The Sony Hack: Seriously, Stop Pissing Your Pants, America (UPDATED)
...in their initial public statement, whoever hacked Sony made no mention of North Korea or the film. And in an email sent to Sony by the hackers, found in documents they leaked, there is also no mention of North Korea or the film. The email was sent to Sony executives on Nov. 21, a few days before the hack went public. Addressed to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, Chairwoman Amy Pascal and other executives, it appears to be an attempt at extortion, not an expression of political outrage or a threat of war. "[M]onetary compensation we want," the email read. "Pay the damage, or Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole. You know us very well. We never wait long. You'd better behave wisely."
Oh Jesus. Are we really this stupid? Looks like Charlie Brooker is a prophet.
I'm already sick of the likes of the "New Alec Baldwin Now That The Old One's Broken", George Clooney, intoning pompously about what we "lost" with the Sony hack, as though the United States itself had spread its ass wide for an enemy. As though we gave up our fucking nuke codes.
It was not the US. It was Sony.
Who had an IT dept of 3 people and had laid off most of the rest of that staff, who left their passwords on a single document called "Passwords.doc," on a system that wasn't even encrypted. Are you kidding me? It may not even BE North Korea. For all the evidence they have (which Wired has already explained is damn skimpy, and NK's involvement was a conclusion jumped to long before any kind of evidence) it could turn out to be one very amused kid in a basement somewhere, laughing his ass off at all of you.
Update: and considering North Korea lives entirely by people believing its empty threats--that's how it gets foreign aid, for god's sake--why then, given this worked, would they now deny it? Do you think North Korea would miss an opportunity to seem scary and competent at something? Are you that ready to believe anything you're told? No wonder you never stop our involvement in a single war, Mr. and Ms. America.
You provide the prose poems, I'll provide the war. - Charles Foster Kane
It was Sony. And what did they give up? What did we lose?
One fucking movie. One stupid Seth Rogen comedy. That is all. Sony does not guard your security you're so worried about. Sony has nothing to do with the government. Sony is not even a US company.
There is no reason to believe many others would be stupid enough to leave their systems so insecure(especially not now) and again, these are private corporations, not the nation. We have not lost free speech. One corporation has shown its cowardice.
I just found out from my future stepdaughter, who's 11: kids don't know Sony is a Japanese company. I wonder how many others don't. Everyone seems to think Sony is some beloved institution, some American Mom & Pop corporation.
The honor of Sony is not the honor of the US, and we have none anyway, as you may have noticed from the torture report this distracted you from.
Although Hollywood does serve an important American political function in that it keeps most people in a useful state of childish gullibility, easily manipulated by emotional narratives even if shot through with plot holes.
And do you think this is the first time a movie has been repressed by the studios for any number of reasons? And do you think this was anything but the exhibitors getting scared that people might stay away from the theatres to see other films on Xmas day?
Pick your battles. Get a grip.
Mere hackers probably did this, and because it was easy to do it. Perhaps even members of their laid-off IT staff, and why hasn't that possibility even been broached?
Sony is embarrassed. But now Hollywood smells an opportunity and will try to use this to its benefit, Clooney and Sorkin setting the tone. What you need to watch for is Hollywood calling this its 9-11 & trying to push through a new SOPA-like law to finally yoke that pesky web. A plan the Sony emails indicate they already were trying with other means--this might make it easier. That's why they want you to think this is a crisis.
Personally, I only can be grateful for whatever spares us more Seth Rogen films. But you'll see it, don't worry. It's not like GREED, which the studios actually destroyed. Because they could.
Because that's what happens if you do "art" through a corporation. It's theirs, they can do as they like. Sorry you now find there's two edges to that. If you want free speech, take it, but the only free speech here was that of a corporation and I do not cry for them or for Hollywood. At all.
My bigger issue is how this proves how quickly Americans believe what they're told, especially if war is a possibility. We are an ignorant, stupid people and the most childish "empire" in history.
UPDATE: The hackers now saythe Interview can be released. Yeah, sure North Korea would risk an international incident just over this and say that. You all got played.
If I'm bothered by anything, it's that this scuttled the making of the film of Guy Delisle's excellent graphic documentary about his actual time in actual North Korea, PYONGYANG. But you know what? Hackers have a much harder time killing comics, so buy the book right here and consume something far better than the Interview would have been anyway.
UPDATE: On a couple more viewings, I think this is a little better than I say below and it's fairly well-done, but in general I do think this film is far too much gossip and far too little of Sontag's mind. So I will let this review stand unrevised, because this was my first, unguarded reaction, and it follows:
Saw REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG last night. Well-done enough but I found it shallow. The movie is gossipy and (with only about 90 min to work with) spends far too much time on her ex-lovers and the issue of her never publicly coming out. You barely get any idea of her real achievement and not nearly enough discussion of her work or what it meant, leaving you with a feeling it was "inspiring" or something.
It spends an awful lot of time trying to stick a label on someone who resisted being boxed into ANY labels her whole life, something I admire her for. Ultimately I feel it suffocates her.
Of course it's important to talk about her relationships and her sexuality should not be glossed over at all. It's an important part of her life. But sometimes the film comes off as revenge by the lesbian community at Sontag for refusing to be defined by that or any group. (it's not like she ever wanted to talk much about her personal life anyway) Had she come out she'd have been tagged "lesbian writer Susan Sontag," and her work would have mostly been defined by its relation to gay culture rather than that plus all other culture. (something they're trying to do to her now, this film being part of that) Sontag belongs to all of us and her influence is much bigger than just that. Considering how furious she got whenever introduced as "woman writer" or once (by all-time asshole chauvinist Norman Mailer, and you can see this in the film TOWN BLOODY HALL), "lady writer," I think one can conclude she mainly simply wanted to be considered a "writer" full stop. And why not?
If you know AIDS AND ITS METAPHORS you can't say she abandoned gays. But perhaps she wanted to just be Sontag. (also, though it was mainly women after her divorce, she would more properly be called "bisexual." Why so scared of that word?) In any case, all that would be fine if we got just as much serious talk of her work, but there's so little compared to what there could be.
And it really makes me mad they let so much of her early years be described by a bitter, cackling ex-lover who states without regret she punched Sontag in the face out of jealousy and left a huge bruise. There was a party right after with Allen Ginsburg attending, she says, and he asked, "Why did you hit her? She's younger and prettier than you." And..."That's why," she says she replied. Again, no regret. Presented uncritically. I've admired Sontag since I was in high school; she's a huge influence on my thinking. So hearing that she'd done that to Sontag and seemed to think she was right to do so, frankly, I wanted to punch HER in the face. I think it was seeing her chuckle about it.
To me, remembering what my friend Angel sometimes went through with her girlfriends, I'm reminded how unseriously a lot of lesbians often take abuse within their own community, a real and common problem. This woman's interviews really left me uneasy.
Perhaps had it been longer there could have been more that would actually interest someone not already familiar with Sontag in her work. This isn't that film, sadly. Maybe next time.
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson