In college, I worked as a dispatcher in our campus security department. Most of the guys there made fun of my intellect and propensity for reading and studying, but we got along amiably – usually. One day, a friend of mine had passed along a funny poster that started along the lines of “In the women’s bathroom of the Music building, a man armed with Occam’s razor approached a woman…” I can’t remember the whole thing or the exact wording, but it was like a security report, only obviously fake. I thought it was amusing, and thought the staff at the security department would appreciate the humor, so I posted it on the bulletin board. Big mistake.
The next day when I arrived to work the office was bustling and everyone was in a panic. One of the officers asked if I posted the report on the board, and why I hadn’t contacted an officer to talk to the victim and file a real report. I’m sure the silence that proceeded this question lasted a long time, because I honestly thought he was kidding. So I laughed and walked away. He followed and asked again, and then the director of security and a couple of other officers approached me and I was surrounded by people who apparently did not understand the meaning of Occam’s razor. I explained what it meant and how it was a joke, and was promptly reprimanded for posting it. Funny thing, being reprimanded for someone else’s ignorance – not to mention they all knew I would have called an officer if something had actually happened anyway.
The incident in Boston over the Cartoon Network signs reminded me of that experience, since the circumstances are similar, although the scale of the situation is much, much larger. Instead of the city government apologizing for the uproar and admitting they made a mistake, they have arrested two people (for what? Advertising? Because I don’t see how the charges of “placing a hoax device” and “disorderly conduct” are going to stick) and are pursing action against one of the largest media corporations in
OK, let’s look at the situation for a minute. So these signs are electronic and a bit distracting. Do they really look like bombs? And seriously, who places bombs in plain sight for everyone to see? The signs have been in nine other major media markets across the
I realize in this post-9/11 world you can’t be too careful. But common sense goes a long way here. Maybe this will teach us that we are getting a bit too out of control with our fear, which, unfortunately, pretty much means the terrorists have won. They can sit back and laugh at the Americans blowing up devices advertising cartoons, and be satisfied with the fact that they don’t have to do the work anymore. Americans are terrorizing themselves with their own fear.