What do suitcase nukes, Amanda Bynes, Bill Cosby, and the Sony hack all have in common? What follows is a good ole fashioned Conspiracy Theory. Ripped from the headlines, drenched in paranoia, and laid out spread eagle for the world to see. Take from it, dear reader, what you will.
Never in a million years did I ever think The Interview would actually get released. I dig James Franco and Seth Rogen, I dig their movies (Pineapple Express is somewhat of a modern day comedic masterpiece in my eyes), but this flick seemed like such an overwhelmingly BAD idea. I think I just expected someone at some point to pull the plug on it – Sony, the State Department, the UN. It’s not enough to just put the shoe on the other foot to gain perspective on this matter. If another country released a movie about the assassination of our president, yeah it might raise a few eyebrows but we (hopefully) wouldn’t go to war over it…right?
The problem with that analogy is simple; No one does movies like the US does movies.
If the British Empire conquered the world with their ships, than the US conquered the world via pop culture. Our movies and music cross all borders, mass media leaving just as much of an impact as our foreign policy. True, other countries create music and release movies, but no one does it the way we do it. A handful of foreign films find their way to American audiences every year, meanwhile most foreign markets are saturated with American films. It’s not even close. It’s not even a competition. The Interview and its dramatized assassination of the current North Korean president wouldn’t have just played here, it would have played worldwide. Audiences across the globe would have bought tickets to watch that man’s death while laughing.
One of the tenants this country was founded upon was free speech, and to many this could be seen as a simple exercise in free speech. But, the way I always had it explained to me, is that free speech stops being free when you do something like yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater. Yeah you’re free to yell whatever you want, but you could cause a riot doing something like that, someone could get hurt. With great power comes great responsibility. And when you have a voice that the whole world pays attention to, you should think twice about being an asshole and making jokes at other people’s expense.
Throw in to the mix that the country in question here is North Korea. Now I wasn’t there when this all went down, so I can’t say for sure that they had anything to do with the attacks. The FBI said they did, North Korea says they didn’t. At this hour definitive proof has not come to light either way, so there’s really no point in debating that. It’s really not important to this post. What is important is that North Korea is this bat shit little country with really big fucking balls, a reputation for not giving two fucks about what anyone else thinks about their human rights policy, and a grudge against the US.
And still…no one thought this might be a bad idea?
So the movie gets made, the trailer gets released. You hear some squawking from North Korea but nothing major. Months go by and as the release date nears this Sony hack thing happens. Yes it’s a massive security breach and many innocent employees SSN’s and medical records are released, but the majority of what you read about in the news is how one studio exec talked shit about another, or how Spider-Man almost made his way into Captain America 3. There’s still no plan on delaying the release of The Interview. There are a few black eyes and bruised egos, but so far everything is pretty sane, pretty rational. They have the press screening, red carpet premier in LA goes off without a hitch, everything is fine.
And then a couple days ago something happens causing Sony to pull the movie, and shelve it indefinitely. This is where the conspiracy theory comes in. The official story is that this hacker group also made threats to bomb movie theaters Christmas Day showing The Interview, and under fear of liability lawsuits Sony backed down. See…I don’t know if I buy that.
First off, if we stick with the narrative that this hacking was an attack perpetrated by the North Korean military than it would stand to reason they would also be responsible for the “9/11 style attacks” threated against movie theaters across the county. Wait a minute…what? How do they plan on accomplishing that? Long range missiles? Are we supposed to believe there are North Korean sleeper cells operating inside this country poised to attack at any time? I can’t imagine there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of North Koreans in the US that we aren’t already tracking.
The only way I can see fear of physical violence being the reason this movie gets pulled is if there’s suitcase nukes out there floating around. Even then that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because what, you’re a terrorist with a suitcase nuke and you’re saving it for when the AMC down the block shows a James Franco movie you don’t like? Unless there’s something big, that’s already play that could be redirected towards this latest fiasco I can’t see this as being a legit threat.
