The Interview, the Sony dick thinkers and the accident chain
One of the fundamental lessons of motorcycle safety is called “the accident chain” and it goes something like this: An accident is made up of a series of events or links. Take any one of those links out of the equation and you dramatically increase the odds of avoiding an accident. As an example, let’s say an inexperienced motorcyclist driving in the rain is speeding and as a result, he crashes. If you remove any one of the three links (inexperience, rain, speed) you break the chain and cut down the odds of an accident exponentially.
This lesson came to mind as I was reading an LA Times article about the debacle surrounding the Seth Rogan/James Franco film, “The Interview.” The article asserted that in addition to the actual hacking, top Sony Pictures brass would most likely lose their jobs for green lighting the movie in the first place.
This set me thinking about my initial “fuck you, North Korea” reaction when I heard that Sony was not going to release the film. Like most people, I felt like terrorists had taken away a basic freedom of speech and expression and also taken my right to decide what and what not to see.
While that may be true, it’s an initial reaction of a child who had his toy taken away and as the Times article and my above-described accident chain hint at, there are other forces that may have prevented the hacking and the outrage by so many.
In no way am I justifying or defending hackers or terrorists. What they did was wrong. It sucked. And we have every right to be pissed. In Sony’s defense, I understand that it’s a no win situation. Pull the film and you look like a bunch of asshats caving into the threats of shitheads. But if you run the film and innocent people die as a result, you look like a company trying to profit despite knowing that people may come into harms way.
So that sucks.
Then I got to thinking about how we might react if a foreign film company had decided to make a comedy about assassinating our president. Aside from Sarah Palin, Lindsay Graham and the rest of the Ku Klux Klan, we’d be outraged that another country thought it was funny to produce a film – even as farce – about the killing of our leader. I’m not talking about a made-up president or regime like in Woody Allen’s early 70’s film, “Bananas.” I’m talking about a movie that specifically referenced a plot to kill Barack Obama. Not so funny, right?
So that takes me to the dick thinkers at Sony. The ones with a throbbing hard on so big that they acted like a bunch of high school sophomores getting their first look at a vagina and gave the go ahead to make a movie with a plot so controversial that it set terrorists in motion. Is it the first to outrage a large group? Of course not. But seriously, should that film have been made? Was it so hard to look Seth Rogan in the eye and say, “Yeah, it’s funny, but maybe come back to us with a couple more ideas that aren’t going to set off a narcissist ruler with a whole bunch of cronies.” I guess Seth just has the face you can’t refuse, because the decision makers were stiff to get in bed with him that they just ignored common sense and the question of “who exactly might this piss off?”
Well, now we know the answer to that question.
So in film making there seems to be an accident chain as well, with links that include writing, pitching, agreeing, producing and distributing.
Should the terrorists have won? No. Never. But could this whole unfortunate accident been avoided if the “agreeing” link had been broken?
I think the answer to that question is yes.