Stop Kony 2012

 Posted by on March 8, 2012  Add comments
Mar 082012
 

I’ve been busy for a while, working in the real world, and as a result failed to notice the ludicrous Kony 2012.

Have you ever seen such a display of self-indulgent manipulation as this campaign?  The group behind it, calling itself Invisible Children, looks a lot like Scientology.  Only one-third of the money it raises goes to direct action in Africa.  The rest is swallowed up in administrative costs including, presumably, the extraordinarily elaborate videos it produces.  Invisible Children thinks that the Ugandan army  is the answer, the same army that has a record of mass rape.  Nice work, Invisible Children.

Any fool could see that Joseph Kony is an appalling murderer but who are these rich, pampered American media children to tell us what our priorities should be when it comes to world affairs?  After all, the world is full of killers and anyone with eyes in their head can look around and select their despot of choice.

All this bullshit is very American: if it’s not on the television it’s not real, and the USA, unfortunately, is a land dominated by mindless channels like Fox.  America is a place where people like their news ready-prepared in crispy bite-sized crunchy chunks.  Americans don’t like deep thinking.

Give us the bad guy!

Here you go.  This is a bad guy.  He’s called  Joseph Kony and he murdered Luke Skywalker.  He also killed John Wayne, Bambi and Phillip Marlowe.  He shot Bilbo Baggins and he opposed the War on Tourism.

One of these rich kids went to Africa and discovered that abuses are happening.  Congratulations, you insulated, ignorant, uninformed frat boy. Out of the blue, you learned something every adult in the world has known for centuries.  People murder people.  People enslave child soldiers.  Where have you been for the last three hundred years?

Kony 2012 is a video made by right-on privileged American movie-making no-hopers and outraged OMG valley-girls who have never experienced a single day’s deprivation or oppression in their lives, but it goes further than that.  Kony 2012 is a showcase, designed to further the career of its producer, who has decided that Joseph Kony is the most important murderer in the world today.

Folks, the world is full of mass murderers.  Even though Joseph Kony is vile, many of the other mass murderers are even worse.

This campaign isn’t about saving lives.

This is about building careers.

Don’t support it.  It’s bullshit.

 

Here’s the video.

 

___________________________

Elsewhere

  14 Responses to “Stop Kony 2012”

Comments (14)
  1.  

    Indeed. Apparently Theres some bad vibes going around about that Invisible Children group. It’s run by just three people and they’re refusing to say where donations are going. Alarm bells should be ringing folks. Boo hoo= Ching Ching unfortunately

  2.  

    Although i agree with some of your points and agree the campaign is not entirely selfless i still think it shines a light on something a lot of people didn’t know about and encourages awareness and change. That is positive, although not perfect and yes indulgent do you not think there is good intent in there too? This well educated middle class white boy went on a trip and came back with a hope all be it possibly overly idealistic its nice to see attempts to help others even if only one third of its earnings go to this cause its one third more then if it didnt happen. Its got a lot of people talking thus is causing awareness i just don’t see why that should draw so much negativity

  3.  

    I don’t agree. I think they’re on to something. A friend has developed a very interesting website (newswhip.com). It spots news trends via facebook shares and likes. So, Kony 2012 shot straight to the top of the rankings with incredible speed. What’s probably more interesting is that the articles asking questions of Kony 2012 shot up there just as fast. That seems to indicate that there are a lot of ordinary people seeking out both sides of the story, which is quite a good thing. I was one of those, and from what I can see, it’s mostly a very positive movement and especially so if it has this effect of radicalising and informing a generation of otherwise ignorant middle class Americans.

  4.  

    “Americans don’t like deep thinking.”

    I’m not American, but sweeping generalisations such as that really piss me off.

  5.  

    Alanzo — I’m deeply sorry that you’re pissed off, but have you ever witnessed at first hand the American antipathy to public service broadcasting? A huge proportion of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the 9-11 attacks. Come on. Look at how easy it is to manipulate public sentiment. The American people are not sophisticated when it comes to international matters. They want it all in easy sound-bites with a good guy and a bad guy.

  6.  

    Was wondering what all this Kony talk was all about, and all the emotional reaction. Then I read your take on it, Bock. Thanks. Still haven’t seen the vid, but was wondering what all the fuss was about, as if the plight of children/war in Africa was something ‘new’.

    Ps. Captain Walker, there are a few of us here who do care to have the knowin’ of things!

  7.  

    Ultimately, this is what happens when you get a bunch of upper middle class white kids who want to go save Africans but have absolutely no political/historical framework to work with. The single-mindedness and thorough lack of contextualization is something to behold.

