A Glass of Sass

Visible Exploitation

Posted by on March 8, 2012 at 1:15 am » 75 Comments

 

The next 1500 words are an experiment. But in order for it to work, you must pay attention.

“Even though Uganda was relatively safe….they felt the need to tell the world that Kony was still out there.”

From the mouth of the Kony 2012 narrator comes the one line, the one overwhelming truth you most need to know about this viral campaign. “Even though Uganda was relatively safe….” It’s right there, at the 15:02 mark in the video. And the animated map that accompanies the voiceover clearly shows not only the LRA moving out of Uganda, but Kony along with them, in a pretty pink flow that leaves Uganda an unblemished, geographical “beigeland” while the surrounding countries grow blush with the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army).  See that pointy hand on the right side of the map? It even shows when Kony left Uganda.  2006.  That’s right.  Kony left Uganda six years ago.

Apparently Kony is everywhere now – everywhere but in Uganda.  In fact, Kony is the latest “Where Are They Now” superstar in the “Where is Waldo” terrorist book.

Herein lies the dichotomy of the Kony 2012 campaign. Herein lies the secret that points to a sales pitch. Herein lies the genius marketing of this brilliant little viral video. Because the filmmakers want you to believe that by purchasing their $225 kit (Vince the Slap Chop king would bow in homage to these marketing geniuses) you are truly making a difference, sending a message to the United States government that the 100 ‘advisory troops” Obama sent to Uganda (after extreme public pressure from a trio of hipster filmmakers who managed to get themselves a crapload of media exposure, compliments of idiots who didn’t have the common sense to check the filmmakers’ claims) are truly hunting the war criminal, Kony.  The great and gracious Obama sent those troops there in an effort to capture Kony and bring him to justice, but now there is a chance those troops will be pulled. This can’t happen! Those troops must stay in Uganda. Those troops must aid the Ugandan Military in the hunt for Joseph Kony.

And yet by their own admission, Kony is no longer there.

In fact, no one knows where Joseph Kony is. The CIA isn’t even certain Kony is still alive. According to international intelligence operatives, Kony has not stepped foot in Uganda since 2006 and yet the entire point of the viral video produced by a somewhat questionable “charity” is to sell you on keeping US troops in Uganda, hunting for a man who hasn’t been there in nearly 6 years. But your support is still required. Your dollars are still required. Because without both, Kony will continue to abduct 6 year old girls and turn them into sex slaves. He will continue to kidnap 8 year old boys, force them to kill their own parents and then put a knife in their hands and make them mutilate the faces of their Ugandan brothers and sisters.

 But you, sitting in front of your computer, logged into Facebook, YOU CAN STOP KONY! Act now! Participate! (operators are standing by!)

On April 20th of 2012, you can stand with the Army of Peace (while they continue to fund the Ugandan military with your donation). You can be in the streets, with your brother and sister warriors for peace, ensuring that the poor, mutilated, sex enslaved, abducted children get home safely! Ensuring that the monster Kony is captured and brought to justice! On April 20th, 2012, you can make a difference! Through your participation the world will awake and everyone will know exactly who Joseph Kony is!

There is only one catch. (This is a limited time offer. After all, we can’t do this all day.)

It’s minor, really. Just one simple little thing you need to do to ensure Kony can’t rape any more 6 year old girls.

 In order to participate fully in the April 20th “Blanket the Night” Kony 2012 campaign you need to buy the kit. You see, this kit is filled with everything you need to fight Kony – posters, yard signs, stickers, t-shirts, a special bracelet with your own special “ID number” that allows you to log in on the Kony 2012 site and join the Peace Army (act now and we’ll send a free Kony 2012 bracelet for your friend! Please note that this bracelet is good for 2012 only. Also, please note that we show one bracelet on an olive skin tone arm, one bracelet on a caucasian arm! We’re making the peace sign! We love John Lennon! See! We’re all brothers and sisters! Those Ugandan kids are counting on you! In case you didn’t get it, here is a picture with arrows! Pointing to the bracelets!)

 Lance Armstrong, YOUR “Livestrong” bracelets didn’t come with a super personal ID number!

#Fail

If you don’t buy the Kony 2012 kit, you can’t be out there on the streets on April 20th, 2012 (we’ve allowed more than enough time for advertising, processing and shipping and bugging the hell out of mom and dad until they hand over the American Express card) with the hundreds of thousands of truly concerned people who will be covering your city with those ultra cool posters and yard signs and stickers and t-shirts that kinda look like that uber cool campaign poster that a totally cool artist did for Obama’s presidential campaign. Remember those? Yeah. Those were cool. These posters look just like the Obama campaign poster. But they say “Kony 2012”. Still cool, right?

(By the way: George Clooney totally endorses this message. And Rihanna does, too. We’re still waiting to find out if Zuckerberg endorses, but by the time we are done with this Facebook campaign, he won’t have any choice. He is on our “target” list.)

 I know what you’re thinking. “$225? Wow. That’s a lot of string bracelets. I want to help, but I lost my home when the market crashed. And my job. I mean, I can barely afford to put Kraft dinner on the table for my own kids. Morally I know that 8 year old boys being abducted and forced to kill their parents is wrong… but 225 dead presidents?”

(In the meantime, here are some shots of those Republican candidates you liberal kids hate…look…evil Republican guy!)

 But don’t let that impede upon your emotional response to this brilliantly produced piece of propaganda. Because if “Jacob”, mourning the loss of his dead Ugandan brother at the start of this video doesn’t gut you, perhaps the filmmaker’s own voice as he explains to his blonde haired, delightfully innocent 3 year old son just how much of a monster Joseph Kony is will bring a tear to your eye.

“Joseph Kony, he has an army,” the narrator explains to his son, Gavin, as he plops 8 by 12 full color glossies of the wanted war criminal in front of the toddler. “And what he does is he takes children from their parents and he gives them a gun and he makes them shoot other people. They don’t want to do what he says, but he forces them to do bad things.” The blonde toddler looks both coached and confused…. but mostly just coached. Joe Jackson couldn’t have done a better job of eliciting a furrowed brow from an innocent than this hipster filmmaker does from his own son. Talk about exploiting children for gain….hmm.

 Here is the bogeyman, Gavin! He needs to be hunted down and captured and daddy is telling people to pay him $225 so that daddy can make sure Bogeyman Kony doesn’t hurt anymore of those boys and girls! Isn’t your daddy a super great guy? Now, go tell all your friends at your private preschool to tell their mommies and daddies to buy this special bracelet, log in with the super secret personal ID number and become a member of the army for peace. Wait – before you leave the house, daddy needs to Sharpie the link on your forearm. Where is that apple for your teacher? Daddy needs to write the link on there, too. Is your teacher on Facebook? Tell her to “friend” daddy.

Oh, Gavin, you’re crying. Did the Konyman scare you? Don’t worry. This Shamwow will soak up those tears in no time flat!

Chances are that if you’re questioning the motives of this campaign, of the slick infomercial styling apparent in it, you’re middle aged. You were probably annoyed by the placement of all that modern emerging music to elicit emotion from your cold, cynical heart. You’re of the 40 to 65 demographic and you’ve spent more than a couple nights on the sofa, remote control in hand, surfing the shopping channels, pausing on the Zumba miracle fitness infomercial long enough to realize you’d rather keep your beer belly than pay $19.99 to jump around, looking like a idiot, and you know there is no difference between a cubic ziroconia and a “man made diamond”. You wait with bated breath for Vince to say “you’re gonna love my nuts” as he bangs the hell out of his Slap Chop.

You’ve probably owned a K-Tel cassette tape at some point in your life.

Guess what? The genius marketers of the Kony 2012 Campaign have people like you covered! The filmmakers showed pictures of WALL STREET – the only modern day bogeyman who can challenge Kony for the Bogeyman of 2012 title! And if Wall Street wasn’t enough to convince you – LOOK! A picture of the place where all the evil American politicians and lobbyists gather! The hall of evil!

