Terror 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:
- Not panicking.
- Actually investigating things. Oh, and knowing things.
- Addressing real threats and security holes instead of imagined ones.