Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony 2012, Invisible Children, and the LRA

This whole hubbub about Joseph Kony, Kony 2012, and the Invisible Children (IC) documentary videos from Uganda in Africa seemed to be reaching a fervent peak as millions of people suddenly tweeted, facebook-shared, dugg, and reddit'd the story in a deluge of "awareness-raising." At first glance the cause seems quite just, and one is swiftly ready to align him or herself with Invisible Children in the fight against the LRA. However, perhaps a bit of critical analysis of the group (as well as its goals) is in order before.

What appears to be the issue, initially, is that there is this horrifying organization known as the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA. The rebel group is at bloody odds with the current Ugandan government, led by president Yoweri Museveni, and its armed forces, the Uganda People's Defence Force (UDPF). At the head of the LRA is an infamous -- not famous -- hypocrite by the name of Joseph Kony, who apparently wishes to establish an Acholi state (starting in Uganda) where the laws are the Ten Commandments in the Bible.

Joseph Kony, the villainous leader of the LRA
A bunch of college students flew out to the Sudan area with their cameras at the ready to catch whatever they could about the African plight. Instead of the Sudan, though, they found their story in Uganda: two children who had been kidnapped, tortured, and pressed into service by Kony's LRA. Feeling the heavy strain of the White Man's Burden, these students returned with their new footage and shared it in a "documentary" that later spawned the eponymous cause -- Invisible Children.

So, the Invisible Children want to help the young boys and girls forced into rebel militias and being brutally abused by raising awareness. What is wrong with that?

Inherently, nothing is wrong with it. Raising awareness about the issues that plague the planet is a noble cause indeed, and few global problems have ever been solved without that awareness. However, taking a deeper look into the Invisible Children and their methods may reveal more than you expected about their true intentions, as well as the harm they are actually causing.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Good Side of Spiders

He wants to give you a 7-legged hug!
Friend: i hate spiders!~!

Veritas: Spiders don't hate you, though! In fact, you may have heard this already, but spiders are actually terribly afraid of you, because they know it is you who is the dangerous one. ;D

Compare the number of spiders that we kill to the number of humans that spiders kill. Not a fair number, now is it? :P Even worse, almost every single time they bite humans, they reduce the venom used, as it is just self-defense.

In addition, spiders kill disease-carrying insects, like flies and mosquitoes. Without this, you are significantly more likely to catch a sickness or serious disease from these insects! :O

Did you know only two people die per year from spider bites, and none of them are in the USA (the home of the black widow and brown recluse)?