This week we saw the return of Otto Warmbier to the US from North Korea a good bit less than when he arrived.  Shortly after his comatose homecoming he died.  I have spent some time reading my fellow Americans’ reaction to the story so that you don’t have to.  I can sum them up as follows:

  • He was an idiot for going in the first place
  • Trump should start WWIII in retaliation
  • He deserved EVERYTHING HE GOT for his crime and a coma is beating the rap
  • His parents were idiots for “letting” a 21 year old man go to NK
  • He didn’t deserve 15 years hard labor for stealing a fucking poster

I am in the “he didn’t deserve it” camp but I think we should avoid WWIII over a guy that chose to go to North Korea despite State Department warnings and committed a crime, as minor as it was.  He was doomed when he got on the plane.

Having had a few adventures overseas traveling for my job in the 90’s I can offer a simple piece of advice; don’t go to places where the punishment doesn’t fit the crime and don’t commit a crime overseas.  I did many stupid things in my travels, but the stupidest was over staying my visa in Vietnam.  (Well, there was the time I didn’t have a visa at all to transit China and had to reroute my trip but that wasn’t criminally stupid.)  Luckily, I had a visa that made it easier for them to overlook and it was only for a few days.  At the time, Vietnam was really really trying to improve relations with America and was actively courting businesses.  My “punishment” was a tense and longer than necessary time at the departure window during which I could contemplate my time in a Vietnamese prison lackadaisical travel habits.  If it had been North Korea I may still be there.

Let us play songs about the less hospitable regions of the world and the stupid shit people do and by all means offer up your opinion of the Warmbier case.  No judgement from me, there are arguments to all of the above save WWIII.  Although the post has an overseas bent you aren’t limited from any American versions of these:

  1. Stupid People Suffer – Songs about prison, hard labor or other consequences such as brain damage and being flown back to your country of origin when you reach peak death rattle.
  2. Idiot Abroad- Songs about third world traps for first world idiots, and made up shitholes.  People do stupid shit all the time, it is the getting caught that is dangerous.
  3. Hold my Shot of Potato Vodka – Songs about doing stupid shit like drinking an entire bottle of champagne the night before your flight from Yerevan to Moscow.  In my defense, champagne was cheaper than bottled water in the former USSR at the time and lurching onto a plane shitfaced was not a problem especially if you were the pilot.

Here are your dedications:

Thrill – Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man– two guys running around a high rise fleeing the cops

spootyjim – The Land of Rape and Honey – Used to dance to this back when we did “edgy”.

Santino – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Is Hollywood a bonafide shithole?

ilovecress – My Last Words – Russian Roulette is the original “Hold my Shot” activity

westvirginiarebel – Rooster – If you came back at all, you weren’t the same.

Grendel – Prison Sex – A consequence; good or bad depending on perspective

Zurvan – Prison Girls – Not exactly Orange is the New Black

Shoutout to those we haven’t heard from in awhile:  Funky Cold Medina  (come in the water’s warm) 

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I absolutely cannot read about Warmbier without thinking of Holidays in the Sun. It’s the single most perfect song for WTF he was doing there in the first place.

Stupid People Suffer – 99 to Life by Social D:


WVR took the first song that came to my mind, One Night In Bangkok, so I’ll go with Istanbul instead –

How about some Green Day? –
Blink 182 –
Pink Floyd –


Hold my shot of Potato Vodka? Challenge accepted! Everyday I’m Drinking – Little Big

There’s so much to unpack about that song that I don’t even know where to begin. It’s a Russian folk/rap/techno mashup sung in English by a Russian band that’s fronted by two midgets and a goofy looking but normal sized guy. The video is 3 minutes of nightmare fuel that’d haunt Hunter S. Thompson in the early hours of the morning. I’ll be damned if it isn’t oddly catchy though.

Jeez, how could I forget Holiday in Cambodia? That one’s dead on.


More Warren Zevon: Lawyers, Guns and Money

Moonlight and vodka i first head this song as interlude video in a movie called Blown Sky High. it involved some collage kids getting caught up in espionage in Greece.

All she wants to do is dance.

folsom prison blues chris stapleton

you never even call me by my name……

Fat Girl

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