The Definitive ‘Kony 2012’ Drinking Game

Yesterday a momentous new work of filmmaking was released to the public. We’re speaking, of course, of Invisible Children’s Kony 2012.

The internets are busily debating the merits of the video and accompanying advocacy campaign, but one important question remains unanswered: What should I drink while I watch it?

Tragically, we watched the thing stone-cold-sober, but to spare you a similar fate, we’ve assembled the following drinking game.

To play, you will need: eight (8) pickleback shots; one (1) Brandy Alexander; one (1) bowl Feuerzangenbowle; one (1) six-pack of Tusker Lager; one (1) jar green Play-Doh; one (1) bottle of Zima; one dozen (12) chocolate chip cookies; one (1) My Little PonyTM cocktail made of equal parts Malibu rum and Sunkist orange soda (generally used for statutorily raping 14 year olds); three (3) bottles of wine, one (1) brick wall.

  • Footage that makes you concerned that you are watching the wrong video because all you see is a bunch of white people doing hipster shit like undergoing vimeo’d Caesareans and making home movies of their children that involve actual special effects – slam a shot of pickleback, brace yourself for what comes next.
  • Nonspecific use of “Africa” or “African” instead of precise location or actual nationality – pound a Tusker.
  • Interviews with vulnerable Ugandan children about past trauma that make you think “Good lord, no IRB would ever allow any of this” – snootily sip a Brandy Alexander, try to have an opinion about homonationalism while you do so.
  • Recognition that Ugandans, other Africans have agency, do not need white college students to save them through the innovative use of bracelets – eat one gooey, delicious chocolate chip cookie (Psych! You never get to eat a cookie!)
  • Appearance of Adolf Hitler – down some Feuerzangenbowle, consider growing a moustache.
  • Statement that all that’s needed to solve the problem of the LRA is for enough Americans to “know” and “care” about Kony – slam head against brick wall, consider just giving up entirely.
  • Assumption that girls are only good for sex slave-ing, play no other role in the violence – drink a My Little PonyTM, feel kind of icky about it.
  • Exasperated Prendergast hair flip – drink one Zima, consider washing your own headsuit.
  • Assertion that “no one” cared about Joseph Kony for decades until white college students took up the cause – drink half a bottle of wine, wonder why all those Ugandans he was attacking and kidnapping during that period were unaware of him.
  • Statement that Africans are “invisible” if they aren’t a cause célèbre among middle-class white people – finish bottle of wine, cry.
  • Scene in which preschooler quickly understands entire Invisible Children policy platform, which is presented as a good thing – eat enough Play-Doh to make you feel kind of queasy.
  • Three-point action platform consisting of (1) signing a “pledge,” (2) sending money for an “action kit” that contains some bracelets, stickers and posters, and (3) sending more money so that IC will have that money – imagine what the results could have been if these genuinely brilliant marketers turned their attentions to a cause that is actually within the U.S. government’s direct control, like the Dream Act, cry so hard that you can do a shot of your own tears.


[Note: This photo of team not-so-invisible-children posing with the SPLA originally appeared on our blog in 2009, and was taken by photographer Glenna Gordon on the Sudan-Congo border in April 2008. If you’re using it in your posts about Kony 2012, you should be crediting her.]

Amanda and Kate


  1. I truly cannot stop laughing – just shared with some of my Ugandan friends. Thank you for the humor/insight in this! Bravo!

  2. This is hilarious and so true… a drinking game to end all drinking games

    • It’s funny how all these elitist style posts have been popping up after this video has blown up. I respect the fact that you are being sceptical about this organization, it shows that you are able to think for yourself, good for you.

      However, most of what I have heard from the people bad mouthing this organization revolves around the fact that they are angry at the general public for being ignorant about this before the viral video had come out. However, to me this is why I admire this campaign.

      Yes, all you nay sayers are the smartest people in the world, and the general public are all ignorant and stupid. I get that you are super angry that it took a Facebook and Twitter campaign to create awareness and that further shows how stupid everyone in the world is blah blah blah.

      Being a business and marketing professional, what this video means to me is that some people are completely aware of how to reach the general public using the power of social media to try to do something positive. I get it that you hate that the general public, they are all idiots and don’t think for themselves and just listen to what they are told and/or what is popular and trending. Do you not realize what the Invisible Children organization are getting across in this video? You can’t change the way the general public thinks, it will just never happen. The majority of people listen to what is popular, and do what people tell them. All you “elitist” types that look upon the general public with extreme condescension because of this whole Kony campaign are just as ignorant as they are. Invisible Children have realized that in order to make a difference you need numbers. In order to gain numbers you need to reach the general public. They have created an amazing marketing campaign that has exploited social media and the minds of the general public…IN A POSITIVE WAY. You will laugh at the fact that the IC are trying to get celebrities to get this message across, but why? Once again, the general public listens to what they are told, and if they see it in enough places, they will start to take notice, and hopefully a percentage of them might take action. This campaign has done an amazing job in creating awareness throughout the general public, therefor strengthening their numbers.

      I will reiterate…

      The IC is doing more than just finding and killing one man. What do you think they are going to do if they find and stop the LRA? Do you think they are going to go back to their mansions and swim in cash? If this movement succeeds, what it proves is that the IC has figured out how build numbers by reaching the general public in society today, and do something good with it. People like you who are sitting at home, reading countless blog posts that are just as biased as the Kony video itself, and making fun of the general public for being so gullible and ignorant aren’t helping at all.

      As for the shadiness of the charity’s financials…

      Once again, you criticize people for being ignorant and not digging deeper to find the facts. I see all these nay sayer blog posts popping up and none of them mention the fact that it is well documented where the money is going. You are using your biased opinions and only stating facts from your side to help get your point across. It has been extremely clear and well documented (maybe not to most of you because all you read are these negative and biased blog posts criticizing the movement) that the IC paid $1,724,993 in salaries in 2011. In that year they employed 45 people. If you do the math, that works out to slightly more than $38,000 per person per year, which is less than the average american salary. Would you like them to live in complete poverty trying to achieve their cause?

      If even they were earning a profit (which they are not, and that has been well documented), I would be ok with it because they are actually using their marketing skills to try to do something positive in the world and not just for a pointless personal business goal.

      So please, all you people who are trying to chop down everything having to do with the IC, realize that you are just as ignorant as the general public that you are criticizing, and please, dig a little deeper than these hipster negative blog posts to form your opinions.


      • Is this really how you read the situation? That people who are annoyed by the video think of the LRA as their favorite cool band that sold out or something? Really?

        You say you work in marketing, so presumably you’re familiar with the idea that marketing, communications, and PR plans usually have an actual goal beyond just “reach a lot of people.” They don’t “build awareness” of a brand just for the hell of it; they do it to sell more products.

        In the case of Coca-Cola, more awareness means that next time I’m thirsty, I am more likely to think “hmm, I could use a nice cold refreshing Coke!” If that link didn’t exist, Coca-Cola would not spend millions on commercials and advertisements.

        I’m not clear what you and other IC defenders think the link is between raising awareness and reducing the level of conflict in Uganda. If every single university student in Europe and America were to become aware that Joseph Kony is a bad man, how exactly does this help anyone in Uganda? It’s mainly this — people talking about “awareness” as if it is an end in itself — that drives people who actually work in development up the wall.

        Really, that’s what gets me the most about the comments like this one. You seem to assume that there are only four kinds of people involved here: the unaware, the aware, the awareness-raisers, and the “elitists” on the sidelines making fun of them. Note who’s missing from your worldview: notably, Ugandans, and also non-Ugandans who are actually in the field doing something (potentially) worthwhile. The writers of this blog and most of the critical commenters *actually work in development, human rights, and related fields.* Their work actually has a measurable value and impact, unlike those who are “raising awareness.”

        Frankly, your assessment that IC has been successful because they are “creating awareness throughout the general public, therefor strengthening their numbers” makes me think that you are probably not a very good business and marketing professional. If I put “Goal 1: Strengthening our numbers by creating awareness throughout the general public” in a proposal, my boss would quite literally laugh at me.

        Tell me what awareness actually does for people in Uganda and then I might give half a shit.

        • Oh Stuffisthings. Your comment is truly pitiful. Can’t handle someone else knowing more than you and calling you and your pretentious cronies out on it? Humility will get you respect in life; vehemently denying that you might have actually made inaccurate ASSumptions won’t.

          Since you are someone who most likely has never uttered the words, “I was wrong,” in your life, I don’t expect you to agree with me. (Also because you have probably already either: 1. given up on reading my ignorant reply or 2. you are too busy rolling your eyes to actually read this.) But really, just relax, take a step back from the situation, and ponder if it is really a “negative” thing that people are becoming aware of a tragic situation and wish to help.

          Oh, and don’t bother replying.

          • I guess I shouldn’t fan the flames here, but I’m really curious exactly what “ASSumptions” I’ve made? All I said is that I find it annoying when people assume that “raising awareness” is a goal to strive for, without explaining how that awareness helps the ostensible beneficiaries of the program. I still haven’t seen a single person even attempt to explain this in their defense of IC in these comments.

            Let me give you an example: I just burned my tongue on some hot coffee. Now that you and everyone else reading this thread are aware of my plight, is that supposed to make me feel better somehow?

            Finally, I’m not sure what people on this thread think a “hipster” is, why they think I am one, or how that would impact on my opinion of an advocacy project. It seems like most people employing that word are using it interchangeably with “asshole” so I guess I should take it as an insult?

          • LOL, typical response. Indefensible position? Attack the person refuting you, not the issues. This is so much more complicated then “kony is a bad man herp derp” and the biggest danger is if it were to succeed. Lets say that kony2012 was a huge success and the gov’t of Uganda got tons of weapons to fight kony with. have you bothered to ask yourself who would get the money and weapons? People parroting issues they have no idea about and viewing the world in one dimensional terms is really the problem here, I invite everyone in the kony2012 camp to spend 1/2 educating themselves about the actual issues here. Here are some good Google terms to search to start you off:

            “musiveni human rights abuses ” <- the guy everyone wants to send tons of money and weapons to.

            "where is joseph kuny" <– hasnt been in Uganda for at least 5 years

            "history of african colonialism" or "efforts to bring africa into the 1st world" <– people have been trying for 500+ years by the way.

            "is invisible children a christian organization" <- … because it is. Your money is funding yet another christian missionary action in central Africa. U cool with that atheists?

            since kuny is hiding in the jungle somewhere,
            a little background on how jungle warfare has gone for America in the past is good reading. Why not try "American conflict in Vietnam" for some background on that, and "agent orange" for a idea of what a military op could do to the African jungle.

            Since we will be looking for one man in a huge area of jungle, googling "history of America's search for bin laden" might give some idea about how hard that could be to find him. Not really though because canopy jungle offers great protection from satellite imagery, a luxury bin laden never enjoyed.

            If you refuse to research any of the facts and instead would rather remain willfully ignorant then you are the problem. Jump on that bandwagon and I hope that you are never successful. This is a war of ideology, trying to force Africa to give a fuck about its children when it does not. Kony has a very small army, some guys with AK47s, machetes and Toyota trucks. The countries of the region could easily deal with him themselves but choose not to. No amount of US involvement can make a country that refuses to protect its own people safe for children there. For some background on how these ideological wars have gone for us in the past maybe try googling:

            US involvement in:


            lol yep, a lack of awareness must be the real problem here.

        • Gonna have to back Chad up here,
          A large part of that comment was about you taking the piss out of ‘white people’ poorly attempting to contribute, while actually contributing nothing to the cause of topic here. I fail to see how you can honestly argue with that given the original post, without having your head wedged up your own ass, frankly.

          Also, most of your counter-arguments to said comment just seemed to be based on cynicism.

          ‘In the case of Coca-Cola, more awareness means that next time I’m thirsty, I am more likely to think “hmm, I could use a nice cold refreshing Coke!”’

