By Ian Hussey
Here is a little known fact for all those activist-geeks out there:
What do Laure Waridel (mother, author, visionary of Equiterre, etc) and I (left-handed, half-Newfie) have in common?
We both have a Masters degree from the University of Victoria.
What else do Laure and I have in common?
Bill Carroll was on Laure’s supervisory committee and was my co-supervisor with Dorothy Smith.
What else else do Laure and I have in common?
I have no idea!
But we both probably find the following pretty darn funny, but not necessarily ha ha funny. And, I first found reference to the term slacktivism in The Unacknowledged Source (the February 2008 issue), UVic’s Graduate Students’ Society’s publication.
Coincidence? Most definitely!
“In a statement on Snopes.com, Barbara Mikkelson states:
“We can’t claim credit for having coined this term, nor do we know its actual origin, but we love it nonetheless. Slacktivism is the search for the ultimate feel-good that derives from having come to society’s rescue without actually getting one’s hands dirty, volunteering any of one’s time, or opening one’s wallet. It’s slacktivism that prompts us to forward appeals for business cards on behalf of a dying child intent upon having his name recorded in the Guinness World Book of Records or exhortations to others to continue circulating a particular e-mail because some big company has supposedly promised that every forward will generate monies for the care of a languishing tot. Likewise, it’s slacktivism that prompts us to want to join a boycott of designated gas companies or eschew buying gasoline on a particular day rather than reduce our personal consumption of fossil fuels by driving less and taking the bus more often. Slacktivism comes in many forms, but its defining characteristic is its central theme of doing good with little or no effort on the part of the person inspired to participate, through the mechanisms of forwarding, exhorting, collecting, or e-signing.”
(See you soon Stacy, Beth, and any posses you are currently running with. You know I love a good posse)
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