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Sunday, December 21, 2014

GOP RESPONSIBLE FOR SONY'S "THE INTERVIEW" DEBACLE

I have tended to, now and then, make fun of Republicans:
Well, this time, the Republican Party was not responsible for the shocking capitulation of the American public and our free enterprise system to a viral act of CyberTerror perpetrated by another GOP, the Guardians of Peace.  I find it astonishing that our country caved-in to a warning by this unknown iGOP to cancel showing "The Interview," a comedy about the assassination of Peerless Leader (he has a bunch of titles) Kim Jong-un.

While Randall Park's parents are from South Korea, one wonders if Seth Rogen (the guy on the left--he co-produced and co-directed this film) could have found another actor who more closely matched the looks and dottiness of the original.  I might mention, though, that Park stars on ABC next month in the first Asian family sitcom in 20 years, Fresh Off the Boat:


When I was in Seoul last year I posted what I thought was a helpful total makeover suggestion for North Korea.  However, I carefully released it just before my plane left Incheon International Airport.  I actually got a comment, which indicated that my effort was COOL.

Returning to the essence of this posting, first of all, the Free World gets threatened about free speech all the time by terrorists.  Remember The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, published by Penguin Press?  Rushdie gained a Fatwa, but has managed to survive now for more than a quarter century.  Little known, though, is that Hitoshi Igarashi, his Japanese translator was stabbed to death three years after the book was published in 1988, Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator was seriously injured in a stabbing, William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, was shot three times by an assassin (but lived) and a massacre occurred in Turkey surrounding the Turkish  translator, Aziz Nesin, where 37 died.  But the point is that companies and governments mostly thumbed their noses at any Muslim retaliation.  However, that was mostly Europe.  What is it about American for us to react so timorously?

Interesting that prior to joining SONY, current chairman of SONY Pictures, Michael Lynton, was with Penguin.  After watching his interview with Fareed Zakaria this morning, I'm inclined to think that SONY was a victim more than a coward.

Who then should be blamed for this miscarriage of courage?
  • Mostly, by implication, the American public.  I suspect movie theaters, distributors and malls were fearful that the usual suspects (led by mothers) would boycott this film, cutting profits.
  • Those involved with the showing did not want to take a chance on any kind of violence, real or inspired, that might happen.  Lawsuits, you know.
  • The American entertainment industry just plain buckled.  George Clooney circulated a petition in support of SONY, and the A-list backed off from signing.  Not one person wanted to take a chance.
All this is such a shame, for, if North Korea was behind all this, they have nowhere the capability of following up on their threats as, say, Middle East terrorists.  The Korean community in the U.S., especially the second generation, is fiercely patriotic about their American citizenship.  There is no way a North Korean splinter group could survive in any U.S. Korean community.  The FBI would have been on them yesterday.

Speaking of the FBI, the iGOP sent a new message just to them, saying, basically, you are an idiot.
By GOP

The result of investigation by FBI is so excellent that you might have seen what we were doing with your own eyes.
We congratulate you success.
FBI is the BEST in the world.
You will find the gift for FBI at the following address.
Enjoy!
They placed this sarcasm on You Tube, and it now already has 602,000 pings.

Finally, in their relative innocence, Sony Pictures Entertainment must be, in private, smirking at their windfall.  When this film is released, and it will within the month, the first weekend will gain revenues somewhere north of $100 million, when it only took about $75 million to make and publicize the film.

Rotten Tomatoes preview audiences rated this film at 96%.  This is, though, an R-rated action comedy.  SONY might want to spend this festering period deleting the more salacious portions for a PG rating. In fact, a better idea might be to restore some of the more controversial scenes, and release two versions:  PG and R, bordering on 17.  Ah, I can just imagine this:  the film is so successful that it turns out Kim Jong-un, in fact, survives the explosion, and SONY produces Interview 2.


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