 You’re a Canadian? That’s okay. Here is a picture of the most hated man in your country, Prime Minister Stephen Harper!  And wouldn’t you know it, he’s right next to two of the most hated men in our country, John Kerry and Dick Cheney! Stephen Harper BAD! We’re “targeting” him! You love us now, eh?

 If all of that doesn’t convince you, we’re ensuring the “young people” in your lives hound your middle aged ass until you give in, by telling them how the “old people” got real scared and stuff when we went to Washington. Like, REAL scared!

Now we are going to show you all of the awesome things we’ve done in Uganda. But before we do that, here is a picture of the filmmaker’s adorable son, playing with his toy car. Zoom zoom, Gavin! Zoom Zoom!

 (Insert touching video montage of cleaned up Ugandan children with school books and smiling, laughing faces, complete with moving background music only your teenage kids are familiar with, here)

“All of this was funded by an army of YOUNG PEOPLE.”

 Oh, we love those young people. We love their energy. We love their tenacity. But most of all, we love their naivte. Because we, the filmmakers, know that those young people won’t listen to you old people. We know there is nothing young people love more than a pin on their messenger bag that makes them feel socially conscious. A sticker on the inside of their locker that makes them about more than the latest Katy Perry hit single. A t-shirt that sets them apart in the lunch room. And a reason to stay out past 11 pm on a school night.

“But we’re putting up posters about Kony, mom? Did you not SEE my string bracelet? God, you just don’t get it. You don’t understand ANYTHING. You don’t even CARE! You don’t get ME!”

(Door slams, mom pulls out credit card)

If you’re still buying into the Kony 2012 Campaign, then act now. Seriously. Follow the instructions at the end of the 30 minute infomercial that explains the three simple steps you need to take to ensure Kony is brought to justice:

1. Sign the pledge to show your support
2. Get the bracelet and the action kit!
3. Sign up for Tri (the charity associated with the Kony 2012 Campaign) to donate a few dollars a month and join our army for peace.

“And above all else, share this video online. It’s FREE!”

Don’t write your congressman, your senator. Don’t write your MP, your MLA, your Prime Minister.

Don’t do anything other than buy our $225 “Kony 2012” kit. We’ll do the rest for you.

If there is one thing that is true about this outrageous infomercial it is contained in the opening narration:

“The rules have changed”.

Yes. Yes they have. They’ve changed so much that a pseudo charity that sells $225 worth of garbage to our adolescents can become a viral sensation, applauded by celebrities, endorsed by the media, touted by our own local news outlets.

The rules have definitely changed.

Now, if y’all don’t mind, I’ve got a hot date with Vince, his slap chop, a can of spray on hair and an infomercial that doesn’t exploit my children, my guilt about how much better off they are, and my bleeding liberal heart in order to soak me for a few bucks, shipping and handling included if I act now.

PS: Could someone please give the Occupy Wall Street people the number to the geniuses that created this epic infomercial?

 

TEN QUESTIONS that need to be answered by “Invisible Children” before you donate or participate in this campaign.

If you watched the Stop Kony 2012 video, you owe it to yourself to watch this video.

fCv1GybEUxc

In the interests of fair representation of the people of Uganda, here is a video from a Ugandan woman who has a fair assessment of Stop Kony 2012 IF the intentions of the filmmakers are entirely altruistic.  And at this point, that’s a pretty big “if

KLVY5jBnD-E

 

BREAKING NEWS as of March 9, 2012: recent articles by an African journalist suggest the “Invisible Children” charity, which we now know to be a fundalmentalist evangelical Christian organization with ties to the Republican Party, is promoting US military involvement in an oil rich region of Africa.  In truth, the Kony campaign is about far more than even cynics such as myself first imagined.  It’s about garnering public support for yet another US military intervention in an oil rich nation.  And we all thought they just wanted to sell bracelets and raise awareness.

MORE evidence that leads to suspicion that a US Military Invasion has been in the works for months and its sole purpose is to secure recently discovered oil rich regions in the area.

MORE:  How many Ugandans must raise their voices to protest this campaign before arrogant, self righteous, North American slacktivists get it ? How many must beg us to stop with the Kony 2012 campaign before we finally bring it to an end? What will it take? Read this article by a former child solider of the LRA.  Maybe he can convince you of that which I am unable.

FOOTNOTE: Even the good people of Uganda are angered over this attempt on the part of the filmmakers to pad their bank accounts.  Read about that, HERE.  And if that isn’t enough to convince you, here is a collection of statements from people far more knowledgeable about what is truly happening in Uganda and the surrounding areas than three hipster dudes with a great film editing program.  If you want more information about the Invisible Children Inc. “charity”,  this is the best article I’ve read to date.  And for the definitive answer on whether or not this charity is worth giving your hard earned dollar to, please read this article which explains the importance of their curious financial statements.

UPDATE, March 12, 2012: Thank you to the reader who sent these screen shots, clearly showing the use of subliminal messages in the Kony 2012 video.  What you can’t see is the hidden audio track that cannot be heard by most people over the age of 40 due to the decline in hearing as we age.  Obviously we need to ask ourselves and the makers of this film a lot of questions.

 

  • http://twitter.com/iamtaylorsmith Taylor Smith

    I’m torn about this whole thing.

    My skeptic-sense was tingling in the first few minutes of this video and further research into the Invisible Children charity shows my senses were right. Apparently only 32% of the money they’ve raised over the past 8 years goes into supporting their cause. The rest is set aside for other aspects like travel, salaries and video production.

    But oh that slick video production… That’s why this has become a big deal. It’s well done. The video tugs at your heart strings, dumbs down the message and tells you that YOU can make a difference. It’s hard not to get caught up in that. This 30 minute clip is designed for the masses, you’re SUPPOSED to like it, and that’s why it’s been accepted so quickly AND questioned to no end. It’s not “cool” to like something EVERYONE likes. It’s juvenile, but I fall into that trap all the time. 

    The one thing I can’t shake though is how revolutionary this idea really is. If this thing works, it shows the amazing power of social media yet again. That’s the part of this cause I want to succeed, because it means everyone has a voice.

    My point is this: The Invisible Children charity might be off the mark on how to fix this problem in Central Africa, but they’re trying to fix the problem and fix it in a revolutionary way. It has already engaged people to do MORE research about the LRA and find ways to bring them to justice. How can that be a bad thing? 

  • TxBluebonnet

    Interesting… they just don’t tell you that the “kit” is going to cost you anything, especially $225.  That’s awfully steep — especially when they probably didn’t cost them any more than about $10 to create in total.  Yeah, I noticed that they even showed him moving out of Uganda; which I know that there are many Kony’s all over the world.  Why stop at Kony?  What not make awareness of all the guerrilla warfare in South America, Asia, and many, many other countries.  Those have been around way before I studied about them in my UT days back in the late 70s/early 80s.  Bringing his son into the show, my question was that this kid talks way too much about an understanding  of the global environment who doesn’t seem that much older than my granddaughter.

    I do believe in the right to inform.. but, like you said that the emphasis was on the Uganda children and yet Kony has left the country.  Could be the awareness of the situation arose and they were able to have a call of action taking place by their own resistance to be for-ever humiliated and abused.  The film should have definitely projected not just Uganda.. but more of a global response to a call of action.

    Human trafficking is another global issue that requires a definite call to action as well.  Women being brutally mutilated is another global concern that deserves a call to action.  Hunger and famine remains a global concern globally, especially in the third world countries.  Many of the filmmakers who have created some call to action films, but they didn’t charge mega bucks (if any at all) for their kits to help with the call to action that they were representing.

    Perhaps, if they are so concerned about the Kony having had afflicted Uganda children with harm and their fear that many children in other countries may be affected by the actions of Kony, that they do a chain of awareness that doesn’t come with a cost that affllicts harm on people’s pocketbooks, especially at a time of economic concerns over the past years.

    I’d love to see a campaign done about those that are on the criminal finding action list so that everyone truly understands their crimes and why they should be turned in and be caught for their criminal acts of crime, especially those who violate to the nth degree the humanitarian rights and safety of the society, etc.  We need a safer world around us without a doubt, but with the facts more accurately detailed. 

