A small, poor nation, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea should be an international nullity, irrelevant to global affairs. Yet it again dominated headlines in the U.S. with the hacking of Sony and cancellation of the broad release of the movie The Interview, a comedy featuring the assassination of the younger Kim.
Why did Sony decide to produce such a satirical, comedy about North Korea and its leader? That will be my perpetual question as stereotyping continues within the western world against Asians. This Orientalism and the concept that the East is weak, feminine, and seeking domination need to be eliminated from western mindset.
While the prospect of patching up the road ahead may be bumpy, especially when you trudge through the potholes of 2014, some past wisdom may help us along the way.
What could possibly go wrong? An American movie about assassinating the leader of a nation which the U.S. had branded as part of the international axis of evil. The assassination movie is launched from a country with a long and shameful history of involvement.
Given that the vast majority of Americans cannot identify North Korea on a map, or the name of its leader, the very idea that a major film studio would sanction the production of a movie whose plot is based on the assassination of Kim Jong-un is just plain silly.
It's the end of the year, which means endless end-of-the-year lists, especially for TV shows. And I didn't watch TV this year. Seriously. I cut the cable cord in 2008. Yes, I am superior to you, thanks for asking.
If you think Selma is a film about your mother's best friend, then perhaps you believe that The Interview is a come...
Jubilant Plaza employees added big red letters spelling out "Freedom Prevails" to their marquee, then took to the Internet to share the news. Or, rather, they would have taken to the Internet.
The possibilities for a comedy about the life of Kim without including a fictitious assassination are endless. The imaginations of Messrs. Rogen and Goldberg were not. A pity that.
As The Interview's release date approached, theaters received retaliatory threats. In response, major theater chains cancelled their showings and Sony dropped its plans for a Christmas Day release. This decision brought on cries of censorship.
Free speech in America may be a constitutional right but self-censorship is an American congenital habit. From government officials to corporation executives, from filmmakers to the media, it happens at great frequency and intervals.
Aside from the North Koreans' lack of a sense of humor and perspective, I also think the writers and producers of The Interview messed up by deciding to have the plot center around an actual dictator.
The problem with granting heckler's vetoes over speech is that it incentivizes threats of disruption or violence from the least tolerant members of our society.
If indeed it was North Korea that hacked Sony Pictures? This is a massive cyber-crime carried out by a pariah state against a US company.