sit there passively staring at some phosphorescent screen."

"If I need a fix of passive audio-visual stimulation, I'll go to catch a Bergman or Truffaut film down at the university," Green said. "I certainly wouldn't waste my time watching the so-called Learning Channel or, God forbid, any of the mind sewage the major networks pump out."

Continued Green: "People don't realize just how much time their TV-watching habit?or, shall I say, addiction?eats up. Four hours of television a day, over the course of a month, adds up to 120 hours. That's five entire days! Why not spend that time living your own life, instead of watching fictional people live theirs? I can't begin to tell you how happy I am not to own a television."

Link (http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28694)

bowesst
02-08-2007, 11:59 AM
Because I can afford to and I've done something with my life other than become a loser property manager.

How can you afford to go to all of those places if you dropped out of college?

IMAngry
02-08-2007, 12:01 PM
Can we stop all this crap? Please?

kmp1284
02-08-2007, 12:15 PM
I co-manage a hedge fund, Kestrel Management Partners and in addition, I've been playing the market since I was in high school. If you really think you need a college degree to be financially successful, you're deluded.

Waldorf
02-08-2007, 12:16 PM
This is the general forum, we can talk about anything.

kz1000ps
02-08-2007, 12:56 PM
If you really think you need a college degree to be financially successful, you're deluded.

Now that I agree with.

statler
02-08-2007, 01:08 PM
Heh:
:D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWUaQVZHzyI

For those who may not know: "24" is a television show which chronicles the adventures of a federal agent as he tries to prevent some large-scale terrorist attack over the course of 24 hours.
I've never watched the dreck myself but my servants tell it is popular among the proles.

bowesst
02-08-2007, 01:45 PM
Heh:
:D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWUaQVZHzyI

For those who may not know: "24" is a television show which chronicles the adventures of a federal agent as he tries to prevent some large-scale terrorist attack over the course of 24 hours.
I've never watched the dreck myself but my servants tell it is popular among the proles.

That was awesome. :)

Roxxma
02-08-2007, 02:48 PM
From Strangers With Candy:
Mr. Jellineck: What's the matter Jerri?
Jerri: Mr. Noblett wants me to snitch on someone who might be...
Mr. J: Gay?
Jerri: No. Retarded.
Mr. J: Yes, most of them are.
Jerri: What?
Mr. J: Most gay people are retarded.
Jerri: Are they dangerous?
Mr. J: Gays? Yes some of them can be.

Some people here either have no idea or just don't care how stupid they sound.

IMAngry
02-08-2007, 05:25 PM
So, apparently our city's public officials cannot handle more than one thing happening at a time.

This should be a wake-up call to the fire department, police department, and mayor. WAKE UP!!!!

Prank delayed ambulance by half hour: Councilors enraged

By Michele McPhee - Boston Herald Police Bureau Chief

Thursday, February 8, 2007 - Updated: 12:46 AM EST

A 37-year-old man who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident in Dorchester waited 31 minutes for an ambulance Feb. 1during the chaos that gripped the city after a series of bomb scares, it was revealed at a City Council hearing yesterday.

The man had been hit by a car on Hallett Street in Dorchester at 4:17 p.m. - as Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis were preparing for a press conference on the Mooninite prank - but was not transported to the hospital until a private ambulance arrived at the scene of the accident 31 minutes later.

By then, the Boston Fire Department had stabilized him, according to a police report. Emergency Medical Services units had been dispatched around the city as part of the overall response to the scares.

But the incident was one that enraged Boston City Council members, who spent much of yesterday?s council hearing discussing the toll the guerrilla marketing campaign had on the city. The publicity stunt used light-up cartoon panels with hanging wires and a battery pack to promote an upcoming Cartoon Network flick.

?The issue here is that precious city resources were drained,? said City Councilor Michael Flaherty. ?We had citizens of this city waiting for an ambulance because EMS was tied up in an emergency response that turned out to be a fraud.?

Flaherty, along with several other city councilors, urged Attorney General Martha Coakley to pursue criminal charges against Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, the two men facing felony charges of planting a hoax device and disorderly conduct.

This week the Herald reported that Berdovsky and Stevens were photographed by transit cops among the spectators at the MBTA?s Sullivan Square Orange Line subway station as emergency responders detonated one of the cartoon devices they had placed.

An attorney for Berdovsky, who was videotaping the cops, said he was there as a ?video artist.? The attorney, Jeffrey Pyle, said that the marketing firm that had hired the duo told them to ?sit tight.?