    Your posting is well written, exposing the pitfalls of the filmmaker’s drive for this campaign.  Thank you for sharing….

  • Mamatsean

    could someone give you the number to the shampon? or are you a raging bitch because you’re racists ass is going through menopause?

  • Paulacornell5

    the kit is 30 not 225 btw. i don’t know where you got that from.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    The photo of the kit, with the $225 price tag is directly from the Invisible Children website. In fact, no photo used in this post is from any source other than “Invisible Children”.
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Menopause has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a raging bitch. I was born this way. As for my “rascists ass”, I’m not quite sure what that has to do with a piece about three white guys that have managed to pull of the greatest internet scam in the history of the internet, but hell…. if it helps you sleep better, feel free to call me all the names you can come up with.
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Ken Bowie

    If anything it is showing govts the power of social media to enact change. People do make a difference!  

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    To be quite frank, this scam shows nothing but how easy it is to soak young people for money when you make them feel guilty about their lives, important because they are involved in something “20 Targeted Celebrities” are a part of and give them a cool, hipster, slactivist string bracelet that looks like a Feng Shui/Kaballah hybrid piece of junk. There is no message to this video except for “give us your money, now!”
    There is a reason this campaign has focused on Facebook: that’s where the demographic this video is aimed at “hang out” online. And until people can look past the slick styling (and I would strongly urge people to actually research the LRA, Uganda and the “faux charity that is “Invisible Children”), we run the risk of constantly being taken by these scams. This is no different than any of those “repost this status update and save 100 kitten” scams on Facebook. Only this time these filmmakers are supposedly saving children. And we should all be very disgusted at their willingness to exploit these children in order to make themselves a few bucks. Because they sure don’t tell you about the $225 for the “Blanket the Night” kit in the video, do they?
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Taylor, we all want to believe in something and we all want to believe that in the end this campaign represents a change.  It doesn’t.  It represents a new and exciting way to soak people for a string bracelet.

    More disturbing than that, this is the worst example of exploiting the youth of North America to make a few bucks.  There is a reason this campaign is focused on Facebook: kids who like to think of themselves as more “socially conscious” than their peers hang out on Facebook.  I know this because I’ve got two of them right here in my own home.  And while their friends have been posting and reposting this crap all over their Facebook walls, my boys have been saying “there is something not right here – and it starts with the 225 it’s gonna cost me to make Kony famous.”
    Every moment of this video represents one of the slickest advertising campaigns I’ve ever witnessed.  And it’s damn brilliant.  But it changes nothing, accomplishes nothing other than show us just how gullible we are, just how willing we are to share and repost and think that somehow saves lives.  Once dissected, this monstrosity of emotional porn is little more than a damn good Super Bowl ad.

  • David

     I don’t follow how this is a scam, because a kit cost $225?

  • djepsilon

    I don’t even know how I got here but thanks for the laugh Kikki. Your cynicism is mind blowing.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    I’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you for taking the time to read my long winded “cynicism” ;-)
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    If what I didn’t present above hasn’t convinced you, here is but one article detailing exactly how this is a “scam”. I highly suggest googling “Invisible Children” to investigate further. As of this morning the internet is awash with articles that point to the fraud that is this “faux charity”.
    http://joequinn.net/2012/03/08/the-kony-2012-delusion/

    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Marta

    Really great post! As a staff member of a local non-profit, this kind of stuff really urks me! There are many legitimate charities and non-profits working hard to do good work every day. These kinds of “scams” give us more problems in the long run, because once someone has been ripped off by something like this, they don’t trust any charities anymore. People, do some research before you get involved in a cause! A non-profit who truly cares and is invested in their cause, doesn’t have time to promote fancy videos and produce promotional items because they are actually out there doing work!

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Right you are, dear son. But what bothers me the most is that while the makers of this little viral video claim to be hunting down Kony to stop the exploitation of Ugandan children, they are the ones exploiting those same children just so they can make a few bucks off a cheap string bracelet. And they are exploiting the young people of North America who will fall prey to this scam and send money just to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://twitter.com/tristanzdaddy Regan Shaw

    YESS facing a $400K budget shortfall,  more than 25% of OUR kids in Edmonton dropping out of high school, 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys experiencing some form of sexual abuse in Canada… I’m pretty sure there are better places for my charity dollar to go that will have a greater impact than vandalizing my city with posters on April 20th.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    I’m giving you a standing ovation for this comment. You hit the nail on the head. The money that was poured into producing this video, manufacturing the crappy “Kony 2012″ merchandise they’re trying to sell us (because you can’t change the course of human history without a red string bracelet and a t-shirt) should be enough of a tip off to make people think twice about the true motivations of this self proclaimed “charity”. Doctors Without Borders has been working in Uganda for YEARS. Any donation made to Doctors Without Borders results in 86% of the donation being used for the benefit of the Ugandan people, compared to a paltry 32% on the part of “Invisible Children”. Sure, the doctors aren’t gonna send me a cool poster to put on my bedroom door, but they’re accomplishing something REAL in Uganda.
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    HEAR HEAR!

    And if one is truly looking to make a donation that will aid the Ugandan people, there are several reputable charities that are more than willing to take your donation. Although you won’t be able to show off to your friends with a “Kony 2012″ t-shirt.
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • David

    There is a lot of information flying around, it’s almost impossible to tell what is truth and what is fake. Now it’s a CIA conspiracy?

    Let me counter with this article. http://www.chantellebaxter.com/5-reasons-why-kony-2012-is-both-awesome-crap-opinion-of-a-non-profit-ceo

    I’m not giving any money myself, but I do think you are taking this to an extreme by calling it a scam. Yes a lot of people are going to give money, perhaps I am just being naive to think that the true purpose of this video was awareness and not just a cash grab.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    The entire premise of this video is to encourage the US government to ensure troops stay in Uganda, hunting for a man who hasn’t been in Uganda for six years, by putting up posters all over the city that you BUY from Invisible Children. THAT is the scam. Furthermore, there is not one claim made by a single person involved in the “charity” than ANY proceeds from the sale of the Kony 2012 merchandise will go to aid Ugandans. In fact, they purposely DON’T say that. Because the merchandise sales are for profit, for the filmmakers. I don’t know how much more evidence of a “scam” needs to be provided before people will let go of how emotionally rooted they are in a well produced piece of emotional porn created to sell string bracelets and a false sense of social consciousness.
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Chickenhawkbbq

    I think you’ve articulated one end of the spectrum on this very polarizing campaign, but have done little to bring people into the middle, and outright ignored any possibility of good intention on the other side of the spectrum. I’m not even hearing it’s the wrong execution of the right idea – just the transparent execution of an absolutely despicable and in all ways evil idea.

    This was a topic of conversation at the breakfast table in my home this morning, and it was my teens who brought it up. One is already planning for the night of April 20, the other is apprehensive and is reserving his opinion and support because he’s heard there might be some research required for him to feel comfortable supporting this campaign in any way. I suggested to them both – as I’ve been suggesting publicly for the past few days - that it’s probably wise at this point to stop and listen, do some research, and then decide how hard to punch the activist button.  Here’s Invisible Children’s response to critics of the KONY2012 campaign. http://www.invisiblechildren.com.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/critiques.html

    Thanks for embracing discourse.

    Jeff

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Although I entirely respect what you’ve presented, I would only ask that you consider this:
    How will your child be participating in the April 20th event? Will you be purchasing the posters, stickers and pins necessary for them to fully participate? Because without the merchandise there is no event to participate in. The entire April 20th event centers around the plastering of communities with the merchandise the filmmakers want to sell you.
    As for the fillmmakers response (which I read earlier this morning), I would draw your attention not to anything stated in it, but what is purposely left out of it – that being any suggestion that profits from the sale of Kony 2012 merchandise go to benefit the Ugandan people. It is that notably absent statement that requires our attention, not the quoting of “Ke$ha” (yet another marketing ploy to pull at the heartstrings of our young people) as a “poet”.
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • David

    “The LRA left northern Uganda in 2006. The LRA is currently active in
    Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan.
    Invisible Children’s mission is to stop Joseph Kony and the LRA
    wherever they are and help rehabilitate LRA-affected communities. The
    Ugandan government’s army, the UPDF, is more organized and better
    equipped than that of any of the other affected countries (DRC, South
    Sudan, CAR) to track down Joseph Kony. Part of the US strategy to stop
    Kony is to encourage cooperation between the governments and armies of
    the 4 LRA-affected countries. The LRA was active in Uganda for nearly 20
    years, displacing 1.7 million people and abducting at least 30,000
    children. The people and government of Uganda have a vested interested
    in seeing him stopped.”

