Hysteria Strikes Again!
May 31, 2007 4:06 AM   Subscribe

 
One happened in Boston, one happened in a little town out west. The Boston response was a lot more contemptible, especially seeing as it was an intentional over-reaction to burn some federal Preparedness money that we obviously don't deserve whether we don't use it or use it on bullshit.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:27 AM on May 31, 2007


As a former BoA associate who, for much of my career there, was the only man at that particular banking center, I could just imagine "the women at the bank" not handling it better.
posted by emelenjr at 4:41 AM on May 31, 2007


a fax with images of a crude timer and a hand lighting a bomb

Unlike the Mooninite incident, you wouldn't actually have to be an imbecile to interpret this as a possible bomb threat worth calling the cops over. I think that in this case, sole blame belongs to Corporate.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:41 AM on May 31, 2007


Well really - a fax of a bomb with the text "the countdown begins," plus a package in the place that nobody is claiming - I'd say that is a good time to be suspicious. The Mooninites thing, less so.
posted by cubby at 4:41 AM on May 31, 2007


Yeah, I agree that corporate probably was a tad irresponsible by sending a fax that depicted a bomb. Perhaps just a clock would have been more appropriate for the fax.
posted by fallenposters at 4:47 AM on May 31, 2007


Well I'm glad the people in this thread are rational. In this thread, not so much.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:55 AM on May 31, 2007


...a fax with images of a crude timer and a hand lighting a bomb...

Even if the fax went through properly with the full message attached, how are impersonal prank bomb threats a good marketing idea? Attention-getting? Yes. Gets the message across to a bunch of people who get their news in a post-9/11 world where networks continuously whip up their ratings with non-stop updates on all potential terrorism, real and imagined? Oh geez, no.
posted by ardgedee at 4:55 AM on May 31, 2007


Bank employees told police a suspicious package had arrived around the same time, elevating their fears..."In Ashland, the situation was compounded by the fact that we had a suspicious package on the scene, as well," [a bank spokesman] said.

So what was the "suspicious package"? The bank mentions it twice but the article doesn't follow up. Wonder if it was added to the story later to make them look less stupid.
posted by mediareport at 5:19 AM on May 31, 2007


This is further evidence that clip art is evil and should be banned.
posted by tomsk at 5:19 AM on May 31, 2007 [5 favorites]


Wait - it was a fax from the bank's own corporate headquarters, right? Don't pretty much all fax machines print the sender's phone number at the top of the page? I guess somehow nobody noticed their own corporate was bomb-threatening (?) them...
posted by bakerybob at 5:20 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Goddammit, someone's going to take small businesses seriously from here on out!
posted by grubi at 5:31 AM on May 31, 2007


Actually before this it was a traffic counter
posted by delmoi at 5:47 AM on May 31, 2007


So what was the "suspicious package"? The bank mentions it twice but the article doesn't follow up.

Well, they probably blew it up, so now they'll never know.
posted by delmoi at 5:48 AM on May 31, 2007


The Terrists don't need bombs or planes any more to disrupt this retarded country. They can literally phone it in now.
posted by sidereal at 5:51 AM on May 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Boston: putting the "error" in "terror."
posted by MrGuilt at 5:59 AM on May 31, 2007 [9 favorites]


...Nick Markos, owner of Townhouse Pizza and Roast Beef...

Just in case pizza wasn't enough on its own :-)
posted by i_cola at 6:04 AM on May 31, 2007


So what was the "suspicious package"?

Well, all it takes is a box that got a little dirty/grungy in shipping, that they weren't expecting.
posted by smackfu at 6:20 AM on May 31, 2007


So basically, the terrorists won, right?
posted by cavalier at 6:31 AM on May 31, 2007


Just in case pizza wasn't enough on its own :-)

Hey, put a little roast beef on your pizza and you've got yourself a meal.

Actually, a "Pizza and Roast Beef" restaurant is pretty much par for the course in small New England towns. Most of the small family-owned places decide to call themselves "(Town Name) House of Pizza" but Nick Markos marches to the beat of a slightly different drummer, I see.
posted by Spatch at 6:36 AM on May 31, 2007


The country that had nothing to fear but fear itself has turned into a nation of Chicken Littles. Pathetic.
posted by jonp72 at 6:47 AM on May 31, 2007


The fax even has a MOONINITE on the bottom!
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 6:53 AM on May 31, 2007


cavalier said, "So basically, the terrorists won, right?"

