what I think about Kony2012

Every blog I follow which talks about aid work, the humanitarian world, Africa, poverty and conflict, etc… every one of them has posted a “What I think about Kony2012” blog during the past week.

Well, I don’t want to be left too far behind, so here is my Kony2012 reaction blog.

I thought it was boring.

Sorry, guys, but I was amazed it went viral because it’s a full 30 minutes long, and it’s all narrated in the sad voice of a guy who uses images of his cute little son during the first few minutes to tug on our heart strings. Then there are some scenes of the world from space, stars, and other inanimate objects. I made it about 10 minutes into the video while puttering around in the kitchen, then I stopped watching because I didn’t see the point. Sorry, Invisible Children, I admire your effort I really really do. But I’m not really feeling much of the vibe of your most recent video.

Of course, I hear that many other people are indeed feeling the vibe and are feeling deeply touched by Kony2012. So maybe I’m not normal. Maybe 30 minute long documentaries with lots of still screens is exactly what other people like. Or, the cynic in me can’t help but wonder, maybe most other people also only watch the first few minutes and then turn it off. Maybe it’s gotten a lot more attention in the aid world, among people who already know about Kony, than in the general public? (If you’re not an aid worker, I’m curious: have you watched Kony2012? Did you find it touching?)

Or maybe the film has grabbed people because of the sheer force of its message. The guy deserves his infamy, no doubt. We all agree that it’s hard to imagine how a world without Joseph Kony would be any worse than it is now. We all want him brought to justice. And maybe that’s why Kony2012 has gone viral.

I’m not sure the video is going to bring him to justice. In fact, from what I’ve heard about him, he sounds like the kind of madman who might enjoy infamy as much as, or even more than, fame.

Plus, I understand that he’s not in Uganda anymore. The Lord’s Resistance Army has been moving around Central Africa for the last several years, and last I heard they were mainly based in the Central African Republic. So shouldn’t we be learning more about that little-known small nation of Central African Republic, than about Uganda?

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