The Interview, and What it Means for Free Speech

I did not intend to see The Interview, even though I am a fan of Seth Rogan and James Franco. I liked the concept, but it seemed a bit goofy.

It looked like North Korea didn’t get the goofy part.

Yeah, looks serious

You know what happened next.The NK govt hacked Sony and released all sorts of embarrassing crap and exposed the company for the racist, classist, shit bags that we all suspected they were. I found this rather amusing, as I love when elitist pricks get knocked down. I thought that it was a clever move by NK. They were able to strike back without any saber rattling. They beat us by dropping Sony’s pants and showing off their tiny, crooked dicks. They won by using something we hold very dear: the right to free speech and our craving for information.

Then they fucked up.

When North Korea made terrorist threats toward movie theaters, they went from making us look bad to making themselves look bad. They forced Sony to cancel the movie. They turned our embarrassment into pride because they challenged our Free Speech.

Don’t make America angry. You wouldn’t like us when we’re angry. I don’t even like us when we’re angry.

It’s Not Sony’s (or The Movie Theater’s Fault)

Although I’m disappointed that Sony’s capitulated to North Korea’s demands, I don’t blame them. They lost the support of the movie theater chains, and without theaters to show the movie, they had no choice. They may have also had even darker secrets that NK didn’t release, and bowed out because of that (though that’s hearsay)

I don’t blame the movie theaters either. They don’t have the ability to prevent a terrorist attack on their audiences, and crowds wouldn’t come to the show (at least not on the all-important first weekend). People might even stay away from other movies too. It’s a business decision. They couldn’t risk the loss in revenue, not when a bad Christmas season could sink a business.

The problem is that the money issue flows into the free speech issue, and that’s where things get complicated.

Because They Hate Our Freedom…

By threatening with violence, North Korea showed how little they understood America. We’re a country that’s divided–even splintered–in ideology, but when you challenge our basic rights, we join together to say “Fuck You.” This gets us trouble sometimes, but it also unifies us. America, Fuck Yeah!

Where the “they hate our freedom” line regarding Afghanistan and Iraq was bullshit (they hate our interference in their countries) this time someone really does hate our freedom. They hate that we made a movie where they’re the butt of a joke (although it looks like the protagonists were the bumblers). They took something silly to heart, and pissed a lot of people off with their reaction.

The Solution

I see only one feasible solution to this. Let The Interview leak onto Bit Torrent or other pirate websites. It’ll spread like a virus, becoming bigger than it would’ve ever been. It’s Free Speech, and it’s free.

I can’t believe that I’m advocating piracy right now, but if cyber-terrorism is the future, let it go both ways. It’ll be a good lesson in irony. I didn’t want to see The Interview, but now I need to…for Freedom.

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2 thoughts on “The Interview, and What it Means for Free Speech

  1. The only flaw I see in this is that leaking it instead of releasing it legitimately doesn’t allow the actors, directors, etc. to earn the money they are due.

    • Yeah, normally I am very anti-piracy for exactly that reason. However, if they’re not going to release it at all, the people involved still aren’t going to get their royalties. It’s not the best scenario by far, but it’s better than nothing.

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