Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pick of the Day: The Yes Men at Vanderbilt

Posted By on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 5:09 AM

The Yes Men
Where: Vanderbilt's Wilson Hall
When: 7 p.m. Wed., March 16
Free

When peaceable assembly and organized protest don’t work, some activists elect to take their placards and go home. Others — like Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno of famed satirical protest duo The Yes Men — decide to get big picture, skewering towering foes like Dow Chemical, the Bush II administration, ExxonMobil and more.

As documented in the films The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix the World, the duo uses what’s been labeled “tactical media” to call national — and often international — attention to issues like consumerism, global warming, media bias and government ineffectiveness. They frequently pull stunts like posing as representatives for mega-corporations and the United States government, making pledges to fix vast oversights despite pressure to operate according to the bottom line.

In one such highly publicized ruse, Bichlbaum posed as fictitious Dow Chemical rep "Jude Finesterra," pledging to liquidate subsidiary Union Carbide and use the funds to clean up the aftermath of the 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, India, that caused potentially billions of dollars in damage and cost thousands of lives. Needless to say, that’s the sort of stunt that sends PR men scrambling, and attracts precisely the kind of attention The Yes Men shoot for.

Tonight, the duo is expected to discuss their hoaxes and “identity corrections” through “storytelling and multimedia.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

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