Kony 2012. Don’t Wag the Dog.

While pecking away on a blog about the 100th Anniversary of the Oreo cookie, my teenage daughter engages me about Kony something or other. I could tell she was quite passionate about the subject, but for the life of me, I had no idea what she was talking about. I felt as though I had walked into the middle of a movie, which isn’t unusual with my daughter, but the nature of this was more serious. “Dad it’s a big deal… how can you not know about this?” She had me watch a video that, to my surprise, was almost 30 minutes long. The movie was Kony 2012. Oh well, I was a Hydrox guy anyway.

After we watched the video, she looked at me, waiting for some sort of affirmation. “Is this a scam?” I said abruptly, starting an evening-long discussion of why I would say such a thing. I couldn’t help my reaction. Running through my mind the entire time I was watching the video was the film Wag the Dog.

Wag the Dog (1997), starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, is a dark comedy about a political spin-doctor who hired a Hollywood producer to fabricate a war in order to cover up a presidential sex scandal. I didn’t reference the movie to my daughter because at the time I knew nothing about Joseph Kony, and her emotions were running high.

Kony 2012

Despite my suspicions, I found out that Joseph Kony is very real. In 1986 He formed the “Lord’s Resistance Army” (LRA) in Northern Uganda. His cult-like militia is believed to have killed, kidnapped, and mutilated tens of thousands of people. He’s also known for forcing young boys to fight for the LRA and abducting young girls into slavery. Since 2005, Kony has been wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. The LRA is still operational in northern Uganda and southern Sudan, whose governments tend to play down its impact as a military threat.

Viral Impact

To say that the video Kony 2012 went viral would be an understatement as it continues to set a new precedence in social media. Originally uploaded to Vimeo on February 20th, Kony 2012 gained little traction. It wasn’t until March 5, when the video was put on YouTube, did it skyrocket into popularity. As of today, Kony 2012 has over 55 million views, 30 million in the previous 48 hours. By far the largest demographic of viewers is young women between 13 and 17 years of age, followed by men 18 to 24.

Invisible Children Charity

Kony 2012 is the creation of filmmaker Jason Russell. Russell, along with other filmmakers Bobby Bailey and Laren Poole, founded the Invisible Children charity in 2004, after spending a year creating a documentary in war-torn Uganda, titled Invisible Children. The movie told the plight of “Night Commuters,” children of northern Uganda who would leave their homes at night to avoid LRA abduction. The charity has been under scrutiny since its inception. Its critics decry a lack of financial accountability and transparency, centering on the amount of donation dollars spent on awareness. The underlying accusation is that the Invisible Children charity is a fraudulent means to fund a group of filmmakers. The unspoken retort is that social awareness is the new currency.

Infomercial-esque

So why did have the reaction I did to Kony 2012?  What made my antenna go up and made me think of a 15-year-old movie about manipulating the media to manufacture a cause? After watching Kony 2012 a few times, I realized that it has many similarities to an infomercial. The video poses a problem, provides a solution, makes a promise, and has a distinct call to action. It has celebrity endorsement, repetition, a fast pace, and gives us a “before and after” assimilation. It even has a “hurry, limited time offer” element to it. Kony 2012’s sales pitch: “make him famous.”

Sensationalism

I realize that many of the tactics used in an infomercial are acceptable persuasion techniques, and I appreciate Russell’s well-told story, but his reliance on emotional persuasion to cause a direct response for such a serious subject leans toward the sensationalistic. I believe sensationalism’s effectiveness is also its most damaging effect, which is it serves the ego by objectifying the victim. The story behind Kony 2012 features a young Ugandan named Jacob who lost his brother to the LRA. If I could say one thing to Russell about his film it would be, “Don’t make yourself the hero and Jacob the victim. Jacob is the hero.”

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114 responses to “Kony 2012. Don’t Wag the Dog.

  • Philip

    In my view this video is merely an excuse for the u.s. to do their usual and go in to Uganda to “help” them. Based on what I have since researched, this is not about Kony or the children, but about oil and natural resources. The u.s. does nothing for humanitarian causes. They always have an agenda, and the likes of Kony and abused kids, doesn’t enter the equation. unless as a means of gaining control of Uganda’s assets. As for Russell, he sounds like a born again Christian going for the emotional jugular. He succeeded quite well, except many of us, especially those who follow alternative news sources, are saying Bullshit!
    I am disgusted by the deliberate manipulation of kind and caring people. I wonder how much he was paid.

