It is with trifles, and when he is off guard, that a man best reveals his character.
- Schopenhauer, German Philosopher (1788-1860)
Last night, the wife and I went to seetheinterview.com and for $6 we got to see what the most infamous movie of the 21st century was all about.
After my initial excitement earlier in the month, I saw one commercial with a couple lame clips and heard a few murmurs (including a leaked email from a Sony exec calling the movie “desperately unfunny“) which started lowering my expectations, but we began watching the movie with an open mind. From the beginning, it was typical Seth Rogen fare – drug addled, kind of juvenile, lots of jokes about dudes being gay – but Pineapple Express and This Is the End had me laughing pretty hard, so I had no problem going along with it.
For the first half-hour, my running evaluation had it as “worth watching”, though not much more, but as the movie progressed, it really did get better and better. What had me surprised was how much my wife began cracking up once the movie really got into gear with Kim Jung-il, she’s pretty conservative and anything gratuitous (drugs, sex, swearing, whatever) usually has her flustered a bit, but the movie was making her laugh hard enough to overcome all but a few objections.
I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say that the movie pulls no punches in telling just how evil that fat little tyrant really is. It’s a pretty silly romp for the most part, no surprise that critics are split at 49% positive, and while a 70% positive rating from the regular fans isn’t stellar, you can definitely count me in with the 70%. I give it rating of 4.5 / 5.
We went fully thematic that night and made it a North Korean trilogy, following The Interview with Team America: World Police and National Geographic’s incredible documentary Inside North Korea. Crazy fare for a Christmas Eve, but then again what could be more Christ-like than to take a few hours and turn our attention to some of the most brutalized and destitute people on the face of the Earth.
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An action comedy about two guys going to China to assassinate North Korea’s Kim Jong-un? And they call him by name and portray him as the real deal, Dear Leader Kim Jong-un? That’s pretty ballsy.
In our house, we’re content to wait out most movies until they hit Netflix or Redbox, but from the first time I saw the trailer for The Interview, this was a movie I wanted to see as soon as it hits the theaters. The movie is set to open on Christmas Day, although as you may have heard, some interesting developments have happened since the trailers were released.
On November 24, 2014, Sony Pictures was hacked, big time.
The work day ended early for Sony Pictures employees. Most of them, anyway. The IT crew will be logging overtime as they deal with a massive breach perpetrated by a group of hackers calling themselves #GOP. The letters stand for Guardians of Peace… While their motives are unclear at this point, what is clear is that this was an attack of cinematic proportions.
Reportedly the original attack breached a single server; from there, it spread like wildfire across Sony’s network. The image [below] popped up on “every computer all over Sony Pictures nationwide,” according to a Reddit poster with inside connections. Other sources have confirmed the ominous image, which looks like something straight out of a 90s hacking flick.
Hackers are usually either motivated by greed in stealing identities or by a desire to simply vandalize networks and computers just for the hell of it. Add the movie studio quotient, and with this attack, there was also the possibility that these hackers were of the pirate variety, motivated by a penchant for spreading “free movies” around the Internet.
While four unreleased have been uploaded to file-sharing sites, when you check out the “Engrish” from the image that popped up on all those Sony Pictures computers across the nation, it’s obvious that the main motivation for these hackers is something quite different – these guys are holding Sony’s data hostage “until our request be met.”
We’re talking Social Security numbers for 47,000 celebrities, freelancers, and current and former Sony employees, 33,000 documents including personal information, salaries and home addresses along with an unknown number of unreleased scripts and movies.
I’m sure you can guess who topped the list of suspects on the rumor mill, and it wasn’t long before North Korea came out and addressed the rumors, denying that they were behind it, but saying that it was “a righteous deed” and while they claimed they “do not know where in America the Sony Pictures is situated and for what wrongdoings it became the target of the attack”, they also said it is possible the attack might have been carried out by supporters of Kim Jong-un.
Oh man, I hope this is a great movie, because the way it’s now spilling out into the real world is enough to make a great movie even greater.
