The River

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why is this an alternate universe?

New York Times spoof, distributed on the streets of New York, declares "Iraq War Ends; Troops to Return Immediately."

See how it unfolded.

New York Times Special Edition Video News Release - Nov. 12, 2008 from H Schweppes on Vimeo.

B-roll of fake New York Times Distribution, November 12, 2008 from H Schweppes on Vimeo.

Find the New York Times hoax edition at

Ken Knabb of The Bureau of Public Secrets writes:

Regardless of critiques that might be made of the ideas in some of the imagined stories, the perpetrators of this scandal have pulled off a remarkable coup, a coup that may help to spread some salutary memes regarding social change.

The social changes envisioned in some of the articles could be accomplished even within the current social setup (in which case people will be contrasting these possible changes with the probably very different results of the new Democratic administration). In other cases, notably those involving economic matters, it will be evident that the imagined changes could not be effected under current conditions, but would require a fundamental transformation of the whole socio-economic system (in which case people might start considering what sort of transformation would be sufficient, and how such a transformation could be brought about).

But in both types of cases, an important first step is clearing away the existing clouds of habit and resignation, so that people are able to get some sense that things could be different. This "Special Edition" coup may help to do just that. As limited as the particular "solutions" suggested may be, they are presented with a freshness and good humor that may provoke people to start questioning supposed inevitabilities and encourage them to take the initiative rather than to remain in panic-stricken, passive-defensive positions.

Videos via Doug's Dynamic Drivel

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