Ignorance and Douchebags!

                People go through their day to day lives concerning themselves with nothing outside the world around them. I think partly it stems from our natural self-absorption. And that’s not something that you should be ashamed of, everyone is self-absorbed, at least to a degree. We can only see the world through our own eyes, through our own viewpoints, so everything that we do, we typically do in order to benefit us in some way; sometimes it’s blatantly a self-absorbed action, other times you help someone else because doing so makes you feel good. The part people fail to realize is that that is ok. It’s all right to be self-absorbed, because that’s simply the nature of life. It’s not possible to completely view the world through another person’s point of view, we don’t live in the world of “Being John Malkovich”, so instead we do the best we can with our own limited perception. But that’s not even where this post is going…

                Seeing as we can only experience things through our own eyes, it’s no wonder that international issues go unnoticed. Joseph Kony has been leading the LRA for over 25 years, and yes it’s just now becoming common knowledge to not only the majority of my very own generation, but to the majority of American citizens. The KONY 2012 movement has taken on a life of its own. It’s spreading through our little self-centered, electronic worlds like wildfire. The information has been out there and available to us all for decades, but the American public has generally ignored it until now.

                Why’d we ignore it? I don’t know for sure, I can’t speak for the entirety of the country. If I had to guess though, I’d say it’s because we’ve always felt that there was nothing we could do. This tragedy is happening on the other side of the world, it’s not happening to anyone we know, and it doesn’t affect us right? So what can we do anyway? But nowadays, that’s all changed. We can do something about it by simply clicking a button and typing our names. Do that and we’ve saved a life or two right? Wrong.

                Every re-post of the KONY 2012 video and signature on the petition for his arrest is nothing more than a drop in an insanely massive bucket, and in order for anything to actually happen to stop Kony, that bucket needs to be overflowing.

                But don’t be disheartened, every drop counts, every tiny little bit does do something. That’s the beautiful thing about the technological world. The world has become “flat”, we can contact someone in every corner of the world in an instant and send them photos and videos and almost anything else we want to. Likewise, if we want to place our drop in the bucket in order to change the world, we can; and it costs us no more than a couple of seconds.

                Please note that I’m not saying that the KONY 2012 movement is a bad one or that the people perpetuating it are ignorant. However, think of how huge this movement is getting, and then think of the power we have through this social networking, technologically advanced society in which we live. Then realize that there is so much more that we can affect, this movement is far from the only tragedy happening in the world, and even more so realize that the future of our country is very quickly falling into our laps, and that the vast majority of us are not prepared for it. Bills and laws are being passed right under us that are directing this society to places it’s never been.

                If this Facebook society were to wake up and pay more attention to the world outside of their own, just imagine the power it would have. We’d have an almost immeasurable ability to change the world.

                This however brings me to the point I really want to make. I’ve noticed in just the short time that this KONY 2012 movement has expanded, that there have also been a growing number of detractors. People that belittle others for signing it; people that say those passing on the video are “fauxtivists” or ignorant because they didn’t know about the Ugandan Conflict beforehand.

                 The people making these negative comments are the truly ignorant ones.

                 I’m all for being a hipster, but refusing to perpetuate the movement, or making fun of people for doing so while you imply that you “knew about Joseph Kony before it was cool”? Fuck you. You may think that you’re intelligent, and that you’re too cool to be one of the “sheep”, but in actuality you’re even more ignorant than everyone else AND you’re a douchebag.

SPOILER ALERT: Being better informed does not equal intelligence!

                  Intelligence comes from what you do with the information you’re given. Intelligence is a measurement of how you lead your life and how you conduct yourself in this fucked up society of ours. Just because you read the news does not make you intelligent, it makes you informed. And trust me, the number of well-informed idiots out there is massive.

                  You’re negative comments about the KONY 2012 movement and all other Facebook movements similar to it, literally help no one, except for maybe Joseph Kony himself. Your comments only cause other people to question their motives, and then they worry that maybe it’s not “cool” to sign the petition. And then if enough of you ignorant bastards manage to shoot down the movement, Kony will have free reign to continue his war for another 25+ years.

                  So if you’re one of those people that refuse to perpetuate the movement because you knew about the Ugandan Conflict before it was cool, please explain yourself in the comments below. Feel free to defend your actions, because I think that calling you a douchebag is an insult to sanitary products everywhere.

                 Thanks, and have a great day!


  1. I enjoyed this very much Chris. It sickens me that some people rush in to say negative things about a positive movement. I think that these people are just jealous that they didn't start such an amazing movement their selves.
    I especially like the last line, very nice!

