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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kim Jong Un has no sense of humor

As wrong as the release of Sony's hacked emails is, it's hard not to feel some schadenfreude at each new development -- and the studio's reaction to them.

Two days ago a couple of Hollywood figures denounced the news media for quoting from the emails. The NY Post succinctly analyzed that hypocrisy here.

Most recently, the "Guardians of Peace" hackers announced that there might be terrorism at theaters which showed The Interview, and advised people to stay away from any such complex. (Those hackers are peacekeepers in the same sense that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a democracy.)

Their exact words: "Warning. We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places ‘The Interview’ be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to."

(That incredibly awkward phrasing definitely lends credence to the theory that the hackers are North Korean in origin.)

The thing is, even without the threat of terrorism, this movie was (bitterly) fated to be a bomb anyway. If you doubt that, check out this trailer.

Did you see anything remotely funny? Did it not seem to you that the two leads were pretty much sleepwalking through their roles? And this was the trailer, which is theoretically a short clip of the funniest moments that make you want to see the movie.

But the biggest takeaway of this entire affair is that the North Korean leader, who was mocked in this less-than-serious film, has absolutely no sense of humor about himself. Charismatic leaders have the ability to ingratiatingly mock themselves at times. Kim Jong Un is demonstrating himself -- as if we needed any further proof -- to be the opposite of charismatic.

In fairness to Kim Jong Un, he's been brought up to be the supreme leader of a country from birth, he has the luxury of being able to execute political enemies without consequence, and he is surrounded by fawning sycophants. That's not exactly the ideal environment in which to nurture a normal sense of give and take.

In any case, things have become quite tense, and it's probably not an exaggeration to call this a full scale international crisis that demands a serious response.

It's time we sent Dennis Rodman over there to straighten things out.


Anonymous said...

That was Just Not Funny

Anonymous said...

A buddy of mine has told me a couple times that he thinks there will be some cool & funny shit in the movie, based on viewing the Red Band trailer. (This was before The Hack). I didn't believe him, because I was prejudiced by having seen the 2 starring actors before. I just now watched the Red Band, and the trailer you linked. My prejudice was confirmed.
I still think it's possible The Hack was an inside job by someone on The Interview's production team, to pull off the greatest viral marketing campaign in history. We'll know for certain, if the full records are released in 75 years, the day after the full report on JFK's assassination is released.

John Craig said...

Anon --
The only problem with the viral marketing theory is that if it was done by someone inside, that means they wanted the movie to do well, which would profit Sony. But if that's the case, why would they publicize all those emails at Sony's expense? I suppose it's possible that the inside person hated both Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin, and wanted mostly to hurt them, but my understanding is that a lot of other emails have been released since, involving other people (although they haven't received as wide publicity), and Sony's financial system was also hacked, somehow making it impossible for them to pay their bills, at least temporarily. That seems to be an awfully scorched earth tactic for someone whose primary aim was to promote The Interview.

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time deciding which is more plausible: Inside Hack Job, or North Korea Internet-Bombs Pearl Harbor Over a Shitty Movie That Ultimately Portrays the CIA As Incompetent Cowards Who Can't Execute an Assassination On Their Own So They Recruit a Couple of Stoner Morons.
My original take on the emails was "And...?" The Obama Movie List was mildly funny, but not as offensive as a fried chicken joke. There was another great scandal that Jennifer Lawrence Got Paid Less Than Male Actors on American Hustle -- she (and Amy Adams) got 7% of the backend, vs the male actors getting (gasp!) 9% each. Getting paid 77% of the man's wage seems to be an improvement over the 70% or 75% they're always bitching about.
OTOH, there was allegedly a "hit" ordered on the South Park guys for their portrayal of Kim Jong Il in Team America, World Police, so there's that.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Federal officials have now connected the hack attack to N. Korea:

(That article just came out this evening.)

I agree with your assessments of both the movie and the emails (though I enjoyed Rudin's comments about Angelina Jolie). AND I enjoyed the jokes about Obama not because they are particularly clever but because they were made by Obama supporters.

Unknown said...

"Incredibly awkward phrasing" - lol. Yeah that pretty much removed any remaining doubt I had about NK's involvement.

Lucian Lafayette said...

In general, no leftist / socialist or "communist" has a sense or humour or a sense of metaphor. Soviet propaganda posters are great examples of this. There is no humour in them and a picture of a tractor is always just a picture of a tractor.

John Craig said...

Luke --
I think serious American leftists are typically humorless, and feminists are famous for having no sense of humor. And you're right about the Soviet propaganda. But there's probably a difference between a doctrinaire Communist (or a doctrinaire anything else, for that matter) and someone who just ives under the system.

The thing about a sense of humor is, you have to be sane to have one. You have to have a sense of what's normal -- and what's real -- before you can appreciate the absurd, or the unexpected, and American leftists generally lack that sense of proportion. If all you do is go around and spout dogma, you have no sense of reality and proportion to begin with, so how can you have a sense of humor?

Steven said...

The North Korea hack theory is far more plausible. You just have to realise how seriously they take themselves.

Its confirmed now anyway hasn't it..? Sony have pulled the film?

Steven said...

Ironically, Kim Jong Il was a big fan of western films. He had a lot of them, along with his foreign wine collection.

Kim Jong Un, big cheese lover apparently.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Yes, confirmed, and yes, the movie has been pulled.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Kim Jong Il was a big fan of a lot of Western things, including blondes, whom he reportedly would have imported for wall-renumerated dalliances with him. He didn't like to fly, so would take a special train when he went to Moscow, and would have the train met by helicopter flying in fresh seafood for him at various stops. All while his people were starving.