Up Yours Boston
February 1, 2007

Lame LED lights outlining a cartoon guyI read a TON of sci-fi as a kid ... and I ran across a quote from Robert Heinlein ... he probably stole it from someone else "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."

And I'm telling you now, the officials of Boston have proven that in a way I can't even begin to fathom. You see this funky little Commodore 64 era pixelated sprite on the left? He's a Mooninite from the show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. It's a silly little adult cartoon show. The Mooninites are going to invade earth.

So, the marketing gurus decided to build these little LED lightboards, power them with apparently 4 D cell batteries and place them near the billboards advertising their movie. You know, a little guerrilla marketing, spread some word of mouth.

Yeah, after they'd been up for about two weeks (and several of them stolen in that time), some Chicken Little in Boston decided they were OBVIOUSLY bombs.

Check out a closer look at one:

Closer Look at the electronics of the Mooninite

Okay ... maybe from a distance, you can't quite see anything except wires and batteries and LED bulbs. But you know what? It makes a silly little character outline. That would get me thinking that it was just silliness. But apparently some good citizen in Boston is really really really freaking paranoid. Cuz it got called in to the authorities. And they came out and blew the first one up. Cuz you know, the bomb squad apparently couldn't figure out that the freaking wires were powering the damn LEDs and nothing else. I don't see any C4 or plastique on these things. What the hell kind of bomb squad does Boston have that they can't trace the fricking wires and figure out it's a damn LIGHT just like it looks like?

Are we really that paranoid? I know I can't freaking live that way. Paranoid and scared all the time. Are you people so crazy nuts that you can't even use your brains anymore?

And what really slays me about this entire incident is in this CNN article.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis called it "unconscionable" that the marketing campaign was executed in a post 9/11 era. "It's a foolish prank on the part of Turner Broadcasting," he said. "In the environment nowadays ... we really have to look at the motivation of the company here and why this happened."

Really? Really? Look, if there were crazy wires everywhere ... bits of clay that might be explosives ... something that actually looked like a freaking bomb, I could perhaps understand it and agree that this might be "marketing run amok." But it looks freaking harmless!

Now, maybe a common citizen who was scared of electronics might not know this. Shoot, my mother thought I was going to burn the house down when I spliced some speaker wire together as a teenager. But the specialists who showed up to deal with the "suspicious devices"???? COME ON!

Absolutely ridiculous.

I refuse to live my life terrified. Maybe that means I'll be dead because I pick up some LED lightboard that turns out to actually be a bomb. But my quality of life will be better for rejecting fear and living my life every day.

So ... to Boston, I have to agree with the T-shirts already showing up on eBay ... Up Yours.

Other auctions for the LED boards are here ... and here ... and I'm sure there will be more.

Posted by Red Monkey at February 1, 2007 10:04 AM | Never Underestimate the Power of Human Stupidity | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Sean said:

Yea, I knew this was going to happen. The first thing I said to myself was, "everyone's going to hate Boston now...". It's sooo sad, now I have proof of how stupid people are in my state!

February 1, 2007 11:46 AM


Rashenbo said:

Sounds like someone in Boston had a bad experience with a Bright Lite as a kid... geez.... You know, perhaps it's time Duracell revisited its branding and packaging... can't have people thinking those little batteries are bombs you know....

February 1, 2007 3:21 PM
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