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In this episode we meet Mike Bonanno, aka Igor Vamos, one half of the dynamic, culture jamming activist duo The Yes Men. To date, they’ve produced three films: The Yes Men (2003), The Yes Men Fix the World (2009) and The Yes Men Are Revolting (2014).
In these films, they impersonate entities that they dislike, a practice that they call “identity correction”. In reality The Yes Men are maybe the original mass media trolls, having successfully flummoxed the BBC, Chamber of Commerce, and even George W. Bush. But it’s trickery for good causes, from raising awareness around the Bhopals disaster to global warming.
After a news roundup from Jamie (AT&T/Time Warner merger, Pirate Party showing in Iceland elections, and copyright lobbies going after core Internet infrastructure) the episode explores the increasing power of media activists and the capacity figures like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have to affect the political stage. It’s a bumper episode of STEAL THIS SHOW, weighing in at about 1hr 15mins. Some fun topics:
- The origins of The Yes Men in a bizarre, pornographic, surrealist piece of videogame sabotage;
- The Yes Men’s dubious claim to be the internet’s Original Trolls.;
- Trolling George W. Bush as a claim to fame;
- How to knock billions of dollars off Fortune 100 company;
- The perils of liberating porn, and why you just do not (ahem) fuck with Big Porno;
- What it’s like to visit Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Steal This Show aims to release bi-weekly episodes featuring insiders discussing copyright and file-sharing news. It complements our regular reporting by adding more room for opinion, commentary and analysis.
The guests for our news discussions will vary and we’ll aim to introduce voices from different backgrounds and persuasions. In addition to news, STS will also produce features interviewing some of the great innovators and minds.
Host: Jamie King
Guest: Mike Bonanno
Produced by Jamie King
Edited & Mixed by Riley Byrne
Original Music by David Triana
Web Production by Siraje Amarniss