The War Tourist
January 3, 2013 4:35 PM   Subscribe

I feel bad for this guy as he describes his family life. I'm torn between reading his hobby as adventurous or as suicidal.
posted by GuyZero at 4:48 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah I get the same feeling as GuyZero.
posted by WickedPissah at 4:53 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sounds like a subject for a Momus song.
posted by larrybob at 4:54 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

The Facebook page has some pretty harrowing images - maybe a NSFW tag could go in there somewhere.
posted by a non e mouse at 4:57 PM on January 3, 2013

Almost reads like an article from The Onion. Clearly suicidal...
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:02 PM on January 3, 2013

It's his life to risk, but I'm hoping he doesn't end up compromising any of the FSA he's dealing with via utilizing non-encrypted communication channels, forgetting to remove the exif data from his pictures, or some such thing. A fool in a war zone can end up getting more people killed than just himself.
posted by Mitrovarr at 5:04 PM on January 3, 2013 [6 favorites]

Robert Young Pelton's web forum The Black Flag Cafe is home to a lot of these guys (war tourists).

Some of the posts there are really interesting. Examples:

Trip to Angola.

Trip to Chechnya.

Getting into Libya.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 5:06 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wish news agencies would publish stuff like this, instead of sanitizing everything.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:22 PM on January 3, 2013

Cheap holiday in other people's misery. What a shit bag.

I can imagine that someone might dismiss what i've said by tracing a line back to what photojournalists do, but photojournalists serve a purpose in the greater society.

Intent is every thing. Robert Capa he's not.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 5:35 PM on January 3, 2013

He says he's not targeted by snipers because he's a 'tourist' and not a journalist. But the photos in the second link show him wearing camo fatigues. What explanation exists for the snipers seeing someone in fatigues and deciding not to center the crosshairs on him because he's clearly not a journalist? (Serious question. Not sure there's a rational answer, though, as not much about this is rational. I'm glad he at least took out the insurance policy, though.)
posted by mudpuppie at 5:40 PM on January 3, 2013

mudpuppie: "But the photos in the second link show him wearing camo fatigues."

Not to mention that he's holding a weapon in some of his Facebook shots.
posted by mkb at 6:18 PM on January 3, 2013

Cool photos but he probably needs social support a lot more than he needs internet fame.

I appreciate tourism as access to a singularly interesting place or experience, like a war zone; on the other hand, the normal tourist attitude of "look at this ZANY stuff! (I can go home if I want)!" is wildly inappropriate for a conflict zone.

Which reminds me of a miserable fake business idea I had: a travel site that booked tourists for major protests/public clashes (economic summits, national party conventions, etc), originally targeted at people who wanted to participate in the protest, but later on there'd be the option for rich establishment-types to rent out spots on the local riot squad.
posted by serif at 6:33 PM on January 3, 2013

I never got the impression that he thinks anything is zany.

He just seems like he doesn't really care anymore if he lives or dies, and wants to document the Syrian civil war.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:47 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Dunkadunk: the images are out there on the wires but many papers refuse to publish them.
posted by WickedPissah at 7:29 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

But did he bring apple pie?
posted by Nomyte at 8:05 PM on January 3, 2013

Seriously hope his daughters/family will contact him. He sure has the courage to go out there.
posted by soltini at 8:31 PM on January 3, 2013

The initial rationale might be different but the ongoing desire to stay and document is much the same, tourist or war journalist. The bang bang and the adrenaline rush can get addictive.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:32 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

He shoud have followed Bugs Bunny's advice and gave a left turn at Albuquerque.
posted by stormpooper at 7:53 AM on January 4, 2013

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