Wednesday, March 7, 2012

By Vinit Patel: Thoughts on Kony 12

My thoughts on Kony12: Since there are no major articles.
If you don't know what this is, watch this first.

Here's the 101 to why it's interesting. I've made it as simple to understand as I can.

I've studied the Political science, and recent politics, in general. For those of you who don't know, the name of the game is: How people get what they want. In the simplest terms.

Why is this important to state? Because the American political system is complex. With many opinions, forces, pressures, etc. trying to get their voices heard and programs funded. Old people trying to get healthcare, poor people trying to get healthcare (and welfare), rich people trying to get lower taxes, etc. You get my point. This is by far the most fundamental idea.

The thing is, they're all meant to be implemented slowly. If you haven't noticed, which you most likely haven't, laws take forever to pass from the legislative branch to the executive branch. Mostly because of the strenuous process, but it is also due to the fact that our government was built that way. It was build to be slow. Don't believe what i'm saying? Read the Federalist Papers, I believe it's number 10 you'll be looking for. It talks about protecting the government from making decisions based on the passions of the people. Because people tend to cause uproars about things, which die down after months, weeks, and (in our current society) days. So back to those programs I mentioned earlier, Medicaid and Medicare, are actually a part of our government's expenditure because there was a continuous need for it. People kept voicing their opinions about it, and it wasn't the one time thing.

But something like Kony12 has never happened, assuming it plays out the way it should. And it's interesting to me because it something about it tells me it might work yet it seems so much like what is described in the federalist papers. So many people have already spread the word. They've come to know of the truth. Yeah, some people actually hope to achieve something, and others are mindlessly doing it just because it's what everyone else is doing. But the point is, everyone is doing something. Even if it's sharing a video. Everyone is getting riled up about Kony, and they want something done about it. If the ADHD society we live in today can keep spreading the word and voicing their opinions about this, then maybe it will be a success.

Unfortunately, that's the same thing that makes me think that this might not work out as planned. We live in a short-term memory world. People do things to be in trends, and in the now. Who knows if Kony will be remembered a month from now? How long did Livestrong bands last? People were so worried about the Haiti Earthquake, are they still doing stuff to help now? Wasn't the gulf spill just last year? And yet we've forgiven BP...well, actually, I was going to fill up at Arco either way. lol

Or maybe I'm just looking at it incorrectly. Granted, we may have some idiots out there, but, overall, we're just fast paced. Livestrong, Haiti, oil spills, tsunamis...people hear about them, spread the word, donate. Obviously, not everyone cares (but I'll get to that later). I think, TRI has understood this fact. And it's a smart thing. They decided to make April 20 their launch date, and it'll keep people focused till then. It's definitely a long enough window for action to be taken.

Those are reasons for why I find this interesting as someone who majored in Political Science. And I usually, scratch that...always, have something bad to say about politics today. This is the first time, I've seen a movement that has the potential to make a huge impact, whether you actually think about the collective voice or not.

But now I'd like to get to the point that a lot of people are probably encountering.

Before I continue: People have a right a right to their own opinion. And well, here's mine.

I'll be honest, I have known about Invisible Children and the LRA since HS, but I didn't know about Kony. I knew what was going on. Mutilations, child abductions, rape, etc, but I didn't know what I could personally do to help. I'm not made of money, I can't just fly to Africa. So there's a disconnect. Obviously, I can do a lot of things locally, do I? Not as much I should/could. That's because I view Americans as a waste of my effort. They are the root of their own stupid problems (For the most part), and that is my opinion. Obviously, I'm talking about when it comes to violence which decreases the chances of survival. I'm not talking about cancer, diseases/disorders, etc. Because I actually will be participating in a walk-a-thon May 5th. Lol I'll post a link in the coming weeks, please donate hahaha. Anyways, that's leading into a different discussion. Back to where I left of at. I think this new method of getting things done through social media, through the internet, will be interesting to watch, now and in the future. People should get involved. Share the link. Tell your friends. Who cares if you never knew about this occurring? So what if now, all of a sudden, you're talking about it. At some point in my life, I didn't know about it. At some point in my life, I also didn't know the things I do now, which is not much at all.
But knowledge is the remover of ignorance. Who gives a crap if people don't know, didn't know. As long as they eventually know and become aware of what is happening. That is the only way people will formulate opinions, thoughts, feelings.

- Point to all of this: do something, be a part of it. Watch it all unfold. Not like it was much of a burden on you. Not like you were mutilated, raped, shot, killed. Why should anybody else be?

By Guest Blogger,
 Vinit Patel


  1. I am always a cynic when it comes to these things. I think if Kony is not found by election time this is all over.

    And even if they do find him, who is to say that there won't be another one rising after him? Until the core roots of the problem in the entire continent of Africa (hunger, poverty, education, etc) are not solved, no matter how many warlords we take down, there will always be one in the making.

