Remember back in 1989 when Ayatollah Khomeini called for Salman Rushdie to be killed for writing The Satanic Verses? It wasn't just Rushdie who had to die, he said -- the book's publishers and editors also were the subject of the same fatwa. And for that matter, there were even threats made against bookstore chains that planned to carry The Satanic Verses, and for a short while, it worked: B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, and Barnes & Noble all announced they would not sell the book and risk a terrorist attack. But then people decided not to let the Ayatollah dictate what books they could buy, and The Satanic Verses became a bestseller (although, like A Brief History of Time, it may have been among the least-read bestsellers around. Sorry, Mr. Rushdie).


And now there's the Sony hack, threats made against theater chains planning to show The Interview, and Sony's decision to pull the film from distribution -- but only because the theater chains didn't want to carry it, Sony said. It's not a perfect analogy, largely because Seth Rogen is not Salman Rushdie, but there's something to be said for not freaking out when North Korea gets dramatic, seeing as how "dramatic" is North Korea's default setting.

And a bonus video: BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin joins Rachel for a chat about whether that hacking looks like North Korea, or maybe somebody else. We're betting it was SMERSH, or maybe KAOS. Prepare for hot pink glasses and hair:

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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