Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Yes Men

The Yes Men Are Revolting

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 24, 2012 at 9:34 am

Saturday Night Tab Closin’

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* If it’s possible to miss the point of Pale Fire any worse than this, I don’t want to know about it. Via PCEgan.

* I second both Steven Chu’s call to paint our roofs white and Atrios’s call for “Green Recovery” government stimulus to pay people to do this work.

* Learned helplessness watch: Congressional Democrats, obviously feeling the heat from my persistent calls to use reconciliation to get around Republican filibusters, have now taken reconciliation off the table altogether. Idiots.

* At least Elaine Marshall is ahead in Carolina.

* Speaking my language: Dreamlands, one of the temporary exhibits currently at the Pompidou Center in Paris, highlights Kandor-Con from artist Mike Kelley, with these observations:

The comics present a different image of the Kryptonian city on each occasion, and Kelley sees in this a complex allegory, the diversity of representations signifying the instability of memory. The installation Kandor-Con includes architecture students who continuously design new Kandors, feeding them to a Superman fan site. For the artist, the inability of the original draughtsmen, the new designers or the hero’s internet fans to fix the form of Kandor once and for all illustrates “the stupidity and ridiculousness of technological utopianism.” The capital of the planet Krypton, says Kelley, is “the utopian city of the future that never came to be.”

You had me at “Bonjour.”

* I was kidnapped by lesbian pirates from outer space! A comic, via MetaFilter.

* Added to my Netflix queue: Brick City, a documentary about Newark said to be “a real-life version of The Wire.” Also via MeFi.

* And added to my torrent queue: The Yes Men Fix the World (legal!). Via Boing Boing.

Two Brushes with Greatness

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* The 100th episode of the Poli-Sci-Fi Radio podcast is now online, with visits from Rachel Maddow, Matt Yglesias, Brian Wood, and Casey MacKinnon as well as yours truly. The Rachel Maddow interview (beginning at 42:50) is in particular extremely cool, with Rachel talking not just about her favorite comics but also why she doesn’t wear her awesome glasses on MSNBC and even (yes) what sort of tree she would be if she could be any tree. Her answer to this, like everything else about her, is awesome.

* Another brush with greatness: I saw a screening of The Yes Men Fix the World at Duke tonight with the actual Yes Men themselves in attendance. As promised by The House Next Door’s review from a few months ago, the film is indeed everything Capitalism: A Love Story should have been but wasn’t. (These were, in fact, the first words Jaimee said to me as we left the theater. She is wise.)

Monday Midday

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* Some in the Obama administration want the expansion of the increasingly misnamed war in Afghanistan to include drone attacks on cities in Pakistan the size of San Francisco:

“If we don’t do this — at least have a real discussion of it — Pakistan might not think we are serious,” said a senior U.S. official involved in war planning.

Well, we certainly can’t have that. Via Kevin Drum, who says “history is rhyming.”

* Following up on earlier posts: Timo tracks down more fake English in response to this post while this morning’s Muppet post prompts Eli to report that the Jim Henson biopic The Muppet Man is both promising and doomed.

* Meanwhile, President Lieberman remains the talk of the Internets. Does Joe have principles? (Only one.) Is Joe smart? (Not really.) What are our options now? (Not many.) Did Lieberman really endorse the Medicare buy-in compromise he’s now rejecting just three months ago? (Of course he did.)  Is it time for reconciliation? Josh Marshall still says no. Open Left says it doesn’t matter how, just get it done. There are even conflicting reports that the White House may be backing Lieberman’s latest tantrum. Taibbi weeps.

* ‘Philosophy prof won’t go to jail for making unofficial Derrida translations available to students.’ Jail’s too good for him!

* Also at Boing Boing: ‘Man returns library book due in 1955.’ What I like about this story is that he specifically took advantage of a late-book amnesty to do an almost $2000 fine. Kafka weeps.

* In the Yes Men’s first transatlantic action, an email purported to be an official Environment Canada press release this afternoon announced an incredibly ambitious plan to cut carbon emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. It also went on to commit Canada to paying 1% and eventually up to 5% of its GDP in 2030 to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

* The New Yorker analyzes China’s climate and energy policy.

* Signs of what could be a previously unknown ancient civilization are emerging from beneath the felled trees of the Amazon. Also via MeFi.

* “James Chartrand” tells the story of how picking a male pseudonym got her more freelancing gigs and more money for them. Via MetaFilter.

* The end of Haloscan. Looks like I helicoptered out of Blogspot just in time.

Wednesday Catchup 2

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Wednesday catchup 2.

* Duke University researchers have proven that Barack Obama kills Republican boners.

* Also in Republican news: only 1 in 5 Americans now identify as a Republican. These numbers are terrible. It’s hard to believe, but could we really be seeing the end of the GOP?

* An interview with the prop master for Mad Men.

* Chasing down the earliest common ancestor and the secret of abiogenesis. More at MeFi.

* From universal literacy to universal authorship?

* The House Next Door reviews The Yes Men Fix the World, saying it’s everything Capitalism: A Love Story wasn’t.

With delightful wit, the Yes Men are saying, “Yes, we can!” to the making of a better world, doing what’s right on behalf of the corporations that do so much wrong. Instead of the Moore strategy of passively shaming, they actively participate in change, as when Bichlbaum, in the guise of a Dow Chemical spokesman, goes on the BBC in front of 300 million viewers to announce that the Bhopal catastrophe, the largest industrial accident in history, will finally be cleaned up by his employer. This simple act is a million times more radical and risk-taking than Moore’s noisily wielding a bullhorn in front of AIG headquarters. Moore may be responsible for the highest grossing documentary of all time, but not one of his films ever led to a two billion dollar drop in share prices in 23 minutes as this Yes Men stunt did!

* Lionel Shriver: “I sold my family for a novel.” I had no idea this market existed! Obviously this is why my novel has stalled.