The Feds have captured this man, Faisal Shazad, in an impressive albeit almost too late (53) hours after his failed attempt to bomb a busy Times Square. While it seems that the death and destruction of a Pakistani Taliban strike has been held at bay for another day, there are a few consequences of his actions which will ring on long after he's been hanged or shot or whatever we do to people who use Bluetooth devices these days.
Please click the following "read more" link to do just that (it's the new thing here). Otherwise, the terror-uhsts win.
In Steve Coll's book, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, which is by far the thickest book I've ever read, he relays the now-famous quote by American analyst Brian Jenkins, "terrorism is theater." Given the timing and location of this attack one simply must ask, "is this the work of a newly fanaticized Islamic terrorist or simply the act of a frustrated actor typed-out of the Lion King auditions?"
Regardless of the answer (and as an aside, I think I may have seen that guy lurking around the Equity lounge doing lip trills...except not really, okay FBI?), one thing is for certain, life in Ye Olde Times Square will never be the same. Oh sure the Terrorist Pathfinder™ has been taken up to the Bronx to get 'sploded, Shazad is currently enjoying a gentle
waterboarding questioning and New Yorkers nobly attempt to return to business as usual, but something seems different.
Unintended Negative Consequences
Yes, friends, these are the unperceivable changes caused by the Times Square Car Bomber -changes which suck, changes I will share with you now.
- More domestic terrorism graphics. These will be used to inform you, the citizenry, of all the awesome ways the terrorists -who are probably your mom or your brother or your Itchy Uncle Ernie- are going to kill you. My favorite domestic threat? Death by fingerprint.
- A dramatic increase in the number of dumb hicks who happened to be in town that will go back to whatever deep-fried state they came from to tell heroic stories of how they stood on 8th Avenue for (4) hours because they're too stupid to go grab a beer at one of 9th Avenue's fine eateries. These stories employ the expression, "...and on that day, we were all New Yorkers."
- So much harder to get into Marriott Marquis when I've got to drop a deuce.
- Richard Clarke (ED: nope, wrong Dick Clark) makes 65% more TV appearances; where the scrappy little fellow will tell everyone how he, like, totally called 9/11 and will make shameless attempts to peddle his terrorism porn / fan fiction.
- Stepped up security on 45th Street has made it exponentially more difficult to get some face time with Christopher Walken so I can show the Tony nominee my "HIMpression". I always thought imitation was the highest form of flattery. Evidently, his lawyers disagree.
- Jay Leno jokes.
The bottom line is: If You See Something, Say Something. Except if you see a cooler full of water bottles. If you see a cooler full of water bottles, drink one or two because, hey, free water bottles(!); then offer a water bottle to the policemen who are looking for real bombs, that sure is nice of them.
A NOTE OF THANKS: I happened to be in Times Square when this all went down the other day and I really have to extend my thanks to the fine folks of the NYPD. They cleared out Times Square very quickly, courteously and professionally. Thanks ladies and gents!