Hawaii gets bombed again in the news
It's been several years since drunken island girl Ruthie upchucked herself to national prominence on MTV's "Real World -- Hawaii." It was beginning to look like no one would pick up Ruthie's "What the Hell Is in the Water Over There?" mantle and thrust Hawaii once again into the national "lame light." But then Star Simpson, a 19-year-old Maui swimming champ and MIT student, decided last week to wear something that looked like a fake bomb into Boston's Logan International Airport and once again claim the "Little Miss Bizarre America" crown for Hawaii.
Now, I have to admit when I first saw the news story about someone getting arrested for deliberately wearing a fake bomb into an American airport, I thought, "What kind of an idiot would do that?" Then when I saw it was a young lady from Hawaii, I thought, "Oh, one of OUR idiots."
But that was harsh and unkind. Not necessarily inaccurate, just harsh and unkind. Because though it would seem an idiotic act to display a fake bomb in an airport during these times of color-coded terror alerts and when failure to remove your Bruno Magli shoes at an airport security checkpoint can result in you being shot (or at least mistaken for O.J. Simpson), sporting a fake bomb on the outside of your clothing also is considered by some idio ... er ... people ... to be an expression of art or political commentary.
Showing an exquisite lack of sensitivity for the victims of suicide bombers, not to mention an exquisite lack of concern for her own personal safety, Star Simpson (no relation to O.J.) apparently considered her bomb sweatshirt a piece of art. (Her mother says Star might have accidentally worn the sweatshirt to the airport. Presumably Star's "faux jar of anthrax" sweatshirt was in the cleaners.)
I do believe Star actually wanted to make some kind of artistic statement, but the statement was a tad ambiguous. Was it anti-war? Anti-sweatshirt? Anti-unreasonably high prices at airport cocktail lounges? Art is so subjective. In fact, security officers were so conflicted about Star's artistic statement they didn't know whether to shoot her at the ticket counter or wait till she got to the boarding gate.
In the end they didn't shoot her at all, which made a lot of other passengers nervous. I mean, 98.5 out of 100 passengers agree that anyone wearing a bomb to an airport should be shot before they leave the parking lot. At the very least, Star's artistic expression shows the difference between security at Logan Airport and, say, Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. "Don't Shoot Me!" sweatshirts are the art of choice at Ben Gurion Airport.
But I put some of the blame for Star's stunt on us. Are we at war or not? If we are, let's act like it. Sell bonds. No presidential vacations. Put everyone in the country to work at winning the war until it's over, like in WWII. Trust me, after Pearl Harbor was attacked, there were no young ladies from Hawaii getting national attention for wearing fake bombs in airports. Or even real ones.
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