It is more than interesting -- even funny perhaps -- that a comedy could spawn a series of comedies. Sony Pictures gets hacked -- according to American sources -- by North Korea, one of the least connected countries on earth. The North Koreans were upset about a movie, “The Interview” that, at the time, was to be released Christmas Day. It apparently featured a scene where an actor bearing a strong resemblance to Kim Jung-Un has his head explode. This apparently miffed the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
This is hardly the case, as it was in 1980, when the Saudis vehemently protested the airing of “Death of a Princess” on PBS. The public network was pressured from all sides not to air the docudrama about the execution of a Saudi princess and her commoner love interest. The Saudis had many more weapons in their arsenal than the North Koreans. They had oil and they threatened to cut off the spigot. PBS withstood the barrage, aired the movie and had record viewership. Sony, for some odd reason, pulled the movie after the hackers threatened to retaliate against theaters screening the movie, which critics have said is not that good. Sony had forgotten to ask the question, “retaliate with what?” Even President Obama got involved, first to tell Sony it shouldn’t have pulled the movie and again to warn North Korea that they would pay a “proportional” price for its attack. It was pretty simple to figure out the source of the attack. According to The New York Times, North Korea has fewer Internet Protocol Addresses (1,024) than exist in a few blocks of various cities in Middle Georgia.
Just hours after President Obama issued his warning, North Korea -- at least as far as the Internet is concerned -- went dark. In a modern country the impact would be devastating, but in a backwater, isolated country like North Korea, only the ones in the know knew they had been shut down. Did we do it? Unlike North Korea, we don’t hack and tell, and besides it could have been China -- where North Korea’s Internet access comes from. It may have been China’s way of slapping its neighbor on the wrist, saying, “Grow up.”
The final part of the comedy that some cynics might conclude, is that all of this was a crafty publicity stunt to promote a movie that otherwise didn’t have legs. Sony reversed its decision, releasing the movie to independent movie houses and streamed it on the Internet. We should be worried, Kim Jung-Un’s head might really explode because he probably missed the punch line.
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