I'm not very political on this blog. Well, I'm not very political elsewhere. I'm part of the Green Party, and we don't get much love from anyone, not even liberals, so I tend to just not talk about it.
So, why start now? Well, this stupid KONY2012 thing. I mean, if the "cheezburger network" addresses it, I sort of feel honor-bound to. And I agree with everything the Cheezburger Network has to say, too, so there's something else (now I want a cheeseburger).
The thing about causes is that you have to really feel drawn to them. I feel very strongly about conservation, ending animal cruelty, addressing the sex-slave trade here in America (in the "massage" parlors), and the child prostitution in Thailand. I feel very strongly about these things. It does not mean that I don't feel one way or another about other issues, but my soul is in the causes I have mentioned above. I have researched, donated, volunteered, supported organizations, and talked to people passionately about these issues. I am both emotionally and intellectually involved in these issues.
Have you ever seen the "feed the children" commercials? They are only emotional. The ASPCA "in the arms of the angels" commercials? Emotional. (A friend told me about a poster with Sara McLachlan on it and the caption, "I'm about to ruin your f*cking day!" and I laughed because it's so true!) KONY 2012 is a play on emotions. It does not engage your intellect. It will more than likely be forgotten in a few weeks, the same way you forget about Feed the Children and the ASPCA once the commercials are over.
Remember when everyone was all worked up over the Rwandan genocides? Or how about the blood diamonds of the Sudan? Remember when the only thing you knew about Afghanastan was about how the women and little girls were being denied health care, education, and basic human rights? (No, you probably don't. It got swallowed up by the war.)
Those things don't last. You can't move an entire nation to rise up and do something because you can't hold their attention for that long. If they are not completely engaged in the crisis, then the whole of humanity can only pay lip-service, and that's what this kind of emotional tugging is all about. "Send money! Buy this kit! It has posters in it!" How much money actually goes to the people it's supposed to support? Do you know? I sure don't.
I think it's human nature to not want to turn away from these things. If all you have to do is give $5.00 a day, why wouldn't you, you heartless bastard. Why not? Because these groups can't prove what my money is going to. They are so busy showing mutilations, abuse, crying children, etc. to show me that what they're doing makes a damn in anyone's life. It's not that I think the organization doesn't do good work. I'm sure it does at some point. But just like I think GEICO could save me a lot more money if they'd stop playing commercials every five minutes, I think that these causes would go a lot farther if they'd figure out a way to make me care for more than just a minute. No, they may not reach as many people at once, but the people they do reach will be more effective and better able to work with the organization to further the goal.
The goal is an end to the violence, right?
Well, wait...if the violence is ended...how are we going to make money?
There are good organizations out there who allow public auditing of their finances, who are accountable to their patrons, and who are looking to end the violence because that means that they have more chances to help other people once that is over. And trust me, human nature dictates that there will always be atrocities out there for people to get involved in.