?Clearly those photos show there is a premeditation factor here. They are not a couple of dupes,? said City Councilor Stephen Murphy. ?They knew exactly what they were doing, and knew exactly what was happening, then did nothing stop the response. It jeopardized the lives of first responders and anyone waiting for emergency service.?

Murphy said that as the chairman of the Public Safety Committee he is going to request copies of the state police 911 calls to make sure that the pranksters did not abuse the emergency call system to report the devices.

bosdevelopment
02-08-2007, 07:20 PM
I co-manage a hedge fund, Kestrel Management Partners and in addition, I've been playing the market since I was in high school. If you really think you need a college degree to be financially successful, you're deluded.


You should get over yourself.

My guess is that you never got into Wharton. I wouldn't see the necessity in announcing to the forum your attendance, your eventual drop-out, and subsequent poo-pooing of people's delusions involved with the pursuit of higher education.

Hell you do know how to not waste time.. posting on this forum and such... getting drinks at the bristol... where the hell did I go wrong?

lexicon506
02-08-2007, 08:14 PM
^wow man, you're building up a solid portfolio for the worst person of the forum award. Dude better watch his back.

bosdevelopment
02-08-2007, 08:19 PM
^wow, man. How would that post make me a [bad] person, if not "the worst" person on the forum. You just want a reason to bitch and complain about me.

lexicon506
02-08-2007, 09:37 PM
why, if you ask, you have absolutely NO business delving into the lives of other people and making stupid assumptions concerning someone you don't even know! Especially with the sole purpose of insulting them. If you can't see that then there are some serious screws loose in your head.

DudeUrSistersHot
02-08-2007, 09:44 PM
it would be awesome if people stopped insinuating that my being nearly 18 makes me less intelligent than them (when, in fact, I have an IQ midway between 100 and 200), but whatever. I guess if you disagree with my arguments or can't rebut them, insult my age.

Ron Newman
02-08-2007, 11:14 PM
not less intelligent, but definitely less mature and showing a lack of life experience. The cure for this is simply the passage of time.

bosdevelopment
02-08-2007, 11:15 PM
why, if you ask, you have absolutely NO business delving into the lives of other people and making stupid assumptions concerning someone you don't even know! Especially with the sole purpose of insulting them. If you can't see that then there are some serious screws loose in your head.

I'm sorry. You're right. I'm just a loser property manager. I took it upon myself to delve into this personal detail of myself and make stupid assumptions and insults. I guess I just have some screws loose in my head.

kz1000ps
02-09-2007, 12:47 AM
it would be awesome if people stopped insinuating that my being nearly 18 makes me less intelligent than them (when, in fact, I have an IQ midway between 100 and 200), but whatever. I guess if you disagree with my arguments or can't rebut them, insult my age.

Dude, the feelings are reciprocal. If you want people to stop making assumptions about you based on your age, how about writing a post that isn't obviously meant to come off as being abrasive and/or derogatory? You make it look like you get off over being as much of a twit as you possibly can be.

lexicon506
02-09-2007, 01:25 AM
I'm sorry. You're right. I'm just a loser property manager. I took it upon myself to delve into this personal detail of myself and make stupid assumptions and insults. I guess I just have some screws loose in my head.

Oh, really!! So you're accusing yourself of not being able to get into Wharton, being an expert at wasting time, and being a failure because of a lack of college education. I am so sorry for the misunderstanding! All this time I thought you were bashing another member of the forum! Where did I ever get that idea??

Really, bosdevelopment, what you said to kmp1284 was unwarranted and very disrespectful. He is successful without a college degree, you are successful with a college degree. Believe it or not, it's possible!

bosdevelopment
02-09-2007, 09:12 AM
I'm sorry, I'm not able to walk you through the thread.

PerfectHandle
02-09-2007, 09:56 AM
I have an IQ midway between 100 and 200

Can we hear about your SAT scores too? Maybe also any awards you may have won in grammar school.

Thanks!

bowesst
02-09-2007, 11:11 AM
[quote]

Really, bosdevelopment, what you said to kmp1284 was unwarranted and very disrespectful.

kmp1284 was equally if not more disrespectful than bosdevelopment.

statler
02-09-2007, 12:02 PM
Edit: Removed post

kmp1284
02-09-2007, 03:31 PM
Yeah, I probably was and I really don't care, my intentions are not to be friendly and respectful to people who spout off complete bs about me and my successes when they clearly have no basis for judgment.

kz1000ps
02-11-2007, 10:01 AM
From the Globe City Weekly section:

Pop sensibility

Rob Noyes of Somerville had to reach back to his memory of the 1980s apocalyptic German pop song "99 Red Balloons" to sum up the recent Mooninite scare:

"Ninety-nine cops on the scene

Can't believe what they've just seen

There's batteries and wires, too

And no one knows just what to do

They look explosive, clench your fists

They must be from terrorists!

