In the midst of their ‘Yes, Bush Can!’ campaign, the busy pranksters spread faux Republican cheer on their way to L.A. for the opening of their new movie. Reprinted from the LA Weekly, September 23, 2004, Photos by Dan Ollman.
“Bush stood right over there,” says Laurel. “They built a platform for him and three governors and the secretary of the interior, and surrounded them with firemen made up with fake soot to look like they’d just been fighting fires.” Laurel, a member of ecological activist group the Oxygen Collective, is gesturing to a ridge overlooking a partially charred meadow on the outskirts of Medford, Oregon. “We had a busload of farmers and children with a few banners. They weren’t expecting us, but they were prepared. The whole time, we were circled by Coast Guard helicopters with machine guns pointed at us. That’s when Bush unveiled his Healthy Forests Initiative.”
This lesson in George Bush’s poisonous environmental policies is actually a collateral benefit of our visit to this historical spot — I’m here as an embedded reporter with the Yes Men’s “Yes, Bush Can!” campaign as they film a music video for “The Smokey the Log Theme.” Smokey the Log is the “Yes, Bush Can!” campaign’s new pro-lumber mascot for the USDA Forest Service, replacing the obsolete namesake bear. Yes Man Mike Bonanno, looking like an escapee from a Syd and Marty Krofft production in a giant anthropomorphic latex log costume, clambers on top of a blackened stump. “Now dance!” commands his cohort, Andy Bichlbaum. “Dance and jump to the ground!” Able to see out only through one armhole, and constricted by faux log to well below the knees, Mike gamely jigs around the sawed-flat surface of the old-growth conifer, but when it comes time to dismount, he teeters and tumbles appropriately but painfully to the forest floor. (more…)