Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Wait a second... re: The Interview

Corresponding with a friend who shall go unnamed and suddenly I have this horrifying thought: did
the CIA just slip one past my gates? Did the silliness of Seth Rogen and James Franco just serve as a lubricant to slide home a state-condoned, consent-manufacturing advertisement for the notion of targeted assassination? Is the silliness of The Interview a spoonful of sugar that helped the medicine go down? Did I not NOTICE that?

It woke me up at 6 am, being pissed off about this. (Well, that and the need to pee). Now I can't get back to sleep. I'm irked.

There's stuff that I actually liked about The Interview: the portrait of Kim Jong Un - played just brilliantly by an actor named Randall Park, whose work I haven't yet seen otherwise -  is both humanizing and critical. He's no less obnoxious than Franco's Dave Skylark character, and one of the better jokes of the film is that the two of them discover that they have much common ground. I came out of the film wanting to be optimistic about it, that the entire mess over the film could actually possibly provoke some good-willed dialogue between North Korea and the rest of the world, that would lead to the rather isolated nation becoming more enfranchised.

It's kind of like hoping True Lies would have made friends and influenced people in the Muslim world. The image that makes it impossible, that stuck there in my head, that I couldn't really process or incorporate into my attempt to see the film charitably, is the Kim Jong Un death scene, which is, though apparently softened considerably, really quite graphic and disturbing. It was also put into the world with the involvement and approval of the US State Department
North Korea's UN Ambassador Ja Song Nam has said that "the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent head of a sovereign state should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war. The United States authorities should take immediate and appropriate actions to ban the production and distribution of the aforementioned film; otherwise, it will be fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism." It may just be that I haven't slept much but suddenly, awake before I need to be, I see things very clearly from North Korea's position. At least from my current point of view, it looks like they're kind of in the right about this. And the thought that I didn't actually NOTICE this, that I wasn't actually UPSET about it for a couple of days, that it slipped right home without my reacting is truly disturbing and frightening.

And now I have to get ready for work.

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