Check out the North Korean Government stating flatly that “wrongdoings” by Sony that must have inspired the hacking and then the obfuscation in saying “we do not know where in America the Sony Pictures is situated,” as if anyone with a brain doesn’t know the data was hacked across that whole global network thingy they call “The Internet”. That is just so bizarre for a government to behave like that – they’re not even trying to be serious, they’re taunting us on a level that’s absolutely juvenile.
Then there’s the DPRK line where they say, it wasn’t us but it’s quite possible the hackers were North Korean citizens acting on their own. Yeah right! In a nation where millions have starved in the last few decades, all you have to do is look at a nighttime satellite image of North Korea and South Korea to see that the citizens of the North are living in the Stone Age. The only North Koreans getting on the Internet are the people working for the government.
All I know is, if Sony doesn’t give into the hostage takers and their “request”, my family will be there to see The Interview on Christmas Day.
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How is this not a major news story across every news outlet in America???
The FBI late Tuesday night raided the office of a South Florida eye doctor who allegedly was involved in providing young prostitutes to Sen. Bob Menendez — a claim the senator’s office has denied.
The thing that’s absolutely astonishing about this is not the fact that a senator (allegedly) has an addiction to sex, hookers and drinking parties, but that outside UPI and a couple local news blogs, you can only find this story via right-wing channels: FoxNews, Drudge, Twitchy, the Daily Caller . . .
If you have any question in your mind whether journalism is dead in America and as to whether the Non-Fox News is as shameless in its partisanship as any news you’d be served in Iran or North Korea, just ask yourself two questions:
- If Senator Menendez was a Republican and the office of the same doctor who was allegedly hooking the senator up with prostitutes was just been raided by the FBI, would this not be the top story of the day across every news outlet?
- How is it that senate candidate Akin’s idiotic comment was easily a top five story during the presidential election, but now in a lighter news cycle, a man actually serving in the senate who is under increasing suspicion for having sex with underage prostitutes doesn’t even merit a mention?
Finally, I’m just curious on this one, the NFN did everything it could to rally America against a so-called “War on Women” during their campaign for Barack Obama, so when a sitting senator is engaging in and supporting human sex trafficking (allegedly) which is it: does the War on Women no longer matter, or does the War on Women only matter when it can be used as a narrative against the GOP? Oh wait, it’s both? Okay, thanks.
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Barack Obama does not like people.
Don’t take my word for it, take it from three people who have known him the most and supported him the most:
“The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.” – Neera Tanden, former top aid to Barack Obama and current President of Center for American Progress.
source: NY Magazine
Richard Cohen of the Washington Post is about as liberal as liberal gets and he’s supported Obama since the very beginning, but even he couldn’t help but notice these peculiar quirks in Obama’s personality:
“I see a failure to embrace all sorts of people, even members of Congress and the business community.”
“The crowd adored Obama, although not as much as I think he adored himself.”
“Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival.”
“It’s hard to care about someone who seems not to care in return… I will vote for Obama with regret. I wish he was the man I once mistook him for.”
source: Richard Cohen at WaPo
In the lead up to the 2008 election, no reporters anywhere in America had closer access inside the bubble of the Obama campaign than John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. (They also had great insight into McCain’s campaign, though it didn’t have the same feeling of intimacy.) Came Change is truly one of the greatest books you could ever read on the inside workings of modern politics. It was such a great work of journalism, but there were more than a few spots where you could read behind the lines and tell that the authors’ hearts were with Obama.
John Heilemann: Obama is an unusual politician. There are very few people in American politics who achieve something — not to mention the Presidency — in which the following two conditions are true: one, they don’t like people. And two, they don’t like politics.
KC: Obama doesn’t like people?
JH: I don’t think he doesn’t like people. I know he doesn’t like people.
What do you get when you get a leader who doesn’t like people?
