North Korea

Drop Comedy Bombs, Not Real Bombs: Why Not "Drop" The Interview on North Korea?

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The Wall Street Journal, not usually in favor of government support for the arts, argues that the United States government should buy the rights to Sony's The Interview and then release it into the public doman. It would surely find itself to North Korea via any number of bit torrent sites and the like. As the Journal notes, Chinese love to mock Kim Jong-un and his whole family line, and there's a bustling trade in pirated merchandise between North Korea and China.

And there's an old-school way to get the flick into North Korean hands:

Park Sang Hak, a North Korean defector now living in the South, has an idea. Mr. Park, whom we profiled last year, puts information about the outside world along with movies and television programs on USB drives, which he floats into the North on balloons. The Kim Jong Un regime has labeled him "enemy zero" and sent an assassin to kill him with a poison-tipped pen. For real.

Mr. Park wants to include "The Interview" on future balloon launches.

Sure, why the hell not? The reported budget for The Interview was about $45 million. And while The Interview has received some scathing reviews—Variety said "it's about as funny as a communist food shortage"—it wouldn't be the worst art ever purchased with tax dollars.

Related: "Please DO NOT Watch OUR North Korea Videos Because We Are Afraid, Said No One at Reason EVER!"

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  1. I’m wondering are the Norks being behind it? The actual evidence is slim. The Norks did deny it but praised the attack as “righteous” and that “there are a great number of supporters and sympathisers” of them in the world who could have done. They did promise “merciless” retaliation.

    Oh and all this for a movie that probably isn’t very good.

  2. You can’t call a film with Seth Rogen it it art.

  3. A thoughtful perspective from RangerUp on how to address our current issues with the North Korean government

    The important take aways =

    – James Franco is a beautiful man
    – We should nuke North Korea
    – Who the fuck is Seth Rogan?

  4. “It would surely find itself to North Korea via any number of bit torrent sites and the like. ”

    It’s not on bittorrent yet?

  5. I’m a bit puzzled by calls to either put the movie online or to drop DVD’s into North Korea.

    Does the average North Korean have internet access or a DVD player?

    1. Well, putting it on the internet means that it can be smuggled into the country in physical form as well.

      And an article I posted yesterday said that 46% of NK households has a DVD player. That strikes me as high, but still that means that there are quite a few.

      1. 46%? It should strike you as high.

        Something as simple as looking at nighttime lights on google earth will tell us that probably less than 10% of Norks have electricity.

        1. My guess is that most people have electricity, but it’s just a few hours per day, and unpredictable.

    2. Nick covered that part when he said, “there’s a bustling trade in pirated merchandise between North Korea and China.”

      1. Thanks to both of you for the clarification!

        Black…I mean markets are incredibly efficient at satisfying consumer demand even in totalitarian societies.

        This should give pause to anyone who thinks they can control commerce.

  6. uts information about the outside world along with movies and television programs on USB drives, which he floats into the North on balloons. The Kim Jong Un regime has labeled him “enemy zero” and sent an assassin to kill him with a poison-tipped pen. For real.

    Ah yes, I can see the North Korean populations sticking these usb sticks into their Mac Book pros and PCs to watch this video. Perhaps we should airdrop region free dvds, with the dvd players… and the tv… and a small generator to run them with, oh, and a couple of gallons of gasoline attached.

    Shit, this is getting more complicated than I thought.

    1. Don’t forget the popcorn.

      They would really appreciate the popcorn.

    2. Supposedly quite a few people have DVD players. No idea about personal computers. But as people say above, a lot of forbidden stuff comes in from China. Even with as much horror and oppression as NK has, you can’t stop markets providing what people want.

      I think that the big thing that 1984 gets wrong is that it really is impossible for any government to control everyone to that extent. NK is as bad as it gets and Big Brother is still not watching everything.

  7. Why torment the long-suffering people of North Korea? Do we want them to despise us?

  8. 1. How many North Koreans have video players of any kind?

    2. What would the cops/military do to the average North Korean caught with this thing or watching it?

    It would not be a good idea.

    1. How many North Koreans have video players of any kind?

      Almost half, based on the article I posted yesterday.

      What would the cops/military do to the average North Korean caught with this thing or watching it?

      There’s already a booming trade in this sort of thing.

  9. So Park Sang Hak alone has bigger balls than all of Japan?

  10. Why not drop “The Interview” on NK? Because it reinforces NK propaganda. NK claims the US wants to destroy NK and might attack anytime. This helps NK stay in power. Why add to that delusion?

    1. I think you give too little credit to people’s ability to sift the wheat from the chaff. They might have some low level fear of the US and west in general, but when it comes to specifics that they see in movies and TV broadcasts from South Korea, China, and Japan, there’s simply too much repetition of the same elements to believe it all to be lies. Even if only one person in a hundred has a DVD player or TV, that’s enough for word to get around.

  11. Dude thats the best idea EVER!

    http://www.TheAnonBay.tk

  12. Even if it *is* “about as funny as a communist food shortage,” it should still be released – I mean, Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler movies get released all the time, and they’re about as funny as a case of the clap.

    That being said. . . it couldn’t be worse than “Your Highness,” and that movie had it’s moments. . .

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