    ^I’m satisfied with that answer.

    Once you get peoples attention and make them care about a cause it is important to tell them how they can get involved and what they can do to support your work. Posters, shirts, bracelets, sharing videos are all great ways to help spread awareness. They also cost money to manufacture and produce… many non profits sell branded merchandise at a cost recovery basis, other for profit, but that doesn’t mean the money is pocketed by the CEO. No matter how you market it, monetary donations are just revenue. Your claim that IC filmmakers are making profit on these kits and pocketing all the money because they don’t specifically say where the money is going?  You just watched a 30 min video explaining where and what the money is going to. Besides any profits would go into the organization, which does provide aid to Ugandans AND pays it’s employees salaries… you are not suggesting this advocacy group should work for free are you?

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    This raging bitch can’t thank you enough for the compliment. And it’s wonderful to know there are still people out there who are able to look at these bits of “emotional porn” with a critical eye and a wad of common sense. I look forward to sharing wine with you one day – at which point we can discuss how the makers of the “Kony 2012″ campaign are a 9 on a douchebag scale of 1 to Bono ;-)
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    I’m suggesting they have manufactured a cause to further pump up their banks accounts. I highly recommend this article, which shares all of the political reasons why Kony 2012 is a fallacy, based on little more than enticing people to feel like they are making a difference when there is no difference to be made:
    http://joequinn.net/2012/03/08/the-kony-2012-delusion/

    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    By the way, the Ugandans are pretty angry about the Kony 2012 campaign and are now openly stating this is little more than a means for the filmmakers to pad their own pockets. That’s right, the people in the country this “faux” charity claims to help want nothing more to do with them: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/uganda/9131469/Joseph-Kony-2012-growing-outrage-in-Uganda-over-film.html
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • David

    I’m sorry Marta but that is a ridiculous statement. Every nonprofit who truly cares and is invested in their cause is trying their very best to be heard, to get media attention, to be talked about on social media. They are blogging or creating newsletters or producing videos or holding fundraisers and to say otherwise is a lie.

  • http://twitter.com/tristanzdaddy Regan Shaw

    That’s ok. The orange Kony shirt would clash with my red Raising the Roof toque.
     I think the biggest travesty being highlighted is the recent trend in “Bandwagon Activism”.People who really want to make a difference will go out and find the issues themselves and hopefully find the most efficient way to get involved, be it hands on with groups like Habitat for Humanity, volunteering with organizations like Little Warriors or monetary donations to REPUTABLE charities that you’ve done your research on. Instead, it seems like we’re content to sit on our asses until something goes viral and allows us to be “part of something big” to appease our own egos. Going back to our day-to-day after the media spotlight turns to the next one (anyone take a look at Haiti recently?) It saddens me that people are embracing these fad causes that encourage illegal activities such as the Occupy people trespassing/ squatting or this Kony2012 campaign encouraging our youth to vandalize the very city you live in to “raise awareness”. What parent in their right mind would encourage/ allow their kid to commit a crime for a cause?
     Real social responsibility starts in our own communities and is best served by people who are TRULY more interested in helping others than those looking for their 15 minutes on YouTube.

  • Guest

    The kit is only $30.00 

  • Guest

    YESS;s budget shortfalls have a lot to do with management/board/lack of ANY accountability– there is a reason their funds dev dept has a revolving door.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    No, the “Get Everything” kit required to “Blanket the City” is $225, as shown in the photo above, which is directly from the “Invisible Children” website. I mean, SHEESH. I’m not making crap up here to make these guys look bad. They’ve done a damn fine job of doing that themselves.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://twitter.com/lindsayherrick Lindsay

    Marta,  I too work in the local non-profit sector and have for the past 4 years and I 100% agree with everything that you just said.  Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/tristanzdaddy Regan Shaw

    Are you able to cite any sources for this statement or is it just a personal assumption?

    My point wasn’t to say that everyone should donate to YESS, my point is that there are many deserving charities & causes right here at home that don’t require people to engage in illegal activities in order make a difference or effect change.

  • http://twitter.com/bonmotgirl Pamela Brierley

     Kikki,
    Yes, the video does have a strong emphasis on the action kit, but when
    you go to their website there are lots of ways for you to participate
    without spending a dime. They have covered their bases very nicely.

    They provide free downloadable PDF’s of the posters so you don’t have to pay anything to them if you choose to participate in Cover the Night.

    Invisible Children is encouraging youth to write to their elected
    representatives. That is what the photos of those targeted 20 are for.
    They are links so you can contact them directly. There is a letter
    template for you to use. They have made it easy-peasy for youth with limited or no experience to participate in the democratic process.

    Additionally, they do explicitly state that they use a three-prong approach.

    “Invisible Children’s mission is to stop LRA violence and support the
    war-affected communities in East and Central Africa. These are the three
    ways we achieve this mission; each is essential:
    1) Make the world aware of the LRA. This includes making
    documentary films and touring them around the world so that they are
    seen for free by millions of people. 2) Channel energy from viewers of IC films into large-scale advocacy campaigns to stop the LRA and protect civilians. 3) Operate programs on the ground in LRA-affected areas that provide protection, rehabilitation and development assistance.”

    There it is right there in point number three. They further state that they spend about 1/3 of their money in each of those three areas. So yes, only a third goes directly to Africa, but the other 2/3s are used for their other two prongs.

    I do agree with some of your criticisms of the video. The part of the video where he sat his son down with the photos especially annoyed me. 

    I have to say that for us intellectual hippie parents, it is teachable moments like these that we live for! Like Jeff, my kids are talking about this, thinking about this and engaging in researching both the claims of Invisible Children and its critics (many of whom are arguing with false information they have noted).

    One of my biggest criticisms of the critics is that most of
    what I have read today is by bloggers who are quoting other bloggers and
    very few folks are going directly to sources to check information. Certainly aspects of this campaign are imperfect, but a lot of the invective directed their way is far over-blown. 

    Whether or not Kony is still active anywhere is moot. He is a war criminal wanted by the ICC and needs to be tried for his crimes. Is he worth the effort and money being spent on this campaign? It is up to each of us as individuals to decide that for ourselves and take the appropriate action.

    Pam

  • David

     This is a good video from a Ugandan explaining why you should have a problem with this Kony2012 campaign. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLVY5jBnD-E

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    I can’t convince people to put on their critical thinking caps. It’s up to each and everyone of us to explore and investigate these “armchair activist” groups before getting involved and emotionally invested in them. That being said, as of this morning the very people this charity claims to be helping – the people of Uganda – are outraged and are stating very clearly that this video is little more than a marketing scheme devised to pad the bank accounts of the filmmakers. As far as I’m concerned, that says it all. And anyone who continues to support this group now that the Ugandan people have called for a stop to the campaign are aiding in the exploitation of the very people the filmmakers claim to be saving. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/uganda/9131469/Joseph-Kony-2012-growing-outrage-in-Uganda-over-film.html
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Thank you for sharing this! I also highly recommend this collection of statements from people who have a far better understanding of the Kony situation that the people who made this video:
    http://boingboing.net/2012/03/08/african-voices-respond-to-hype.html

    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Totally_Wacked

    Point in all this is it brought awareness. I feel that many of the posts out there are way out in left field and far from the point of what this is about. It is a means to open our eyes to the injustice that exists, whether it be yesterday, today or that of the tomorrows. Degrading something that is actually making a bad thing into a good thing through media is not bad. It’s up to the people to make a logical and free-willed choice. Those that take down the good in all of this are not any better than kony himself – the only difference is he uses children to fight his wars and others use words to make war. tsk tsk, such a paradox within humanity. Next thing you’ll be downplaying global warming, toxic overloads and maybe even support outsiders coming to Canada to shoot polar bears just because they can pay for the privilege. 

