Before we begin, take a quick look at our reaction video to this whole KONY 2012 craze.
As of this writing the KONY 2012 video put out by Invisible Children inc. has been viewed over eighty one million times. Chances are you’ve seen it and you’ve probably spread it around. If you’re like me you’ve also seen or read a lot of commentary and reactions from other people. In my case I was actually exposed to the commentary first and up until I decided to make the WALKER 2012 video in response, I actually refused to watch it. I got a pretty good idea of the bullshit I was going to see ahead of time and when I did finally watch it I wasn’t disappointed.
The video itself is a poorly put together piece of crap. For a video talking about the poor poor children of Uganda who are victims of Joseph Kony and the LRA it spends as much time showing a little American boy playing and having fun as it does the victims. The narration is cheesy and poorly delivered by Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russel who inexplicably decides to sit his five year old son down mid film and explain to him the situation in Uganda. His son it turns out, amusingly, thinks his father fights the bad guys from Star Wars in Africa. This is just about the only real honest feeling moment in the whole spiel.
A lot of much better educated and involved people have said a lot about this video and if you’re truly invested in the situation its well worth the time to see what they all have to say. I think the following quote from Jedidiah Jenkins, Invisible Children’s Director of Ideology sums up my reason for not supporting Invisible Children:
“Thirty-seven percent of our budget goes directly to central African-related programs, about 20 percent goes to salaries and overhead, and the remaining 43 percent goes to our awareness programs. […] But aside from that, the truth about Invisible Children is that we are not an aid organization, and we don’t intend to be. I think people think we’re over there delivering shoes or food. But we are an advocacy and awareness organization.”
By their own admission, Invisible Children is not in the business of providing aid to victims. For all their grand standing about all the great things they have done in Uganda that’s not even their main goal. No they’re goal is to raise awareness. Who the hell gives a damn about awareness? Awareness doesn’t solve anything. The whole goal of this stupid KONY 2012 campaign is to make Joseph Kony a house hold name. Then what? Millions of people now know his name and what he’s been up to for the last twenty-six years. Of those millions a small margin has probably followed through and contacted their representatives to demand action from the government, but what action are they expecting? Do we really need ANOTHER war on our hands? Do we really need to commit our soldiers to slaughtering child soldiers to bring this guy down? Joseph Kony is a monster and the LRA needs to be stopped, I’m not denying that, but I’m sick of so called humanitarians putting the problems of the world on America’s plate like it’s our responsibility to right everything that’s wrong with the world.
Speaking of meaningful. According to the video the campaign expires at the end of the year. Why? Does that really add more weight to their demand that Kony be brought to justice this year? What are they going to do if it doesn’t happen? Should we expect a new video next year and the year after if he’s still running free? I doubt Invisible Children will stop caring, but apparently we’re supposed to on December 31st. It’s cool though. I’m sure they’ll think of a new way to whip the young impressionable into a giving frenzy next year.
And in case you’ve read all this and still think Invisible Children is a great organization run by great guys, Jason Russell got arrested Mar 16th for running around naked, masturbating in public, and vandalizing cars. Still think this is the guy you should be handing your money over to? Even if he isn’t a nut case and there is a good reason for his break down, he and his friends are just going to use your money to line their pockets and make more shitty videos trying to dupe more people into funding their hobbies.