Sunday, January 04, 2015

Leftovers from 2014: The Interview Fiasco


- First things first: it is far from certain that North Korea actually hacked Sony. It appears that the FBI believes that North Korea is responsible for the Sony hack because the modus operendi of hacking resembles the hack of certain South Korean banks, which is believed to be North Korea's doing. But any hacker can simply imitate the M.O. and blame North Korea. Also, it is far from clear that North Korea is even responsible for the attack on the South Korean banks. As Dong-A Ilbo's Joo Seong-ha explained, North Korea hardly has the capability.

But then again, TK is not sure if it is necessarily a bad thing that North Korea gets blamed for this. Sure, it may not be fair, but do we really care about being fair to the North Korean regime? Any day that North Korea gets deprived of a luxury goods for the elite--say, the internet access--is a good day as far as I am concerned.

- Having said all that, it is difficult for TK to be worked up over this. This movie had all the signs of being a crappy one. Does it really matter if it gets shown in the American theaters? Some say it is the principle of things, but what is that principle exactly? That we will watch a crappy movie for spite?

- This is the best thing to read concerning this whole fiasco. Did Americans get this pissed off when millions were dying from starvation in North Korea? Did the U.S. president weigh in? But who cares about the millions of lives--if you messed with 'Muricans' god-given right to watch a crappy movie, SHIT JUST GOT REAL.

- The greatest tragedy about this fiasco is that the plans for a movie based on Guy Delisle's terrific book, Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea, was cancelled. Delisle, a Frenchman, had the unusual experience of directing a group of North Korean animators who were doing the grunt work for a French animation company. Steve Carell was supposed to play Delisle. 

But then again, maybe this was for the better as well. Delisle's book was great because of his introspective take on what he observed. Instead of offering grand theories about North Korea, Delisle calmly focuses on the small things that he saw. Steve Carell's movie, however, is described as a "thriller"--which means that it probably would not be calm. Which brings us to the ultimate lesson: the book is better. It always is.

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  1. Supposedly, the FBI is now claiming that NK is the culprit on the basis of "classified information" .. so whether or not one agrees may depend on how much one trusts the government. This sounds a little too much like claims about possession of WMD made over a decade ago about another regime, so I'm taking it all with a grain of salt for now.

  2. the book is better. It always is.


  3. Guy Delisle is a Francophone Canadian, not French.

  4. Have you seen this? Much the same idea.

  5. 12 people were just massacred in Paris because Islamic jihadists didn’t like how the prophet Mohammed was portrayed in a newspaper’s cartoons. I’ve read Charlie Hebdo cartoons over the years and I’ve found many on them not funny and in very poor taste. But the cartoons themselves were certainly not worth being killed over. AAK's words,

    "This movie [The Interview] had all the signs of being a crappy one. Does it really matter if it gets shown in the American theaters? Some say it is the principle of things, but what is that principle exactly?"

    That freedom of speech is the pillar of a free and open and democratic society, and should be defended vigilantly and vigorously. Even when it’s in the form of a crappy movie or a lousy newspaper cartoon.

    1. Join me at my Facebook, where I discuss this precise issue.

  6. The FBI has since released some evidence incriminating NK (so its claimed, at least)...


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