Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

The Yes Men on Bill Moyers

The satirical culture-jammers The Yes Men interviewed on Bill Moyers Journal (20 July 2007). I don’t know how they can keep a straight face in their hilarious impersonation escapades (probably because what they parody—neoliberal globalisation— is its own caricature!) but their work is much appreciated, especially as the humour actually works to bring truths to the fore. See also Homey’s recent profile on these funny tricksters.

Part One (9.40)

Part Two (8.30)

14 comments on “The Yes Men on Bill Moyers

  1. fencer
    24 July, 2007

    That is very funny… so those are the guys! I read about that GATT episode. Privatising the vote… so innovative, so entrepreneurial! And the survival ball… if you present things within a believable context, people will buy it, and even if they might privately question exactly what’s going on, well, everyone else seems to accept it. The Bush administration in a nutshell…


  2. tinfoil hat lady
    24 July, 2007

    Please enjoy my satire show on 911
    The Subversive Lecture of Tinfoil Hat Lady
    5 parts 25 min

  3. Ann El Khoury
    24 July, 2007

    Thanks Fencer, I also found the Survivor Ball parody hilarious. Spot on about Bush era conformism!

    Appreciate the link, Tinfoil Hat Lady. Look forward to checking it out. Subversive dissent always welcome!

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  6. mariamariacuchita
    25 July, 2007

    Love those “yes men!!”
    Great site.

  7. Ann El Khoury
    25 July, 2007

    Thanks for coming by Maria, right back at ya!

  8. 99
    26 July, 2007

    I’ve always thought their “work” too glib and not contributing anything new to the knowledge base and only pissing off the jerks they target. I was not very happy to see them on with Moyers at such a time, but recognize it was probably done to take some of the heat off for the brilliant work he did the week before. If every show is THAT substantive he’s going to draw too much fire… maybe even using real bullets.

  9. Ann El Khoury
    26 July, 2007

    Could be, 99. I saw the impeachment program as you know and we need more of it. I’m not sure about the timing motivation of this as I think these things are usually booked weeks in advance.

    So these court jesters of the Imperium don’t cut it for you, eh? Oh well, to each their own.

    One of the most important things we can retain — besides our humanity — in this mad world, is our sense of humour. Poking fun at the very dangerous and real lunatics trying to re-cast the world in their image and for their interests and rob us of our agency is one thing, and it certainly does require more serious strategies.

    Among these strategies are also satirical ones, though, because ridicule is often most effective at exposing oppression. The the work of dismantling and reclaiming our grassroots agency can proceed. So there’s an important place for it I think.

  10. 99
    26 July, 2007

    You are undoubtedly right, or you at least undoubtedly have a point. Sometimes stuff just strikes me wrong and The Yes Men seem to have caught me at the wrong time. I kept thinking what a waste of money it was to make those stupid suits… how hollow to stand up and outrage decency in front of people with no decency to outrage… how reassuring it all is to those of us who are outraged by it. I go on these jags where the self-satisfaction of my fellow progressives just about makes me want to do big violence. There seems, with this especially, this atmosphere as though we were looking at funny creatures in a zoo, strolling around pointing for the children, flipping peanuts to the monkeys… utterly hypnotized by our supposed superiority. That is the feeling that wafts off these guys to me.

    It happens in blog comments sometimes and I want to print them out so I can cut them into confetti.

    It’s about the complaisance when things are so dire. I don’t like it when they’re not half this dire, but… well… there you have it. Sometimes I see what the right wingnuts mean when they say shit like “limousine liberals”, freak out about our smugness and superiority. Some of the people commenting on the immigration issue sound so much like they are talking about saving stray dogs I could just drop firecrackers in their Gucci bags.

    I am heavily in favor of as much levity as possible in times like these, but I’m thinking there’s just too much of an air of self-satisfaction in these guys. The comedy should be black comedy, should be like Catch 22… Major Major Major climbing out his office window….

  11. 99
    26 July, 2007

    Oh, and, no, I don’t think Moyers’ stuff is plotted weeks in advance… or some of it probably is, but the impeachment stuff was last-minute and a bunch of his guests are right on current events. He’s talking about stuff that happened the very air date quite frequently. Moyers gets what he wants. His ratings are BIG and he only came out of retirement because he saw nobody else was doing this stuff.

  12. Ann El Khoury
    26 July, 2007

    Thanks 99, I hear ya. We used to call the type “champagne socialists” here but I like your apt phrase limousine liberals better, a sure nod of recognition there about their smugness! I appreciate the clarification on Moyers.

  13. Pingback: •••• tiny little dots ••• and other points of interest » Blog Archive » The Yes Men on Bill Moyers

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"