The Yes Men (no relation) relate great moments in 'laughtivism' -- the art of protest with humor. Also a selection of articles on the Commons, more highlights from our Prisons issue, the the latest YES! Cartoon competition, and the best new articles online
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  Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions         July 2011 

5 Protests That Shook the World
(With Laughter)

Great moments in “laughtivism” from Yes Men Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, the guys who DUPED the BBC, EMBARRASSED Dow Chemical, and MOCKED Halliburton.

Some say that laughter helped bring down the Soviet Union, by making “Brezhnev” rhyme with “ridiculous.” At the Yes Lab, we help activists cook up funny antics and escapades to change public opinion—with laughter. We’ve used humor as a weapon to avenge corporate wrongdoing for more than a decade, ever since we started dressing up as phony PR men, comic strip heroes, and government officials.

That’s because we know humor is powerful: people have used jokes and hoaxes for centuries to humble the bad guys and inspire the good ones. Here are some of our favorite moments in “laughtivism.”


Yes Men poster: 5 Protests That Shook the World (With Laughter)


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  More from the Summer Issue of YES! Magazine…  

Patrice Gaines' article in the Summer 2011 issue of YES! Magazine Restoring Lives: Now That’s Justice

It was the summer of 2009. I was on my second day of work for the U.S. Census Bureau, knocking on doors in rural South Carolina. My cell phone rang. It was my supervisor: “Patrice, headquarters called me and told me to send you home immediately,” she said. “I don’t know why.”

She knew me as a 61-year-old gray-haired mother, a former Washington Post reporter, an author and motivational speaker. She knew nothing about me 40 years ago, when I was a 21-year-old heroin user. I knew exactly why they were sending me home: I am a convicted felon.

Photo by Diedra Laird for YES! Magazine A Practical Alternative to Prison
Patrice Gaines: We can keep our streets safe without throwing people away.
A young offender and her mother meet with police, court, and community officials. The goal is to draw up a plan that will hold the young person accountable while attempting to prevent further offenses. Photo by Murray Wilson/Manawatu Standard Righting Wrongs the Maori Way
Instead of prison, New Zealand chooses restorative justice and community problem-solving.
YES! Magazine graphic Ban the Box for a Fair Chance Breaking through “tough on crime” policies to give all Americans a chance at employment.

These articles come from the Summer Issue of YES! Magazine.


Special Offer: A year of YES! for just $12, plus a FREE issue.

Beyond Prisons, the Summer 2011 issue of YES! Magazine
  What’s New Online  

'The good news is that more and more people sense at some level that there's a great misdirection of life’s energy.' Photo by Roger Price. Approaching a Dream. Photo by Flavio Spugna. Just as stories fabricated by Wall Street are an instrument of social control, authentic stories are an instrument of liberation. Photo by Yeonsang. Dispelling fear and despair is key to create supportive partnership for a radical homemaker to thrive. Photo by Garry Wilmore.

Toward a Post-Growth Society
by James Gustave Speth
It’s business as usual that’s the utopian fantasy, while creating something very new and different is the pragmatic way forward.
To Save Our Cities, Put Children First
by Jason McLennan
What’s the universal design principle that can make our cities great? Kid-friendliness, says architect Jason McLennan.

The Story of a New Economy
by David Korten
We’re in the midst of a contest of competing stories—one fabricated to serve the interests of Empire; the other an authentic story born of the experience and aspirations of ordinary people.

Can You Be a Radical Homemaker With an Unsupportive Partner?
by Shannon Hayes
What happens when one member of a couple wants to live a new kind of life—but the other doesn’t?

  The Commons: A New Story for the Future …  

An introduction to Jay Walljasper's new book, All That We Share

Rewriting the “Tragedy of the Commons”
by Bill McKibben

“I’ve spent most of my life as a writer—and one of the sweetest parts of that job is knowing that whatever I produce ends up in a library, an institution dedicated to the idea that we can share things easily. There are innumerable other examples—and they are the parts of our lives that we usually care most about. They don’t show up on balance sheets because they’re not producing profit—but they are producing satisfaction.” MORE …

:: All That We Share
Welcome to a new kind of movement—one that reshapes how we think about ownership and cooperation.