No, it's a big score for the government. Abuse of power has been easy to justify under the guise of keeping us safe.
posted by sparkzy at 7:26 AM on May 31, 2007


"I wouldn't have taken it as a bomb threat, personally," said veterinary technician Amy Tatreau. "However, you have to, I guess, treat things seriously these days."

These days. Like some guy on a jihad is going to fax the bank ladies some clip art before making sure the Melonville Mall has been blowed up real good.

You don't have to take this shit any more seriously now than you did ten years ago. Too many people's instincts have been improperly rewired for panic mode by too much crap on the TV they watch all the time.
posted by pracowity at 7:26 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's not an issue of Clip art being evil. It's the talentless designer behind this flyer who is evil. If you can't put something attractive together, ask someone else to do it. That might be the worst example of design…period.
posted by JBennett at 7:35 AM on May 31, 2007


I don't buy an equivalence to Boston here -- or are we just drawing the comparison that when big-city public safety professionals react to a lite-brite in the same way that small-town bank tellers react to a faxed picture of a bomb, it doesn't speak well for the professionals?
posted by tyllwin at 8:30 AM on May 31, 2007


Can you imagine the panic if it was just the words that got faxed instead?

Small Business Commitment Week?????
MARK YOUR CALENDAR?????
posted by Peter H at 8:57 AM on May 31, 2007


Don't pretty much all fax machines print the sender's phone number at the top of the page?

Not always. I'm not sure if it's something set on the sending machine or the receiving one, though.
posted by dilettante at 8:58 AM on May 31, 2007


Side thought. I looked at the picture on the left and then the one on the right & maybe it's just me... but I don't see how that illustration could've turned out exactly that way on the fax naturally. All of the type disapppeared and convenient lines (such as the fuse for the bomb) appeared but no others? I have a hard time buying that. I think there's more to this story, whatever it is. It just doesn't make much sense to me.

Maybe they cleaned up the image to show the public what people were freaking out about, but journalistically that wouldn't be right to do so I'm assuming they showed it exactly as it appeared.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:58 AM on May 31, 2007


[Overthinking a fax. But apparently not as much as other people.]
posted by miss lynnster at 9:59 AM on May 31, 2007


It looks to me like more than fax mangling. I'm guessing it was an electronic file that was sent with fax software, and the file was corrupt, or didn't have fonts embedded properly.

Also, you CAN see the printed headers on both images, so maybe the first image is a fax that went thru "ok" on a different fax machine...
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 12:47 PM on May 31, 2007


My thought was that it was print-to-fax software, and the print job got borked somewhere. I've had similar graphic bizarreness get spit out of a printer.
posted by afiler at 12:54 PM on May 31, 2007


from boston. i'm with all the folks saying that this incident is understandable, while the assholes over here just wanted to throw a money party. this is still a funny story. (funny the right word there? yeah, i think so. tension and release + visual puns= funny)
posted by es_de_bah at 1:07 PM on May 31, 2007


"Side thought. I looked at the picture on the left and then the one on the right & maybe it's just me... but I don't see how that illustration could've turned out exactly that way on the fax naturally. All of the type disapppeared and convenient lines (such as the fuse for the bomb) appeared but no others? I have a hard time buying that. I think there's more to this story, whatever it is. It just doesn't make much sense to me.

Maybe they cleaned up the image to show the public what people were freaking out about, but journalistically that wouldn't be right to do so I'm assuming they showed it exactly as it appeared."


Just the fax, ma'am.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:15 PM on May 31, 2007


That layout is a crime.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:28 PM on May 31, 2007


"Can you imagine the panic if it was just the words that got faxed instead?

Small Business Commitment Week?????
MARK YOUR CALENDAR?????"


As a small business banker, I can safely and honestly say that this comment is hilarious. And I never use my favorites to vote.

P.S. Ashland isn't that far west! It's east of Worcester (and of where I'm sitting AtM).
posted by Eideteker at 5:30 PM on May 31, 2007


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