One of my most interesting experiences was visiting the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea on a USO tour in March 2009 during the World Congress on Sleep Apnea. The tour even got us into a room on the border that is South Korean in the morning and North Korean in the afternoon. I remember the deforestation on the North Korean side that was explained by the shortage of fuel for the preceding harsh winter when many died. A crazy world. The photo below contrasts the light in North and South Korea at night. Given the publicity today about the health harm from too much night light, that is not going to be a problem in the North.
More craziness and memories floating back when, as a bizarre end to Christmas Day, my younger son “managed to obtain a copy” (euphemism intended) of the controversial Sony comedy movie, The Interview describing an attempt to assassinate the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un by two TV journalists played by James Franco and Seth Rogan. The story so far is that the North Korean government was upset at the movie, hacked into Sony’s computers, released all sorts of stuff bad for Sony like emails saying Angelina Jolie is crazy (is that in dispute ?) and Adam Sander is overrated (nothing new here). Then Sony pull the movie from the cinemas disturbing Barack Obama and George Clooney about freedom of speech issues. Surely George was not planning to run Nespresso commercials in Pyongyang ? He should know their baristas can create wonderful caffeine drinks from whatever acorns are still uneaten on the ground. This creates a great furore in the media, social media – twitteristas are in a frenzy about Sony’s decision. More cuts to Obama looking serious and North Korea’s internet goes down for 6 hours – would their country notice? Its not like they have the bandwith to access Pornhub. Then Sony relents and shows the movie starting today.
We will never know for sure but there has to be a genius in Sony PR who will never get an award, medal or even a discount Nespresso machine from George. My bet is that he or she or they planned it carefully all along. Maybe he or she or they should go to work for North Korea to improve their image.
The movie ? Some good lines – probably not as good as Anchorman 1 but it picks up when Kim Jong makes his first appearance. My sons rated it highly but they would. The dog was cute.