Is Jason Russell's Hysterical Naked Madness Good for Kony?


Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey and Laren Poole showing off their packages in a more innocent time.

Invisible Children activist Jason Russell's butt-naked meltdown in San Diego doesn't just give new meaning to the phrase "exposing child soldiers." It raises the question of how an obscure-to-most-Americans political issue will play after its most prominent spokesman has flamed out. 

Nick Sibilla gave the lowdown on Russell's arrest earlier: 

Russell was taken into custody Thursday night after vandalizing cars and masturbating in public. In addition, the SDPD "received several calls yesterday at 11:30 a.m. of a man in various stages of undress, running through traffic and screaming. Police described him as 'in his underwear.'"… 

The police will not press charges, since according to a SDPD spokesperson, "We determined that medical treatment was a better course of action than arrest."

TMZ notes that cops were responding to reports of a man in "various stages of undress." And because this is your lucky day, TMZ also has video of Russell in what looks like the final stage of undress, very athletically getting the message out to what looks like a pretty nice section of America's Finest City. 

My own impressions of Kony 2012 were that 1) it was remarkably centered on Russell's sense of his own awesomeness; 2) the use of Russell's son was so shameless – such an unjust act of parenting, journalism and cinema – that it made me feel terribly old; and 3) Russell is the type of person about whom a friend of mine once said, "That guy's problem is that he's never had nobody give a shit about his ideas."

More importantly, Sibillla noted in an excellent overview last week, the viral video failed either to describe Kony's crimes in full or to deal honestly with the crimes of the governments that are fighting against him. The other day Tate Watkins described how this post-post-post-modern phenomenon also contains plenty of old-school political propaganda and overlaps with State Department ambitions. Sibilla also described how Invisible Children's strange mission of funding "hipsters uploading videos to Vimeo" has nevertheless resulted in getting Kony declared an enemy of the United States.

Because the explosion of the anti-Joseph Kony cause is so wound up in Russell's own story – which, whatever the video's faults, was clearly compelling to 80 million people – it will be interesting to see if this news has any impact on the campaign. It's also an example of how the very technofabulism celebrated in Kony 2012 accelerates career cycles: In the old days a celebrity got at least a month between the overnight success and the Sean Young-level breakdown. 

Theoretically, Russell's problems, which I hope for his family's sake he will overcome, should not have any effect on the political situation. But it's hard to see how the American public's fascination with Joseph Kony, who is himself only a bit player in Russell's film, would have been of long duration under any circumstances. The attention span can only get shorter now that the campaign's leading spokesman has rendered himself  – unlike the American forces sent to help hunt for Kony – hors de combat

NEXT: What Wouldn't You Believe About the Patriot Act?

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    1. So it seems last night, you caught me spankin’ it.
      No use denyin’ it: I was really crankin’ it.
      Well, dry your eyes; don’t feel so sad,
      Just because it was your bed; it’s not that bad!

      Talk to me, Dad!

  1. I have been very skeptical of this Kony 2012 stuff, and definitely want us nowhere close to militarily involved in Uganda…

    …but it’s unfair to tar their cause with this. This man is obviously mentally ill and needs treatment, and rarely can you extrapolate further than that. Now if I thought this thing was a direct result of his mentally illness, maybe that would be something but it’s doubtful that’s the case.

    IOW, their cause should be judged on its merits, not whether one of its backers is suffering from a mental disorder.

    1. Tar his cause? Tim Cavanaugh never says the breakdown reflects on the Kony2012 video. It was his (Russell’s) previous actions and attitude that were cited as detracting from the video’s message, along with the lack of context provided by the video itself.

      1. These people will do anything to get us on their side.

    2. “IOW, their cause should be judged on its merits, not whether one
      of its backers is suffering from a mental disorder”

      The merits of his cause are breathtakingly thin. The kony 2012 video consists of a guy I’ve never heard of telling me that another guy I’ve never heard of is doing bad things to people I know little about and as such the U.S. should militarily intervene in a foreign nation and kill/capture some people who this guy I’ve never heard of says are bad. But as cavanaugh notes, in this post-post-post modern world, that’s enough for the federal government.