    1. I don't disagree. That's the complete reality. I don't think this problem will ever cease completely, at least not in the next decade or five. I understand that.

      Although I seem totally optimistic about the issue, when I wrote this, the post was more for getting people to feel that it's alright to voice your opinion.

  2. Hey your sis brought Me here nice blog

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks!
      And Thanks for letting me post it!

      I would've posted it on Facebook, but not as many people would've read it or commented on it.

    2. any time dude. you got about 150 hits since it was posted last night. im guessing itll get to 215+ by the end of today.

  4. haha I don't know man. Does "filtered" knowledge remove ignorance or only exponentially add to it through the means of social media? A vast majority of the people sharing, retweeting, and supporting the kony2012 campaign are anti-war and complain about the state of the economy. They say somebody who makes the same mistake repeatedly renders them insane. Then if those who were ticked off by Bush's ability to shoot government expenditures through the roof by trying to hunt Osama and Sadam are "sharing" a video of an organization who is PRO-war isn't called insanity or ignorance....I don't know what is. And weren't osama and sadam just as deserving of justice as Kony? Don't get me wrong, I agree that Kony should be found and thrown in prison. But does it take a military invasion from the U.S. to find him? I doubt it. From the research I've done for a paper on Invisible Children, I've read that most of the LRA is already pushed out of Uganda by their own military. And they are already hunting him down themselves. So why use footage taken in 2004 to stir up the world with the means of social media all the way in 2012? Because unfortunately, like you said, people have the need to feel a part of something...without educating themselves on the subject. And the power of social media today allows people to feel as though they a part of something big and allows them to connect with the rest of the world by sharing feelings and pre-constructed emotions. And from the rest of the research I've done, they aren't even sure if the LRA is still active. But the thing politicians care about more then money is power. And the only way they get power is obviously by getting elected to their desired position. But if most of their potential voters are brainwashed into supporting an organization they know nothing about through social media, politicians have no choice but to support the organiation and in turn support war. Shit for all I know next year there will be a video on how dumb Obama is for brining the economy down again through war... which people will feel the need to share and retweet. To me it almost seems as though social media is being used as an incredibly powerful weapon....with our ignorance being used as ammunition.

    Just some thoughts,
    Bhavin boge

    1. Nicely put Bhavin. I agree. At the end of the day all of this makes little difference at the government level because politicians will only listen to only those who vote and people that are into social media and its targets are young people who do not care as much to vote. And the older people who do vote probably do not care as much about this

    2. Very well said Bhavin. But don't worry on 20 April a bunch of righteous individuals will plaster cities with these posters. They will go home feeling they have helped capture Kony. The next week the city government will spend thousands cleaning up the mess.

  5. I'd just like to point out that I'm as much a skeptic as you guys. I’m usually the first guy to crack a joke about the lack of sophistication in America. We live in a country more obsessed with people Failing (Fail Blogs, etc.) than succeeding (do I really need to go into detail?). But during rare moments, I get the feeling that there may be some good, and this time I happened to have that rare feeling.

    I mean I hate many politicians as much as the next guy. I think they're mostly jokes. And I know Mukesh agrees (Check out his blog post, which may give you more insight on what I’m referring to:

    I also agree with both you that stopping Kony doesn't mean crap. Just like how we killed Osama, but didn't end terrorism. (And I’ve stated this in my previous comment.)

    I was more interested in seeing people being “involved.” Though not really (unless they donated, and actually plan on doing something on April 20 lol). Also, I’m assuming most of the people riled up are young, and that is their best solution to protesting. But Mukesh mentioned exactly what I was trying to get at. Young people don’t do shit. We don’t. I mean besides voting, not even I do much as part of my civic duty. But young people don’t even Vote. They don’t get know who will be running and what issues they support. If all young people voted, yes it would make a difference. However, not all of them do, so not much difference is made.
    I actually forgot what I wrote (mostly because I hate re-reading what I write), but I’m sure that was the main point I was targeting. That people should inform themselves. Research beyond what you see and hear. The issue could have been something totally different. It could have been something else in Africa. Aids, FGM (google it, if you’re really that curious), or 1,000,000 of any other atrocious acts, and these problems may never cease. But , point being, is that this message is getting across to a wide audience. I don’t doubt many people are just in the motion (Yes, I’m agreeing with you people who are suggesting that this has made a lot of “fake” people pretend that they care). But some are actually serious about trying to get it stopped. The same can be said of a real demonstration. People may just be there for the food or to meet new people, and not really share the 100% extreme viewpoint of the people protesting; but the collective presence made at least some impact.

