Sunday, December 28, 2014

North Korea, The Interview and Movie Ethics

Its been quite a while since I blogged .. I'm going to try to write a bit more consistently from now (try being the key!). I thought I'll start with a light topic!

So I watched the now infamous The Interview two nights ago. I'm no movie critic, but I thought it was a cheap, crass stupid movie with no depth whatsoever. More of a dumbass slapstick movie than anything else.

Again, I'm no movie critic so I don't recommend you listen to me; watch it and make up your own mind :-). I have made up mine!

HOWEVER, I do think the Internet literati's reaction to this movie is grossly wrong, unfair and arrogant.

Has there ever been any other Hollywood movie where the SITTING president of a country is made to look like a jackass and assassinated in the most stupid way? I can't think of any movies like that. In fact, I don't think Bollywood or any other movie system has produced such a movie.

When Hollywood movies have US presidents in them they're always made out to be the hero (e.g. White House Down) and they pretty much never die. If they do die, then they die a hero (e.g. 2012) in true patriotic form.

I don't recall seeing a single movie where David Cameron or Angela Merkel or Narendra Modi or any other sitting president was made to look like a fool and gets killed as the main point of the movie (or in any other fashion).

I believe the US Secret Service takes ANY threats against the US president very seriously. According to Wikipedia, a threat against the US president is a class D felony (presumably a bad thing). I've heard of students who send anonymous (joking) email threats get tracked down and get a nice visit.

So, suppose Sony Pictures decided to make a movie which shows President Obama being a jackass and then being killed? How far would that go before the US Secret Service shuts it down?

In my view the fact that this movie was conceived, funded and made just goes to show how little respect the US system has for people that are not lined up in the US way. Its fine for the US government, and even the US people, to have no respect for some country, its president or whatever, but I have to agree with North Korea when they say that this movie is a violation of the UN charter:

With no rhetoric can the U.S. justify the screening and distribution of the movie. This is because "The Interview" is an illegal, dishonest and reactionary movie quite contrary to the UN Charter, which regards respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and protection of human rights as a legal keynote, and international laws.

    Would all the Internet literati who hailed the release of the movie act the same way if Bollywood produced a movie mocking Obama and killing him off? If not, why the double standard??

    Its disappointing that thinking people also get caught up in the rhetoric and ignore basic decency. Just to be clear- I'm not saying North Korea is a great place. I have no idea what things are really like there. What I do know is that I don't trust the managed news rhetoric that is delivered as fact by CNN, Fox, BBC, Al Jazeera or anyone any more about any topic. This is after observing how Sri Lanka was represented in various of these channels during the war and after being here to observe some side of it myself. After Iraq (where are those WMDs now?) you'd think that smart people wouldn't just believe any old crap that's put out .. I distinctly remember watching the news conference (broadcast on BBC) immediately after Colin Powell made his speech with pictures to the UN Security Council where the then Iraqi Foreign Minister (can't remember his name - fun looking dude) went thru each picture and gave an entirely different explanation. We now know who was telling the truth. I try hard not to get caught up in any of the rhetoric as a result now.

    There's an entirely different topic of whether the North Koreans attacked Sony Pictures' network and whether the US government hackers shut down their Internet. It seems that the general trend (as of today) is that it wasn't the North Koreans, despite what the FBI said:

    So I'm with the North Koreans on this one: This movie should not have been conceived, funded and produced. I don't condone the hackers' approach for trying to stop it; instead Sony Pictures should've had more ethics and not done it at all. So, IMO: Shame on you Sony Pictures Entertainment!

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

    WSO2Con Barcelona 2014 in just one more week!

    Time flies when you're having fun .. the conference is now just a week away and the advance team is flying in today. If you've ever been to one of our conferences you know what an awesome event it is - Barcelona is going to notch it up again with a really cool Internet of Things platform for attendees (built with our own products of course - plus soldering irons and acid baths).

    Hope to see you there!

    Learn more about industry trends, being a Connected Business, the WSO2 story, and much more through our esteemed panel of keynote speakers at WSO2Con EU 2014.
    AlanAlan Clark
    Director of Industry Initiatives, Emerging Standards and Open Source
    Chairman of the Board
    Serves as the chairman of the board at OpenStack. Alan has developed a reputation in fostering the creation, growth, awareness, and adoption of open source and open standards across the technology sector. He will explore the evolution of open source cloud platforms in enabling the Connected Business.
    JamesJames Governor
    Principal Analyst and Co-Founder
    Leads coverage in the enterprise applications space, assisting with application development, integration middleware, and systems management issues. He also has served as an industry expert for television and radio segments with media such as the BBC. James will examine how open source middleware contributes to the Connected Business.
    LucaLuca Martini
    Distinguished Engineer
    Leads the Cisco virtualization strategy in two major areas: mobility and home broadband access. He has been involved in the Internet engineering task force (IETF) for the past 15 years, contributing to many IETF standards. Luca will discuss the role of intelligent orchestration and how it is more than simply a Web services engine.
    PaulPaul Fremantle
    Co-Founder & CTO
    Paul co-founded WSO2 in 2005 in order to reinvent the way enterprise middleware is developed, sold, delivered, and supported through an open source model. In his current role as CTO, he spearheads WSO2's overall product strategy.
    SanjivaSanjiva Weerawarana Ph. D
    Founder, Chairman & CEO
    Sanjiva has been involved with open source for many years and is an active member of the Apache Software Foundation. He was the original creator of Apache SOAP and has been part of Apache Axis, Apache Axis2 and most Apache Web services projects. He founded WSO2 after having spent nearly 8 years in IBM Research, where he was one of the founders of the Web services platform. During that time, he co-authored many Web services specifications including WSDL, BPEL4WS, WS-Addressing, WS-RF and WS-Eventing.
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