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    What I’m drawing attention to here is the fact that these “filmmakers” are exploiting the children of Uganda, exploiting the children who repost this video on their Facebook walls by using them to sell crappy string bracelets. Your argument is entirely misguided and senseless, especially given the response from the people of Uganda themselves who have now stated (via an article in the UK Telegraph) that this entire campaign is little more than a marketing scheme to put money in the pockets of the filmmakers. Perhaps you’d like to argue with THEM about what good this campaign is doing. Because after all, it’s their country, and it’s they who are being exploited so that three hipsters with a video camera can soak people for t-shrits and string bracelets. If you’d like to argue with the Ugandans about how wrong they are in their response to the Kony campaign, feel free to do so. Here is the link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/uganda/9131469/Joseph-Kony-2012-growing-outrage-in-Uganda-over-film.html
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Michael

    The filmakers are no better than the Nigerian scammers. Targeting idiots who are more than willing to part company with their money. If you donate, consider yourself intellectually challenged. The Australian Government is more than aware of Kony. The cause though to alert the world through social media of Kony should be applauded. Just don’t buy their crap.

    Michael

  • Guest

    Not without incriminating others/insiders who wish to remain anonymous. But when the Executive Director recruits the board, and the Board appoints the Executive Director… there is certainly a lack of accountability. Non-profit politics is fascinating. I agree with you tho.  I love YESS and its mission, just not how its managed.

  • Guest

    I also strongly believe in making differences locally to affect change globally.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Could not agree with your comment more, had you stopped before the “raising awareness” part. Even the Ugandan people don’t want this. They don’t want Kony (if he is even still alive) to be “made famous”. They don’t want him garnering attention and power via this campaign. The Ugandan people want Invisible Children to cease with this campaign, but IC won’t. And that says everything any of us need to know about this campaign and the marketing scam that it is.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Totally_Wacked

    This man is wanted for war crimes towards many peoples, not just Ugandan. Then again, maybe what Ugandan wants is to hide the truths rather than let the truths come out. Either way, this man like many others should be held accountable for their actions. Does the group that has opened the eyes of the world deserve the outlandish slap in the face comments, if so, then why stop there…

    Why not hit every group out there that is trying to make change – Greenpeace, Peta, EWG, Safecosmetics, cancer organizations…If you think the kony group is wasting your money for pure profitability, then better not support any of the other groups or their “call to action” either.

    Doesn’t matter how their helping or the amount, point is their doing something while others sit on their high fence, turn their eyes the other way and think their safe on their green grass. Guess what, your grass isn’t any greener nor is your compost smelling any better!

    Just sit back like sheep, keep supporting our governments and keep paying taxes so the rich can continue to exploit children and adults around the world. This whole controversy around kony is a total farce where all the outspoken ones should just get in the same room and hash it out.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Again, your argument is best directed at the Ugandans. Tell them why they’re wrong. Accuse them of hiding something simply because they have the courage to say NO to three American guys who are now raking in millions of dollars selling a piece of red string. Tell them how they aren’t being exploited. Because your misplaced accusations against me have no bearing whatsoever on the facts that have been present about this “faux” charity and it’s use of Kony to make it’s three directors filthy rich.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Chickenhawkbbq

    I’ll try to be frugal in the word count for my response…

    My daughter will participate on April 20 like she does with every event of this kind – with admirable gusto! I want to be there when you tell her she’s really not participating fully because she didn’t buy the merch. BTW, it’s a bit disingenuous to suggest that it will cost $225 to participate fully with the “Action Kit”. The “Action Kit” is $30, while the “Get Everything Pack” is $225 – they even have a 25 Posters for $5 option for the miserly activist. ;-) More than likely, my daughter will create something for April 20 that reflects her attitudes and personality, rather than stick to the suggested weaponry of todays grafitti activist. Probably something with puppies.

    As for what you describe as being “purposely left out” – and I realize we’ve been over this on Twitter and I’ve already linked to it there – I would suggest those concerned (and we should be concerned when we support a cause, so it’s always a good idea to follow the money) check out Invisible Children’s 2011 Annual Report to get the scoop on where the money goes:
    http://c2052482.r82.cf0.rackcdn.com/images/895/original/AR11_small_final2.pdf?1325722694

    As for quoting Ke$ha (I’m going to start spelling my name ?eff) would you suggest they attempt to connect with their younger demo by quoting that songster Gordon Lightfoot? Perhaps something  light and airy from “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”?

    Fellas it’s bin good to know ya!

    ?eff

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    This boils down to one, indisputable fact: the Ugandan people do not want this campaign. The Ugandan people have spoken out against this campaign. The Ugandan people have stated, without hesitation, that the makers of the film are lying. What does this mean? It means that the makers of the film are exploiting the Ugandan people. That cannot even be argued. And in their efforts to exploit the Ugandan people, they are exploiting our children by involving them in a campaign the people of Uganda are opposed to. What right do these filmmakers have to use the Ugandan people, against their will, to further this campaign? As for the “it’s raising awareness” argument, again, read the links provided at the end of my article wherein the people of Uganda specifically state that this “raised awareness” actually puts them at GREATER RISK.
    As for the financial reports of IC, I spent four hours yesterday combing thru three years worth of them. As of Monday this charity had raised in excess of $16 million dollars but could only account for $4 million worth of actual monies spent in Uganda. $2 million of those dollar were a donation made by Oprah several years ago when the original “Invisible Children” movie received attention.
    Finally, and this is very important: the makers of the film have refused to answer this question: Are any of the proceeds from the sales of the Kony 2012 merchandise going towards projects in Uganda? In fact, the filmmakers have done everything they can to avoid answering that question.
    Taking all of the above into account, with emphasis on the fact that the people of Uganda are calling the filmmakers liars and want the campaign stopped, what other reasonable conclusion can we draw from this campaign, other than it is a marketing scheme that exploits the children of Uganda and victimizes our own children? I daresay, there isn’t one.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Kate

    “Douchebag scale of 1 to Bono”I’m sorry to pick that out from all of the honest, smart, insightful and resonating statements you’ve made here; but that is awesome. 

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    HA! Don’t be sorry. I’ve spent an enormous amount of time defending my position today so to get a comment wherein someone notices my sense of humour as opposed to calling me a “raging bitch” warms my stone cold cynical heart. Thank you for taking the time to both read AND comment on the article. I really appreciate it.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://twitter.com/RichardFantin Richard Fantin

    I find it interesting.. I provide links to many very informative and sourced documentaries. I’ve provided these links to journalists. Yet, this “documentary” comes out of nowhere and immidiately has every MSM outlet from CBC to the WSJ promoting it.

    In fact, Kony is even getting a mention in articles that have nothing to do with Kony, like this one: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/no-konystyle-campaign-to-get-abbott-into-the-lodge-20120309-1uo1s.html

    Now, lets look at what this video is calling for. Its claiming all this support is needed to keep 100 (read ONE HUNDRED) military advisors in Uganda? So.. 100 military advisors is just too much? They have bases and troops in practically every country on the planet. I’m not buying it.

    Throughout this film, I noticed they kept reiterating a theme: That it is YOU the people somehow forcing the government’s hand into foreign military action they otherwise would not want to do.

    I have never seen the MSM latch on to a supposed “anti-establishment” (because we’re getting them to do what they don’t want to do) theme so strongly. I believe this is more than a scam, there are scams everyday.. few get unquestioning frontpage coverage.

    Ask yourselves: are you convincing the media and governments to play along, or are they convincing you?

  • BrightSide?

