Peter Berdovsky (the one with the hair) is originally from Belarus. His mother's still there. YourArlington.com reports (scroll past the poll) on a benefit show March 8 to help her get out:
... While staying in the United States I have been finding out that most of my family in totalitarian Belarus have been dying one by one in mysterious circumstances. Now, only my mother is left from my close relatives.
"And the authorities have recently locked her up into a mental institution for not complying with them. She was facing an uphill legal battle to try to preserve her land and property and has made a decision to immigrate to Poland. ...
Bostonist reminds us what happened one year ago today, with an e-postcard sent out by one of the participants (hint) . Also, local artistes remember with LED art all over the city. The one saving grace: Couple the anniversary with the news that Bruce Willis is coming to Boston to film a movie about run-amok androids or something and it gives me a reason to run this great trailer again:
Mooninites! Boy, that's a word I was hoping I'd never have to hear again. But Associated Press did a whatever happened to? story on Peter Berdovsky, one of the Lite Brite boys, and the Herald followed up with its own story on how Berdovsky must be made to pay as hard as he can and now Geoff Edgers at the Globe is busy deconstructing what he calls "an exercise in journalistic knee-jerkism" and an example of why "why younger people are abandoning newspapers in droves" by the Herald's Joe Dwinell. He also provides a sample of the sort of art the Herald seems to imply Berdovsky should be making.
Meanwhile, over at Boston Magazine, Amy Derjue tells Berdovsky to just shut his yap and grow up already and sternly advises Boston City Council President Maureen Feeney, who wants to send Berdovsky to bed without any dessert, to stop being such an enabler.
Bonus inside-baseball fun fact: Edgers and Dwinell used to work together at the Middlesex News in Framingham (I'm also an alum of the paper, but don't hold that against me).
The boys have done some community service at Spaulding Hospital, they showed up in court all contrite and polite and stuff and so now they're free to go.
Greg Reibman reports the Walnut Street parking lot at amazing Newton North High School was shut down - and a state police bomb robot (and the mayor) brought in - after the discovery of several potential bombs hanging on a fence. They turned out to be backpacks advertising some Web site - with fake money attached:
Police are comparing today's bomb scare to the promotional gimmick which shut down much of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville in January.
A parent reports the school was not evacuated.
... Does this mean all the flyers on all the lampposts in Allston will be regulated? Signs advocating electing a new slate of City Councilors? ...
Does this mean everyone whose commercial airs on television within the city limits falls under the City Council's jurisdiction? And finally - and most importantly - can we preemptively revoke the license that allows Ernie Boch Jr. ads to run in the city? ...
If you only see one movie this year, make it this one (Bostonians will love the clip of Brian Williams reporting with the fake Boston skyscraper over his shoulder):
... And let's face it. They had not done anything subversive at all, but were acting like they were these indie countercultural heroes. These tools got paid--what?--like, three hundred bucks each, to do Time-Warner's bidding? Not only were they media whores, they were cheap media whores. And they acted it all through their little fifteen minutes--and they were sure as heck gonna get every last second of those fifteen minutes, weren't they? Their lawyer had to practically pry their white knuckles from the mic.
Now it's on to the shit-heap of history, boys.
And as for everybody ragging on ol' Mumbles Menino. At least he's got an excuse for being naff. And guess what, bitches? He got a cool couple million out of Time-Warner for his trouble. So who's the tool now? ...
It's all over when the fat lady sings, um, the Onion does a man-in-the-street about you:
... "What about all the Cheers shit you used to see around town? Man, that used to freak me out all the time."
I know I'll sleep easier tonight, knowing that John Stossel has finally weighed in on the whole thing:
... The news media went wild, with television stations interrupting programs for alerts, and breathless TV reporters talking about the "terrorism threat." This went on all day. ...
Tough talk from a man who once did a breathless feature on dwarf tossing.