So, then what was it? Well, we know whoever perpetrated the Sony hack uncovered a treasure trove of emails and personal information about actors, directors, producers, anyone that’s every done business with Sony. And like I stated before, so far all the emails released have been pretty PG-13, some low level name calling or business strategy spoilers. But, what about all those OTHER emails? You know, the ones about how much cocaine Nicholas Cage wanted on set for Ghost Rider 2, or tips on removing hooker blood from Cuba Gooding Jr’s trailer during the production of Radio?
You’re telling there’s none of that in there? I mean we’re about to go a little bit further down the rabbit whole in a minute but let’s stop right here for now. We know drug abuse and wild debaucherous behavior runs rampant in Hollywood. Maybe the threat Sony pictures is trying to skirt by pulling The Interview isn’t so much a physical one, but a moral public relations nightmare.
In a 2011, an interview with Nightline former child actor Corey Feldman, opened up about years of sexual abuse his longtime friend Corey Haim had suffered at the hands of a “Hollywood Mogul”, and that abuse was not only common amongst child actors but “Hollywood’s biggest problem and darkest secret”. Corey Haim, backed this story to People magazine a year later and Corey Feldman would go on to write about the topic extensively in his autobiography that came out late last year. Being a father myself this is a tough topic to write about and I have no desire to delve too deeply into, but spend some time on Google and it’s all there, along with many other accounts from many other child actors and performers.
It’s a fucked up thing to think about, but it’s also a hard topic to ignore. So far, 20 women have accused Bill Cosby of rape. Are any of these topics covered specifically in the Sony emails? Who knows, but there could be other incidents we still don’t know about. It’s hard to believe that you’re going to steal all of Sony’s emails and the most slanderous thing you’re going to come across is “Angelina Jolie is a bitch”. There’s more, believe me there’s more, and Sony knows it.
THAT, dear readers, is why I think Sony flinched. Because if you’re a hacker group bent on retaliating against a movie studio for trying to embarrass your country by releasing a movie like The Interview how are you going to fire back? Hollywood and American culture is too big of a powerhouse on the world’s stage? Exposing it for the cesspool of sin and corruption that it is would be a good start. It’s also interesting to consider the fact that Paramount was about to rerelease Team America: World Police in the theaters as a way to stand in solidarity with Sony, but after a few short hours they backed out of that idea as well. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, and hackers have the ability to expose them all. But you know what hackers don’t have the ability to do? Bomb movie theaters.
Still though, I can’t stop wondering why The Interview even got made. I’m sure no one anticipated exactly such a scenario as this unfolding but someone had to expect something right? I mean I know I did when I saw the trailer. You know, the US government has a pretty sizable hand in the movie making business. Not all movies mind you, but most of the bigger budget action pictures. Let’s say you want to make a movie like Peter Berg’s 2012 “movie based on a board game” Battleship, right? The most of the movie takes place on a battleship, there’s other battleships in the movie. Where do you find all those battleships? The US Navy of course, you can’t rent that shit. Any movie with tanks or military weaponry usually gets that stuff from the US government. They loan it out to the filmmakers.
So, let’s say a studio is making a movie the government doesn’t want them to make because it be potentially damaging to foreign policy, and six months from now that same studio wants to borrow a bunch of harrier jets for Transformers 5. Can you see where ‘ole Uncle Sam might be able to muscle in a little say-so about how that first movie is handled? So, thinking the US government wasn’t paying attention to what Sony was doing or doesn’t have any kind of power of them doesn’t make much sense either.
Maybe we wanted to start some shit with The Interview, maybe that the film’s intended purpose all along. A bloodless false-flag attack for the new millennium.
Maybe we smelled blood in the water after this Bill Cosby debacle so we used this as an excuse to hack Sony ourselves; the information collected enough to hold the pop culture tastemakers by the shorthairs for a long, long time. Election season is right around the corner and Hollywood does love to throw their fundraisers.
Or, maybe not. Who knows? Conspiracy Theories are always just that, theories. The power isn’t in the theories themselves; the power is in having the ability and outlet to share them. Alternative history, alternative science and medicine, they’re all just that…theories. Whether are not they become widely accepted or ultimately dismissed, I tend to believe we do ourselves a benefit just by seeking them out and humoring them, if only for a moment. A simple conversation with someone that holds a different point of view is sometimes more enlightening then all the 24/hr news channels combined.