          That’s such an irrelevant comparison it’s practically a facedesk, coca-cola’s sole purpose is to sell their product, they aren’t claiming to do anything else, it’s totally different.
          Stuff like that, I won’t lie, makes me not want to agree with you on any case, because trying to use a point purely for the sake of your argument, with no consideration to it’s meaning just makes it obvious that you only care about ‘winning the argument’

          That said, I’m done because this entire comment is going to fall short of your aloft ears anyway.

          • Coca-Cola’s sole purpose IS to sell their product. That’s why they want to “raise your awareness” about it. What is IC’s purpose, exactly? How does “raising awareness” about Kony help to solve a real-world problem? I’m not claiming to be an expert on Uganda, but it seems like the main progress against the LRA was made by the Ugandan army, who are plenty “aware” of Kony’s activities.

            When you do an advocacy campaign, the first thing you ask is “OK so what do we want people to do with this information?” Are we arguing for a policy change? Trying to raise funds? What?

            “Raising awareness” IS NOT AN END UNTO ITSELF. How is this even a controversial statement???

        • The video does explain why the awareness is crucial. It goes beyond business and marketing, and into politics. Political groups have the power to make changes in law and policy, but won’t bother with issues that won’t help their political campaigns. Without enough people to give a shit about what is going on, American political parties aren’t going to help in Uganda, Sudan, and Africa. I’d also like to point out to the people saying ‘they only put 32% of the 8.7million towards the cause, and the Ugandan Army aren’t free of blame either.’ True, there are noted rapes, abuse and use of child soldiers by the Ugandan Army, but people don’t seem to realise how much change 2.7 (roughly) million dollars from a first world country can do in a third world country. It is possible more could go towards the actual cause, but without an external authority keeping tabs on their expenditure and dealings, or without being involved to know the costs of the work they do, we’re in no position to determine that. If more could be done, and it is all about business like you say, donating is definitely the lesser of two evils. If they don’t help in some way, it seems nobody else is doing anything to help.

          • Yes, advocacy is a very useful tool for achieving just what you describe. So, which law or policy change would you (or the IC people) like to see American political parties make that would help bring Joseph Kony to justice and end the LRA’s activities in central Africa? Bear in mind that Congress cannot simply pass a resolution causing Joseph Kony to disappear off the face of the earth.

            Is the goal to increase US government’s aid to Uganda? I’d be the first to agree that the $487 million in economic and military aid that the US currently provides to Uganda’s (non-democratic) government each year, plus the $1.3 billion contributed by other countries, plus hundreds of millions provided by NGOs and private charities, is probably not nearly enough to deal with all of the country’s problems. But then you get into the question of why Uganda should get all of this extra money instead of other poor countries recovering from conflicts. “Because a really terrible man used to live there” is not a compelling answer, to me.

            Anyway that’s all hypothetical because the video doesn’t really make clear WHAT they would like to happen (though there are implications of military intervention, which is REALLY problematic). And that is my criticism of it!

          • “…Uganda, Sudan, and Africa…”
            just curious, do you think that Africa is a country?

            Other than that, I agree with you for the biggest part. Except that you sort of defeat your own point by admitting that the Ugandan Army is not free of blame, then stating that a lot of money can change a lot. The problem is, if the money is in the wrong hands, things might end up resulting not in the lesser, but in the bigger of two evils. E.g., the Taliban were once thought to be the ultimate salvation for Afghanistan simply because they had a common adversary with the US, namely russia.

            Having said that, I still think that raising awereness is an awesome thing, because without it, noone would give a crap except for the people who are already caring and achieving, well, not so much by themselves (to put it politely).
            This is a huge chance to educate the people who are willing to be educated, and even though there is no simple solution to conflicts like this one, people are not entirely stupid and it is better to have a discussion about it going than having people live in a universe where the Tribunal in The Hague is on its own in deciding who are the bad guys.
            And I think, especially with the internet, it is also a chance to give Africans a voice that is being heard – though I admit that IC itself are doing a horrible job in this respect.

        • Well, as much as I am generally sceptic about campaigns such as the Kony one, I have to say that you totally missed Chads point! Of course it is doubtable if it is good for people who are not involved at all in development, or more general african affairs, to see a video, where “africans” are shown again as the miserable, numb, paralyzed and helpless people as usual. That is nothing new, nobody in Europe or the states know shit about Africa (we are talking about Africa – the big black block somewhere at the bottom of a map), that has always been the case and I dont see that its gonna change within the next years. So this video does not make things worse! BUT it does improve things, even though its not the best way to do it (but there is never THE ultimate way), at least they do something that already had, and might have an impact if the campaign will remain that successful! I think Chad was quite right: is it possible that you are pissed of not being the one who had this idea, the one who were probably doing something for years which has now shown to be useless? I tell you what: I am working in Africa myself. I work in development. And if you really do that yourself dont give people the crap that you are the one who is improving things! You talking about marketing and that those people only want to “sell” more of their products? Good, if their products are awareness with the slight possibility of change! But what does the development organisation you are working for do? Most of them have self preserving causes, means if they would finish the job one day and actually start being succesful, what would they become? And isnt it true that especially those who work in that field are very often just a waste of time for the local population? Tell me, do you really work in Africa in the development sector? I f so, than you must know what I am talking about and if not than your stay was even more a waste of time and you should search another occupation!
          So try to appreciate the efforts of people who actually do something that might bring a change, and that definetely doesnt do any harm! And these, lets call them “errors” in the movies, will not create more prejudices towards ugandan or african people, they are just the result of it!
          All the best

        • Thank you, thank you, thank you. For the good commentary AND the humor. Your Prendergast comment actually made me snarf my beer (sadly, not a Tusker). I’ve sat through too many meetings with him thinking pretty much the same thing.

        • This is an essay!!!!
          You need to do some volunteering, or get a life. No matter if you win in online arguments, you are still useless. Move to Africa, help out there. From Nairobi I can tell you, it is one patronizing video.
          Also, get a sense of humour. It helps us humanitarian aid on the field a bit.I will play this thing next chance I get!

      • I agree. Shame on you Amanda and Kate for being such unimaginative, arrogant cynics. Just watch IC prove you wrong…this 50 yr old is cheering them on

      • Gosh, so witty. Shouting pedantic insipid crap with faceless crowds over broadband. Go wear a bracelet, make a poster, and yell on Wall Street. I’ll be sure to throw a few checks out my corner office window. And my Ugandan colleague finds this whole initiative hilarious and overall pathetic. It will change nothing from the current status quo, only bilateral government action will. Make my coffee and shut up. Oh, and stop trying to take credit for the hard work my colleagues overseas with NGO’s and the state department are actually doing the last 26 years to stop this madman.

        • My 13 year old daughter first made me aware of Kony2012 – she watched the video and cried. Aside for her decision to become vegetarian against the wishes of her parents, this is only the second time in her young life where she has exhibited such strong social conscience.

          I will buy the pack and wear the bracelet and put up the posters. Will that help those who have suffered at Kony’s hand? Maybe and maybe not, but I’m willing to pay the dough. What’s more important is that it will help the world by instilling a sense of what matters in my daughter and her schoolmates. You may think them naive, and me for nurturing that spark – that only goes to show how out of touch you really are. Tens of millions of people are learning that they have a right and a responsibility to care about other humans – tell me again where the bad part of that is?

          Would you like tell my daughter that she’s wrong to feel bad and want to make a difference? Go for it – I’ve ticked to receive notifications and I’ll pass your comments on to her. Think long and hard about it before you do it though. Ask yourself whether bursting her bubble makes the world a better place. If not, you might ask yourself what the objective of your position is.

          • Ok, this has nothingto do with IC or their very problematic Kony video, but your equating social consciousness to feeling bad.

            Just feeling bad for something or some event doesn’treally encourage anybody to actuallyparticipate in effective and genuinelong term solutions. All it leads to is quick actions to settle one’s emotion. It is only short term an ineffective in that details and complexities to truly solve a conflict,especially one as complex as discussed here. It’s like taking a pain reliever for reoccurring headaches or such withoutquestion if something else is the cause.

            Also, there are so many events that are happening within a single state of USA alone that inspire the same bad feeling, which eventually leads to conditioning oneself to just feel nothingto all of these overwhelming events.

            Strong social consciousness doesn’tcome from just readingabout the plights of others. It comes from long periodsof questioning yourselfand surroundings to the point of extreme discomfort for behaviors and ideologies that not only harm so many people in a multiplicity of ways, but also contributes to an institution that perpetuates these horrors.And what is worse is that certain groups of people benefit from these I humanities, and many times we ourselves are the beneficiaries of this discriminatory institutions.

            As a young white woman of a middle class background, I have benefited from the oppression of others. I can go to an affluentneighborhood or a gated community and not be stopped by the police that are called by the residents of such places because of my skin. I do not have my identity as an American question because of my skin and white sounding name. If I get accepted to a good university or hired into a well paying job, it will not be assumed as only the result of Affrimative action because of my skin color. I can find bandages and bras in my skin tone. I am highly represented in the media, in high government positions, and authoritative positions that have the same skin as mine. I will not be stopped by the TSA in the airport and be subject to an invasive interrogation because of my white skin and white name.

            Social consciousness,to me, means being aware of your position within a global society in which certain people are benefiting from the oppressive actions they commitupon others. Those who are subjugated already know their own and those in power’s position, especially since the ignorance of this big detail can literally mean life or death.

            These issues require awareness of one’s own actions and society,along with taking accountability in participating (not creating, because none of us createdthese systems of oppression), that lead to solid changes within the global community.

            Lastly, I just want to end on this note, which was passed onto me by the very people who broughtme to such high levels of critical thinking: “It is okay to be contradictory. We all are. This standard of ‘either or’ is impossible to achiev. However, what mattersthe most is to acknowledge our contradictions and be accountable to the histories, culturaland power implications within these contradictions, that way we can move forwardto achieveglobal changefor the benefit of many peoples.”

            (P.s. Bubbles need to burst for social consciousness to occur, especially the bubbles that are often part of our identity.)

          • @Everything is complicated: thanks for the long comment, it summed up almost everything important there is to say on social consciousness and political acitivism (not only from a post-colonial point of view)

          • I do mean to burst your daughter’s bubble, especially if means throwing behind all that young idealism and passion behind a cause that is at best misguided, when it could potentially be more guided. Misdirected help has the real effect of making a situation worse than they already is, and all it achieves in doing is giving the illusion that the people is helping, which is not an honourable aim. I’m glad the KONY2012 video is “creating awareness” if only to open up a discussion on an issue that generally went unbroadcasted in the American media, but it is not a good video because it introduces the subject and then fails to present well-founded coverage of it. So the people watching the video as an introduction to its subject, react and then stop there, just like the director. If you’re using the video as a way to inform yourself, then you are doing it wrong! Thirty minutes, especially those thirty, are not sufficient enough to invite you to have a valid opinion on what to do about that situation. I reiterate, it only creates a reactionary response. That is my issue. You’d be left with a more informative source spending 10 minutes reading the Joseph Kony entry in Wikipedia. That is how bad of a job the video does of informing its audience about its subject! In addition it introduces a fool hardy, childish solution to the problem just because it has some vague plan that gives the illusion that you’re helping and change is occurring. You are being naive and passing on that naivety onwards when you shouldn’t, because taking the KONY2012 at face value and accepting the perspectives it imparts on its audience is lazy! Furthermore it invite for a perspective and opinion of action that can end up doing more damage than good, the premises it asking you to accepts are fundamentally wrong. It’s not that purchasing a bracelet does or does not help IT DOES NOT. Period. It may lead to more misinformation and reactionary responses. Please I invite your daughter if she is interested in the subject matter to then maybe read some reactions to the KONY2012 videos from Ugandan writers, who have lived though the terror that is Joseph Kony’s rule and would be in a more knowledge position to state what is and should be done to eradicate the LRA and their craaaaaaaaazy influence in that region. I can’t think of any other apt word to describe LRA rebel movement…

          • This reminds me of a recent series of posts by Teju Cole on twitter-
            “Seven thoughts on the banality of sentimentality.
            1- From Sachs to Fristof to Invisible children, the fastest growth industry in the US is the White Savior Industrial Complex.
            2- The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.
            3- The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved with enthusiasm.
            4- This world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah.
            5- The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.
            6- Feverish worry over that awful African warlord. But close to 1.5 million Iraqis died from an American war of choice. Worry about that.
            7- I deeply respect American sentimentality, the way one respects a wounded hippo. You must keep an eye on it, for you know it is deadly.”

