Sometimes moms really do have the best advice…

There’s light at the end of the Bridge to Wisdom. Costa Rica.
Photo Credit:  Catherine Keefe

It came.

Kony 2012, the “most viral video in history,” captured our attention in class.   One student called it, “pure propaganda, very well done.”

It bothered us.

We discussed why we did or didn’t donate to the Invisible Children campaign; why we did or didn’t order the Action Kit which comes with the tagline, “People will think you’re an advocate of awesome,” and includes a t-shirt, two bracelets, a poster and stickers all designed to raise awareness about the atrocities committed in Uganda by one Joseph Kony.  We discussed why we did or didn’t plan to Cover the Night on April 20.

Is it gone?

On the West Coast, on the morning of April 20, we have a vantage point which will allow us to watch events unfold east of us in response to the Cover the Night campaign which, according to the Kony 12.com Events page means that – “The rest of the world will go to bed Friday night and wake up to hundreds of thousands of posters demanding justice on every corner .”  So, as of this writing, it’s too soon to tell, but by the time we go to bed, we should already know what’s happening on other continents.

As of this writing, the film has had 88, 017,991 hits on YouTube.  To get  a perspective on the size of that number, imagine every single person living in the three most populous cities on the planet: Tokyo, Delhi, and São Paolo.  Now add the entire population of Miami and Caracas and imagine this sea of humanity all watching one film.

During this historic phenomenon, there’s been no dearth of comments from detractors of the Invisible Children organization but what I haven’t read, until today, is a thoughtful analysis about lessons to be gleaned from the eerie way this film spread so quickly and abundantly and why that makes the task of informing digital natives how to be discerning consumers of information.

Nathalie Hopkinson on The Root , gives a personal narrative that, in the words of your Creative Nonfiction Assignment, places herself within the world and in some obvious, but skillfully graceful way, integrates a larger issue into your prose.  Check it out:  “A Child’s Wisdom About Kony 2012: As Cover the Night hits the streets, parents can help kids learn the truth from spin on the web.”

Interestingly, like the film, Hopkinson’s commentary is structured around the story of a parent, a mom, teaching a child a lesson.  Breaking big ideas down into small narratives, now that’s an excellent writing technique.  Have you ever heard of it before?

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