Extremely effective and incredibly shallow

Normally, I would not kick a dead horse, but I just wanted to say that this viral Konry 2012 campaign really bugs me, and not just because their video has more viewers on youtube than my videos have. It is possible to be opposed to the use of child soldiers, abductions, sexual exploitation, mutilations, and other atrocities and still be appalled by the shallowness and manipulativeness of this campaign.

The film in question contains factual errors.

The organization behind it is fishy and self-promoting.

The list of internationally-wanted evildoers shown in the film is outdated. Why didn’t they use an up-to-date list? Maybe because Kony’s name is no longer at the top?

You kids get off my lawn. The film devotes significantly more footage to the spokesman than to any Ugandans. Even his 5-year-old kid gets more face time. This makes me feel old, in a way, because it strikes me as the narcissism of the privileged young – we are many, we are energetic, we can accomplish great things, all we need to do is throw a big tantrum.

White man’s burden. I question whether privileged American/western kids with the level of understanding of the complicated situation in Uganda illustrated by this film have much to offer towards any solution.

The film presents no logical argument. The project seems to consist of unbased claims and simple demands, and offers no clear solutions.

I felt manipulated watching it, and it insulted my intelligence.

I find the strong and enthusiastic response scary. Mass movements based on this little understanding and knowledge have been abused in the past, and caused great harm.

As an experiment in social networking campaigns, it is of great interest, naturally. People close to me are very turned on by it. This aspect of it is encouraging, the ability of social media to motivate and organize people. I would like to see OWS do something like this. I am curious to what extent the upcoming presidential elections in the USA (and other elections elsewhere) will be affected by this sort of thing. I am also curious what will happen on 20 April, when the organization wants people to put up Kony 2012 posters everywhere. Will people have forgotten about this by then? If not, will it have any effect?


4 responses to “Extremely effective and incredibly shallow

  1. mig

    just curious – those of you visiting from a facebook link – whose profile linked this post?

  2. I can see where you are coming from but I hopped aboard this cause not so much because I think that Kony is the the worst ever but because for too long the world has ignored the cause of Boy Soldiers and this seems a way to finally get everyone to take notice. Will I send money to The Invisible Children…no but when I can, I just might send some to Médecins Sans Frontières because they’ve long fought this issue.

  3. mig

    I totally don’t doubt that Kony is a bad guy, one of many. I’m also curious to see how this campaign will pan out. But, like you, I will continue donating to MSF (Doctors without Borders) who have done a good and selfless job for many years, actually helping people on the ground rather than paying themselves big salaries.