All That We Share book FREE if you become a Dedicated Friend of YES! + DVD of The Economics of Happiness

Birds :: 51 Ways to Spark a Commons Revolution
What you can do, alone and with others, to share life.
Protecting Our Commons, YES! Magazine graphic, 2007 :: Protecting Our Commons
Water, forests, and other natural commons provide the necessities of life. Shared stories, music, and knowledge enliven our cultures. Today, corporations are trying to enclose these and other commons—or externalize their costs onto them. But a movement is gaining momentum to protect our commons for generations to come.

Elinor Ostrom. Photo by Chris Meyer / Indiana University Swiss scene Share-It Square Intersection Repair 2008 Members of the community gather to break ground at the London Ferrill Community Garden. Photo by geoffandsherry.

Ostrom Wins Nobel for Common(s) Sense
YES! interview: Nobel Laureate in Economics Elinor Ostrom built her career on the science of cooperation.

8 Keys to a Successful Commons
Advice on how to govern our commons by Nobel winner Elinor Ostrom.

Building the World We Want
Interview with Mark Lakeman, co-founder of the City Repair Project, a Portland group that helps neighbors turn public spaces into gathering places.

10 Ways Our World is Becoming More Shareable
We’re sharing more things, more deeply, with more people. Why sharing is the answer to some of today’s biggest questions.

  YES! Cartoon Caption  

New YES! Cartoon Write a caption for this month’s YES! cartoon. Winning entries will be posted online, and the funniest will be printed in YES!

YES! Bird and Squirrel Cartoon

Enter the competition.

“Haven’t they judged this yet? We seem to
have been hanging around here for months!”

The best captions for this cartoon.

  Did you miss…  

YES! Email Newsletter archive Highlights from the last newsletter:

:: A Quieter Life Now
In an exchange of letters with a dear friend, Wendell Berry explains why his writing is only a small part of the movement against greed and waste.

:: Recipes for Recovery  
Ex-cons show each other the way out at San Francisco’s Delancey Street.

:: Life in a Local Living Economy  
How Bellingham, Wash., keeps it local.

YES! Magazine logo
  A Fond Farewell …

Adam MacKinnon After four and a half years as newsletter editor at YES! I am bidding a fond farewell as my family is moving down to Santa Rosa, Calif., where Kibby, my wife, has gotten her dream job, teaching at Summerfield Waldorf School.

I've greatly enjoyed editing and publishing our suite of email newsletters. And I've appreciated the thoughtful feedback many of you have provided. Your support has helped us to grow our online audience to the current level of more than 2 million a year, and brought record numbers of subscribers to our magazine.

I'm delighted to hand over the reins to Derek Hoshiko, the new online marketing manager at YES! Thank you for reading and following our work.

Adam's signature
Adam MacKinnon
Newsletter Editor
YES! Magazine

  How to Get More YES! 
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Just right for the Farmers Market.

Show the world your positive attitude.
from the Americans Who Tell the Truth series.

Set of 8 beautiful cards highlighting Americans past and present whose dignity, courage, and honesty have shaped this country.
Greeting Cards from the Americans Who Tell the Truth series. This set of 8 includes Pete Seeger, Van Jones, and Terry Tempest Williams.
  YES! But How

Composting Toilet photo by Red Jar Composting Toilets
“I’ve read that composting human waste is much more environmentally friendly than disposing of it in water-based sewage systems. Could I install a composting toilet in my home?”


American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of its Food
Jonathan Bloom's American Wasteland Review: Jonathan Bloom’s “American Wasteland” and the ethical side of food disposal.  

  Web Picks  


Video still from changetowinorg on YouTube

The End of the American Dream?
Can we bring an end to our “rich takes all” society?

The True Price of Gas video still

What’s the True Price of Gas?
How much do we really pay for a gallon of gas? The costs extend beyond what we pay at the pump.  

Robert F. Kennedy JrStanding Up to Corporate Power
At the second March on Blair Mountain, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tells the story of America’s long struggle against unchecked corporate power.

Zoe Weill TED Talk
The World Becomes What You Teach
Zoe Weil: Changing our school system can solve the world’s problems.  
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