One Moment, Please… What should we expect

While I support our Freedom of Expression, a cornerstone of our democratic rights, I also encourage good judgment.

If we use our Freedom of Expression to create a movie that presents a plot revolving around the idea of two Americans assassinating the leader of another country such as North Korea, then we need to have the foresight to understand what consequences may lie ahead.

The Freedom of Expression is an American-born ideology not culturally valued in the same manner in other countries throughout the world.

We already have enough groups or countries that want to harm the people of our nation, such as ISIS and the Taliban.

The movie The Interview, brought to us by Sony Pictures, was an unnecessary creation.

What if Vladimir Putin, boastfully at odds with our U.S. President, declared his support for a movie that fictionally demonstrated the assassination of our leader? And, what if this movie was not only shown in theaters throughout Russia but made available worldwide? How would we feel? How would we respond?

To me, that is pretty much a slap in the face of a fellow country — if not a declaration of war.

Yes, we are talking about Hollywood. We are talking about entertainment. And, that’s why this situation was completely unavoidable. Instead, we are making a deliberate statement with this movie.

We already have a bad relationship with North Korea and their leader Kim Jong-un. So, why make it worse? Why throw fuel on the fire?

Close to home

And, while we always talk about our global economy, it never really feels like it is that close to home.

Our newspaper recently published an article authored by one of our reporters sharing the story of a World War II veteran who served his country as a pilot in the United States Air Force for 23 years until his retirement in 1971.

After that article appeared in our newspaper, we published it on our website like we do with all of our content.

Within nine days after that article was published, our reporter received an e-mail from the Foreign Media Relations Division of the Korean Culture and Information Service for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The representative contacting our reporter was requesting that we change the name of a body of water referenced in the article.

Our source interviewed for the article referred to the Sea of Japan, and we were being asked to change our article to reference it as East Sea/Sea of Japan.

There were a number of references supporting this request, and it seemed to all point to a history of strained relations between Japan and Korea.

OK, we are talking about an article that appeared in the Fillmore County Journal. Our ciruculation and content is focused on the people of Fillmore County in Minnesota.

But, what we publish is shared around the world via the Internet. And, this makes us more global than we may ever come to realize.

To me, this is also an indication that all of us represent our country in the eyes of others.

Even Hollywood, while entertainment, still represents America in the eyes of others.

We may never understand how others perceive our country, but if we are not careful our ethnocentric views will portray arrogance.

And, I think the movie The Interview crosses that line.


I don’t feel sorry for Sony Pictures getting hacked, while I still question whether it was an inside job from a disgruntled ex-employee, as first thought. I also don’t feel sorry for the actors who agreed to do this movie.

I only hope that all involved in this creation will find some humility and recognize the impact of this poor decision. Chances are more likely that those egocentric individuals will continue to pat themselves on the back for rocking the boat.

And, just because we do have the Freedom of Expression, doesn’t mean we need to use it. We need to pick our battles, and this wasn’t a good one.

While we all know that North Korea has a different government-controlled culture compared to our democracy in the United States, we have to consider how Kim Jong-un is presenting this movie to the people of his country. For all we know, he could be telling everyone that this is part of a planned attack illustrated in a movie. He could be telling everyone that the United States is threatening to assassinate their leader, and this should give greater credence to his cause for developing nuclear weapons and a bigger, more robust military operation.

The creation of The Interview was equivalent to a 14-year-old boy walking into a funeral service with a whoopie cushion and silly string, and thinking this was a good idea.

Not good.

By Jason Sethre

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014

[] | Original News @ HERE

Date : 2014/12/29


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