On November 12, thousands of volunteers distributed 1.2 million copies of a “special edition” of the New York Times, datelined July 4, 2009, that declared, among many other wonderful developments, that the Afghanistan and Iraq wars were over and that the troops would be coming home within weeks. Other articles revealed plans for universal healthcare, free post secondary education, rebuilding the nations crumbling infrastructure, and the nationalization of the oil industry to pay for climate change adaptation.
This highly creative work of political satire was the product of a group that calls itself the “Yes Men” — perhaps as a riff on Obama’s “Yes we can!” election slogan. In the words of the publishers:
This special edition of The New York Times comes from a future in which we are accomplishing what we know today to be possible.
The dozens of volunteer citizens who produced this paper spent the last eight years dreaming of a better world for themselves, their friends, and any descendants they might end up having. Today, that better world, though still very far away, is finally possible — but only if millions of us demand it, and finally force our government to do its job.
Part belly laugh, part bolshevism, this is political agitation on a grand scale; it will be difficult to ignore. Check out the web version of the July 4, 2009 New York Times here.