UPS CODES: Bomb thugs will use any excuse to disrupt the flow of commerce and to prevent everyone else from doing their jobs. Darden Restaurants, developer of BistroLounges and Olive Garden restaurants, has now become the latest victim of this extortion campaign.
Last Thursday, after the company failed to agree to seemingly onerous terms of payment, an incendiary video appeared on YouTube for under a minute. The video shows a young man standing on one side of a busy intersection. A car drives down the sidewalk toward him, then slows, blocks the driver’s view, slows again, and then swerves into the man on the sidewalk. A man in front of the vehicle ducks out of the way, but other pedestrians are on the sidewalk, and they hit the car. The car comes to a stop; the young man is no longer in jeopardy. He then pauses.
It is only at this moment that I begin to wonder whether the entire exercise was a trap to keep the police at bay and the media from giving some streetwalker the headline “Streetwalker Attacked by Stranger Walking Underneath Motor Vehicle.” That would then have been an “entertainment event,” like the Las Vegas shooting, or if you want to get heavy, Abu Ghraib.
Well, on closer examination, the video looks a lot like the Hollywood horror movie “The Rite.” The performer in the film, in the position of the man threatened in the video, was a priest investigating a nun’s homily.
We do know that U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel gave UPS two days to tell us why it didn’t pay the company for delivery of its packages after the bollards were installed near the ocean front intersection in July, or his complaint will be dismissed. But the question I would like to ask is, why are these bollards even here?
First, we are talking about a low-income community, obviously, not some high-income address.
Second, we are talking about a business, at worst, which is doing business in a dirty neighborhood, and at best, an end-user location where packaging is planned and developed. Why are the bollards being installed?
Third, and most importantly, a crucial question here is what, really, does this bollard do?
My guess is, they’re designed to block the view of dark-colored vehicles, which cause much less pedestrian traffic. So, how does this ensure safety for pedestrians crossing the street?
If, as the bollards are intended, there is less traffic, how does that help pedestrians?
We don’t know. That’s why the Federal Housing Finance Agency asked for an “in-depth review” of the use of bollards in this location.
Since it’s obvious that whoever put the video together thought of themselves as some kind of consumer fraudster rather than as a terrorist in training, it’s anyone’s guess as to what their motives are, or what they have against UPS, but, as in the case of the nearly failed BistroLounges and the dragged SUV, the public has had the same interest all along.
The public and the media are interested because of the particular location, not just for BistroLounges and Olive Gardens, but for any location that has a pedestrian path, including the area that descends across the Brooklyn Bridge from Midtown Manhattan, where the video was filmed.
My guess is that something is going on.