      1. “The merits of his cause are breathtakingly thin.”

        I’m in complete agreement, but they should still be judge on the merits (or lack thereof) not by his mental illness.

        1. Fucking spoof handles.

    3. their cause should be judged on its merits

      The merits of putting American blood and treasure being put on a fools errand to kill some two bit tyrant half a world away simply cuz some kids liked a youtube video?

      I will latch onto anything to stop this train wreak. If it takes mocking a hipster warmonger ranting naked through the streets so be it.

      Fuck you, fuck Russell and fuck his cause.

      1. He’s made me ready for some adventure down under.

    4. Youth unemployment under Kony is lower than any other group he opposes.

      1. Remember, it’s pronounced “Suc“…. Wait. That was actually funny.

  2. Any chance of foul play?

    LSD or PCP or Ketemine mixed in someone’s drink could result in that kind of behavior.

    1. Uh, you think Kony has agents?

      1. Not Kony per se, but perhaps someone who doesn’t like the group. I’m normally not one much for conspiracy theories, but this behavior seems very…odd. More so than one would generally see from someone who was just drunk and under stress.

        1. Psych symptoms clearly, not drunkenness. So either he has psych problems or something gave him psych problems.

          1. Yup.

            Asshole community activist gets a big infusion of donations cuz his video went viral, now he can snort up all the “psych problems” his heart desires.

            1. Thank god you’ve move on to a new case Inspector
              -do you have a wiki reference for your theory

              1. There’s a bad smell about me.

                1. Helle honey, that’s what a girl smells like; while you’re there do something useful

                    1. ….is what he’s doing now.

        2. Uh, you think Kony has agents?

          THE ILLUMINATI!!!!!!!!!!

          1. Possibly! Does that rule out Jews?

            1. SHHHHH!!

      2. Despots are useful to the politically ambitious. He has friends. Subterfuge is not really even that rare of an occurrence. People are paid good money and life time sallaries to know that stuff.

    2. The conditions they treated him for in the hospitol for seem to indicate a long stimulant binge. You don’t need halucinogens to act like that, just a lack of sleep.

      1. That is true too. Forty eight hours no sleep plus a six pack or two of energy drinks, and you can find yourself wigging out to no less degree than if you were consuming heavy narcotics.

          1. Like the time I drove from DC to Mobile, slurping Red bulls and not resting. I got there and I could hear nothing but cicadas. People talking, all I heard was cicadas. I knew it was time to park it, and rent a room for three or four hours before I met the people I came to see. Got up, even though I still heard cicadas everywhere, I felt relieved cause I knew then I wasn’t going crazy. It was just Mobile in the middle of summer, hot as fuck, and fucking cicadas. My head was just incapable of tuning them out in the previous state of mind I was in.

            1. Right. Cicadas.

              So you stripped down and started masturbating and screaming, right? Happens. All. The. Time.

              The guy’s not a fucked up asshole! He just needed more sleep.

              1. What’s you’re problem, Gilmore? Not lived enough? Dude, the way I was feeling in Mobile that day was much loonier than I have ever felt on LSD or PCP.

                1. Makes me think you haven’t done enough LSD or PCP.


            2. Killasontherun, is your real name Patrick Bateman?

              1. I fucking hate Huey Lewis!

            3. I don’t think it was Red Bull. I think while he was over there he had some bad cow


    3. Hmm, interesting. Anything is possible. Being the object of national -global scrutiny could be pretty heavy for someone not ready for it. A bad trip on LSD from a spiked drink seems plausible also, kinda..

    4. Stress is one thing, but going from thinking that you just had the highlight of your career to realizing it’s made you an international disgrace has got to trigger some kind of instability.

