Tag Archives: america

Monday Pick Me Up: Dogs Can Be Republican Too

Although I’m not entirely sure how the owners trained their dog to reject any Obama offerings, it’s pretty funny to watch the little mutt express his political views. Maybe there should be a follow up video so that we can see whether he endorses Romney or Santorum. Who knew that carrots could convey such a strong political message?

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Wednesday’s Got Issues: Kony or Con?

Today, I am one of the almost 10 million people who have watched the Kony2012 video (see below), in which an American based organisation detail their attempts to halt the atrocities committed in Uganda by Joseph Kony and his army, the LRA. It has been widely documented, but not reported by Western media, that they have abducted, raped, murdered or enslaved thousands of people, particularly children, and the Kony2012 people want it to stop. Which is perfectly understandable, the unimaginable horrors committed by Kony and his gang have scarred a generation of Ugandans but received little media attention. I freely admit that until today I had never heard of him or the LRA, and that is my fault for not educating myself better about the world today.

After watching the video, like many others I immediately went to the Kony2012 website and registered my support, then I had a quick look at their merchandise shop – designed to help spread the word through posters, t-shirts and bracelets, among other things – and on an impulse I bought a snazzy looking shirt and one of their bracelets. Don’t ask me why, I plead brainwashing. I don’t generally think of myself as easily led or gullible (but then, no gullible person does), but 5 minutes after hitting the ‘Pay’ button, I was shocked by how quickly I had just spent money, based on a 30 minute video. So I did a little more research on the TRI people (who are behind the movement) and was surprised at how easily I found articles talking about the questionable nature of the organisation, who seem to have created a movement through snappy video editing and an adorable 5 year old who doesn’t understand that there are bad people outside of Star Wars.

Some articles that I found interesting can be found here (there are plenty more to be found via Google):

http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02/the-visible-problem-with-invisible-children

http://thedailywh.at/2012/03/07/on-kony-2012-2

I want to make it clear that I support the efforts of governments and international organisations who are trying to capture Kony and bring him to justice. But I am wary of a campaign that is light on information and heavy on emotion, I got so caught up in it all that I actually gave them money, and that scares me.

Something else that I find worrying is that, 10 minutes after I placed my order I tried to cancel it by clicking on the links provided on the store website. Every single one led to an error page. Luckily I was able to find a relevant email on another of their websites, and hopefully I will get a refund for my stupidity soon, but I am becoming less and less supportive of a movement whose only goal seems to be to create a world of hipster clones with a cause about which they know very little. I’m glad that I came to my senses, I don’t know why my cynicism alarm didn’t trip sooner. We live and learn.

That’s not to say that I’ll never do anything for charity again, it’s just that I am going to be a little bit more careful in the future and use one of the websites below to verify where my cash ends up.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/

http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/

If you want to make up your own mind, watch the video or click on the link below:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/kony2012/kony_5.html

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Wednesday’s Got Issues: America the Uninformed

As I was trying to think of a pertinent issue to write about today, my mind kept wandering back to the utter stupidity that is Fox News, and my disbelief that so many Americans believe their lies. So I’m going to have a bit of a rant about the various faults and inaccuracies that, while hilarious, are destroying the moral fibre of a country that is very dear to my heart.

To begin, let’s look back at the hacking scandal of last year, never have I seen more blatant twisting of facts than in the reportage of Fox News. As highlighted by the always excellent Daily Show, the network managed to distort the truth to such an extent that News International suddenly replaced Milly Dowler as the innocent victim. If you can’t believe that something so morally wrong would be possible, then look it up on The Daily Show’s website. Admittedly, most of my Fox News updates come from that source, and let’s face it they’re hardly going to be complimentary, but there is only so much editing that can be done to make people look that ignorant before you just have to accept that they actually are being ridiculous.

A further example would be the overt Republican favouritism that has inexplicably sustained a political party that truly belongs in the dark ages. While I can understand the reasoning behind conservative values, I have never been able to comprehend America’s refusal to separate Church from State, or the ability of the uninformed to gain power to the extent that they become lawmakers. I will always believe that everyone has a right to choose what they do with their body, a right to love whoever they want, and the right to believe in anything, or nothing. But it seems that these basic human rights do not fit in with the Republican agenda, and therefore are pedalled to the masses through the poison that erupts from the mouths of those who present Fox and Friends. Case in point: the furore surrounding Obama’s birth certificate. I mean, what the fuck? No sane population would stoop to that level of childishness to discredit a universally liked public figure. But then again, no sane population would elect George W Bush to two terms in office, so there you go.

I guess that the main focus of my rant hasn’t so much been the idiocy of Fox News, but of American ignorance in general. I realise that the UK, and pretty much every country on Earth, has their fair share of nutters, and it may seem unfair to point the finger solely at our colonial frenemy. But sometimes they really do make it too easy.

“I just wanted to see how much of an insult it was to be called ‘an ignoramus’, since I didn’t know what it meant I just Googled it…it’s an ignorant…lawyer”
-Gretchen Carlson, Fox and Friends presenter

 

[Image via http://wrightandleftreport.com%5D

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