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I’ve recently gotten a RSS reader running, and one of the first feeds I enabled was BBC news. Which would explain my increased awareness of the many unmitigated weirdnesses of modern Europe.

In case you’re not aware, I’m a South African; and, like many of my contemporaries, I have always viewed Europe with a certain feeling of vague bemusement. My forebears might have moved to Africa to flee the religious persecution in France, but we’ve been in Africa for so long we are culturally more closely aligned with African than European values.

Now I’m not quite certain how normal this might seem to the British, but one of the things I’ve picked is the appearance of a country in moral decline; where the people are so obsessed with trivialities that reality had better dare not intrude.

The most recent indication of this had been the stories of youths stoning the Fire Brigade.

Today, however, Boing Boing has an entry referring to a — so called — “Happy Slapping” UK-based phenomenon where, to quote from their source TheFeature, “kids [are] attacking not just their friends, but complete strangers minding their own business”.

Without putting to fine a point on it, if some little punk tried to do that to me, he’ll wake up in a hospital sans front teeth. Not everybody can make good on a warning like that, though, but why the hell should one have to anyways?

Now down here we tend to focus on real issues like HIV and the AIDS pandemic somewhat more often — except, of course when our President insist that HIV does not cause AIDS — which means kids have a lot less time for crap like that.

That actually brings me to my perception at to the root of the problem: the little jerks have too much time on their hands. To put it civilly, they are bored. To distraction. In earlier generations the problem would have been somewhat easier to solve: Ship the little bastards off to the colonies. Unfortunately, however, the colonies no longer wants them. You get to keep them.

The alternative solution to the problem had always been, and having identified the problem, is what I would now suggest: Start a war. Sort of like the one you had in Iraq, but this time do it with feeling. Go talk to your buddies in America if you’re uncertain of which war to start, you wouldn’t want to aggravate them in this, else they’ll attack you.

Which wouldn’t normally be a problem with all the spoilt louts you have lazing around and could thus throw into the defense effort, but those will be away having been shipped off to the front. Pay attention, dammit, that was the whole point of this exercise.

Or maybe you guys can have a word with the Americans, and you can each go send your idle youth to fight each other some place. I volunteer the Sahara: nothing else happening there anyways.

Just don’t involve the locals. They might get pissed off and retaliate; I don’t think your louts will be able to handle that.