    5. Mixed in YOUR drink maybe Killaz…

      Most of us know how to maintain 😉

  3. That awkward moment when Jason Russel gets arrested before Kony.

    1. you are too cruel. OUCH!

  4. More from the blue wall of silence:…..-red-flag/

    1. Looks like that paper is really taking the state to task with FOIA requests. Good on them, but I think they need to be alert for knocks on their door after midnight.

      Or is it just in Berkeley, CA where they send cops over to the reporter’s house at 1 am when they don’t like a story?

      1. waaaaah! double standard.derp derp derp

        police’s is evils they iz my precious.

        derp derp derp

        1. Why do you hate Schmoopy’s happiness?

        2. umadbro?

          Yeah, pointing out the creepiness of a police chief that sends a cop to a reporter’s house after midnight because he didn’t like a story about him is whining? Is “derp”ing?

          Maybe you’re just chapped because even this episode in Berkeley, California is a black eye on (possibly) your department, but certainly is for your shithead state-worshiping cops in the Pacific northwest, because this dumbass is from Seattle.

      2. Long ago and far away that was grounds for a forced resignation. Nowadays, Oh I’m sorry we fucked the dog. Now change the fucking story, or else.

  5. I could practically feel the smugness radiating off the screen while I read this article.

    That said, yeah. That was a bit fast.

  6. Wasn’t a Liberian warlord known as General Buttnaked featured on a VICE TV travel documentary?

    1. That would make a great handle.

      1. Yes it would.

    2. Yep he was the leader of the butt naked brigade back in the day. Liberia was one messed up place.

    3. He was a self-professed cannibal who (according to him) sacrificed children before battle.

      Now he’s converted to Christianity, and preaches about love and forgiveness. How magical.

  7. Another cop with a “play with your dick and keep your job” entitlement:…..elf-030612

    1. That guy’s an amateur compared to this courageous first responder.

  8. More evidence that cops shoot dogs because they can, not because they have to:…..9415.shtml


    2. Have those cops animals never heard of tranquilizer darts?

      1. derp derp derp

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  15. It must be nice to have the PD determine who is psychologically fit to stand trial for violating the law and who isn’t fit. I’m sure that their are many psychologically impaired inmates languishing in prisons all across this country. I know they wish that they had the same luxury when they were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to serve time, when all they needed was treatment. Must be nice!

    1. And your thoughts, dunphy?

      Not experts, thin blue line, a few bad apples, LOOK A SQUIRREL!

      1. we routinely nolle pros/ignore criminal violations when we deal with clear psychos

        ANY other criminal defendant who is not so viewed by arresting cops can still get their defense attorney to make such a motion at trial

        not having the cops recognize you as crazy as fuck (which will generally only happen with minor offenses) doesn’t mean you don’t get to make that argument. it just means you have to make it in court vs. the streets

        had some psycho we were tired of dealing with a ways back i ended charging with a slew of crimes and even though she WAS crazy as fuck, she ended up taking a plea because she wouldn’t allow her attorney to make that plea.she was too proud.

        lol. got about 9 months. 9 months of peace we had from her bullshit

    2. I am an ER physician and we see >1000 5150s (72-hour psych holds in CA) per month. These are very tightly controlled records so TMZ is not going to find out more details about the treatment. And don’t feel this guy got special treatment — virtually anyone with these symptoms would go to a hospital rather than jail, at least in CA.
      If he is discharged home within 48 hours, as someone seemed to have claimed above, the case is most likely acute substance intoxication coupled with lack of sleep. These symptoms are most suggestive of someone on a long meth run of several days duration.
      Hallucinogens, though possible, are less likely as they do not tend to have the public masturbation part — that is almost pathognomonic for meth.
      If he stayed longer than 48 hours, it is most likely due to a manic episode of bipolar disorder. Those can be doozies.

