War Is Over, if You Fake It

November 13, 2008

Over a million copies of the New York Times are currently in circulation across the country, spreading the word that, among other things, the Iraq War has ended, a cap on executive paychecks has been set, and a free university education is now free for all Americans. The only problem is, they aren’t actually published by the newspaper, and the stories are fake. On close inspection, one will discover that the prank paper is dated as being from July 4th, 2009, and that the famous motto of the Grey Lady has been replaced by “All the news we hope to print.”

According to Democracy Now! and the Telegraph, the people behind the joke call themselves the Yes Men; they are responsible for many other hilarious but meaningful pranks, including posing as Exxon suits at the 2007 Gas and Oil Exposition, where they suggested human corpses should be turned into fuel.

This is the sort of subversive work I love. You can read an online edition of the pretend paper here. I’m still reading through it, but so far it’s wonderful, especially the faux admission by Thomas Friedman.

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2 Responses to “War Is Over, if You Fake It”

  1. In my wildest dreams. Activist art with a positive message is special. In the same way that college kids spent eight miserable years in apathy and are suddenly all gung-ho with Obama’s hope rhetoric, a lot of the times it’s not so much exposing the horror that gets people up-in-arms as much as it’s sending a message of what we could achieve.

  2. spgreenlaw said

    “Activist art with a positive message is special.”

    Now that you’ve pointed it out, I am really in awe of how little positive political art I see. Maybe I’m just a cynic who hangs out in the seedy underbelly of the political machine, but most of the stuff I see is criticism rather than a symbol of the alternative. Graffiti especially seems to fall victim to this; I’d hazard a guess that it’s because it usually takes the status quo’s images and then fucks with them. It seems hard to take a picture of President Bush’ mug, or a clothing ad showing a waif model, all skin and bones, and turn it into something positive, anyway.

    But yeah, this NY Times thing was really special. More positive protest!

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