Well, Boston officials successfully protected their populace from the threat of cartoon characters.
An advertising stunt by the makers of a new cartoon - putting up illuminated images of a character from a cartoon around town - became the source of alarm for police who actually blew up one of these characters. Odd. I would have expected a more wry and aloof response from the city that was the birthplace of pragmatism and is home to Harvard and MIT.
At no time in history have fewer people died violently, and yet it is hard to imagine a populace more paranoid than Americans at the dawn of the 21st century. We seem to have a hard time accepting that bad things are likely to happen and one can respond to this in one of two ways: spend one's life trying to eradicate evil or spend it trying to create good.
It seems the big lie of conservative candidates that we face a sea of violent threats from which only they can keep us safe. It seems the big lie of liberal candidates that we face a sea of economic threats from which only they can keep us safe. Does anyone want to live in a world where there is no unemployment insurance or police? No. But I don't want to live in a world where no one can be laid off or where aberrant behavior is automatically assumed to be cause for police action either.
And for once, I hardly blame the candidates for telling these big lies. The polity seems disinclined to vote for anyone who would dare to tell folks that they have to accept the fact of living in the shadow of death and financial crisis. Wasting so much energy on trying to avoid the inevitable, we seem to miss what is possible. Rather than create something extraordinary, we waste our time insisting on, and listening to, lies, demanding fanciful stories like children at bedtime.