      1. and i routinely (this is the Pac NW after all, home of serial killers, passive agressiveness (latter not related to former… it think, and seasonal affective disorder) “invol” people for such holds, fwiw.

        he speaks the truth . granted, i don’t do it in cali, but HPPA is HPPA is HPPA etc.

        you are right about meth, btw. the other day, i posted about how you do do a search warrant at a meth house and you almost always have tons of homemade grossout porn. methheads fuck like bunnies- skinny, bruised abscess having bunnies, but bunnies nonetheless.

        it’s the exact opposite of opioids. it greatly increases sexual desire. ditto ecstacy, which IS a meth analogue (kind of) 3,4,methylenedioxymethamine

  16. I wonder if you or me would get taken to hospital instead of arrested (probably with a disproportionate level of violence) if we did the same.

    He got off lightly.

    Cosmically lightly, I would say.

    And I would attribute it to fame. No “real” conspiracy needed. Fame.

    Although, then, there was Mel Gibson, so in the end maybe I am not entirely unsure of a conspiracy.

    1. Mel Gibson was driving a car.

      Drunk driving is murder and some shit.

      Running around naked not so much.

      1. somebody played a prank and spiked his drink with X or something.

    2. you’d contribute it to (granted, self admitted) lack of knowledge. we invol people all the time. a lot of time when there is other “chippy” criminal violations they just get ignored.

      it’s VERY common

      i’ve never done it with anybody famous. i’ve done it dozens of times with people nonfamous, of course you will never READ about when it happens to nonfamous people, so you admittedly get the mediaselectionbias disease (much like the specious claims of double standard vis a vis cops) where you don’t hear about it when joe average gets this lenient treatment so you ASSUME its a double standard

      like i mentioned a few months ago, we had a psycho smack my partner in the head with a fist (felony assault) when we were invol’ing him. and he didn’t get ANY criminal charge whatsoever

  17. Two things, Mr. Cavanaugh:

    1) “That guy’s problem is that he’s never had nobody give a shit about his ideas.” I’ll be using that…

    2) Please do NOT diss Sean Young, with whom I am STILL in love. Genius flies close to the edge, man! Sometimes the wax melts and ya tumble…LEAVE SEAN ALONE!!!

    1. The only Sean Young movie I was sure I had seen was Ace Ventura, but then I looked her up for info on her “breakdown” and said “Oh yeah, forgot she was in Dune and Blade Runner.”

      I didn’t know about any of that behind-the-scenes drama on the Tim Burton Batman movies. Weird.

      1. No Way Out.

        Love that movie.

          1. No Way Out was a remake of The Big Clock? I never knew that. My dream job is to be an editor at Janoth Publications’ art deco headquarters.

            Maximum respect to Sean Young. Shame on Hollywood for never finding a way to harness the energy of Sean Young for peaceful uses.

            1. Crazy is as crazy does. I have a theory about hollywood. You can be crazy, but not before you pay your dues. Sean young had the makings of a super star actress… But she pulled the crazy out too soon. Wait until you’ve won an oscar… Wait until hollywood just can’t live without you. Then they’ll put up with anything.

              1. Not anything. After F. Murray Abraham won an Oscar for Amadeus, he gave full license to his bitterness, and was a colossal prick to everyone on In the Name of the Rose. Word got out, and he really never got another premier role.

    2. You should make a Youtube video about it. “Why won’t you leave Sean ALONE?!? *SOB*”

      1. The last thing he wants to happen when he is on a mission to spike a nutcase’s tea is for somebody to recognize him fro a YouTube video.

    3. Sean Young is actually a man you know. Sean?

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  24. He basically had to do this. His last public jack sesh got so much positive reinforcement.


    1. Winner!

  25. Now that you all know that we spy on you via your Internet connected gadgets, let me let you in on another secret. I am champing at the bit to start a war in Africa. So I had my agents infiltrate this gentleman’s mind for the past 3 years, knowing that we could convince him to make this crazy film. You say I wasn’t Director 3 years ago? Well, Panetta is just my pi?ata, a puppet that I dangled until I could get myself in place to carry out my final plan.