  • nanonymouse

    hey…like ur blog….its funny how i have one aswell with the same theme….luv ur blog…. :)

  • WRC559

    Thanks For The Ping Back

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  • Yoa Mommar

    OK now, this is a strange kampaign. BUT: Kony really is badass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FmuQ9LBGEc

  • james Lawson

    About kony. I just returned from Goma which is is where I had been for past two weeks. While there Made trip into nothern uganda. Peace is upon our people in the village were me grandma lives. Lra and kony hasnt been seen in 6 years now. Were working, planting our crops. Dont stir up shit wen you not go there. My people dont want want war. We got him in hit peoples think he dead. Please your money could go to better cause.ding somewhere in kenya. It been so long mos

  • SD

    In response to the dumb video you put out entitled “Kony 2012 Video is Misleading” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DO73Ese25Y

    “Unreported World” Channel Documanrtaries are respectected TV documantary makers – try educating yourself at least a little before making such foollish videos based on hearsay from your family that left Uganda yrs before and were never involved in this issue in the first place. Do you not realise the damage and confusion your misinformation and foolishness could cause others who dont know anything about this issue??

    There is far more available this isnt a disputed eissue, except by the ignorant who speak before thinking. Try this evidence that what has been reported is true;

    Eyewitness accounts from Sam Childers who is a US man based out there for years in S. Sudam with the sole purpose of rescuing the children the LRA are abducting and mutilating is a first hand witness that this is still going on today 3 yrs after that TV documentary was made in 2009.

    Im sorry but Im so shocked anyone, like yourself can oppose helping these children, its so aweful.

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  • Anonymous

    Invisible Children was working in Uganda way before the video came out too.

  • Ugandans React Angrily To Kony 2012 Propaganda Film – WNYTruthers.org

    [...] Commentators have compared the whole episode to the 1997 political comedy movie Wag the Dog, starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, the plot of which revolves around the need to start a fake war to distract from genuine events. [...]

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  • Steve Burnett

    Great point about sensationalism!

  • Dianella

    Gracias!!

  • agenerationlost

    Isn’t the whole campaign playing right into Kony’s hands. Suddenly he is the world’s most wanted man. After years of setting fear to others through complete anonymity he suddenly finds his face plastered to every wall and on every computer screen.
    Finally the fame he wanted.
    And then, as to prove my point, he issues the decleration that he is now on the run.
    To me it looks like a giant game of hide and seek, and the seeker (the world, the media) is definitely losing with the invisible children still – well – invisible.
    Am I entirely wrong?

  • Thoughtfull

    I don’t see how that applys.

  • Thoughtfull

    I wouldn’t donate, that organization isn’t a non-profit, it is a “awareness campaign” With lots of salarys abound.

  • Thoughtfull

    BTW

    I did not mean for that last comment to be supportive or disapproving of the movie or this website page.

    Just making a point on how this website page is right about sensationalism, yet compares this to an extreme version of what it could be. Thus being sensationalist as well.

  • Thoughtfull

    That is the thought process right after thinking about the article and not watching the movie. I relayed only on my prior knowledge about the LRA.

    She what sensationalism does? Uwah.

  • Thoughtfull

    It has misdirected the audience RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION

    Making the person who takes up the “righteous ousting of Kony from this world” the new leader in the polls. Wut.

    All that video needed to do was state the facts, and people would have thought for themselves about how horrible it was. All he needed to say about what people needed to do was “get the word out so this man is stopped”. Instead he’s practically stared a campaign!

  • Thoughtfull

    it’s been known for years, I heard about the LRA randomly years ago

    I also have seen media using child soldiers as a “twisted world” scenario for “entertainment” purposes (or at least drama purposes)

    Everything you have written here, this man already knows. The LRA did exist unfortunately, he is not saying it is fake, as in the movie wag the dog. He is only comparing the “sensationalism” as exploitation of the masses LIKE how the “fake war” in ‘wag the dog’ was used. It’s a simile not a metaphor. Basically.

    In my opinion, Bite this the messenger of that “kony 2012″ video cause he did it wrong, but don’t shoot him.

  • Regina Palomo

    I don´t know what to think anymore!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know what to think…..

  • Concerned parent

    “It certainly hits at the strength and the weakness of new media,” said communications professor Barbie Zelizer, a fellow with the Stanford Center for Advanced Study who studies news images in the world’s crisis regions. “They are undeniably faster, but they are also undeniably less reliable. It’s great when things go fast and they are correct. It’s not great when they go fast and they are not correct.”

    Maria Burnett, a researcher on Uganda for Human Rights Watch, told the Associated Press that the video helped bring notice to an issue the group has been working on for years.

    “We hope it will be helpful,” she said. “What it leads to remains to be seen, but the goal to bring pressure on key leaders, to protect civilians and to apprehend LRA leadership is important, absolutely.”

    But Burnett and other workers for rights agencies and journalists faulted the video for greatly oversimplifying the challenges in northern Uganda and the region and urged support of other groups working to provide services to former child soldiers and displaced people.

    Complicated situation
    Last November, an article in Foreign Affairs magazine said Invisible Children had “manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers.”

    The young Americans did so while paying scant attention to the atrocities committed by the Ugandan military (which they support in the hunt for Kony) or the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, including attacks on civilians, the Foreign Affairs piece said.

