Charlie Brooker On KONY


On last night’s 10 O’Clock Show on Channel 4.

“It all looks a bit like a shallow T mobile advert, shot by the Pepsi Max pricks, complete with conspiracy theory-style visuals and weird shots of idealistic youths who’ve been recruited to the cause….
“It’s the fastest-spreading viral video ever…In fact the only way a You Tube video could get any more viral is if Susan Boyle and the cat bin lady teamed up to eat shit out of the same cup”


50 thoughts on “Charlie Brooker On KONY

  1. Escobar

    Damn this dancing pipsqueak bringing to the world’s attention the plight of children in Uganda. And him into glee-style dancing? Well I never…

      1. Escobar

        Am I naive? Perhaps, but the fact remains, we are never going to have all the facts on Joey Kones or this Shiney American dude. Short of meeting them both and observing them first hand we will have to take other people’s word for who they are, what they are about, and what their motives are. Who’s to say either of them even exist. Is the world really round?
        These days you can’t trust anything you read in newspapers, see on tv/any sort of screen.
        I have neither the time or the desire to seek out all the information regarding this video, it’s director, the accuracy of the content etc… people keep saying Kony’s out of the country. Is he? Who’s actually seen him? Please tell us where he is or are we all just waiting for Charlie Brooker to tell us. Who knows anything without really knowing it. What is it to ‘know’ something?
        We should all make up our own minds. So for me, Kony = bad, Shiney American dude = irrelevant.

        1. PeteS

          ‘Is the world really round?’

          What sort of ridiculous argument is that to make? In fact, that last reply you left smacks of naivety. Of course you should look into peoples’ motives. Especially when they’re attempting to get you to follow some vague cause or wrangle money out of you. Taking somebody like that at face value is ridiculous.

          1. Escobar

            If you intend on giving someone money or ‘following’ them, then yes, dig deeper. I don’t intend on doing either.

            The guy who made this film MAY have a dreadful agenda – we just don’t know. I for one am not gonna jump on a bandwagon and support attacks on him just becasue you or Charlie Brooker thinks I should .

    1. rapmachine no diggidy no doubt

      yes. i really wish he’d get his offensivley ugly mug off the tele. he’s not comfortable nor natural in front of the camera.

    1. Action Man

      That 4th Estate stuff is scary.
      Type into the address bar of a browser and see what you get.

        1. thehumanrace

          all of these charismatic quips and satirical comments on squee have been a ruse

  2. Figlen

    Oh who to trust?!?
    The ‘cool’ slick fast talking brit?
    Or the not cool slick fast talking yank?!

    1. woesinger

      Or you could, you know, look at the available facts and make up your own mind. Just a thought.

          1. Figlen

            Crikey. There are rules regarding this?
            I will hang my head in shame. Clearly I am in the shadows of giants.

  3. beego

    Charlie Brooker’s strident, cynical and verging on aggressive style usually puts me off, but damn this is a good piece

  4. Fat Frog

    Something very troubling happened with the circulation of the Kony 2012 video. Without understanding the issues, or the facts millions of people signed up to the campaign world wide.

    Saving children from an evil monster is a no-brainer it would seem. Except of course when you are being manipulated. People lent their support to a call for military intervention in Uganda when Kony is actually not in the country. Did anyone ask the Ugandans what they want? Seems they are not too happy.

    The week before Kony 2012 there was an unauthenticated video of Syrians being tortured in a hospital that led to an outcry and calls for immediate military intervention. In a separate case Bradley Manning is awaiting trial for the leaking of footage of a war crime committed by the US in Iraq- this is a video that we were not meant to see.

    We are affected by the stories and images presented to us without always understanding the background or who is looking for our endorsement and what their motivations we allow ourselves to be manipulated.

    Otherwise what we get is foreign policy meets the X-factor- a dangerous combination.

    1. irlandesa

      all this.

      I was very suspicious of the Kony campaign. Thanks to Charlie Brooker for articulating my misgivings so well.

  5. Carlos

    It’s pretty obvious that the film is just a propaganda piece. I found it nauseating. And the way he kept rolling out his child a cheap shot. Glossing over the facts and condensing it down to bubblegum level is dangerous. This argument that now people know about Kony is a moot point too. So what if some spotty kid in America has now heard about him? It is not going to make a blind bit of difference to the situation out there.Now we have lots of clueless people calling for military intervention without any thought or consideration of the consequences. loooool.

    1. David

      Worst part was when he asked the young Ugandan boy what he’d say to his mutilated brother if he were alive again. The poor child, rightly enough, exploded into tears.

      For me, that’s complete exploitation of a situation. Only asked that question for that explicit effect.

      1. JD

        I’m reminded of ‘drop the dead donkey’ in the early 90’s. There’s a particular scene where the reporter slaps an African child of camera in order to get a clip of it crying.
        Tried to find the clip but channel 4 have removed it…..the fascists…..
        Here’s another clip that covers a similar theme….

  6. Continuity Jay-Z

    Levels of child unemployment were at their lowest levels in Uganda thanks to Kony.


  7. Listrade

    I really don’t get the backlash against the video. Not that it doesn’t generalise, sensationalise, cherrypick facts, misrepresent issues and is loaded exploitative sentimentality, but that how is that different to any other campaign by any other charity? As to the accounts and traceability, try getting full open accounts of any Irish charity.

    I don’t see any difference in this video and the short videos used in BBC’s Sports Relief promos, except they’re shorter and uses babbling, ineloquent pop culture celebrities to paint their explotative sentimentality.

    If that’s a way to get attention and support, then that’s the way. If we react more to the pictures of a starving child dying on camera while a soap opera star checks their make-up and starts crying, then so be it. If it requires the emotions of a child who has been affected by a family member taken into Kony’s regime, then so be it.

    Additionally, Michael Moore won an oscar for the same tactics. I might have missed the Guardian picking holes in every minute of that film and running a blog every day for a week on the “backlash”. Al Gore won an oscar and a Nobel Prize. Again, might have been absent that week with the Guardian’s blogs.

    Stretching out some facts with hyperbole, sensationalism and a little but of crass film making. It’s not new.

      1. JD

        Interesting, i’m seeing a pattern here.

        Afghanistan, gas, race with china (possible/arbitrary at best)

        Bin Laden not in Afghanistan

      1. Listrade

        True. Got me there. Though in their compassion for AIDS and HIV numbers in Africa extends to funding any group that provides education and access to condoms in Africa.

        Kony isn’t in Uganda and is less powerful, but he hasn’t stopped. There were 20 incidents in the Congo region by him and his group of kidnapping. Uganda forced him out into another region and then washed their hands of him.

  8. Father Filth

    “In fact the only way a You Tube video could get any more viral is if Susan Boyle and the cat bin lady teamed up to eat shit out of the same cup”

    Lovely imagery. [quietly lowers pants and forms a Kleenex, ‘catch cone’]

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