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Kony and Orwell

March 10, 2012

By now most people who are on Facebook or who read MSM reports are familiar with the Kony phenomenon, which was described in a March 8 article in the NYTimes. While it is a heartening story of a 24 year old idealist shining the spotlight on the atrocities of a thug/dictator in Uganda, there is something unsettling about the fact that 50 million viewers have received, in the words of a Unicef Executive, a story that “…essentially distill(s) a very complicated 26-year war into something that’s consumable and understandable by mass media.” 

Somewhere, George Orwell and all thinking journalists and essayists from his era are weeping at the fact that officials are celebrating the distillation of a “very complicated 26-year war” into something that is “understandable by the mass media”…. We love to get complex issues into soundbites and what is lost in the process is critical thought. I’m a bit behind in my newspaper reading because I’ve been cocooned in a conference, but I hope to read an editorial decrying this kind of oversimplification of reality… But a country that believes the measurement of teaching can be reduced to a mathematical formula probably wants a 26-year war that can be reduced to a thumbs-up/thumbs-down evaluation.

Categories: Uncategorized
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