One of them, a child barely 15 years old, breaks the News with the exuberance of a Ballad Dancer, although a little fidgety, he breathlessly asks;
“Remember those white people we took pictures wif us some time ago?”
To which his Comrades, attentively wait with collective baited breaths, to hear the answer and more News about their exploits swirling around nearby Villages.
“We don’t remember . . . . but what is de matter?” They pressed.
“One of dem made a movie dat has made us very famous, especially Kony!”
One of them blurts out in a thick Ugandan accent.
“You mean like a Hollywood movie?”
“Someting like dat and it’s called Kony2012, but it is not good!”
“Many people now know about our ways.”
“It looks like de Americans will be coming after us with a lot more power now.”
With the defiance and naiveté of a hardened criminal, one of them opines, “how are dey going to find us in dis jungle? Dis is de African jungle, not Baghdad. We’ve been doing dis for over 20 years”.
“Well, dere is more. . . “
“Aha . . . ?“
Almost in a whisper,
What started out as Kony2012 is seemingly turning into Russell2012!
For now it looks like Kony is still roaming free in the jungles of East or Central Africa. And Russell? Well, he ‘stopped by’ a Medical facility for reasons we’re all not sure about. This is becoming a very bizarre but interesting event in our recent times.
You must be living under a rock if you’ve not by now heard about Joseph Kony and his LRA rebels wreaking terror in East and Central Africa.
Thanks to the brilliantly done video that has reportedly been viewed more than 76 million times on YouTube and 16 million times on Vimeo as of March 13, making it one of the most viewed videos of all time on those sites. But as it went viral, many Critics and Commentators arose and voiced their opinions on many levels.
As I read, listened, watched and sifted through the various chorus and often discordant notes, I was deeply impacted and resolved to learn from what is happening. What an awakening! I’m still learning a lot but here’s a summary of what I’ve gleaned so far.
It’s definitely a different world – We live in a new and rapidly evolving world where Mass Media is within the reach of anyone savvy enough to showcase their talent using Social Media as an incredibly effective outlet to make a bold statement about any Cause. Major media Gate Keepers like BBC, CNN, ABC, FOX, NBC or CBS are realizing that in our modern democratizing Global Village, they can no longer control as effectively as they used to, information that is circulated around the world anymore than water can be held in the palm of one’s hand. The world is becoming flatter by the minute.
Importantly, the Arts and Media are the swift bridges over which the current values reaches and influences the general culture. Simply put, the overwhelming power of these new forms of media cannot be overlooked. This is a major driver of our changing world.
While this has some benefits, there is a sinister side.
Our generation is the easily and most manipulated to walk on the face of this earth. News comes at us at breakneck speeds! Everything seems so fast but our ability to critically think and sensibly digest is woefully sluggish.
Every News is in gluttonous competition with everything else at the same time. It is just amazing how big News vanishes into thin air giving attention to the next big thing or worthless minutia with a flick of the Remote control, a click of the Mouse, or a tap of the Screen.
Our collective attention-span is like that of a kid in a toy store. Soon serious issues with far-reaching consequences and potentially lingering pain, does not receive the sustained attention they deserve in order to make any difference.
I’m usually annoyed by the not-too-important mind-numbing ‘who’s-having-sex-with-who’ celebrity News that usually take center stage while life and death issues are handled so callously.
And this opens the door to the next thing I’m learning.
We, as a people are becoming callous and ruthlessly cynical. The trivialization of serious news is not only nauseating. Anyone with access to the internet can become an overnight expert on any subject.
A video of a young lady who claimed to be a Ugandan made distorted statements about the long ago death of Joseph Kony. And she was passing this off as factual information.
Another, a Nigerian, was questioning how we were going to “kidnap” — really, KIDNAP — Kony as the awareness campaign was asking us to do.
A British Teenager decisively ruled out the effectiveness of the video in helping to apprehend Kony, citing strategic and logistic nightmare, and a fundamental military impossibility. Wow!
These virulent ‘Pontificators’ admittedly knew nothing about Kony prior to the video coming out but were so passionate about addressing this complex geopolitical issue that has gone on for more than two decades. They, being ‘informed’, and admonishing ‘everyone’ to inform themselves, revealed how sadly uninformed they were.
I won’t even glorify the financial misappropriation accusations with any explanations here. No, I don’t support corruption or mismanagement in any way. But that subject requires an entirely different post and is not my focus here.
My heart and prayers goes out to Jason Russell and his family. His video and the work of Invisible Children have become an entry point of awareness that reminds us all of our humanness and connectivity.
Whether the rumble is in the jungles of East or Central Africa, in the corridors of power on Capitol Hill, or on the Cultural front in Hollywood, there surely is a rumble in our Global Village that forces us to gaze into our maze of life on this planet from a completely re-ordered set of assumptions. When we do, we definitely cannot avoid the face of the One who created all things and calls upon us to respond in ways He would want us to.
Joseph Kony and every Tyrant like him MUST be STOPPED!