By Angelique Haugerud
No Billionaire Left Behind is a compelling research into how satirical activists take on of the main contentious subject matters in modern American political tradition: the more and more profound department of wealth in the USA, and the function of huge cash in electoral politics. Anthropologist and writer Angelique Haugerud deftly charts the evolution of a bunch named the Billionaires—a well-known community of satirists and activists who make a mockery of wealth in America—along with different satirical teams and figures to puzzle out their impression on politics and public opinion. within the spirit of renowned courses like The Colbert file and The day-by-day Show, the Billionaires display a cosmopolitan wisdom of economics and public affairs throughout the lens of satire and humor. via player statement, interviews, and archival examine, Haugerud offers the 1st ethnographic research of the ability and boundaries of this evolving type of political organizing during this witty exploration of 1 group's efforts to elevate desire and encourage motion in America's present political climate.
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Extra info for No Billionaire Left Behind: Satirical Activism in America
38 category Acts skits integrated “Fat Cat within the Hat” (performed throughout the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle) and “Corporate Soup Kitchen,” which incorporates a ladler serving “Department of protection contracts, company subsidies, tax write-offs, mark downs and personal loan bailouts. ” UFE because the sponsor saved the theater troupe concerned about problems with fiscal inequality and the corruption of the democratic technique via giant cash, and the association may, a UFE staffer famous, “pull the plug on sure skits” in the event that they have been off message or poorly completed. 39 At renowned schooling workshops and different venues, activists dramatically illustrated fiscal inequality via a functionality referred to as “Ten Chairs,” which Andrew Boyd later recreated as a musical “100 Chairs” highway theater occasion that used to be featured at the neighborhood information in Boston. forty In appearing the single hundred chairs model in an out of doors public house in Boston within the Nineties, they prepared for a guy to reach in a Mercedes with bodyguards after which declare the 40 chairs that represented his percentage of the nationwide wealth, whereas a theater troupe orchestrated chants backward and forward. Experiments in Satirical Activism, Nineties 89 Mike Lapham (United for a good financial system) stumbled on that theater equivalent to the Precision cellphone Drill crew and Ten Chairs “is an amazing method to seize people’s mind's eye. . . . humans do not forget that stuff; it sticks with them and will get via to them. ” Visualizing inequality in this kind of manner, Chuck Collins indicates, “hits you correct within the chest, creates an emotional response. ”41 inventive activities reminiscent of satirical road theater are constantly an issue of experimentation, of trial and blunder. activities that don’t paintings in addition to anticipated supply classes on which to construct. A former UFE staffer steered that “for each stunt or skit or road theater factor that we did there has been person who didn’t paintings rather well. ”42 for instance, within the mid-1990s, throughout the Boston Marathon, they attempted out a model of the “Rat Race” skit, that is defined within the Activist Cookbook, and which illustrates turning out to be source of revenue inequality by way of having 5 members signify source of revenue quintiles, posing as characters fitted to their type prestige, after which establishing a race reminiscent of a hundred-yard sprint. A activities commentator may describe the motion as a gun went off to begin the race, and cheerleaders may additionally be current. The runners (or rats) within the lowest quintiles may pass backwards, the center one or may run in position, and the pinnacle quintile rat may possibly race 100 steps out in entrance. forty three members stumbled on from trial runs that the skit labored most sensible now not on road corners or sidewalks in the course of an occasion corresponding to the Boston Marathon, yet in an extended strip of house cleared out prior to time for an viewers accrued along it who can get the “most dramatic cross-section view of different distances the runners trip. ”44 inventive ways to activism, whereas particularly diversified, “draw upon a typical pool of possibilities—humor, parody, shock, hidden identity—which have political makes use of and limits,” Boyd feedback.