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Exxon Using Corpses for Fuel Proposal

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:48 pm    Post subject: Exxon Using Corpses for Fuel Proposal Reply with quote

Modest Flesh-to-Fuel Proposal
By Brandon Keim EmailJune 14, 2007 | 11:21:07 PMCategories: Climate, Energy, Politics

Yesmen_2"Without oil, at least four billion people would starve. This spiral of trouble would make the oil infrastructure utterly useless" -- unless their bodies could be turned into fuel for the rest of us.

That was the satirical message delivered by two corporate ethics activists to the Gas and Oil Exposition 2007 in Calgary, Alberta. The activists, part of political trickster collective the Yes Men, used the Exposition to stage their latest theatre of corporate absurdity, with Exxon/Mobil and the Natural Petroleum Council playing the fools.

The prank, intended as a critique of the fossil fuel industry's influence on energy policy, caused confusion and consternation on the final day of the Exposition, one of the industry's largest gatherings.

The NPC, which is led by former Exxon-Mobil CEO Lee Raymond, advises the White House on gas and oil issues. They were expected to announce the findings of a Raymond-chaired study, commissioned by the Department of Energy, on joint US-Canadian energy policy.

Instead, attendees of the day's $45.00 keynote luncheon were addressed by the Yes Men's Andy Bichlbaum, who identified himself as an NPC representative named Shepard Wolff.

After noting that current energy policies will likely lead to "huge global calamities" and disrupt oil supplies, Wolff told the audience "that in the worst case scenario, the oil industry could "keep fuel flowing" by transforming the billions of people who die into oil," said a Yes Men press release.

Yes Man Mike Bonnano, posing as an Exxon representative named Florian Osenberg, added that "With more fossil fuels comes a greater chance of disaster, but that means more feedstock for Vivoleum. Fuel will continue to flow for those of us left."

The impostors led growingly suspicious attendees in lighting Vivoleum candles made, they said, from a former Exxon janitor who died from cleaning a toxic spill. When shown a mock video of the janitor professing his desire to be turned in death into candles, a conference organizer pulled Bonanno and Bichlbaum from the stage.

As security guards led Bonanno from the room, Bichlbaum told reporters that "Without oil we could no longer produce or transport food, and most of humanity would starve. That would be a tragedy, but at least all those bodies could be turned into fuel for the rest of us."

Noting that "150,000 people already die from climate-change related effects every year," he added, "That's only going to go up - maybe way, way up. Will it all go to waste? That would be cruel."

The Exposition's organizers later issued a press release verifying that "the "environmental and corporate ethics activists" were not representatives of their respected organizations. According to Calgary's CTV news, the organizers "were approached by what they thought was a reputable company offering speakers from the Petroleum Council." Only after the debacle did they contact the Council and learn of their mistake.

Members of the Yes Men have previously posed as spokespeople for McDonald's, the World Trade Organization, Dow Chemical and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Bichlbaum and Bonanno were each issued a $287 fine for trespassing.

Oil executives duped by impostors [CTV]

Exxon Proposes Burning Humanity for Fuel [press release]



The anticipated never happens. The unexpected constantly occurs
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They also once posed as reps for Dow Chemical, and announced that Dow was taking responsiblity for the horrible Union Carbide Corporation/Dow Bhopal Chemical spill.

Dow stock plummeted.

The idea was to make Dow announce that this was a hoax and they were NOT taking responsiblity for the horrible Bhopal Chemical spill. As I recall, Dow did announce that in an evasive manner. So the Yes Men issued their own press release on behalf of Dow with that statement.

Dow has a lot of skeletons in the closet. There's Agent Orange, napalm, DDT, Dursban, Rocky Flats, and a great, great deal more.

But Dow wasn't the uncontested world leader in industrial accidents until they bought Union Carbide in 2001, and with it the legacy of the Bhopal catastrophe.

Dow claims the company inherited no liabilities for the Bhopal disaster, but the victims aren't buying it, and have continued to fight Dow just as hard as they fought Union Carbide.

"What we cannot and will not do... is accept responsibility for the Bhopal accident" (November 28, 2002 memo previously posted on Dow).

Two years later, in late November 2004, an invitation arrived at the 2002 website, neglected since. On the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, "Dow representative" "Jude Finisterra" went on BBC World TV to announce that the company was finally going to compensate the victims and clean up the mess in Bhopal. The story shot around the world, much to the chagrin of Dow, who briefly disavowed any responsibility as per policy. The Yes Men again helped Dow be clearer about their feelings.

The problem here isn't just one of principle: it also means that eighteen years later, the Bhopal site remains contaminated, and no one accepts the responsibility for cleaning it up. Dow would rather wipe an entire activist and artistic network right off the face of the internet, weasel their way into ownership of a critical website, etc., instead of just doing the right thing and dealing with Bhopal.

