FOR THOSE FAMILIAR with the Yes Men (Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum), the anti-corporate pranksters who made their first formal introduction with the 2003 documentary The Yes Men, their newest hijinks in The Yes Men Fix the World need little explanation. The latest iteration documents the Yes Men's signature technique: Set up a fake website that mimics a large corporation or government branch (in this film, that includes Dow and HUD) and mistakenly get asked to speak at conferences around the world, where they make fake speeches and announcements, not infrequently with the aid of ridiculous inflatable suits.
If the fact that they're playing the same joke over and over again is a bit of a damper, they are at least getting better at being heard. The Dow stunt involved announcing to an audience of three million people on the BBC that the corporate goliath would be taking full and financial responsibility for the largest industrial accident in history. Their fake edition of the New York Times, filled with wishful headlines from a utopic near future like "Iraq War Ends," was widely discussed and publicized.
The effectiveness of the Yes Men's hoaxes is debatable, though, as even they halfway admit. Other than providing Jackass-style entertainment for the NPR set, their actions have never resulted in modified behavior from those they've pilloried. At best they serve as inspirational figures, helping drive awareness, and at worst, well, they're still pretty funny.