When the creative class itself packs their bags and calls it quits, it’s over. This is where we end. Any tyrant now knows that they can suppress any artistic expression they don’t like just by making some threats.
The temptation is to retaliate. Make fun of North Korea and Kim Jong Bad Hair Day. Punish them by making them the butt of the joke. But it doesn’t fix the problem. You see, they’re already a joke. They’ve been one for years. Satire clogs the Internet as we speak, and will continue to do so. But that’s just pretending the fight’s still happening when we’ve already lost. It doesn’t matter how many memes you post to Facebook. Hollywood, the heart of American cultural dominance in the world, has caved to a tin-pot dictator of a country that has to kidnap filmmakers just to have a film industry. A cartoon from College Humor isn’t going to make up for that. A biting Jon Stewart critique isn’t going to make up for that. Hell, George Clooney can’t get a petition signed condemning the hacking and intimidation of Sony. George-effing-Clooney.
Worse, the movie industry as a whole has just let everyone know that if you want a film banned in the US, just make a threat. They’re all almost inviting a bomb at a multiplex now. Good work all.
Now Sony has a perfect right to do what it did. So does AMC, Regal, et al. So does Paramount for pulling Team America as a last minute replacement for the Interview. But this cannot continue if we don’t want our popular culture to be at the mercy of any regime that can afford a hacker and a bomb.
So how do you give Hollywood a spine? Stay home this Christmas. Don’t pay to see the movies they deign to show us this week. Make it cost them to cave into these threats. Rent a movie, watch Netflix, and send an e-mail to your local Regal, AMC, Cinemark letting them know why they aren’t getting your money. Let Sony Pictures and Paramount know why you aren’t paying to see their other moves. Boycott the whole pantywaist lot of them until they grow a set and tell Kim Jon Un to sodomize himself, or they go bankrupt, divest, and are replaced by studios and theater chains with corporate cultures that will.