    While this is self-evidently a ‘good cause’, the messianic vibe and #twitter gimmickry is painful. Issues of this sort are not quite as easy as decapitation of one man in a wholly depoliticized context. The whole thing reeks of the worst kind of 21st century tweeting band-aid activism – the kind that puts feel-good t-shirt wearing vibes ahead of real-world adjustment. It’s a very depressing indicator of our cultural moment. It shows how powerful social media is as a tool that can exploit the “dedicated humanitarians” people pretend to be. But watching one 30 minute video obviously doesn’t qualify you as a social activist.

    The video will obviously appeal to people with a sense of justice that are otherwise fairly tuned-out because it offers them the incredibly convenient message that “this guy is obviously evil (!!!) – we’ve already got American interest in going in and decapitating the head of the snake – now we just need more public attention and a donation”. Basically, the video is replete with feel good You Are Empowered and Yes We Can Create A Better World pap. It has been cynically engineered for maximum viral utility: really, it’s designed to make people feel good about this plight.

    There’s no doubt that this is one of the exceedingly rare situations in the world where a small intervention could make a notable difference, but it’s also frustrating in that half a million people were slaughtered in Darfur, 5.4 million died in Congo not so long ago and thousands are still dying right this minute in Haiti from very preventable diseases, and the world yawns yet because this offers such an easy good vs. evil narrative it will likely gain a lot of attention.

    It’s is a narrative that naturally appeals to people a lot more than “there is a large, complex and deeply compromised situation in Africa involving millions of people, our culture bears a huge burden of responsibility for it and there’s no easy solutions”. People have long come to assume that black people in Africa just kill each other because that’s what they do when they’re not starving (or even while they’re starving). It’s a largely unchallenged racist view that’s widely adopted and is done so because it absolves people and allows them to carry on their business. They’d very likely have frustrating feelings of disempowerment and helplessness if they paid too close attention anyways.

    This campaign may ultimately do more good than harm but it seems to further signal a perhaps increasingly troubling and exasperating truth about our attention spans, priorities, values and cultural maladjustment to reality.

    What’s most worrying is that this kind of activism is relatively novel. What happens when there are hundreds of these videos/campaigns competing for views and investment? The world of social media will be yawning again. A few of these campaigns may make a lot of waves at first but its ultimately a novelty arms race until a new din is created.

    But what do I know, I’m just a normal guy who really resents the idea that anyone expects to make an impact on the world. At the very least it’s helped me determine 5 or 6 clients to block on Facebook.

  8.  

    There will be bad-guy internet wars. My bad-guy is worse than your bad-guy. Wall Street will start trading in bad-guy futures and derivatives. Somebody will set up an unsocial network and make a fortune out of it.

  9.  

    And worse; Kony *will* eventually be taken down by someone who actually cared enough about the problem to put their lives on the line
    (American soldiers, who are currently in that part of the world specifically to do this by the way. Guess they don’t all just talk about it…)

    Anyway, when that happens – everyone who retweeted the video link will give themselves a big pat on the back and say “see? social media can change the world”; just like they did with Egypt and LibyaVery very sad…

  10.  

    That film is similar to the style adopted in hypnosis therapies. Very effective as long as the viewer isn’t overly attentive.
    The back ground music that wafts in and out is the give away.
    Very professionally done.

  11.  

    Bock,
    Having lived in America I found it easy to succumb to the “sound bite” information age. I can’t fully agree though about the “deep thinking” opinion, since generalizing is sometimes over kill. However, it would be a lot nicer if we were kinder to each other at home. Somehow, adopting “charity begins at home” would be kinder. There is a great need to help our neighbours first. I won’t watch the video since I am familiar with how these things are put together and the hidden agenda involved. Our own country is still in crisis and our suicide rate is still enormous so I think I’ll do my best for our own people, first.

  12.  

    in which condex we can see the facts, that
    ” The Uganda Scout Association (USA) was established by an Act of parliament in 1922. It is the national organization recognized as a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in Uganda. The Uganda Scouts Association is the sole body controlling the Scout movement throughout the country, making it the largest youth movement in the country, with a membership of over 400,000 boy and girl Scouts, and a support team of over 10,000 Scout Leaders.
    http://ugandascouts.org/our_organisation/governance.php

    And that there is Dr. Kizza Besigye, who wants to be new President of Uganda…

  13.  

    I knew this was bullshit from the start. Glad more and more people are coming to realise that.

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