I imagine everyone has already heard all about our city's embarrassing day yesterday. Well you know, when people are badly embarrassed they tend to respond by getting angry and looking for someone to blame; someone other than themselves, that is. So now Boston authorities are arresting folks and talking about taking Cartoon Network off the air, and, oh, the other channels broadcast by Turner Media as well. The news outlets, too, are trying to cover for their ridiculous overreaction by playing up the outrage and "in a post-9/11 world" quotes. They are both wrong. Two points:
1. News reports emerging as the story developed contained quotes like the following: "Officials said it contained an electronic circuit board with some components that were 'consistent with an improvised explosive device,' but they said it had no explosives." I can't be the only one desirous of pointing out that, without explosives, what you have in fact is an "improvised device"—which is actually a fair description of the objects in question. Another fair description would be Lite-Brite. Lite-Brite. You know, the toy from the 80s? Many relics of the 80s happen to be quite terrifying today, but I hadn't thought the Lite-Brite was one of them.
2. The placing of the "objects" has been widely referred to as a "hoax". As an internet commenter wrote, "I don't think that word means what you think it means." He's right! I looked it up, in a dictionary. The verdict: "Hoax. -noun 1. Something intended to deceive or defraud." If I leave a cushion in a bag by the side of the road and someone reports it as a bomb (this really happened here in Bedford!) am I guilty of perpetrating a hoax? Or was the person who reported the dangerous-looking package guilty of wildly overreacting? Obviously, neither Cartoon Network nor anyone associated with the network intended—nor even imagined—that anyone would think these harmless-looking cartoon characters were bombs.
Although, maybe they weren't so harmless after all! The newspapers tell us that the characters are depicted making an "obscene gesture"! Ooh, I wonder what it could be! I can't tell, because the Channel 5 website clumsily photoshopped the image of the offending digit. Can we get any more farcical?
This entry would be funnier, but there's just so much wrong with this situation that I'm sputtering with outrage.
"People say that the food is really good. Unfortunately, i never got to visit an In-and-Out Burger when i lived in LA."
"I heard about that place from a presentation in Nutrition school. A girl in my class gave an oral on her experience with in-and-out."
"Ashley, before you say something out loud, do you listen to it in your head first? Because that might really make a difference."