This just in: One week after Barack Obama’s election, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end… according to the Yes Men’s version of the New York Times.
One week after the historic election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, tens of thousands of copies of a special edition of the New York Times appeared on the streets of New York City. Headlines announced the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with victories around climate change and economic equality. Unfortunately, Obama had taken no such bold action. The paper was a provocation, designed to encourage thousands of people to reflect upon the divergence between the world we actually live in and the world we could live in if we demanded it. The faux paper was produced by the mischievous imposters known as the Yes Men, who enlisted 1,000 volunteers to help with the stunt. As one of the group’s leading members, Andy Bichlbaum, said of the group’s motivation, “We’ve elected Obama, but so what. Now we all have to push to make things actually happen.” This short film documents the Yes Men’s now-notorious stunt, and it shows reactions from passers-by who reflected on the presentation of a fairer world that is within reach but that must be fought for.