How Standing Rock solved my 2016, First World problems
No comments yet?! Well, I guess I understand. I must say this was one of the most compelling, weird, strange articles I've ever read on CD. I was fascinated with the fact that I couldn't stop reading. To say that Andy's words touched a cord in me, would be an understatement.
That most human need--to belong, to feel part of something bigger, to be in "community," to feel useful, helpful, meaningful--yes, right on target!
The sheer honesty of Andy's writing; the humanness, the gut level emotion, caused me to internalize this message immediately. No need to ruminate about it. I got it. This is how human beings in service, communicate. This is how we touch each other. This is how we help each other get through the next few years.
In hopes of a Happy New Year Andy Bichlbaum!
Even participating in the Common Dreams comments section puts us in touch with others that feel the injustice in our daily lives. We get a sense of solidarity that helps us carry on as we face what can seem at times like insurmountable odds.
I was touched deeply and inspired too. So human, so real, thank you.
Is living in a wealthy country itself a war crime, since we live on the backs of those who can’t enjoy such prosperity?
Yes, it is. Especially when the prosperity is the result of genocide and theft. Americans have never earned their keep. American prosperity has been the result of resource exploitation, genocide, war and theft. Perhaps the worst thing that happened was for America to be the last manufacturer standing following WWII. Americans became accustomed to a false standard of living in the 30 years following WWII and subscribed to the fairy tale that somehow they earned it. The following decades of prosperity were the result of unsustainable government and private sector borrowing on the back of the dollar being the reserve currency. Now that the game has run its course and the chickens are coming home to roost we will probably resort to war based theft to sustain our unearned birth right.
The Yes Men were the funniest! God I loved their antics. I'd wondered what happened to them. They kept shaming Oil Company CEOs and got put on the Stratfor (CorpCIA) chitlist so they couldn't crash the party any more.
Glad to see old Andy is still raising hell. There may be snow on the roof, but there's still fire in the belly!
The following is a excerpt of some of their hysterical antics:
The Yes Men: Corp/Gov Pranksters Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos and their fake business associates and reps routinely embarrass Fortune 500 companies or the government posing as executives or reps who speak at corporate events and to the media claiming outlandish positions such as melting the oil industry's victims into Oil or, conversely, liquidating their corporations to pay for toxic spills. They are described as a "culture jamming" activist duo and network of supporters. Through actions of tactical media, the Yes Men primarily aim to raise awareness about what they consider problematic social issues. To date, the duo has produced two films: The Yes Men (2003) and The Yes Men Fix the World (2009). In these films, they impersonate entities that they dislike, a practice that they call "identity correction". The Yes Men operate under the mission statement of lies and exposing truth. They create and maintain fake websites similar to ones they intend to spoof, which have led to numerous interview, conference, and TV talk show invitations. They espouse the belief that corporations and governmental organizations often act in dehumanizing ways toward the public. Elaborate props are sometimes part of the ruse (e.g. Survivaball), as shown in their 2003 DVD release The Yes Men. The Yes Men have collaborated with other groups of similar interest, including Improv Everywhere and Steve Lambert.
Andy Bichlbaum, a member of the Yes Men,
appears on BBC World to take full responsibility for the Bhopal disaster.
On December 3, 2004, the twentieth anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, Andy Bichlbaum appeared on BBC World as "Jude Finisterra", a Dow Chemical spokesman. Dow is the owner of Union Carbide, the company responsible for the chemical disaster which killed thousands and left over 120,000 requiring lifelong care.
On their fake Dow Chemical website, the Yes Men said that Dow Chemical Company had no intention whatsoever of repairing the damage. The real company received considerable backlash, and both the real Dow and the phony Dow denied the statements, but Dow took no real action.
The Yes Men decided to pressure Dow further, so as "Finisterra," Bichlbaum went on the news to claim that Dow planned to liquidate Union Carbide and use the resulting $12 billion to pay for medical care, clean up the site, and fund research into the hazards of other Dow products. After two hours of wide coverage, Dow issued a press release denying the statement, ensuring even greater coverage of the phony news of a cleanup. In Frankfurt, Dow's share price fell 4.24 percent in 23 minutes, wiping $2 billion off its market value. The shares rebounded in Frankfurt after the BBC issued an on-air correction and apology. In New York, Dow Chemical's stock were little changed because of the early trading.
After the original interview was revealed as a hoax, Bichlbaum appeared in a follow-up interview on the United Kingdom's Channel 4 news. During the interview he was asked if he had considered the emotions and reaction of the people of Bhopal when producing the hoax. According to the interviewer, "there were many people in tears" upon having learned of the hoax. Bichlbaum said that, in comparison, what distress he had caused the people was minimal to that for which Dow was responsible. The Yes Men claim on their website that they have been told by contacts in Bhopal that once they had got over their disappointment that it wasn't real, they were pleased about the stunt and thought it had helped to raise awareness of their plight.
At the International Payments Conference on April 28, 2005, 'Dow representative' "Erastus Hamm" unveiled Acceptable Risk, the Acceptable Risk Calculator, and the Acceptable Risk mascot — a life-sized golden skeleton named Gilda — to an audience of about 70 banking professionals.
In February 2012, it was widely reported in the 2012 Stratfor email leak that Dow Chemical Company hired private intelligence firm Stratfor to monitor the Yes Men.
On June 14, 2007, the Yes Men acted during Canada's largest oil conference in Calgary, Alberta, posing as ExxonMobil and National Petroleum Council (NPC) representatives (in the top photo.) In front of more than 300 oilmen, the NPC was expected to deliver the long-awaited conclusions of a study commissioned by U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. The NPC is headed by former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond, who is also the chair of the study. When the Yes Men arrived at the conference they said that Lee Raymond (the promised speaker) was unable to make it due to a pressing situation with the president. The Yes Men then went on to give a presentation in place of Lee Raymond.
In the actual speech, the "NPC rep" announced that current U.S. and Canadian energy policies (notably the massive, carbon-intensive processing of Alberta's oil sands, and the development of liquid coal) are increasing the chances of huge global calamities. But he reassured the audience that in the worst case scenario, the oil industry could "keep fuel flowing" by transforming the billions of people who would die into oil.
The project, called Vivoleum, would work in perfect synergy with the continued expansion of fossil fuel production. The oilmen listened to the lecture with attention, and then lit "commemorative candles". At this point, event security recognized the Yes Men and forced them off stage, and the 'punchline' — that the candles were made of Vivoleum obtained from the flesh of an "Exxon janitor" who died as a result of cleaning up a toxic spill — was not delivered to the audience, but only to reporters.
Right on, Yes Man!