    Anyway, we’ve had this planned for awhile but didn’t know how we’d dispose of this little bastard after he got the message out. I really likes the series Homeland on Showtime this fall. So we figured he could go out as a nutcase, playing whack-a-mole solitaire in the streets. You have to admit that we have a sense of humor.

    1. If the guy was within my reach, DP, I would have done the same thing too so don’t knock yourself out about it.

  26. Maybe this filmmaker should have just taken medical marijuana instead of Ecstasy, cocaine, mushrooms, or whatever he took. How about just $2.99 for great e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA – Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints.

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  33. Fuck Lehigh.

    1. It’s Duke, Fuck Duke. Can’t you get anything right?

    2. So, You would have more respect for the Lehigh team if they let Duke beat them?

  34. He has Madness. March Madness.

  35. Thank you for amusing me on my Saturday morning.

    San Diego is such a nice city for looniness. Running naked, stealing tanks,….

    1. The San Diego tank guy episode was fascinating, up until the end when TJ Hooker shot him dead.

  36. Jason Russell’s butt-naked meltdown

    The expression is “buck-naked.” It doesn’t have anything to do with one’s butt.

  37. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if on November 1, 2012, as Romney closes within 2 points in the polls, Obama made the “gutsy” decision to invade Uganda and bring Kony2012! to justice? Obama!Obama!Obama! And he gets his second peace prize. Scary thing: I could actually see some or all of that happening.

    1. He’s not in Uganda.

      1. We’ve always been at war with Kony in Uganda.

  38. So, you’re telling me we need to isolate him, making some kind of “Kony Island” in the jungle?

    Furthermore, if we strip him of his resources, get him out in public, beating off the hypocrisy and making him naked and visible, effectively, then we win?

    Seriously, the video is decent (morally, the injustice of child soldiers is atrocious) and Kony needs to go…

    ..but do you throw away your own reason and good sense to get there?

    1. (morally, the injustice of child soldiers is atrocious)

      Then perhaps somebody could explain to me the outrage over Kony and the relative silence when the Obama Admin waives the child soldier ban so he can give a bunch of money to fund despotic warlords in eastern Africa.

      I wonder what the reaction would be if the Bush Admin did this…

      1. The DRC is a national security interest?

  39. And Doesn’t all this progressivism just lead to huge, technocratic, bloated agencies and State control anyways?

  40. In 2005, there was no greater threat to the status quo. His no taboo left un ridiculed language made the nannies and powerful manipulators like Oprah nervous.

    The real reason Dave Chapelle stopped being funny, the government started slipping him anti-racism pills.…..acism.html

  41. Chicken chock’n is always good for Kony.

  42. Cop impersonates his twin brother and has sex with his brother’s girlfriend. Lucky for him he was a cop, otherwise he may have gotten more than 90 days of home confinement from a nolo contendere plea on a drastically reduced charge in what would have been a slam-dunk case.

    But there’s no preferential treatment for cops.

    1. That’s all kind of fucked up.

      1. ppppt. she knew. they always do, and pretend not to.

        1. it’s all kind of common in rape cases where it was a ‘i consented then i changed my mind” case which is what we have hear

          just another specious claim of “double standard” when same are notoriously difficult to prosecute and i’ve never seen one prosecuted in 20 yrs of investigating rapes (and i’ve investigated at least two dozen cases that WERE prosecuted)

          you also have the unknown factor of alleged victim as to whether she desired to go through the court rigamarole. frequently prosecutors offer plea deals after speaking with nondesirous complainants.

