Have 150 million people or whatever it is really sat through ‘KONY 2012,’ past the silly onscreen text, the Facebook shout-out, and the gazing into eyes of towheaded kid as only hope for wretched of the earth, etc., etc.?
The thing is, there’ve for years been tons of available documentary-ish features on the Lord’s Resistance Army online: See this video by the UK Telegraph, or the BBC’s interview (!) with Kony himself. Am I just completely out of touch to think that the best thing about the Internet is being able to read/see/watch professionally prepared material from countries/times/outlooks beyond the physically proximate, rather than the global aesthetic triumph of the treacly, the amateurish, the fanboy (so much so that even well-funded NGOs have to adopt to style!)? Are people really thinking, consciously or not, “well, i’ve never cared about child soldiers in the past, despite the terabytes of stuff available instantly, but wait! this clip looks like something I could have made with a FlipCam and shareware. Must be authentically interested in an authentic problem!”
As something of a connoisseur of moving-picture non-fiction, I share with you a simple test to decide whether something is worth wasting your time-wasting time on: Does the narration sound like it’d cut it on PBS or any of the docucable networks? If they can’t afford—or more likely, refuse to get—credible voice work, how likely is it that they’re meeting other conventions, like those of truth?