    Clearly there are multiple aspects to this complex issue, and I agree with part of the polar ends. What’s disappointing here in the comments section, is that people are bringing up aspects that are undeniably good about this campaign – motivating the youth to spring into action for something – and the owner of this blog is on some high horse mission to prove she’s right. Drop it that the only way you can participate is by spending $225. Little kids who like the pretty bracelets might get duped into asking mommy and daddy for their credit card sure, but since when is dropping $225 on charity (even if only 30% goes to real peoole in need) a bad thing? Oh right, since you get a Starbucks latte for $5 and not even think twice, and anally post your cynical rebuttals IMMEDITELY on your blog from the comfort of your living room and MacBook pro! Here’s a thought: instead of sitting on your ass putting people down for wanting to make a difference, why don’t you come up with your own “marketing scam” and motivate millions of people to do good for the world? Good freaking question! This to me is like climate change – for all the reasons to support fixing it, there’s that group of skeptics that just love arguing. The funny thing with that, which closely parallels this issue….is if we try and fail, at least we tried …and hell, if we try and there was no such thing and those skeptics were right…well, we just made our world a better, more sustainable place to live in! You’re right, sounds like a bad thing to me. I should probably go make a blog linking all the articles to skepticism and attack those trying to do something with their lives other than doom and gloom. Ha! Cheers – go get a latte and chill the hell out!

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    As always, Richard, you provide yet further insight into this matter. It’s interesting to note that the sole voice of reason in American last fall when this “charity” was lobbying the government (against the law for a registered charitable organization and IC hasn’t been called to task on that despite their own admission that they spent hundreds of thousands of “donated funds” to lobby for military action in Uganda) was John McCain. He was very vocal about how wrong it was to get involved in this matter and yet no one listened to him and Obama bent to the will of three guys who run a charity that is actually a front for a right wing Christian evangelical movement.
    We also now know that IC has an offshore bank account in the Cayman Islands that contains millions of dollars, have donated less than 32% of donated funds to better the lives of northern Ugandans and have expenses that include $1 million for travel amongst other too high to be credible “operating costs”. Something stinks to high heavens here. Just can’t put my finger on the rest of it.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    No, what I bring up is that the children of Uganda are being exploited so that you can wear a red string bracelet and feel like you’ve done something to change the course of history. Obviously you didn’t read the links provided at the end of the article that include the outrage of the people of Uganda over this campaign (they call the filmmakers ‘liars’) and the questionable motives of the filmmakers. But please, should you need to vent on the Ugandans (how dare they not support these filmmakers?!), feel free to take it up with them. After all, it’s their children that are being exploited so you can feel all “socially aware” on your Facebook wall.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • BrightSide?

    Ha, no I looked at your links, and yes, there’s lots of undeniably sketchy things surrounding this campaign….but remember: it’s a social media experiment, and is at the height of media attention. Bet you hadn’t heard of Kony (or gave a shit) before this, so that counts for something. I’m not saying its right or wrong, cause it’s a huge grey area…and the video I agree, a little over done. I just think that too much skepticism when people are excited that they can make a difference is counter productive, and will do a good job of uninspiring people. The bracelet may not work but maybe this will be an eye opener and a gateway to the youth of this world to get inspired to make a difference. That’s my argument.

    But thanks for proving my point ;-)

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    First of all, you’re talking to the wrong person. Yes, I knew who Kony was. In fact, I knew about Kony shortly following the crisis in Rwanda (where was all the sympathy and outpouring of love when children were being hacked to death in the streets? Where was the US military THEN?) Spare me the dumping on my post simply because you watched a 30 minute viral video and now think you can “help change the course of human history”. Wanna make change? Try going to your local homeless shelter. Try volunteering in your own community. I know those acts aren’t quite as glamorous as wearing a red string bracelet and being a member of a “peace army” that funds a military famous for torturing and murdering, but hey… whatever helps you sleep better at night.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://twitter.com/RichardFantin Richard Fantin

    I’ll show you why I’m skeptical in a simple image (see attached). That is the mainstream media’s view of it’s viewers. It was actually put on the christmas card put out by FOX sent to ABC, etc.

    Now, from what I see.. most people really are not learning about it from social media. They are learning about it from the stations that call you sheep. 32million video views yesterday, 32million today — with the help of mainstream coverage from every provider.

    Let me ask you, did you jump on the “save Libya” band wagon? Here is Libya today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4icorYD_mE - Have you seen that on the 6pm news?

    Our view of “foreign policy” here is very distorted. CSIS and the CIA have admitted that here in North America military grade Psyops are being used against the population. Psyops are a war tactic normally reserved for the enemy.

    When it comes to foreign policy, anything our media tells you probably isn’t true. We recognize that foreign governments lie to their populations about military matters; are we really so naive here in Canada to believe ours doesn’t do the same?

  • Erin

    I won’t lie, I was 100% sucked in by this video when I saw it. Fully jumped on the bandwagon, I probably would have spent the entirety of my student budget on posters. However, I read this article, and I read the links attached, and then I read some other articles, and NOW I feel like a bit of an idiot for being sucked in so quickly. Ah well.

    Thanks for setting me straight Kikki! As always I appreciate your sass and rampant hipster bashing :)

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    You shouldn’t feel like an idiot for responding emotionally to an obviously very tragic tale. That was the response this video was marketed to elicit from you. It’s no different than crying at the end of a damn good romantic film. Or Rudy. I always cry at the end of Rudy. Simply by being willing to look at differing opinions on the video and be open to investigating the truth about the “charity”, you’ve proven you’re of sound mind and definitely NOT an idiot. Thank you for taking the time to read the article and for posting a comment. It’s greatly appreciated.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://twitter.com/RichardFantin Richard Fantin

    Indeed, don’t feel like an idiot.. as Kikki says you responded exactly as the video intended.

    However, if you are interested in aquiring the skills to spot propaganda, I recommend this book: http://books.google.ca/books?id=3De8nd_B_C8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=propaganda&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7JFZT4ujIoKeiQL7msziDg&ved=0CDQQuwUwAA#v=onepage&q=propaganda&f=false

  • NellaLou

    Here’s a few points you didn’t hit on Miss Kikki.
    BTW you’re not nearly as “cynical” as some of us. But reality tends to do that to a person.

    The US already passed a bill a few years ago called

    Lord’s
    Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009  

    http://www.gnwp.org/president-obama-signs-lrauganda-bill

    to deal with the situation in Uganda. Policy makers have clearly been
    aware of the situation for a very long time. New York Times stories go back to the early 1990s. 

    This public display has other purposes clearly.You’ve covered many. Here’s a few more.

    1) Stealth evangelism

    Invisible Children “Kony 2012″ Leader Suggests It’s About Jesus and Evangelizing
    http://www.alternet.org/visions/154477/invisible_children_%22kony_2012%22_leader_suggests_it%27s_about_jesus%2C_and_evangelizing_/

    2) Links between the US state department and this group for many years who were introduced by and under the guidance of Jared Cohen of the Policy Planning Dept. at State. Do you still wonder why the media picked this up so fast and so unquestioningly?

    Alliance for Youth Movements Summit at Columbia University in New York, December 3-5, 2008
    http://2002-2009-fpc.state.gov/112321.htm

    3) The underwriting of this group to the tune of over $1 million by an arm of JPMorgan Chase that runs a controversial prize competition. The winners coincidentally all have projects that fit in with JPM’s future fiscal profit plans.

    KONY 2012: Making The Invisible Visible
    http://demandnothing.org/making-the-invisible-visible/

    4) 2 billion barrels of oil. It would sure be handy to have American military in there to assure it didn’t get into the wrong hands. (China, Iran, etc.)
    East
    African regional body plans Uganda-Rwanda oil, gas pipeline
    http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/NaturalGas/8879081

    Much more to come will be revealed in days to come I’m sure.

     

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Thank you so much for contributing these links!

