North Korea

Please Do NOT Watch Our Videos on North Korea Because We Are Afraid, Said No One at Reason EVER

|

You read the news (or know someone who does), so you're up to date on how Sony has pulled the plug on The Interview, the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy about journalists who try to kill North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The decision not to show the movie in theaters came after threats of violence.

And you proably know that Paramount has forbidden theaters to show copies of Team America: World Police, the 2004 puppet epic created by South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In its climax (its dramatic climax, that is, not the eyeball-shredding puppet sex scene) Team America reveals that Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong-il, is actually a cockroach from outer space.

Reason TV has long taken an interest in North Korea, which is perhaps the purest distillation of a totalitarian insanity ever made flesh. It is easy—and important—to make fun of the People's Republic and its bizarre dogmas and doctrines (including the belief that the country's rulers are not simply picked by god but are divine in their own right) and we've done that. But it is also important not to allow the comic-opera elements to distract from one of the most repressive regimes that has ever disgraced the planet.

With movies about North Korea being yanked like the teeth of North Korean torture victims, here are a series of Reason TV videos that mock, explore, and expose various dimensions of the Hermit Kingdom.

"I escaped a North Korean prison camp"—Shin Dong-hyuk's Survivor Story, December 2, 2012

Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside Kaechon #14, one of the world's harshest labor camps. His parents were political prisoners, declared enemies of the state for having committed minor offenses against the North Korean regime. Shin was routinely subjected to torture and knew nothing of the outside world until his escape at the age of 23.

Today he is on a mission to tell the world his story. And to remind us of the estimated 200,000 other forced laborers currently languishing under the regime of Kim Jong-un.

Produced by Todd Krainin.

"The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il: Q&A with Michael Malice," March 28, 2014

Kim Jong Il, who was the supreme leader of North Korea until his death in 2011, was a leading authority on gymnastics, cinema, literature, war, cooking, and the arts. He wrote 1,400 works when he was in college, including a senior thesis that was an achievement comparable to Columbus' discovery of America. He revolutionized the opera, personally discovered that Paleolithic man originated on the Korean Peninsula, and came up with a theory of art that was as impactful on modern culture as the Copernican Revolution. Why did the supreme leader always wear sunglasses? That's because his eyes were constantly bloodshot from staying up all night figuring out ways to help his country.

These are details from celebrity ghostwriter (and former editor of Overheard in New York) Michael Malice's new book Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, a strange, tragic, and humorous first-person account of the supreme leader's life. On March 18, 2014, at an event held at New York City's Museum of Sex and sponsored by the Reason Foundation, The New York Times columnist John Tierney sat down with Malice to discuss the book.

On a lighter note, here's a video that showcase bizarre footage from a North Korean children festival in light of American domestic politics:

Obama Kids: Sing for Change (Pyongyang Remix), October 1, 2008

For more Reason coverage of North Korea, go here.

NEXT: Social Security On Track to Go Broke, Says CBO

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Comments about fornication with certain animals, however…

    1. You know being being a co-defendant with Reason magazine is one of the proudest moments of my life.

    2. …or Mohammed cartoon days…

  2. Is there anything in Nick’s email cache that would truly surprise us?

    1. That he prefers beer to cocktails?

  3. Once again (probably due to lawyers and/or cravenness) “we” bow to terrorist threats. That’s American history since Paul Revere rode into the countryside, calling “Run like hell and hide, the Regulars are out!”

    1. We have payed the barbarians at the gate. I don’t recall this strategy playing out very well on the past.

      1. That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
        You never get rid of the Dane.It’s all good from here on out.

        That’s how it goes, right?

        1. Hmm….I think it’s

          That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
          You never get rid of the Dane. You will get discounts on avant-garde furniture.

        2. So…What happens if I don’t pay the Dane-geld and instead tell him to shove off before I open fire upon his piddly army with an overabundance of artillery?

    2. FFS it was Billy Dawes.

  4. Alt text WINNAH!

  5. That’s Democratic People’s Republic to you, buddy. Man, even the name of the place is straight out of Orwell.

  6. Has a single shred of evidence been put forth that the Sony hack was the work of North Korea’s govt?

      1. Due to sensitive sources and methods to obtain the information, the FBI said it is limited in the information they are able to share.

        So no, not a single shred of evidence has been put forth. Thanks for the link.

      2. That would be the same FBI that was absolutely certain that Richard Jewell bombed the Centennial Olympic Park and that Steven Hatfill was behind the anthrax mailings.

