Amazingly enough, Sony has halted the Christmas release of their movie that included the assassination of Kim Jong-Un:
Until this week, “Guardians of Peace” had limited itself to corporate espionage, hacking the computers of Sony Pictures Entertainment, embarrassing studio execs for their snide remarks about Hollywood stars, revealing company spreadsheets, and setting off lawsuits by employees whose personal and financial information had been hacked. North Korea, never known for its sense of humor, is the prime suspect. On Wednesday evening, The New York Times reported that intelligence officials confirmed that the North Korean government was in fact behind the attacks.
But on Tuesday, “Guardians of Peace” escalated its attack on “The Interview,” posting a message on the text-sharing site Pastebin: “The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”
It wasn't that long ago that North Korea was the safe alternative to having the Chinese as villains in Red Dawn. Now, North Korea is in the game.
One can only imagine their dreams of what they can do when they have nuclear missiles.
It's humiliating. When others don't like us, the response is "why do they hate us?" as if we're at fault.
When North Korea is viewed as a barbaric basket case of a nation led by a mad man, their response (it seems likely that North Korea subcontracted the hit) is "why don't you shut up--or else."
And in the case of Sony--a Japanese company (although it would be shameful if we had a hand in their decision)--they shut up.
Gosh, remember when it was considered ridiculous to claim North Korea is in an "Axis of Evil?"
UPDATE: And why wouldn't North Korea believe that they could get away with this kind of threat when we've already stated that movies with far lower production values can justify an attack on America that we will apologize for.
UPDATE: North Korea has officially pushed us down and stolen our lunch money:
US cinemas have now pulled screenings of hit comedy Team America, reportedly as a knock-on effect of the Sony hacking.
And the villain market could dry up:
Hollywood loves its overseas villains. Evil forces from Russia, China and North Korea have tirelessly menaced our big-screen heroes in recent years. But, in the wake of the startling cancellation of "The Interview," an entire species of movie baddies might be in danger of extinction.
I see a future of Republican Christianist villains.
If even North Korea sees us as too weak to stand in their way, how many other real-world villains will take their shot over the next two years?
Kim Jong-Un is why God gave us JDAM.
UPDATE: I'm not filled with confidence:
A White House official said on Thursday that the administration was considering a “proportional response” against those who hacked into Sony Pictures computers, a retaliation that could thrust the United States into a direct confrontation with North Korea.
A "proportional" response is just another word for "ineffective." A response should be enough to make Kim Jong-Un believe that messing with us is a really bad idea.
I half expect President Obama to lift all sanctions on North Korea, arguing that since they haven't worked so far, why not try something new?