By Andrew L. Urban
Faux-horror comedy film studio Troma was the first to respond – correctly – with ridicule to the ghastly attempt at terrorist blackmail by North Korea, after Sony’s new comedy, The Interview, was refused bookings at all major cinema chains across the US.
In an open letter to Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un on December 19, 2014, Troma boss Lloyd Kaufman writes: “Greetings from Tromaville! We here at Troma Entertainment wish to publicly express our adulation for the supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un; Great Successor, Young Master, Brilliant Comrade, founder of the first ever “K-pop” girl band in North Korea (Moranbong), and our Lil’ Kim. In light of recent events, Troma wishes to distance itself from Hollywood’s unforgiveable disrespect for the Great One.”
He goes on: “For 40 years The Outstanding Leader and his ancestor Gods have been the role model for Troma Entertainment. This is evidenced by the fact that we have patterned our economic strategy of “no revenue” on the North Korean economic model. Kim Jong-Un has also inspired us (like his father before him, who learned to walk and talk at the age of three weeks and wrote 1500 books in three years) with how well he treats his loyal citizens and how happy he has made them…”
Under a photo of a smiling Kim Jong-Un, Kaufman writes: “If the People’s Republic needs any of our private emails or passwords, we will fax them to you promptly. Any who refuse will be sent to a prison labor camp, along with their families, for three generations of punishment.”
There is more, but you get the picture. The satirical tone eschews fear in favour of ridicule, always the better weapon against terrorism and dictatorship, which can only survive through constant fear.
Buffoons in power don’t like to be openly, publicly shown up as buffoons; that’s why The Interview is so dangerous for North Korea. It dares to make fun of the Supreme Leader as the Supreme Laughing Stock, refusing to be fearful. That could be catching.
Sony should perhaps consider an open invitation to the public around the world to sign up for a private copy of The Interview, bypassing theatres, who were quite rightly, taking no chances that the threats against them – or even just one of them – might have been empty. (And perhaps opening the way for another lone terrorist to use the threat as a cloak for violence against the public.)