Last Wednesday, Feb. 1, the city of Boston was thrown into a complete and utter paralysis as roads and waterways were shut down in a crippling fear that cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Preliminary reports attribute the frenzy to a super intelligent floating box of fries, a loud mouthed milkshake and a semi-mentally retarded wad of meat. They are currently being referred to as the Aqua Teen Hunger Force.”Aqua Teen Hunger Force” is an 11 minute cartoon program on Cartoon Network’s more adult-oriented broadcasting hours known as Adult Swim. In preparation for ATHF’s upcoming feature film, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters,” a guerilla marketing campaign was launched in several major cities involving small L.E.D. light screens depicting a Mooninite, a small pixel bit, reoccurring character on the show, giving the middle finger being placed in several places around the cities.
Officials of Boston reacted intelligently and closed colleges and bridges and suspended almost all maritime traffic. Two men were arrested in connection with the alleged crime; both men pleaded not guilty last week to placing a hoax device (a felony) and disorderly conduct.
It’s no secret that in the past decade, shows like “Jackass” and Web sites like YouTube have been turning our world into one giant show. This incident in Boston seems to be a boiling point.
Seven out of the 10 highest grossing movies of 2006 were all completely unfounded in reality (this is according to the logic that a film like “Casino Royale” is considered “realistic” and films like “Happy Feet” are not). This trend shows America entrenched in the far fetched and unbelievable; this makes us crave realism, or, failing that, a slanted version of it. This brings us shows like “Laguna Beach” and “Viva La Bam,” – shows that pride themselves on being real, but have, every once and a while, shown chips in the paint with conversations and narratives that scream “scripted.”
This is where two halves of America come in. The half that keeps shirts on Hogan for him to rip off are obviously the ones coughing up the dough to see the fantasy world more as they actually believe the things they see on TV to actually be reality. The other half who viewed these shows ironically secretly want these shows to be reality. The intermingling and anomalies between the two sides bring us shows that are aware of their fiction based content but try remarkably hard to be grounded in “reality.”
These are your “24’s” and “CSI’s,” which are all shows built around the scariest aspects of reality; beyond horrifyingly grisly murders and the constant threat of terrorism in its most stereotypical form are commonplace. Both shows create a dark cloud in the back of your mind with the message, “Well, it could happen. . .”
The two spectrums of America met last week on that faithful day in Boston. An amalgam, someone who blew past even the most na’ve person who thinks everything that what happens on “The Real World” is the complete, unadulterated truth. This entity took a show like “24” far too seriously and called their local congressman about being flipped off by a Moninite. Complete chaos obviously ensued. But was it really Boston overreacting or was it out of their control?