You can end up with a sociopath like Nero, who would think nothing of throwing the Christians to the lions and then laugh at the very thought of it, as portrayed in the 1932 Cecile B. DeMille classic, Sign of the Cross:
Take the rare mix of a man with enough oratory skill and charisma to become Messiah to his fainting followers and who at the same time doesn’t actually like people, showing disdain for Democracy in telling his supporters to seek “revenge” and to “punish our enemies,” and give power to that man who was mentored by a Communist, who uses well-known Communist slogans and spouts Communist ideas about “redistribution” and “spreading the wealth around” . . . what’s the worst that could happen?
The Obama who does not like people is probably more of an introvert than a mass-murdering sociopath, but it is interesting to note that he does share most of the other characteristics of the above leaders: a messiah-type figure who believes in the citizens as mere subjects of the state, a man with a basic indifference to people in general and an absolute belief in the central planning of a government-run economy . . . the resemblance is kind of startling, wouldn’t you say?
(The graphic is also a great rebuttal to all the atheists in the world like Bill Maher who spout nonsense about religions being the cause of all the evil in the world.)
Estimates of the genocide Mao waged on his own people through the Cultural Revolution range from 49,000,000 to 78,000,000.
Stalin is responsible for almost 43,000,000 dead through murders and government-created starvations of his own people. Both Mao and Stalin each killed more of their citizens than all the 38,000,000 battle-dead of the wars of the 20th century
Another 18,000,000 of the Soviet people died at the hands of other Soviet leaders, that’s on top of the 43 million Stalin killed.
Beyond the millions of soldiers Hitler was responsible for killing on the battlefields, Hitler also massacred 12,000,000 citizens in concentration camps and by deliberate murders.
Pol Pot took over a Cambodia with a population of 7,000,000 and managed to kill some 2,000,000 of his own people from April 1975 through December 1978. That’s over one-quarter of his people in a mere 44 months.
In North Korea, Kim Jong-il’s total dead from one of their food shortages are estimated at between 900,000 to 2.4 million dead in just the three short years between 1995 and 1998. In the most closed society on Earth, who knows how many more North Koreans have died in internment and reeducation camps which we can only see via satellite.
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One of the most spiritual people I’ve befriended on Twitter is a man named Pablo “Eagle Feather” Sancho.
Pablo’s a good fellow to follow, the vast majority of his tweets offering the words “I bless you,” as he confers his blessings on his followers (and I suspect he considers his “followers” not in the regular Twitter sense, but more in the cult leader sense of the word.)
He may have a bit of a messiah complex, or perhaps just he went online and got ordained by the Universal Life Church and now he takes his title of “reverend” a bit too seriously, but Pablo’s stream of blessings and invocations are uplifting to tap into regardless.
So imagine my shock and dismay when in reply to a single tweet, Eagle Feather fired off these half-dozen replies in rapid succession. (Read chronologically from the bottom up . . . )
So what did I do to incur this bombastic barrage from the bestower of blessings?
All six of those tweets came in reply to a single share of my “Obama Likes Being President” post in which I calmly, without any malice, made the case that Barack Obama likes all the things that come along with being president, but through his actions and his words, he shows quite clearly that he doesn’t care too much for the actual job of being president.
For daring to express my opinion on the president, Pablo tells me he “feels so sorry for my soul” and that my “eternal soul” is in need of being “saved.” He tells me I am “trapped in endless darkness” and that my “darkness is great.”
And I so say to you – please let the light of Democracy and free speech into your heart, Pablo.
You seem as if you would prefer to be trapped in the endless darkness of a totalitarian regime where you either agree with the party in charge or you disappear. Forever.
Pablo, look up and see the brightness of a society where an open debate and a free exchange of ideas conquers those who would subjugate us all underneath an all-powerful government.
Your intolerance is great and I feel so sorry that this is your response to those who dare question a president in a free society.
(Seriously, I post an article critical of the president and this guy is asking me to “repent” and let “Massiah” (sic) save my soul?)
You’d probably be much happier in a place like North Korea, where all are united in their unquestioning praise of Dear Leader and any who dare speak otherwise are made to “repent” in the concentration camps.
“Repent n let Yahoshua, the Massiah (sic), save ur eternal soul,” he tweets me.
Repent for daring to question the most beneficent reign of our Dear Leader Obama!
Seriously, Pablo? Seriously?