Thursday, March 08, 2012

Kony 2012

Holy Thursday morning distraction! I must blog!

The buzz around Kony 2012 reached my inbox early, encouraging me to drink even before lunch. I watched the film -- I cried a bit, rolled my eyes a lot and felt old for not being able to socially network like my younger socializing friends. Mixed emotions.

I've got no major problem with the filmmakers. I think it's naive. But I value and respect what it takes to organize. I also value the tone of their responses to the criticism. Dialogue is good and they are responding in detail to their weaknesses and inviting you/me to ask harder questions.

At the end of the day, I really value the push of encouragement at the end of this post -- go and read the Crisis Group analysis from November about this problem! If 1% of the 26,684,765 people who see the film on youtube do that (and go further still), that's a lot of better informed people on a really complex issue.

If some naive guy wants to push for the urgency of now, it may make me cringe on many, many levels, but I was "there" once too and I did far less than him to try and raise awareness. More power to him. Maybe in the buzz of outcry against and outcry to support, we'll all get a bit more creative about how to deal with the complexity. The the fatigue that comes with dealing with complexity is real, it's not going away, so I appreciate the kick in the pants. In fact, all this stuff is even making me re-think Bono, who I have long criticised for his shallow and over-simplistic approach to social change. But Bono is making a case that often leads to better, more specific critiques of aid and development. So, well done, Bono (even if I think your music is still shit).

Here's to all the over-simplifies, even you Bono! And to everyone who knows it's more complex, use your disgust at the over-simplification as a new push to get more creative at making your solutions heard.

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