We better blast them to the sky

'Cause ninety-nine Mooninites must die

"Ninety-nine white vans arrive

All with TV crews inside

Everyone's a news reporter

Everyone's a Chet or Nat

Breathlessly they cause a panic

Are these bombs or just Satanic?

Suddenly the bloggers cry

'Wait a minute, those are Mooninites!' "

kz1000ps
02-18-2007, 11:47 AM
Sound the Alarm


What people think of us these days is at the mercy of what's on the Web
By J.M. Berger, Globe Correspondent | February 18, 2007

Google "Boston" and "Paul Revere," and you'll find about 816,000 Web pages devoted to the Revolutionary War Hero.

Now try "Boston" and "Aqua Teen." With 1.3 million hits as of this writing, Beantown's infamous false alarm has eclipsed its most venerated real alarm -- in the online world, at least.

The city's end-of-January terrorism scare made national headlines when a series of "suspicious packages" found all over town turned out to be promotional devices for "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," part of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup on cable television.

It also served as a lesson in how online forces, accountable to no one, can take an issue and tumble it in uncontrollable ways.

For Boston, the actual costs totaled about $1 million. But you can't put a number on the damage to Boston's dignity. The "bomb" scare was just another story to the mainstream media, but in the online world, the tale was fodder for a tidal wave of creative reinterpretations.

The event was a perfect storm for the homegrown-video phenomenon -- strong visuals, readily available news footage, a dash of antiterrorism paranoia, and an absurdist punch line.

"Every possible thing you could think of that would work right for a blogger getting this story out was there," said Darren Winkler , a.k.a. "The Driving Blogger." Based in Columbus, Ohio, he delivers monologues into a video camera from behind the wheel of a car, a cigarette dangling from his lips.

By last week, Winkler's video blog on the Aqua Teen scare had been viewed more than 2,000 times on YouTube, the Web's most popular video-sharing service.

It's just one of dozens of clips featuring Boston's day of chaos. The videos range from simple excerpts of news footage to video blogs to elaborate parodies.

A Boston sketch comedy troupe, Zebro, posted a slick, profanity-laced "newscast" that noted the Mooninite signs "contained all the components of an improvised explosive device, except for the explosives." Zebro easily dominates the Aqua Teen commentary field with a whopping 830,000 views and climbing.

"I feel comfortable in saying we were the first comedy piece on the Aqua Teen" event, said Marly Halpern-Graser , a Zebro member who appears in the video. "A couple people beat us to uploading just clips of the news, but I think we were the first people with an actual comedic thing." Zebro's team finished editing the piece at 7 a.m. the day after the story broke and posted it a few hours after that.

Its take on the "crisis" is its most successful video ever, scoring about twice as many hits as its next most popular YouTube short, said Halpern-Graser, a student at Emerson College.

Several Zebro fans responded by posting their own clips; one was a mock terrorist video claiming to originate in Uzbekistan.

His face obscured by a black ski mask, the "terrorist" opens with a cheery "Hello, American devil!" then brandishes a "Hello Kitty! Fun Time device" that he promises will "blow you up good."

One of the slickest -- and funniest -- entries is a parody of the Fox Network's terrorism thriller "24." Clips from this season's jarring weapon-of-mass-destruction storyline were digitally edited to replace suitcase nukes with the Mooninite LED signs that prompted Boston's day of not-quite-terror.

The video, created by the National Lampoon, climaxes with action hero Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland) torturing cartoon characters in an unsuccessful effort to avert nuclear catastrophe.

Amateurs proved equally capable of skewering the debacle. One YouTube wag created a montage of news clips set to the tune of "99 Red Balloons," an '80s pop song about a false alarm that sets off a nuclear war.

Another clip, titled "1/31/07: Never Forget," serves up a 9/11-style tribute, complete with Augustana's maudlin pop ballad "Boston" crooned over somber emergency responders and malevolent Mooninites. Nearly 30,000 people have viewed the tribute to date.

"Bonus points for crying eagle," commented one YouTube viewer.

