Archive for 2018

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[ecrea] New book: Media Hoaxing

Fri Sep 21 16:51:10 GMT 2018

*Media Hoaxing: The Yes Men and Utopian Politics
*Ian Reilly

This book explores the history, theory, practice, politics, and efficacy of hoaxing through an in-depth study of the Yes Men, one of the most important media activist groups to have emerged in the past two decades. Better known as humorous deceptions or politically motivated deceptive actions, media hoaxes are increasingly being used by activists seeking to change the world by drawing attention to abuses of power by corporations and governments. In this regard, the Yes Men are the unrivaled masters of the media hoax. By blending cutting political satire, outlandish humor, and sobering social criticism, they expose the wrongdoings of the world’s most powerful institutions to make them more accountable, transparent, and responsible to the public. These interventions serve as compelling case studies from which to explore two defining tensions underpinning all activist endeavors—failure and success. In situating the Yes Men’s work in relation to failure and success, discussions surrounding the defining realities of activist struggle come to the fore, creating room for greater emphasis on cycles of activist innovation, adaptation, and renewal. Thus, this book sheds light on why media hoaxing has emerged as a significant 21st century activist practice and makes a case for the significance of the media hoax as a positive force in the articulation of utopian politics. <>

Reilly’s book is the premier scholarly study of the historical, conceptual, political, aesthetic, and performative dimensions of the Yes Men. A comprehensive guide to the Yes Men’s tactical media struggles for social justice in the age of convergent spectacles and 'fake news,' a judicious and reflexive assessment of the political possibilities and pitfalls surrounding practices of media hoaxing and culture jamming, and a deft reminder of the power of laughter, Reilly’s book is a must read for progressive researchers, activists, and artists.
— Tanner Mirrlees, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Drawing mainly from the vast corpus of Yes Men pranksters—our favorite contemporary hucksters of ironic journalism—Ian Reilly ably charts the history, anatomy, intent, and failures/successes of media hoaxing. In the spirit of Jonathan Swift, these swindlers of traditional media unmask corporate greed, social injustices, and the widespread circulation of misinformation that we unthinkingly consume. Reilly's work points toward the efficacy of duping and the utopic possibilities for critical media hijinks...and not a moment too soon.
— Rebecca Krefting, Skidmore College

Reilly's book provides an expert and thorough analysis of the phenomenal political satire of the Yes Men, intelligently-grounded in cultural and media studies. Situating their political interventions in the context of hoaxing, media activism, and journalism, Reilly brings the Yes Men to life through his sharp writing and savvy insight. A must-read for all interested in political humor and activism. — Megan Boler, professor at the Department of Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto

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