Monday, March 19, 2012

Save It for Later Saturday: Kony Conundrum

I welcome you back to Save It for Later Saturday!  I have not posted one of these weekly overviews since February 6th.  Why, you ask?  The answer is because I have a severe case of procrastination-distraction. 

In the past month (or more), I have gotten so caught up in reading the articles in my Diigo “read later” list that I ran out of time to compose timely summaries before the new weeks began.  I often thought that a late Sunday night SaveIt for Later Saturday would be perceived as a conundrum.  And maybe it is.  

co·nun·drum [kuh-nuhn-druhm]
anything that puzzles

Yes, it is Sunday. In fact it is Monday in many parts of the world.  However, it behooves me to do a little reviewing of my “read later” list before I move into the new week.  It clears my brain, making room for more to be invited to the information party happening in my head. More so, I am attempting to gain blogging discipline.  And it starts right now.

Let's talk about a another conundrum, Kony 2012.
The Kony 2012 campaign has lost a little steam in the realm of attention.  But I think it deserves more examination.  Currently with over 82 million views, the InvisibleChildren video, a short film about brutal Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony, went viral after its March 5, 2012 upload to YouTube.  Since then there has been an outpouring of support for and criticism of the movement. 

I talked with my children about the campaign to gain a sense of how much attention it was getting in their schools.  I wanted to be sure they were approaching the topic with critical and practical thinking.  After discussing the possible positive and negative outcomes, Sophia, my 13 year old, said, “I do not see anything wrong with it if it brings awareness to the topic.  If it brings attention to the issues in Uganda, then it will bring attention to other situations like it all over the world.”

Good point.  Maybe Kony 2012 will raise awareness of the numerous cases of domestic sex trafficking in the United Sates or the epidemic of child sexual abuse that is happening in our own neighborhoods.

Even better points have been made by the people of Africa and they are insightful, interesting and worthy of reading.  And why wouldn’t they be?  These are the voices of people who actually live there and work in opposition to the LRA on a daily basis.  If we want to be well-informed, we shouldn’t stop at viewing the Invisible Children film.  They only got it partially right.  And it feeds our “savior complex”.  

If you read only one more article about Kony 2012, read this one by Solome Lemma.

And now we have a problem with one of the Invisible Children filmmakers, Jason Russell.  Apparently he has been hospitalized for “exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition, after having a very disturbing public meltdown that involved nudity and vandalism.  I see mental-health issues all over this one, although sources close to Russell deny it to be a factor. 

Whether the issue is mental-illness, physical illness, or addiction illness does not matter.  What matters is that Russell’s public breakdown brings to light that Americans 1) harbor resentment for people of success and devour them like prey when problems arise, and 2) prefer to make a joke of problems at home while feeling important for buying a $1 wrist band to “help” an international cause.  

Instead of using Russell’s sad display for entertainment, why don’t we explore what happens to those we harshly criticize via social media?  It seems to me to be one big bullying incident.  And we all know that bullying is a big problem in America.

If my name was Cinderella, my carriage would now be a pumpkin.  It's 12:03 a.m. which means it's Monday. Check back next week to see if I get Save It for Later Saturday posted on, um, Saturday.

See you next week!

photo credit: elycefeliz via photopin cc


  1. It is a conundrum. And my heart goes out to anyone who has or will suffer so.

    I liked this op-ed on the video in the NYTimes:

  2. That's a great piece and I appreciate you sharing it.

    "The bottom line is: A young man devotes nine years of his life to fight murder, rape and mutilation, he produces a video that goes viral and galvanizes mostly young Americans to show concern for needy villagers abroad — and he’s vilified?"

    I think it's most important to keep conversation open, to attempt to understand Kony from every view point. And I share your sentiment...for "anyone who has or will suffer so."

    Always appreciate your words. Thank you.

  3. procrastination-distraction = LOVE it!

    My blogging partner and I discussed Kony a few days ago and tried to decide if we should mention it on our blog or not. We never really came to a decision.

    Of course, we are against everything that Joseph Kony is accused of and would love to think that we would be able to make a difference in helping to end his reign of terror but the questions brought up in the article that you linked to are questions that we heard a few times while researching the subject and it's difficult to blindly support the project.

    I hope someone does catch him and that he is stopped, should have happened a long time ago!!! Evil like that astounds me because I have such a hard time understanding why it happens.


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