Here's another good explanation from Yes men:
The World Trade Organization is a giant international bureaucracy whose goal is to help businesses by enforcing “free trade”: the freedom of transnationals to do business however they see fit. The WTO places this freedom above all other freedoms, including the freedom to:

drink water
not eat certain things
treat the sick
protect the environment
grow your own crops
organize a trade union
maintain social services
have a foreign policy

All of these freedoms are under attack by huge corporations working under the veil of “free trade,” that mysterious right that we are told must trump all others. (Today, that is; in their developing years, the United States, Britain, and all other industrialized nations heavily protected their industries.)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesss..the yes men...i saw a video of them 'yessing' some industry gathering in Sweden, i think...and they came in wearing a metallic suit that at the appropriate moment inflated into male genitalia...i wish i could remember where i saw that. I also saw the one where they faked being MacDonalds reps...pretty fucking funny.

Amazing they can still punk these Multinationals. Shows how dumb the MN's are.

The New World Order!!#!! There goes my career..
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:23 am    Post subject: As the WTO Reply with quote

Oh..here it is...on their website; thanks Gary...

It was in Finland actually. They posed as the WTO.


In January of 2001, the organizers of a "Textiles of the Future" conference in Tampere, Finland send an e-mail to GATT.org asking for a WTO representative to deliver their keynote address. Andy and Mike are glad to oblige, and the organizers are delighted.

This time, Mike and Andy decide to cook up more drastic fare. The lawyers in Salzburg and the TV producers of “CNBC Marketwrap Europe” hadn’t noticed anything wrong with a clearly berserk WTO; these people clearly need something more visual that will demonstrate without words what the WTO is about.

Mike's friend Sal, a costumer to the stars, loves a challenge, and is willing to work for a significantly substandard wage, just this once....

Arriving in Tampere, Finland (having relied on the kindness of Helsinki activists to cheapen the costs of the trip), Andy and Mike suddenly find out they have completely forgotten about time zones. They get to the conference just as their session is due to begin; they race to the bathroom and frantically change Andy into Sal's elaborate costume, over which they carefully zip up a velcro-seamed business suit.

In his keynote address, Andy presents a short history of their field to the textiles scientists, engineers, and managers in attendance. First he describes how the US Civil War—fought over the textile, cotton—was a great waste of money, because slavery would have been replaced by its infinitely more efficient version: remote sweatshop labor, such as we have today. He then goes on to call Gandhi’s spin-your-own-clothing revolts misguided and naive, but he places equal blame on the British: if they had only seen that the Indians craved homespun fibers, they could have included that in their product line.

The only problem still remaining with the efficiency of today’s sweatshops, Andy continues, is a lack of control over workers. A manager in New York cannot constantly monitor workers in Rangoon. But there is a technological answer. He spreads his arms out, and Mike rips off Andy’s breakaway business suit to reveal the management solution of the future: a shimmering golden leotard—which, when Andy pulls a rip-cord in his crotch, sports a three-foot-long golden phallus.

Andy explains that this tool, the “Employee Visualization Appendage,” will allow the manager of the future to watch and control far-off workers while engaging in healthful leisure activities.

The goal of this performance, of course, is to clarify how dangerous it is to equate human freedom with a free market. Demonstrating visually the logical conclusion of neoliberalism, Mike and Andy hope to make their audience think twice.

Instead, the audience rewards Andy with a healthy round of applause, but no questions. A reporter takes photos. The conference leader thanks the WTO for its presentation three times in public, and seats Andy at the table of honor, right across from his daughter. All day, in fact, Mike and Andy come up again and again against a blank wall: a couple of people admit being mystified by the appendage, but no one is bothered by the content of the speech, including when they're reminded about the slavery issue. Finally they find one woman who admits being terribly offended—because Andy’s "Appendage" implies that only men can be factory managers too.

If the conference attendees blithely followed the Yes Men down such nightmarish paths, real business leaders must be able to convince these "experts" of anything. Which is exactly what they have done…

But the one in Plattsburgh NY is really good..posing as the WTO and McDonalds>


The New World Order!!#!! There goes my career..
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This entire blow by blow of the Dow Chemical mea culpa and retraction is both powerful and hilarious ... unless you're one of the suffering people of Bhopal that is.

I hope some of the Bhopal people, in their suffering, perhaps got a bit of joy out of white Europeans making fools of themselves (and their audience) going to such extremes for their justice.


excerpts from Abcar's link to the McDonald's page:

Richard is kind enough to foot the bill for more than a hundred McDonald’s Hamburgers, which Mike passes out to the students at the beginning of the lecture. Andy introduces the talk by asking that important basic question: “Why is starvation a problem?” Matt’s illustration of “poverty guy” stands shrugging on the PowerPoint slide. Andy explains with candor how WTO agribusiness policies (like the policies of the British during the Irish Potato famine) are causing widespread starvation in the Third World today. He suggests a solution that—unlike protectionism and so on—remains within the logic of the free market.

The solution, as elegant as it is simple, is to provide Third Worlders with filters that allow them to recycle their food—extending the lifespan of a typical hamburger up to ten times.