          • If you want your daughter to know what is right, teach her to make responsible choices. Tell her to research which are the real problems. Tell her to compare organizations, and realize that the IC only uses 31% of profits on actually helping people, almost half is saved as assets (over $5 billion) which will likely kick back to them after the LRA is done being replaced by other groups, that the CEO and movie producers make over $85,000 + millions in travel expenses each year.

          • I’d say your role as a parent is to find a cause that WOULD have some meaningful impact in Uganda. That would teach your daughter that knee jerk giving isn’t an answer, but that rather investigation and targeted giving and support does.

      • Okay, ignoring everything else…didn’t it make you just a LITTLE uncomfortable that the video was like “Look at these happy white people! Look at these sad African people! Look at the sad African people! So sad, African people! Cute white kid! Sad African kid! White people are coming to help you, African people!”? I mean, seriously. In the scene where they flashed to the gigantic student groups that they were talking to, nearly EVERYBODY was white. The New York, London, Sydney, whatever, shots? The same thing. And then the charming little graphic of Kony’s warriors/slaves/Ugandan kids (why was Jacob in that group?)? SO MANY SAD AFRICAN PEOPLE. I could barely watch it I was so uncomfortable.e

        • AB’s comment actually made me helpless with laughter. Exactly what made me cringe all through the video.

      • Chad, it’s not about being elitist. It’s about seeing the bigger picture and understanding that even if “people power” works, the far reaching consequences of what this video asks are dangerous.

        “Stop em and Get em” videos only serve to stir sympathy, ignorance, passion and hatred. Don’t we deserve something that stirs curiosity, empathy, education and focus?

          • Just what I expected…

            Stuffisthings didn’t address any of my views on how this could make a positive impact. He just reverted back to talking about how awareness doesn’t do anything about 10 times.

            I addressed all the reasons why the nay sayers are wrong and gave my opinion on it. I can’t have a discussion with you if you’re not even going to address my points.

            Lastly, trying to degrade me personally…nice touch. However, you made a fool of yourself… read these two paragraphs that you wrote in your post. If you can’t figure this out for yourself then too bad.

            “Frankly, your assessment that IC has been successful because they are “creating awareness throughout the general public, therefor strengthening their numbers” makes me think that you are probably not a very good business and marketing professional. If I put “Goal 1: Strengthening our numbers by creating awareness throughout the general public” in a proposal, my boss would quite literally laugh at me”

            and earlier in the same post

            “In the case of Coca-Cola, more awareness means that next time I’m thirsty, I am more likely to think ‘hmm, I could use a nice cold refreshing Coke!'”


          • Chad- Your response to Stuffisthings is ironic in a lot of ways. You basically just attacked him in all the ways you claim he did to you … you don’t address his points but say you “can’t have a discussion with [him] if [he’s] not even going to address [your] points”, and then you degrade him personally in response to him “trying to degrade [you] personally…nice touch”, with the comments: “you made a fool of yourself” and “Derrrpppppp”. And your explanation of his derp itself is ironic because it is actually you that doesn’t seem to understand what he was saying with those two comments. The goal of Coke is to SELL COKE. So raising awareness, aka advertising, leads directly to the goal. But if you were writing an advertising proposal to your boss, and you put down “Goal 1: Strengthening our numbers by creating awareness throughout the general public” AKA “advertise to the public to increase sales”, your boss would probably think you were joking. DUH. What a great idea! Why didn’t we think of that before!?

            Also you didn’t provide any new information, evidence, examples, or even analogies to defend or clarify your position and your points that have been questioned, you merely attacked the opposition’s style of argument, deflecting from the issue completely. Just my opinion but it makes you come across as uneducated, uninformed, defensive and temperamental.

  3. I agreed that the video is pretty simplistic and does use a whole myriad of stereotypes, but is it all bad? What about the thousands who did not have a clue that anything was happening in Uganda before this went viral. Surely, the fact that it raises awareness however flimsy and incorrect, is a positive?

    • I’m pretty aware of cancer and AIDs. Guess that means we’re closer to a cure. I guess your right, awareness is a useful goal.

      • HIV is no longer a death sentence, people with HIV are less stigmatized then they were in the 80’s, because of HIV awareness. People who are aware can contribute time, money and energy because of this awareness, smart ass.

        • praising this video for raising awareness is like praising a video from 1982 that says you get aids from hugging people. that’s not awareness of the facts, that’s awareness of a myth. to argue that is useful is a monumental spin. we have the right to demand something better, especially when the implied solution involves war.

          at best, this will promote a critical discussion and we won’t hear about IC again. At worst, the dishonesty in their project will make people totally cynical and care even less than before.

          • +1 on Eamon’s comment.
            HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns are not only ‘awareness’- they’re about a larger issue (t ‘raising awareness’ as a goal will achieve x,y,z, and is not a goal onto itself in programmes i’ve worked on) of:

            a) tackling misinformation that is incredibly harmful to peoples’ lives, health, and ability to access services
            b) tackle the stigma and discrimination that silences a lot of people living with HIV/AIDS and impedes access to quality care and services (and subsequently infrastructure),
            c) it aims on disseminating information on how to manage living with HIV/AIDS that is essential.

            It isn’t a ‘hey world, check this out, i recommend military intervention’ awareness video that pushes inaccurate information, dangerous rhetoric, and somehow convinces people that this is ‘awareness’.

      • You misunderstand the point. Awareness is the first step involved in solving a problem. People cannot fix a problem if they are not aware that it exists in the first place. By being aware of this Uganda shit, SOME people may now actually make a difference. Good example of recent awareness making a difference: SOPA/PIPA.

          • You’re assuming that a horde of facebook users who are aware will have more power to make a difference than Ugandans who live in their own country. You’re assuming that we can do something for Uganda. That is one of the underlying problems in this video and across aid as a whole. We’re not doing something with people, together. We’re doing it TO them, FOR them, we are the ones with POWER… it’s a stance that is dis-empowering and demeans of their humanity.

        • Wait, so nobody was aware kids are being raped and killed in Africa everyday before this video? I think they did and are aware this is never going to change unless the African people make a stand for themselves….besides, is this not what we have the U.N for?

          • Hey please tell me your kidding.

            What if not western imperialism, agricultural politics, tariffs, weapons politics, economical politics and social politics at large and so forth is the actual cause of these problems?

            This is hardly about “the African people” making a stand for themselves but much more about the industrial nations stopping to screw up the rest of the world and actually doing something to repair the damage dealt.

      • I have seen way too many people making sarcastic comments toward the purpose of the IC simply trying to raise awareness. I’m not going to argue for or against the video, but I do have one question: Did you people actually watch the video?

        Because I’m starting to doubt it. It says several times, in very simplistic terms, that mass awareness –> action –> government noticing and caring –> government sustaining aid. If you don’t believe that can be true, go look at what happened to SOPA and PIPA. Tabled indefinitely because of mass awareness generated by the internet, which resulted in online petitions, which resulted in representatives paying attention to their constituencies.

        So if you disagree with the video, that’s fine. But disagree with it on the grounds it presents, don’t whine about it not explaining its goal when it does so many times. Argue the points it makes instead of interpreting your own and mocking them.

    • Oh, well, the LRA and Kony haven’t been in Uganda since 2005/06. So, instead of producing hipster videos, IC should do some research, like research those pesky facts, instead of dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars on movies. And, there have been ongoing military operations against the LRA in the DRC, CAR, and South Sudan since late 2008…


        They may present their information in a biased way, in order to gain more publicity, but if it creates interest in enough people to actually search for more (not just on tumblr and the invisible children website) then maybe people will actually start to gain an understanding and maybe, just maybe, someone will think of something new, and it will be a good idea for how to deal with Kony & others like him. They already acknowledge he’s not active in Uganda any more, but that they still feel he should be brought to “justice”. I don’t feel like him moving out of Uganda means it should all be over; I also don’t feel like IC are going the right way about it with their actions. However, their awareness campaign is working, and other charities who may have better ideas are also getting attention / donations from it. More people = more ideas = more communication = more information = more chance of actually being able to help. They’re not just sitting in Uganda waiting for him to show up; they have a plan, and AWARENESS is part of it which is why roughly 1/3 of their income goes to producing and showing films. You might not agree with that, but it is part of their plan to solve things, and if you don’t agree, people should be figuring out how to make it better instead of just sitting around reading tumblr posts, and taking that as fact and spitting it in everyones faces. If you don’t take what the IC say at face value, why are you so quick to take everyone elses opninions as fact?

        • I know the facts. I live in the DRC and have spent the last 12 years of my life working on the issues in Central Africa, including on LRA-related issues. And P.S. all advocacy and awareness is not positive. I think misrepresenting the facts is a problem. There are plenty of people that know the issues and are doing something, but now that you are aware of Kony, it will all be better? Try researching some other awareness campaigns and see how effective they were…Save Darfur, anyone?

          • Not to mention the danger associated with misinformation no matter how *good* the intention. Been happening here in Australia for generations – led to official policies such as Smoothing the Dying Pillow, and the NT Intervention where the Racial Discrimination Act was reversed to allow discrimination against a certain group. Both these programs were started by *raising awareness* amongst shocked, predominantly middle class people with little knowledge of the facts. On the ground, they formed the basis for ongoing genocide and discrimination.

      • If you would just watch the video they are fully aware that the LRA hasn’t been in Uganda for since 2006.. that doesn’t mean they have stopped, and it doesn’t mean that this movement is any less important.

        • Actually, it does. IC’s intention is to support UGANDA in its attempts to expell the LRA. NOT expelling Kony in general. They believe that by simply sending money to the Ugandan government and raising awareness will somehow get the Ugandan military forces to search for Kony despite the fact they are restricted to Uganda itself. That and if you look up Uganda’s political history, you’d realize that it’s about as corrupt as the LRA can get.

          The LRA is no longer the huge threat IC makes it out to be. If anything, giving resources to Uganda’s government, especially considering it has its fair share of atrocities and still does, would only be making it an even bigger evil.

          IC presents this idealized view of Uganda and Africa in general as being feeble third world countries that need the US to support it. By doing so, its raising superstitions and false claims in order to reach a financial goal. (A good 70% of IC’s income goes directly to the company. If I remember correctly, Jason Russel tried to dispel this criticism by pointing out that a high school student from Canada made this discovery, yet they fully believe in the power of the “youth culture” of social networking.) Just look up “invisible children errors and flaws” on Google and you’ll find lists of the misinformation these people have been able to pass off as “true news”

          If you truly care about the poor children in Uganda (that are returning to their homes safely ever since Kony was expelled 5 years ago) then by all means, do some valuable research and ground work instead of promoting propaganda for an industry profiting off murder. That bracelet you’re wearing won’t stop the ongoing militarization of third world countries by our good friends the first world countries. :/

      • One of the problems of IC is the disconnect between their trendy videos and their work on the ground. They know the LRA aren’t active – they’ve been building early warning radio towers in the DRC (in addition to recovery and development work back in Uganda). But these steps, which I think are amazing (you might disagree) are almost never the focal point of their videos, which are usually about white evangelical hipsters saving the world.

