Slacktivism and celebrity worship only get you so far

Slacktivism and celebrity worship only get you so far

Ever hear of “slacktivism”?, by way of Wikipedia, defines it as a kind of “armchair activism” in which the participants “search for the ultimate feel-good that derives from having come to society’s rescue without actually getting one’s hands dirty” or where you get to claim you’re helping a cause when you’re really doing something for yourself.

An example might be Al Gore’s recent defense of his 10-times-national-average home utility bills by claiming that he buys carbon offsets… from his own green investment company which then turns around and makes him a hefty profit.

Or, to note the inspiration for this post, there’s the (Product) RED campaign hyped by celebrities like Bono and Oprah Winfrey, in which they convinced certain companies to offer Red-branded commodity products like cell phones, iPods, and the like, and then designated a portion of the profits to combat AIDS in Africa. Gee, what a deal. I get my expensive tchotchke and do good for the world without any actual cost to me. Or do I?

Spending a dollar to raise a dime

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  • Totally, totally true.  In our narcissistic age, we want to give and get back more.  Literally. 

    BTW, did you hear of the recent study where college students today were found to be vastly more narcissistic than previous college students.  Um… after steamshoveling affirmation, self-esteem, look out for number one, student/child centered lives in schools/media/culture nonstop, this is a surprise?

  • Wait—Bono isn’t Catholic; I distinctly remember reading in Unforgettable Fire that he was a Born-Again Christian.  When did he come back to the Church?

  • Love the bit about Gore. He’s busy convincing us to buy solar panels while he sucks energy faster than a kid sucks Coke through a straw.