    There is plenty of information now coming in that is enough to make us take pause and truly investigate the motives of this “charity”. The mere fact that the Ugandan people are largely against this campaign speaks volumes about what is really going on. That being said, my original point in dissecting the video into clips was to point out that every major marketing scheme ever devised was being used brilliantly in this film and people really needed to get past the emotion they felt as a result of a 30 minute video and start using their ability to think over their need to feel. There is so much wrong here, not only with the campaign but with what its success says about us as a society.
    Invisible Children has raised over $4 million dollars since this video hit the airways, and yet no one can tell us exactly WHAT Invisible Children does with that money. Their own financial audit is questionable at best, their tax returns show an offshore bank account with millions of dollars, they are in bed with JP Morgan Chase, and time and time again, when asked what Invisible Children has actually accomplished on the ground in Uganda, no one can answer that question other than to say “they’ve made a lot of films”. At best, this group has made a lot of films that have made them wealthy and famous. At worst, Invisible Children is exploiting a people and invoking the name of a wanted war criminal to rake in millions of dollars.
    Not a penny from the sale of those t-shirts, bracelets and posters is earmarked for the people of Uganda. Invisible Children has side stepped answering questions about the profits from this marketing scheme over and over again.
    $4 million dollars. Spent on string bracelets. While children in this country sleep in the streets. While children in this country go without food. While shelters are at maximum capacity. $4 million dollars for string bracelets.
    It’s time we all gave our head a collective god damn shake.

    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Alexander Zimmer

    Its the awareness that counts, Who cares about their $30 or $225 kit. Go make your own signs. Tell the world that Kony needs to be stopped! No one is forcing you to buy the kit to participate on April 20, 2012. No reason to go over board on the whole thing. If someone took your kid, you would want the whole world to know, right?? I know I would.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    First of all, I’m not going to go into all of the reasons I’m vehemently opposed to this campaign. I’m not going to ramble on about IC and their questionable motives, their offshore bank account overflowing with millions, their ties to JP Morgan Chase, the fact that no one can say EXACTLY what they’ve accomplished in Uganda, other than make eleven films that have made IC’s “board” very wealthy, their illegal lobbying in the USA for which they will likely lose their charity status – hell, let’s even bypass the fact that the people of Uganda have called these young men opportunistic liars who are lining their own pockets by exploiting the children of Uganda. The people they are claiming to “be helping” are against this campaign. Not even going to draw attention to the fact that not a dime from the sale of all that Kony merchandise is going to charity. It’s all profit for the filmmakers. But let’s just lay all of that aside for a moment.
    Let’s just deal with this “but at least they’re raising awareness” battle cry I’ve been hearing ever since the multiple flaws in this campaign have been brought to light.
    Raising awareness of what, exactly? Kony has been living under cover of the Congan jungle for at least 6 years. The ICC and the USA have been aware of that the entire time. Although many North Americans had not been aware of him, he was well known for his cimes against humanity. International intelligence operatives have been searching for Kony for years.
    When we point this out we are met with “well, they’re raising awareness so that Kony can be captured and brought to justice!” Really? Have we all forgotten that it took a decade, two wars, billions of dollars, a team of Navy Seals and a scorned wife before the US government was able to track down Bin Laden? And we sure as heck didn’t need an “awareness campaign” about him.
    “But if more people know about Kony, they can force the American government to leave the troops there to help hunt him down!” Here is the flaw in THAT claim: the troops that are over in Uganda are acting as ‘advisories’ only. And there is a very good reason for that: the Ugandan Military is itself a vicious organization that has committed countless atrocities against the Ugandan people over the past 30 years. They’ve abducted. Tortured. Killed. Raped. The American government cannot send troops in to aid a corrupt military in the capture of a corrupt war lord. It simply doesn’t work that way.
    Now… someone tell me exactly what “awareness” is being raised and exactly what that “awareness” will accomplish. The USA cannot go in that part of Africa, guns a blazing to take this man down. That is against every international law we know of (and let’s not get into the “but they did it in Iraq” because that’s a flawed argument). Further, they can’t even hunt for Kony without permission from the governments in those countries – and remember, Kony is not in Uganda. The LRA is not in Uganda. And the other countries won’t give permission for that type of military action because there are millions of zealots in those countries who support Kony and to go in with guns would saturate the area in a horrific war that would likely cause a genocide.
    So… all of this being said…. if someone can tell me exactly what this campaign has the opportunity of succeeding in doing, I will give it a second look. But at this point all I see is a great marketing scheme that has made three young men very, very wealthy and duped an entire continent of people into buying string bracelets to feel as though they are a part of something. It’s irresponsible, it’s entirely self serving and even those it claims to help want no part in it.

    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Happyhaye42

    you just saved me hours of research to find out who really should be getting the donations in Uganda. I saw the video 2 days ago, and I have to admit I reposted it on my facebook, but after typing in pros vs cons on good ole google on the subject of kony 2012, I have come back to my senses. Thank you for helping me to get there, alot of the stuff I first clicked on told me nothing, you did.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article and comment.

    The one thing I’ve requested of people when they’ve emailed me to say “what would YOU have us do, then?” is this: share this page on Facebook. Share the links I’ve included at the end of the article that inform people of the fallacy of this campaign. Share in the same manner the “Stop Kony 2012″ video was shared. Let IC know that we won’t allow the children of Uganda to be exploited by them in their campaign to make themselves very wealthy, very famous. Because just as Invisible Children have used Facebook to deceive an entire continent of young people into buy merchandise that will change nothing, so can we use Facebook to inform people of exactly what this campaign is truly about and who is profiting from it.
    Thank you, again. Your time and your comment is greatly appreciated.

    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Guest

    An interesting and very one-sided view to this campaign. Your blinders are doing a good job on keeping you focused on the money aspect, as opposed to the fact that awareness is being brought forth globally. Bringing this awareness, say perhaps to those in other impoverished countries, may cause them to have a look in their own back yard and see what monsters lurk there, so they can think to take action to bring these types of people to justice. Child armies encompass the globe and why not bring that attention to it by using Kony as an example?
    I can agree that there are some sketchy issues regarding the financial aspect of IC. However, since I’m not savvy to the internal operations of non-profits, I can’t comment on this. The video, however, is very well done and accomplishes what IC has set out to do, whether that’s simply to raise awareness or take part in their Cover the Night campaign with their $30 Action Kit (not the Get Everything Kit you’ve solely focused on), all in all, it is successful and well put together. I mean, obviously, since they’ve apparently raised $5 million dollars since the video was released. But can we get passed the video and on to the real issue?What I don’t understand, which you keep saying in your comments, is that you are pointing out the fact that the children of Uganda are being exploited. I don’t see this referred to anywhere in your post. Maybe I’m not reading in between the lines enough. If this is your point, why not just say it? You say the people of Uganda don’t want this attention, yet you only say this in your comments or refer to links. Did you ask the Ugandan people what they want? Have these Ugandan white collared workers done the same, or are they just making an assumption for their people? Have you interviewed any local Ugandans in your city to see what their perspective is? If you had some first hand accounts, I could maybe take you a bit more seriously but the way you’ve spewed sarcasm all over this post, it sounds like it’s come from a poisoned mind instead of one who cares about humanity. Your Twitter bio also describes you as a philanthropist. It’s a bit shocking to see a philanthropist continually knock down social causes (Occupy, for one) but not provide any solutions to these problems. And to post such an image (attached) on your timeline? It seems to me that you are the one exploiting the children of Uganda. 

