BY Alan L. Chrisman
Everyone all around, in this whole The Interview movie brouhaha, has acted like big children. Of course, first the tin-pot dictator of North Korea, of whom the movie makes fun. Then Sony Pictures, for first pulling the film and, now under pressure, releasing it to select theatres and on the internet.
All the conservative flag wavers got up in arms about how they weren’t going to let a foreign power tell Americans what film they could watch. Then the liberals joined in and yelled, “censorship”. Even President Obama weighed in, saying Sony should have called him first. The FBI laid the attack at North Korea’s door, supposedly. At least, Obama didn’t characterize it, as some conservatives did, as an act of war, but instead called it “cyber vandalism” and said the U.S. would act proportionally. Then suddenly North Korea’s own internet was hacked, (likely by the U.S.) North Korea, evidently doesn’t have much internet access anyway. But the whole thing could have been right out of a Marx Bros. movie.
Of course, Hollywood couldn’t have dreamed up a better publicity stunt to get people into the theatres for one of their lesser efforts. For now, not only conservative flag wavers and but liberals too, (plus all those who just want be part of the latest thing, like the latest Apple product) are lining up. It’s the perfect storm for marketing an otherwise, with both critics and Rotten Tomatoes giving mixed reviews at best, for basically a mediocre slacker comedy. We have people going to see it not for entertainment, but for principle, even. We live in a very politically–correct society these days and it leads to some often-strange reactions. Hollywood, primarily liberals, despite their making plenty of violent films, says we’ve got to protect our rights to produce “art”, even if that stretches the concept far indeed, in a lot of cases.
Most Korean experts say, the peculiar dictator or whoever is actually running the place, just really want the world’s attention, and that’s why they perhaps try these often-ridiculous stunts. But it seems to me, he or they are just like a big schoolyard bully, and should be dealt with the same basic way. Of course, a bully should not be allowed to continue his little power games, but he should be answered appropriately. Yet we should not over-react either and think just by attending a facile movie, it’s going to “show” them and yelling “free speech” coming out of a movie theatre and by making it into a “cause celeb.”
Sony and many other companies and organizations should have been aware of cyber attackers, whether they be foreign or individuals, and have had better protections of their data in place (some of their own employees are now suing them over this). Edward Snowden revealed to the public just how many governments including the U.S. are doing this too.
But all the uproar and over-reaction seem to be almost as juvenile as the instigators’ childish attempts and for such a juvenile movie. Dumb and Dumber indeed!