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This Was Not a Terror Hoax, and They Were Not Fake Bombs

I am doing it as hard as I canTerror Scare! If you don't have a television or a radio, you might have missed it: Mysterious, technological devices hidden across a densely-populated American city. The city of Boston, thrown into chaos, bridge, highways and train stops shut down. After a city-wide search and investigation, officials eventually determined that the whole thing was a terror hoax. The two perpetrators were quickly arrested and held on $100,000 bond. Although thankfully no lives were lost, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino promised to make them pay dearly for plunging the city into a panic. The events happened, but the description above is not true. You wouldn't know it from most news coverage, but this was not a terror hoax, and these were not fake bombs planted through the city. Boston was not targeted, any more than New York, Philadelphia, and a number of other cities were. The "devices" had been around for weeks without causing any panic, threatening anyone's safety, or making it on the news. The "devices" were not even "devices," at least not in the ominous tone of a newscaster. They were advertisements. With colorful lights on them. Lights that formed the outline of an Atari-style video game character giving you the finger. They were ads for Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The Atari guy flipping the bird is one of the Mooninites, either Ignignokt or Err. Now I know that a lot of people are saying, "we have to take terrorism seriously." The two guys who put up the signs face charges of "placing a hoax device in a way that causes panic and disorderly conduct." Guess what? The overblown reaction and subsequent whining and finger-pointing is the opposite of taking terrorism seriously. Taking terrorism seriously would entail:
  1. Not panicking.
  2. Actually investigating things. Oh, and knowing things.
  3. Addressing real threats and security holes instead of imagined ones.
Question 1: How could Boston officials possibly have known what these cryptic figures were supposed to be? Well, according to Time Magazine, ATHF and the rest of the Adult Swim line up have gotten better ratings than Jay Leno and David Letterman for men under the age of 35. Granted the Tonight Show has been on a little longer, but what would the reaction and news coverage look like if this stunt was pulled by NBC? Does this mean the City of Boston (along with the TV stations and news networks covering the breaking story) have no male employees under the age of 35? Question 2: How could they have possibly tell the difference between a terrorist plot and a guerrilla marketing plot? They could try Google, or YouTube. Do terrorists film their preparations, put them to a techno beat, then post the video to the most popular video site in America? [youtube]cWMZ36K_gyg[/youtube] Now this whole thing might have been a big lame joke, except that some Bostonians and many Americans are so scared brainless about terrorism that they are probably going to try to put Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens in jail and sue the pants of Ted Turner. This part is very serious: do we really want to make anything that anyone thinks might be a bomb equal to an actual bomb in the eyes of the law? Do we want to make two guys who were mistaken for terrorists equivalent to actual terrorists? Did you know that people carry around complex technological devices that could possibly, maybe, in some scenarios, be packed with ounces of explosives? Gasp. Confiscate all the iPods! If you leave your backpack unattended at the airport, don't be surprised if they blow it. But if there's no threat, and no intent to create a hoax, you shouldn't expect to spend a night in jail either. Adult Swim has issued a half-hearted lawyerly apology (see below), but I don't think they should have apologized at all. [youtube]AVLJbRH8A7w[/youtube] Finally, I think it's important to educate the public about what the threat looks like: [youtube]T5rM39AhHDE[/youtube]