Circus of the Bizarre
"It teeters on the edge of being laughable and tragic at the same time," said Mark Frauenfelder, cofounder of Boing Boing, one of the Web's most venerable and influential blogs.

Frauenfelder said the story works on multiple levels, feeding into the online community's strong concerns about the government's antiterrorism efforts, aside from its obvious entertainment value.

"Something like this 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' incident not only shows how mismanaged Homeland Security efforts are on the local and national government level," he said, "but also has kind of an absurdist comical element to it too, because there's a silly cartoon."

The user-created Internet, sometimes called Web 2.0, naturally tilts toward tales of the bizarre and expressions of derision. Easy anonymity and a general lack of consequences allow people to indulge their worst sides in blogs, forums, public comments, podcasts and now video.

In other words, the Internet can be just plain mean, said Winkler.

"There's no question about it," he said. "Unfortunately, I think there's more of that than anything else."

But one can forgive a certain amount of malice when it's leavened with humor. Frauenfelder sees it as a net positive, so to speak . "Satire is such a powerful tool for criticism and self-expression," said Frauenfelder. "And this 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' event is a great example of that."

A Little for Everyone
The videos aren't just antiauthoritarian critiques of Boston's government. Dozens of clips also memorialized the bizarre press conference held by Sean Stevens , 28, and Peter Berdovsky , 27, who are accused of planting the devices.

"If you're going to be a smartass at a press conference, I think you ought to be smart first and be an ass later," observed Winkler in his own video blog entry.

The news media also took a pounding for puffing the Mooninite threat up to epic proportions -- and for failing to see the humor in the situation.

Stevens and Berdovsky "keep talking about hair, which is hilarious," said a video blogger identified only as Frankus . "But what's hilarious is that none of the reporters get it. It's all like they are these drugged, sleepy sheep of a people."

Some YouTube users were indignant and incredulous that no one in Boston's city government was hip enough to recognize the Aqua Teen characters.

"In the media, they're acting like, 'What's Aqua Teen? What's Aqua Teen? I've never heard of this show,' " marveled video blogger KeN . "Dude, Aqua Teen is Aqua Teen."

"Aqua Teen Hunger Force" averages about a million viewers per episode, according to Nielsen Media. Not bad for cable, but those numbers put it in the company of such mainstream broadcast disasters as "The Megan Mullally Show" and give it not even half the viewers of an average "Gilmore Girls" outing.

The median age of an Aqua Teen viewer is 19.7, according to Nielsen. Many of the show's fans are avid users of YouTube, where clips from it are readily available.

The concentration of Aqua Teen fans on the Internet is far higher than in the general population , said Halpern-Graser, who dismisses the outrage over Boston government's snub of the cartoon's cultural merit.

"They should have recognized that they weren't bombs, but you can't fault the mayor for not recognizing an obscure cartoon character," he said.

National Laughingstock?
Regardless of how the blame game shakes out, the fact remains that Boston's image has taken a beating.

Whether one's sympathies lie with beleaguered city officials or bedraggled guerrilla marketers, it seems no one can spare a kind word these days. In the online world, at least, many of Boston's claims to fame have been eclipsed by its shame.

Are we really seen as a city of fatally unhip, drastically overreacting, possibly fearmongering, seriously humor-lacking dolts?

"I think that Boston took a hit on this," said Winkler. Although he feels the city overreacted, he said, "I think most people understand why it happened that way."

"It shows, obviously, that everyone is paranoid," said Halpern-Graser, who thinks both local officials and media outlets may have secretly craved a real crisis.

"They wanted to use all the security measures they had in place," he said. "It just seemed like they should have been able to call it off sooner than they did."

The view from outside the Bay State is somewhat more charitable.

"I don't think it actually does reflect on the people of Boston in a negative way," said Frauenfelder, who is based in LA. "It was a random series of events that escalated and shot off on this crazy trajectory. It could have happened anywhere."

As for poor old Paul Revere, "it's the nature of the times," said Winkler, who feels that history has been deemphasized in the right-now culture that runs parallel to Web 2.0. "The pace of the world has changed since I was a child," said Winkler, who's in his forties. "If you think about those numbers, they do mean something."

"I think it shows you the power of the Internet to spread a message around current events," said Frauenfelder.

"If Paul Revere would have done his midnight ride last week, he probably would have tens of millions of results."

J.M. Berger can be reached at jmberger@egoplex.com
? Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.

briv
02-18-2007, 06:35 PM
Osama Teen Hunger Force
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1741589