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April 5, 2012
"Beyond Famous" wants to clear up misconceptions: In the month since the release of the first “Kony 2012” video, a lot has happened — extreme hype, massive virality, extreme backlash, widespread questioning, congressional action and a very public mental breakdown. But that hasn’t stopped Invisible Children from trying, and now they’ve released a second clip on the phenomenon, partly an attempt to calm concerns and to more sharply focus on what the charity does in Africa, and partly to continue interest in the story of the Lord’s Resistance Army’s Joseph Kony. Of note: The voice on the video is not that of Jason Russell, who directed and narrated the first clip but was the subject of the TMZ-plastered breakdown. What do you guys think? Does this help calm some of your concerns, or are you still skeptical?
10:58 // 1 year ago
March 22, 2012
Without the Internet and YouTube, [Joseph Kony’s] dastardly deeds would not resonate with politicians. When you get 100 million Americans looking at something, you will get our attention.
Sen. Lindsey Graham • On the effect Kony 2012 has had on lawmakers. Yesterday, over a third of the Senate co-sponsored a bill condemning Kony’s actions; now, Graham and other members of Congress are working on a “bounty bill” to help encourage the capture (or “disappearing,” shall we say) of Kony, the now-infamous Ugandan warlord. Graham’s bosom buddy, John McCain, echoed his colleague’s sentiments, saying that “if not ending up dead, [Kony] could end up in the International Criminal Court, and it’d be a wonderful thing.” Now, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Kony 2012 and its creators; however, regardless of what you think of the organization behind the effort, it’s inspiring that something as simple as a YouTube video can actually spur Congress into action. It’s also nice to see Democrats and Republicans agree on something for once. source (via • follow)
19:06 // 1 year ago
March 17, 2012
We thought a few thousand people would see the film, but in less than a week, millions of people around the world saw it. While that attention was great for raising awareness about Joseph Kony, it also brought a lot of attention to Jason and, because of how personal the film is, many of the attacks against it were also very personal, and Jason took them very hard.
Danica Russell • From a statement on the very public breakdown suffered by her husband Jason yesterday, one of the co-founders of Invisible Children and the narrator of “Kony 2012.” A statement released yesterday by the organization’s CEO, Ben Keesey, struck a similar tone – emphasizing concern for Russell’s “health issue” and suggesting it may have been a by-product of scrutiny and stress from the mega-success of their viral video. Setting aside the arguments about the merits or demerits of “Kony 2012” itself, this is a striking lesson in the personal implications of the viral video culture. One can make something that may touch thousands, or even millions, but that can come with mental and emotional costs that may seem remote and abstract while sitting in front of Final Cut Pro. Best wishes to Russell and his family during such a difficult ordeal. source (via • follow)
16:33 // 1 year ago
March 16, 2012
It’s bad, guys. He even showed up on TMZ. Russell, who has faced a ton of praise and criticism in recent weeks over his group’s successful attempt to make Joseph Kony famous, was detained Thursday for public drunkenness, masturbating in public and vandalizing cars on the streets of San Diego, the group’s American home base. Officials realized that he was having a bit of a breakdown and hospitalized him. “Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition,” the CEO of Invisible Children, Ben Keesey, said in a statement. “He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday.” In case anyone’s morbidly curious, we’ll let you head over to TMZ yourselves. No link necessary. source
19:30 // 1 year ago
March 8, 2012
No one wants a boring documentary on Africa. Maybe we have to make it pop, and we have to make it cool. We view ourself as the Pixar of human rights stories.
"Kony 2012" director Jason Russell • Making a telling point in an interview with the New York Times about his video, which has faced popularity and scorn in equal measures. The success of the video — far beyond your average viral video — has pushed its spread far beyond the traditional activism video, but not without criticism. Should Pixar be an example for an activist movement?
23:03 // 2 years ago
March 7, 2012