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short & long on the world’s most obvious #followfriday shout-out #ff #stopKony #Kony2012 #invisibleChildren

Posted on 09 Mar 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on short & long on the world’s most obvious #followfriday shout-out #ff #stopKony #Kony2012 #invisibleChildren

After seeing KONY2012 posted several times by our Facebook friends, Dana and I finally sat through the half-hour vid this week. Overall, it’s worth blocking out the 29:59 of time to soak it in.

In a nutshell: Joseph Kony is one of the ringleaders in Africa who forces boys to be his army and girls to be sex slaves. The video is a call for us all to know his name, lobby our governments to be a military presence and bring Kony to justice by Dec 31, 2012. There’s a big rally day slated for April 20, 2012 where posters will cover cities overnight and be an undeniable presence the next morning. 

I thought about editing this down and might still do it, but till then, here are some starting points that could shave some of your viewing time:

  • 9:06 in, director Jason Russell tells his son about who international warlord Joseph Kony is
  • 18:30 in, lobbying results in response from “a top pentagon official”…
  • 23:30 in, George Clooney (need I say more?!…)
note: if these links don’t work, you might have to just scrub to those minutes/seconds, sorry. dang computers.


As with just about anything that gets this popular this quick (posted March 5, video at time of this posting has over 55 millions hits) with over 1 million Likes already, there’s quite a volume of negative response & critique. Among the counterpoints:

  • some reports suggest the org is shaving a lot off the top, with lots going to payroll & relatively few cents on the dollar going to actual development in Africa
  • focusing on one dude misses the bigger picture of the complex struggle in Africa
  • Steven Van Damme, Oxfam’s protection and policy advisor for the whole of eastern Congo, currently based in Goma, suggests the video’s popularity might make Kony get more violent

There are mainly from The Guardian’s excellent mash-up of various perspectives on the big issue (when the video had only 21 – 27 million hits).

Invisible Children Inc isn’t unaware of the media firestorm and they’ve posted a point-by-point response to the critiques.

This 30sec clip from talking to “machine gun preacher” Sam Childers was also neat.

in my humble opinion…
Yes, the video is slick. Would we have sat through it if it were 1/2 as slick? 1/4? 3/4?
And now we know who Kony is.

Kony2012 reminds me a lot of the shoes-on-telephone wires thing from the movie Wag The Dog, an imperfect reaction of wide swaths of communities outraged by an injustice and wanting some act to crystallize it and feel like we can do something about it.

Especially now that we have a daughter, the message hits home about wanting a world where a child can sleep at night, and not be mutilated or forced into prostitution or the military. The video helped us be aware of the plight in Africa. Did I get a bracelet? Not yet. Did I send money (yeah, they mention that in the video)? No. Do I trust that SOME of the funds given to Invisible Children Inc would help provide education to children in Africa? Sure. Could I combine the freedom and resources I have with the new awareness from this uber-popular vid to find the most strategic place to put my funds? You bet.

Yeah, it’s not a perfect picture here.
But it’s 29:59 that we sat through.
As much as I can see reasons for some doubters, I think it’s accomplished a great deal of the good it was originally trying to do, namely to remember Kony.