Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fanning The Flames

Opening Christmas Day.  What could go wrong?

"But you always risk offending people when you open people's eyes to the way the world is. Sometimes the truth is a bit unpalatable."  So said Peter Dale, the head of an entertainment company defending the release of a controversial film depicting the assassination of a sitting world leader.

No, he's not talking about the current controversial comedy depicting the North Korea leader Kim Jong Un's head exploding from a tank round.  Back in 2006 a British documentary style TV film, "Death of a President" showed a realistic assassination of our sitting President, George W. Bush.

So the concept of a fictional film showing a head of state suddenly sent into the afterlife in a rather gruesome manner, has been done before.  And the unprecedented horror of November 22, 1963 -- forever preserved in living color -- serve to remind us that truth is more powerful than fiction.

The attack on the First Amendment rights of Sony Entertainment to release movies as they see fit has taken an ominous turn with the cowardly terrorist threat to physically assault movie theaters showing the film.

Invoking 9/11 as a psychological weapon -- especially in broken English -- against the most sacred freedom we Americans enjoy, is doubly sacrilegious. 

I had not planned to see "The Interview" at the Hadley Cinemark, mainly because it's not the kind of movie I could attend with my kids.  Now, assuming they have the backbone to show it, I may see it twice. 

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

You won't be seeing it in Hadley apparently.

<Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas, and Cineplex Entertainment all announced Wednesday that they will not be showing The Interview following Tuesday’s threat of 9/11-like attacks

Larry Kelley said...

Freakin' wimps.

Anonymous said...

I would love to be in the theater to see how brave we'd all be in the event of a disruption. I can see it now: "Cinemark, Regal Ignored Warnings."

Anonymous said...

Caving in to these "warnings," as 5:51 calls them, is inviting more of the same. Before you know it we'll be threatened to the point that we stop publishing books, playing certain types of music, censoring newspaper articles, changing curriculum in schools...Before you know it this country will be renamed Pakistan II.

petervickery said...

A foreign power has threatened the US with terrorist attacks, so I anticipate a swift, robust response from President Obama .

Anonymous said...

They should release it "on demand" with all the cable networks right away. Everybody will see it. Terrorists foiled.

petervickery said...

Sorry, Blogger.com failed to render my previous quote (re. likely response from POTUS) in the correct font, i.e. Sarcasm Ultra.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh, Mr. Vickery.

Dr. Ed said...

Back in the day when there was a UMass Republican Club and not the CR chapter that the mASSgop replaced it with, the UMRC would have shown it on campus.

For that matter, wasn't the purpose of preserving things like the Amherst Theater and Hamp's Calvin to have a venue to show films that the corporate theaters wouldn't?

And Larry, the appropriate response is to boycott the Hadley theater -- don't go see the other films either because it is all about the money to them, Variety reported that fears of audience reduction to other releases is what was behind this.

Anonymous said...

Some people believe that this is all part of the publicity campaign.

Sony's going to be just fine, with or without help from the Amherst Cinema.

Anonymous said...

Next time you hear the usual bragging and bravado about the risk-taking "private sector" from our captains of industry (usually vis-a-vis the allegedly thumb-sucking public sector), remember this episode.

One hack into their Emails and they all run for cover like roaches.

Anonymous said...

Don't you remember the headline "Bush ignored warnings by bin Laden" before 9/11? S'ok for a dem tho. Move along . Nothing to see.

Anonymous said...

Your emails are pretty interesting too. I had no idea!!

Anonymous said...

Two hideous countries win this week. Howzabout a warm welcome for our Commie pals the Castro bros.?

Dr. Ed said...

One hack into their Emails and they all run for cover like roaches

Homeland Security did a video once of an electric turbine burning up -- it's impressive -- these increasingly are controlled over the internet and DHS was concerned that someone could maliciously change the settings and that's what they demonstrated.

Lots of commercial facilities have lights & HVAC controlled by the home office -- the Home Depot in Hadley for example. I would not be surprised if the major theaters are the same way.

And I don't believe anyone is still showing 35MM film anymore -- it's all electronic projection, probably streamed from somewhere even if loaded locally.