    Writing for the Huffington Post, Michael Deibert, author of “Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair,” also slammed the video makers, saying they had depicted military intervention as a panacea.

    Deibert wrote that, after a failed attempt to get Kony not long ago (supported by U.S. advisers), the warlord’s army counterattacked against villages in the People’s Republic of Congo, resulting in the death of hundreds of people and the kidnapping of 100 children.

    “What is the system of protection that Invisible Children advocates for communities such as these, put in the line of fire by the military operations the group advocates?” Deibert asked.

    In October, the U.S. sent 100 special operations troops to work with Ugandan forces to help root out Kony and his band of fighters. Another group of U.S. forces is working with the Congo and other neighboring countries to catch Kony.

    Responding on the group’s website, the video makers conceded they “sought to explain the conflict in an easily understandable format, focusing on the core attributes of LRA leadership that infringe upon the most basic of human rights. In a 30-minute film, however, many nuances of the 26-year conflict are admittedly lost or overlooked.”

  • irevolutiontree

    There are problems everywhere.

    On the issue of the movement to rid society of a parasite, yes we all want to do that, we each have our own parasites and we need help getting rid of them… WHO WILL HELP the rest of us. Whomever BRINGS ATTENTION TO THE ISSUE and makes a story out of it that encourages people that getting involved is a good thing for children and the world… we all love children and the world… THAT is what this author did. HE CREATED A MARKETING TOOL FOR HIS CAMPAIGN and he marketed it in a way that interested people, because it HELPS CHILDREN and that is important to a LOT OF PEOPLE.

    So, a story, an evil person, an innocent victim, yes, these all might be there, but, HOW WOULD WE KNOW if no one told us. That is one reason we find this difficult to believe, and the fact that it is SO extremely cruel, WHAT HE DOES, and that no one is doing anything about it… IS IT LIES? i think he was in the news before this campaign started… CITIZENS WERE AWARE of him and the government could do nothing… CHILDREN are disappearing and no one is doing anything about it, AND THEY ALL KNOW WHO IS DOING IT?

    How can you think something so intricate before this “marketer” and “journalist” got involved in it, and he just DEVELOPED it or
    something? We KNOW WHAT propaganda looks like, it is creative marketing targeting a specific agenda.. usually not in the best interest of the people… just because this guy is really good at marketing, some people think it is just propaganda… because we learned to recognize it in the past, doesn’t mean EVERYTHING IS PROPAGANDA…

    It is so good, I have to believe in it, who could make this stuff up???

  • irevolutiontree

    There are problems everywhere. It’s a shame these girls didn’t see a moving video on how mothers lost their children to corrupt courts and to their abusers and to child protective services, JUST BECAUSE THERE IS A MARKET FOR BABIES around the world. We do not know where the market comes from, there is no cohesive effort to identify the culprit or the issue of children stripped away from their mothers… To answer your question, girls, women… need a cause… WE NEED TO SUPPORT SOMETHING that we all agree on. That’s what their little cliques are and that’s what the women’s social groups are about. This issue was brought to their attention in a light that gives value to their support and doesn’t interfere with them being girls… they support things that are humanitarian, that’s what women/girls do…

    On the other issue of the movement to rid society of a parasite, yes we all want to do that, we each have our own parasites and we need help getting rid of them… WHO WILL HELP the rest of us. Whomever BRINGS ATTENTION TO THE ISSUE and makes a story out of it that encourages people that getting involved is a good thing for children and the world… we all love children and the world… THAT is what this author did. HE CREATED A MARKETING TOOL FOR HIS CAMPAIGN and he marketed it in a way that interested people, because it HELPS CHILDREN and that is important to a LOT OF PEOPLE.

    So, a story, an evil person, an innocent victim, yes, these all might be there, but, HOW WOULD WE KNOW if no one told us. That is one reason we find this difficult to believe, and the fact that it is SO extremely cruel, WHAT HE DOES, and that no one is doing anything about it… IS IT LIES? i think he was in the news before this campaign started… CITIZENS WERE AWARE of him and the government could do nothing… CHILDREN are disappearing and no one is doing anything about it, AND THEY ALL KNOW WHO IS DOING IT?

    How can you think something so intricate before this “marketer” and “journalist” got involved in it, and he just DEVELOPED it or
    something? We KNOW WHAT propaganda looks like, it is creative marketing targeting a specific agenda.. usually not in the best interest of the people… just because this guy is really good at marketing, some people think it is just propaganda… because we learned to recognize it in the past, doesn’t mean EVERYTHING IS PROPAGANDA…

    It is so good, I have to believe in it, who could make this stuff up???

  • abandonculture

    Please read this article about Kony and perception management.

    KONY 2012: State Propaganda for a New Generation

  • Anonymous

    You guys in no way respect the article and just try n poke out the spelling thingy or the grammar,why don’t you guys just get a life,a person is sharing his views.Do lemme know if thrz an English lang. exam goin on ova here.ur so damn good in the grammar thingy,go be a teacher n criticize ur students.

