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The Yes Men Fix the World 

Wednesday, Oct 28 2009
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The anti-globalist performance guys who call themselves the Yes Men are masters of forging corporate rhetoric and media protocols. Their forte is the phony website and the fraudulent PowerPoint presentation. A sequel to 2004's The Yes Men, The Yes Men Fix the World continues the saga with the heroes’ greatest stunt—one of them going live on BBC World in the guise of a Dow Chemical spokesman to announce that Dow would to mark the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal chemical disaster with a $12 billion aid plan for the victims. Dow stock dropped faster than the interviewer’s jaw. The BBC, which had taken the bait of a faux-website, blamed the Yes Men for fooling the poor people of Bhopal into thinking they would get justice. But Fix the World asks that the spectator decide which hoax was crueler—the Yes Men’s, which at least directed attention back to Bhopal, or Dow’s. As hinted by their affirmative name, the Yes Men enact scenarios, however fleeting, of social justice. But mainly, Fix the World is about the beauty of the riff. The Yes Men are funniest when addressing a straight audience, making outlandish claims in favor of the free market and the benefits of unregulated catastrophe—the Black Plague gave us capitalism! What’s fascinating is spectator reaction (or lack of same). Some people laugh or register disgust; others find their outrageously mercenary ideas “refreshing.” As one Yes Man explains, “Instead of freaking out, they just took our business cards.” People want to believe.
Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 7 & 9 p.m.; Tue., Nov. 3, 9 p.m.; Wed., Nov. 4, 7 & 9 p.m.; Thu., Nov. 5, 9 p.m.; Nov. 6-12, 7 & 8:45 p.m.; Nov. 7-8, 3 & 5 p.m., 2009

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J. Hoberman

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