  2. Hey Chris, thanks for posting this blog. As you know I am your biggest fan. However, I have to disagree with the central thesis to this blog post. I completely agree that a movement to find this ruthless man is justified. Also, those who spend time and money to support this cause are certainly noble.

    While I agree with the fact that people will be in the opposition just to be rebel, I do think there can be some justified opposition. What if this isn't your biggest concern? I work with Kiva where we use microloans to help females come out of poverty, be more independent, overcome life long work in brothels. Is there opposition to this plan to attempt to solve these issues? Absolutely, and we should welcome debate. No one solution solves everything? Just because one person is in complete agreement with your stance doesn't mean they are informed either. We can all find some very ignorant people who posted the Kony video today. Heck, I thought if you posted this video 100 times everyone you knew would get a free cone (too soon?).

    What's wrong if there are informed people who don't think the central plan of 100 American soldiers (whose average age is 20 and whom most have never had to complete a task on this magnitude. Plus who have no idea of this region and how to navigate through it) may not be the best solution. What's wrong with asking the question "100 troops have been in Uganda since October 2011 and no foundation can give any statistical evidence that there presence has made any significant affect in finding Kony or reducing his force? What's wrong with saying Kony has 60 different wives and 40 kids who when willing to talk give completely different accounts on where he is, so how can better funding for technology solve this? Why not have an honest debate?

    You're right when you say it's your actions that showcase your intelligence. You're right when you say the world is becoming more flatter, but it doesn't mean we are all taking advantage of this opportunity. People in big cities with progressive values are far more educated but yet still cling to their biases, as do people in small conservative rural areas.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't support this movement. I think it's wonderful and you know I'll be taking shots with you when he is captured. However, this new digital world has made us rush to judgements and conclusions (on either side of an argument) much faster than we've done before. What's wrong with holding back a bit and analyzing the overall synopsis?

    Basically I miss you Blue. That's my central thesis.

  3. Hi Chris,
    I saw your blog from your shared link.
    When I saw the Kony video it was very eye-opening. Prior to that video I had no idea who he was or about the *specifics* of the trouble he's causing.
    That said, my first thought was "so, business as usual in Africa?"

    Kony is a symptom of a larger social disease of apathy enabling atrocities. I've usually *verbally* espoused the mindset that if you're not going to stand up for your "morally superior" beliefs then what the point of espousing them at all? Then I've justified immediate action in area X and justified delaying action in area Y... and I've justified my bias by veiling it as pragmatism, though it's most often selective apathy. This viewpoint is so often called hawkish and belligerent (and certainly sometimes it is!)

    ... But most of my peers have usually had the complete opposite position: the the United States has no business playing "world police" and intervening in other nations' internal civil/military conflicts. By extension: that our moral position ought not be imposed.

    I think there are certain merits and failures in both viewpoints. Mine is inherently hegemonic, the opposition is inherently apathetic.

    One can explain how hegemony yields results internationally, positively or negatively depending the validity of the cause and the execution of the action. I wonder, though, how to reconcile the opposing stance with the response we've seen from this video's spread and the resulting "call to arms" of both veteran and tenderfoot "social activists"...

  4. I miss you too Shounak, very much.

    And I actually agree with your point entirely. I wrote this blog post in the small window of time I had between work and Wine Wednesday, so I didn't explain myself as clearly as I should have.

    You're absolutely correct that there are plenty of ignorant people that bandwagon on to a movement simply for the sake of doing so, and for how it would affect their image. And you're right when you say that open and reasonable debate on the topic and about the movement should be encouraged. After all, trying to understand those with conflicting viewpoints is the only way that we can better our own viewpoints, and ultimately come up with the best solution.

    The people that I was meaning to speak out against weren't people that were against or even hesitant about the movement for intelligent reasons; (of which there are plenty) but instead those people that were belittling the people who are attaching themselves to the movement. I would gladly promote a reasonable debate on the merits of the movement, but the people I'm angry at aren't engaging in reasonable debate. They're simply making negative comments without any intelligence behind them.

    Basically I guess my central thesis was meant to be, that I can't stand it when people make negative comments about the people that join a movement without any intelligent reason to do so. If people would like to criticize a movement itself and do so intelligently, then by all means they should because that criticism is the key to bettering the movement and bettering ourselves. But to make baseless negative comments about the PEOPLE joining a movement, without any apparent reason of why you don't support the movement, that I won't tolerate; because all it does is hurt the movement without giving the opportunity to better the movement through constructive criticism.

    And finally, I'd just like to reiterate how much I miss you.