Hi! Hope all is well. It only happens every once in a blue moon that politics cross over with entertainment and I get to feel like a fully informed citizen of the world. The desire of a bunch of hackers to prevent America from seeing a Seth Rogen movie has done just that.
First, they hacked Sony. We saw emails that nearly ruined careers and we all looked, because we are sheep. Then, they threatened a 9/11-style attack on all movie theaters in America that decided to show The Interview. A quick word of advice to the hackers: next time you decide to threaten an entire nation, get somebody to proofread the ransom note.
While the CIA discredited that threat, movie theater owners didn’t listen, because like I said, we are sheep. Bow Tie Cinemas, a theater chain in my homeland of Connecticut, decided to pull the movie, thus ruining my Christmas plans. Then, the five biggest theaters in America, including AMC and Regal, also decided to pull the film. Well, we did it, everybody: we let the bad guys win, and all it took was a threat in broken English.
Now, I can understand why movie theaters might not want to put their staff or customers in harm’s way. Movie theaters have always been palaces of escape. They are places where we can turn off our phones and forget about the troubles of the outside world. Now where am I supposed to turn for escapism? Do you expect me to become a sports fan?
I know that North Korea is scary. Hackers are even scarier because they seem almost invincible. There are ways around this. Maybe Sony will release this on VOD. But just because there are scary people out there, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be allowed to live normal lives. Last year, I went to the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem (I know it is kind of insane that I am bringing this up, but please bear with me). The most remarkable thing I saw there was that women who lived in the Warsaw Ghetto would go on their rooftops and sunbathe. Even when everything sucks, people will do just about anything they can to feel normal. One such example of that would be going to see a movie even though an unnamed source threatens an attack on every movie theater in America. There is a really good South Park episode about this. In fact, this whole situation is starting to resemble a South Park episode so much that I am actually starting to believe that I am now a cartoon character.
In the end, there are two ways we can look at this situation. If we want, we can imagine the hackers as a bunch of evil geniuses in a sleek, Blofeld-like underground lair somewhere underneath Pyongyang. Or, we can picture them as a bunch of ugly losers working out of a smelly basement in the outskirts of Allentown, Pennsylvania. I prefer the latter.
The Reel Deal
Edit: According to Reuters, Sony has officially cancelled the December 25 release of The Interview.