  • lichencomputer

    It is strange how this blog criticizes the emotional skew of the Kony 2012 video (a just criticism) and yet uses such a misleading title and opening number. To introduce the idea of Kony 2012 being a “scam” outright and then invoke the plot of Wag the Dog so specifically (a pretty dramatic parallel to draw, for those of us who know the movie), when your blog does not intend to actually say that the Kony campaign is a scam at all by the end, is just MORE lame emotional manipulation. Be more subtle please, have more respect for your audience, and think your technique through if you’re intent on being critical of media tricks … Do you see how these things can happen sorta by accident sometimes?

  • Anonymous

    yeah but you know people are cattle and they tend to be focused on one thing at a time.. MOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Its true that Kony hasnt showed up since 2006, but hasnt that been shown clearly enough in the Kony 2012 video? There is a part of the video where the LRA (highlighted with red) region is being moved from Uganda to another place and the narrator says it twice that Kony is not in Uganda and he hasnt attacked from a long time. Invisible children only emphasizes the need to capture Kony in 2012. That is because the evil guy has to be captured or it’s a disgrace to humanity. So why z everyone saying that the video is misleading? It hasnt lied, has it? Maybe people need to watch the video again and this time ‘carefully’.

  • Massy Biagio

    You sea Kony, but You must read OIL Joseph Kony is worth $ 160 billion, this is the reward that America should pay??
    Let some accounts.
    In Lake Albert, Uganda, found new oil fields, and has been calculated that about 700 million barrels of crude oil can be extracted, possibly up to 1.5 billion barrels, “Heritage Oil and Tullow Oil have announced major oil finds in the Lake Albert basin, with estimates that the multi-billion barrel field will prove to be the largest onshore field found in sub-saharan Africa for more than twenty years”…
    Today the price for a barrel of crude oil is 106 $ x 1,5 Billion Us $ = 160 Us $, a good reward!!
    Now, everything is more clear?

  • :)

    Hey. I think you are completely correct about the KONY issue. You are really brave to post something so against the popular opinion, and I admire you for that. You are smart and courageous. Good job standing up for what you believe!

  • Blazer

    So what are you trying to say? Support this cause or stop this cause?

  • maia

    yes!!!!!! watch wag the dog that movie will open your eyes completely

  • Anonymous

    http://lukeccampbell.hubpages.com/hub/Is-Kony-2012-Real

    Excellent article, this is also good, raises questions on what this all means for society…

  • Steve

    Well writen article.

    This Jason “Radical” Russel seems like a narcissistic douche who totally embodies the neocolonialist impulses packaged as delusional charitability. Look what he has to say about himself on this page, it’s kinda terrifying (Includes this statement: “If Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Bono had a baby, I would be that baby.”:

    http://pmc-mag.com/2011/02/jason-russell/

  • Anonymous

    Yeah and next you’ll preach that he isn’t a criminal! Yes, there are bigger things going on. But then again this is something to start with. Joseph Kony is alleged to have 88 wives in over 42 years. He is a militant leader who is involved in creating armies of child soldiers and slaves.
    Imagine if you ever found you’re child turn a gun on you, being stripped of every single dream, freedom and dignity.
    We live in cosy homes typing into screen. But in all honesty we do little to care. To think and care. Kony is out there- active or not. He is insome part of the very world we live in spreading terror and angst. If he has to be stopped then I think we should lend a hand to stop it.

  • mark hensley

    That’s an easy one.
    Just don’t vote for republicans, or previous Republcans now disguised as “independents” and “libertarians” (Ron Paul)

  • angel

    The US has* … What about us*…looking for*…Kony* is stopped ……sorry bout the words missing n miss spelling I’m on a cell phone

  • angel

    I don’t have anything againstthe kony campai and even intend on donating. But the US haa kidnappings n murders everyday will we ever try to make a difference in our own back yard first? Way about us….is it because we would b looking multiple killers rather then one? All I’m saying is u have to help ur self before u can help others. So y r we not doing that… In all I still hope long is stopped….just not at the expense of the US.

  • GCHYG

    WATH IT EXPLAINS ALOT!

  • Layla

    Stop giving stupid reasons!!!!!!! Just think one moment: Why should I merchandise all this cause in a kit containing trendy stuff?? Worse: This kit contains a bracelet with a code, and with that code you log in the Kony page… Why is not the page free??? It is a good cause right? Oh you need money? Right, create a bank account so people can donate in an anonymmous way what they can, and what comes from the heart.
    Just think about it, as for me, this makes me doubt about this cause. Its a good cause?? It is a fantastic cause!!! Why the UN has not stop it yet??

  • Jd

    Thankfully, his spelling can be improved quite easily; not as much can be said for your ignorance.

