Good Men Project

Throw Beck Thursday: Kim Jong Un Saves the Internet

kim jong un

With a stunning lack of geopolitical savvy, James Stafford points out what we can learn from ‘The Haircut’s’ most recent temper tantrum.


beckAs writers go, I make that Shades of Grey lady look like Matt Taibbi, which is to say I’m no investigative journalist. I cover such edgy topics as booze, books, movies, and music. Sometimes I bust out a hard hitting piece like “Older Women Are Pretty” or “Let’s Be Nice To Each Other”—controversial stuff. Also, humor. I write humor.

Maybe seven out of 10 pieces I post gets splash back from some offended party. I’ve been taken to task for making snarky comments about Rush Limbaugh, Bono, and snakes. I’ve been hollered at for not also noting that younger women are pretty, or for having any opinion at all regarding pretty women. If Roy Orbison’s career launched during the internet age, his big hit would have been titled “Oh, I Would Never Objectify You But I Think You’re Pretty No Wait That’s Not What I Meant Yes It Is Wait Where Are You Going How The Hell Am I Supposed To Write A Song That Offends No One Woman.”

It seems that our on demand world has led to the belief that everything we consume should be tailored specifically for us, and if not it’s bad—not just bad, offensive. I’m not talking about common courtesy here but the notion that every song, story, movie, poem, joke, thought, belch, and vinyl chair squeak should fit my very specific worldview.

Enter Kim Jong Un, or The Haircut as I like to call him.

Seth Rogen’s and James Franco’s new comedy, The Interview, concerns two assassins who pose as journalists to clip The Haircut. I haven’t seen the film, but I assume this means that the buddies get high, make penis jokes and go “hehehehehe” for 90 minutes. No reasonable person can confuse any movie that these guys make with a legitimate geopolitical threat.

But The Haircut did. Time magazine reports:

The North Korean government has promised a “merciless” retaliation against the United States if The Interview is released, calling the film an “act of war.” In a statement published by the state-run KCNA news agency, a spokesman said the film is the work of “gangster moviemakers” and is a “wanton act of terror.”

So if The Haircut has his way, nobody will have the pleasure of watching Rogen and Franco go “hehehehehe” for 90 minutes, because Rogen and Franco offended His Great Leaderness.

Well, I’m offended by a lot of things. I’m offended by loud motorcycles, people who cut up classic cars, and Nickelback. I’m offended by the mere existence of Faux News, Anderson Cooper’s full head of hair, and the use of the word “deluxe” in fast food sandwiches.

But here’s the thing: I don’t expect any of those personal annoyances to go away. There are a lot of people on this planet, which means that there are a lot of differing views on these things. Some of those opinions are close to mine and others are way different, but demanding that they go away because I dislike them is kind of; well, stupid. When I find myself bristling at a joke that cuts too close to the bone, I remind myself of that.

But I don’t have to anymore and neither do you, because now we all have a great reminder of what we sound like when we stomp our feet and demand that the awful person who offended us be destroyed with “merciless retaliation.”

So thank you, Haircut, for pointing out what assholes we sound like when we get bent over something stupid. Thanks to your ridiculous example, the internet will now be a space devoid of easily bruised feelings.

Now can you do something about Nickelback?

—photo Kyodo/AP

originally posted at The Good Men Project

Categories: Good Men Project

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