FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2009
Contact: Kevin Coburn
Internationally Acclaimed Troublemakers “The Yes Men” to Perform at Green Mountain College
POULTNEY--Who are “The Yes Men?” The argument could be made that they are entertainers, con-men, and social activists—or all three rolled into one. They certainly aren’t corporate shills. They describe themselves as “a pair of notorious troublemakers” and they are bringing their internationally acclaimed act to Green Mountain College on Wednesday, March 25, from 7-9 p.m. at Ackley Auditorium. The program is free and open to the public.
The Yes Men are Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno—and they have gained notoriety for exposing dehumanizing business practices and helping to keep critical issues in the international spotlight. They do this through impersonating representatives of powerful corporations and government organizations such as ExxonMobil, McDonald’s, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Their famed hoaxes include a phony George W. Bush website celebrating the unsavory details of the then-Presidential candidate, and the false announcement of the World Trade Organization’s dissolution in order to shift focus to helping the poor.
Live presentations by The Yes Men are hilarious, insightful, disturbing, and thoroughly entertaining. The prolific pranksters discuss their legendary hoaxes and identity corrections through storytelling and multimedia - featuring props used in the pranks and unreleased footage from their recent and classic exploits.
The Yes Men’s story began in 1999 when Bonanno (the mastermind who switched the voice boxes of Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls and returned them to store shelves) and Bichlbaum (who made a splash by programming smooching, speedo-clad men into 80,000 copies of an action video game) set up a parody of the WTO website at the domain GATT.org. Some people mistook it for the real thing and invited them to speak on CNBC, at conferences, schools, and other forums as the WTO. Andy and Mike donned thrift store suits and set out to shock unwitting audiences with darkly comic satire that highlights the worst aspects of global free trade.
The Yes Men’s exploits are featured in the documentary films "The Yes Men" (2004) and "The Yes Men Fix the World" (2009). Their documentary shorts have toured the planet in the Lost Film Fest. "It shines with raw wit and originality,” a Newsweek reviewer said of the latter film. "Comedic vigilante justice . . . Media-savvy pie-to-the-face,” commented USA Today.
“The Yes Men are fundamentally concerned with the welfare and support of natural and social communities through their ongoing efforts to re-envision the ways regular citizens can speak truth to power,” said GMC professor Paul Falzone, who played a key role in bringing the group to GMC.