  4. Favorite activity: “eat enough Play-Doh to make you feel kind of queasy” Green’s not my color though…I prefer orange, it’s sweeter.

      • I’m certain you only feel that way because you’ve realized your reblogging and retweeting of KOY2012 is pretty much useless because you won’t solve the problem, all you do is irritate others in your ignorance of the limits and seedy underbelly of charities.

        • “you’ve realized your reblogging and retweeting of KOY2012”

          pics or didn’t happen.

          No, silly nihilistic apathy posing as insightful commentary is silly.

          • It’s only apathy if you don’t care. It’s a realistic appraisal of the facts to say that solving it is a bit more complicated than “emote at friends on FB.” And most people who genuinely know about this sort of shit have that appraisal, because we’ve read about it time and time again and seen exactly how hollow online whining is. So you “care” about it, what d’you want a medal? How does “caring” help? Why didn’t you care when Ramzan Kadyrov seized power in Chechnya and his militia raped, tortured and murdered thousands of people? Why didn’t you emote a bit more about Assad, see how that pans out? Or maybe berate the Indonesian military in West Papua for their regular beatings and repression of activists against the defacement of the sacred Grasberg peaks?

            Fuck your selective “caring” bullshit and your guilt tripping of people who understand the situation well enough not to spend a day wailing vaguely before settling back into the comfortable western lifestyle, “job done”.

  5. Its great to see a critical view on this rather than the usual, OMG, GUYZ YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS, CHANGED MY LYFE. Especially written by women, makes me feel hopeful that people can actually think for themselves.

  6. Oh, haters. The people in the LRA’s path are asking for exactly what Invisible Children is delivering. These type of reactions might make you feel witty and superior, but they do nothing to address the fundamental problem. IC presents the issue so a four-year old can understand it because that’s about the average level of understanding of this issue in the states and all that’s needed to put pressure on those that do understand the complexity to act. Meanwhile IC is bringing communication to black hole areas of DRC and CAR and building rehab centers in areas currently affected by the LRA. Spend this energy on constructive criticism.

    • Amen wholeheartedly. Everyone is just trying to be on the “winning” team. It’s so much easier not to lose when you don’t every try. So by all means think of every way possible; there must be something fandamentally wrong with trying to rally the people of the world around helping where help is needed. Should you think critically before supporting this? Yeah why is this even in question. Neo-colonial white guilt? What? How long would it have been before we helped out some European nation if a militia began operating like this in those countries? Oh yeah it wouldn’t happen because they have the resources and international support already (to say nothing of social, economic and political differences). But in places where those resources and international support doesn’t exist in the same way we shouldn’t step in as an international community to eliminate a brutal militia that has been active for a quarter century because of white guilt? Its not even close to being about that, it’s about helping people that need it. Would it be better to look the other way (more) because its “demeaning” to help? How does this crap actually go through your head and actually escape you mouth? Would you feel demeaned if someone saved your life? Cut your tounge and cheek bull; making yourself feel clever isn’t going to do anything for anyone.
      Yeah maybe this was good for a chuckle but everyone is so quick to say “haha! yeah! that’s why it’s bullshit! i’m definitely in the loop!” It can be funny without negating the message and the purpose of the Kony campaign. White guilt? How about white condescencion, white elitism, white arrogance, white sociopathy. Any reason to go back to your comfortable lives even when somethings been shoved into your face. You were waiting for something like this? Yeah, I’m sure you were.

      • “resources and support doesn’t exist” in Uganda, but does in Europe… hmm…. You act like the “lack of resources” in places like Uganda is an accident. This is exactly the problem with this whole effort. Dig deeper. You obviously care about humanity…. dig deeper. This campaigns assuage a little bit of guilt, but they don’t address the fundamental problems. They ignore them, bowl over them, even *worsen* them when it means supporting US military intervention. Folks in Uganda don’t need white college kids raising awareness about them or sending charity. Folks in Uganda and the rest of the world need to get back the shit that was stolen from them. It’s not an accident that resources are unevenly distributed between the West and the rest…

      • “Everyone is just trying to be on the “winning” team. It’s so much easier not to lose when you don’t every try. […] Any reason to go back to your comfortable lives even when somethings been shoved into your face.”
        Whoah there with your ‘everyone’. I concede that there will be a lot of people out there who are glad of the critiques of Kony 2012 because it’s an excuse for them not to do anything – but at the same time remember that many of the critiques were written by people who were ALREADY involved in international development and international justice. You can’t suggest that their criticisms are a pretext for them to ‘look the other way’.

      • You say “How long would it have been before we helped out some European nation if a militia began operating like this in those countries?”

        Well ok it’s not happening in Europe right now but it is in Syria, right now. Not 6 years ago like in Uganda. Should we just forget Syria because nobody has done a fancy viral marketing campaign?

        Also you say Uganda doesn’t have it’s on resources. Well it does, 2.5 billion barrels of oil, recently discovered in 2006 with drilling to start in 2015. Does that not raise any questions about a charity whose sole aim is to whip public support for an increased US military presence in Uganda. The same Uganda that Joseph Kony hasn’t resided in for 6 years?

  7. The writers of this blog are just bummed that being interested in Africa is “sexy” (but don’t say you’re going to Africa or you are fascinated by Africa cause only douche bags call it Africa). They want it to go back to when it was a select few snobs who were interested in the continent. They also think you are lame if you consider North Africa to be part of “Africa”.

  8. Wow. I can actually see the air of superiority around this article. You two ought to be proud of yourselves. You’re obviously amazing humans who do so much for the world that you can criticize others without offering solutions.

    Is there an accompanying article that celebrates inaction as much as this one comdemns action?

    Just so I know, your message is “don’t try”, correct?

    • If you’ll bother to read any of the other information on this issue, you’ll find that the organization allocates its resources VERY POORLY (only about 31% of it’s revenue goes towards helping Ugandans.They will report 80%, but in actuality about 50% of their total goes into the filmmaking venture.) Furthermore, what they’re attempting to do is ridiculous — they’re asking is to help fund an army that has itself been accused to wanton violence, rape, looting, to hunt down one man who has an army of CHILD SOLDIERS, who would surely be replaced as soon as he was toppled. I wonder how many children will die if and when they actually find him? Not to mention they say nothing about providing rehabilitation for any of these massive numbers of kids. Regardless, by all accounts the LRA is no longer a threat in Uganda, — IC is sore that they missed the boat. They’ve been trying to push this shit since the early-mid naughts. They said ‘THIS IS THE YEAR’ in like 2008 — clearly they’ve not shown amazing results. Many other Ugandan aid organizations, within Uganda and elsewhere, have reported that IC is, in their view, totally corrupt, and is in no way helping to address the root cause of the problems in their country.

      So while you may see this article is haughty, it’s not nearly as offensive as that bullshit emotional-porn video peddled by these IC scam artists who are attempting to use the plight of another people for personal gain. Might I ask what exactly you’re planning on doing, putting up some posters and littering your city and then sitting back in your chair feeling like you’ve actually accomplished something? Get off your high horse and listen to reason.

      Educate your goddamn self.

      • Thank you for your plea to “educate my goddamn self”. I guess my bachelor’s in history and political science from the University of Toronto isn’t worth anything.

        As for the rest of your comment, ALL of this information is mysteriously absent from this blog post. It was almost as if I was commenting on this blog post, and not the charity itself.

        Furthermore, could you please tell me what you’re doing to help this situation? You obviously have a way better idea to help, so share it with us.

        • Surprising that someone who went to university could be so easily charmed by a blatantly horseshit organization.

          It is also unfortunate that you apparently didn’t bother to follow the links at the beginning of the article, which clearly present the aforementioned information.

          As you mentioned in another post (you’re really proud of your fucking bachelor’s, aren’t you? From a CANADIAN university? LOLOLOLOL), inaction is not the best action, but it is most definitely preferable to rash and unavailing action that could end up doing more harm than good. You don’t have the right answer to recognize a wrong one — namely, that a military intervention by an unreliable force to exorcise a single man with an army of children, pushed and funded by a group of megalomaniacs, is folly.

          Trolling aside, I understand that your point was to chastise the blog for making light of what is an abhorrent situation. I would argue that they were attempting to make light of an organization that is attempting to profit off of the suffering that any person with half a heart would clearly condemn, whether we support IC or not. I do not think this makes them (the bloggers in question) bad people — any person or entity that engages in such morally ambiguous activity deserves derision. I also think that you can joke about anything, no matter how terrible, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there. This blog isn’t proposing inaction, a quick perusal of their post history makes it clear that they are not apathetic people. This blog is attempting to demean a feckless movement; this isn’t apathy. This is anger masked with humor. I’m sorry you found it to be off color, but when it comes right down to it, these bloggers are most likely better people than the heads of IC; they don’t have a for-profit agenda feeding off the back of a foreign plight. Kony is a monster, and it would be excellent if he could be deposed in a way that would ensure that the children who are left behind are given the proper emotional treatment, that would not cause countless deaths, that would not support a corrupt military. However, that’s a tall order, and not something that you’re going to accomplish by supporting IC. Supporting IC means continuing the air of ignorance concerning the root causes of the problems in Uganda and Africa at large. I’m not doing anything, for the record, except for donating to charities that are far more reputable, but I don’t believe I ever claimed that I was of a higher moral station than these people. I just understand bullshit when I see it and think it’s reasonable to make light of the situation when so many people are circle jerking over it.

          • Thank you for mocking not only my education, but my country. I am so inspired to see your cynical, pessimistic point now.

            This is going to come across as defensive, but the only reason I stated my education twice was because I was accused to being un-educated twice. Once by you. Also, U of T is generally considered to be one of the top twenty-five universities in the world.

            The amount of condescension in your tone is remarkable. You call IC a group of megalomaniacs and accuse them of having “a for-profit agenda feeding off the back of a foreign plight”. Then you say “I don’t believe I ever claimed that I was of a higher moral station than these people.”

            And you told me to get off my high horse.

          • “As you mentioned in another post (you’re really proud of your fucking bachelor’s, aren’t you? From a CANADIAN university? LOLOLOLOL), inaction is not the best action, but it is most definitely preferable to rash and unavailing action that could end up doing more harm than good.”

            If you want people to take you seriously then it’s advisable to not make stupid comment about their education. I took offense of this comment because I most agree with you on the IC video but if your intention is to educate people about it then you are not doing a good job by making unfounded jabs like that about their education.

            I go to U of T which is a very well know university. I gather you don’t know very much about Canadian schools or you wouldn’t have wrote the above comment. There many students from this very same institution who have articulated veyr insightful ideas about this IC campaign. This is a reflection of their capability to think critically and the fact that they are recieving a quality education.

            Many people on this blog may need to take some time to do extra research on Uganda and Kony. You need to learn to communicate more respectfully so that those who share your opinion can take you seriously.

            I think the humourous take on the video was a witty response and laughned while reading it.

          • I’m with you, brother. The only thing that I don’t understand is why you bothered with well thought out replies. This person is clearly not interested in actually reading about this issue, which is evidenced by the fact that she didn’t even bother to click the links at the beginning of this blog post.

            It is really perplexing to me that two Canadians would show up to argue for an American military intervention in Uganda, where Kony isn’t even located. We Americans have a long history of unsuccessful military interventions around the world. Hell, another African country is falling apart right now because we dropped our bombs, fired our rockets and missiles, helped kill a dictator, and then simply floated back across the ocean and went home. Now there is worry about al Qaeda and other Islamists taking over, and there have even been reports from al Jazeera indicating that the country itself might split into two, divided across regional and ethnic lines.

            So it isn’t like we have to go back 50 years to Vietnam to see an example of American military intervention having gone wrong. We started one last year, and the situation in that country is still deteriorating.

