Civil Discourse Now

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"The Interview" and how perhaps a faux hack turned a mediocre flick into box office profits.

   SONY Pictures produces a movie that sucks—according to the critics whose reviews I have read. “The Interview” is a one punch line film of questionable taste. Because the flick is centered on a pair of journalists who plan to assassinate Kim Jong Un, and the film’s makers do a lot of promo (they appear on “The Daily Show,” as I recall, and other places), the flick garners more attention than perhaps would have been the case.
   Here is where matters become more interesting. Kim Jong Un becomes incensed. He threatens to attack the United States. SONY—citing, amongst other things, the safety of theater-goers—says it will pull the film from its Christmas Day release.
   Americans become outraged! People on the right, people on the left, actors and therefore a lot of viewers of FOX and MSNBC, demand “The Interview” be shown.
   North Korea’s internet system is spiked by a party or parties unknown for ten or 12 hours. But come on, how much effort does it take to “down” Commodore 64s linked by dial-up modems?
   National outrage forces the studio to release the film on the internet and in a few, selected theaters.
   Cha-ching! The cash drawers open and probably “The Interview” will make far more money than it would have had all this kerfuffle not occurred.
   Perhaps I am cynical, but somehow this all sounds “scripted.”
   The hacks of the SONY computer system appear not to be all that genuinely from North Korea. While the program or programs used had lines of program that have been used by North Korea in other “hacks,” hackers do not customarily use lines that way. Some of the language reflects Korean origins, and, after 60-plus years of partition, there is a difference between dialects of North and South, but the language can be mimicked.
   Possibly this all was a set-up. SONY could have contrived to create a “crisis” to pull “The Interview” and salvage a mediocre film from financial disaster. The only “red” with which the studio was concerned had nothing to do with communism and everything to do with financial losses. I may sound cynical, and in the end SONY very easily could lose a bunch of money from lawsuits that result from the hacking, etc. The result has been a movie release in true holiday spirit: George Clooney and Bill O’Reilly can walk, arm-in-arm and in defiance of North Korea’s dictator, on Christmas Day into a movie theater and manage not to fall asleep.
   This all seems too convenient for SONY.
   The movie is in bad taste, although bad taste is protected by our First Amendment. Still, how would citizens of this country feel if a North Korean film company used its national bank of 8-millimeter cameras to produce a flick about bumping off our President? Well, never mind that question. Unfortunately, this country is so divided over a President who is radically left-wing (to the point that the Dow went over 18,000 points for the first time—ever—this week), weak on national defense (who has had no qualms about using drones on a mass basis), and mamby-pamby on terrorism ( even though he got You-Know-Who).
   Everyone should enjoy the holidays and a great job of PR by SONY Pictures.  

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