I ride with a guy who just got out of the Marine Corp and he and I will chit-chat on breaks. He’s twenty years my junior, but we hit it off for some reason. He was looking for a way to stay fit and started picking my brain on the topic. Anyway, one of the things that he said he does not miss about the service is dealing with 20-somethings. So many of them struggle with basic responsibility that it gets tiresome. They learn eventually, but he says he just got tired of dealing with it.
Hearing someone in their early 30’s complain about young people always makes me smile. I’ve never been the sort of complain about the young. I hated hearing it when I was young so I don’t do it now that I’m a geezer. Yet, hearing it from people, who could be my kids, makes me laugh for some reason. That said, I can see where he is coming from on the topic. It’s hard dealing with young people today, which is why I avoid it.
This came to mind reading this with my Metamucil.
North Korea has sentenced an American student to 15 years’ hard labour for crimes against the state after he tearfully admitted that he tried to steal a propaganda banner from a hotel.
Otto Warmbier was arrested as he attempted to leave the country in January and later made a televised “confession” saying that he had taken the sign to bring back a “trophy”.
North Korean state news agency KCNA said the 21-year-old’s offence was “pursuant to the US government’s hostile policy” and that he was convicted under an article of the criminal code dealing with subversion.
The University of Virginia student who had visited the isolated state as a tourist, had said during his confession that he had tried to steal the banner for an acquaintance who wanted to hang it in her church.
In my youth, visiting East Germany was the thing to do for Americans looking for some adventure. You could also go to places like El Salvador or Nicaragua if you were truly brave. Brits, I’m told, would light out for China or the Balkans for some reason. I once knew a French guy who spent some years in North Africa bumming around and smoking hash. In all cases, you knew what you were getting into and you knew to avoid trouble.
North Korea is run by people that could very well be insane. It’s hard to know as it could be an act for the West, but sometimes things are as they appear. Going there at all is an unnecessary risk. There’s adventure and then there is wearing a meat suit into the lion’s den. The line between risk taking and idiocy is not that thin. It takes a mighty leap to go from one to the other and this young man managed it.
What makes it hard to have any sympathy for him is what got him pinched by the NORKs. He stole a poster so he could be a big shot back home. This is the kind of behavior people complain about when discussing young people of this generation. It’s this weird sense of entitlement. The kid wanted it to look cool to his coevals. That’s all that mattered. He could not imagine how this would be seen by the guys with guns.
It’s a shame the NORKs lack anything resembling self-awareness. What they should have done is offered the kid a deal. He could do 15 years in prison or take a beating. Have a guy like Oddjob standing there cracking his knuckles waiting for the go ahead. Put the thing on YouTube. If the kid took his beating like a man then he would be a hero back home. If not, then he goes home as a coward. But, the NORKs are not known for nuance.