            The most depressing part is that these people are calling for an American military intervention in a country where The Bad Guy isn’t even located to stop a problem that the Commander in Chief of America’s armed forces isn’t even all that concerned about. A law was passed in 2008 that would prevent American money from going to the militaries of countries that are known to use child soldiers. Obama waived that law so he could send aid to places like Yemen and DRC who are helping us fight terrorists.

            So at this point America’s opinion on this problem should be pretty clear to anyone who reads the news. When IC pretends in their video that they convinced Obama to send military advisers, it left me scratching my head. Do they really have no clue what is going on? Obama is not worried about child soldiers, clearly, but we are already in Africa. We have a camp in Djibouti that is home to CJTF-HOA and has been involved in the region for going on ten years. We are there to stabilize the region, for sure, but mostly we’re there to prevent al Qaeda from gaining a foothold. So going after this from the child soldier angle makes these people seem pretty ignorant about our government’s standpoint in the region and on the topics at hand.

            And it is funny because Oprah had Ishmael Beah on her program five years ago. Granted, Beah is from Sierra Leon which is on the other side of the continent from Uganda. But these insufferable hipsters are behaving as if no one knew this child soldier stuff was happening before they made their video. I guess hipsters are too cool to watch Oprah, but this issue has been out there for a long time. The only thing these hipsters are doing is getting a bunch of clueless people to support ANOTHER American military intervention without clue freaking one on anything. That is a very scary proposition.

        • lmao @ “I went to university” as a response to “educate yourself”. So typical Western white, to be honest. Seriously… educate your damn self.

      • I don’t understand what you expect of Invisible Children. They have not made it a secret that advocacy via filmmaking and media in general is one of their top priorities of action. Heck, their founders are filmmakers, doesn’t it make sense for them to use their skills to make a difference? So I don’t see why there’s an issue with “only 31% of its revenue goes towards helping Ugandans”. Filmmaking is expensive. Equipment costs a lot, travel expenses cost a lot, and campaigns cost a lot – technology-wise and manpower-wise. If you work for an advocacy group, awareness is about as paramount as putting boots on the ground to construct and rebuild war-torn villages and schools, especially when you live in a country whose populace considers “Cat Playing the Piano” the highlight of their day and probably wouldn’t have been bothered to google “Joseph Kony” or “Uganda”.

        Invisible Children has made Kony a household name. Doesn’t this make it easier to pressure the United Nations and the local governments in Central Africa, the Congo, Uganda and Sudan that they need to work together to stop the war first and foremost because the public is going to hold them accountable if they don’t? And what I think is the most glaring omission in articles like these is that they ignore the origins of Invisible Children and a lot of the solid work they already involve themselves in that does not advocate for military action or governmental action: education, microeconomic solutions and promoting jobs and creating safe environments for the people of Uganda are projects that are ongoing and continue to be promoted on their website. Why don’t these get ink?

        I’m all for getting all sides of the story and holding people accountable, especially when it involves charity and donations, but let’s give credit where credit is due and not launch into a tirade about the “white man’s burden” when people from all ethnicities are banding together in support of a human issue.

        • “If you work for an advocacy group, awareness is about as paramount as putting boots on the ground to construct and rebuild war-torn villages and schools”
          “Hello, Africans, we’re here to rebuild your war-torn
          villages and schools!”
          “Oh, thank you, white college students! But wait, before you start rebuilding, it’s important for us to know: how high is your awareness level?”
          “You know, how many ‘likes’ did your video about our plight get before you came over here?”
          “Well we don’t…”
          “What is that you’ve got, tools and supplies? Why don’t you have any celebrities with you? Don’t you know that awareness is paramount?”
          “… Well, uh, should we get on with the rebuilding then?”
          “Sorry, I think you guys need to rethink your business plan.”

      • “Invisible Children’s financial statements are online for everyone to see. Financial statements from the last 5 years, including our 990, are available at The organization spent 80.46% on our programs that further our three fold mission, 16.24% on administration and management costs and 3.22% on direct fundraising in FY2011. Invisible Children is independently audited every year and in full compliance with our 501 c 3 status.
        Below is a screen-shot from pages 35 and 36 of the 2011 Invisible Children annual report that detail our total expenses for Fiscal Year 2011. An expense statement by class is the way nonprofits present their expenses to the public because it’s the clearest way to show the purpose of different organizational expenses vs. a line item expense statement such as the one on Page 6 of our Audited Financial Report.”

        “only about 31% of it’s revenue goes towards helping Ugandans.They will report 80%, but in actuality about 50% of their total goes into the filmmaking venture”

        It’s funny, you know, I don’t think I actually think the IC are going about the action the right way (though I think if people don’t know about a problem, they cant/wont do about it, whereas apparently a lot of people have the don’t see/doesn’t matter / why did you bring this to my attention now I have to care attitude) and yet I am getting so sick of people posting that 30% thing from tubmlr EVERYWHERE. This picture is from the IC’s website. While I’m sure they will try to big themselves up and lessen the attention on their flaws, perhaps you should read through it if you’re going to read through all the negative things about the IC – oh but wait, it’s hip to hate on the IC right now. Maybe by later tonight people will actually look around for more information. I don’t know everything about the subject – nowhere near, but at least I’m reading the basics.

        • And the 31-32% is from an external audit of IC that is also available online. It’s not an arbitrary number that the political science student who wrote that article made up. I’m more prone to believe an outside auditing company than a non-profit with a questionable reputation that is on the defensive.

    • I completely agree! However small the steps, at least it is a step in the right direction. Their whole purpose is to enact change and do so using the most popular social networking devices for GOOD. By doing this, they bring this cause to the ears and eyes of the masses not just the highly educated and politicians/activists.

      Not only will this change how social media is viewed but it is for a very good cause. While I dont advocate donating money to an organization where most of their money is dumped into administration etc and very little reaches the people… I do support the way they are getting this information out there. Its working and people are educating themselves on the WORLD outside of their country.

  9. I laughed out loud on my train, but I think I’m ready to go back to crying with frustration.

  10. The message might be: get informed and think before you jump on the bandwagon. Two facts you might want to consider:

    The west has taken action against the LRA on multiple occasions in the past.

    The main effect of this has always been to exacerbate the conflict.

    • There is an organization uniting to take down one of history’s most brutal war-lord, and you call it a bandwagon?

      Not to mention, your two facts imply that inaction is the best action.

      So you agree with the writers of this article. It is better to mock others for trying than it is to do something yourself.

        • I have a bachelor’s in history and political science from the University of Toronto. So no, I have never actively read a history book.

          Also, Greek, I apologize for the implied anger in my previous post.

          I disagree with you. I don’t think inaction is better than action. I don’t think turning a blind eye to a situation is EVER a solution. Also, I think that criticizing others’ efforts without offering alternative solutions is easy and lazy.

          What I’m doing is also easy and lazy, but at least in it’s in SOME direction.

      • A bandwagon is not a pejorative term, but it is apt in this instance.

        More importantly; you imply that any action is better than no action – when there is no evidence this is the case. It is possible that we may have to accept that the least bloody way to get Kony out of the picture is to wait for him to die.

        Complex issues are rarely resolved with simple solutions – in fact simple solutions tend to make things worse. I don’t know enough about the situation in central africa to propose a comprehensive solution – but I do know enough do be wary of pressuring the American goverment into military involvement.

        • It is even worse than that. As you said in your comment, the only thing that has been demonstrated in the past is that our actions most certainly do have an impact: a profoundly negative one.

          Also, and this is more about our anonymous University of Toronto grad friend than you, I get extremely wary whenever someone sees a problem and the first thing they say is “Send in the Marines!” Especially after we spent a good majority of the last ten years listening to Canadians lecture us Americans regarding our overly enthusiastic use of that solution. Now, hot on the heels of what is turning out to be a disastrous intervention in Libya, they’re telling us we should put ground troops in Uganda.

          • Can I just apologize for my Canadian comrade? We don’t all think that sending American troops is the answer. In fact, many of us are smart enough to realize throwing money and guns at problems tends to cause considerably more harm than good. At least, I am, and I’m a lowly University of Calgary graduate (NOT generally considered one of the “top 25 universities un the world”).

      • It’s not mocking them, it’s just saying you should be more aware of what’s going on. Pull that stick out of your ass and LRN2READ

  11. Phew, I’m kind of relieved to know that I’m not the only one in whom this video inspired a bout of spontaneous cynism.

    But, this topic brought your blog to my attention. That’s definitely a win. Great work!

  12. I do not find this article funny in anyway. The movie was made that way for a reason. To. Be. Dramatic. Because if it wasn’t.. people wouldn’t think it was much of an issue. It is. Its not like these things don’t actually happen..they do. Its not a funny issue..and its not “brilliant” Get a grip people.

  13. This is ridiculous. Someone is actually trying to make a change in the world by doing something for the greater good and all you can do is criticize them and turn their film into a drinking game! This is actually happening innocent children are being abducted and are forced to murder, young girls are being sold as sex slaves! So to Amanda and Kate, who wrote this, I think your despicable human beings and should be ashamed of yourselves. The world would be a better place if everyone just listen to what they’re saying and actually took a stand rather than making a drinking game out of other peoples’ pain.

    • If you will bother to read up on the organization in question, Invisible Children, and do some critical thinking of your own, you will discover that they are corrupt — they use VERY LITTLE of their revenue to actively aid Uganda (you can read an internal audit online — the figure is about 31%, which is deplorable for any charity, by contrast more reputable charities give above 90% of their revenue BEFORE operating costs).

      There are a bevy of other, arguably more important reasons why you should be AGAINST supporting IC, but the above reason is one the most obvious and glaring. I would urge you to read up on the issue for yourself and not aid in the mass circle jerking that seems to be going on.

      They are not worth supporting and deserve to be openly mocked. If you want actual change, please don’t blindly support people who manage to con you by pulling at your heart strings.

      You might consider instead donating some money to

  14. To Joke about this makes you truly sick people whether you agree with the video or not mocking the real violence in Africa does not make you ‘clever or witty’ and making jokes about the statutory rape of a minor is truly shocking and disgusting. I suggest you try making these ‘jokes’ to a 14 year old African sex slave or a ten year old boy soilder and see how that goes for you. You are absurdly socially retarded individuals with no moral or social understanding or responsibilities and I hope one day you will grow up and realize what insensitive arrogant pricks you are!

      • Africa is a continent not a country, you might want to think about this before you use the phrase ‘violence in Africa’. It’s large and very diverse. Hence, ‘”Nonspecific use of “Africa” or “African” instead of precise location or actual nationality”.

        • In the same exact way: America is a continent not a country, you might want to think about this before you use the phrase ‘violence in America’. It’s large and very diverse. Hence, ‘”Nonspecific use of “America” or “American” instead of precise location or actual nationality”.

          • I don’t know where you heard that America is a continent, but you might want to try again on that one. I’m assuming you are talking about North America here, but I think that most Canadians would be offended if you referred to them as Americans. I believe that when most people hear “American”, they think of people in the US. Which is in fact, a country and not a continent. While I’m sure it is a very diverse country, I don’t think it’s fair to compare that to the diversity found within a continent made up of over 50 countries.

  15. This is phenomenal, problematizing a perceived social consciousness is what actually triggers change.

  16. Don’t get me wrong: I love drinking, even more so with games, and I love some awful jokes…but the very act of proposing a drinking game in response to a video that, despite whatever reservations you may have about it, attempts to raise awareness about some pretty horrendous and very real crimes and human rights violations makes it seem like you care much more about being witty and much less about offering any useful criticism or direction. Maybe offering constructive criticism or advice wasn’t your goal, but you’re making light of the things depicted in the video so you can make a kind of trite point about white privilege, which you do in a way that is somehow so self-deprecating that it becomes superior, probably again because you offer scathing criticism with (as other commenters have noted) a pretty depressing overall message of “don’t even try”. Also, yes, absolutely, the answer to the LRA or any other significant and complex issue is not going to simply bubble up because suddenly a bunch of people on Facebook know about it and care about it (at least for a couple of hours), but you’re missing the greater point, which is that change only ever happens when you can get people to care about something and pull together on an issue, and if you think that’s naive, all that says is that you’ve had to try to do it.


