2. to create interest in by flamboyant or dramatic methods; promote or publicize showily: a promoter who knows how to hype a prizefight.
3. to intensify (advertising, promotion, or publicity) by ingenious or questionable claims, methods, etc. (usually followed by up).
4. to trick; gull.
5. exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
6. an ingenious or questionable claim, method, etc., used in advertising, promotion, or publicity to intensify the effect.
7. a swindle, deception, or trick.
Think about this. It’s the world we live in today. Advertising, videos, even church. There’s a whole lot of hype for something that may or may not have a whole lot of substance.
And here’s the part where I step on toes. Take, for example, the Kony 2012 movement. If you don’t know what it is, you’ve clearly been living under a rock for the last two weeks, because I’m pretty sure almost everyone with access to the internet has seen it. If you happen to be the only one left in America who hasn’t seen it yet, though, watch it here before reading any further. No, really, stop what you’re doing and watch it before you read the rest of this. Otherwise you will have no idea what I’m talking about and you’ll think I’m crazy. And if you do watch it and read what I have to say, you might think I’m a jerk. Whatever though, nobody’s forcing you to read this.
It’s thought-provoking, isn’t it? Makes you want to get off your butt and do something. Go get in somebody’s face about social activism. All from a 30 minute Youtube video. You’re excited, passionate, convicted. Kony is a horrible person and must be stopped, right? But let’s think about this. Prior to that video, I’m pretty sure you hadn’t heard the name Kony before, probably didn’t know what the LRA was. And now, here you are, ready to storm the White House in the name of a crisis that you know about just because of one Youtube video. You’re ready to go to that website, buy that action kit, do all that stuff. The only reason I can say this is because that was my exact reaction to the video. Then someone who thought rationally threw the blanket on my fire that I’m about to throw on yours.
Let me just say here, I have nothing against the goal of catching Joseph Kony in the year 2012. It’s a great thing. I hope it happens. However, I don’t think that making a video to stir the pot was necessarily the best way to go about it. Yes, Kony and the LRA are huge problems. Yes, people should be aware of what is happening in the world even if they aren’t living with the problems being presented. But getting a bunch of angry teenagers together, giving them a cause, and singing kum ba yah in a drum circle isn’t getting any terrorists arrested. It’s making a bunch of cookie-cutter teens into angry “social activists” who won’t know what to do when someone asks them what they really believe about something that wasn’t covered in that video. Recently, frontman Jason Russel was taken into custody for a nude rampage in the streets of San Diego. There goes a ton of credibility. The organization has been criticized for spending more of their budget on making videos than helping kids, which, I mean, awareness is good and stuff, but again, angry teenagers are not helping save children. They’re still dying every day while we’re sitting here on our rear ends being all like “oh somebody should really do something about this. It’s horrible what’s happening over there. It’s a disgrace. Blablabla Kony 2012 *incoherent mumbling*”
The whole movement is taking a lot of heat lately. It’s taking heat for being all hype and no substance. It’s taking heat for presenting skewed information. It’s taking heat because the director lost his marbles a little bit. And here’s the part where Jesus, Christianity, and a little bit of common sense come in.
Colossians 2:8 — Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Basically, don’t let someone with a fancy, flashy video tell you what to think. Do your own research, study the scriptures, then decide what you’re going to do about it. It would be dumb to do anything less. I’m not telling you what to think, I’m telling you what I think. I want you to think for yourself.
2 Corinthians 10:3 — For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
In the video, a dramatic montage is shown of youth gathered at a rally, shouting the following words: “We’ve seen these kids. We’ve heard their cries. This war must end. We will not stop. We will not fear. We will fight war.” Ok for one, I’m pretty sure most of these kids have never stepped off of American soil, much less into the thick of where all this stuff is happening. They have not seen anything yet. And neither have I, I’ll be honest. But it sure sounds cool. It sounds like going off to fight the most noble war there is. But war isn’t clean. There’s mess, there’s stuff that we’re not hearing about. I hope Kony gets caught, I really do. I hope he gets strung up for the world to see. But the people who want to get involved in this need to understand that it’s not as simple as authorizing troops to go in after him. People will die. Kids will die. You can’t get into this thing and keep your hands clean. It’s not a matter of donating a few dollars a month to an organization nobody’s ever heard of. It’s a global thing now. What is that money doing? Making more videos to get people riled up? Whoop de doo. Go ahead, pay for more hype. It’s all just so exciting, I know. Just keep your head on straight, k?
Fact of life: Cats hate being thumped over the head with a bible just as much as people do.