Mar 10, 2012

Of Emotional Responses, Bandwagon Jumping and Good Intentions

I suppose you may already know the content of this blog post. If you don't, well, I don't blame you. When I finally post this entry up, the hype has died down a little and hopefully this post wouldn't come across as too emotionally driven.

But it still could be.

One morning, I was looking through my twitter feed and I realized there were a lot of retweets from Chloe Grace Moretz about #KONY2012. To be completely honest I didn't really bother checking out what it was immediately because I was still at home, no Internet and my 3G wasn't exactly that powerful to load something fast enough.

And then I was off to work. I didn't think about #KONY2012 until a colleague tweeted about it. Then I remembered to check it out.

I'm not one to keep track of what's currently trending on twitter. Frankly I don't give a shit.

When I saw the video on Vimeo, I was genuinely upset about what this man, Joseph Kony is doing to the children of Uganda. Truth be told, world issues never really had a permanent place in my mind. It was one of those come and go things because you know, I'm too busy sorting out my own shit to worry about the rest of the world.

Selfish, I know.

I didn't think twice about sharing the video with friends and family because at that time I thought it was the right thing to do. It seemed like it. I figured "okay I can't help much, but maybe spreading some kind of awareness would help in a small way". I never fancy myself as a humanitarian or an activist. I'm much too selfish and self absorbed. But kids have a special place in my heart and it's heartbreaking to see kids not being able to be kids because of some other asshole.

When people start pointing out to me about how shady Invisible Children Inc. is and how much of a self absorbed douchebag Jason Russell is, I admit to being defensive about it only because I thought the whole campaign was a good thing. But secretly I began digging into it much further.

And what I found was saddening. But I had to find out eventually through someone else, or by my own curiosity. I decided to choose the latter. The more I dug in though, I became more and more torn. Is IC the good guy or the corporate scum? I didn't know anymore.

But time will tell as more and more debate, explanations and statements come out.

Sometimes it's not about following a trend. I'm pretty sure people had good intentions. Even Jason Russell. He wanted to make something to spread awareness about this problem and regardless of what the response is, people are talking about it. The campaign, in that sense, was pulled off well.

I guess while we're on the topic of seeing both sides of the story, here are links (thanks Ganaesh)

Author Neil Gaiman has posted a bunch of informative links regarding the issue on his Tumblr which should serve as a good place to start.

Justice In Conflict has posted up a quite lengthy but thorough article.

Invisible Children, the organization behind the whole campaign, has posted up clarification about some of the questions by people all across the Internet. and I think it's only fair if they're allowed to defend themselves.

I believe IC had good intentions. But the method could be wrong. Then again, the way to hell is paved with good intentions right?

1 comment:

  1. You're welcome, and my opinion about this mirrors yours.