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Posts Tagged ‘hoax’

Granted the 21st century is still fairly young, there is little doubt that the Balloon Boy Hoax will go down as one of the greatest hoaxes of the century, even by the time the year 2099 comes around.  Just think about it, for a couple of hours the entire world was watching television, the people were transfixed by what they saw and what they imagined. A little six year old boy was trapped in a high flying, saucer-shaped balloon, soaring across the United States. His fate was uncertain, and the mightiest nation on Earth was powerless to do anything to rescue the poor child.  All the king’s horses and all the king’s men…

The say that it is an ill wind that blows no one any good.  I wonder if perchance a bit of good might also come out of this escapade?  For example, has this incredible story told us anything about television?  No, I don’t mean about the capability of TV to cover live events; I mean the quality of what is on television.  Here was an incident that caused everyone to stop and watch.  People who would have been doing something else – certainly not watching the vast wasteland that we call daytime television – were glued to their sets, wondering what would happen to the poor child.  Yes, if there is one thing the Balloon Boy points out to us it is this: regular TV is awful.  Devoid of creativity, devoid  of interesting ideas and concepts, devoid of anything relevant to our daily lives, television generally sucks.

But, is there anything else we can learn from this episode?  After all, we already knew that daytime television was not great drama – that’s why nobody watches. Yes, there is something else we can learn. With all the outrage going on about how these people perpetrated a fraud on the entire world we have, at least for the moment overlooked one little fact: our multi-trillion dollar military, our police, fire, ambulance, emergency rescue teams – everyone who we would have thought, in some way, ought to be able to do something to rescue the boy before he floated away forever, couldn’t and didn’t.  Now there is something to think about.

All those tax dollars we spend on all that high-tech, high-priced equipment; all that specialized training, all those expensive radar tracking systems, fighter jets, helicopters, rapid response teams – you name it, and we can’t rescue a kid floating away in a balloon.  You have to admit, it was a grand deception.  The balloon, I mean.  You didn’t think I was talking about all of our gigantic expenditures on our extraordinary defense, security, and rescue capabilities, did you?

Just wait.  A year from now we will all look back and shake our heads when we think about this. Man, we were all fooled by a truly grand deception.  Meanwhile though, we must figure out an appropriate punishment for these nasty masters of tomfoolery.  So, what will it be? A half-million dollar fine?  Five to ten years in jail?  Put their children in foster care FOREVER?  Hmmm…just what is the appropriate punishment for foolishly fooling with the Masters of our State and making them look powerless?  What shall we meet out to those who have the audacity to point out that the Emperor has no clothes?

The simple truth is this: we’ve been punked.  Actually the whole world has been punked.  I can understand why the AUTHORITIES are unhappy.  After all, the whole affair made them look really bad and more or less completely incompetent – from the federal level all the way down to the local level.  But for the rest of us, well it was like watching a combination of Greek drama and P.T. Barnum.  It was a lot better than what is on TV this afternoon.

Maybe the guy should get his own TV show.

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