          1. what %age of reported rapes are either

            1) not charged
            2) allowed to plead down to substantianlly reduced charge?
            3) initially charged, then dropped


            answer: a metric assload.

            unless we know what the victims’ desirousness for prosecution was (often much less than when they report it, ) how strong the evidence was, etc. etc. we have NO way of knowing if it was the conspiracydoublestandardohnoessloopyseesblack helicopters


            the fare MORe likely,typical weak-ass rape case that prosecutor would have serious difficulty getting a conviction on

            i vote with it’s MORE LIKELY (2), because (2) is common as fuck

            no pun intended

            1. Please point to the myriad cases where this happens. My google search came up with only one…this one. And there was ample physical evidence, a brother that testified to what happened and a willing-to-testify victim.

              Please find me a case where a man, not a cop, raped his twin’s girlfriend and only got 90 days of house arrest.*

              *Is this kinda like you asking me to find someone in Washington who threw his ex-girlfriend out a window after ignoring multiple court orders and getting sentenced to 23 years, which is within the state’s guidelines? if so, turnabout’s a bitch, ain’t it?

    2. Its a scientific fact that all twin brothers have thought about doing that.

      1. Don’t put it past the sistah’s, now.

      2. Don’t put it past the sistah’s, now.

  43. Well we’re through the first round* of the NCAA Tournament, and everyone’s brackets are fucked. I’ve resigned myself to base everyone’s performance on their possible total as opposed to what they’ve gotten so far. And with that in mind, ButsWagner is still in first.

    Aw hell, all I care about is that Duke and scUM both got bounced in the first round*. I mean, I couldn’t be happier if it turned out that Jason Russell was dunphy.

    Anyway, standings for the reason hit & run superpimp men’s NCAA march madness basketball extravaganza is available for your viewing pleasure.

    1. *I will not bow down and call that play-in shit the “first round.” The first round was just played over the last two glorious days. Round two starts in about 10 minutes.

      1. I want to re-do my bracket.

        1. I mean like I just accidently chose Mizou and Kansas Street for for final 4.

          1. sloopy still butthurt i see over his delusions of double standards everywhere he turnz

            oh noes!!!!

            1. Hey dunphy, why the need to stalk?

              Fucking psycho.

  44. Sounds to me like the guys was on a coke or meth bender, as someone else mentioned up-thread. Success can go to your head.

    1. Reading the comments is, well, what it is. Amazing how few people could really parse out his argument though there was no obscurity in his language at all.

      In a nutshell, the Kony 2012 backers are getting derided for their simplistic morality by liberal elites in the media who used the very same black and white rhetoric to justify intervention in the Balkans in the 1990’s and Darfur in the 00’s.

      They get fixated on the word ‘liberal’, and spew on. It is an accurate word to describe the elite culture that developed from the progressive era onward. Progressive’s hate like hell not being perceived as the underdogs fighting against all odds.

  45. An eight pound package was exchanged for several certificates of various worth and a few hundred dollars in cash.


  46. You could say Jason *puts on shades*
    Exposed the Warlord

    Oh Yeah

    1. Unsheathing the Machete in the fight against Kony!

      1. That’s how the circumcise the kiddies to get them ready for battle.

  47. which, whatever the video’s faults, was clearly compelling to 80 million people

    eh, it was perhaps viewed by that many people. Maybe.

    But found compelling? Different story.

    1. Tune your sarcasm meter. That’s Cavanaugh you’re quoting there.

  48. Mixed thoughts on the vid.
    Is this a hypocritical “We are the World” attempt at grabbing some notoriety absent any real effort at correcting the problem? Might it help anyhow?
    Not seeing any heroes here, regardless of whacking off in public.

  49. OK lol, gotta jsut love them bought and paid for politicians!

  50. I think it is shameful how reason magazine, part of the Koch-Breitbart-O’Keefe axis, has participated in this racist attack on an African freedom fighter trying to liberate his nation from capitalist imperialism. Thank god Media Matters for America had an expose on this racist right wing video.

  51. Will the nude jogging be the next video? Please! swing low sweet chariot!

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