September 2007 Ethics Dunces
M.I.T. Student Star SimpsonWhat is it about Boston that makes foolish people alarm the populace with blinking-light "art" that suggest "bomb," especially when the "art" is displayed in places that bombers might target? Whatever it is, Star Simpson, a 19 year-old M.I.T. student, would figure to have enough brain cells to resist it, unlike the Cartoon Network flacks who placed electronically flashing whatsises under Boston area bridges earlier this year.
But no. Ms. Simpson might be a wizard at calculus but doesn't have the common sense of Homer Simpson. According to officials, she walked into Logan International Airport wearing a computer circuit board, wiring and putty that later turned out to be Play-Doh (the "doh" may have been an homage to Homer, come to think of it!) in plain view over a black hooded sweatshirt. She was, needless to say, arrested.
"She said that it was a piece of art and she wanted to stand out on career day," Police Maj. Scott Pare, the commanding officer at the airport told reporters at a news conference. "She claims that it was just art, and that she was proud of the art and she wanted to display it."
I know what you're thinking: there has to be something else to this story. Maybe she is one of the loonies who really thinks that the terrorism threat was just cooked up by the Bush administration. Maybe this is performance art; maybe she's the girlfriend of Andrew Meyer, of "Don't taser me, bro!" fame. And maybe, just maybe, M.I.T.'s diversity admissions program includes admitting a certain number of idiots. And if she was planning on a career as a village idiot, this was certainly the way to "stand out."
Whatever the reason, Simpson proved herself a prime-cut Ethics Dunce. I don't care if her "art" was the Mona Lisa, her desire to display her pride in it could not conceivably justify the likelihood that her actions would alarm people, and if she had the requisite I.Q. points to construct the sentence that conveyed her "explanation," she had enough smarts to know that.
The Scoreboard will happily apologize if it turns out that Ms Simpson was having an emotional breakdown and this was her desperate cry for help before jumping into the Charles. Absent that or some other mitigating factor that has yet to be made public, she is not only an Ethics Dunce, but an All-Time Dunce.
The news reports said that M.I.T. had no comment on the incident.
I'm not surprised.