Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Yes Men Fix the World

Imagine a world where major corporations provide full compensation for past wrongs, and adopt policies that place human and environmental welfare at the top of their priority list.

Dream on?

A group of activists called the Yes Men actually live the dream. They are corporate imposters, sending out ‘press statements’ from companies such as Dow Chemical, apologizing for past atrocities such as the chemical spill in Bhopal, India in 1984. Dow bought out Union Carbide India Ltd., which was responsible for the accident that killed 3,000 and injured and disabled half a million Indians, including children born to this day. Neither Union Carbide nor Dow has cleaned up the toxins.

The Big Bogus Interview
Sometimes the media mistake the Yes Men for the real deal, as in the case of the BBC in 2004. Responding to their mock Dow Chemical website which posted a press release announcing their Bhopal compensation plan, the BBC invited Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum to speak about the issue on live TV. Andy suddenly had an audience of 300 million viewers. That interview, in which ‘Dow’ officially apologized for the human suffering and offered full compensation to the victims, caused the Dow Chemical stock to fall dramatically, generated copious media interest in the Bhopal tragedy and provided much embarrassment for Dow which countered that they’ve made no such claim to clean up the mess for which they are now responsible.

Yes Men antics are showcased on their newly released documentary, The Yes Men Fix the World. It’s now on the Festival circuit, currently being screened at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival. There are two more screening times – on Thursday and Friday. I highly recommend it.

Isn’t it Ironic
Much media criticism against the Yes Men is directed at the perceived false sense of hope that victims must feel when told a company or government agency is finally prepared to do the right thing. We learn in the film that those affected actually welcome the media attention that Yes Men bring to their cause. Ironically, journalists don’t seem to direct their critical eye at the corporation that caused the problem in the first place.

When Corporate Profit Feasts on Human Flesh
Yes Men also give lectures as phony corporate representatives at major conferences. At the core of their presentations is the shadow side of the free-market vision purported by so many corporations and politicians. How sociopathic can people get when it comes to fulfilling this vision? A group of bankers in London found acceptable the Yes Men presentation on the golden skeleton – how to profit from human disasters. Insurers bought into the lame-brained scheme of investing in personal inflatable body pods in times of crisis brought on by climate change.

Holy eye-opener.

The Yes Men finally (sort of) hit a cord when, posing as Exxon reps at a Calgary oil and gas convention, they suggested an alternative fuel in response to dwindling oil production: the bodies of the billions of people projected to die as a result of climate change disasters. The point was hit home when the audience members were asked to light candles purportedly made from the body of an Exxon employee who died after cleaning up toxic waste.

If you like wacky activism that spotlights the absurdity of it all, The Yes Men Fix the World is for you! For more on Yes Men activism, visit


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In the News

Harper to fight with EU over climate change
The Yes Men need to pay Harper a visit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things [consumer goods].

"Growth Rate" - "Economy Rate" - "GDP"

These are figures of "Ecocide".
These are figures of "crimes against Nature".
These are figures of "destruction of Ecosystems".
These are figures of "Insanity, Abnormality and Criminality".

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land].

Chief Seattle of the Indian Tribe had warned the destroyers of ecosystems way back in 1854 :

Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you realize that you cannot eat money.

To read the complete article please follow any of these links.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Delhi, India