Holiday Bytes

December 20, 2014

tumblr_loh9fkBUx81qfralpo1_500Rain again this Saturday morning on California’s north coast, with that sunshine scheduled for next Tuesday, already pushed back to Thursday, and today’s rainfall supposedly heavy at times, totals maybe an inch.

Beyond the fractured ways of weather, narrative of the Sony hacking whatnot has developed some serious scenarios — this morning an odd bounce, as now North Korea is pissed at the US, and in a brilliant, one-sentence bit of nutshelling (via CNN): ‘“If America refuses our proposal of mutual investigation, continues to link us to this case, and talk about actions in response, they (America) will be met with serious consequences.”
Scripted opening to a Tom Clancy short story? Whereupon, based on a novel by Clive Cussler?

No, liken more to a soap-opera.

(Illustration: John Tenniel original, ‘Caterpillar using a hookah,’ found here).

How about a plot ripped from the Hollywood/DC headlines (per USAToday): ‘Judy Smith, the crisis expert who inspired Scandal’s Olivia Pope is guiding Sony through the aftermath of its hacking crisis, according to reports by The Hollywood Reporter and TMZ.
A interesting view on the situation in last Wednesday’s Village Voice:

In the new film The Interview, which Rogen directed with longtime writing partner Evan Goldberg, he plays a trash-TV producer named Aaron who’s become bored with pop-culture gossip.
Then he and his bimbo host, Dave Skylark (James Franco), score an interview with Kim (Randall Park).
There’s a catch and a twist: First, a CIA agent (Lizzy Caplan) commands Aaron and Dave to assassinate Kim for the good of the world.

In June, two weeks after Sony released The Interview’s first trailer, the Korean Central News Agency slammed Rogen as a “gangster filmmaker” who had made a “blatant act of terrorism and war.”
The country promised stern and merciless retaliation and warned that Kim himself would see The Interview.
“We were told that they have good hackers in North Korea and that they’ve probably hacked into Sony’s servers and watched the movie already,” Rogen says.
Sony had already been worried about The Interview for months.
At its Tokyo headquarters, the company had a front-row seat to Japan’s diplomatic efforts to soothe relations with North Korea.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai asked studio head Amy Pascal to tone down the film, which she told Rogen was the corporation’s only creative command in her 25-year career.
“You have the power to help me here,” Pascal emailed Rogen.
“I haven’t the foggiest notion how to deal with Japanese politics as it relates to Korea, so all I can do is make sure that Sony won’t be put in a bad situation, and even that is subjective.”
“I think if you look, it does not say Sony on the movie,” Rogen claims.
“That might have been how that was resolved. This is a Columbia picture,” he says, referring to Sony’s subsidiary.

What’s most telling about Kim’s regime, a mind-controlling, monolithic dictatorship beyond the wildest dreams of Stalin or Mao, isn’t that it was furious at a Hollywood film.
It’s which film.
It wasn’t Olympus Has Fallen, the cruel action flick with three Oscar nominees in its cast.
Not even after the film sent audiences scurrying to Twitter to hiss anti-Asian slurs.
It was the comedy written, directed by, and starring a man last seen sword-fighting with a dildo.

Another good take on the circumstances involved the whole Sony scandal can be found at the Guardian, and “The Interview” incident maybe the creative makings of a bad tumble for the Japanese company, and even maybe, a toss to the mat
The words, ‘The Interview,’ now carry weight within the storyline.

Hacked into the season, too, is a way-business holiday for the days of Christmas — from a piece yesterday at the LA Times about the retail outlook this year, and ‘Super Saturday,’ which in a simple-minded process of events, is today:

“We expect Super Saturday to be the No. 1 day of the year from a sales standpoint,” ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said.
“Over the last 10 years, it’s been either two or three, always behind Black Friday.
“But Black Friday has been diluted.”
Martin predicted that Super Saturday will clock in at more than $10 billion in sales, compared with $9.1 billion on Black Friday.

And a most-potent point for this season:

Many men wait until the last few days before starting their hunt for gifts.
Martin jokingly calls Dec. 23 — which this year falls on a Tuesday — “father’s day.”
“That is when the male shopper gets out there,” he said.

Odd, whimsy, and disturbing reality bytes.

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