Gimme a break! A major movie studio makes a damned turd of a movie about killing the leader of another nation - then has the nerve to call it a comedy. Then its phony "free speech" supporters (e.g. Judd Apatow, Rob Lowe etc.) whine like brats when theaters correctly pull it, unwilling to risk attacks- even from lone American psychos looking for any excuse to kill. And all this transpiring pretty close to the same time polls have found most Americans (59%) believe torture is necessary in some or most situations. Sorry, neither the film studio or the ones clamoring for it to still show the film (The Interview) have any moral compass by which to set standards for anyone!
As I examined numerous online news sites yesterday evening I was appalled and amazed at some of the stupid comments, which have convinced me that most of the assholes who spout free speech blather (and demand to see this abomination of a flick) are the same degenerates that support torture. Yes, it's entirely logical, as per this comment I read on one website, after the original commenter mentioned needing to acknowledge 'The Interview' was "terrible" and "objectionable for portraying the slaughter of a world leader as comedy". The hare-brained response?
"It's good we have drones to eliminate those people with opinions like yours!"
This same jingoistic nitwit replied to a comment by me along similar lines, asking me how I could support using the threat of mass slaughter to halt a comedy. I informed the punk, asking him what planet he came from (Uranus?), that no one supported either the hacking or the threats of a 9/11 slaughter but merely noted that when actions are taken which include making a film depicting slaughter of another nation's leader then there are bound to be consequences. We use the term "blowback" coined by Chalmers Johnson from his book by the same name. This is why Sony never should have greenlighted this $44 m mess of a film. It is NOT a matter of "free speech" but of common sense and sound judgment. A sane film studio, then, has the sense not to release a movie about assassinating a living leader - especially after it receives a heads up from thee Department of Homeland Security to the effect that "the film could provoke retaliation."
I also want to know where these self-proclaimed "free speech" people were when Ward Churchill of Univ. of Colorado- Boulder lost his job over an essay he wrote after 9/11, entitled "On Roosting Chickens". The obscure essay, dug up by a college sophomore with too much time on his hands, asserted that those working in the Twin Towers were "little Eichmanns" and conformed to the amoral ethics defined by philosopher Hannah Arendt in terms of the "banality of evil". No matter how despicable you believe the essay to be, if you truly defend the "right to free speech" - you were (are) obligated to defend his right to write it without repercussions that impacted his life station. But no one with any power or in the media stood up for Churchill.It was as if a lynch mob punished him - and let's bear in mind he wrote an essay, concerning ideas - opinions - he didn't produce a film showing the murder of a real person.
Let us accept as a proposition that a nation - like a person- can go insane, either all at once or incrementally if the right conditions are evident and the right (wrong?) stimuli administered. In the process of going insane, the country's populace loses its bearings, its judgment and even common sense. Because it absorbs PR and propaganda it elects fools to office who actually plan to undermine its very security - even as it applauds torture, and making a movie showing the slaughter of another nation's leader. It can in no way ascend to a larger perspective to allow it to see its actions from the POV of other nations. It claims "exceptionalism" but is really not exceptional at all - it tortures like other nations, and lets the torturers walk free like other nations with dictators. In the ultimate form, the insanity manifests as mass slaughter and even genocide.
Examples from history come to mind, including Rwanda in 1994 after years of talk radio led the resident Hutus to go on a genocidal rampage leaving more than 800,000 Tutsis slaughtered. Then there was Nazi Germany, where nonstop propaganda from the likes of Leni Reifenstahl slowly gutted the Germans' minds and sensibilities - leading them to accept actions, national decisions they otherwise would reject. My good fortune has been that on two occasions - one in August of 1978, the other in May of 1985 - I was able to meet and talk to actual flesh and blood Germans from the WWII era. One (Kurt Braun) who had been a member of the Hitler Youth, forced to join at the point of a gun to his mother's head.
Kurt Braun, ca. Aug. 1978, shows Nazi era films and how Germans were brain-fucked.
He showed me a sequence of vintage films - starting with Kristallnacht- that clearly depicted how the Germans' were gradually mind-fucked - to the extent that by the end of the war they expressed shock that concentration camps even existed. They had to be frog-marched by U.S. troops into places like Buchenwald and Dachau to see the spoils of what their Fuhrer had wrought.
