Marines

When I was 9 years old, I had a problem with showers. The problem was that I wasn’t taking them. For whatever reason, it fell to my father to explain the ripeness doctrine to his disgusting and smelly son. I remember the lecture going something like this:

When I was in the Marines, there was one guy who didn’t bathe. After weeks spent humping heavy packs from here to kingdom come, I probably don’t need to tell you how awful a man can get to smelling. We were all 18 and 19 and 20 and not one of us had impeccable hygiene. But the bare minimum we can ask of each other as men, son, is to bathe on a daily basis. What I guess I’m trying to say is that no man is an island. His actions have consequences and this man’s actions led to serious consequences, not the least of which was an odor redolent of hot garbage. Do you understand what I’m saying? Why you need to shower?

“So did that guy ever start showering?”

Sure. But first, we had to throw a blanket over his head and beat the #*$% out of him.

This week, Jonathan Martin attempted to become the heavyweight champion of bullying victims. In the process, macho culture, a sort of blithe racism, violence, workplace norms, and Harvard Law School were put on trial. In Japan, their endomorphs square off in a dohyō. Here, they square off via media leak, tweet, and scores of lawyers.

Let’s talk sports…

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Is peeing on somebody’s dead body a war crime? What about peeing on their grave? What about an important monument? As I’ve spoken about before, one of my life’s goals is to pee in every river that was important to the Confederacy. If I relieve myself in the Chickamauga, can a true son of the Cumberland bring me up in front of a war crimes tribunal?

The video of those American Marines urinating on dead Afghan bodies is so disturbing that it somehow demands a legal response. Mitt Romney might never want to “apologize” for America, but maybe that’s just because he’s used to being able to metaphorically urinate on those hoping some of his wealth trickles down.

And yet — 1Ls, say it with me — “most of international law does not exist.” Aside from whatever punishment the United States Marine Corps wants to impose on these guys, there isn’t a whole lot the international community can do to punish them.

Unless we want to call urinating on somebody a “war crime.” But is punishing some jackasses worth diluting the term?

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