Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thur Words

First off... My condolences to the friends and family of Molly Ivins. I just heard this morning that she passed due to her battle with cancer. I never read any of her books, but I saw her interviewed a few times and I saw her appearance on Cspan in the famous battle with Bill O'reilly and Al Franken. She was terrific. She seemed like a person that I would of liked had I met her. A "Straight shooter" who told you what was on her mind.

Ok, This story is all over the websites that I frequent and chances are by the time you read this you'll have heard about it on the news. I'm talking about the recent shut down of an entire city due to some art. This story is just mind-blowing in how far beyond common sense this series of events has escalated. I am not condoning what these people did in the sense of planting "hoax" like devices that look like bombs. That would be wrong. BUT I do not see that what these two guys did as being worthy of all the hoopla. In case you haven't heard. They created an image using a bunch of LED's hooked up to a battery. Then they put these lights in places around the city (multiple cities, but Boston was the only one that over-reacted). All of this was an attempt to promote a cartoon. Well, turns out, after these things had been up for about 2 weeks, someone finally took notice and thought they looked suspicious. I can understand that part. But the series of events that followed are crazy. The authorities thought these things were bombs. Ok, I can even understand wanting to Err on the side of caution on, and calling someone to inspect them (like a police officer). But no. They called out every three letter government service to inspect these devices. And here's the kicker, there wasn't just one of these, there were several around the city... Once they realized the first one was a harmless art project, they went on to assume that the other pieces (that looked exactly the same) were also bombs. Unbelievable. I heard one report that the bomb squad was even blowing these things up to destroy them. AND now the two guys who put these things up, are being charged with felonies. Does anyone have any common sense anymore? You want to charge them with illegal advertising? Fine. But a felony for committing a hoax?
I'm also a bit concerned over this story, because it may effect me somehow... The story is being connected to my favorite website because at one point on their blog, they showed people how to make these LED signs. (A single LED/battery/magnet is called a "throwie" - and is a form of digital graffiti.) I hope there is no negative fallout to the maker community.
Well, I HOPE that common sense will prevail in our justice system and that these charges will be dropped. I am also predicting that this is going to cause a BIG backlash in the underground art scene, I hope that no one takes this too far.
You can read more about it over on boingboing here.

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