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Fri Feb 3, 2012, 03:39 PM

Anyone familiar with the *Yes Men*?

Last edited Fri Feb 3, 2012, 04:10 PM - Edit history (1)

From wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yes_Men

The Yes Men

This article is about the culture-jamming activists. For the 2003 documentary, see The Yes Men (film). For other things with similar titles, see Yes man (disambiguation).

The Yes Men are a culture jamming activist duo and network of supporters created by Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos.[1] Through actions of tactical media, The Yes Men primarily aim to raise awareness about what they consider problematic social issues. To date, the duo has produced two films: The Yes Men (2003) and The Yes Men Fix the World (2009).[1] In these films, they impersonate entities that they dislike, a practice that they call "identity correction". The Yes Men operate under the mission statement of telling the truth and exposing lies. They create and maintain fake websites similar to ones they intend to spoof, which have led to numerous interview, conference, and TV talk show invitations. They espouse the belief that corporations and governmental organizations often act in dehumanizing ways toward the public. Elaborate props are sometimes part of the ruse (e.g. Survivaball), as shown in their 2003 DVD release The Yes Men. The Yes Men have collaborated with other groups of similar interest, including Improv Everywhere and Steve Lambert.[2]

I just found out that they have a website: http://www.yeslab.org/about

In part: About the Yes Lab
What is the Yes Lab?

At the moment, the Yes Lab is mainly a series of brainstorms and trainings to help activist groups carry out media-getting creative actions, focused on their own campaign goals. It's a way for social justice organizations to take advantage of all that we Yes Men have learned-not only about our own ways of doing things, but those we've come in contact with over the decade and a half we've been doing this sort of thing. The Yes Lab has offices and workshopping space at NYU's Hemispheric Institute in New York.

How does a Yes Lab work?

In a typical Yes Lab project, an activist organization will come to the Yes Lab with a target—a particular company, politician, corporate front group, bad government policy, or even an abstract idea—as well as a campaign goal: to affect public debate, push for legislation, or embarrass an evildoer, for instance. The Yes Men will work with the group remotely (by phone or Skype) to help them refine campaign goals, define the "ask," organize action teams, and so on. We'll then lead an in-person brainstorm (one, two, or three days, in a location convenient to the group) to develop the smartest, most effective actions around those goals, and then conduct trainings on the tactics we'll decide to use to reach our goal. Afterwards, we'll check in on the project until it's successful.

Is the Yes Lab only for activist groups?

Universities can also participate in the Yes Lab in partnership with activist groups. In this context, Yes Labs bring together students, faculty, an activist group or an NGO, and the Yes Men to devise effective (and educational) activist projects. The group oversees the project after the initial brainstorm, and makes sure it moves forward toward clear campaign goals. A Yes Lab of this sort can give students real-world experience while advancing an important cause they care deeply about.

More at the above link.
I think that this is a great way to counteract (and expose) some of the absurdities currently taking place in today's political circus and (in a *one ups-man-ship* sort of way) kind of see their ridiculousness...and raise them one through these highly creative, innovative tactics!

A few recent, very clever tactics from OWS come to mind:

The Human Red Carpet:



As well as this link from fellow DUer: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002165824

I do believe that this is exactly the type of necessary thinking and law-abiding *stunts* which can really be helpful in getting a message across and I for one, am so delighted and amazed as to the creative ways this is currently being done and hope that these types of efforts spark an even larger flame and expand exponentially in the future!!!!!

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them" ~ Einstein. Yep. Dang skippy!!!!

Question: Anyone here involved in the Yes Lab?

On edit: Perhaps the most telling is the latter part of that famous UC Davis video..."Shame On You"

Starting at about 7 minutes or so...students yelled: You Can Go...You Can Go and - how about that? They went!

To me, while this whole incident and popularity of what happened on 11-18-2011 appear to mainly focus on the earlier pepper-spraying event (and rightly so) what I find even more telling (and inspirational) is the ending when the police actually turned around and left!!!!!

Absolutely priceless and Power To The Non-Violent People!!!!

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Reply Anyone familiar with the *Yes Men*? (Original post)
BrendaBrick Feb 2012 OP
Warpy Feb 2012 #1
mpmoran Feb 2012 #2
WriteWrong Jun 2012 #3

Response to BrendaBrick (Original post)

Fri Feb 3, 2012, 03:57 PM

1. I love the Yes Men

I joined with a couple of other radicals in the early 70s who had completely soured on the hamfisted nature of the organizations working against the war (and secondarily, against capitalism) and took over the mimeo machine in the basement to put out alternative leaflets. We had a bit of a contest going as to how far down people would read before they realized we were pulling their legs. I didn't win, somebody else had them routinely walking into inanimate objects as they read with puzzled expressions taking over their faces.

(Oh, don't look at me like that. It had most people laughing and wasn't counter to any of the basic ideals, it was only meant to lighten a mood that had gotten far too somber at times)

However, donning suits and ties and taking on corporate conventions takes balls of steel and I have to admire them greatly for that. It's theater at its best and I applaud it.

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Response to BrendaBrick (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 07:06 AM

2. I love the Yes Men, they are brilliant. What about Billionaires for Bush?

I was surprised to see this post because just a couple hours ago, I joined their mailing list.

Does anyone remember Billionaires for Bush? They were also Brilliant and of the same vein.

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Response to BrendaBrick (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 09:52 PM

3. A. shut up about them. B. imitate them C. sell your friends on them - multilevel marketing of chaos


All honorary members of the Legion of Dynamic Discord.

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