Imagine for a moment that KONY 2012 did everything right; it didn’t overstate the influence of Joseph Kony or the numbers of children he has indoctrinated into his child army, and it wasn’t overly emotional. There’s still one tiny little problem: entrusting the young people of the Western world to help raise awareness about a Ugandan warlord might not be the best idea. Bill Maher gave a strong reality check to these young people in his final New Rule, telling them making Kony famous doesn’t actually do much to get him captured.
Maher started out by telling people that if they were shocked that evil people like Kony exist in the world, “you need to fire whoever’s homeschooling you.” He did acknowledge that young people getting involved in the campaign was partly a good thing, but remained skeptical of the whole premise. Then he spoke directly to young people to enlighten them about other realities of the world that they’re going to have to get used to. Maher said that “the world’s full of liars,” and one should always examine someone’s motivations before trusting them.
He warned young people about not being too naive about drinking and drug use, before advising them to dance while sober to get a better understanding of how they’ll look, drunk, in a nightclub at 2 AM. But to Maher’s larger point about Kony, he told young people that just feeling good about yourself for updating your Facebook status or tweeting “OMG KONY 2012 LET’S GET HIM GUYZ” isn’t enough.
“Raising awareness for Joseph Kony is like voting for Obama in 2008. It’s the beginning of solving a problem, not the end… because if you just make Joseph Kony famous without capturing him, he will win.”
Maher joked that if Kony ends up being famous but nothing bad happens to him, he’ll end up cycling through the stages of Hollywood stardom before eventually deciding to capitalize on his newfound fame and running for political office.
Watch the video below, courtesy of HBO:
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