Flimsy Sanity: Pranks

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Albert Lea has many lakes. There is a statue of a mermaid in Fountain lake and someone has put a 08 sweatshirt on her, so I assume the prankster is one of this year's crop of seniors. Someone told me she has been dressed in a variety of costumes through the years and many people feel she should wear a bra.

A good prank was the one by Yale that got Harvard fans to hold up cards that said:

In case you have been living in the unibomber's shack or, like me, oblivious to what is going on in most of the world, the Yes Men pose as corporation spokesmen and get invitations to speak at meetings. They come up with outrageous statements like the civil war was caused by importing slaves rather than the more economical institution of slavery in their homeland and that we could recycle our shit and feed it to the poor countries. Usually the particpants at the meetings are oblivious that the speakers are saying absurd things and actually clap when the presentation is done. The first stunt they did that got worldwide attention was to pretend they were representatives of Dow (who bought Union Carbide) and apologize for Bhopal and offer compensation at a press briefing. I remember when that happened, but I never realized that it was just one of many stunts. The movie made of their antics is here.


  • At 7:19 AM, Anonymous michael greenwell said…

    i was lucky enough to meet the yes men when they came to scotland to promote the film.

    we went out for a beer, they were nice guys.

  • At 7:32 AM, Blogger Flimsy Sanity said…

    Wow, Michael, I am impressed. They are too well known to be effective at this anymore (and the movie says they now have regular jobs in the education field) but I am hoping they have inspired many other people. The best form of rebellion is satire.

  • At 5:44 PM, Blogger Vigilante said…

    I'm probably wrong, but the version of the sucking Crimson was that it was self-inflicted by a Harvard undergrad who was summarily suspended. Some people have no sense of humor. (Others have no motivation to conduct sufficient research. I'm probably wrong in my facts.)

  • At 3:08 AM, Blogger Flimsy Sanity said…

    Vigilante: According to Wikipedia it was two Yale guys who painted their faces and acted as a pep squad. Harvard claimed "foul" because the card holders were old alumni types (why do we always say the old are so wise when most scams are aimed at them). Some high school kids duplicated the stunt later and they were suspended, maybe that is the confusion. Actually the Yale pranksters weren't the first to pull off a gonzo message. In 1961 CalTech got fans to hold up their message at the Rose Bowl.


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