Friday, March 9, 2012

KONY 2012

The last 48hrs or so have seen the KONY 2012 campaign spread like wildfire. A viral phenomenon.

It’s complicated. There are many sides to the story; just depends what angle you’re coming from.

Let's get one thing straight. Killing, kidnapping, mutilating or exploiting children or any human being for that matter, is not on. That’s clear and any sane person would support this. Equal human rights to all, damn it. Shouldn’t we all be able to sleep at night, minus the fear of getting kidnapped, and with the knowledge that our next meal is in the bag?

What’s unclear to me is what happens after Joseph Kony is captured, killed and mutilated (ironic much)?

Photograph: AP via The Guardian UK.

I know, I know, one thing at a time. But was I the only crazy person looking down that list of the UN’s public enemies, when it appeared on the Kony video? The second dude on there is also from Uganda, no doubt running his own shindig of a child army, waiting in the wings, prepped and ready to go and be crowned in the number one position once Kony is eliminated. A fact not further verified, but if its not another crazy Ugandan that takes prime position, then it will be another crazy fucker from a dirt ditch somewhere.

Ask yourself: why does Kony have so much power in the first place? He promises hope, direction and a future to an otherwise powerless and unhopeful children. Plus he has lots of guns and an army you can belong to. Strenght in numbers. Surely its better being the tyrant than the one being tyrannised?

The real problem is not solved by the barrel of a gun. The real problem is not targeting one crazy mother fucker.

Uganda needs education, health care, sustainable farming practices, housing, etc. They need to be shown the tools to lift themselves out of poverty. Not a temporary bandaid solution fuelled by gunfire and hate, making us just as bad as Kony himself.

Education exposes people to new ideas, it opens their eyes, it inspires them, it makes them drive for more, it gives them a future, and it gives them options. Education raises the standard of living.

The solution is targeting the masses and fighting poverty through education.

You’ll tell me Invisible Children are doing this too, helping rebuild schools and shit. Good for them. But that wasn’t the point of the video. Let’s look at the big picture, the cheat sheet if you must, the cliff notes: the video makes KONY public enemy #1. Kill and eradicate him using US military support, by 31 December 2012. Tick-tock, time is running out.

My first reaction was to repost the video on Facebook and share it with all my “friends” and networks. I don’t regret it. I think it’s horrendous what’s happening to those little kids and people, in fact everyone out there should know about it. There are a lot of us living in our own, blessed bubbles, so to start with, awareness is paramount. It's what happens next that counts.

So many of us felt good spreading this message, becoming now not only a spectator of evil in the world, but a contributor to a greater, bigger cause that promises to eliminate this evil and unite the world.

Bullshit. I feel more helpless than ever.

I just told you what I think the real solution is (scroll up five paragraphs). I just don’t know how to go about it.

Others felt well, finally informed about one baddie in this world.

In this digital age, where the internet and our lives are swamped with an enormous amount of meaningless crap, it’s refreshing to see some emotive content with substance that spreads awareness about important issues such a child abuse and slavery. If I saw yet another Rihanna video of her rubbing herself on an automobile, or rolling around in a bed, I was going to scream. So I’ll give Invisible Children that much.

Where to next?

There are many other causes out there in this wide world of ours that we must become aware of. Sometimes you wish you didn’t know, because then you won’t have to do anything about it. So you either look no further, or if you stumble across it (an issue) like the KONY video because every fucker out there is sharing it, lucky for you there’s social media. Just re-share that video, cough up some cash and switch the TV channel to reruns of the Kardashians. It’s as easy as that. Problem solved.

On the other hand, I consider myself a citizen of the world, which with it comes some sort of global awareness. Hence why I feel so overwhelmed by all the bad in this world. It's so complicated, it's never black and white. Like a big fucking corporation, there are always so many politics and agendas involved and things at play, persistently lurking underneath the murky surface and influencing.

So for me, I think I need to break it down to one small and simple step at a time. I’m going to finally write that letter to my sponsor children. Before this I never knew what to write to them. Now I do.

I will tell them what my migrant parents told me my whole life: keep studying and make something of yourself. It’s hard but persist. Keep working towards building a brighter future for yourself and those around you.

Then I’ll figure out the rest. Like actually helping build a school or something.


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