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It Would Be Believable If It Wasn't So Unbelievable
March 9, 2010 8:22 PM   Subscribe

It looked legit and not entirely out of the realm of possibility in today's heated political climate: an anti-gay resolution being introduced in Utah to expel homosexuals from the state. Except that it was an entire, elaborate hoax courtesy of the Yes Men.
posted by Leezie (28 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
God damn I love the Yes Men
posted by Damn That Television at 8:37 PM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


It would only funnier if it weren't anywhere near the realm of possibility that part of the US would want to "rehabilitate" minorities.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:38 PM on March 9, 2010


I haven't read any of the links yet, but is it possible that the real hoax is the Yes Men claiming credit for something that was really happening in Utah? Hamburger.
posted by andoatnp at 8:40 PM on March 9, 2010


You know what wasn't a hoax today? DC's first same-sex marriage!
posted by sallybrown at 8:43 PM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'd never heard of the Yes Men before. They are excellent!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:44 PM on March 9, 2010


Also, I kinda like the idea of starting a group called the No Men that would watch for groups/people doing really extreme outlandish things sincerely, and then put out statements that it was really my group behind it and taking credit for the hoax. Like when the Catholic Charities in DC stopped offering spousal health benefits to anyone so they wouldn't have to give any benefits to same sex couples, the No Men could have put out a statement taking credit for the hoax, as clearly Catholics wouldn't do anything so mean-spirited.

I wonder which would be harder, getting people to believe something hoaxy is real, or something real is a hoax.
posted by andoatnp at 8:44 PM on March 9, 2010 [76 favorites]


Also, I kinda like the idea of starting a group called the No Men that would watch for groups/people doing really extreme outlandish things sincerely, and then put out statements that it was really my group behind it and taking credit for the hoax.

I approve of this plan.
posted by lexicakes at 8:50 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I kinda like the idea of starting a group called the No Men that would watch for groups/people doing really extreme outlandish things sincerely, and then put out statements that it was really my group behind it and taking credit for the hoax.

Is it too late to claim the W. years?
posted by sallybrown at 9:03 PM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would like to join your No Men.

I'd like to suggest Sarah Palin as one of our first hoaxes.
posted by graventy at 9:13 PM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not actually sure the Yes Men were involved at all. If they had anything to do with the stunt, they're keeping very quiet about it - not their style at all.
posted by tapeguy at 9:14 PM on March 9, 2010


There is a lot of mixed reaction to this happening in the state right now, at least from my point of view. Frankly the fact that many of us thought it was actually possible that a group would propose such a thing speaks volumes more about the state of, well, the state I live in. Many a local blogger was skeptical but the absolute lack of a "hell no this doesn't have a chance" really is what frightened me. As always, the local free City Weekly follows the case.
posted by msbutah at 9:18 PM on March 9, 2010


Even the Salt Lake City Weekly reporter who identified the prankster according to the OP's ABC4 link isn't sure:
(note: I have no idea if this was a Peaceful Uprising action, or who besides Anderson and Hase may be behind it, only that the only connection between Anderson and Hase that I know is PU).
I'd think of it more as a Yes Men-affiliated side-project, like the Velvet Revolver of pranks - it's a bit of a shitty idea, but you'll listen if there's some famous people involved.
posted by tapeguy at 9:26 PM on March 9, 2010


Related: Bill Moyers interviews the Yes Men, from 2007:
BILL MOYERS: Are you concerned about the ethical implications of what you are doing, of fooling people or making fools of people?

MIKE BONANNO: We're much more concerned with the ethical implications of not doing it.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

MIKE BONANNO: What I mean is that it seems like it's incumbent upon us to try to do something about the really grave ethics issues in the world, the real problems, companies that will go and exploit resources that we know are going to, in the long run, kill us or many people around the world. These kinds of wrongdoings are at such a scale, they're so vast compared to our white lies, let's say, that we think it's ethical. Our path is actually ethical one.
posted by cirripede at 9:37 PM on March 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Hmm, I've had an idea kind of like this for years. Like the Yes Men, but from a "grassroots" conservative movement angle, the sort that gets the national media all wet despite the fact that it's about as no more rational and no less fringe as the flat-earthers.

