“How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold”
Those lyrics (from the song Easy to Be Hard) have stuck in my head ever since I first saw “Hair” on Broadway in 1968. That’s a long time ago, and sadly, people haven’t changed a whit since then. In fact, they’ve gotten harder. Whether it’s ranting about Trump and his stupid supporters or making fun of some dorky kid in junior high with thick glasses and acne, young and old people alike are often just plain mean.
But they’re even meaner in North Korea, where a 21-year-old American undergraduate at the University of Virginia has just been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for attempting to steal a propaganda banner “as a trophy for an acquaintance who wanted to hang it in her church.” In North Korea, the prank is considered grounds for a subversion charge. Videos of the young man tearfully pleading for his freedom are all over the Internet.
My heart goes out to his parents, who must also be suffering terribly. But hey, who goes to North Korea on Spring Break? Hasn’t the kid ever heard of Fort Lauderdale?
— Andrea Rouda
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.