Interview cannot promote peace!

Mehri Yavari

from the Interview official website

Some weeks ago, when the movie “Interview” released in the market, it was a big debate over it that whether this is a good idea to create such a movie, or not. The story of the movie is about North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, who is 31 years old and superseded his father after his death. He holds the main power in the country. In the movie, CIA wants to assassinate him with this reason that there is no democracy in North Korea and power is in wrong hands. According to the CIA in the movie, North Korea, soon or late, would destroy America with its access to nuclear weapon.

Being alone at home on the days before New Year, I used to spend my time watching Fox News and CNN.  It was an opportunity for me to watch all those arguments about the movie. Fox News was completely supporting the Interview with this justification that there should be a freedom of expression and people around the world should learn to respect it.  CNN, however, was supporting a different side. For them, it was understandable that North Korean leader is angry. CNN was pointing out that in no way Terrorism could be supported.

At the end, the decision makers decided to continue keeping the movie in the market in spite of harsh criticism from North Korea. Some days ago, Interview came to Netflix! Big surprise! a technique to make as much  American people as possible to watch the movie.

The big barrier in front of successful international relation between two societies is that each society assumes the other side have the same perspective, attitude, and basic culture. It is not true! The North Korean culture is very different from American culture. The leader is the red line for criticism and therefore being subject of a comedy. Those who make fun of their leader can be jailed or even face harsher penalty.

Is really North Korea a big threat to America that the assassination of its leader should be advertised in a movie? I cannot see any historical background that supports the case. North Korea is a poor country.  They always have been busy being engaged in a cold or real war with South Korea, but the U.S. is far from them. They never have been a real harm for the U.S.

Even lack of democracy in this country cannot justify the advertisement of killing the North Korean leader. It is just simplification of a very complicated situation. How a society with a long history of dictatorship can be democratic only with death of its leader. The most possible scenario, however, would be creation of a long-time chaos in North Korean society. Is it possible that those veteran politicians with long-time experience and huge knowledge do not know this? Or this is something else beyond all of these that I cannot see it yet.

I think what is important, is to learn each movie has a message. Some movies are promoting peace, and some, intentionally or inadvertently, promoting hatred. What is the point of making an already hostile relation between two countries, worse? I am sure that North Korea leader would use the movie to make its people more hostile toward Americans. As a result, he would be more powerful among North Koreans as a leader who protects them from American threat. Nothing is more beneficial for non-democratic leaders more than an external enemy:

” Several democracy activists with contacts in the North said the North Koreans they spoke with reacted to the film first with fear of punishment for watching it but also with derision and wounded feelings over the depiction of their country.” (New York Times)

Convergence or Divergence; Oh it is complicated!

Mehri Yavari

from getty image website
from getty image website

Continue reading Convergence or Divergence; Oh it is complicated!

The Downside of Photoshop by: Katie Gibbs

Photo Courtesy of Instagram/Kerry Washington
Photo Courtesy of Instagram/Kerry Washington

The cover of InStyle’s March edition has received lots of criticism because of Kerry Washington’s appearance. Most complaints are from fans who believe that her skin was lightened. Fans took to social media with their opinions, which made InStyle and Washington release a statement.

One of the statements InStyle released was, “We understand that this has resulted in disappointment and hurt. We are listening, and the feedback has been valuable. We are committed to ensuring that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we present all women going forward.”

Washington then sent out a tweet responding to InStyle’s statement.

Photo Courtesy of Twitter/Kerry Washington
Photo Courtesy of Twitter/Kerry Washington

Washington is most known for her role as Olivia Pope on ABC’s hit show Scandal.

Different magazines that Washington has appeared on have been criticized as not looking like her. The last incident was with Lucky magazine. Her skin was not lightened but her facial features are different and she is not recognizable. There was a lot of disappointment with that magazine cover as well.

So the real dilemma is why are the magazines changing her appearance so much? The issue has become different for many people. Some believe that it is a woman’s issue while others believe that it is a race issue. No matter what the reason is you would think that the magazines would know better and not augment so much of her physical features.

Photo Courtesy of Inquisitr
Photo Courtesy of Inquisitr

Photoshop has been used for years on various people and magazine covers. It’s supposed to make the photos look better but recently it just makes the photos look worse or unbelievable. People have tried to make it so the magazines do not use photoshop and want them to go for a more natural look but most of them still do alterations of some sort. Maybe this will make magazines think before they decide to start changing other people’s photos because not all publicity is good.

The Failed Assassination of Selfie

-by Rikki Willingham

Social media has literally taken over our lives. The vast majority of us are addicts. We try to restrain ourselves from the guilty pleasure of tweeting, posting, and commenting but we can’t. Social Media has created a new era where anyone can have an opinion. They can not only have this opinion but they have this opinion heard by the millions if they put in enough effort. People us social media for business, personal interest and for literally everything.

The saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is more than just a statement to many people nowadays. People have become the kings and queens of posting pictures onto social media sites. When they don’t have much to say they post a picture. When they have too much to say that words can express all they have to say they post a picture. People will look at a picture before reading anything. Visual social media is the new apocalypse.

Everything about visual social media changed with the invention of the “Selfie”. Urban Dictionary defines Selfie as “A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website.” Selfie became a social media phenomenon overnight. Celebrities, students, parents, and everyone knew what a selfie was and had taken the selfie. Selfies are taken every minute and second of the day. People are taking them everywhere. In class, at work, out and about, and anywhere they can. With the invention of the front camera and the “selfie stick” selfies are now an epidemic. Here’s a link to a interesting article about the rise of the “selfie” .

Of course there will always be people against anything and everything. In a recent article BBC News recently reported a story about an actual “Selfie Protest” in Indonesia. After an online Indonesian preacher went to the web and stated that selfies were narcissistic and arrogant. The people immediately took to the web and more than 12,000 Indonesians took to the web in a “selfie” protest. Even the president took a stand posting a few selfies himself on social media. Here is a link to the actual article and video about the protest.

It is clear to see that “selfies” have progressed to an entire different level. People have clearly taken the word “selfie” personally. The word is not clearly more than just another social media fad. It has become something that people take seriously and to heart. It almost seems like “selfie” has become some sense of personal pride and connection with “selfie”. Do you think that “selfie” has become more than a social media fad?  (Chris Ngosoik, 2014)
(Chris Ngosoik, 2014)