Dunkin donuts will rot your teeth and America

Dunkin Donuts, for those of you who don't know, serves more cups of coffee a day than any other retailer in the US, including Starbucks. The chain, which is more prevalent in Boston than any other and maybe all other food franchises together, boasts the slogan "America runs on Dunkin." This clever ad campaign uses a lot of catchy "They Might be Giants" songs, which have nothing to do with coffee or America, but never the less draws attention to the TV or Radio and more importantly to Dunkin Donuts. When I first moved to Boston in January I didn't get caught up in the hype too much. I wasn't a coffee drinker, rarely ate breakfast, and couldn't even tell you where the closest Dunkin' was to my house. Soon though, I became sucked in. After a few months of heavy drinking in my new city, I decided I needed a new cheaper vice. First, I contemplated cocaine, but decided that wouldn't be much cheaper or very convenient. Second I tried self-asphyxiation; it provided a nice buzz, but several times I blacked out and/or broke blood vessels in my eyes. Then in a moment of weakness to mass marketing, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and bought my first Iced Coffee or "The Ice" as I've come to call it. Oh the joy! The sweet cold elixir ran easier down my throat then up the oversized straw they provide. The sudden infusion of caffeine to an otherwise caffeine desolate body created a huge rush. I could work faster and longer with better concentration than before. The Ice even provided the shakes that I was beginning to miss from my days as a functioning alcoholic. I was hooked. I couldn't start my day without Dunkin or The Ice. First it started as only a small cup every morning, but as my body built a tolerance to caffeine I had to increase my dosage of The Ice. Soon it was a medium Ice, then a large Ice. I'd grab a cup before I got on the subway and then again when I got to work. The Indian guy (dots not feathers) at my local Dunkins knew I was hooked and began pushing the extra shot of espresso on me. "Large Ice, cream and melted sugar" rang in my head as I slept. I frequented the Dunkins close to my house and work so much that the employees who didn't even speak English had memorized my debit card number. I was hooked on Dunkins and I loved it. But, like all love affairs this one must come to an end. Yesterday I had a root canal; a very painful and expensive procedure. Basically, they fill your cheek with Novocain. Then they begin to drill. If you are not numb enough, they will give you a second shot of Novocaine, but this time in the nerve of the tooth itself. Once you are so thoroughly numbed that your eye on that side won't focus, they begin the removal of the nerve pulp in the center of your tooth. All-in-all it wasn't the worst procedure I've been through. The Endodontist who performed the procedure was very nice, although he was a little surprised that I had brought my own dental dam. In fact, the most painful part was the bill at the end. For 45 minutes of agony I was presented a bill for $1050.00. Holy Shit! For that much money I should be allowed to kick the Dr. in the nuts or at least be allowed to give him a blow job. Where does this fit in with Dunkin Donuts you're asking? Well obviously, it's not my fault I needed a root canal. So it must be the food item that I consume the most; Dunkin Donuts and "The Ice". That sweet sweet goodness must be responsible for my pain and agony. It couldn't have been the years of not brushing and flossing properly, or the fact that I let a bad filling go for over 6 months. Just the idea that this problem wasn't anyone's fault but mine is ridiculous. It's my tooth and my money so I should decide to where to place the blame, right? Not only that, but pointing the finger and placing blame is probably America's favorite past time. If our president and politicians and business leaders can obviously redirect blame and fault from their own laps onto others', why can't I? It's not like I'm telling the world that Dunkin Donuts is responsible for the deaths of thousands because they didn't prepare for a hurricane (not that I can prove anyway), or that Dunkin Donuts started a war because it thought that Iraq (A country that does not have any Dunkin Donuts) was harboring weapons of mass destruction. I'm just saying that my addiction to their Iced Coffee has caused my tooth problems. So does America really run on Dunkin like the ads say? If America runs on Dunkin by drinking its caffeine laced drinks and eating its fat filled breakfast sandwiches, then I don’t know. There are only 3 Dunkin Donuts in Cleveland that I can think of compared to the 4 I walk by just on my way to work in Boston. Or does the slogan "America runs on Dunkin" a metaphor for how Americans are so proficient at placing blame and redirecting fault? America runs on Dunkins because it sleeps better at night knowing that nothing is ever their fault? America runs on Dunkins because it knows most of the time it will not be held responsible for its actions? America runs on Dunkins because our government has established a history of using scapegoats for very serious crimes? This question is one of debate and importance that may never be answered. All I can say for sure is that I need to run out to grab some Tylenol for my tooth, and some of "The Ice" for my conscious. Š