A few short days ago you had never heard the name Joseph Kony before.
You had no idea who he was, or why you should care.
Neither did I.
And because I am human, I didn’t really care.
Neither did you – perhaps you still don’t.
But the fact remains that we went to sleep not knowing, and not caring and woke a brief few hours later to a few million people shouting about it.
Any rational person would agree that that is something you should probably pay some attention to.
That is also why this week my regular pop-culture slinging, would-be trendy movie review is being replaced by something else.
I’m not suggesting anybody needs to start diverting money by direct debit, or needs to book the next flight out to a Uganda airport (though I’d certainly not stop you if you did). I’m not going to wave photos of malnourished children in your face and call you a capitalist like it’s a bad thing. I am as much of a squishy, over feed typically lazy western white person as any of you reading this.
I am simply standing squarely upon the very small soup box I, like many of you have chosen to give myself and telling you “here is what I believe”.
As it happens what I believe doesn’t actually differ a whole bunch from the suggestion I make every week in this space.
You need to watch this movie
If you don’t agree with it, good - at least you’ve thought about it.
If you think it’s a bad idea, that’ it’s poorly executed and wrung with pretence then good, at least you’ve formulated an opinion and gone someway toward educated yourself a little but.
It is not perfect.
To start with in my opinion it is too long.
Beside this however of course it’s makers and the organisation who created it have problems. After all it is run by floundering, faulted humans who make mistakes.
As the accused rational human being I have thus far presumed you are, you’re perfectly entitled to feel a little disgruntled when a charity who’s become an over night world phenomenon appears to have been a little lax about taking the time to do the books quite right.
I’d agree that you’re right to be sceptical; but I would suggest that you remember scepticism and cynicism are too very different things.
When looked at in the perceptive of even one person’s life most of the criticised elements of this campaign and its makers, are all rather small petty things.
I would hope most of you rational, well meant, kind-hearted people who aren’t found of mass murder would agree there is something wrong about a person like Joseph Koney being invisible.
There is something wrong with somebody being able to carry out the kind of evil he has without the world even knowing it.
There is something wrong when most of the planet has never seen his face or even heard his name.
There is something wrong when he could simply stroll down any street, in any town, in any so called civilised nation in the world and go unnoticed.
There is a school of thought that says all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.
Dreamer and warm-hearted well-wisher that I am, I know clicking ‘like’ on your friend’s Facebook status isn’t going to cancel world debt.
Twitter isn’t going to cure aids and it certainly isn’t going to find Joseph Koney. But if it can tell the world who Joseph Koney is, then perhaps that’s a start.
If it can plaster his face on people’s television screens and laptops and mobile phones, if it can bring him into our sitting rooms and place a great big neon sign over his head reading “the enemy” then maybe that’s something.
You’d have to agree it’s certainly better than nothing.
This movie isn’t about the best way to change the world, or who is doing it right or wrong. This movie is about educating yourself and making a choice. You can criticise it and you will find fault, I am as certain of that as anybody.
Or you can choose to look at what it has already done and see what it has the potential to do.
A few days ago you didn’t know and you didn’t care. Neither did I. Then you woke up and suddenly you had a choice to make - you either care or you don’t. Either way things aren’t invisible any longer.
To summerise things a lot more neatly and more rhythmically than I can;
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
- Dr. Seuss.
KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.