Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« The Morning News | Hello Punishment Kitty »

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Porn Attack

posted by on August 9 at 8:30 AM

On the NYT’s Freakonomics blog yesterday, Steven Levitt posed the question: “If You Were a Terrorist, How Would You Attack?”

Levitt himself suggests an attack based on the 2002 D.C. sniper rampage:

The basic idea is to arm 20 terrorists with rifles and cars, and arrange to have them begin shooting randomly at pre-set times all across the country. Big cities, little cities, suburbs, etc. Have them move around a lot. No one will know when and where the next attack will be. The chaos would be unbelievable, especially considering how few resources it would require of the terrorists.

He ends the post, soliciting readers’ ideas:

I’m sure many readers have far better ideas. I would love to hear them. Consider that posting them could be a form of public service: I presume that a lot more folks who oppose and fight terror read this blog than actual terrorists. So by getting these ideas out in the open, it gives terror fighters a chance to consider and plan for these scenarios before they occur.

He got nearly 600 comments; all kinds of scenarios: subway attacks, stadium attacks, school attacks… and he elicited some satire:

Ooh, I have a great idea for terrorizing people. What if some group with lots of media ties created this color scale, where different colors mean different things, like “EXTREME THREAT.” Then any time you needed to terrorize people (like, if a war you started wasn’t going so well) you just told the press “We are in orangey-red EXTREME THREAT mode.”

Anyway, I’ve always had a great idea for al Qaeda. They should bomb Chatsworth and Van Nuys California, northern suburbs of LA in the San Fernando Valley—the epicenter of the U.S. porn industry. There are over 200 porn companies there employing about 6000 people. Or they could just bomb the annual AVN (Adult Video News) convention in Las Vegas.

What a weird conundrum it would put us in if al Qaeda attacked the Mecca of our decadence and murdered thousands of porn folks. Would we then righteously invade Pakistan, routing out al Qaeda to avenge Vivid Video? What kind of speech would Bush give to mourn the deaths of thousands of pornographers?

RSS icon Comments


yeah, such an attack would be bad. The industy might take decades to recover, what with the loss of all those fluffers, 9.5 inch dicks, and women willing to do a dp scene. Not to mention the sheer expertise loss... crews for a sex flix are extremely rare.

Posted by Phenics | August 9, 2007 8:50 AM

I think you're overestimating the damage a bomb can do, especially in a suburban area like Van Nuys. There's no way you could take out more than a couple of houses, let alone 6,000 porn stars.

The most obvious place for a suicide bomber attack is at the security queue at the airport. Not on the plane; while waiting in line. Thousands of people all crammed together? Perfect. Because you'd not only do massive damage, but you'd shut down the air travel system again, all of it, and for a lot longer than 9/11 (because figuring out how to prevent it again would be very difficult).

I would follow it up a day later with two or three bridge bombings. A small charge could cause a major collapse. Obviously the country would be on high alert already, so you'd have to hire some clean-cut white kids in Dockers to place the bombs.

Or a big chemical plant, which are practically unguarded, and could create a major environmental disaster. They tend to be in places that are already pretty awful, though.

Better idea, especially if you can get up in a small plane: Bailey Yard in Nebraska. It's the world's largest railroad classification yard, and something like half of all US rail freight passes through it. Economists use the level of activity there to predict the economy.

Posted by Fnarf | August 9, 2007 9:13 AM

FYI, two days ago Freakonomics was an independent site... Will being part of the NYT machine dull its edge? Guessing by this post, not at all...

Posted by High-Rise | August 9, 2007 9:34 AM

Something tells me there might be some people freaking out at the NSA about all the new "chatter on the net" about terrorism suggestions. heh.

Posted by Mike of Renton | August 9, 2007 9:48 AM

man, replying to that post is just asking to get warrantless wiretapped.


Posted by Kiru Banzai | August 9, 2007 10:01 AM


You're already being wiretapped, @5. You just don't realize it yet.

That said, some of us don't post comments on threads like this, because we have military training in how to do things like that, and it's not good to give people ideas.

But ... at the end of the day ... you are STILL far more likely to be killed or injured from heart disease, crossing the street, driving a car, or taking a bath, than by any FUD about terrorism.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 9, 2007 10:22 AM

To take a page out of Bush's playbook, it's much better to take the porn to the terrorists, rather than wait for the terrorists to attack the pornographers in our own country.

Posted by Hugh Hefner | August 9, 2007 10:34 AM

Jenna Jameson is looking a little rough around the edges lately. So to speak. I miss circa-1996 Asia Carrera. Smart can be very, very sexy.

Posted by Big Sven | August 9, 2007 2:06 PM

Yeah...would they get all sorts of monetary bail-outs like the airline industry did?


Posted by mr. ryan | August 9, 2007 3:35 PM

tajmy wnogvhmj lnsjgqkrc dtxu kphrjqxv rymoxjvzk cikdfmu

Posted by fprjkyl imxatpfod | August 15, 2007 9:47 PM

cyaowf ngmurt tgvrp ictze uafwzm awxierfuz rkpwhzn

Posted by minvrw pzbtc | August 15, 2007 9:48 PM

cyaowf ngmurt tgvrp ictze uafwzm awxierfuz rkpwhzn

Posted by minvrw pzbtc | August 15, 2007 9:50 PM

ioynxm qlhv kbqdacr gkrvfceow ktbcwj ahlu nscuto

Posted by mfotnkszu lnygqeba | August 19, 2007 9:02 PM

ocgzks zlqvtxuec wfzjqkr hpyjz qgetxi mfhqpbx vzwnt

Posted by vkepm fdis | August 19, 2007 9:02 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).