Thursday March 8 2012, noonish:
It is a strange day indeed when you see James Inhofe praised on this blog eh?
WATCH THE KONY 2012 VIDEO (!) on Vimeo, or even on YouTube.
JUST DO IT!
(And like the man says, "You have to pay attention.")
Easy to be cynical. And the cynics out there are taking some shots at Invisible Children (the organization that made the video); unsuccessfully by my lights. Here is Invisible Children's response: Critiques - which works for me.
In the video you will see James Inhofe supporting Kony 2012. (!) (Now, if he could just get his head straight on climate change eh?)
Here's Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army on Wikipedia; and here's a timeline from the Toronto Star:
1986 Kony begins kidnapping children to form his rebel group, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) turning young boys and men into child soldiers and young girls and women into “wives” and sex slaves.
Kony and his fighters prey on civilians in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan killing hundreds of thousands and brainwashing their captures.
It is believed the LRA has kidnapped 30,000 children. It is reported Kony forces his new conscripts to kill their parents and mutilate and torture others.
July 2005 Kony is the first warlord indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.
October 2005 The ICC issues arrest warrants for Kony and four of his top commanders: Dominic Ongwen, Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odhiambo, and Vincent Otti. Kony, Ongwen, and Odhiambo remain at large.
August 2006 LRA commander Raska Lukwiya is killed in combat with the Uganda Peoples Defence Force.
November 2006 Kony and his deputy, Vincent Otti, talk with UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland. The brief meeting — hoped to boost peace talks to end northern Uganda's brutal war — ended inconclusively with Kony griping about Kampala and war crimes charges and denying the rebels hold captives, officials said.It is not by accident that this issue has 'gone viral' as they say. Jason Russell and his colleagues are clever and know how to walk a fine line with righteousness (a lot could be said about this, I will spare you except to say that THIS is what intelligent democracy looks and sounds like). That they (we?) got that two-faced creep Barack Obama on board, however tentatively, is testimony enough. (Ten years of hard work mind you; promises made; promises kept.)
November 2007 Vincent Otti is killed by Kony for allegedly wanting Kony to sign the peace agreement, according to reports.
Early 2008 As peace talks over South Sudan collapse, Kony's men begin venturing further north and west.
January – April 2010 The LRA slaughters 96 civilians and abducts dozens more in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch reports.
May 2010 Barack Obama signed the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 that committed the United States to help bring down Kony and the LRA.
October 2011 Obama deploys 100 troops to Uganda to help regional forces combat the LRA.
November 2011 The African Union formally declares the LRA a terrorist group.
March 2012 Kony remains elusive.
If (just 'if') we can pull this off in 2012 - arrest Joseph Kony and present him to Luis Moreno-Ocampo for trial - then maybe (just 'maybe') we can somehow do the same for the unfolding environmental catastrophe in 2013. That would make it Lucky '13 eh?
Hot Damn! Something to go for!
Thursday March 8 2012, 'round midnight:
For people like me who will not use Facebook & Twitter & such-like dreck it may be difficult to find links, so here: Invisible Children website, and Tumblr Blog.
A-and there are k-k-Canadian connections too: Roméo Dallaire and his 2010 book They fight like soldiers, they die like children: the global quest to eradicate the use of child soldiers; and Samantha Nutt and her 2011 book Damned nations: greed, guns, armies, and aid.
I have read both of these books - and excellent they are - but (there's always a 'but' in there somewhere) they do not generate the anticipation I am feeling about going out on April 20, hopefully with a group, and painting the town with Kony 2012 posters. And my son is excited about it too - because the young women who come into his bar are talking about it - and maybe on April 20th we will go out together - there's a prospect!
Friday March 9 2012, noonish again:
The complacent majority; fundamentally & profoundly insecure (including those oft-ignored urogenital facets of fundament-al) yet simultaneously smug & supercilious, are threatened by the Kony 2012 phenomenon, disturbed. The quibbles being raised by various cynics - at the Guardian they are even quoting 'experts' who have explicitly not seen the video - are just that, cynical quibbles - pundit jizz.
If they really wanted to hit Jason Russell they would go after his Christianity - perhaps Leonard Cohen gives us a clue as to why not in his poem about the blue butterfly - but who knows, maybe they will attack his faith and the Pat Robertson connection later on.
In the meantime, if they can embarrass me because I am a 'sucker' and have 'fallen for' Invisible Children's 'slick pitch' - then the threat is entirely defused.
Sorry boys & girls it's not workin' - I'm not embarrassed and the threat is not defused. A-and next year I will be trying to use whatever lessons come from this experience with Jason & his colleagues on a really important issue.
Friday March 9 2012, comin' up on midnite again:
Whoa! It's touch and go!
The detractors, running around this baloon with all the pins they can muster, are trying to make big mileage on the photograph to the left. Even the woman who took it, Glenna Gordon, is expressing some kind of furious ideological outrage (#3 & #4 below). But it ain't workin' - 60 million+ hits on YouTube as I write, and counting (as if that means anything).
My path tonight went something like this:
Reading and watching and listening to Rosebell Kagumire as she dips into the 'don't appropriate my story' rhetoric, takes the heart right out of me. And Mark Kelley (or his scriptwriter at least since the man himself looks like a Peter Kent clone - mindless beefcake) obviously has an agenda - his carefully selected vocabulary is all: "virus," "old story like Joseph Kony," "spent force," "oversimplified," and, "Uganda has been at peace for six years."
1 - A Kony 2012 blog post: A Movie Director's Thoughtful Response;
2 - Washington Post: Invisible Children founders posing with guns: an interview with the photographer;
3 - Glenna Gordon's blog aka Scarlett Lion:
Invisible Children, the next chapter;
4 - Glenna Gordon again: Why Invisible Children can’t explain away this photo. (Frankly I don't give a damn? Is that what she means?);
5 - Rosebell Idaltu Kagumire's blog: My response to Invisible Children’s campaign;
6 - A Chimamanda Adichie video referenced by Rosebell: The danger of a single story;
7 - Rosebell's video: My response to KONY2012; and,
8 - CBC: Connect with Mark Kelley starting about 24 minutes in (the slider sort of works).
But (there's that 'but' again, savin' the day) along come David McKenzie & Becca Young (Kelley is a numbskull, but his guests, not so much) who look to me like they are thinking more-or-less for themselves. Becca Young is quick & clever & perceptive; she is even careful with her words (though she does put a modifier on 'unique' which is only permitted to Northrop Frye & Bob Dylan, sorry Becca) when she corrects herself to say that it is 'driven' not controlled. She is clearly trying to tell it as she sees it, and she gives us a balanced and indeterminate view without drawing conclusions, as does David McKenzie.
A-and that is enough to get me back on the rails again.
[Kelley's third guest is maybe the paradigm of the other class of pundits - the poisoned perineal (carrying on the fundament theme) ones: Grant Oyston looks like what ails him could be easily fixed in that region if he could just get the carrot out, or a blow job maybe, or both. His blog is here.]
Has Uganda really been at peace for six years? I don't think so. Certainly their neighbours are not at peace. Something to look into tomorrow.
This day is ending well, for me at least. Good night gentle reader. :-)