In 2014, James Franco and Seth Rogen released a comedy movie that changed American diplomacy with North Korea forever entitled "The Interview". The movie dictates the story of a popular TV-host named Dave Skylark, played by James Franco who travels to North Korea after receiving word that the infamous dictator is a "super-fan" of Skylark's night-show. There, Skylark and his team plan to film the most eventful interview in TV history with the most mysterious world leader.
Aside from the PG13 humor and the usual sexual innuendos, the movie continuously mocks and derides the North Korean government and Kim Jung Un's administration. This movie is downright funny. Any country so cut-off from the world led by a man with a striking hairstyle like that is bound to be subject matter for comedians around the world. Plus, who doesn't love Seth Rogen or James Franco?
However, my problem is not with the content of "The Interview" but rather its effect: that Americans view North Korea as nothing more than a idiotic buffoonery led by its ringleader Kim Jung Un. And Kim Jung Un, he's just borderline insane. I mean, that is the only logical conclusion to make after he brainwashed his entire country, forcing them to believe he is the next Messiah, that North Korean propaganda movies are way better than anything on Netflix, and that Americans are to be blamed for every atrocity North Korea has faced. Is it even possible to change an entire nation's perspective? Especially because that is what generations and generations of North Koreans have been bred to think, so isn't it just them practicing their freedom of speech? Why would Kim Jung Un even hate America?
What even are his motives? And, is it necessary for the United States, one of the world's greatest powers, to get involved? Or more importantly, is it worth it? Current events would say: yes, yes it is.
Because every couple days or so, we get a news notification on our iPhones reading: "North Korea tests ICBMs", and what do we do? We swipe up, half-annoyed that we were even troubled with this "meaningless information", and resume our life. We scoff at any headline with North Korea, saying to ourselves "I've seen this before. This is old news". Why? Are we actually unfazed by the potential threat to our very survival? The truth is, this man, however delusional he may be, holds the key to the most destructive weapons known to man, a weapon that could obliterate an entire country in an instant at the push of a button. And at that moment, do you really care about Beyonce's newborn twins more than your life?
The last time nuclear war was a visible threat, children were trained to hide under desks at school the same way a firefighter taught us "Stop, drop, and roll". So, shouldn't we react the same in 2017 as we did in 1963? The technological advances today could have possibly doubled or tripled the effect of the bomb, so why aren't we as scared as our parents or our grandparents were fifty years ago?
Should we even be scared? That is the question. Cause after all, "Kim Jung Un is just a crazy man who has no true recollection of what he's doing". Should we react as if this were war? Our own President has tweeted extensively about North Korea and "toughening up America", but how does he really feel? But more importantly, what will he do about it?
A few more questions come to mind. Like, what if North Korea's "Supreme Leader" is actually smarter than us all? Even worse, what if he isn't actually crazy? After all, this man does control the Internet in his own country, so there isn't even a dark web in North Korea to discuss such conspiracies. And any advisor who knows him on a personal level has sworn their allegiance on a rope so thin even the slightest negative information about the dictator himself would instantaneously result in that person's "removal", or maybe a fifteen-year sentence to a labor camp-like the former University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier. The truth is, we do not know anything about the North Korean leader. So, automatically assuming he's a laughingstock with a bad hairline isn't necessarily our smartest move.
But maybe this is all a part of his diabolical plan. Maybe Kim Jung Un knew we would be more concerned with meaningless tabloid gossip than his weekly missile tests. And if he did know that, then I guess he isn't an idiot after all..we are. Or are we?