Wednesday, January 14, 2009


My recent post on “Slacktivism” struck a responsive chord with some readers. In fact, one called with feigned defensiveness to ask whether he should take the criticism personally. I assured my friend that I had others – many others – in mind, not him.

Ever since, I’ve been pondering what the opposite of a slacktivist might best be called. After all, Eastern philosophies teach that everything has, and is partly defined by, its opposite. I was momentarily triumphant when I thought I had coined the term “activisionary.” An activisionary, I reasoned, was one who had a clear vision of the future and was acting now to realize it.

Unfortunately for my writer’s ego, a brief Web search resulted in a hit on just that made-up term. It’s not someone who works for Activision, Inc., the video game producer. The company recently merged with Vivendi, a French company, so its workers and game addicts might properly be called vivendistes.

No, the word apparently originated with a Filipino group that with the help of Nokia seems to be advocating text messaging as a form of, or at least a means to, joint action. According to the Web site, activisionaries are a “new breed of activists” who have “discovered that change can come from anywhere and everywhere.”

That makes change sound awfully easy. As an American alternative, I’d suggest that activisionaries are those who know the direction they want society to take, believe in Barack Obama’s campaign rhetoric that “change happens from the bottom up,” and are dedicated to working with any and all like-minded allies to effect that change.

So, activisionaries of America, unite!

Charles Blum

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