Bostonians came under attack last week, not from terrorists or even delinquent moon creatures, but instead from their own fear and stupidity.
City officials investigated reports of suspicious boxes placed in high-traffic areas around Boston, which authorities believed to be explosives. After detonating several, they discovered the packages were only small, light-up advertisements for the animated show Aqua Teen Hunger Force which airs on the Cartoon Network (Teletoon in Canada). No doubt the ads were in support of the ATHF movie, slated to hit theatres in March. The ads themselves featured one of the show’s secondary characters, Ignignokt the Mooninite–a green, block-shaped creature–giving passersby the finger. Similar ads were placed in 10 other cities, including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle and New York. No official complaints were made in any of those cities. Worse still, the ads have been up as long as three weeks. Apparently Boston doesn’t watch enough Adult Swim.
While most chuckled at the silliness, many Bostonians were livid. Sure, Ignignokt and his little pink pal Err have a reckless past–stealing the check the moon government sends to Crazy Uncle Cliff every week for being crazy, taking Carl’s hypno-rims to pick up “sweet ass bitches at the mall,” and even suckering Meatwad and Master Shake into that Moon Warrior pyramid scheme–this time, they’ve gone too far, shutting down traffic, tying up emergency services and costing the Boston taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars. It even landed the two men who set up the devices in hot water, charged with “placing a hoax device in a way that results in panic.”
“It is outrageous, in a post 9/11 world, that a company would use this type of marketing scheme,” said Boston mayor Thomas Menino in a statement released Wednesday. “I am prepared to take any and all legal action against Turner Broadcasting and its affiliates for any and all expenses incurred during the response to today’s incidents.”
Good idea, Mayor Menino. You show that Southern billionaire and his evil moon men friends that you don’t mess with New England. It’s certainly easier than admitting city officials blew an entire year’s budget overreacting to a billboard. I guess that’s just the “post 9/11 world” Menino operates in.
I know what a concerning, sensitive topic this is. No one is trying to make light of the terrorist attacks in New York, London, Spain or any other city affected by real terrorism around the world since September 11, 2001. But I remember that tragic Tuesday morning and I remember the fallout after. Americans, Canadians and the whole free world alike stood together and said, “If we stop living our lives, the terrorists win.” So we went back to movie theatres and football games and we got back on airplanes, all so the terrorists wouldn’t win. But who’s laughing now? When people start checking under the bed at night for SpongeBob or shutting down sizeable sections of one of America’s largest cities for bird-flipping moon men, the terrorists have succeeded.
We want to be safe, but we need to be free–free to do and say what we wish, and free to set up light-up ads for stupid cartoons.