In an incident reminiscent of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio broadcast of 1938, the city of Boston yesterday shut down bridges and a section of the Charles River in a panicked reaction to some "suspicious packages" with "a very sinister appearance," which were actually illuminated promotional devices for the adult swim cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force (see left.)
The luminous boxes featured the image of Ignignokt the Mooninite, a recurring character on the show, who with his partner Err, assault the Aqua Teens with frequent bird flipping, verbal burns, tire fires and other obnoxious, provocative antics. The Mooninites look like pixelated rejects from an old Atari game and bear no resemblance whatsoever to Osama Bin Laden, Muqtada al-Sadr, or any other persons known for anti-American activities.
Turner Broadcasting Co., which owns the Cartoon Network and adult swim, issued a contrite statement for the ad campaign (which is also now displaying at the adult swim homepage), withdrawing the ads from a dozen or so other major American cities (including NYC), where they had been on display for nearly 10 days.
This whole story strikes me as so absurd that I can hardly type, my hands are shaking so with sheer incredulity. Why were no other cities sent into terrorist-attack panic mode by these innocuous and even kind of swell-looking ads? Can we safely assume that Boston has the fewest adult swim viewers per capita? Can we also assume they have the most high-strung residents and/or law enforcement team in the nation?
Good to know our system works, as a freelance video artist allegedly responsible for placing the ads in Boston has already been arrested and charged. Here's hoping the 27-year-old white male with dreadlocks (who probably thought he had a pretty cool job) will be made less of an example of than John Walker Lindh. Better luck next time, Aqua Teens, Boston ain't laughin' and Turner Broadcasting is wicked sorry. Perhaps the dudes from Metalocalypse would have been less threatening to ol' Beantown.
For more nasty, anti-American rhetoric, see this Mooninite Random Quote Generator.