Oh, and there's now a support site for the two LiteBriters - Alas, no forum to discuss what they were doing videoing the emergency crews rather then telling them what that thing above Sullivan Square was.
The Manchester Union-Leader reports that police want to question a geocacher who left an Altoids box attached with magnets to an electrical panel outside a Shaw's as a prize for fellow geocachers (you know, those people who try to find things using their handheld GPS units).
... "I'm so embarrassed," Lord said last night. "I've heard of people who actually make their caches look like something more dangerous than they are. Then I look at mine, a little mint box. No wires. No gimmicks. I never intended to cause any trouble."
Portsmouth police Lt. Rodney McQuate said detectives are waiting for a call from Lord before they decide if charges - including misdemeanor disorderly conduct and causing a false public alarm - will be lodged against him. ...
No word, however, on whether Portsmouth will try to negotiate a large financial settlement with him for the tens of dollars in overtime the police have no doubt spent on the case.
Via Flashes of Panic, a geocacher who expresses contempt for the guy.
Boston, Cambridge, Somerville to share in marketing bonanza - state homeland security effort to also be thanked for its part in a Turner promotional campaign that garnered a formerly obscure cartoon series headlines around the world and mentions on all the late-night talk shows.
"I guess you CAN buy publicity like this!" a gleeful Turner executive probably smirked in the elevator ride down from Mayor Thomas Menino's office this morning, after a settlement was reached with city and state officials.
In serious-crime news, however, Menino says he still wants to "throw the book" at those two guys hired by Turner, because unlike Turner executives, they do not wear suits and did not bow down and kiss the mayoral ring.
Yawn: Video of mooninites knocking down the Old State House and the Pru. But check out the USTrust flags flying near the Old State house. I miss USTrust.
You don't even have to actually whack any of the mooninites - just sit there and listen to Boston-accented mooninites take over Downtown Crossing, yelling "Bill Buckna!" and "Pahk the Cah!" and "Bucky Effin' Dent!" Should you get ambitious, you can whack 'em with your mouse and watch them disappear in a puff of smoke.
Via John Daley.
Cruising YouTube for the latest Boston-related videos this afternoon, I found one video of Harry Potter going to Boston, where no one knows his name, and roughly 76,000 videos of people ranting about what chuckleheads we all are (I think this guy is the best). For some reason, somebody posted a clip of NBC's Brian Williams introducing a report on BOSTON TERROR SCARE that featured the following backdrop:
My first thought: Man, what'd they do to the Hancock? Look closely, though, and you can see the unmistakable conical hat of one of the International Place towers on the right. So it's downtown Boston, not Back Bay. But, huh? Downtown doesn't have an 80-story skyscraper. Oh, of course! They used a photo of downtown Boston from an artist's rendering of what the area will look like after the Tommy Tower gets built in Winthrop Square (photo via World Architecture News):
So what does Brian Williams know that we don't? Will the mooninites return in 10 or 15 years, after this tower is built? And will one of their first acts be to eat the TV tower on the left side of the building?
Oh, darn, I said I wasn't going to write anything else about the things unless something truly, spectacularly stooopid came out. But I can't help myself - swatting Brian McGrory around is like peanuts; once you start, you just can't stop. So here goes with a comparison of four local columns today:
Bad Hair Day in Boston.
Some interesting tidbits about Berdovsky wound up wrapped in-between - and completely ruined by - McGrory's stupid nervious tick of starting pretty much every paragraph with "This was the column I was going to write this morning." Sorry you ran out of things to say two paragraphs from the end, Bri, but find a better way to pad out your column next time, mkay?
Dude, like, send Borat packing
I hope the folks at the Herald don't get too upset when I reveal here that Carr actually died five years ago - and that the paper is now using a Carr column generator. An editorial assistant fills in the subject's nationality and distinguishing characteristics, hits Submit and waits a couple seconds while the PC spits out a MadLibbian column just like Carr would have written before that unfortunate "accident." A pity Berdovsky isn't fat - there are just so many amusing synonyms the Carrbot has stored up for that. "Borat is a refugee all right - from a 'Beavis and Butthead' episode." Man, that's just Carr gold. But honestly, guys, any chance you could update your algorithms? The thing's starting to get stale.
