Well folks, it's official: the masses are scared of... well... just about everything! Especially technology -- when law enforcement and their speaker system (traditional media) have NO idea what they're dealing with. After the Boston Techno-Fright fest of the last couple of days, we can see the writing on the wall, though. From Boston.com:
On the one hand, Boston police and city officials demonstrated how ignorant they are about pop culture, guerrilla marketing, and technology, and then got embarrassed, which is why they're so angry now.
What I do know from experience, that may offer insight into this matter, is that every (U.S.) disaster scene I've ever been at (as media), and there have been plenty in my long, if somewhat undistinguished, old-media career, the blue collars get to play God. And it makes 'em happy as a pig in shit.
Normal communications, routines and processes come to a screeching halt, and the good 'ole boy-law enforcement-blue-collar crowd takes over. And maybe this is a good thing in times of crisis, but tell that to the people who, after a hurricane for instance, are anxious to get back to their property to assess damages as soon as they can. Forget it! You cain't have it until the blue-collars say you can.
Just apply those "methods" to say... oh... a nuclear disaster site. You're smart people out there, you blog readers, you get the point.
One other note, I once saw one of those LED promos, under an overpass somewhere. Can't remember what city, maybe it was Atlanta, but it was at night and the "thing" seemed to be easily and immediately comprehended as a promotional device, or at least something kinda cute. Then again, it was dark, when a cartoonish figure would be clearly visible as techno-graffiti.
Beware "cartoon" figures lurking in society that don't make themselves obvious. They might scare the little people, and the off-the-gridders, if you're not careful.