Boston brought to a standstill by cartoon ad campaign

Boston brought to a standstill by cartoon ad campaign

You may have heard that there was a little excitement in Boston yesterday. Long story, short: The Cartoon Network hired a “guerilla marketing” company to promote a movie version of one if its cartoons and they hired a couple of long-haird art-school types to place battery-powered, Lite-Brite images of a cartoon character all over Boston. The marketing promo was also done in about 10 cities total, but only Boston had the total freakout.

When one was discovered attached to a bridge overpass, the city went into lockdown mode while the bomb squad and every cop on the force was called in, bringing the city to a screeching halt. Nine total devices were found.

The guy who placed the packages is named Peter Berdovsky, aka Zebbler, and he documented the placement of these things in a video and pictures on his web site. (The site’s probably unavailable now, but I saw it last night.) Berdovsky and one of his friends have been arrested and charged with possession of a hoax device and disorderly conduct.

City and state officials are apoplectic and posturing for the cameras, Turner Broadcasting is apologetic and welcoming the publicity, and the people in the other cities where the campaign took place are wondering why it’s such a big deal in Boston.

Gen X: grow up; Law enforcement: pay attention

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  • Boston has every reason to be super-sensitive. Doesn’t anyone remember—even in the news media—that Boston was Terror Central for the attack on the Twin Towers in NY?? No wonder there is so little support in this amnesiac country for confronting Radical Islam—only a few years later such terrorism is all a joke to the likes of people at Ted Turner’s Media Empire and their ilk.

  • I think those weasels ought to be lined up against a wall and shot.

    As for the anti-obscenity laws: No, it would have to be an actual sex act for it to be prosecuted that way.  Mere gestures aren’t obscene.  It might be indecent, but not obscene.

  • “Turner Broadcasting”, eh?  Anyone heard from Ted Turner on this?  Anyone heard his full name mentioned, or a quote from the man, on any of the news stories?

    What if, instead of TBS, it was GBS – you know, Gibson Broadcasting Service?  Any thoughts on how often you’d be hearing Mel’s name?

  • Please don’t shoot me, I thought our response made us the laughingstock of the nation. As one guy on the street told a reporter…“We’re Boston, we always come to the party alittle later than everyone else.”

    Anyone under the age of thirty knew what this thing was. (which incidently does not include me, but I have college students…)

  • And a more apt title to this thread might be “Boston Brought to a Standstill by Incompetent and Hopelessly Out-of-Touch Government Believing its own BS as Savior of the People”.

  • Maybe Romulus didn’t read the part about the police finding two conventional pipe bombs at the same time as they found the Lite-Brites. I think the response yesterday was appropriate. 
    It could have been largely avoided had the advertising company contacted the City, which they didn’t do until late in the day.

    A Pakistani terorrist group has planted explosive devices in toy ducks. Iraqui terrorist groups plant IEDs in dead dogs.  You can’t assume a toy is harmless when you’re responding to this sort a report of a suspicious object placed on or under a bridge.

  • Misskelly—

    As a matter of fact, no; I wasn’t aware of any pipe bombs being part of the picture.  But this doesn’t change my opinion, that the city stupidly over-reacted.  First, a lite-brite doesn’t look like a pipe bomb (bombs don’t have flashing lights unless they’re in the movies).  Second, the same signs had been distributed in other American cities, without inciting terror.  Third, the IEDs you described are booby-traps.  From what I’ve seen, the ATHF signs were hung in hard-to-reach places. 

    I continue to believe that the real terrorists here are the government, who sow fear (abetted by the lackey media) as a means of aggrandising their power.  It’s all about power.  It’s not that complicated.

  • Romulus calls our government the”real terrorists.” I wonder if he’s one of that crowd who thinks the CIA was behind the Twin Towers collapse or that Jews in the building had a warning from our government or Israel that the attack was on the way. That kind of irrational hatred makes it that much harder for us to defend ourselves from terrorism of any kind. That the fact bombs were being found that day in the city that was the jump off point for the Tower Terrorists doesn’t phase Romulus just shows how many people have been seduced into hating their own country by the Michael Moores of this world.

  • I believe the authorities did over-react.How
      anyone could seriously believe those eye sores
      could be bombs,is beyond me.

  • Dear Deacon John M. Bresnahan:

    To paraphrase Dr. Johnson, how is it that the loudest yelps for defense of our freedoms are coming from apologists for the Security State?

    I log on this morning to find myself convicted by you in absentia (that’s Latin), of irrational hatred.  That’s what I call fast work, Mr. Bresnahan.  But you have misjudged me.  I don’t think the Twin Towers were brought down by the CIA—or by Israel either, for that matter. 

    I am not a fan of Michael Moore.  This is because my political sympathies are conservative, and as such I’m mistrustful of social engineering and utopian promises.  Do you remember conservatives, Mr. Bresnahan?  Those were the people who believed (among other things) that because governments are composed of fallen, fallible men, the State should not be over-endowed with power (which is likely to be abused), and should take care not to over-reach its competences.

    Were there any real bombs found in Boston last week?  I believe there was at least one hoax device found (unrelated to the Cartoon Network illuminated signs), but despite your assertion, I’m not aware that any “bombs were being found that day in the city”.

    One other thing about conservatives.  They’re the people who think historical memory is important.  They’re the ones who remember how the blood flowed during the French Revolution.  Mr. Bresnahan, shall I remind you of one of the Revolution’s more popular political slogans?  Que la terreur soit à l’ordre du jour—“let terror be the order of the day”.  Nice, isn’t it?  And now our latter-day Jacobins have taken up the cry—la patrie en danger—because they too understand that when you want to strip freedom from the lowly, like the Revolution’s “Committee of Public Safety” you have to tell them you’re defending them from “crimes against liberty”.  When you want to consolidate power and impose social change, nothing works like fear.  Yes, I believe our government is guilty of terrorism, not for the first time, to condition the people into acceptance of a Security State at home and an imperialist adventure abroad. 

    One final point: “phase” and “faze” are two different words.  I hope it doesn’t faze you to see me express the hope that our country escape this fear-soaked phase.