      Holy hell, don’t you realize the “game” is just a vehicle to point out some of the absurdities on the IC KONY2012 video?

  17. My my, such cynicism concerning such an important and serious topic. Think of the children! =0
    But seriously, I already thought I was the only one having second thoughts about this emotionally manipulative video – it almost got me too.
    I adore the dry wit you’re approaching this project and it’s obvious flaws – and at the same time trolling hipster-do-wells (yes, I mean you, Maggie and Annabelle).

  18. There are many ways for each person to do their best to effect positive change. Degrading an effort that has brought even more awareness to a pertinent issue is disrespectful and completely counter to the ideals organizations uphold and the people they are trying to help. Assuming your effort is superior to another’s is egotistical and shameful.

    • Yup, cause wearing that bracelet from that action kit (for only 30.00, while supplies last) you bought to raise “awareness” is totally the equivalent of going directly to Uganda, helping them by re-constructing war torn schools and villages, and letting them fend for themselves instead of indoctrinating them unto the US military creed of war is TOTALLY equal of value of work. Especially considering that IC TOTALLY hasn’t spread misconceptions at all. :/

  19. The people commenting on this thread are hilariously ignorant of the work you guys do to make the world a better place. Your blog makes me very happy (and drunk?) in the face of what can be a pretty shitty world. Keep it up; love you guys! From way down in NZ.

    • Agreed. I come to this blog first to laugh, and second to remind myself that there are brilliant people out there who can talk about ‘very serious issues’ without putting themselves in the messiah role. You guys deserve a Mark Twain prize but will have to settle for my graditude. Keep it up!

  20. thats stupid its like ragging on rosevelt cos he was to tall had strange shoes and hats, i agree the video was a bit irritating but the message and the idea r way more important…the people who rote this themselves are just having a hipster wank… but unlike the people i the video they got nothing to wank about go suck an egg

    • I tried to read this comment but it gave me a headache. Spell check. Grammar. They’re you friends.

      • Hah, and of course I wrote ‘you’ instead of ‘your’ when addressing someone else’s grammar. Oh well.

  21. This is no my new favourite blog and am so glad I stumbled across it after three days of people on FB sharing the ‘amazing’ video to ‘help save Africa’. This video is why our society has become a mass of Chamerlin’s: Use an MTV styled video to make people ‘aware’ of a malitia leader who’s been around for over 10 years, make sure everyone ‘takes a stand’ to protect the future (white) children [that’s why he kept using his son, right?] and in the process completely ignore the Genocide that is currently taking place in Syria by an internationally recognised government so everyone can instead focus on a movement that no longer is even occouring in Uganda. You guys are awesome.

    • I am with Rachel on this. Her point is concise, obviously well thought out, and in line with the drinking game patois.

      Seriously, I don’t read this blog enough. Thanks for making my day.

  22. This reminds me of that big war they had in Eurasia a while back. It was really terrible, Eurasians were raping other Eurasians, there were child soldiers, I think even some ethnic cleansing. Fortunately my grandfather showed some of his other American friends a movie about it and eventually I think their awareness was raised so high that the war ended. Those Eurasians should be really thankful!

  23. it seems very clear to me that the USA is traying to built another Saddam or Osama to justify a potencial Uganda invasion, but before that, they need to convince public opinion that is imperative to do so..did you know that Uganda’s RECENTLY DISCOVERED OIL RESERVES now stand at two billion barrels but may exceed six billion barrels…

  24. “cry to so hard that you can do a shot of your own tears”
    Precisely what I feel like doing right now.

  25. It’s funny how people get swayed from their principles by nicely edited short films so easily. It’s like watching, “i wuv Africa 5evar. Liek if u cry everytiem”, presented in -gasp!- 3-D, this time around. Come to think of it, them starting the Kony 2012 movement is pretty funny in hindsight. Congratulations, you invented a new meme for people of color (such as myself. I don’t feel offended at all).

    Lighten up. You’re not alone in the cause, or wherever you put your time and money in. And, as suggested by this article, have a drink and weep at the fall -or folly- of mankind due to misinformation. Very insightful, plus, I really liked the Play Doh and My Little Pony concoction! Very refreshing. XD

  26. Like a previous commenter, this is the best piece I’ve read. You’ve gained another fan, an American living in New Zealand. Thanks for being honest.

    My comment: Hasn’t the West done enough damage in Africa already?

  27. Can I get a reliable source of all the accusation against IC? I look everywhere on Jstor without finding anything after 2006 related to the LRA.

  28. Fantastic article. I hear that every time someone shares the Kony video on Facebook, a sub-Saharan warlord has a little cry and releases one of their child soldiers.

    Misplaced my Brandy Alexander. Nightmare.

    • I’m not a mom (thank goodness), but I was pretty disturbed by that too. I mean, I’m sure the kid’s going to find out some day, but it was just really…um…no

  29. Yes, because those black people don’t need savin’, we do! So let’s be edgily cynical about something that helps!

  30. Pingback: Quora
  31. Yea, I saw part of this film sober too… It looked kinda fishy with all the white guy hero stuff, the simplistic “just need to stop this bad guy!” stuff, and the “all you need to do is spread the word” stuff. So I came here to see if you guys had thoughts on it. Was not disappointed!

  32. thanks for this post.
    much love from South Africa [that’s a country, in Africa – in case the people who just learned Kony’s name yesterday were wondering].

  33. Brilliant article. All IC can come up with is another Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. I hope people realize that sometimes helping isn’t helping at all and that supporting a warlord to stop another warlord is not the way to do it at all. Much like asking a bully beat another bully. Brings to my mind what my country, the Philippines, is asking the US in order to check China in the South China Sea.

    • Now I haven’t checked up on things back home (being surrounded by whites in Canada my entire life), but yes definitely this is not the right way to reach a solution.

      For those without a history or political science degree (and I jest; but seriously, so what?), decades ago the US bailed us out and routed the Japanese during WWII. Now we have a replica of their government system and a mentality that thinks being Westernized/Americanized puts you above the rest of the poor Filipinos. And there were plenty of white Americans at the beach resorts I stayed at once or twice, but outside in the cities you wouldn’t dream of seeing them.

      I get the impression that this is the ends to which this video strives towards, whether on purpose or not. We do not need people in other countries looking up to the West as saviours by telling every other privileged middle-class about it, nor guilt-tripping and condemning those who don’t agree (like some of my friends and other posters here have done), nor committing special troops to work with an army with its own tattered human rights record.

      The best thing to do would be to decide to donate to another charity, which should be the end-all for defenders of IC because they can’t argue with higher efficiency and continuous proven contribution and work worldwide (eg. Red Cross).

  34. First of all, I don’t need facts, figures etc. to sense that all this has a very strange odor to it. The fact that this dad sees the world as being made up of “good guys” and “bad guys” rings my inner alarm bells.
    As I am viewing this film I notice that I’m being approached in a very aggressive, primitive way. Kind of like most average commercials on TV. Everything about this film breaths aggression and there is little room for contemplation or making up your own mind about its contents. This film makes use of the most tried elements to persuade peoples opinion: by using elements of fear, anger, polarization and aggression.

    Am I the only one being more scared by this extremist, aggressive, indoctrinating, self-righteous, backslapping American Dad, who forcibly indoctrinates his young son into believing what he believes? This film is pure psy-op pro-war propaganda trying to persuade people into thinking that military aggression and “intervention” could end violence.
    Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity, OK?

    Also, in general, I could NEVER be fooled into believing that the US government or any other oppressive, aggressive, fascist establishment could “solve problems” in foreign countries. Wars/peace missions/sending “experts” is all the same bull. And it’s probably just a coincidence that Uganda has found oil last year, how convenient!

    When are we going to rid the world of these child-murdering, criminal psychopaths that are in the White House and in the governments of the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain etc. ?? They are, as we speak, murdering innocent children/women and men in many parts of the globe.

    Oh, and if anyone wants to check out the USA’s heroic peace missions and what they did while restoring peace, please click here:

  35. You know why I like the video? – It led me to this blog (which has some good commentary); it led me to re-think my current apathy in dealing with the complexity; it gives me energy in an overwhelmingly cynical space to do something. Feeling helpless sucks too.

    I hated the video, but who cares what sections. In that hatred of over-simplification, I get energy. Here’s to the over-simplifiers that get me off my ass.

  36. Where are you guys getting six packs of Tusker? I have only ever seen them in bottles; even in Kenya.

  37. This drinking game is such a good way to sober up a bit after watching the video.

  38. This is a terrible drinking game! You need to simplify it so it works even if you only have one kind of alcoholic drink!!

    Do that and I’ll play it for sure!

  39. Perfectly fair? Hardly. Was that the point? I doubt it. Hilarious, smart, insightful, biting, sarcastic, important use of humor to get us to address real and important issues. Yes, I think so.

  40. Amanda and Kate, if I believed in god, I would say that what you’re doing is god’s work. I’ll say it anyway: This is god’s work. Thank you.

  41. I read every comment on this article, every one. I’m both distraught and disheartened by how easily many of you can mock this. Yes, yes, I read all arguments about their finances/transparency/salaries. Yes I read the response from the IC. Yes I’m on the border with this group. To be fair to the IC: the only misleading parts of their video was that arrest of JK must be immanent–that slaughter is at its highest point.

    They were honest about his location and timeline. They mixed the Ugandan army with the rebels a few times; they most likely don’t have much footage of rebels and are going for shock value. Yes, some of their funds are allocated to small salaries (and you can see their Tax statements). Yes, the IC guys were movie-makers first, exaggeration is the greatest tool. You see it in our law system, in our movies. But what does the IC want?

    In this video, the IC calls for war.

    If you believe that, you must have skimmed the video. People forget atrocity when it’s not immediately felt–that’s the heart of this video–this plea. To me, it’s a plea for humanity. It’s do something, or don’t do something, to recognize that we have the choice (up to each of us to decide what that choice is). For me, I plan to pledge a donation to The Global Hunger Project. I’d rather 30% of my donation go toward help than nothing. For some of you, I’m sure you plan to test out these ladies’ drinking game.

  42. Oh god… reading the comments on here has made me so deppressed with all the dumbass cynics in this world…

    Look, cynics, ‘hipsters’, whatever you want to call yourselves, can you all just fuck off and die if you don’t give a shit about the planet? So the people who do can actually enjoy it?

    Saying you don’t care about the planet could probably be a bold assumption, but frankly, having the opinion that informing people about a PROBLEM is ever BAD? It’s the only logical assumption, because the alternative is BUTT-FUCKING RETARDED. ‘If only a few people know about this problem CLEARLY IT WILL BE EASIER TO SOLVE!’ That is LITERALLY all you are arguing for. THAT’S IT.

    and for fuck sake, before you respond, READ THAT PARAGRAPH AS ONE. I know you won’t but I’m not responding to someone who won’t follow what I’m saying.

    MY problem is, how can you rage about something that does no harm? There’s 100% nothing to bitch about!

    • “Fuck off and die”? Really?

      So some of us question not only the method but the actual message of this group and somehow we don’t give a shit about the planet?

      You are what is wrong. The fact that you get so emotional and nasty because someone doesn’t want to just jump off the cliff with the other lemmings.

      Follow what I am saying, knowledge (read: fact) is not a bad thing. A video, produced by a questionably group, that has some very real issues with veracity is what people are railing against here. Or maybe I missed the posts where the evil “hipsters” said “screw Africa, we don’t care”.

