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Feasibility of CIA Involvement in The Interview

The InterviewWhen I was in the states a week ago I caught up with an old friend who made an interesting offhand comment about The Interview: what if the CIA were involved?

It’s not as far fetched as it may seem when you consider a few facts:

  • Since the CIA was founded in 1947, it has included culture and art as instruments in its toolkit for conducting covert operations. It has a history of employing popular media.
  • The Interview is the most widely-known work which purports to describe conditions inside North Korea, even if in an absurd context. It will inform millions around the world on North Korea and will influence popular opinion.
  • The film has led to renewed worldwide discussion and widespread ridicule of the North Korean state and its leader. If the CIA says Kim Jong-un is a maniac, no one cares. If Seth Rogan makes a movie which says the same thing, which is then claimed to be an act of war by North Korea itself, worldwide media catapults the film to relevance everywhere, immediately.

In the movie, Seth Rogan asks: If we kill Kim, won’t he just be replaced by another chubby dude with a goofy hairdo?

Yes, he will. “Killing Kim won’t change anything. He will be replaced. He has brothers and generals… the people need to be shown that he is not a God; that he is a man. Then they will be ready for change.”

What happens when North Koreans learn of The Interview, the context surrounding it, and begin to watch it?

The CIA having a hand in The Interview would be hiding in plain sight.

Modern Art as a Coercive Force

Jackson PollackIn the 1950’s, the CIA funded the Abstract Expressionist art movement in order to use it as a weapon against the Soviet Union.

At the time, Moscow was vehemently opposed to non-conformity and was relentlessly committed to rigid systems of control. The American modern art movement was the opposite: it discarded artistic principles that came before it in favor of chaos and randomness.

Artists like Jackson Pollack and Willem de Kooning created art which was funded and promoted by the CIA. Art was promoted within a policy called “long leash”, which described the distance required between these two parties to avoid detection.

During this period, exhibitions with titles like “The New American Painting” were featured in every major European city all across the continent. Who would suspect, especially in the 1950’s, that the CIA was funding art exhibitions in Europe? It’s brilliantly cunning.

This article published by The Independent goes deeper into this fascinating subject.

Published on January 5, 2015

Photos from Shanghai

Taken in December, 2014 in Shanghai:

SH-Coffee-Man SH-Conny-Studio SH-Arcade-Sign2SH-Skyline

More Shanghai Late 2014 Photos
Published on January 2, 2015
Video

Song of the Day #162: Just Us

Shlohmo – Just Us

Shlohmo is a Los Angeles based music producer well known for his warm, dream-like, syncopated sound. This song is off his 2011 album titled Bad Vibes.

Check out Shlohmo on Spotify.

Published on November 21, 2014

Photos from Halloween 2014 at Dojo

This year, finally, Halloween fell on a Friday night. In late August we decided that we’d host a Halloween party at Dojo, and that finally went down almost two weeks ago. We had two areas of music with 12 DJs at this event, but most importantly, lots of amazing costumes. Below are a few photos, but at the bottom of this post there’s a link to the full set of photos.

Halloween at Dojo

Halloween at Dojo

Halloween at Dojo

Halloween at Dojo

Halloween at Dojo

More Halloween 2014 Photos
Published on November 12, 2014

Photos from Washington DC

After visiting California, I returned home to Northern Virginia and Washington DC for about a week. Below are a few photos and the rest are here: Photos: Washington DC

Washington DC 2014

Washington DC 2014

Washington DC 2014

Washington DC 2014

Published on April 21, 2014
Video

Song of the Day #147: Ghostwriter

RJD2 – Ghostwriter

One of the great hip hop beat makers of all time (along with The Alchemist and Harry Fraud). I played this at the last Dojo party and two strangers gave me fist bumps. RJD2 is pretty much the coolest production moniker ever, also.

Published on July 19, 2013

Movie Review #4: Skyfall

Although this movie came out last year in the US, I saw it in a theater in China just over a week ago.

Skyfall

The 23rd (!) James Bond film and Daniel Craig’s third, Skyfall is probably the best Bond film in decades. In this iteration, Bond pursues an ex-agent (played by Javier Bardem) determined to murder Bond’s boss, the head of MI6. This is the first Bond movie directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), and the cinematography in this film is heads above the previous Bond film Quantum Solace.

James Bond feels a little cliche to me – especially when the theme song plays – but this film is difficult to knock. Action scenes are stunning from the first moment, an intense motorcycle chase scene in Istanbul. The Bond series in general is moving in the direction of The Bourne Trilogy in it’s grit, which I think is a good thing. With that said, I think I still prefer Bourne as a franchise over Bond. There’s so much less baggage.

Rating:

4 Stars

Official Trailer:

Published on February 5, 2013