Thursday, February 01, 2007

Paranoid Nation

For a couple weeks the Cartoon network has placed LED ads throughout various cities in the US to promote their show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”. Yesterday mass hysteria broke out just down the way in Boston, closing bridges and roads when the police feared that these devices, which had wire and batteries and LED lights in the shape of a cartoon character, were terrorist bombs.

The response by authorities cost millions of dollars in police and bomb squad over time and snarled traffic for hours. The city officials are seeking to press charges and recoup the money they wasted from the perpetrators of the ad campaign.

It seems that the expense and hysteria was cause by the overreaction of the authorities. After all these ‘lite brite’ signs were in place for some time and in other cities without panic breaking out. I would think that placement of an actual bomb and an advertisement would be on the opposite ends of the spectrum. The bomb would be hidden or disguised in some way; the ad would be placed in a highly visible location. Also there are a lot of items with wires and batteries, I am not expert but don’t bombs also need an explosive agent? Looking at the picture...uhm...even to me that doesn't look like a bomb. If these were so suspicious looking why did they not cause a ruckus when they first appeared or in any of the other cities they were in?

Have we become so paranoid?

The wise Winston Churchill said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. I think it's time to step back and take a deep breath.

No comments: