Friday, December 30, 2005

DAMNFOOL KID

Linked just about everywhere by everybody is the story of Farris Hassan, the Florida Junior who got a little too wrapped up in his homework...

The Seattle Times links the story from AP: "You're where?"

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002711276_teen30.html

You've read it by now. He went to Iraq without telling his parents or teachers... He told his buddies... He came back with a dandy Journalism project and a fresh appreciation of how good life in America is...

I'm having a lot of trouble getting warm and fuzzy about this...

Damnfool kid... Damnfool rich kid... Damnfool rich kid with, I'm betting, very detatched, "busy" parents. He was in Kuwait before they found out he'd gone... "Hello ma, guess where I am!"

WHY? Was he so sheltered as to be utterly lacking in common sense?

Why...

He wrote "Not enough are willing to... risk their lives for the cause of humanity. So I will. I want to experience during my Christmas the same hardships ordinary Iraqis experience every day, so that I may better empathize with their distress."

"Empathize with their distress"... Just the thing for the self-absorbed. Somehow, I think "I feel your pain" will be a non-starter with the average Iraqi, who likely was born with more common sense than this kid's entire graduating class possesses.

It'll probably piss some people off, but somehow I'm reminded of John Walker Lindh.

Farris wrote "There is a struggle in Iraq between good and evil, between those striving for freedom and liberty and those striving for death and destruction..."

If you happen to believe perfect freedom and peace are found in Allah, you can say the same thing while lopping the heads off of infidels...

I'll bet Lindh and Hassan had backgrounds similar in crucial ways: Things like affluence and the level of parental involvement in their activities.

The main difference between them was the direction they were pointing when they went haring off.

Hey Yuppy Parents: Do you know where your unsupervised idealist is???

Comments:
You may want to consider a different point of view:

Do a little Googling. The whole world is talking about this kid, and people from Switzerland to France to French Canadia seem to have a general consensus: if more young people decided the human condition is worth more than their money, ealth, or safety, the world would be a very different place. Or, as many people have agreed, "the kid has serious stones, man."

I find it interesting that you are so dissapointed in his choice of how to spend his money. Would you rather he attend to the path expected of him, buying junk and living a shallow life, unaware of and uncaring of others, as so many young American are inclined?

As for what you appear to consider a trite false attempt to convey compassion, the trite attempt could have been made from his couch. To make it from the streets of Bagdhad implies his devotion to his ideal.

I'm not saying it was bright, but it was brave, and an example to the materialistic humans in this world that the truth is impossible to decipher from a distance.

He's a young man now - he's old enough to take his life and future into his own hands. People his age have been killing other people in wars for centuries - what would happen if more of them fought for peace?

Interesting: when soldiers die for war, they are brave, when a young boy is willing to die for peace, he's stupid. That says a lot about human nature. Maybey people like Farris can change that in the future.
 
Excellent points all, tenacity. And in many ways "damnfool" beats the norm.

But it's still damnfool. His energies could be better spent than in symbolism, and if he gets killed that's lost and the symbolic argument will likely go to those who consider Iraq lost as well.
 
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