I don’t normally get political…
I’m not one to talk politics often. It’s not my forte, I don’t like arguing, and I’m not keen on defending an opinion based on very little knowledge of a subject. However, the latest news that has come out of the “Sony Hack Attack” has got me scratching my brain a bit.
Sony ended up cancelling ‘The Interview’. Next, Paramount pulled ‘Team America’ from theaters that were going to show the puppet film in place of the Rogen/Franco debacle. Then I saw an article where they’re cancelling an upcoming Steve Carrell movie that also features North Korea.
Meanwhile, there is a game that I’ve been interested in for awhile now, and it still seems to be progressing towards release. It’s called “Glorious Leader” (found here), and its main protagonist is Kim Jong Un wielding a gun against the capitalist pigs of the American military, with Dennis Rodman as his right hand man. Yes, I just wrote that sentence.
I’ve been watching it the last week, wondering if this game was going to get pulled as the movies have. With updates to its Steam Greenlight page, as well as a new Kickstarter, it appears that they’re going ahead with it. I have heard no other news otherwise.
I believe there are two reasons that this is moving forward. First off, while it is definitely satirical, it paints KJU in a somewhat “positive” light. He is the “hero” in the game, riding on his unicorn and blowing up “the bad guys”. Secondly, it’s not a highly funded mainstream game. It’s a game with a Kickstarter and a Steam Greenlight page. So, chances are it’s still not quite popular enough to rile up the North Koreans.
But is this a good thing that the game will most likely be able to continue? We’re going to suppress some people’s freedom of expression because it has an unflattering portrayal of an individual, but allow other’s vision to continue?
Now, I’m not saying we should shut it down. On the contrary, I don’t believe any of the movies should have been pulled in the first place. North Korea could have condemned the movie, just as Kazakhstan condemned ‘Borat’, but they crossed the line with the threats to theaters and the releasing of information. Don’t forget, they had similar reactions when ‘Team America’ came out ten years ago, threatening to blow up Comedy Central and whatnot.
So why was ‘Team America’ allowed to continue while ‘The Interview’ was shut down? Has America completely lost its balls? What would the reaction have been if China or Russia had threatened the same thing?
Our response as a country troubles me because it sets future precedents for similar events. Perhaps there is way more to this story than the American public knows. Maybe North Korea does present a real threat to our country.
At the very least, it shows that we are letting other countries bully us into shutting down on our own standards as a people, artistic vision and speech (however terrible it may be), and control of what we can and can’t say and do. This could be a singular event, or there may come a time when I won’t be able to type any of my opinions for fear they may be offensive to somebody in another country, with a totally different set of values and culture than my own.
It’s already hard to word things in a certain way to not be overtly condemning to certain people or groups, while still trying to hold an objective and factual point of view on things. Everyone has a bias. Everyone stereotypes. And slowly everyone is becoming offended by that.
And I think that’s the scariest part to me.