I would be a liar if I pretended to admire
the red light wind screen cleaning empire that you've built.
But my heart is good it's not a thing of stone or wood
I'll give you fifty cents to take away my guilt.
I give money to folks that just don't have enough
to try to justify the future purchases of stuff that I don't need.
I know that one less vodka cranberry tonight
and I could feed some foreign family for a fortnight
But I might just have one more.
After all what is vodka for
apart of making you wanna shag you're best mate's wife.
Dampening the guilt you feel about your perfect life.
Fuck the poor
what is all this hoo-ha for?
There is only one reason to call 1-800-034034.
It's the force that drove Teresa and that school that Oprah built.
I'll give you fifty bucks to take away my guilt.
Fuck the poor
I'm not pretending anymore
that I really give two shits about some kids in Bangalore
I'm more interested in footy than seeing the Solomon's re-built.
But I'll give you fifty bucks to take away my guilt.
I'll give you fifty bucks to take away my guilt.
So, if you're like me, you were cursing around your Facebook page a few days ago and you kept seeing random status updates that cryptically and annoyingly keep spouting "KONY 2012" And when you saw them you bemusedly scratched your head and thought; "Is there some new candidate in the Republican primaries I haven't heard about?"
Devoid of any context or substance, these two words on their own are completely meaningless, hence my confusion and indignation regarding no one seeming willing to post any elaborating information.
So, needless to say, it wasn't too long before I actually found someone who posted a link to the 30 minute documentary which explains everything.
Which I'll provide for you, right here. ---> vimeo.com/37119711
In short summation: Joseph Kony is a Ugandan guerrilla leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) which has been active in central Africa for the past 26 years.
His numerous crimes against humanity include capturing some 66,000 children, turning the girls into sex slaves, forcing the boys to kill their own families and forcing his troops to mutilate and murder any resistance they meet.
Kony has no assistance and his only stated goal is to turn Uganda into a theocracy ruled by his personal interpretation of the Ten Commandments.
The goal of "Invisible Children" is to raise awareness of the LRA and to persuade the U.S. government to lend aide, troops and technology to the Ugandan army to capture Kony and bring him to justice.
Now, when I actually became aware of what this movement is, I was, in a way, of two minds.
The cynical asshole in me was turned off by the emergence of yet another "Awareness" cause being brought up as excuse to sell t-shirts and bracelets.
And what little is left of my heart and human empathy was appalled that the name "Kony" remained so obscure two decades into his crimes and wants his wave of genocide stopped.
Cruising around the web, I've found people who speak to both sides of my bifurcated psyche, and I've found both of them raise equally valid points.
Now, it's entirely possible the cynical fire in my brain is being fed fuel by the fact that my current place of employ completely backtracked on it's promise of giving me full-time hours, so now not only can I donate neither money nor time to the movement (as my free time is mostly spent looking for a new job these days) and I can barely afford to feed myself.
So this is a really bad time to ask me for a donation in any regard.
But while anger at myself and my current situation fed what little indifference I have toward "Kony 2012," what seems to be fueling as lot of the anti-Koni movement sentiments is the righteous indignation of the bandwagon followers proselytizing to spread awareness of a rebel leader they themselves had only heard of less than a week ago.
There is a little merit to this sentiment. After all, it's not as if the LRA is the only source of violent strife in the world.
-The violent draconian punishments used by the Philippines police.
-Drug cartels in Columbia and Latin America.
-The unending, bloody fights in Chechnya.
It's not as if Joseph Kony is a recent or isolated blip on the violence radar screen.
But even more so, I think a lot of the indignation toward the Kony movement comes from the jaded attitude toward "Awareness," best captured in the 2008 book "Stuff white people like" by Christian Lander;
"An interesting fact about white people is that they firmly believe that all of the world's problems can be solved through "awareness." Meaning the process of making other people aware of problems, and then magically someone else like the government will fix it.
This belief allows them to feel that sweet self-satisfaction without actually having to solve anything or face any difficult challenges. Because, the only challenge of raising awareness is people not being aware. In a worst case scenario, if you fail someone doesn't know about the problem. End of story.
What makes this even more appealing for white people is that you can raise "awareness" through expensive dinners, parties, marathons, selling t-shirts, fashion shows, concerts, eating at restaurants and bracelets. In other words, white people just have to keep doing stuff they like, EXCEPT now they can feel better about making a difference.
Raising awareness is also awesome because once you raise awareness to an acceptable, aribtrary level, you can just back off and say "Bam! did my part. Now it's your turn. Fix it."
