What troubles me most about a movie such as The Interview is that, rather than spur debate about the U.S.'s role in the world, it actually shuts down and forecloses such discussion.
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.
One conclusion directly related to cyber vulnerabilities is learning from how the monetary, banking and financial systems adapted over the decades to fend off crooks and scamsters. A second conclusion is that "ready, fire, aim" is not always a good response to every crisis.
Unfortunately, however, those of us who spend our professional lives monitoring religious freedom developments -- and fighting to protect those freedoms -- see the other side of the coin.
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.
In a burst of early-January optimism, let me give you three reasons to be cheerful. If we're lucky, these bright spots from 2014 will endure even after Ebola retreats, ISIS withers away, and Russia backs off.
As the story of the Sony hack unfolds, the story of those living in tyranny in North Korea remains largely untold.
I watched the hacking of Sony Pictures play out with a mixture of sadness and bewilderment, as studio executives fell victim to a coordinated cyber attack and pulled The Interview from theaters before eventually releasing it days later.
Recent events and lingering ambiguities surrounding the extent of China's military power, intentions and preparedness for conflict should implore the United States to devise a long-term strategy in the Pacific that synthesizes arms buildups with expanded economic investment and alliance consolidation.
Korea's challenges are not confined to the peninsula. This is all the more so as Korean issues cannot be delinked from the wider regional context. So, managing our neighborly relations, as well as issues between them, are part and parcel of our equation.
China needs to know how the U.S. views future arrangements on the Korean Peninsula. Of all of China's worries about North Korea, the most serious is that regime collapse -- probably followed by state failure -- could be perceived as a Chinese defeat and a U.S. victory, with Korea reunified as part of the U.S. alliance system.
That the North Korean leadership takes American comedy as an act of war is a particular feature of the role information and technology has assumed in 21st century life. Kim Jong-Un cannot countenance Seth Rogen and James Franco's antics in "The Interview," however fantastic they may be.
Jason Scott Jones is described as a human rights activist, filmmaker and author. His films have included The Stoning of Soraya M, Bella and Crescendo....
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.
This year, Urban Outfitters sold a "vintage" Kent State sweatshirt tastefully splattered with red paint while Donald Sterling's racial comments cost him his NBA franchise. It's been a raucous year in the public arena, expressed perfectly by a parade of PR blunders that is as impressive in scope as it is in sheer absurdity.
I didn't find anything particularly funny despite being a Rogan fan. I like crude. Just last night I saw National Lampoon's Dirty Movie and ashamedly found myself howling. But The Interview's script didn't hit any of my bones.