Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Surprising reactions to my mission

As friends and co-workers at my day job start to become aware of what I'm doing, I'm getting the expected range of reactions, but not always from the expected people. Here are the three main types of reactions:

1. Strong negative response: You are totally nuts! What are you thinking? Don't do it.

2. Reserved curiosity: I want to know more, but I'm not going to express any opinions to your face.

3. Enthusiastic support: That is so cool! I want to go too!

So here is the interesting part: The strongest negative responses have come from people I think of as adventurous (international travelers and "devil may care" party people). The strongest positive responses have come from people that I would described as cautious and put together (good dressers who I think of as very responsible).

UPDATE: As the sample size gets larger my initial observations are breaking down. It really seems pretty random who is supportive, and who isn't. I continue to be surprised by the responses I'm getting, positive and negative.

Note: There is definitely NOT a clear liberal vs. conservative divide on people's opinions with regard to my mission.


Eric Bowen said...

Reposting from an email I received this morning...

"So please allow me to be one of the first "devil may care" people to say "GOOD FOR YOU"! For those of us who have the desire and financial ability to travel it should not always be about "where can I go next for my benefit?" We, above others, should have a more global view of the impact we have as Americans and just how small this world really is. History will tell us that those who choose to isolate themselves with delusions of their own grandeur will always fail. Those who come together to further a common goal most often prevail for the long term. Without espousing my political views, I believe the only way to insure a successful future for this country is to starting embracing our global community."

Anonymous said...

The responses don't surprise me at all. "Adventurous", "devil may care" "international travelers" is essentially another way of saying "liberals", and "cautious and put together" people (responsible good dressers) is a way of describing conservatives. Any conservative (or, more accurately, neo-con) who supports Bush and the Iraq occupation is willfully ignorant of the reality there, which enables them to be so enthusiastic about your mission (and the godawful war). Liberals, who are generally more curious about the world and responsible enough to learn a thing or two about it, would naturally think you're nuts because they are aware, unlike those Bushbots, of what an insane slaughterhouse Iraq has become. So as one of those liberals, I have to say best of luck to you, but you are freakin' nuts. And I hope you come home intact.

Day by Day, by Chris Muir (updated daily)

Chris Muir is the cartoonist that I met in Kuwait. He spent two weeks in Iraq at the same time I was there in February 2007, and so thought it would relevant to showcase his work on my site. Here is a link to Chris' humorous travelogue of this Iraq trip: