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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Crime and Rehabilitation

More details are emerging about Peter Berdovsky, 28, and Sean Stevens, 27, who became global celebrties by placing Aqua Teen Hunger Force Lite Brite devices in sinister places around Boston and provoking a city paralysis. Porcupine detailed reaction to the events HERE, and Stewie Griffin was prescient - Turner Broadcasting and the Cartoon Network did indeed send lots of money. Two Million Dollars - $1 million for reimbursement for public safety expenses, and $1 million in what Turner Broadcsting calls 'goodwill money'. More of this anon.

Today, it appears that the pair - the Hair Club for Fools - were a little more involved in the events of Jan. 31. It was learned today that they show up on surveillance video, eagarly videotaping as the bomb squad removes their creation and formally detonates it at 10:30 am - the first incident at Sullivan Square.

Their attorney, Jeffrey Pyle, told the press, “He documents the world around him. He did not initially know that the event near his house was related to the (cartoon character) he placed there for Cartoon Network,” Pyle said. “He went home and called his employer, and they told him to sit tight.” Mr. Pyle is the third attorney to represent the pair in five days, a remarkable level of committment to the world of performance art by the Boston Bar Association.

This explaination doesn't hold water very well. Why did they stand by, sniggering and videotaping, instead of doing the right thing before they called the New York advertising people, and say - "Hey! That's not a bomb! In fact, I put it there! I'll show you where the 34 others are too! " That would have been the right thing to do, but for hours after the initial incident, they allowed the police and the city to waste time and energy 'disarming' their devices.

Many insist they have special status as artistes, and First Amendment beneficiaries. They deserve a pass because they didn't foresee the pandemonium that followed. That is like insisting that White Snake's indoor pyrotechnic display was not at fault in the Station Nightclub fire, because they didn't mean to burn the building down.

So, how can they be productively rehabilitated? How can the hard carapace of their Mass. School of Art enhanced self-absorbtion be pierced? Perhaps that money can help.

While it is appropriate that public safety expenses be reimbursed, why should Mayor Menino be allowed to parcel out the other million? Already, a restaurant owner is complaining that while he usually has 700 customers in a day, on Jan. 31 he had three, and lost about $3,000. Porcupine has already blogged about the lady stuck in traffic for a day who must now spend another vacation day to keep the doctor appointment she was prevented from getting to.

Why not have these young men listen to and administer complaints? It would be a form of community service uniquely beneficial to both sides - the regular John and Mary who lost money due to their stunt would receive reimbursement for their problems, and the Artistes would be forced to listen to how their feckless actions hurt others.

But that would be too easy and sensible - Porcupine is cetain that the little guy will go unrecompensed, the Arties will go free and Menino will have an extra million of slush fund to spred about - because that is how the Hub of the Universe does business.


Blogger TOM said...

I think the campaign was ill conceived, I see some Bloggers calling Boston silly or worse for our reaction to the "bombs" but really..taping the bomb sqaud?? Munmbles, I don't know what to say about him..good post

1:29 PM  

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