Being called a ‘yes man’ who nods in agreement at everything their employer says is almost as bad as been fingered as a kiss @ss, but that’s all part of the strategy for the culture jamming satirical activists of the very same name. Breaking onto the scene with their self titled 2003 documentary film and continuing the momentum with a book and follow-up flick, The Yes Men have refined the art of doing one thing and saying another. Their elaborate pranks ultimately highlight the worst qualities of the corporations that rule our world, oftentimes without businesses recognizing their own hypocrisy.
Most will likely remember the fake Chamber of Commerce hoax that they pulled off last year, in which they made the startling announcement that they would begin supporting the taxation of carbon emissions and no longer oppose congressional climate change legislation. In their latest stunt, they posed as supposed members of Dow’s PR Crisis Management Team who are intent on revamping the chemical company’s image by letting the public know that, in fact, they should run for their lives.
Highlighting the trail of environmental sins that Dow has created in their relentless pursuit for profit – including their chemical contamination of natural water bodies as close to home and far away as Michigan, Louisiana and India — is The Yes Men’s way of drawing attention to the fact that no amount of green washing and corporate sponsorship can right their eco-wrongs. Dow’s palsy-walsy partnership with Live Earth is a perfect example – it is flat out absurd that they’re trying to market themselves as supporters of clean water given their history and lack of effort to clean up the messes they’ve created that to this day are triggering birth defects and ecosystem decimation.