Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Heroes: The Yes Men

I've been following The Yes Men for a few years now, ever since I saw the 2003 movie "The Yes Men". If you view my Blogger profile you will see a link to their site and I just added their link to this blog. If you haven't already checked them out, do so now on

Basically the Yes Men--Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno--pose as top executives of corporations in order to draw attention to these exploitative companies. Incredibly, the imposters have managed to fool many people, and have gotten spots on BBC, CNBC and others, to speak on behalf of the companies they are really slamming.

In one instance, posing as Dow Chemical representatives, the Yes Men claimed Dow will liquidate Union Carbide and use the resulting USD12 billion to pay for medical care for victims of the Bhopal disaster and clean up the site, as well as fund research into the hazards of other Dow products. After two hours of wide coverage, Dow issued a press release denying the statement, ensuring even greater coverage of the phony news of a cleanup. By the time the original story was discredited, Dow's stock had declined in value by $2 billion [!].

The Yes Men also use reductio ad absurdum or reduction to the absurd, leading to outrageous conclusions, such as the poor should eat recycled human waste or be turned into candles after death. The amazing thing when watching their presentations, often to men and women in suits, is how long it takes for people realise its all a hoax.

The Yes Men are hilarious. I wish I could do satire as well as these guys.

Anyway, my heroes were featured in Al Jazeera's The Fabulous Picture show this week:

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin