Semi-Charmed Life

12Mar/120

KONY 2012

I'm not as emotionally or as morally invested as other people are, but I appreciate the conversations this issue has been generating.

One week ago, nonprofit group Invisible Children started a firestorm on the Internet with its Kony 2012 video. At first glance, the 30-minute film seemed innocuous, a passionate plea to get the world interested in the plight of Ugandans and other Africans forced to confront the murderous rebel leader Joseph Kony. But soon the backlash began. And then came the backlash against the backlash, which later led to backlash against the backlash against the backlash.

Completely agree:

When it comes to the Kony film, it's unlikely society will reach a consensus about it anytime soon, and with good reason: It's extraordinarily hard to unpack. Does the film distill a complex problem with centuries of backstory into a simplistic soundbite? Yes. But it has also illuminated tens of millions of people to an issue they didn't know existed before. And it has thrust the plight of central Africa into popular culture, leading everyone from the Guardian to TMZ to Oprah to have thoughtful conversations about child soldiers and charitable giving to Africa. I'm not sure anyone believes Kony 2012 is perfect, but it doesn't seem wise to toss it on the scrap heap, either. Whether or not you like it, at least it serves as a reminder that the world is messy and hard to organize. The best any of us can do is keep reading, keep talking to each other, keep trying to do the right thing, and keep hoping that there's more than one way to destroy a warlord.

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