Laughing to the bank
Wah! Why can't Steve Bailey be re-assigned to the Metro desk? His best columns are about the absurdities of life in the Hub of the Universe, anyway. This column simply and cleanly sums up the whole mess. And props for running the prominent photo of Ignignokt "displaying an obscene gesture."
Phony threat escalated real danger in hoax
What's this? A columnist actually breaking news? Well, OK, technically, Gelzinis didn't break the story - Boston Police posted the pipe-bomb thing on their Web site - but give him credit for going after this angle rather than simply making cracks about Berdovsky's hair.
Dan Kennedy has some more thoughts.
I'm just jealous because nobody's paying me to write about a cartoon I'd never heard of four days ago.
You know what would really suit the mood right now? Yep! A recasting of apocalyptic '80s German pop. Spatch provides the lyrics:
Ninety-nine white vans arrive
All with TV crews inside
Everyone's a news reporter
Everyone's a Chet or Nat
Breathlessly they cause a panic
Are these bombs or just Satanic?
Suddenly the bloggers cry
"Wait a minute, those are Mooninites!"
And now, from all of us here at "Boston Held Hostage: Day 3," we say farewell and good night. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming (you know, annoying people on the T, coyotes running through the streets and Our Dumb Criminals), already in progress (at least, until even stoopider than you thought possible mooninite news emerges, oh, OK, go read Steve Bailey then come back).
Casey Ross reports Turner Broadcasting has hired O'Neill and Associates (you know, Thomas P. O'Neill III) to handle public relations. O'Neill also does PR for Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, yes, the people who gave us the Big Dig.
Oh, yeah, you're thinking, that'll help Turner's image in Boston a whole lot. But consider this: When's the last time you heard any talk of criminal action against Bechtel for Big Dig problems? See, O'Neill also handles government relations:
Our relationships run deep throughout Massachusetts, spanning legislators and leadership, committee chairs and committee staff, agency heads and administrators. With matters relating to the City of Boston and other municipalities in the Commonwealth, O'Neill and Associates consistently delivers results to our clients.
Get the picture? Wonder if Tommy O'Neill will be doing any pro-bono work for those two guys who actually put the things up?
John Cass, former president of the Boston chapter of the the American Marketing Association, says the LED ads have changed guerilla marketing:
... If you are going to run a guerrilla marketing campaign, it pays to think carefully about who is going to be affected by your campaign beyond the people you are targeting. I think the Turner Broadcasting/Aqua Teen Hunger signs are going to affect a lot of marketing campaigns across the country and give marketing people some pause in how they implement such campaigns and rightly so.
But that's not good enough for Eileen, who writes on Divine Comedy of Errors:
... Viral/guerrilla advertising is f-ing annoying. In general, people don't like the feeling of being tricked. Remember a few years ago when a mystery Santa was seen giving out money all around the state, and it turned out to be a promotion by WAAF and everyone was all disappointed and stuff? ...
Boston Police have released a chronology of yesterday's events, which occured as Washington and New York police were reporting suspicious (non-mooninite) activities and included New England Medical Center security officers reporting an apparent pipe bomb left by a guy who fled yelling "God is warning you that today is going to be a sad Day."
The NEMC incident happened around 1 p.m. A few minutes later, State Police reported multiple suspicious items at the Longfellow Bridge.
At this point we had multiple reports of possible improvised explosive devices of various types. As those devices were being investigated and rendered safe, detectives from the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police were running down information on a cartoon character possibly associated with these devices, that later led to websites associated with that character and individuals placing these devices around the area.
Read the whole thing and you can begin to realize why the police didn't just go on TV and declare the whole thing a stupid ad stunt right away.