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The Yes Men

3 Feb

This has been popping up on the various social networking sites and is probably only intended for University of Minnesota students, but this is not something to be kept in an institution. In fact, The Yes Men would demand that you crash Mike Bonanno’s lecture, its just in the spirit of things. Since 1999, The Yes Men, fronted by Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum, have been unleashing their disruptive and subversive agit-prop performance art against instruments of world finance and corporations like the World Trade Organization and Halliburton, setting up mirror websites, infiltrating newscasts and crashing conferences like Merry Pranksters with a grudge against corporate malfeasance. These are guys who knocked 3% of of Dow Chemical’s share price by insinuating their way into a newscast pretending to be a spokesperson for the company and claimed full responsibility for the Union Carbide chemical disaster in Bhopal, 1984. The absurdity of their tactics (the picture above is a “Management Leisure Suit” that they unveiled at a textiles conference for managers to better monitor their workers) belie the absurdity of institutions that fail, for the most part, to address or alleviate human suffering. They have a film out now, The Yes Men Fix The World and although film exposure might blow the lid off their cover, corporations generally remain so oblivious that it won’t stop them, nor would they let it. To hear Bonanno speak, head on down to Room 1-115-3M Auditorium, at the Carlson School of Management on the U of M campus Wednesday, February 10th at 7pm (as if the irony of speaking at a business school wasn’t reason enough to go.)

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