In answer to one student’s outraged question, Mike explains that McDonald’s, in partnership with the WTO, is already experimenting with this technology in its products, and has been including 20% “post-consumer waste” in many of its hamburgers. Patrick’s 3-D animation of Ronald McDonald squeezing Menu Item Number Two from his colostomy bag erases any doubts about what is actually being said: the WTO believes that the poor should eat their own shit, or perhaps eat the shit of the rich, if an efficient pipeline can be established.

As might be expected, the students react violently to these concepts. But what is more surprising is that they have been reacting—with hisses, boos, even a spitwad or two—ever since the beginning of the lecture. Long before Andy tells them that they have eaten shit, they are appalled at the version of reality that he is asking them to swallow.

This is the only negative reaction Andy and Mike have gotten for a lecture. But the strong reaction clearly isn’t because the lecture is any crazier, since the students started reacting from the very beginning: it’s because the audience is smarter. All along, the problem has not been with the lectures, as supposed, but with the audiences themselves.

Years of neoliberal “education” and experience seem to make people stupid.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Shortly after midnight poison gas leaked from a factory in Bhopal, India, owned by Union Carbide Corporation. There was no warning, none of the plant's safety systems were working (dismantled or left to rot to save money). In the city people were sleeping. They woke in darkness to the sound of screams with the gases burning their eyes, noses and mouths. They began retching and coughing up froth streaked with blood. Whole neighbourhoods fled in panic, some were trampled, others convulsed and fell dead. People lost control of their bowels and bladders as they ran. Within hours thousands of dead bodies lay in the streets.

"Bhopal isn't only about charred lungs, poisoned kidneys and deformed foetuses. It's also about corporate crime, multinational skullduggery, injustice, dirty deals, medical malpractice, corruption, callousness and contempt for the poor. Nothing else explains why the victims' average compensation was just $500 - for a lifetime of misery . . . Yet the victims haven't given up. Their struggle for justice and dignity is one of the most valiant anywhere. They have unbelievable energy and hope . . . the fight has not ended. It won't, so long as our collective conscience stirs.

"Outlook India 7 Oct 2002

http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/ Video YouTube
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:42 am    Post subject: Yes Men is an EXPERIMENT Reply with quote

I didn't really realize at first the YESMEN started out as a prank, but it became and EXPERIMENT.

Having overcome a minor administrative hurdle, Mike and Andy arrive in Sydney (this time, the flight has been funded by various arts organizations, and they rely on a dozen local activists for housing and other assistance). After a day of adjustment for jet-lag, they put on fresh thrift-store suits, cut their hair, and go find the headquarters of the Certified Practicing Accountants Association of Australia.

After a good many pleasantries—the conference organizers are exceedingly gracious—“Kinnithrung Sprat” is introduced and takes the podium with all the gravitas he can muster.

Andy and Mike have decided on an entirely new tack for this lecture, one unmarked by the bombast and lunacy of previous ones. Since parody hasn't worked, they've decided to try that old standby, sincerity.

The WTO, Andy explains, has finally understood that corporate globalization is hurting the little guy; it has therefore to shut down completely. After that, Andy explains, the WTO will re-launch as a new organization—the Trade Regulation Organization—devoted, as its name suggests, to making corporations behave responsibly towards all world citizens, not just the wealthy. Instead of serving to help businesses do business—this is the way the WTO explicitly describes itself on its website—it will henceforward make sure that business helps people.

The lecture includes nearly an hour of shocking statistics drumming home the need for this massive transformation.

The accountants rally behind the plan with excitement. They are authentically thrilled at this radical new direction the WTO is taking. At the luncheon, some of them give suggestions for insuring that the new organization will serve the poor rather than only the rich. It is very clear that these accountants want to help the poor as much as we do.

They are not the only excited ones about the prospects of a new kind of trade organization. After Mike and Andy send out a press release from the WTO announcing its imminent improvement, a Canadian parliamentarian takes the floor to announce the good news. Andy and Mike receive hundreds of congratulatory e-mails from others excited about the rebirth of the WTO.

Could it be that the violent and irrational consensus gripping the world, that we call corporate globalization, is maintained only through a sustained and strenuous effort of faith? (TRICKERY and DECEPTION?) Could it be that almost everyone—even those, like accountants, that we are usually inclined to think of as conservative—would immediately embrace a more humane consensus if one were presented by those in positions of authority?

The “WTO’s” press release is revealed to be a hoax, and sadly the WTO still does exist. The Canadian Parlimentarian retracts his statement, and hundreds of people email to tell us how disappointed they are that it isn’t true. The Yes Men sends another press release to clear up the confusion.

Although clearly another world is possible, it will have to start from the bottom up....
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


they were guests on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS last night
pretty funny stuff
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is just too great that you guys mentioned The Yes Men, I love these guys. I had Mike Bonnano as a professor at my college, he was an awesome professor, one of my favorites, taught me a lot about politics and activism.

The whole yes men thing started when he started receiving emails from different places wanting to meet with the WTO. Their email addresses were strikingly similar, and they never thought it would go that far, but the people at the conference didn't say anything, they just went along, so they decided to push it as far as possible. First time I saw the movie I could barely breath from so much laughter.

Greed is for amateurs. Anarchy, Chaos, now thats fun!
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