The Yes Men are a group of culture jamming activists who practice what they call “identity correction”, which is to impersonate “big-time (corporate) criminals in order to publicly humiliate them”. This usually means making media appearances or speaking at conferences as organizations who put profit ahead of people, and representing them either as they should be acting, or as they deep-down wished they could act. From offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (are they Cheeseheads?), The Yes Men have cooked up some classic spoofs, including posing as a Bush/Cheney group dedicated to encouraging Global Warming as a competitive advantage, launching a new McDonald’s burger made from “post-consumer bi-product”, pledging $12 million dollars on behalf of Dow Chemical to address the Bhopal disaster, and distributing 80,000 copies of an idealistic New York Times edition which contained “All the News We Hope to Print”.
The best way to see The Yes Men in action is to watch one of their two documentary films. The first one received the best reviews, and was shockingly funny. Check out the trailer:
And the second, called The Yes Men Fix the World is not as fluid, but also has some priceless moments, including the Dow scam and NYT distribution. Trailer here:
On a page within their newest movie’s site, The Yes Men also promote a number of ways that you can personally take action, including joining them on campaigns. Later on in 2010 they plan to launch The Yes Lab, an organization dedicated to helping other activist groups carry out similar hoaxes to drive awareness for their causes.