Odd photos on Flickr from some soldiers in Iraq

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 07, 2004

Odd photos on Flickr from some soldiers in Iraq. WMD, LOL!!

Reader comments

JimOct 07, 2004 at 9:50PM

Just out of curiosity ... what was odd about them?

Donnie JeterOct 07, 2004 at 10:19PM

Yeah Jason, I didn't see anything odd about the shots?

ramananOct 07, 2004 at 10:20PM

I would have to concur. Though I did think they were a bit surreal, since it seems like a very ordinary place to be.

LianneOct 08, 2004 at 2:00AM

I'm really surprised to see this attitude from you Jason, after reading similar garbage from people over at Metafilter. She is a 20 year old, in Iraq! If you go through all her pictures and read her blog she comes across as very sweet and open-minded, considering. How dare any of us sitting in our livingrooms take this snotty and judgemental attitude just because she throws in some LOLs in her picture captions. And my gawd - how dare she smile. I guess she is supposed to be sombre and melancholy all the time. Heaven forbid she try to make the best of her situation. I have never commented on a blog before, but this made me so angry! Go read Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts.

gummiOct 08, 2004 at 3:04AM

ramanan said:

>Though I did think they were a bit surreal, since it seems like a very ordinary place to be.

The Flickr profile says she's in Kirkuk, up North and close to the Kurds. It's a bit quieter up there.

Lianne, without one rude intonation, lighten up! All he said was WMD, LOL! I think your reaction says more about your frustration, "sitting in our livingrooms" making "snotty and judgemental" remarks about "Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts." It's an online persona on offer, the photos are public, this is what happens when things are public. Some folks have a different perspective, that's all.

I find the pictures a little odd considering how much crap is going on out there. I'm not trying to trivialise her actions, but the pics have an air of some kind of innocent little holiday camp, with the immediacy of death. The telling photos out near the graveyard, and her comments, says it all, really.

Thanks for the link.

donaldOct 08, 2004 at 3:59AM

You disable comments on the most innocuous links, and then enable them for this?

You were asking for it, Kottke.

Donnie JeterOct 08, 2004 at 4:35AM

I'm sorry, I kind of feel like Lianne on this one - J, we obviously don't know what your perspective was, however it did seem you coming off a bit snobby, saying the pictures were odd and then throwing in an "LOL."

I think it looks like hell over there, and I support the poor kids who have to be over there.

XavOct 08, 2004 at 8:36AM

OMG, 20 year-olds in the army act just like 20 year-olds do in real life!

KimberlyOct 08, 2004 at 9:23AM

Not odd. It's what our American soldiers are living over there. I see camaraderie and a little bit of hope in the middle of a dusty desert where fires burn on the horizon and death is literally outside their doors.

I'll blame your boiling all of that down to the AOLIMspeak you used in your caption on your being at Web 2.0. Which is a long way from Iraq, in both the figurative and literal meanings.

joelOct 08, 2004 at 10:15AM

Iraq looks a whole lot like a college's freshman dorm.

then again, a freshman dorm can often-times look like 'Iraq'

asdOct 08, 2004 at 10:30AM

I guess there's nothing odd about the fact that gangsta rap visual culture is so prevalent. They are sort of posing the same way that the terrorists in the pre-beheading videos do. You know, guns at 45 degree angles, looking all hard, arms tight.

Eric BostromOct 08, 2004 at 11:01AM

The odd thing is that none of them act like they've ever held a rifle before.

creamcitianOct 08, 2004 at 11:26AM

the look so damn young

JoshOct 08, 2004 at 12:36PM

I bet no one is clownin' around at Web 2.0 on account of it being so much more important than what 20 year old Americans are doing in Iraq. LOL

Donnie JeterOct 08, 2004 at 1:14PM

Is Jason going to give us a response? Maybe he wasn't being snobby or rude.

jkottkeOct 08, 2004 at 2:24PM

Odd because of the cognitive dissonance between how soldiers are typically represented or how we/I typically think about them versus this view of a soldier's life in Iraq, which as Joel said, seems very much like college. I didn't mean to come off as flippant, although I can see how it does seem so. I thought the photos were mesmerizing. This is exactly why low-cost, low-barrier publishing is so important...we get to see important aspects of human life that were previously not available for public view.

RaphyOct 08, 2004 at 4:19PM

Becuase the only occasion the New York Times displays members of the U.S. military is when a small few are commiting crimes or are dead, it's easy to understand why Jason thinks this phots have a "cognitive dissonance".

johanOct 09, 2004 at 1:43PM

Why then the 'WMD, LOL!!' and not 'a different view of our soldiers' life in Iraq'?

johanOct 09, 2004 at 1:45PM

I'm native French speaking, but why the '*some* soldiers in Iraq'?

Donnie JeterOct 09, 2004 at 5:41PM

Agreed, that doesn't make much sense and that is where you come off rude J - WMD LOL!

essOct 10, 2004 at 4:38PM

I didn't think Jasons' "WMD, LOL" was rude, I took it to be his attempt at using the girl's style.

Noticed that this girl has the Burger King wrapper. I have yet to see pictures from Iraq - at least from people over there for the military - that did not include the Burger King wrappers. I'm starting to think Burger King is giving free Whoppers to military and then urging them to send photos of that crazy wrapper home.

Is Burger King the "What they Carried" for this war?

We know more about day to to day life - at least the things we can know - than we ever could before and yet every single day I meet someone who insists that either every last man and woman in uniform over there hates Bush and the war or every last man and woman in uniform over there is filled with pride and glory and love Bush. When you can use google to find quicktime movies of soldiers shotgunning bad beer.... they're people. You know, complex, varied...

Has anyone read enough of Michael Moore's letters from soldiers to know if the posted group includes the hate letters he's gotten?

hmpfOct 12, 2004 at 4:02AM

American child soldiers..

EliotOct 12, 2004 at 4:20PM

I distinctly heard somebody here say "Free Whoppers".

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.