E.g., the fact that California's prop 8 completely knocked the teeth out of the state's equal protection clause just seems ripe for this sort of performance-satire.

"We don't believe that people who eat shellfish or have ever been documented or perceived eating shellfish should be allowed to marry, adopt children, or vote. This is a biblical movement, and if you don't agree with us you're going to hell. Now, if you don't want God to hate you, sign our petition to get this on the ballot."

Maybe a handful of volunteers actually could get enough signatures on to put this (or something like it) up for a California constitutional amendment vote . . .
posted by treepour at 10:01 PM on March 9, 2010


Ehhh. I guess you could be generous and say their hearts are in the right place, although I can't exactly say how this helps the cause of gay rights in any way.

It's not especially clever; it's an obvious fake from right when I moused over the link and saw "final solution" in the file name. And I think maybe some of the other language is taken from Nazi stuff, but I don't care enough to look it up.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:17 PM on March 9, 2010


Guys guys... Joke's not over yet! The REAL punchline comes later when "Paul Jackson" gets busted for DWI after a night at the local gay bar.

eh... it's still not funny.
posted by MeatLightning at 10:39 PM on March 9, 2010


I approve of this plan.


Yeah. That was actually my plan. Just so you all know.
posted by Infinite Jest at 10:57 PM on March 9, 2010


Also, I kinda like the idea of starting a group called the No Men that would watch for groups/people doing really extreme outlandish things sincerely, and then put out statements that it was really my group behind it and taking credit for the hoax. Like when the Catholic Charities in DC stopped offering spousal health benefits to anyone so they wouldn't have to give any benefits to same sex couples, the No Men could have put out a statement taking credit for the hoax, as clearly Catholics wouldn't do anything so mean-spirited.
Count me in.
posted by verb at 11:21 PM on March 9, 2010


Count me in for the british wing of the nomen. most varients of the nomen and thenomen domains are already taken by squatters though, so we may need another name.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:09 AM on March 10, 2010


Please tell me this is the work of the Yes Men?
posted by brundlefly at 12:16 AM on March 10, 2010


Please tell me this is the work of the Yes Men?

If not, then a possible first project for the No Men?
posted by marsha56 at 3:11 AM on March 10, 2010


I'm with the "Maybe Guys," an outfit dedicated to whipping up unsubstantiable rumours that we may, possibly, have been involved in various atrocities. Our arch-enemies are the Ladies of Whatever, who honestly don't give a fuck about us.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:36 AM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can be the Irish branch of the No Men, if we're disorganising internationally — it can be a wholly owned subsidiary of the James Joyce Cabal POEE.
posted by nfg at 4:11 AM on March 10, 2010


The problem with the Yes Men (and the No Men) is that Joe Schmo on the street will see it as crying wolf. "I can't tell what's real and not real anymore, don't bother me with that stuff."
posted by DU at 4:47 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


not their style at all

I agree. When I saw that it was the Yes Men, I expected to hear that they had gotten someone to actually introduce the bill in the Utah legislature.
posted by ekroh at 5:19 AM on March 10, 2010


A more impressive stunt would be introducing a resolution that, "in keeping with efforts to separate church and state, forbids any legislation that is directly based on religious morals."

It would never survive even a cursory inspection if someone tried to dig into the concept, but if you could get the press to bite, people would flip the fuck out.

Though, beyond the lulz, I'm not sure that's a good thing either.
posted by quin at 8:18 AM on March 10, 2010


The Yes Men have their own Web site. No mention.

Here's the organization behind the hoax. No mention of the Yes Men on their Web site.

It looks like the hoax was perpetrated by this guy at Peaceful Uprising, which has little or no connection to the Yes Men. Maybe someone can correct the original post and the tag...
posted by mrgrimm at 1:08 PM on March 10, 2010


Yeah, it doesn't sound like a Yes Men action. Their focus is pretty exclusively business and matters pertaining to business. An action about homosexuals and other social rights issues is outside their general scope.
posted by hippybear at 10:42 PM on March 10, 2010


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