    People are talking about real issues. Not just about whether or not Snooki was impregnated by a gang of giraffes. And it is times like these that people actually assess how they really feel about the issue/facts. It gets them talking. That is the good I think MAY come out of this. People may inform themselves more about things that are occurring outside of their lives. Read the news! Read some books! Knowing and saying something is better than being ignorant and talking shit. (I know this from experience lol).

    Despite the fact that Kony may not be caught, killed, or gorilla-raped, I do hope something does happen to save the children running away from captivity.

  6. I agree. People should be educated on the subject. People should be involved. But if people being involved indirectly results in an unnecessary war, then in this case people shouldn't be involved. At least not with an organization who is pushing for war. I guess this is just a unique situation where the result of people being involved (without information) can do more harm than good. There's always a wrong way to do the right this case, we are witnessing the worst way to do the right thing. War to cause peace seems like an oxymoron to me. Especially when it isn't needed. Again this is a unique situation because in reality the problem is out of date and almost solved. If this campaign was set in 2004, then i would be for it. That's when military assistance from America would have been needed. If a war would cause more of these children dying, why start one? Their soldiers ARE these kids. Who would the U.S. be forced to kill in a war? I bet using atomic weapons in the 40's in Japan seemed like the smart thing and the right thing to do. After it was said and done...was it? Unfortunately this issue couldn't get this much attention when it was needed (due to technology). But now that the situation is not the same, you can not use tactics meant to be used then, now. I am not against capturing Kony. I'm against using emotional youth do indirectly control the government.

    Just some thoughts,
    bhavin bogé

    1. Like Vinit said, our government will not take immediate action. "It was meant to be slow" to prevent itself from making decisions based on what we're seeing now. Also, our government isn't directly affected (like with previous wars you mentioned), so any action on our part would go through votes before anything is declared. Saying a War will be started is too extreme.Furthermore, top level people in the government know the truth of what is going on. So it won't be anything new for them that they'll all of a sudden bear arms.
      Lastly, Invisible Children is directly involved. All proceeds go directly to them, and they work in an effort to stop what is happening. People are being stupid in trying to make the argument that they don't actually spend most of their money for their objectives, and don't like to release their financial information...(well read before you speak). Because it's all on their website.
      You said they're brainwashing the young. How so? Is what they are saying a radical view or untrue? Everything shown in the video is happening! It needs to be stopped!!!

  7. I was hesitant to say this but I am just going to go ahead and say it. I really don't care about what happens in Africa. Children dieing, AIDS, hunger, violence, rape all of that shit is part of life and fortunately for me it hasn't been part of my life yet. So I don't care. The world can be a horrible place and people can do horrible shit and it's unfortunate that those people were born there. I guess we are the lucky ones. And it's great that there are people amongst us trying to help them but I am not one of those people because these things are thousands of miles away, their issue has no affect on the life of me or those close to me and I have enough shitty problems to worry about even though it may not be as basic as their shitty problems. So I really don't care. Unless this is happening in front of my eyes then I would do something to stop it. It really sucks for those people who are born there but that's their bad luck for being born there. I don't even care if Kony gets arrested or if this continues or how many die or this and that...because none of it has any immediate quantifiable impact on my short term (or long term) life in any way. Does that make me a bad person? A dick? An asshole? Those are all subjective terms so people can call me whatever they want for saying this. It's not going to affect me or change my outlook in any way.

  8. LOL. I guess my original view was correct. Seems like everyone stopped talking about it by the weekend. It'll probably be forgotten completely in a week.

    But, I'll still keep track of it till April 20, and see how quickly that comes and goes.
    [Note to self: Don't doubt yourself.]

  9. Loving this dialogue, and I am now wondering several things. In response to Bhavin Bogé, I am now wondering what exactly Invisible Children want from the United States. Do they want the United States to act as policemen for the world? Shouldn't the United Nations step in somewhere here? If the soldiers are going to be in Uganda, they shouldn't be there as United States soldiers but there as sanctioned by the UN. The international community needs to develop a structure for dealing with these types of situations. Obviously this is not the first or last time for genocide and violence such as this.

    In response to The King of Nothing, I would like to say that fortunately or unfortunately, we do not exist in a vacuum. Whatever affects the smallest of us, affects all of us. This does not mean that everyone needs to take action. It is not the job of the United States or the first world to tell the rest of the world what to do. People can ussually handle their shit. When there is social strife to this extent however, the international community needs to step in. Because that is precisely what developing an international community is for. Preventing genocide, among other things. This is not the first or last time this has happened. The international community needs to get their shit together. This has happened on every continent in every decade. As human beings, we can and should be concerned. Even if the concern is limited to making sure it doesn't happen to anyone we know.

    It's okay that there are people in society who are apathetic to these issues. But surely these movers and shakers need room to move and shake.

    More information on how the United Nations is actually supposed to deal with this f***ing nonsense can be found here: