I'm sorry, I know that it's not completely fair, but I'll explain about these people and you''ll see what I mean.
A few years ago three Americans, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal were arrested while hiking. Sarah was eventually released but the two guys have been in jail for two years now and they have just officially been sentenced to eight more. "What?" you might say "Ten years in jail for hiking? Why?". Glad you asked, hypothetical person of my own creation. The reason that these people were arrested was not for littering, not for starting a fire without a permit, not for playing some god-awful Phish album too loud, no. These people were arrested for WHERE they were hiking. Get a listen to these layers upon layers upon layers of stupidity. Where were they hiking?...
They were hiking in Iraq. Yeah, that Iraq. As in "Hey, aren't we at war with the country of (blank)?" Yeah, hypothetical person, we are, by the way, you sure are asking a lot of questions today. As bad as the idea of hiking in Iraq is, (and boy, is it ever) these three did it one better. Hiking in Iraq, though stupid, is not illegal. You could go do it right now if you wanted to. I myself am planing on going as soon as there's a good Groupon "Getaway" deal on a trip there. They got arrested when they got lost hiking in Iraq and wandered over the border into IRAN. That is where they got arrested.
Let's recap: Three Americans go hiking in Iraq, go over the border into Iran and are arrested.
Keep em', execute em', make them slave labor, have them fight each other in gladiatorial matches for sport, dress them up like horses and have them race each other. Whatever you want to do with them, leave me out of it.
I'm the first person to admit that hiking is not my thing in general, however, I am not willing to dismiss the entire activity as useless. There's fresh air, exercise, all sorts of stuff that I personally could spend the rest of my life without, but many people seem to like. This is what gets me, America is one of the relative few countries in the world to have been blessed with some majorly varied geography. You want desert? We got that. You want snow covered mountains? We got that. Marshlands? Sure. Redwood forests? Yup. Rock formations? You betcha'. My point is this: What the hell are you going to Iraq for? There is no reason to do that. None. The reason they were initially arrested is because the Iranian police thought they might be spies. You know what? They damn well better be. There is no other reasonable explanation. If I were an Iranian police officer and I came across three Americans walking around and they told me that they were hiking I'd arrest them so fast their "North Face" labels would spin. That's the worst spy excuse I've ever heard. I don't care if someone tells me that there is good hiking in Iraq. That'd be like finding your married buddy checking out a gay porn film and when asked why he bought it, he says that it's because they have previews at the beginning with hot girls. Even if it is true, there are much better ways to satisfy that urge. Plus, let's say that you find yourself in Iraq and you're an avid hiker. You begin to inquire about going to climb some rocks someplace nearby. Wouldn't your first question be something to the effect of "Hey, tell me which direction Iran is, because the last thing I want to do is get anywhere near that gaggle of nut-jobs. I'll stay here in the palatial opulence that is Iraq, thank you". How do three people do something this stupid? This is the kind of thing that one dude by himself might think is a good idea without the benefit of perspective or anyone to bounce it off of, but THREE? Compared to these people, James Franco in "127 Hours" is Vasco Da-Freakin' Gama.
This is the kind of thing that white hippies do so they can brag about it for years to come at their Berkeley food co-op. (The following is intended to be read in you most annoying, effeminate hippie voice you can muster) "You know I was just over there a little while ago and it's actually a beautiful place. The people are so real and wonderful. You really get the feeling that your-... what? No Shiitake? Damn it! I guess I'll take Porcini then. Anyway...". Well,
I doubt that the organic vegan food selection at the average Iranian hoosegow is that expansive. Only one way to find out, I guess.
One final thing about this whole pooch-screw and it's my personal favorite thing about it. This is a picture of the two guys:
Is that ok, or is masturbation illegal over there?