    P.s

    Keep kick’n ass 14 year old, people without an argument will always pick at your spelling as their main cause for rebuttal. Just ‘lol’ at them an keep writing, dude.

  • Jd

    I totally understand the anger – I’m angry that people are just ‘caring’ because it’s trendy. Yes, its a good way to get attention to a seemingly worth cause, but; there’s only one thing worse than not doing something about a problem, that is; claiming to do something about a problem just make yourself feel/look good.

    People that brag about doing charity work… Who are they really doing the work for?

    It’s just unfortunate that many of the reasons people are motivated to make a difference are coming from the wrong place.

  • Jd

    Excellent article. I love how poor some of the counter arguments to your post are… Actually very entertaining.

    It is a shame that this trend is for a seemingly lost cause now, (Kony fleeing uganda, having not had a strong presence in over 6 years) but hopefully some of it’s momentum can be shifted across into something worth while; for instance, the crumbling American economy (the ‘American economy is stronger than Chinas’ comment made me laugh) or the hundreds of thousands living below the poverty line in the ‘greatest country in the world’. (I’m targeting American problems because they serve as the greatest demographic in this ‘movemet’ – not I undermine other worldy issues)

    Bottom line is, we can sit behind our keyboards and argue one way or another, but our tact and persuasive language has nothing on the force that is a viral video in todays social climate no matter where the truth lays, YouTube will conquer.

    Hopefully the scope won’t be so narrow next time.

  • Anonymous

    Instead of making your judgement based on a 30 min video by a charity or a 5 min video by a teenage “Ugandan” girl, pick up some literature on the topic. There are plenty of books and reputable news sources. If you researched the situation, you would find that its a situation much worse than the video even portrays. As a 16 year old girl, imagine if tonight you were kidnapped and forced to bear multiple children to a 60 year old man. If you have siblings they would fall into a similar fate. However, you do not have to believe me or the video. Educate yourself, instead of getting “angry” because a video of a ugandan girl told you it’s false. Once you understand the country you will realize that this girl is American, not Ugandan. You would realize that the atrocities are happening in the NW section of the country which is populated by a tribal minority, people who many other Ugandans dislike, likely to include that girls parents. You do not have to send money to the charity, but appreciate that it has successfully informed a mass number of people of a huge problem.

  • Anonymous

    The United States is far superior economically? I’m sorry, I’m too busy laughing right now.

  • Anonymous

    Please don’t wag the dog, or yourself!

  • just a girl giving an opinion

    How about the drugs and how that is killing so many kids here at home or how the drug dealers kill people just to send a message i mean come on people. And these girls are easily influenced as well the probably would support any organization who showed kids dying or being killed i just wish they were more informed

  • Anonymous

    ¿Debo de suponer que usted sí hace algo? En vez de atacar debería de salir de su cómoda casa a ayudar. ¿Quién soy yo para hablar? Alguien que sabe que “buena voluntad” no es pura fantasía.

    Indignarse por atrocidades nunca estará mal, venga de quien venga.

    Por cierto, por favor aprenda a escribir.

  • Camila

    two things: 1- Why is it bad that the people from your school that have never cared about these things suddently started to care? And started to care because some one, who made a video whose intention is to make the people care, asked them?
    2- Which problems more do you reffered to?

  • Ana Contreras

    Either oil or gold!

  • Anonymous

    Exactly, we hardly give a shit about the poorest people now living in shanty towns… Im not a proud American, I’m unfortunately one. And unfortunately, people like the first post above, aren’t being sarcastic and watch the “news” to stay informed… Well the news didn’t tell you that Obama has been side-stepping Congress, ignoring the PEOPLE’S VIEWS on war, by taking “international law and precedent” over what the people want and what Senate has to say. We will soon all experience what it’s like to live in a country with fifteen trillion dollars of debt, and a third world country with an education system… IMAGINE THAT! Get ready to be the sick man of the world, not just Europe and have a Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring of Discontent… “Winter of Discontent 1970.” Educate yourselves, HISTORY RPEATS ITSELF, and if we go to war with the LRA, it’ll be labeled a terrorist group just like Al-Qaeda who just want us out of their country and affairs… Think for yourselves, stop letting others think for you.

  • Stella

    Ya, because writing “Make him famous” to a news feed is going to change anything. You want your opinion, other people have theirs – so just leave that alone. You probably don’t even know anything about KONY except for what you watched in that video. And you most probably didn’t care or were aware of it before either. Go read a book and pull yourself out of your idiot hole.

  • Joon

    and If the government knew about him way before the majority of you sheep, WHY DIDN’T THEY DO ANYTHING? Now they’re doing something? they found oil in Uganda. They don’t give a shit about the children.

  • Joon

    yeah, everything in the video is true because it’s all in a video.

    -_-

    Capture Kony, but i’m not supporting Invisible Children. I’d donate to War Child.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, watching a 30 minute video makes you so knowledgeable. Grow the fuck up. This was going on for more than 20 years, now you care. Big whoop. Go and spread KONY2012 like the rest of you sheeps.

