Blog Posts

Protest as Carnival: Using Humor to Confound Authoritarianism

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Filed under: Creative Activism

Gandhi Meets Monty Python at Occupy Wall Street: The Comedic Turn in Nonviolent Tactics
by Wayne Grytting
28 October 2011

On October 3rd, protesters at Occupy Wall Street failed to march. Instead they clumsily lurched. With white painted faces, glazed looks and dollar bills hanging out of some mouths, protesters chanted “I smell money, I smell money”¦” It was Corporate Zombie Day. Scenes like this and the sight of Guy Fawkes masks, clown suits, drumming circles and surrealistic posters all over the country have left many commentators scratching their heads. Is this protest or carnival? Maybe we should tell them. There”™s been a sea change in the protest industry.

“A worldwide shift in revolutionary tactics is underway right now that bodes well for the future,” proclaims Adbusters, the initiators of Occupy Wall Street. A key part of this re-channeling of tactics has been a move away from both angry protests or passive waiting-to-be-clubbed-by-police-batons to age old carnival-style antics. A festive atmosphere has reigned supreme in all of the successful pro-democracy uprisings of the past two decades. In Poland, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Tunisia and Egypt, music and humor were everywhere. Why? (more…)

Zombies Ahead!

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Practical Jokes and Mischief

Submitted by Carolena:

Pranksters warn Boulder motorists of ‘zombies ahead’ on Foothills Parkway
Daily Camera
by Vanessa Miller
March 14, 2011

Rick Barron, his wife and his sister-in-law weren’t expecting much excitement on their drive to the airport before dawn Monday, so you could imagine their surprise when they spotted an electronic road-construction sign on Boulder’s Foothills Parkway that gave an unnerving warning.

“Zombies ahead.”

“We all three just cracked up — it was very funny,” said Barron, 66, of Boulder. “We decided that we ought to be especially alert since it was 4 a.m.”

Boulder became the latest in a long list of cities hit by zombie-loving hackers early Monday when someone broke into the messaging box on a sign stationed along the shoulder of Foothills Parkway near Baseline Road and changed the message to warn of the undead. An underground group of zombie-loving pranksters has been reprogramming electronic road signs across the country for the past few years. (more…)

Disaster Preparedness: Zombie Apocalypse

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Filed under: College Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief

Fla. college ready for flesh-eating zombie attack
October 12, 2009

zombies-200Gainesville, Fla. (AP) — No one expects a zombie apocalypse. But the University of Florida is making sure officials are ready for a night of the living dead, just in case.

The school has a plan for responding to the undead on its Web site among outlines for dealing with hurricanes and pandemics.

The exercise lays out how university officials would respond to attacks by “flesh-eating, apparently life impaired individuals.” It notes that a zombie outbreak might include “documentation of lots of strange moaning.” (more…)