Monday, November 14, 2005

inspired by the Yes Men

In my last entry I asked how I can bring peace. Sometimes I feel my arms, my reach, is so small...

Then I watched 'The Yes Men' last night - a documentary about a few very ballsy guys who practice "identity correction". Their website - - defines this as:
"Honest people impersonate big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them. Targets are leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else."

The Yes Men name comes from funny-house mirrors where reality is exaggerated to the point that it becomes hilarious or grotesque. Passing themselves off as members of WTO, these guys gave speeches and did tv and press interviews around the world. With intelligent, dark satire they advocate for corporate and economic power. What seems to amaze them, and likely most people watching their movie, is how so many people sat through their lectures and interviews and did not notice the monstrous and often bizarre image reflected back at them.

At the end of a long series of FAQs on their site, someone asks the Yes Men if, with all their pranks and odd activit they think what they are doing is making a difference. They reply, "
We guesstimate that it is, somehow, somewhere. At least it’s better than sitting on our asses waiting for the world to change on its own."

I like that. It's always inspiring to meet or hear about those who refuse to be small and do something big. These guys managed to reach globally and they have not only been successful in embarrassing large corporations and the WTO, they recently held DOW's feet to fire over the Bhopal disaster in India - see

Sometimes I feel so helpless. Other times I feel so inspired. I want to change the world and then recognize the egotism and naivety of that desire.

At the end of the day, at least you want to feel like you've made some sort of difference? Don't you?

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