  • just a girl giving an opinion

    I would also like to add that I will watch this video but that I will not be easily influenced by it.

  • just a girl giving an opinion

    I would just like to say that I have not seen this video but that a lot of girls at school have been talking about it. The only thing that makes me mad is that these girls have never really cared about anything and then all of a sudden they are influenced by this video. I am not for or against this video I just think that if so many people are going to support this that these same people should also be aware of other problems and support them as well. I am a proud American but I am also a proud Hispanic and I know that there are problems right here at home that we should deal with as well.

  • Anonymous

    Due to the e-mails.. Ill say this,,,,,Here’s the deal, I applaud anyone, and I mean anyone that supports and stays strong to the beliefs they hold and have a heart to feel the need to act upon an injustice, for having spent a majority of my personal life interested in the well-being of children and children of war, in particular the works of uc davis, and many thousands, of  human rights groups, ,,there have been many Kony’s in this world, and unsettling the human rights in other countries are a far cry of what we in America would ever stand for, but I would treed lightly on the money sent to one organizations in particular that has such a low give back to the actual children it was created for to protect, I would encourage anyone to support human rights especially the human rights and human trafficking of children, but be cautious on how much financialy you support kony2012, that said, I do commend and applaud the level of awareness.

  • Anonymous

    You are a moron

  • Kelvin Parker

    I haven’t hear one person say kill the man. We are personally saying bring him in, Ask him questions. Lets give him a trial. If he is on the list then he needs to address those issues, any man would. If Kony is aware that he is being sought after then he should contact the correct authorities and turn himself in and address the issues against him. Face to Face!

  • Anon

    Okay. Let me be clear and vibrant with you.
    Grow the fuck up, You can’t even let people be without saying “ITS A SCAM DON’T DO IT” “DON’T BE STUPID” or even try to change people minds with that. If you don’t like it, ignore it simple as that. I’m sick of all the dumb shits who scream at me for supporting it. Annoyed with it? Then leave it alone its as simple as that. Instead of listening to some gossip or some other thing actually get off your lazy ass and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I mean what has this world come to for people to criticize others for doing something good in the world.

  • Paul Marshall

    It’s frustrating to see the amount of people who are getting behind this cause when if the same amount of people got behind something like Medecins Sans Frontieres or Red Cross we would save millions of lives. A couple of us have written our own points of view on it -

    http://nakedatmonuments.com/2012/03/09/kony-2012-and-then-what/

  • JonHwang

    Well to be frank, I would not be so anxious to believe in someone whose spelling is as atrocious as yours. Also, China is still considered to be a third-world country, and no matter how many people say China is going to take over the world…it’s not; economically, politically, socially, and militaristically, the United States is far superior in everyway. Everyone was going crazy about the Soviet Union taking over, but did they? Were they even close? No. The fact is, the U.S. military is so much more powerful than any other country in the world, they don’t need to establish their military power. Any what are your reasons on denying their eight years of research, of the people from Northern Uganda, speaking out their pain and suffering as shown no only in Kony 2012 film, but in other websites too. Do not start defaming a person when you cannot support with evidence.

  • Niantu Lianghao

    The Emerging Critic,

    You are a grand writer and I am a large aficionado for foreign affairs. I have been sheltered in the sense of me never leaving this country – yet. I have been following the story in Syria, the night it started I watched the live feeds they were purporting from their cell phones. The American Public is swayed too easily by flashy video performance.

    I cannot claim I know much about Joseph Kony simply because I have not heard anything about him for a few years now. The passion to save lives is correct, but as you have pointed out the InvisibleChildren productions banked on this video for creating revenue, not information. Plus, If you haven’t heard of Sam Childers (http://www.machinegunpreacher.org/), I think this have been a main influence on the InvisibleChildren releasing this video.

    I am a seventeen year old male, senior in high school – so I think I fall in the correct target audience for this video and cause. I do plan on going to Syria when I can, to do what I can. I may join the U.S. Marines or I may go as a tourist trotting through a warzone.

    Thank you for writing this post. I love all of your other posts. Toodles.

  • Anonymous

    Kony’s moved out of Uganda way before this video came out. Do the research, his deputies and Commanders have been getting killed and he’s been hunted down for years. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7DO73Ese25Y Here, to educate you. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/uganda/9131469/Joseph-Kony-2012-growing-outrage-in-Uganda-over-film.html And a little more. And go to wikipedia if you need yet another source.

  • Henchman

    And why should anybody care what someone hiding in anonimity has to say.
    Who knows what his motives are, and whpays his bills.
    Right mr emerging critic?

