Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Feb 10 2007

LOL Boston PWND

Though it’s been blogged about extensively, I just have to express my amazement at the city of Boston’s reaction to its recent discovery of a few publicly placed LED boards with cartoon characters on them. Spurning chance after chance to realize what they were dealing with, their reaction to international derision over the matter seems to have made them simply more eager to “prove” that there was some kind of “threat” involved. Now apparently they’ve cooked up some numbers for “restitution” for their blunder and have forced the head of the Cartoon Network to resign.

What I find most significant is that this is the first time I’ve ever witnessed such a huge disconnect between what the mainstream media is reporting and what is blatantly obvious to everyone else. It’s almost soviet. Even living here in Taiwan and being a bit older than the targeted demographic, I still know about the TV show the character is taken from. So, it seems, does everyone on the Internet. But despite the fact that both the show and the Internet have been around for years, the mainstream media in the US seems almost willfully ignorant. I suppose in the first couple of hours after the story broke such ignorance could have been explained, but even today, weeks afterward, they don’t seem to have been able to understand just what happened. It’s like the real world is a foreign land to which they cannot imagine. It really makes one wonder, if the major US media players can’t even get this right, what’s the point of their existence?

Seriously, this was just as perfect a test as you could ask for, and they failed spectacularly, right down to the scapegoating of everyone but those actually responsible for the hysteria. The media, the authorities concerned and city officials decided to ignore reality and spend all of their efforts trying to push their fantasy on the public. Before the Internet it might have been possible to do this successfully (and it no doubt has been). But after the laughter dies down and they’re still putting up their claims as “truth,” I think the general public will realize that it has a genuine cause for concern on its hands. Basically, this incident has shown us that we cannot trust them. Even in this kind of situation, they’ve proved themselves not only useless and only concerned about saving face, but untrustworthy and even dangerous. But it seems that those who are charged with fixing such problems have become the problems themselves.

posted by Poagao at 4:23 pm  

3 Comments

  1. I’d love to get your take on the Rectification of Names campaign. The commentary in the English-language blogosphere has been rather one-sided.

    Comment by Prince Roy — February 13, 2007 @ 1:57 pm

  2. Ha, you just want to get me in trouble, don’t you?

    Comment by TC — February 13, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

  3. Speaking of the mainstream media, I still remember reports about 2004’s White House journalists black tie reception, where “humor” is offered as a tradition. In that event, W made a slide presentation with pictures of him bending on the floor of the White House looking for WMDs. The “journalists” laughed along with him.

    Just f****** shameful and offensive.

    BTW, really enjoy your blog. Thanks PR for the link!

    Comment by Haidong — February 13, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

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