        That FBI?

        1. Yes, that FBI. There’s a reason why gun owners generally refer to them as “Fan Belt Inspectors”.

  7. Interesting bit from Dilbert creator and all-around technocrat Scott Adams:

    http://www.dilbert.com/blog/en…..e_hackers/

    Is it Sony’s job to protect the American constitution? No. Their job is making money and trying to keep their employees and customers safe. How are they doing? Well, I would say that greenlighting the project was a mistake, in hindsight, but they certainly made up for it by eating a gazillion dollars of nearly guaranteed movie profit this year. I call that gutsy and smart. And they also don’t seem to be putting the blame on anyone else for getting into this situation. I give them A+ for their handling of the situation recently.

    1. Adams goes on to say:

      Sony really bent over and took it up the butt like a real man. No lube. No gentle whisper in the ear. Nothing. Just a couple of North Korean hackers jamming a big ol’ veiny throbbing cock right into Sony’s poop chute. Sure, they came on Sony’s back, but Sony doesn’t mind. They’ll clean it up and even sleep in the wet spot.

        1. Except for the big ol’ part. This it’s North Korea we’re talking about.

          1. *is

    2. Yeah I think this whole thing stinks. But it is also a bit crass for all these journalists to ask a private company to open itself up to violence and theft, along with huge liability concerns, to make some principled stand.

      I wish they would do it, but I do understand why they don’t. Just like I understand why many people just shutup and take it when a Cop is being belligerent to them. Yeah, I wish they would stand up and display some civil disobedience, but I’m not going to condemn them for putting their life, job, health and reputation on the line to do so.

      I think it is possible to commend and praise companies that DO take a stand and not condemn those who don’t.

      1. …”I’m not going to condemn them declining to put their life, job, health and reputation on the line to do so”

        Fixed.

      2. Anybody who thinks this terrorist threat is credible is insane.

        1. Anybody who thinks this terrorist threat is credible is insane.

          In the United States, yes. However, let’s not forget that Sony Pictures is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. And when you can look out from your corner office in a Tokyo skyscraper and see Kim’s wonderland just across the sea from you, the threat is a bit more palpable. Now, the Japanese executives’ perception of threat might be overblown, but a terror attack on them is still not the impossible long shot that it is from our perspective.

          1. And when you can look out from your corner office in a Tokyo skyscraper and see Kim’s wonderland just across the sea from you, the threat is a bit more palpable.

            There’s actually about 100 miles of mountains and whatnot then several hundred miles more of ocean blocking the view of NK from Tokyo.

          2. Who do you think you are, Tina Fey?

        2. I don’t think it’s even relevant if the threat is credible. Publish the threat, make people aware of it, and let individual theaters and moviegoers make the choice whether to show it or go see it. If my faith in this country (not its government) is justified, people will show up in droves even if the movie sucks, because fuck those Streisand-esque cunts. The worst thing you can do is ransom your entire company for the illusion of temporary safety.

      3. “Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy,” the email said. “And we want everything related to the movie, including its trailers, as well as its full version down from any website hosting them immediately.”

        The hackers reminded executives that they “still have your private and sensitive data,” which they said will remain secure “unless you make additional trouble.”

        I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the hackers are blackmailing the Sony execs with embarrassing disclosures like adultery and Sony’s using the threats of violence to absolve themselves of their fiduciary duty to shareholders.

        And now that a successful model has proven successful at forcing American corporate action, we’ll see a massive push for increased Federal IT security spending. So fuck Sony for that.

        1. Pretty much what he said.

        2. Hmm. Hadn’t thought of that. Something along the lines of “You see what we did to Amy Pascal with a couple of little lines about Obama being Black. Shall we release everything else, or . . . ?”

          Should work on every corporation and government agency in America.

        3. Yeah, I never thought they pulled the movie because of the threats of violence. They pulled it because of threats of hacking and sabotage by the original hackers.

          Hackers may have dirt on the execs. They may also have such a deep reach into the company’s infrastructure at this point that they have them by the balls. If Sony went forward on principle, and then the hackers destroyed film archives, released internal comms and just generally fucked them over, shareholders would likely sue them for that as well.

          People get blackmailed all the time. Would it be nice if those people stood up to blackmailers? Absolutely. But there is a cost to that, which blackmailers know, and sometimes it isn’t worth that cost to refuse to pay up.

