The Yes Men strike again

I am amazed these guys haven’t gotten themselves arrested yet. If anything is going to happen to them law-wise, I think this stunt is going to do it.

The Yes Men are a group of “activists” who like to pose as government officials or corporate spokespersons at speaking functions and such, and make statements that would be untenable or ridiculous for the government or corporation to say. They do this with the idea of pointing out hypocrisy, inethical behavior, and the like. For instance, one Yes Man posed as a spokeperson for Dow Chemical, and came out and said that the Bhopal disaster was their responsibility, but they couldn’t do anything about it because then every major corporation would have to clean up their messes, and that would hurt profits and the shareholders.

Yesterday, one of their number spoke to some officials and contractors in Louisiana about the New Orleans clean-up, claiming to be from HUD. HUD is planning to tear down what some are claiming is perfectly serviceable public housing projects, to turn over the area to development for more gentrified dwellings. They claim the projects cause a crime problem.

The Yes Man in question (Andy Bichlbaum) basically said in front of a thousand people that HUD changed their minds about it, and were going to keep the public housing project and let people move in.

Some are attacking this latest stunt as crass; saying the Yes Men are giving false hope to people in need. I have to say I find this one in poor taste myself, a bit. However, I think it points out a problem with the rebuilding of the city – the poor are still being ignored in favor of the rich. That’s no surprise though.

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~ by mattbear on August 29, 2006.

2 Responses to “The Yes Men strike again”

  1. More self-important “activists” trading on snark. What did they accomplish? Dick all. But I’m sure they thought they were being cute, which I’m sure is all that matters.

    Real change comes from within. Nothing is going to change because some assholes hold up some posterboard with witty rhymes on a street corner or “pretend” to be people they’re not in order to influence public opinion. Hm, how can we make people aware of this particular problem and maybe change it…I know! Trickery and subterfuge!

    As much as I dislike politicians, I’ve developed an almost equal level of dislike for activists. They both talk a lot without saying much and get next to zero done.

  2. I too think that this stunt is crass. I mean really if their idea was to send a message they did a piss poor job of it. What they did was not only in poor taste, but it could damage the lives of Katrina refugees.

    Think of it. A Katrina refugee, who has little or no access to the media, hears this and instead of making plans for other housing relies on the promised low income housing only to find out they’ve been part of an elaborate prank that tries to make a point that everyone already knew. While this may not be a life or death situation it’s not without it’s consequences.

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