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Happy St. Patrick’s day to you, however you choose to celebrate (or not). This is my first post but I’ll dispense with the usual throat-clearing that (for me) usually accompanies such a thing and just jump right into one of the twissues of our day: Joseph Kony and the campaign by the non-profit organization Invisible Children to put him behind bars.
The transparency, accountability, and credibility of Invisible Children were all called into question, and rightly so.
The campaign was not without its defenders. Nicholas Kristof weighed in in an interview in On the Media, arguing that no one fights more viciously amongst themselves than humanitarians and that the attempts of Invisible Children and others to raise awareness about problems across the world are to be commended.
Even so, it was possible to sympathize with the guy. After all, we’re more prone to talk about the problems in the world than to actually do anything. And to fight and fight to make injustices known and get people to really want to do something about them, only to take a lot of shit from all quarters after being lionized only hours before – “Crown him! No, wait, crucify him!” – undoubtedly must take a psychic toll on a person.
This crosses the line from “disturbed” (public freakout after everybody hates you for trying to help) to “deranged” (I can’t even summarize this succinctly because of the hideously alien nature of the logic that may or may not undergird it).
Note, too, that chronologically speaking, BoingBoing had that disturbing reveal before Jason Russell was caught acting out in San Diego. Which makes sense, in a way: having watched that video, I suspect not many people would have been shocked by the public masturbation incident. I wouldn’t have been, at least. Watching the video featured on BoingBoing provides a window into a mind so deeply deranged that no subsequent behavior would have the power to shock.
Short of, well…murder.
See if you agree:
A final caveat. Obviously, there’s Invisible Children-deranged and Joseph Kony-deranged, and one is exponentially more harmful than the other. But I wonder how much good is done by the former, when it draws the former inexorably into a punchline of epic proportions. It seems that the minds behind Kony 2012 are secretly motivated by the light fantastic as much as, or more than, the plight horrific. These things matter.
UPDATE: Found this link to a video of Russell and co. speaking at Liberty University (Falwell’s I believe, but don’t quote me on that) in the original BoingBoing post. Corroborates the unbelievable sincerity of the music video above. And adds a bit of grim humor to the reference to the gospel, above.
If you watch it here, be sure to skip to 9 min 10 sec:
Creative Commons, attribution license. Not OK for commercial use without explicit written permission.
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