  • EEE

    every1 who completely trusts the KONY video is srsly deluded… don’t TRUST 1 VIDEO FROM A CHARITY THAT IS UNDER FINANCIAL SCRUTINY! GO DO SOME RESEARCH URSELF FROM TRUSTWORTHY PLACES AND U WILL FIND THAT THE WHOLE VIDEO IS BS, not the KONY is dangerous bit, but the lets send military troops to UGUANDA bit to “HELP” them when the U.S. dont give a shit and just wants to stop the growing powerful China and further establish their military power
    from a hopefully not stupid 14 year old

  • Frank

    False.
    Invisible Children’s tactics are working.
    Kony had to move out of Uganda and lessened his attacks since IC started taking action.
    So no, they aren’t trying to put it out with gasoline. They are trying to put it out with an extinguisher.

    Better than can be said for people like you who just sit there and hope the fire goes out.

  • Lars

    So Jacob’s brother wasn’t killed by the LRA?

    The children I met in Uganda didn’t have sibling killed by the LRA?

    They’ve all got to be making it up then. It’s one big conspiracy.

    I think not. Children are being murdered and it has got to be stopped.
    Comments like that from people like you do nothing to help.
    If you aren’t going to help, then shut up.

  • john

    we are not talking about the type of extinguisher, we’re talking about putting out a fire with gasoline… you and many millions more are supporting a US military intervention after watching a 30min video

  • Brandi

    He isn’t trying to make himself look like a hero at all!

  • Christian Larsson

    To a typical American (I think you are one) every little mention about healthcare, state-owned companies, smoothing of earnings and such stuff are called communistic and seems to scare the shit out of you, but my question is just, why? Why is it fair that people can earn any amount more than others? Don’t you want the best for your people? It seems so if you ask the Americans in TV and when you speak to your people you say like “we are one group, we are united and we are strong”, but when push comes to shove you just don’t seem to give a shit of each over, just takes as much as you can for yourself because you can and when some politicians tells you that you can’t do something, you do protest and says like “hay don’t prevent our freedom!”, but the ironic thing is that you building up a fake picture of that the State or Government only can take freedom from you, but in reality they can also and does many times give you freedom that huge companies or rich people else had taken from you. It’s not less problems when people have the power instead of the State/Government, it’s just harder to complain about it and therefor you don’t talk about it the same amount. Do always remember: we don’t start our life’s out of the same conditions and therefor we all can’t become exactly what we want, e.g. if you got too little money to buy education or stuff like that or if you don’t got enough supportive parents etc.and by that I mean that even if you have worked very hard to get there you are, it exists people that never even gets the chance to start working in that direction and people need to think of those people too.

  • Michelle

    Psychological Manipulation,look it up in wiki,Kony 2012 is not what it seems

  • Rubén

    Educarse a si mismo? El cinismo de tus palabras me deja boquiabierto. Te educaron para sentir RESILIENCIA? PARA PONERTE EN EL LUGAR DEL OTRO?
    Si tienes las pelotas para decirme que sí, dejame decirte que tu nivel de cinismo ha rebasado todo limite humano. Dejeme decirle, Srita Buna voluntad, que en el mundo muere mas gente por ENFERMEDADES, POBREZA, HAMBRE, GUERRAS y demases. Y tu apoyas un video que probablemente sea una farsa para poder invadir Uganda?
    Dios mio, si tu estas educada. No quiero ni suponer como estan los otros.
    Ojala vivas “feliz” viendo vagos todos los dias, enfermos terminales, pobres y niños sin hogar.
    CINICA

  • The Emerging Critic

    I recommend viewing a video by slubogo an impassioned young Ugandan woman, uploaded on Mar 7, 2012. It’s trending 1.5 million hits:

  • rachel

    There’s no kids dying because of the LRA.

  • Anonymous

    so people cant be passionate about stopping kids from dying?

  • mark

    ST, Joseph’s College Layibi…. is near Gulu, 4 Km. Kony started his kidnapping in his own tribe… i have been in that college for 10 years till the liberation by the Tanzanian army. But Kony who became visible in 1986 made a real butchary of his own people,,, priests with thousands of people have been slauthered like sheep and villages burnt. we just hope that this affair would end as soon as possible since Kony might have placed his tents into Congo or Central African Republic.( south Sudan is a new independent country and it might be dengerous for him).

  • General George Washington

    What about Israel and the US planning WW3 on Iran?
    Funny how this thing comes up now when the establishment needs people to support insane foreign intervention policies. All I gotta say is when the hell did we become Germany?

  • Stephen

    I cannot believe this article. Yes, there may be many criticisms to make, but it seems that semantics have taken precedence over action.

    If the world were on fire, would you criticise those who tried to deal with it for using the wrong type of extinguisher?

    Perhaps you would be better criticising the US government for turning a buck by highlighting their claims of fighting terrorism in the darkest corners of the globe…

  • HANK

    Yeah, you’re an idiot. “Critique” is both a noun and a verb. Now quit commenting lest I critique your broken ass grammar again.

