Wednesday, January 31, 2007

UPDATED Boston is becoming a national laughingstock


Well we survived the Mooninite invasion.

I got 2 emails from friends in Chicago in the last hour and I have a sense that many others that live in Boston are hearing similar from friends around the country.
from my emails

I'm not sure who looks dumber, Turner Broadcasting or the city of Boston. I'm picking the City of Boston right now.

No one's seen Aqua Teen Hunger Force in Boston before?

How could they not recognize the mooninites?
The simple fact is there were similar displays in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. AND they have been on display for 2 weeks in Boston!!!! Boston bloggers are having a field day with as well as you can sample at

I have to admit I laughed out loud at this one -If you are going to bomb a subway station, why on earth would you pick Sullivan Square?! Seriously the response at Sullivan was justified as it is a key area for the entire Boston transportation system (expressways, subway, commuter rail ) and knocking it out would cripple the northside of the city.

Now certainly Turner Broadcasting should have informed the city about what they were doing and late Wednesday evening Turner officials admitted they had not done so.

The Cartoon Network ran an apology to Boston Wednesday evening

But be prepared to be laughed at by your friends out of town. Expect Leno and Letterman to have fun with this. This wasn't an issue in Manhattan which is the most security conscious place in America. It happened here and it will become another chapter in local folklore.

Because I love that dirty water
Oh, oh, Boston, you're my home

The Globe has a blistering editorial for tomorrow

Turner Broadcasting has admitted responsibilty

Turner Broadcasting acknowledged late this afternoon that the suspicious packages that ignited fears of bombs across Boston today were magnetic lights that were part of an outdoor marketing campaign for an adult cartoon. Turner was promoting Adult Swim's animated television show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" in Boston and nine other cities, according to a statement e-mailed by Shirley Powell, a company spokeswoman. "Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards," the e-mail statement said. "We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger."

from WBZ-TV

Hoax Devices Part Of Cartoon Ad Campaign

"The "packages" in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. They are part of an outdoor marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim's animated television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. 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. Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards. We regret that they mistakenly thought to pose any danger."


Ron Newman said...

I'll bet this turns out to be leftover construction or surveying equipment that had been sitting there unnoticed for months. Some contractor will be upset.

Brian said...

I'll bet it turns out to be a guerilla marketing attempt gone very wrong. One of the images on Channel 4 looks unmistakably like a character from "Aqua Teen Hunger Force". A similiar image turned up in South Boston...

It's an LED circuit board...

I hope I'm wrong about this, but this would annoy me to know end. That this was all caused by LED graffiti? Ugh.

Othemts said...

I have no doubt that this was Stage 2 in the plot of the Sullivan Square pigeons to overthrow the human race.

Anonymous said...

The MBTA web site failed another test today with these suspicious devices. The site is heavily bogged down to the point of being useless. It is not timing out, but it also is not loading the proper pages.

Will the T ever get the site working properly?

Brian said...

I've been blogging about these on MySpace at

In short, this looks like paid-for guerilla marketing. Wonder if someone gets in trouble for what is essentially a high-tech version of a spray-paint stencil ad.

R. Scott Buchanan said...

@brian: how many victims of terrorist ILBs (Improvised Lite Brites) will there have to be for you to stop mollycoddling the Evil Doers™?

Brian said...

Ha. I'm just wondering how long its going to take for SOMEONE at the Globe to acknowledge what this is. People have been posting on their own website about this for close to an hour. I guess we have to wait for Mayor Menino to say it before we can all acknowledge what's going on. Should be a fun press conference. I'll feel bad for whoever's going to get fired at Time-Warner over this.

Anonymous said...

Latest channel 7 bulletin: "Suspicious device found at comic book store in Allston".

No kidding.

Terra terra terra.

Anonymous said...

who duznt know Ignignokt?
get with it people.

just like they always said they would.


Anonymous said...

And it took two weeks to discover these.


The incompetents are definitely in charge.

Dani B. said...

Oh no smug bloggers are mocking us! whatever shall we do to restore Boston's good name?!?!?! Two words to them: BITE ME!

I will reluctantly admit to havening watched aqua teen (it's my roommate's fault!) and even I was unfamiliar with the Mooninite characters. I hate to break it to them but anyone over the age of 24 has never heard of aqua teen hunger force (and to those who will be rebuke me and say "but i'm 35 and love aqua teen": you're losers!). So be smug but those things do look out of place in the daylight espescially when attached to bridge support beams.

Anonymous said...

has anyone seen aqua teens you ask? sure. college age stoners. do you think any of those are the ones responding to any of those calls that came in? no.

ok, sure. sullivan square? lame place for a potential bomb scare. but under a bridge? that's asking for trouble.

Charlie said...

I don't think anyone has a problem with the intial response at Sullivan this morning. T riders laugh about Sullivan ( myself included ) but at that location we have subway, commuter rail, and I-93. If that ever got knocked out access to downtown would be crippled.

But was the video spread across the country by 11 AM bloggers and message boards were already making the connection to the cartoon show.

I guess what bothers me the most is the devices were in place for as long as 2 weeks and nobody noticed????

Charlie said...

BTW 83,000 blogs in Boston and on the ADULT SWIM message board somebody in the SECOND post in the thread links to here

Charlie is humbled

Adult Swim message board

JD said...

Now they're calling these "devices" a "hoax." Um, no... if they'd been intended to make people think they were dangerous, then they'd be a hoax. What they are is mass hysteria created by a culture of fear.

Can you really put someone in jail because someone else got scared of a Lite Brite?

Charlie said...

Gee they look so innocent at night

Adult Swim Ad in South Boston

Thomas said...

The T can't catch a break.

There will be no media coverage of the opening of the improved North Station as the media was busy with the Lite Brites.

What a crazy day this has been

Brad said...

The Boston Police Department has released a timeline of the events

Some have criticized the response to these incidents without having all the facts and circumstances known to them.

Charlie said...

AP just moved a story on the "laughingstock" stigma that many in Boston feel.

‘We’re the laughingstock,’ resident says after cartoon signs prompt scare

I think what is noteworthy in that story is the reaction of other police officials across the country on the way Boston handled this.

Most of Boston’s colleagues in law enforcement in the other cities chose their words carefully.

“I wouldn’t want to give my opinion, but in today’s world it’s better safe than sorry. Someone (in Boston) clearly thought there was a threat,” Atlanta police Officer Joe Cobb said.

In the Seattle area, authorities thought the devices were “obviously not suspicious.”

“In this day and age, whenever anything remotely suspicious shows up, people get concerned — and that’s good,” King County sheriff’s Sgt. John Urquhart said. “However, people don’t need to be concerned about this. These are cartoon characters giving the finger.”

Anonymous said...

futurama!! Havn't seen that in years!