Democracy Now! was there last week in when culture jamming activist group The Yes Men took to the streets of New York City to protest Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic by handing out ancient shaved ice from the “remnants of the last icebergs of the North Pole.”
The new film The Yes Men Are Revolting opens today in select theaters.
MIKE BONANNO: My name is Alexander Jordan, and I’m here with Shell Oil. As you know, we are going to the Arctic. We’re the first to drill up there. And so we have brought back people’s first taste of the last frontier: 10,000-year-old iceberg ice directly from the Arctic to the people in New York who are suffering on a very hot day.
“SHELL” EMPLOYEE 1: Enjoy.
“SHELL” EMPLOYEE 2: Tell us how it tastes. Tell us how it tastes.
CUSTOMER 1: Tastes delicious.
“SHELL” EMPLOYEE 3: Our country was built on exploiting opportunities like this. This is American capitalism in action, and this is the best of what this country is all about.
“SHELL” EMPLOYEE 4: Drill! Drill! Drill! Drill!
MIKE BONANNO: Eating the last iceberg?
CUSTOMER 2: Yeah.
MIKE BONANNO: How does that feel?
CUSTOMER 3: Kinda sad.
CUSTOMER 2: It felt kind of sad, considering that in class they tell us that the more they melt, the more global warming. And so, I was like, maybe I shouldn’t be eating it.
“SHELL” EMPLOYEE 1: Right. But yeah, who’s thinking that far ahead, right?
ANDY BICHLBAUM: Risk is an essential part of life. You know, if cavemen had been afraid of risk, nobody would have ever invented fire, because it might set the cave on fire, you know? So, we have to take risks. And we need to be able to profit from it. That’s the American way of life.
“SHELL” EMPLOYEE 4: The hotter, the better, because I don’t like winter. I like to be in my shorts, like year-round, basically. You do, too. Like, if you could be wearing shorts right now, you’d be in shorts.
UNIDENTIFIED 1: Yeah, but they don’t say it’s going to be the hotter, the better. They say it’s going to be more drastic winters, more drastic summers, so that might not necessarily be the case.
“SHELL” EMPLOYEE 4: More drastic winters, more drastic summers.
UNIDENTIFIED 1: Yeah.
“SHELL” EMPLOYEE 4: You know what I say? I like to be an extremist. I’m an extremist. I like to live by extremes. So I’m excited. I like the X Games.
UNIDENTIFIED 1: Yeah, but if it’s too drastic for life to live on the planet, then, I mean, that’s tough.
“SHELL” EMPLOYEE 1: What flavor do you want?
MIKE BONANNO: The future never tasted so sweet. We’re going to drill in the Arctic right now. In the next few days, our drilling rigs are leaving Seattle for the Arctic for the first time. And so we’re offering you the first taste of the last frontier.
UNIDENTIFIED 2: That’s outrageous. OK.
ANDY BICHLBAUM: Delicious?
UNIDENTIFIED 2: Outrageous. I just—honestly, I think it’s a bit distasteful to make light of a very politically sensitive situation.
MIKE BONANNO: Yeah, we’re not really with Shell.
UNIDENTIFIED 2: Thank you.
MIKE BONANNO: There you go. We’re not really with Shell. This is a campaign against Shell’s Arctic drilling.
UNIDENTIFIED 2: Thank God.
MIKE BONANNO: Thank you. Thank you.