Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Paranoid Style

So let's see if we have this straight -- one of the world's largest entertainment companies just got intimidated to its knees by a system hack supposedly perpetrated by a hillbilly cult disguised as a country, whose sole officially-sanctioned internet presence is hosted by another country's TLD extension and looks like it was put together by a random sixth-grader from any industrialized nation.

The only way North Korea has the technological sophistication to pull this off is with help from the Chinese, since no one else will even look in their direction. And on the off chance that NK did manage to do this entirely of their own volition and ability, so what? Why does that mean that American studios feel compelled to pull every NK-related project?

When did we become a society of such cosseted, mewling ninnies? You are infinitely more likely to get hit by a bolt of lightning (or, more realistically, plowed into by a drunk driver) while exiting a movie theater than attacked by a North Korean splinter cell because you saw a middling Rogen-Franco comedy. This is just a test case; it will get bigger and weirder and with more interesting targets, and soon.

And as Steve points out, where are those bold champions of free speech when you could really use them, why does George Clooney, like always, have more balls than all of those lying, chickenshit hacks put together? The answer (of course) is that when your "philosophy" operates primarily as an ongoing persecution complex, the constant challenge is to portray yourself as a disempowered, beleaguered minority -- even if, in fact, the opposite is plainly true.

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