'Yes Men' stunt hardly profound

The Edmonton Journal

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wherever you fall in the political spectrum, you have to smile at the thought of earnest, well-heeled executives forking out $50 a head to hear fake American oil-and-gas experts spout jabberwocky at the Go Expo Energy Conference in Calgary this week.

And secretly, at least some in the bamboozled audience must have wished their employees always showed as much imaginative nerve as the pranksters, who pretended to be from a group that advises the Bush White House, and who talked knowledgeably about "vivoleum" -- a renewable energy source that doesn't exist.

But the "Yes Men" group needs to ask itself if sophomoric stunts accomplish anything constructive in furthering their anti-corporate agenda.

As a result of their efforts, has a single person thought more deeply about anything more profound than how to check speaker credentials without adding to the conference budget?

If it had a sense of humour, the oil-and-gas industry would form an ad-hoc group to return the favour. Maybe, it could whip up some fake suppressed reports showing vivoleum exists after all -- "we're storing it on Baffin Island to keep the tree-huggers from finding it" -- and then leaking them so the pranksters could spend a winter or two trying to find it.


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