Aqua Teen "hoax" in Boston

http://cbs4boston.com/topstories/local_story_031135507.html

Everything about this is pretty nutso. It could turn out to be more, but at this point it seems like someone put up some pranky lite-brite displays around Boston with a character from Aqua Teen flipping off people. The response of the city was a complete freak-out.

I’m not sure who to pit here. Is the city nuts for reacting like this? Stopping traffic and exploding what amounts to some silly cyber-graffiti as a precautionary move? They no doubt spent huge sums of manhour and equipment and commuter headache on this, which if this turns out to be nothing, will look a little silly.

Or are the pranksters the ones to pit for pulling something they should have known would freak people out and inspire a full-blown anti-terrorism reaction, thus causing all the waste?

Either way, someone’s face is red and the citizens of Boston are sure to be pissed.

CNN is reporting that this is part of an advertising campaign by the Cartoon Network and that these “devices” are in other cities as well.

This reaction seems about right, given the reaction to the sight of one of Janet Jackson’s boobs.

Luck them up and throw away the key!

OK, that’s a little harsh. I do think the goofballs who did this should be made to pay the cost of the emergency services people and also any losses to businesses caused by this stunt. This isn’t like the stencils painted (with washable paint) on sidewalks to attract attention to a product. We are living in paranoid times and strange devices showing up in a major city will make police people nervous.

The City of Boston is going to blow-up one of Janet Jackson’s boobs…?

(Aren’t they worried about Shuriken Nipple-Ring Shrapnel? :eek: )

I was about to post a similar pit. I can’t imagine anything more stupid than this stunt. To place a simulated bomb under the support of a major highway, and 12 feet above a bus shelter that serves thousands of people every day – in this day and age? The Cartoon Network needs to get its ass sued, because, as I can attest – my office window faces the supposed bomb site – this was a major, major disruption.

except it wasn’t a simulated bomb.

Ah… that explains perhaps why the bomb squad was called out.

It’s Boston. They will kill you if they don’t like the color of car you are driving. Whole families are massacred over traffic disputes. This is the reaction I’d expect.

Well, NPR reports that it was boxes conatining wires, LED panels and computer boards.

Superficially, that may look like bomb materials.

Pretty stupid prank.

I was confused by the article. At first it seemed like the devices were randomly placed, as they were “found” by authorities. This strikes me as more than a little dumb on the part of the company, and even a little offensive. Not offensive in a terror threat way, but more the notion that companies can advertise wherever and whenever they feel like it. I swear, it’s worse than graffiti.

But then, the article mentioned billboards … and aren’t billboards designated places that a company can pay to advertise? OMG, there’s a crazy thing on a billboard (!!!) – gee, maybe you should call the billboard company before you call the police. And if the police are called, maybe they should contact the advertising company before anything gets blown up.

I think the Cartoon Network is pretty stupid for this idea, although calling it a hoax is also pretty stupid (not the OP, the linked story).

A hyperbolic reaction?

You and your third dimension…

I never thought I would see the day that FARK is more on the money than the Straight Dope:

Scrool down for the sign in question, more like a lite bright pannel and it has an ATHF Moononite flipping the bird.

So far I’m agreeing with FARK, the signs were reported to be up for 2 or 3 weeks already.

However, I would like to see if they got the appropriate permits for the signs. So far that looks as the only thing that would save Boston from further embarrassment.

link to pictures of the device:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vanderlin/tags/aquateenhungerforce/

Just barely. Ever drive to Logan?

My wife called me earlier today freaked out about this. At the time, they were reporting boxes with LEDs and circuit boards all over town. I told her that terrorism was one of about 20 million possible explanations. Glad it was just this.

…That having been said, what was Turner thinking with this campaign? I don’t think it’s legal to put posters up on bridges, bus stops, etc. without permits, etc. Doesn’t sound like this was the case. They should know better, as a big-ass company with lawyers and presumably someone with common sense. What with terrorists hopping on planes at Logan and ceiling panels crushing people in the tunnels, we Boston folk are a little sensitive and apprehensive when foreign objects show up on highways and bridges.

I enjoy ATHF. This is one of those events that will either give the show a new visibility or become O’Reilly/Limbaugh/Hannity’s enemy du jour.

“Turner Broadcasting stated 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”

A three-week old Lite Brite display. Wow. There’s going to be some fired PR reps, methinks.

I can see this being the basis for a new urban legend. Remember back in the '80s when schools would send home letters warning parents that drug dealers were trying to entice kids with cartoon-covered blotter sheets? Now it’s going to be about terrorists luring kids and teens using bombs covered in the favorite 'toons. :rolleyes:

I think everyone involved deserves a big kick in the ass for this one: Cartoon Network for thinking that enough people would recognize the character and pass it off as “art”; and the officials, who should have realized what they were dealing with after the first one.

Hypergolic perhaps.