      4. Fuck Sony. They’re not protecting shit, they’re screwing over their stockholders, and they are basically telling anyone who has any objection to anything they do that they can be controlled. They are encouraging future violence and threats of violence. You get more of what you reward. The executives should have just resigned rather than basically surrendering an entire company that wasn’t theirs to surrender to save a little face for themselves.

        1. And after the rootkit, they deserve to have something like this happen to them.

      5. They certainly have no obligation to stand up and fight, and they definitely have an obligation to their share holders and employees, but it would be nice if they’d grow some fucking balls and just release it. Hell, I’d say that the movie is now so popular that they could double the ticket price and I guarinee that the shareholders who were concerned about reprisals will be happy with that return…

      6. Nicely put. Very reasonable.

    3. I agree with him. Heroism has shit all to do with running a business.

      1. Heroism has nothing to do with it. Completely devaluing your company by giving any psycho with an email address creative control is not the best way to exercise your fiduciary responsibility.

        1. Completely devaluing your company by giving any psycho with an email address creative control is not the best way to exercise your fiduciary responsibility.

          Except that isn’t what is happening.

          Sony is pulling a movie that, by all accounts I’ve seen, was probably going to bomb horribly. Second, we just don’t know what other information the hackers have, or what other capabilities they’ve demonstrated internally.

          It is likely that Sony looked at the cost of appeasing these people and the cost of taking a principled stand, and decided it was not worth the risk. It isn’t our money, jobs or lives on the line, so I don’t see why everyone is so ready to risk it on the behalf of Sony.

          1. Sony is sending a message that anyone can get them to pull a movie by making threats. That is what is happening. Sony is becoming a media company that is afraid to distribute media.

            1. Sony is sending a message that anyone can get them to pull a movie by making threats. That is what is happening. Sony is becoming a media company that is afraid to distribute media.

              No, Sony is sending a message that anyone can get them to pull a movie if they demonstrate complete and utter control over that company’s IT infrastructure. If you want to be mad at Sony, get pissed at them for not doing a better job hardening their infrastructure.

              Sony is at the mercy of these fuckers. They could possibly have avoided this situation (however, it is very, very, very difficult to harden IT infrastructure especially when a large proportion of your workers are not technical), but once the assholes had them over the barrel, they had to deal with these costs.

              1. I know a person who was interviewd for Sony’s IT protection team. They offered him 60% of going rate for the position.

                Fuck Sony. They had it coming.

            2. “Sony is sending a message that anyone can get them to pull a movie by making threats.”

              Why should they care what message you think they’re sending? Like I said above, they aren’t in the business of making some philosophical stand, especially if they don’t see a financial benefit.

          2. Let’s say your SO gets kidnapped in some third world shithole, and the ransom is $10,000 or they will slit his/her throat. Sure, the principled stand is to stand up and say “Hells No! I do this and it will just encourage you to keep doing it.” On the other hand, now your closest friend is dead.

            I don’t think anyone has an obligation to help the rest of society at their personal cost. Would I commend them for doing so? Absolutely. Am I going to condemn them for not doing so? No.

            1. I’m not talking about the rest of society, I’m talking about the shareholders to which Sony executives have a specific duty.

              1. And those shareholders should hold them accountable for negligence (if any) in letting another country’s actors (if the FBI is to be believed) gain access to their secure systems, not for trying to mitigate the costs after that happened.

          3. Now, if Sony changes their minds and releases a movie that, due to the Streisand Effect, is now 10x more popular than it would’ve been before, then I will applaud their strategic brilliance. Until then, however, this is not only cowardly, but stupid.

          4. Sony is pulling a movie that, by all accounts I’ve seen, was probably going to bomb horribly.

            Maybe before the threats. Now it would be box office gold. Nothing like censorship to get people to bust out the “fuck you, now I GOTTA see it” card.

  8. I looked at the paycheck that said $4961 , I accept …that…my neighbours mother woz like they say actually making money part-time on there computar. . there dads buddy haz done this for under twelve months and just cleared the loans on their house and purchased a brand new Nissan GT-R: .
    try this site and free register ——— http://www.jobsfish.com

    1. Bull! Admit it anonybot – you were in on the Sony hack!!!

  9. The comments at Instapundit on this issue really drive me nuts (I’ve got to quit going to that website). They were blaming Obama! WTF??? And I agree with Scott Adams (see above). These companies don’t care about politics, they’re doing what they think best for shareholders. If you want to blame them for being pussies, then start with the trial lawyers.

    1. I don’t bother reading the comments there, just Glenn’s links. It’s not Redstate, but it’s not exactly a great commentariat.

