If It Ain't Fixed, Break It ["The Yes Men Fix the World"]
What's the most impressive prank ever played? It is documented in the film “The Yes Men Fix the World.” Jacque Servin (alias Andy Bichlbaum, claiming to be Jude Finisterra) was invited and appeared on a BBC broadcast reaching an estimated 300 million people.
Posing as a spokesperson for Dow Chemical, he announced that his company would voluntarily pay 12 billion dollars in reparations for the 1984 disaster in Bhopal, India. By the time his act of “culture jamming” was identified as a hoax, Dow's stock value had plummeted two billion dollars.
Was Servin sued? No. Was he arrested? No. Do you think Dow wanted to officially expand the visibility of an industrial nightmare that resulted in the death of many thousands of people and the compromised health of hundreds of thousands? No.
Did Dow recover its mega-equilibrium? Yes. Nonetheless, quite a prank, eh?
The theory is that such lying and fraudulent behavior delivers the truth in a fight against perpetrators of far worse. The theory is that the people being duped are so entrenched in their corporate ruts, they would do well to recognize it as a hand to help lift them out (if they would take it).
Doesn't this monkey wrench gang falsely raise people's hopes with such acts of misinformation? The Yes Men probably have their sense of proportion right. The brief manipulations of poor people's hopes is actually welcomed if it helps shed light on the real victimizers.
The other pranks in “The Yes Men Fix the World” don't register nearly as high on the Richter scale. As a package of awareness raising, however, you will enjoy the truth they bring to power and complacency. The operant word is “enjoy” because Servin's behavior (along with partner Igor Vamos, alias Mike Bonanno) is hilariously naughty.
The Yes Men would be the first to admit that the world ain't fixed yet, but they encourage you to join their commitment to some very serious fun.