So to summarize you get all the benefits of helping (self satisfaction, telling other people) but no need for difficult decisions or the ensuing criticism (how do you criticize awareness?). Once again, white people find a way to score that sweet double victory.
Popular things to be aware of: The Environment, Diseases like Cancer and AIDS, Africa, Poverty, Anorexia, Homophobia, Middle School Field Hockey/Lacrosse teams, Drug Rehab, and political prisoners."
So, it's all well and good to criticize people for jumping on a bandwagon... But I think it's safe to say most internet trolls have never been forced to murder their own parents while guerrilla leaders forced their sisters into whoredom and then were forced to mutilate their neighbors faces with hunting knives.
The bandwagon "Kony 2012" supporters are right for the wrong reasons.
And the cynical assholes like me are wrong for the right reasons.
I really don't think I need to go into much detail about WHY Joseph Kony needs to be brought to justice, nor do I think restating the fact that this is the first time in the History of the United States that our soldiers have been deployed on foreign not by virtue of an attack on our national security or our financial interests, but by a broad, widespread demand for action at a grassroots level.
In his 2011 book "The Better Angels of our Nature," author and professor Steven Pinker laid out his (very long) case as to why the civilizing process over the past few centuries has made the present world a better place and why violence and strife has not increased, but declined since the times of our ancestors.
I honestly have mixed opinions about Pinker, I think he suffers from more than a little confirmation bias and there are some serious flaws in his methodology, but overall, you can't deny that he's rather bright, incisive and intellectually intuitive.
One of the overriding themes in the 832 page book is that the process of enlightenment thinking and liberality in politics since the eponymous era of European history has improved both the quality of life and significantly reduced violence for all much of the world.
If this precept seems far-fetched, keep in mind that when Shakespeare was changing the face of English literature, the main source of entertainment in England that competed with his plays for public attention was bear bating (the practice of taking a live bear, tying it to a steak and allowing dogs and men with spears to kill it over a period of several hours)
In the dark ages, murder was so common as to be completely un-noteworthy. Dueling was considered a viable means of settling duels well into the birth of the American nation (Alexander Hamilton being a prime example.)
Today in nearly all industrialized societies, casual murder, honor dueling to the death and deliberate cruelty to animals are all but unthinkable.
The slow yet palpable erosion of liberality on thoughts and politics has worked it's magic, creating a more tolerant, less violent public.
It might take several centuries for Pinker's "Civilizing Process" to heal any of the multiple wounds of war-torn central Africa, but if it's affect is any indication (I.E.; turning the lawless American wild west into a unified, law-abiding body) the change is inevitable. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but the process is inevitable.
Hell, my good friend
didn't even need to read Pinker, and he figured it out.
"One thing that intrigues me about the hard right is just this notion that society has been plummeting from a glorious past where everything was peaceful and right. Twenty years ago that gang violence would have been in East LA and involved guns and knives. A hundred and fifty years ago and it would have been in the Five-Points of NYC, involved thousands of people taking over city blocks for weeks at a time and lynching anyone they could get their hands on."
So, yeah. Bottom line, let the cynics, trolls and completely irredeemable assholes like me be our miserable selves.
Only, one thing... DO NOT! just put "Kony 2012" as your status update on Facebook and feel like the problem's been solved forever... JUST EXPLAIN!!!
Post a link to the documentary so people will know what the hell you're talking about. www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSsstX…
This was a triumph.
I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.
It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.
We do what we must
because we can.
For the good of all of us.
Except the ones who are dead.
But there's no sense crying over every mistake.
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.
And the Science gets done.
And you make a neat gun.
For the people who are still alive.
I'm not even angry.
I'm being so sincere right now.
Even though you broke my heart.
And killed me.
And tore me to pieces.
And threw every piece into a fire.
As they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you!
Now these points of data make a beautiful line.
And we're out of beta.
We're releasing on time.
So I'm GLaD. I got burned.
Think of all the things we learned
for the people who are still alive.
Go ahead and leave me.
I think I prefer to stay inside.
Maybe you'll find someone else to help you.
Maybe Black Mesa
THAT WAS A JOKE.
HAHA. FAT CHANCE.
Anyway, this cake is great.
It's so delicious and moist.
Look at me still talking
when there's Science to do.
When I look out there, it makes me GLaD I'm not you.
I've experiments to run.
There is research to be done.
On the people who are still alive.
And believe me I am still alive.
I'm doing Science and I'm still alive.
I feel FANTASTIC and I'm still alive.
While you're dying I'll be still alive.
And when you're dead I will be still alive.