Yes Men

Let’s take a brake and give some context for the next post that I feel I must write. This time with some “entertaining” anecdotes.

Last week we had a small underground dosis of the Yes Men, who were invited to show their new movie at the Berlinale. Even though launching a film within a mainstream festival, when somebody launched a cheap party for them on Saturday they also came. They gave a relaxed speech standing on a supermarket kart, showed some clips and drank beer with everyone who could squeeze themselves in the circle around them. Friendly, talkative people. Then on Monday they organized a free screening of the same film they released in the Berlinale (The Yes Men fix the World), for which you couldn’t really find tickets anymore in that moment, and they just warned people not to cam the movie to P2P it later. I really hope they’ll get some money back before it will be available on Emule…something they’ll also do off course.

The movie is rather utopic in its feeling and full with typical yet always surprising Yes Men Maneuvers, such as super protection suits for corporate people in order to survive an environmental catastrophe (Inspired in biological processes of amoeba), and insurance executives giving them their business cards in the belief that something like that could somehow reach a production state. They homage the dead with humor, they confront corporates with their own stupidity and they take over media to reinforce their discourse and punch holes through the complicated layers of double morality and falseness that the medium itself tends to place upon facts. A recommended film to think about, and a recommended activity to follow up.

I couldn’t talk about the Coltan Wars with the YES MEN, I could just say hello somehow, but I found two powerful images pretty close to each other in both the YES MEN movie and a performance streamed during the Tantalum Conference. This stream came live from the French Alliance in Kinshasa, one of the few places in the Congolese Capital that guarantees permanent Internet connection. The camera that registered the action of the performers passed repeatedly over a dancer that was painfully rolling on the floor subsumed by a skeleton robot. In the Movie we have the yes men presenting in their corporate fashion, a golden skeleton as a symbol of their campaign for an acceptable amount of human deaths in proportion to profit. We don’t need to describe the common ground here, because both symbols represent exactly the same: The perspective from the oppressed entailed in the African dancer who is subsumed by the tantalum death reinforced by the golden skeleton that dances and comforts the heart of the investor: In the american movie, one conference participant expresses that feeling when he approaches to have a  chat after the conference saying that the idea of an acceptable index of human casualties was relieving. He makes it seriously although with a stupid enthusiastic laugh in his face. This leaves us with a deadly metallic taste in our mouths and a rather deceiving perspective on human nature.

No conclusions here.