In the months after 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was set up to protect the nation from threats. They have lots of responsibilities, some of which we may or may not agree about. But in the travel world, different arms of the DHS umbrella make sure our planes are safe and monitor our borders when we travel internationally. I can appreciate that.
DHS is not an organization that I would ever consider to be fun, or even in tune with the social times. If you’ve ever gone to their website, they’re always “just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.” You know, super serious about themselves and what they do.
Which, if you think about it, is probably how it should be.
So when I went to check them out the other day, I was…I guess “surprised” would be a good word?…to see this video on their website.
Click here to see the DHS page with the video
And I’m just like, “huh?”
Why, in the middle of a global pandemic, with thousands of people dying every day, is DHS making a cartoon about how to get back home to the U.S., and what to expect once here, if you’re still in a foreign country?
Don’t get me wrong, I think the information is very important. But why a cartoon? Did they think it would get more attention? Did they think people wouldn’t care as much if they did it as a regular post? Do they think there are people out there saying, “Honey, we’re here in Indonesia and I really want to get home. DHS has a page about what to do but it’s so boring that I didn’t read it. Oh wait – they have a cartoon about what to do! Let’s watch it and learn!”?
Why are they suddenly trying to be trendy?
(Although the “Be like Mike” title took away several points from their pop-culture cred, cartoon and trendy music notwithstanding. “Be Like Mike” was popular in 1992)
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
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This is genuinely the oddest post ever. I’ve been a long time reader and generally appreciate your points. Obviously DHS is trying to be more approachable to the public, and they think a cartoon fit the bill. I get that you expect DHS to take on a serious tone, but it’s not the first time any government agency has tried to be “less dry.” I applaud this agency for attempting that and it’s sad to watch an expert in the industry just pour cold water over the effort with good intentions.
Well, thank-you for the vote of confidence, but I am no expert. 😉
I’ve seen other agencies make lighthearted posts in the past; TSA makes silly videos quite often. Maybe if DHS ever did anything “fun” in the past, I wouldn’t be so hard on them. But under the circumstances of a global pandemic I thought it was inappropriate.