I submit that the loony outcry from the pseudo-patriots and free speech phonies in the wake of this vile film being pulled - with few people offering opposite opinions, shows how loopy and unhinged from reason we've become. We're more or less on the same track as the Germans ca. 1932, when one third embraced Hitlerian fascism.. It only remains to be seen what sort of fool we elect in 2016 that might take us all the way. Say some bombastic asshole like Chris Christie, with Ted Cruz as Obersturmfuhrer,.....errrrr.....VP..
As for 'The Interview' being pulled by the theater chains, most dumbass critics don't seem to process that it was left to the chains themselves to deal with the threats . Other than allowing them out of their exhibition contracts, Sony provided nada nor any guidance.. Hell, it isn't even a matter of some actual terrorist carrying out the threats. Given the U.S. population is riddled with nuts, many of whom own high -powered weapons, it would only take one lone wolf massacre - such as occurred in Aurora, CO in July, 2012-when James Eagen Holmes opened fire in a Cinemark Theater with his AR-15 and killed 12 and wounded 59. Then all the chains would reap the whirlwind, and all the twits now bawling about "the terrorists won" would be screaming "why didn't anyone see this coming and pull that film?"
Flash now to Hacktivist Hector Monsegur - now a security researcher - interviewed on CBS this morning, who disputes that the culprit was North Korea, as the U.S. is trying to claim. He noted first that "something like this to happen, it had to happen over a long period of time, You cannot just exfiltrate one terabyte or a hundred terabytes of data in a matter of weeks. It would have taken months maybe even years to exfiltrate one hundred terabytes of data without anyone noticing."
Which to me, suggests above all a disgruntled Sony employee who - given the content of the film - found it convenient to even leave North Korean 'tracks' (malware written in Korean) to mislead those trying to get to the source. Even Monsegur agreed the North Korean alleged language links don't tell him much as he's seen "Russian hackers pretending to be Indian, and Ukrainian hackers pretending to be Peruvian" - in other words leaving malware tracks to mislead. So we had better be careful before making wild accusations, or taking precipitous actions without 100 percent proof.
When pressed about the North Koreans as the hackers, Monsegur observed:
"In my personal opinion it's not. I mean look at the bandwidth in North Korea. I mean the pipes going in - they only have like one major ISP to handle all the data for the whole nation. That kind of information flow would have shut down the North Korean information flow completely.They don't have the infrastructure, they don't have the technical capability ...they do have state-sponsored hackers, very similar to Russia, to China and the good old USA."
Monsegur also suspects, like me, a former Sony employee (along the lines of Edward Snowden) downloaded all the info off Sony servers and sold it to someone else. Good luck on finding that lone wolf!
In the meantime, this country - now found guilty of the most abject and depraved tortures (with a majority of its deluded people supporting them) - needs to back off and stop its moral posturing including yahoos squallering about the pulling of this disgusting flick out of theaters. And if you, like the pundits, make a really big deal out of protecting "free speech" - be sure next time you support the speech of those like Ward Churchill too. Otherwise, don't waste your breath. Your 1st amendment eruptions don't mean diddly.
"emails suggest Sony execs remained nervous about the film’s content, especially the ending. On July 9, Lynton wrote to Pascal, “we cannot be cute here,” saying they could work with “no melting face and actually not seeing [Kim Jong-un] die. A look of horror as the fire approaches is probably what we need.” Rogen, while willing to play ball, appears reluctant to completely scuttle the visuals in this Sept. 25 email to Pascal: “There are currently four burn marks on his face. We will take out three of them, leaving only one. We reduce the flaming hair by 50% … The head explosion can’t be more obscured than it is because we honestly feel that if it’s any more obscured you won’t be able to tell its exploding and the joke won’t work.”
Lynton and Pascal ultimately allowed the film’s ending despite their misgivings and despite the industry’s general reluctance (see Sacha Baron Cohen’s “The Dictator,” a Gadhafi-style fictional tyrant leading a made-up country) to directly provoke volatile dictators in the first place. They had a lot of money wrapped up in the project, after all, and Sony’s job is to make entertainments that make money.
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