Friday, September 30, 2005

Separated at the Inkpot

All right, I'm seriously behind on a paper about "Star Wars" that I had promised over a year ago, but having just re-watched "The Phantom menace," I must get this out of the way:


Dick Dastardly

Surely other people have commented on this. Sebulba did absolutely nothing in the movie that Dastrdly didn't do in "Wacky Races." And Sebulba was no Paul Winchell, either.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Keywords: New Orleans Katrina Hurricane Red Cross

The theory is that if I use the words New Orleans and Hurrican Katrina and Disaster enough, the ads above me will show links that you can click on to donate money... without my having to spend anything. Or maybe you'll be told that just clicking on an ad banner somewhere will bill the advertiser money that will be earmarked for hurricane relief in New Orleans and Mississippi (there, I've said it again!), and you can do it all without breaking into your checkbook.
And I'm not naming the supplier of the ad bar above, because then all the ads in it might be for "services" to make your business appear on the first page of any search results.
These are examples of "slacktivism," a term not coined by, but referenced in, the site devoted to debunking urban legends. Other examples include displaying magnetic ribbons and rubber bands, signing on-line petitions, forwarding e-mails, especially those suggesting you not buy gasoline on a certain day to protest high gas prices (If you have to buy gas nearly every day, you're the reason prices are high in the first place!!!), or sending business cards to some sickly child who wants to set a World Record (that was years ago, he's all grown up and doesn't want 'em any more).

I'm guitly of this very same practice. I spend 50¢ more for fair trade coffee and feel good know that the extra pennies will make a difference in the lives of small coffee growers around the world. And I've sent along the form letters to my elected representatives to let them know my agreement on some issue I've been e-mailed about (yeah! Stickin' it to the man!).
Most of the time, though, when faced with the enormity of some problem like disaster relief or world poverty, it seems that even sending money or volunteering hours doesn't make the problem any nearer to going away. So you might as well make a symbolic gesture.

BTW, it appears that even though I don't use the b-word in my posts, its presence in the sidebars is enough to trigger ads for you to get your own, um, online diaries.

And since I have made a monetary contribution through the Faithful America site, I can, as a slacktivist, claim that gives me the right to make these tasteless jokes:
New shows for the fall season: Gilligan's Superdome and Survivor: French Quarter.

What's the difference between Iraq and Hurricane Katrina?
Bush admits that Katrina was a disaster.
(And it seems the Army Corps of Engineers was working to shore up those levees in New Orleans. The project ended too soon because its funding was diverted to pay for Bush's tax cut for the rich, and the war on Iraq. Bet'cher glad we got rid of all those WMD's now!)