That'd be easy enough to mess up -- hack into the projectors and show the most graphic XXX movie in the middle of come children's film -- that would put a theater out of business, I'd imagine.

Even worse, you could cut all the lights and then have (quite realistic) gunshot sounds coming out of the sound system, everyone would panic and you'd have major carnage even without any perp actually being "boots on the ground."

I would imagine that Sony doesn't know how far the hacker got -- load a Trojan into the movie and then the hacker has access to the theater computer systems. Systems that are even less protected than those of the electrical utilities.

A home oil burner has a "high limit" that shuts it off if the water temp gets too high -- it is a physical switch that cuts power to the burner. And then there is another physical switch that melts at 160 degrees, shutting off power to EVERYTHING. You have to physically bypass those -- I've seen it done, but you have to physically make an electrical connection.

If these are all virtual switches and sensors that can be bypassed -- what DHS was worried about in terms of the turbines -- if you can tell the computer that the boiler temperature is 160 degrees when it is actually 260 and that it is 5 psi when it actually would be something like 30-40 PSI -- and convince it that it is too *cold* and keep the burner firing -- you could theoretically have a boiler explode...

Or short a transformer and have *it* explode -- that's what people initially thought the 1993 WTC bombing was. Or in terms of the relatively-safe overhead natural gas heaters (e.g. Walmart), turn on the gas without it being lit, turn off the alarms, and do we remember what happened in Springfield a while back?

I don't think they are being paranoid -- perhaps spineless but not paranoid. And we don't know if there is some very specific vulnerability that they are worried about...

Anonymous said...

Eds getting a new tinfoil hat for Christmas

Jackie M'Vemba said...

I hope we all have prepared ourselves to live off the grid when the grid goes away.

Anonymous said...

What's more secretive in its operations than North Korea?

A multi-national corporation.

This is just two evil empires going at it: Sony and North Korea.

Our sympathy is wasted on "the First Amendment rights" of the Sony Corporation. Let's stick to the plight of the North Korean people. They're the real victims here, and some day they're going to rise up and shut down the nonsense of their overlords, undoubtedly with considerable loss of life.

Dr. Ed said...

"Eds getting a new tinfoil hat for Christmas"

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/video-shows-hacker-attack-on-power-grid/

Folks seem to take this seriously; it sure looks like it is serious.

Anonymous said...

What an idiotic viewpoint about the first amendment. Oh. You forgot: corporations don't create jobs. Another idiotic view. But enough about HRC...

Trimegistus said...

I guess back when some lefty shit made a movie fantasizing about assassinating Bush, the Republicans should have threatened to blow up movie theaters.

Eventually everyone in our society will act like Democrat "community organizers" and civilization will collapse in blood and fire.

Anonymous said...

Should I or should I not wallpaper the kitchen?

Anonymous said...

The Sony Corporation makes a really lousy victim here.

I hope we don't have to love corporate America in order to be concerned about what the North Koreans have done here, because, Anon 8:15 p.m., if that's the case, I'm out.

Yeah, corporations create jobs. They also write our legislation these days. In the final analysis, I am betting Sony will make money, eventually, on this movie, or find some creative accounting to write it off.

Anonymous said...

Sony only opted not to release the thing because the big cinemas wouldn't show it. No place to which they could release it. Incidentally, Romney was right. Corporations Are indeed people in the same way that a church is not the building, but the folks who go there. A corporation consists of people. And of course you don't have to love them to be concerned about the enemies of the U. S. But it doesn't help much if you hate them either. What does that "I'm out" really mean? You're gonna kill yourself? You're gonna emigrate? Just curious. I hope not either one.

Anonymous said...

Pssst....Anon 3:39 pm. Corporations have too much power in this society right now. I don't think we have to take up a collection for them.

That's all. It's not about love or hate, just reality.

Been paying much attention to the news lately, like that latest bill out of Congress with all the goodies attached?

Sony will figure out how to make money on "The Interview". Wait for it.

Anonymous said...

More power to them if they do. Funny how we hate the rich, yet we all wanna BE rich .

Anonymous said...

Free country.