NPR's On The Media

KONY OR PHONY

So, after today’s class I decided to do some of my own research on Jason Russell’s mental breakdown or “reactive psychosis.”  I found this article on the Huffington post describing his symptoms and what led to this reaction. Jason Russell Meltdown

Continuing our class discussion, I personally do feel betrayed by the KONY2012 video.  I had never heard about the issue prior to watching the video that day in class.  It provoked such a strong emotional reaction from me that after class I actually called my sister telling her to watch it and that we needed to join and help.  After finding out all the aspects of the film that are not 100% truthful or accurate, as well as Russell’s subsequent actions, I have no problem admitting that I feel deceived.  Yes, maybe I should have taken it upon myself to reach out and discover more about the issue, but the emotional nature of the video made me almost lose sense of reality.  The video romanticized this issue so much so that I feel I was watching through rose-colored glasses.  I didn’t think about whether or not everything was accurate, I trusted (however naïve it was of me to do so) that no one would make a video displaying such horror if it wasn’t true.

Now, after reading about Jason Russell’s current mental health state, it pulled me down from my emotional high to realize he is just a normal person, not a knight in shinning armor.  The fact that after 2 weeks of the video going viral Russell is a now a mental mess, makes me wonder how he could ever do any of the things he talks about in the video if he can’t even take the video’s popularity.  Personally I think his diagnosis is a load of bull, to be frank.  Maybe he reacted this way after visiting Uganda, maybe he reacted this way while making the video, but I just don’t buy that the video’s popularity caused this “psychosis.”  Perhaps now that he is in the public eye, a sort of celebrity, things he used to do, (maybe drugs?) are now public knowledge.

All in all I feel betrayed for the simple fact that I genuinely wanted to believe in Jason Russell’s message.  The fact that it is now marred by criticism takes away from the “truth” I originally saw in the video.

3 comments

  1. I come from Western Kenya,a part near Uganda and very near some places where Kony has operated.I have watched the video and read the the comments people have been writing ever since his breakdown.His facts are not perfectly correct but he has told the truth about the horrors.He has done much more than any politician or people in Africa or anywhere in the world have dared to do for the children of not only Uganda, but now even the DRC.When you don´t know the horror of going to bed at night knowing someone may come in and kill you, it is easy to be waivered by the many comments about Jason Russel.I have nothing but respect for him and wish a quick recovery.

  2. I think a lot of the people who watched the video and had the same strong emotional reaction you talked about (myself included) did not look any further into this topic. Many “slacktivists” (my new favorite term) were inspired and that’s where their interest in KONY2012 stopped. Thus, anyone who is 100% on board with the campaign hasn’t done much research besides feeling emotionally connected.

Leave a Reply