The point still stands.
|The wisdom of Disney films.|
So actually I wish I could be something simpler than a human, like a cat. Or a hamster.
Seriously, consider it: your life would orbit around food and sleep, and majority of people would think you're cute and adorable. They'd pet you and play with you and you needn't worry that they'd suddenly stop loving you. And you'd also die before them so you wouldn't even have to mourn them.
Such cheerful thoughts today.
But bad things, big and small happen all the time, and it kind of nags me how powerless I am before them. When this Kony thing suddenly exploded all over Internet I had one moment's burst of hope that maybe doing something like this could bring people together and show them that they can do something to make a difference. I admittedly am slightly naive and I really, really want to believe in good things, but I'm not a moron. Coming across such an amount of critique and contradicting information about both the charity, Invisible Children, and the cause itself has left me feeling a bit hollow. Enthusiasm and determination have transformed into suspicion and disappointment.
Why then? What made me change my mind?
Well, first of all the fact that even as I watched the film I got an uncomfortable itch of the disgusting, traditional 'wise white men go and save the poor and simple black men' pattern. But I kind of lost it somewhere in the midst of the emotional storm generated by the massively dramatised story, and let myself be filled with feeling that there might be something I could participate in and thus affect. The truth is, though that Invisible Children is a bunch of white middle-class kids who most likely have an honest desire to do good and help, but don't realise that they're nothing but foreigners - and rich ones - for those who they so determinately aim to save.
Another thing that I consciously overlooked is that the whole situation in Africa is not simple. Arresting one bad man won't yet solve anything because the government of Uganda is probably badly corrupted like all the governments are, and so it would continue its own atrocities along with the occasional stupidities of the US army, which supposedly would stay in the country for some time messing around for no obvious reason.
But why would I consciously overlook something like this? Because I felt that getting at least one bad guy pay for his crimes might show people around the world that if we're loud enough and collaborate, then maybe, just maybe our governments would listen and act lest they should lose the next election. In the end it's all about power struggle, isn't it? So, I believed that something good might come out of this if not the perfect solution for the problem.
I could have lived with these two problems if it wasn't for the rest of it.
Now it seems that even the facts in the promo film aren't entirely spot on. It is quite apparent that the charity has over-emphasised certain things to draw more attention to their cause and to provoke emotional responses that people tend to follow. However, the film certainly gives an impression that LRA and Kony are a present, threatening problem operating right now. At least Ugandan government states differently in their announcement in Uganda Media Centre's website. According to the message LRA has mostly been forced out of the country and it's volume has diminished into some 300 members. Joseph Kony's whereabouts are not known as far as I've researched this topic but wherever he is, he's not as powerful as he used to. The conflict in Uganda has been more or less solved since mid-2006's.
Invisible Children responds: "Since the LRA left Uganda in 2006, Invisible Children has been publicly denouncing their atrocities in DR Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR), while continuing to work with now-peaceful communities in post-conflict northern Uganda", which is all fair enough but why then spread misleading and biased information, is all I'm asking.
It really makes me question the true objectives of the charity and its campaign: if you are standing for something, you don't just go and not tell people the truth about it. For me it seems like they needed more money, which would be really despicable since that money would've been gained by exploiting the suffering of Ugandan people.
On top of it all Ugandans themselves don't seem too happy about the campaign and interfering white people.
As a result of everything I've read and heard, I'm not at all convinced whether or not to be part of this. There are so many truths around there that one can't easily tell the right one apart - especially if there are several sides to the story.
All of this complexity drives me crazy, which is the reason why I prefer staying secured inside my bubble. I can barely take care of my own problems and even that more often than not happens by stuffing them in the darkest and dustiest corners of my mind where I can pretend they don't exist. I'm very bad at admitting that I can't be of help for my loved ones either, and giving up for the sake of my own mental health is always evident but hard. If I then get involved in a global thing like this, and eventually see that it's very likely to not work as it's supposed to, I just sink in this utter helplessness and paralysis like I do every time I face the fact that I cannot help anyone but myself.
And here I am, wishing to be a cat because facing reality hurts like nothing else.
Related reading here and all over the Internets: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/15/kony-2012-flops-in-uganda/