  43. This is honestly so disrespectful, and frankly, ignorant. The video is supposed to be simple, because it is supposed to appeal and make sense to people of all ages. They are trying to raise awareness mainly through social media, and who are the people today using social media the most? Children. Teenagers. People who haven’t yet finished their education, therefore they may not respond as well to a complex video. Which would defeat the whole purpose. The kids aren’t going to share the video if they don’t understand it…

    • And what is it exactly that the kids (who are so simple) are supposed to do with this knowledge?

    • Okay, here’s my thing: this video was clearly directed at kids and teenagers, but as a college student (fine, call me an elitist, I don’t really care) it raised serious questions, because the way it plans to solve all these problems is clearly not how life works. These guys said they went to Uganda and expected it to be like a one-year, two-year commitment, but Uganda and its surrounding regions are not only still recoiling from colonial rule, but also this huge, complicated twenty-year conflict. Uganda might be in a better place than say, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but it’s still got a long way to go. It’s not going to end when Kony is killed or arrested. It’s not going to end when the LRA is tried in criminal court, arrested, or disbanded. Joseph Kony abducted children for his army. The children are both victims and perpetrators (which is an important way to look at most criminals anyway), and for them rejoining society will not be easy. The LRA is not the only army in Uganda and the greater region that abducts, rapes, and kills. You don’t just catch the bad guy, pack up, leave, and expect everything to be fine. It doesn’t work that way. SO much reconstruction needs to be done, and a lot of self-actualization has to come from the Ugandan people and their government. Even if charities like Invisible Children bankroll everything (which they won’t), there is a lot of work that has to be done. Look at Sudan, Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Hell, look at New Orleans. When something this big and awful happens, the solution isn’t quick and easy.

      I don’t mean to trivialize the people of Uganda and all the suffering they’ve been through with this comparison, but for me it kind of seems like battling an addiction. You might kick the habit, go to rehab, get it shaken out of you, figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing, whatever, but it doesn’t just stop with not buying cigarettes or not drinking or not doing drugs. That might be the historical point you can mark as the day something changed, but every second of every day you’re consciously and unconsciously warding off your addiction and trying to move past what caused it. And in the case of most addictions, the addictive substances or behaviors don’t just disappear. They still exist, and so do the circumstances that led you to rely on them. You just have to kind of move on, and SO MANY PEOPLE fail at doing this. It gets shifted to another addiction or harmful behavior.

      I don’t live in Uganda and I’ve really never cared that much about foreign policy until right now. I don’t know everything. I am probably as naive, if not more, as everyone else lapping up this video. Maybe we will be able to “stop Kony” and Uganda and its surrounding countries will just seamlessly recover. But I think that’s a little unrealistic and unfair.

  44. Just because you use big words doesn’t mean your thoughts are any less ignorant/rage-y. This comments section has turned into assumption after assumption covered in a spelling bee.
    The OP made an accurate, funny joke. It was a bit snarky and cynical, but hey, everyone has their own style.
    And then y’all come in and decide that because they took a critical perspective they are ____ and ____ and also must be _____.
    AND THEN, arguing amongst yourselves, you start dishing out titles like “hipster” because someone has a different opinion? Everyone has made a valid point with A GOOD DEAL of truth behind it, but because you’re all jaded adults who lurk online, all of this knowledge is used just to out-do and discredit each other.

    • Ummmmm…. I’m pretty sure you’re on-line attempting to discredit everyone.

      Pot, meet Kettle.

      • It’s like the motherfucking cognitive dissonance acrobatics games at the Olympics. I guess go ahead and be butthurt that your money you wanted to use to save the world and stop satan incarnate from killing babies ended up going to a bunch of shithead ‘christian’ hipsters’ (No insult to true christians) misguided campaign and literally helping fund a murderous military, but it doesn’t mean the people telling you as such are spoil sports. I mean its not too rare, even my money does also go to funding war criminals, but that comes with paying federal taxes. Hey, what can you do, but live and learn, or perhaps instead of posing with RPGs like liberal shitheels, pick them up and turn them on the real bad people.

  45. For one do not think of kids as not being able to understand anything complex, thousands of teens know the words to a song about quarks. I doubt alot of you reading this even know what those are. Second I care about children I really do I am a camp counsellor. Joseph Kony is an evil man. However saying that doesn’t make him go away. I find the coke can argument to be highly effective. Especially when a “non-profit” is taking salaries. I do not want them to live in poverty but I do expect them to DONATE their time not get paid for it. I do a ton of actual charity work and if I asked for anything I’d be laughed at. But I diverse. Yes, awareness is a good thing but it won’t kill him. Part of the reason the US was reluctant to get back into it was the retaliation. They have gone in the past and every time Kony retaliates by worsening what he is doing. Jump on the band wagon of a shady organization all you want but I will continue to do my charity work and work with the real invisable children, the ones who we have to fight to be shown up on an ultra sound machine. So I will take my “hipster ideals” (and hopefully this is hipster because that means in a month everyone else will be doing it) and leave you lefties.

  46. Whew look at all the enlightened, caring liberals cheering for another military intervention just like fucking clockwork. Hey, lets all get behind an organization funded partially by JP Morgan Chase (partially through a shady ‘contest’), a group with economic interests in the area that would benefit from government stability to enforce their order. Let’s not worry about the horrific conditions in which resources are extracted from other nations with more stability and better relations with the west and how they continually enslave and murder, because that’s all necessary to keep the first world lifestyle of hedonistic indulgence and self-importance cheap. Lets work with regimes and armies of tens of thousands that have histories of committing war crimes on a similar or bigger scale because we need their help to hunt down the evil mysterious Mr. Kurtz and his army of savages in darkest africa.

    • The only solution is JDPEN. The people must rise up and fight imperialism everywhere, both at the periphery where it inflicts its violence and at the bastions of capital where the rewards of this violence are reaped (and first worlders must understand that this fight is not to improve their own living conditions, quite the opposite, but it is necessary to reset the balances from centuries of dedicated oppression, violence, and theft perpetrated by their nations upon these people)

  47. To kind of rework an apt quote, Charging a group with war crimes in post-colonial Africa is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500

    • Both in the sense that everyone’s doing it, and that the whole defined rules and objective of the thing is to perform said act (one need only look at the actions of any of the European powers, America, even the Soviets and Chinese post WWII to see this is true)

  48. Excellent. Brought to mind this post from another excellent blog.
    Keep up the good work.

  49. Okay, here’s my thing: this video was clearly directed at kids and teenagers, but as a college student (fine, call me an elitist, I don’t really care) it raised serious questions, because the way it plans to solve all these problems is clearly not how life works. These guys said they went to Uganda and expected it to be like a one-year, two-year commitment, but Uganda and its surrounding regions are not only still recoiling from colonial rule, but also this huge, complicated twenty-year conflict. Uganda might be in a better place than say, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but it’s still got a long way to go. It’s not going to end when Kony is killed or arrested. It’s not going to end when the LRA is tried in criminal court, arrested, or disbanded. Joseph Kony abducted children for his army. The children are both victims and perpetrators (which is an important way to look at most criminals anyway), and for them rejoining society will not be easy. The LRA is not the only army in Uganda and the greater region that abducts, rapes, and kills. You don’t just catch the bad guy, pack up, leave, and expect everything to be fine. It doesn’t work that way. SO much reconstruction needs to be done, and a lot of self-actualization has to come from the Ugandan people and their government. Even if charities like Invisible Children bankroll everything (which they won’t), there is a lot of work that has to be done. Look at Sudan, Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Hell, look at New Orleans. When something this big and awful happens, the solution isn’t quick and easy.

    I don’t mean to trivialize the people of Uganda and all the suffering they’ve been through with this comparison, but for me it kind of seems like battling an addiction. You might kick the habit, go to rehab, get it shaken out of you, figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing, whatever, but it doesn’t just stop with not buying cigarettes or not drinking or not doing drugs. That might be the historical point you can mark as the day something changed, but every second of every day you’re consciously and unconsciously warding off your addiction and trying to move past what caused it. And in the case of most addictions, the addictive substances or behaviors don’t just disappear. They still exist, and so do the circumstances that led you to rely on them. You just have to kind of move on, and SO MANY PEOPLE fail at doing this. It gets shifted to another addiction or harmful behavior.

    I don’t live in Uganda and I’ve really never cared that much about foreign policy until right now. I don’t know everything. I am probably as naive, if not more, as everyone else lapping up this video. Maybe we will be able to “stop Kony” and Uganda and its surrounding countries will just seamlessly recover. But I think that’s a little unrealistic and unfair.

  50. Not to mention the danger associated with misinformation no matter how *good* the intention. Been happening here in Australia for generations – led to official policies such as Smoothing the Dying Pillow, and the NT Intervention where the Racial Discrimination Act was reversed to allow discrimination against a certain group. Both these programs were started by *raising awareness* amongst shocked, predominantly middle class people with little knowledge of the facts. On the ground, they formed the basis for ongoing genocide and discrimination.

  51. In the midst of all of this discussion about what you think and what I think, did anyone, even for a second stop to ask what the Ugandans think? Well if we’re to take a hint from twitter/facebook and even news reports now, they seem to be just as pissed as the people who wrote this article.

    And for a bit of a background, try:

  52. i’m just a touch surprised that most americans managed to set aside 29 minutes to watch the thing….

    • This is not the first time that the US has sent advisers to Uganda to help kill or cruapte Joseph Kony and the LRA. Bush did the same thing in 2008, to disastrous results, and was at the peak of the surge in Iraq. So why all the whining now? Kony and the LRA are responsible for the brutal death os abougt 100,000 innocent people when he rampaged in northern Uganda from 1986 to 2006, then fled after Sudan stopped giving him arms. Now he’s has killed about 1,000 people in central Africa and abducted nearly 1,500 children, boys and girls who he turns into child soldiers and sex slaves. The 2008 attack on Kony was blown when Kony was tipped off and escaped with his men. If this mission is to be different, which it is, it will require the active4 involvement of US forces since the Ugandans have shown themselves not to be up to the task. For more on Kony and the LRA, see the book, First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army.

  53. Why is it that you don’t make a film about the dream act yourself instead of downing shots and shitting on other people?

  54. The initial article, which began the current thread, I largely agree with.

    However, duty leads me to respond to a post by a person who went by the screen name of “Everything Is Complicated” , who presented a statement which was unspeakably wrongheaded .

    The portions of text posted by the person who goes by the name ‘Everything Is Complicated’ had been a case of sound observations, *UNTIL* that person posted the following example of flagrant , baldfaced relativism .

    The person who goes by the name of ‘Everything Is Complicated’ posted the following postmodernist statement and here I quote them directly .

    The person who goes by the name “Everything Is Complicated” posted the following postmodernist hogwash ,

    “Lastly, I just want to end on this note, which was passed onto me by the very people who broughtme to such high levels of critical thinking: “It is okay to be contradictory. We all are. This standard of ‘either or’ is impossible to achieve.”

    Calling that disgusting baldfaced ambivalence (i.e.duplicity) shown in the excerpt above “critical thinking” is mind boggling in its backwardness —as Orwellian as statements such as: “war is peace ” , or “freedom is slavery” . The person who goes by the name of “Everything Is Complicated” is NOT using critical thinking to put forth the codswallop shown in excerpt above . Instead , they are using some sort of goofy , muddled thinking such as perhaps lateral thinking (a screwy, equivocal , fast and loose thinking popular with the MTV generation), or some similar sort of skewed thinking .

    Accepting internal contradictions in thought , or any form of mystification/equivocation/ ambiguity is the OPPOSITE OF critical thinking !!!! Critical thinking /logic demands internal consistency of thought and settles for nothing that is even so much a little bit less than such consistency .

