Early Bird Special

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Invisible Children has released the much-anticipated KONY 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous, the sequel to KONY 2012, the most viral video in Internet history.

If the original video was about making Joseph Kony famous, then Part II's purported focus is activism. At 20 minutes, the sequel implores young viewers to do something, anything, noting that since the release of KONY 2012, 57 more people have been abducted by Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.

Missing in the sequel is the voice of the organization's co-founder, Jason Russell, who was famously detained in mid-March after a public meltdown. Part II also lacks the gripping "through a child's eyes" vantage point of the original video.

Bottom line: Despite this pointed effort at responding to widespread criticism, Invisible Children remains a private interest group that allocates the overwhelming majority of its budget (nearly 70% in 2011) toward travel, compensation, administration, fundraising, making movies, and lobbying celebrities and Congress [pdf] to support its central aim: direct foreign military intervention in Africa. If the activists who made KONY 2012 so successful really want to be impactful, there are far better ways to take action than supporting Invisible Children.

[mashable / usatoday]

Follow-up of the Day: KONY 2012

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Follow-up of the Day: KONY 2012
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Invisible Children, the nonprofit that created the controversial Internet sensation KONY 2012, has announced plans to release a sequel to the original film later this week. Part II will refocus attention back to the conflict in Africa, and also will defend the organization's message and methods, which came under criticism after KONY 2012 went viral.

[mashable]

Follow Up of the Day: Invisible Children Co-Founder Suffers From Brief Reactive Psychosis, Says Wife

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Follow Up of the Day: Invisible Children Co-Founder Suffers From Brief Reactive Psychosis, Says Wife
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Follow Up of the Day: Danica Russell, the wife of Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell, has just released a statement concerning the cause of her husband's naked nervous breakdown, which occurred last week near SeaWorld San Diego.

According to Ms. Russell, the doctors who have examined Jason diagnosed him with a condition called "brief reactive psychosis," which she claims is brought on "by extreme exhaustion, stress and dehydration."

Her statement continues:

Though new to us, the doctors say this is a common experience given the great mental, emotional and physical shock his body has gone through in these last two weeks. Even for us, it’s hard to understand the sudden transition from relative anonymity to worldwide attention -both raves and ridicules, in a matter of days.

The KONY 2012 mastermind will remain under observation for at least the next few weeks. His wife believes he will eventually resume his role with Invisible Children, but says the road to full recovery "could take months."

Despite vehement opposition from residents of Northern Uganda and a formal reprimand from the country's prime minister, IC remains steadfast in its commitment to the heavily criticised Kony 2012 campaign and its "Cover the Night" demonstration, which is still on track to take place on April 20th.

[ic.]

Tweet of the Day

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Tweet of the Day
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Journalist Barry Malone, who covers Africa for Reuters, reports on some amusing confusion sparked by the arrest of Kony 2012 mastermind Jason Russell.

[@malonebarry.]

Didn't See That Coming of the Day

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Didn't See That Coming of the Day
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Jason Russell, co-founder of the controversial nonprofit Invisible Children and the star of its ultra-viral fundraising campaign video KONY2012, was arrested last night in the San Diego neighborhood of Pacific Beach for masturbating in public while under the influence.

The San Diego Police Department says Russell, 33, was taken into custody after he was caught masturbating in public and vandalizing cars. Lt. Andra Brown also noted that he was under the influence, but did not identify the substance.

His overall behavior was said to have been "Very strange." 

[nbcsd.]

On Kony 2012

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On Kony 2012
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On Kony 2012: I honestly wanted to stay as far away as possible from KONY 2012, the latest fauxtivist fad sweeping the web (remember "change your Facebook profile pic to stop child abuse"?), but you clearly won't stop sending me that damn video until I say something about it, so here goes:

Stop sending me that video.

The organizati