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Obviously, you didn’t bother to take the time to read the links at the end of the article that are provided in order to educate and inform. Obviously you didn’t read any of the dialogue that has taken place in the comments above. Obviously you’ve no desire to look at the real facts of this campaign because like so many others, you’ve been deafened by the “awareness” catchword that those who defend this madness throw back as an answer to every fact provided that show what a fallacy this campaign is. I would suggest that you do that. I would suggest that everyone fully investigate this campaign and exactly what “awareness” it is bringing to anything.
    Now, because you somehow missed not only the links I provided above but also my answer back to every comment I’ve received that is exactly the same tone as yours, here it is:
    First of all, I’m not going to go into all of the reasons I’m vehemently opposed to this campaign. I’m not going to ramble on about IC and their questionable motives, their offshore bank account overflowing with millions, their ties to JP Morgan Chase, the fact that no one can say EXACTLY what they’ve accomplished in Uganda, other than make eleven films that have made IC’s “board” very wealthy, their illegal lobbying in the USA for which they will likely lose their charity status – hell, let’s even bypass the fact that the people of Uganda have called these young men opportunistic liars who are lining their own pockets by exploiting the children of Uganda. The people they are claiming to “be helping” are against this campaign. Not even going to draw attention to the fact that not a dime from the sale of all that Kony merchandise is going to charity. It’s all profit for the filmmakers. But let’s just lay all of that aside for a moment.
    Let’s just deal with this “but at least they’re raising awareness” battle cry I’ve been hearing ever since the multiple flaws in this campaign have been brought to light.
    Raising awareness of what, exactly? Kony has been living under cover of the Congan jungle for at least 6 years. The ICC and the USA have been aware of that the entire time. Although many North Americans had not been aware of him, he was well known for his cimes against humanity. International intelligence operatives have been searching for Kony for years.
    When we point this out we are met with “well, they’re raising awareness so that Kony can be captured and brought to justice!” Really? Have we all forgotten that it took a decade, two wars, billions of dollars, a team of Navy Seals and a scorned wife before the US government was able to track down Bin Laden? And we sure as heck didn’t need an “awareness campaign” about him.
    “But if more people know about Kony, they can force the American government to leave the troops there to help hunt him down!” Here is the flaw in THAT claim: the troops that are over in Uganda are acting as ‘advisories’ only. And there is a very good reason for that: the Ugandan Military is itself a vicious organization that has committed countless atrocities against the Ugandan people over the past 30 years. They’ve abducted. Tortured. Killed. Raped. The American government cannot send troops in to aid a corrupt military in the capture of a corrupt war lord. It simply doesn’t work that way.
    Now… someone tell me exactly what “awareness” is being raised and exactly what that “awareness” will accomplish. The USA cannot go in that part of Africa, guns a blazing to take this man down. That is against every international law we know of (and let’s not get into the “but they did it in Iraq” because that’s a flawed argument). Further, they can’t even hunt for Kony without permission from the governments in those countries – and remember, Kony is not in Uganda. The LRA is not in Uganda. And the other countries won’t give permission for that type of military action because there are millions of zealots in those countries who support Kony and to go in with guns would saturate the area in a horrific war that would likely cause a genocide.
    So… all of this being said…. if someone can tell me exactly what this campaign has the opportunity of succeeding in doing, I will give it a second look. But at this point all I see is a great marketing scheme that has made three young men very, very wealthy and duped an entire continent of people into buying string bracelets to feel as though they are a part of something. It’s irresponsible, it’s entirely self serving and even those it claims to help want no part in it. Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    One more thing:

    Invisible Children is an extreme right wing evangelical Christian group with ties to Michelle Bachmann, JP Morgan Chase, the Republican Party. Invisible Children accepts donations on behalf of the children of Uganda and then uses those donations to fund the Ugandan Military – a corrupt military that kidnaps, tortures, rapes, kills… all the same things Kony does. And the only way I could be accused of “exploiting the children of Uganda for my own personal gain” is if I had something to actually GAIN from doing so. See my site? No advertisers. No sponsors. I’m not selling anything. And the irony of your accusing me of using this for my “own gain” while turning a blind eye to a fraudulent charity that funds a corrupt military is not lost on me, or anyone else with enough sense to use critical thinking as opposed to their desire to be an armchair slacktivist.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Dembe

    My name is Dembe which means “peace in in my language. and i have had about enough of your very one-sided aspect of the issue at hand.  Have you ever been to my country? Have you seen in person what this monster has done to our children or my people? My boy Akiiki was taken this monster! Who the hell are you to turn these bad vibes out when you have no clue as to what really happened? YOU WERE NOT THERE AND NOT THERE NOW.
    Our government is just as bad as kony himself – corrupt and money hungry at the cost of our youth, our people, our land, our respect and our dignity.
    Invisible Children is why today I live in a place you call home to be safe, but the nightmares and sorrows are still with me, every day, every night. Today, I have made your home mine as a refugee to your beautiful country and I don’t care how much they make to bring hope to those like myself. One of your dollars in my country is for some a month of hard labor and Invisible Children for me and many of my people are helping to end such terror in my country.
    Like many have said, awareness of this monster has opened the eyes of the world but you speak of asking our government rather than show proof of your allegations and lies. My ex-government is just as corrupt as you in your comments and bs of this article.
    I lived the horrors and still carry there memories in every thought of my boy who is lost to this monster. How dare you. You are no worse then kony himself and should be ashamed of your actions against those that have helped me and hundreds of others. Are you truly that shallow? or are you jeleous of those that have good life because they did something to help my people? For me, you shout of garbage. Why not help instead of making war?

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    There is no way for me to understand your history. There is no way for me to understand the pain the people of your country have endured and I would never attempt to be so ignorant as to even express sympathy.
    I would simply ask that you read what the people of your own country are stating about this campaign. That is all I can do. You can start with an African journalist who states his concerns, over and over again that this campaign is doing far more harm to the people of Uganda and that region of Africa than it could ever do go. Read his concerns that this is about a US invasion that will take place not to capture Kony, but to rape Africa of oil. I don’t speak for the people in that region. What I have presented is links to several sites that include valuable critical examination of the charity and the campaign.
    If you read nothing else, I would humbly request that you read the words of this African journalist. Because there is nothing I more I can present than he already has:
    http://thisisafrica.wordpress.com/

    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Ccelesterun

    Again, you believe what my government pays with BLOOD money, go to my country, walk my path and talk to me people in person. Our government does not speak the truth of my people, nor does a journalist that is paid to speak lies. Oil or not, diamonds or the riches that white people seek at the cost of my people is why many of my people die…You are so very very wrong

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Again, I’m not going to argue with you about who is lying and who is not. I have presented nothing in my article without linking to research, to multiple sites, to multiple news outlets, to multiple voices around the world who have spoken on the topic. I have presented the same information everyone else has access to. In the end, I choose to believe the journalists, activists and the people of Uganda who have spoken out against this campaign. I choose to believe what the evidence tells me about this “charity” – that it does not have the best interests of the people of Uganda at heart but the best interests of the filmmakers bank accounts and desire for fame. I choose to believe what my critical thinking leads me to believe after days of research.
    Judging from your IP address, you live in the same city as I. If so, you are probably aware that my focus in this city is the betterment of community through involvement and philanthropy. I also note you’ve spent nearly three hours on my site over the course of the past day. Thank you for taking the time to read so much of what I’ve written here. I am truly grateful for that. Now, with all respect owing to you, I must tell you that I stand by my original position. I do not support this campaign. I do not support the Kony 2012 filmmakers who call themselves “Invisible Children”. And I will continue to provide information to those who come here that is a critique of the campaign, I will continue to engage in this discussion, and no amount of accusing me of being just like Joseph Kony will dissuade me from doing so.
    Thank you again. I wish you all the best.
    .
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Loki_bear

    Why are there subliminal video frames in the kony 2012 movie????
    Maybe that is the experiment, not to mention the hidden audio track above 15kHZ which most older people cannot hear.

  • http://www.thesavvydogooder.com/ Nadine Riopel

    Thank you, Kikki, for contributing to a lively and rigorous debate about this. I’m not entirely convinced that the people behind KONY2012 have evil intent. Regardless, I do not agree with their approach. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about suffering in Africa. I think we really need to start drawing a line between good causes and the approach we take to addressing them. An organization working in the name of a good cause is not necessarily a good organization. Even if they aren’t conspirators or money-grubbers, they may simply be incompetent, ill informed, or mismanaged.

    This whole Kony thing has brought up a lot of these issues around giving and involvement, and how we need to be more discriminating about how we choose to do these things. Part of this is frank and energetic arguing of the issues, such as you’ve offered here. I appreciate it.

  • Pingback: On Mothers, Marketing, Motives and Means: An essay on infant feeding | ignitestrategicsolutions