Jason Russell vs Joseph Kony or Evil People Doing Evil Things

15 Mar

I believe most people experience a creeping unease when they’re witnessing something they perceive to be evil even if that feeling isn’t  named or shouted out as it occurs.  The feeling happens when you see someone impose their will on someone else; whether it’s a murder or a rape as an extreme example, though I sometimes feel a lighter version of that would be bullying–our different subjective experiences set off alarms during questionable moments.

And I get creeping feeling when I saw that video above (heavy on the inside Brit jokes) where Charlie Booker presents the case of Jason Russell, evangelical filmmaker, and the man behind the Kony 2012 video.  Booker tells us more about Jason Russell than this sparse wikipedia page does, and not a whit of it is good.  That Jason Russell and his organization profits from the videos is a first pang in my spine, that doesn’t sound right, but also that Invisible Children seems to be covert missionary organization that advocates for military action in Uganda creates the second lurching sense of nausea in the gut.

I’m fascinated to think that Evil can be the end result of a long line of conscious decisions that are based on very mundane feelings we all share, after all, who wouldn’t want to impose their own will into a situation where the answer to all problems is maddeningly simple?

There’s a another thing that sets of the Evil detector for both Joseph Kony and Jason Russell and that is when people believe in a cause so high that its values outweighs the lives of people. We all have our pet causes that we’re passionate about, but would we ever lie to recruit people into our causes?  When we become the figurehead for our cause do we feel that all of our decisions would benefit the cause no matter how wrong the outcome?

Joseph Kony has child soldiers, but I’m sure he didn’t start that way–I imagine the current horrors Kony visits on people were just a logical conclusion to a series of more and more perverse decisions.  Kony is monster, but Russell eludes me, and I think it’s because he’s an infant piranha fish to Kony’s shark , and his eyes are as blank as his wikipedia page.  He seems closed off completely, undeterred in the face of criticism, and so we’re wary of the fact that we might be growing some monsters too.

I can’t define evil but hum a few bars and I’ll let you know if I recognize it.

Update: The day after I wrote this Jason Russell was detained for public intoxication and masturbating in public .  I underestimated him.

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