The Interview probably sucks, but bullies shouldn’t get their way
Man, I’m sick of hearing about The Interview but I can appreciate the uproar it caused.
It’s really something amazing when a movie, which was apt to be stomped by the holiday blockbusters like The Hobbit, Night at the Museum 3 and Into the Woods — caused an international incident.
An incident with North Korea, one of the world’s most impotent nations, at that.
Now, we can sit around and moralized about the social value of assassinating still-living world leaders in a comedic fashion on screen, but that’s not the point. We saw George W. Bush, or an actor playing him, assassinated in a film called Death of a President. Nobody saw that film and would have probably been unaware its existence had it not been for the stir caused by The Interview drudging it up for the sake of comparison.
We can also sit around and debate the merits of free versus responsible speech as well, but that’s really boring. All that does is give people who think that life’s a debate between two sides the opportunity to hear themselves talk some more, whether the rest of us want to hear it or not.
No, the interesting part is that anonymous individuals who are either sitting in cold gray offices in North Korea on desktop computers or using tablets in a cold gray park in North Korea, managed to bring down one of the most powerful motion picture studioes in the world.
They used theft, blackmail and finally threats of violence to prevent the release of the movie.
But what we don’t know is if they were actually capable of the last part. Though, considering North Korea’s track record of bolivating threats that aren’t followed up by anything other than red-faced hissy fits, I believe actual action that would bring down the wrath of the rest of the world is highly unlikely.
Are the “hackers” that has the big motion picture studio terrified working for the North Korean government? Probably. It does smack of a petulent kid getting his hands on a magnifying glass and burning ants. But that kid usually cowers in fear when the adults,or bigger kids, come into the room.
All communication out of North Korea is heavily watched, not just by the US, but the South Koreans, Japanese and even Chinese. If that government were going to conduct a terror plot, we’d hear about it.
What we really had was a hissy fit from a young dictator who doesn’t want to be laughed at. Well, it’s a bit late to prevent that. Instead of terrorizing the population, he only managed to rattle a motion picture studio and annoy a good deal of the world’s population. Let’s face it, if anything Kim Jong Un has made himself look a temper tantrum throwing brat.
Not that there are a shortage of brats holding public office in this world, it’s just unfortunate that a guy whose qualities would make him an object of ridicule in the rest of the world holds more than a million people at his mercy in his.
But seriously, did anyone actually plan on watching The Interview before this boondoggle? I don’t know of anyone, but now North Korea’s actions have made it almost a must-see for anyone who believes in freedom of expression.
J. Robert Hall is a journalist from Arkansas. He’s covered every thing from crime to politics — two subjects that are often interchangeable. You can be his friend on Facebook or Twitter.