Friday, March 9, 2012

Dissing Invisible Children

“Very Serious ‘sounding’ Commentary on Very Important Issues by people who take themselves very seriously”

Amanda and Kate from Wronging Rights has an underwhelming bit of boring assetted inappropriate handwringing that shamefully sucks over at the ancient Paw Paw era Atlantic something something.

Just saying.
The reason is Kony 2012, a 30 minute film by the advocacy organization Invisible Children, which has gone viral in the 72 hours since its release, garnering over 38.6 million views on Youtube and Vimeo. It has been retweeted by everyone from Justin Bieber to Oprah, and shared on Facebook by seemingly everyone under the age of 25.

The movie swirls us through a quickie history of the LRA, a rebel group that terrorized vulnerable civilian populations in northern Uganda for nearly twenty years before moving into the borderlands of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Central African Republic. It's (justifiably) heavy on the vilification of Kony, but light on any account of the complex political dynamics that sparked the conflict or have contributed to the LRA's longevity. Instead, we are given a facile explanation for Kony's decades-long reign of terror: Not enough Americans care.
And it gets worse. Evidently these two serious sounding cats prefer the olde meme that it's sooo complicated - may as well lay back and enjoy that we can't lay back and ignore it...
Treating awareness as a goal in and of itself risks compassion fatigue -- most people only have so much time and energy to devote to far-away causes -- and ultimately squanders political momentum that could be used to push for effective solutions. Actually stopping atrocities would require sustained effort, as well as significant dedication of time and resources that the U.S. is, at the moment, ill-prepared and unwilling to allocate.
It would also require a decision on whether we are willing to risk American lives in places where we have no obvious political or economic interests, and just how much money it is appropriate to spend on humanitarian crises overseas

Uh, yeah. Dang sho am do ladies. 

Pic - "Invisible Children"


Michal said...

Well, what I missed in the article and in the documentary that it criticised were some important facts. Such as: Joseph Kony is no longer in Uganda. Joseph Kony no longer leads army the size of several divisions.

I'm all for raising awareness and killing bad guys (especially Kony), the problem is that the campaign fails to inform, it misinforms, and essentially undermines its own credibility and potency through its ignorance.

Foreign Policy had an article about this. Hope it won't get caught up in the spam filter.

Michal said...

By the way, is it just me or is the comments page weirdly formatted? I used to prefer the old look. Now everything is all white, and the hyperlinks get spilled off the page. I'm attaching a screenshot just to ask whether it's problem on my end, or whether something changed.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Michal!

jawohl das neu kommanteriat chiz ist unbehagen!

Es tut mir lied (i have little control over it. danggit.)