    The statements wherein that person makes the infinitely disgusting claim which alleges it is somehow “okay to be contradictory” has several glaring fallacies . For one , that person claims “we all” .

    The response to that is twofold .

    1.First of all, it is *not* the case that everyone has internal contradictions in thought . So speak for yourself, person.

    2.Secondly, even if that had been the case , that would *not* make accepting internal contradictions in thought right even if it was the case that all people were doing it . The person who goes by the screen name “Everything Is Complicated” is guilty of the fallacy of the bandwagon appeal (an appeal to conformity that claims that because everyone is doing something/ thinking something that somehow that makes it allright …well , it does not make it right …aside from how the very premise that alleges every person does that is itself spurious ) .

    The person whose screen name is “Everything Is Complicated” is guilty of another fallacy the appeal to resignation . They put forth the presupposition that weirdly alleges that it is impossible to achieve an either / or standard sans any sort of specific argument on behalf of it , and then treats that *alleged* impossibilty as somehow warranting internal contradiction . What a welter of muddled and skewed thinking that person presents !

    (However, muddled , skewed thinking is what relativism/postmodernism solicits!) .

    The topic of hipsters was brought up . Well, yours truly does NOT get the impression that the person who posted the inital article which began the current discussion is any hipster, however the person who comments under the name “Everything Is Complicated” is one who advocates the ideology of the hipsters that ideology being the ideology of postmodernism/ relativism : the ideology that embraces internal contradiction and ambiguity in thought (aka sellout thinking) .

    • I thought that way as well. I was reading her post and found myself agreeing until 2/3rds down when I wondered “what the hell is she talking about now?”, then she went and said that she was on a high level of critical thinking.

      I get so mad reading these posts, but I can’t stop for some reason. It’s just so… addicting.

    • I mostly made the last comment because as I was learning multiple theories of on the body, culture, society, and such and taking on some of these ideas, I felt a fear that some probably share: being contradictory or a hypocrite.

      That claim is very powerful, especially as I was beginning to apply what I learned in my Women’s Studies classes. It can probably shut down some people as well. Hell, I have used the term to automatically discredit people, even my own family’s advice by saying they are contradicting themselves.

      That advice about contradictions did help me in acknowledging the fact that I cannot exactly change all of my habits, especially everyday ones, that I know are very detrimental to people in first world and third world country. Or separating people by “culture” as if the people and the society being labeled are static and don’t blend at times. Words and the implications embedded within them, even in a conversation on social justice. There are also situations in which can be contradictory, such as using one’s privilege status of belonging to a certain group of people to achieve a goal that works against the privilege itself. One good example is Tim Wise’s video on white privilege.

      About the incoherence in my post, thank you for telling me. After reading many works, I rely on a perspective that says that while many things are ambiguous and seemingly easily bendable due to the elasticity of society, physicality is still prevalent. What I’m trying to say is that meanings and many human concepts are assigned to physical entities, such as our bodies. This last part is especially important in that those who have a body deemed to be the other are always reminded of their deviation from the dominant and default body, especially in situations and places that are socially defined as belonging to those in the dominant group. I read this in an article by Sarah Ahmed. Reading it would most likely elaborate this concept better to you than I did.

      As for your dislike for postmodernist theory, eh… Can’t say much. I personally don’t like Psychoanalysis, but the same teacher I quoted always reminds me the importance of acknowledging both the problematics and contributions of each genre of theory, even if they are unbearable to read do to their major problems.

      However, I do like reading some postmodernist works due to its quality of uncertainty. It also allows for some room to consider points of views that are dramatically different from my own, such how people in different positions than my own construct their identity and in what terms. Plus, this theory is especially helpful is the process of bring Western culture down from its pedestal in a conversation.

      Thank you for your comment and hope to hear from you soon!

  55. Social media campaign – make viral video of abuses of LRA and Kony.

    Conversion event – reform Uganda enough so that incidents of crimes lowers.

    Show me the conversion trail. Great brand building, but where’s the conversion event? Where’s the sale, where are the metrics? All the ‘likes’ don’t mean a thing in the world if it doesn’t lead to measurable action.

    As you can tell, I work in SEM.

  56. Brilliant post! Unfortunately, I watched it sober, too. Invisible Children has become its own cult, apparently.

  57. I am a Ugandan and I certainly appreciate the debate and “awareness” that the video has raised, however in my analysis the unintended awareness raised by the video is more relevant to finding lasting solutions than the awareness effect intended by the producer.

    The principal grievance of many Ugandans and indeed Africans is that we have been effectively locked out of the aid discourse and interventions in the northern rehabilitation, as foreign aid workers arbitrarily and for reasons they know best think they are best positioned to shape the problem. I am a law graduate and my applications to work with a number of foreign aid organizations even as a mere volunteer have been rejected, hows that for local empowerment in ur NGO Charter. As someone noted the policy making process in many of these aid organizations, especially those receiving the most funding needs to be rethought and scrutinised.

    I will cite one example, how many of the five Directors of IC are Ugandan?, none. However they do remember to employ Ugandan drivers, menial workers and administrative officers (see IC website), Is this really shared ownership? To what extent do they as Ugandans contribute to IC policy making and analysis at the Board level. IC in my probably irrelevant opinion are to a good extent victims of their own folly. Nobody in Uganda knows how they reach many of their conclusions and policy prescriptions in the video, even senior Government officials have come out saying the video is misleading when considered in context. No doubt Kony needs to be captured and arraigned before court, but another critical and related issue could be to what extent is misinformation better than information.

    • I am an American and I totally agree with you. I have tried to argue with people and all they want to talk about is how great the video is for bringing awareness. When I try to say that the video does not include Ugandan voices and is missing context they just will not listen or do not care.

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  59. I feel sorry for those kids… um, I mean, the kids supporting IC.

    Am I alone in thinking that Russell’s aesthetic is similar to the Nazi aesthetic? “Charismatic” leader who was an unknown artist/filmmaker. Heavily favoring propaganda and drawing on demagoguery. Black triangle on field of red… Black swastika on field of red. The little Aryan boy who is our future.

    • Not to mention the raised fist heil and the activists in brown(t)shirts.

  60. I see it like this…

    IC “raises awareness” by using social media and gets us all thinking and talking about Kony and the “Invisible Children”.

    NGOs like War Child get a boost from the social hype and further educate us on what is really happening in Africa.

    If it weren’t for IC we wouldn’t be talking about it, and if it weren’t for NGOs like War Chid there wouldn’t be action.

    I think that Eleanor Roosevelt made a good point that…
    “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

  61. Jeez, there’s a lot of sanctimonious cunts out there. Can’t we all just agree that Kony’s a dick, stealing kids is bad and the whole fucking world agrees that the issue of what’s happening is appalling (whether some video raised awareness or not) instead of trying to get more “I’m in tune with this controversy and you’re not” points than each other? I’ll bet most of you don’t get invited to a lot of parties due to your stunning personalities. If anything, people being cocks to each other on forums makes me more angry than megalomaniacal dictators scarring kids’ lives forever. At least he’s not hiding behind a keyboard somewhere and taking pot shots at other faceless internet warriors in his underwear.

    I read the post and I laughed. I don’t need to know about Kony specifically to know that what he’s doing is wrong, it’s been happening for years. I’m still going to do fuck all about it though, awareness having been raised or not. It’s that simple.

    Whether the video’s self-aggrandising or not is immaterial. All your peer-bashing opinions count for nothing except to make you look petty and, let’s be honest, not one of you holier-than-thou bastards is going to lift a finger to stop what’s happening so (and this is the moral of this story) let’s unanimously condemn basic immorality, get pissed and eat Play-Doh!

    • No, we can’t.
      Ne need critical thinking in these situations.
      Doing stupid bullshit is dangerous and this video is nothing but utter crap for all of the listed reasons on the top and more.
      Mainly… “awareness for the sake of awareness” is not a good thing, whatever you think. OK, we are aware of what Kony did after the video. Are we aware why it happend? Are we aware how it happened? Are we aware for the cultura, social, economical and political reasons behind this? NO.
      So… what are we aware of again?
      Not much.

      IF one starts to read after it and think and educate herself and investigate… there could be something positive. But the video says something very very precise: “in order to help – give us money, buy our kit. That’s how you can help.” It says nothing about educating ourselves… but we see some bands and we see some people who behave as if on a rock concert. Do we get any link or recommendations about the colonial history of Uganda and the surrounding countries, the political background of Kony? No… and I wonder why.
      The viewer is treated like a kid.
      I am not a kid. I am in university, getting a degree. This video is not aimed at kids. It is supposedly aimed at people my age. However… it is done in a such a way that 1. is insulting the intelligence of the viewer talking all about emotional and showing little to no evidence and data and 2. is doing it in a very problematic way which should’tn be happening, if the person behind the video was as educated on the topic as he claims to be.

      So… yes, I am the cunt (is that supposed to be an insult anyway?) who does not buy it and is critical towards it.
      I am not critical towards doing anything about it, I am critical towards THIS PARTICULAR way. You make the difference I hope?

  62. “I am the cunt (is that supposed to be an insult anyway?)”
    Not if you’re Scottish 😀

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  64. Nothing reeks of “hipster shit” quite as much as this post. Save your asshole-ness for Vice magazine.

  65. I am a writing professor who is using the KONY 2012 video as the topic for an essay in my freshman composition classes, so I’ve been reading much of the support for and criticism against the video, as well as listening to countless discussions on public radio on the topic. KONY 2012 is a fabulous text to use in a composition class; it’s constructed as an argument with a clear purpose and audience. And my students’ responses after we watched the video in class last night provided plenty of insight into why discussion of the video and Invisible Children is crucial. Many students were moved by the piece and were/are ready to get involved. Other students, some of whom had already seen the video, had also heard about some of the current criticism. The bottom line is that just about all of them were ready to make an immediate judgment about KONY 2012 without carefully considering the way the video function, in short, without any careful thinking at all. We will be spending the next few weeks involved in careful analysis of the video and the many responses to it, and I’ll be interested to discover what sort of conclusions my students draw after we’ve all had some time to think.
    To make a long story short, I’m more than familiar with the problem of child solidiers and with Invisible Children, and I’m now in the process of figuring out whether and, if so, how I will contribute to KONY 2012. But I’m repsonding here to the original post, the suggested drinking game which attacks a video that, although it may be flawed, is about a very serious issue. Kate and Amanda, I heard the segment of “Radio Times” where you provided some thoughtful and intelligent discussion of the video. Your drinking game, however, is neither thoughtful nor intelligent and instead presents its authors as snotty poseurs whose attempt to be droll, in the worst sense of the word, merely contributes to the mindless babble that is often vomitted by both right and left-wing provocateurs. How on earth does your post do anything to further the conversation about the serious problem of Joeseph Kony and the worldwide phenomenon of child soldiers? How does your post provoke critical thinking about anything?
    As an academic and, yes, a liberal, many folks in this country would classify me as a member of the liberal elite. I think those same folks would just as happily place you in that often-hated group. But I’m sorry folks, and Amanda and Kate: I don’t want to be part of your club.

  66. Critics must be mega frustrated that the attention generated by the Kony 2012 video has now pushed the African Union to commit a 5,000 soldier force to going after the LRA. They can’t even gripe about the race of the soldiers! And now in the U.S., the Senate appropriations committee is pushing for increased humanitarian assistance to LRA affected areas. It has to be irritating to the academics who have been blogging about this stuff to no avail when these meddling internet kids manage to force the agenda.

  67. Hi Nuaka- and now that the Internet kids/Invisible Children are accomplishing their goals/created awareness maybe they should turn over all their money to helping LRA victims that need reconstructive surgery, have nodding disease, etc. Maybe they should use their crisis tracker system to point out all the other militias and armies in the same area that rape and kill civilians. And are they also going to bring attention to the fact that Obama thinks it’s ok for some countries to use child soldiers but not others?

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