This week’s invasion of the lite-brite bombs has become something of a national hullabaloo, with many differing viewpoints.
Cartoonist August J. Pollak had this to say:
1. Attorney General Martha Coakley needs to shut up and stop using the word “hoax.” There was no hoax. Hoax implies Turner Networks and the ATHF people were trying to defraud or confuse people as to what they were doing. Hoax implies they were trying to make their signs look like bombs. They weren’t. They made Lite-Brite signs of a cartoon character giving the finger.
2. It bears repeating again that Turner, and especially Berdovsky, did absolutely nothing illegal. The devices were not bombs. They did not look like bombs. They were all placed in public spaces and caused no obstruction to traffic or commerce. At most, Berdovsky is guilty of littering or illegal flyering.
3. The “devices” were placed in ten cities, and have been there for over two weeks. No other city managed to freak out and commit an entire platoon of police officers to scaring their own city claiming they might be bombs. No other mayor agreed to talk to Fox News with any statement beyond “no comment” when spending the day asking if this was a “terrorist dry run.”
4. There is nothing, not a single thing, remotely suggesting that Turner or the guerilla marketing firm they hired intended to cause a public disturbance. Many have claimed the signs were “like saying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” Wrong. This was like taping a picture of a fire to the wall of a theater and someone freaked out and called the fire department.
5. The FCC can’t pull a private cable network’s license, Mayor Hyperbole McFuckwit.
OTOH, cartooner Colleen Doran, who grew up in a household so hardcore they used defused bombs as doorstops had this to say:
Since my dad spent many years working in bomb disposal, I don’t think this is funny. A resident claimed she didn’t believe the threat must be serious since she saw a bomb disposal technician handling the device with his bare hands. I got news for you lady. Not only do they sometimes handle those devices with their bare hands, my dad used to bring them home.
What a prankster dad was. Incidentally, the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators just had their annual meeting right here in Virginia. Only about 29 people showed up. I assume the others were all dead, missing limbs, or busy dealing with jihadis who claim they are blowing people up for the love of Allah.
The other morning I had to go to midtown for a meeting at a big office building owned by a big corporation. I don’t do this very often, and I’d forgotten that here in NYC when you go into a big office building owned by a big corporation you have to pull out your ID, get a pass, go through some kind of turnstile, sign in and out and in general account for your whereabouts. The big office building wasn’t far from the one that houses DC, where I used to work. On September 10th 2001, there were two entrances to this building, one on Broadway and one on 53rd Street. After 9/11 the side entrance on Broadway got closed. I rarely go uptown, but a few months ago I was up there to meet someone. As I was going there I wondered if five years later, that door would be open, or if, like all those mystery doors you see in the subway or a pyramid, it was still closed.
Still closed. Maybe it’s closed forever and ever. Sometimes it’s hard to make sense of a world where going in the side door is dangerous, but I guess we’ll have to muddle through somehow.
[Pollak link via Kos.]
Update: Here’s a link to a “breaking news” story that shows how the “threat” emerged on live TV. Pretty hilarious (or infuriating) in hindsight.