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#9 War Junk

December 23, 2010

Guest post by Transitionland. Follow at @transitionland and Transitionland (the blog)

Expat aid workers love war junk!

Rusted tanks, shell casings scattered about, artillery-battered buildings. All of these things testify to the intense suffering of the local population during the previous (or ongoing) conflict, sure, but they also make pretty badass photo props. No stint in Afghanistan, for example, is complete without a photo next to a piece of decaying Soviet weaponry. Taking your picture with war junk tells the folks back home, “I’m hardcore. Look at this motherf-kin’ tank I’m sitting on!”

14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 23, 2010 10:17 am

    OMG…. it’s so true…. guilty as charged

    Jayne in Panjshir, Afghanistan, 2007
  2. December 24, 2010 12:42 pm

    Lady Gaga, irony-rock bands, Persian fairy floss, and all the other bollocks you tosspots remind me of.

    (Those three examples are the only irritating shit that I could come up with)

    You spastics are short-termers. On the way to some predictable middle class oblivion. En route, you’ll pick up some fancy arsed Masters of PhD. Thanks for stopping by; you’ve done your bit.

    Loads of dinner party ammo. Good onya!

    Everything is so funny, especially when you’re trying so hard. Trying to make a difference without being responsible. Trying to be elaborately unfazed by things that challenge your entire upbringing and value system. Trying to be worldly.

    You know what’s really funny though?

    Those of us that get the really cool work, we never hire you lot. We can see you coming from a mile off. So you get those great jobs in Save, Oxfam, OCHA, Mercy Corps, IRC, and and so many others. At least you guys have time to maintain your social networks – a small mercy.


    (Btw, we drive ourselves, don’t take pics with AKs or tanks, get crook but don’t whinge about it, and don’t even try to blend in)

    • December 24, 2010 10:59 pm

      I’m really glad you don’t hire our kind, Artful. I’m really, really glad.

    • baboon permalink
      January 21, 2011 5:39 am

      You are of course aware that you are also trying to establish your credibility/place in the aid worker hierachy by writing that post?

      Everyone has an ego. Yours is bolstered by pretending desperately that you don’t have one.

    • EAW Sembrono permalink
      January 29, 2011 12:20 am

      Artful perhaps works with ICRC? You don’t have to have holier-than-thou beliefs to work with them, but it helps… And before I upset someone and start a blog-comment war: I’m just joking – we all respect your work ICRC, and some of my best friends work for the ICRC ;) (well they would be if I did ‘cool’ enough work)

      What I love about this blog is that we all identify with bits/all of it. I agree Artful, you probably do more hardcore, ‘cool’ (WTF?) work and I am envious. Keep it up.

    • Poacher permalink
      January 23, 2012 2:16 pm

      Mmm ‘Artful Aid Worker’ … sounds like you would really like to be … now let’s see … what are you really? I know … a security advisor … one of those carefully dressed-to-impress on-the-edge of actually having a worthwhile job people who introduce security rules like ‘ stay away from places where expatriates go’ or perhaps, because maybe your UNDSS, you’re responsible for the rule that the UN must go everywhere in two armoured land-cruisers … thus achieving the seemingly impossible by actually reducing the work done by the UN and ensuring they spend ten times more money on each vehicle. Then again, maybe you’re not .. whatever …

    • Sergeant Brody permalink
      October 20, 2012 4:12 am

      This is awesome. Post more venom, I love it!

  3. Barticagyal permalink
    December 27, 2010 5:12 pm

    Artful, can I send you my resume? I am with you, war junk is just soooooooooooo 2007.

  4. Robyn permalink
    December 28, 2010 7:16 am

    I’m signing you all up for refreshers on UXO awareness. War junk can and often does go ‘boom’ long after it’s started to rust. Leave that shit alone.

  5. Bordello permalink
    October 18, 2011 9:59 am

    Yup, I’m with Robyn – hang around blown up tanks if you want to, but don’t be surprised if you end up with a leg blown off after detonating a landmine …


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