    2. Actually, Glenn blamed Obama.

    3. Obama certainly has some responsibility here. A major US industry was attacked by a foreign power.

      The correct response was to indemnify the theaters for any terrorist attacks on any theaters due to the North Korean threats and encourage Sony to run the movie.

      Finally, he should be doing something directly against the Norks so they don’t do this again.

      Though, maybe they weren’t full sure it was NK and thus, he delayed.

      Or maybe he was too busy following up on that chick’s movie suggestions.

      “Django? Never heard of that movie – maybe its good.”

      1. Thought experiment: russian hackers hack Exxon. Chinese hackers hack GM.

        These are directly linked to the government.

        You’d think there’d be some reaction.

        But IIRC we do know about china’s hackers and have mentioned it to them, but not much else.

        So I will cut Obama a teeny bit of slack. but we probably need a policy on this. It will happen more and more often.

  10. I seem to remember some offending comments getting purged on Draw the likeness of Muhammad Day or whatever the fuck that was called.

  11. My offer to Sony stands to show the movie at my house. Just contacted them again. I’ll let you all know when it’s scheduled – all Reasonoids are invited. Even trolls.

    /hopeful

    1. “Even trolls.”

      It’s a trap!

  12. That last is pretty much the creepiest video I’ve ever seen. I don’t think it’s a “lighter note”, though I understand what you mean.

  13. Reason TV has long taken an interest in North Korea, which is perhaps the purest distillation of a totalitarian insanity progressive government ever made flesh.

    FTFY, Nick.

  14. Sony is missing a huge opportunity. This movie is so fucking popular now, they could charge double for the tickets. People would go to see it in Super Bowl party sized groups.

  15. What I find amusing is that the show biz types try to portrary their disparagement and satirization of Christianity as being a courageous defiance of some powerfull monolith.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. They have nothing to fear in doing that and they know it.

    These same “courageous” folks don’t dare do the same to Islam because they think that there actually is a chance somebody might come after them.

    And now there is another example of that with the North Koreans.

    1. I wonder if they would have folded if some Westboro Baptist types had threatened them because they were distributing a movie that showed gays in a sympathetic light. Of course, that isn’t going to happen for they same reason people let wookies win and ignore protocol droids: Wookies will rip your arms off and beat you to death with them.

      1. I really don’t understand why everyone is saying that Sony pulled the movie because of threats. They were hacked. There was no threat. There was a promise.

        This wasn’t some crazy youtube fucker just spouting off threats on the internet. These were hackers who had already gained access to Sony’s technical infrastructure and caused real monetary damage. The threat that more damage could be done with information they stole is extremely credible.

        1. The execs might have had more embarrassing emails released. That’s worth losing $100 million, amirite?

          I’m sure there was more than that. But maybe not…just get this off the front page thinking.

  16. my roomate’s ex-wife makes $60 /hr on the computer . She has been unemployed for 7 months but last month her payment was $12996 just working on the computer for a few hours. read the full info here …….
    ???????? http://www.paygazette.com

  17. It appears that North Korea has precious little to offer anyone, while it has a great deal to hide from view.

  18. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail

    ———————-www.jobs700.com

  19. I just agree… Brenda `s st0rry is amazing… on wednesday I got a top of the range Citro?n DS sincee geting a check for $9519 this – five weeks past and even more than 10/k this past month . it’s actualy the nicest work Ive had . I actually started 6 months ago and right away was bringing home over $86…
    per-hr . official website ———- http://www.jobsfish.com

    1. Citroen? This is Americuh!

  20. my roomate’s mom makes $61 hourly on the computer . She has been fired from work for 6 months but last month her payment was $19386 just working on the computer for a few hours. look at here………

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

  21. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did————- http://www.Paygazette.com

  22. This christmas with Santa Claus special offer happy life free registration , free gift and much more bundles just as Samuel explained I cant believe that a mother can make $7276 in a few weeks on the internet . read the full info here to keep it join.
    big christmas big offer -=-=-=-=-=- http://www.jobs700.com

  23. This christmas with Santa Claus special offer happy life free registration , free gift and much more bundles just as Samuel explained I cant believe that a mother can make $7276 in a few weeks on the internet . read the full info here to keep it join.
    big christmas big offer -=-=-=-=-=- http://www.jobs700.com

  24. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

    ———————- http://www.paygazette.com

  25. I don’t know what they’re talking about eye-shredding. Puppet pile driver is hot. :p

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.