  • Den

    I am not a big fantasist about commenting on grammar but you need to educate yourself before you post something that is incorrect and on the top of that you think its correct. …”Critique” can be be used both as a noun and verb A$S#OLE.

    Stop misleading people based on your half knowledge, cuz its dangerous.

  • Anonymous

    “Critique” is a noun, not a verb. “I critique” makes no sense at all.

  • Tzara

    You don’t sound at all like a communist. /sarcasm

    Obama only took office because he promised to have troops out of Afghanistan. He knew that is what people wanted.

    To this day they are still there.

    Please tell me you’re joking.

  • carina

    Este es un despertar de la consciencia!! Con solo mirar las noticias de la BBC sabran que las atrocidades relacionadas con este grupo LRA son noticia desde hace mas de una decada! quien diga que no es verdad que “se eduque a si mismo”…..

  • Vincent Harris

    This video made me aware again of how easily the American general public can be manipulated. Some slick video campaign comes along and everyone starts yelling “Kony”. Let’s hope this stirs more intelligent convo on Africa, the great lakes and the role American diplomats are playing in the region. I enjoyed the video, also check out the “Get Tony 2012″ campaign, it’s terrific!

  • Ryan Gallagher

    I don’t mean to offend you in any way, but Kony is of no comparison to Adolf Hitler.

  • Poet Bennie Adams High on A New Wave!

    Thank you President Obama . you are a good man I love your compassion! You are an awsome person and President .We have confidence in you and your ability and you will be successful in all you do regardless to the amount of obsticals purposely put in your way by people who are designing plans for you to fail you all keep it going and you will get kony you will get your man for you are the best leader over the best army in the world
    Three cheers for America!
    There Great Leader and Their Great Regiment!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been watching Invisible Children films for almost a year, on and off. Now their tactics on bringing Kony to justice may seem sketchy, but let’s face it, no one was checking for them when they were selling t-shirts and bracelets and showing videos on their web site. That even after Oprah endorsed them. More importantly, should awareness NOT be brought about the subject? Would it be better if there was no awareness brought to.the.subject at all?

    As much as I really hate to admit it, the only way you can bring awareness to something is make it a trending topic. I see more kids believe what is posted on Twitter than what is printed in a book.

  • Kristy

    There has always got to the miserable negative misers. Take it for what it is. Its created conversation and awareness. Unfortunately we live in a world where too often the common thought is “well that’s sad but not my problem”. It needs to be sensationalized and play on our emotions for us to even notice or take care anymore.
    Katrina: But what is most suspicious, is that this campaign is being done just now, when Kony is not relevant to the Ugandan population anymore
    Well geez, it has been a while since he done anything bad so lets just forget about him. Tell that to the abused children. Its about justice and basically giving a shit about more than what is in our own backyards.

  • Katrin

    Thank you for this post and for analyzing the video! I was also very sceptical from the moment I first watched it. The question if military interventions will help is one point. But what is most suspicious, is that this campaign is being done just now, when Kony is not relevant to the Ugandan population anymore, that it spreads false information, and that the makers of the campaign do not seem trustworthy at all (regarding transparency and accountability).

  • James

    Well written.
    The truth will hopefully prevail.

  • Jamie

    It dosent matter who the hero,is in all of this, russel is just a very good messeneger, critism dosent,help the sitiuation amy bit, kony must be brought to justice end of descusion, this was pointless^^

  • Richard

    A very well written article. Ive seen wag the dog (which i quite liked) and can definitely appreciate the similarities with the invisible children thing. I’ve read many articles on the whole kony issue, and many people are saying it reeks of neo colonialism, and fails to give ugandan organisations and the ugandan govt credit for re-building affected areas (which seems the prioty as kony is said to be a spent force living in southern sudan/congo). I similarly disliked the patronising nature of the film, as if it is up to us, the white west to save the poor africans. They understand their plight far better than a bunch of american college students brimming with short term humanitarian zeal. Many ugandans openly criticise the film for being too late and irrelevant. Yet it is unbelievable the fervor with which many young people are getting behind this movement. 60 millions views on youtube now. Africa required genuine help and assistance pre kony era and will continue to require it in the future, focusing on kony and diverting resources to that cause may be a misjudgement in terms of real humanitarian need at this point.

  • Rory

    Thank you for writing this. I’m a 16-year-old female, so I guess I fit the largest demographic, but my first reaction upon seeing the video was anger. I clearly don’t need to tell you why I felt this way because I agree with all of your points. It just makes me so glad that other Americans (I’m assuming you’re American) had similar reactions. It seems like many people throughout Africa are also reacting this way. Awareness is good, but this video seems to foster another kind of ignorance as well.

    By the way, I found your blog because it was linked in a Ugandan girl’s video response on YouTube.

    Okay, that’s all, thanks! :)

  • Patricia Cox

    This is like Adolf Hitler, this man is killing innocent children and he needs to be stopped.