Friday night is "cover the night" night. If all goes according to plan, when the sun rises on Saturday the landscape will have been plastered with "Kony 2012" signs by young activists determined to bring a horrible African warlord to justice.
But of course, with the Kony 2012 campaign, all isn't going according to plan. The video that inspired these activists got lots of blowback from, among other people, experts on Joseph Kony. Then, apparently as a result, the guy who made the video, and kind of starred in it, had a very public psychological breakdown. So it may be that most of us get through this weekend without seeing a single "Kony 2012" sign.
But before this campaign recedes into history, I want to say something on its behalf; there's a point in its favor that I discovered only this week.
The backlash against the video had several components, including the claims that: (1) Kony, though a hideous man who had left a swath of atrocity in his wake, was now doing damage on a smaller scale than the video suggested; and (2) the video's prescription--let's go capture him!--was simplistic, because the conditions that give rise to these kinds of atrocities are complex, and won't be magically changed by tracking down one man.