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Characters, Writing, Writing Craft

Send Your Poo-Poo to the Poor

A hamburger with a rim of lettuce sitting on a...

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Yesterday I watched a documentary on TV. It was about a group of activists calling them selves The Yes Men. What they do is “impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them.” Their targets are big companies who puts profit ahead of everything else. This time they targeted WTO (The World Trade Organization).

They started by creating a webpage extremely similar to the webpage of WTO. A few small changes were made, and instead of presenting the work WTO does they were criticizing the organization. But, what´s really interesting is that soon different companies and organization started to send them invitations for lectures and conferences, believing that they actually had invited a representative for WTO.

A slave system that recycles poo-poo for the hungry to eat

The Yes Men held two different speeches in the name of WTO during the film. The first speech was held in front of a big audience consisting of highly educated people with an academic degree. In front of all these highly educated people a new idea was presented; A manager in an industrial country can control the poor workers in the developing countries by putting an implant in both the worker and himself. This gives the manager full control. He will always know what the worker is doing, where he is and what he feels. The word slave was used several times during the speech.

The other speech was held in front of a big crowd of youths. The Yes Men still claimed they were from WTO when they started to present an idea about how to help the poor people in developing countries. They claimed that when you eat fat fast-food only 20 % of the nutrition stays within your body. The rest, 80% of a hamburger´s nutrition ends up in the toilet. But WTO has a solution for this. You can  recycle rich people´s poo-poo and make a new hamburger of it. One hamburger can be eaten more that 10 times, if you recycle human poo-poo a couple of times.

This is of course disgusting ideas. And there were no representative from WTO. The Yes Men had made a coup against WTO but also against the people who listened. But the really interesting part has nothing to do with the speech itself. The interesting thing is that among the highly educated academics no one – no one – raised their hand to question the idea of putting an implant in workers to gain increased control over their lives. When the speech ended the audience got invited to ask questions, but no one did. The other speech, about sending rich peoples´ poo-poo to poor countries, was held in front of a group of youths around their 20´s.  They almost started a revolution when they heard about this idea! Many of them started to question it all, and one girl said that she felt humiliated. They all started to throw things at the two men who actually claimed that poor people can eat our recycled poo-poo.


Human behavior is so unexpected. Stupid as I am I expect highly educated people to react when something inhuman and disrespectful is brought up as an idea like this. But instead the youths took the responsibility of questioning. This is of great importance when you´re creating characters in your creative writing.

  • Is there any boundaries for what a character can say or do?
  • Who said that an adult have to act more responsibly than a young and unexperienced youth?
  • How much does the false idea of logic run you writing?
  • Are you including the fact of stupidity, laziness and ignorance when creating a character?
  • I suggest that you actually do send your poo-poo to the poor people. At least on the paper in your writing. The poo-poo can be a symbol for any inappropriate thing you might think of. And the poor people might be anyone. Close your eyes and think; if people behave like this in reality, why can´t they do it in your writing? What kind of horrible thing can the poo-poo be in your writing, and what kind of people are the victims when you write? Be as horrible as you can! Think of it, because you might have a lot of fun when writing this, while you also (if you want),  criticize our society by pointing your finger at a serious matter of ignorance.

About Magdalena Wiklund

Leg. biomedicinsk analytiker och maker. Arbetar med transfusionsmedicin till vardags, forskar på antibiotikaresistens på fritiden. Jag skapade Sveriges största site för biomedicinska analytiker därför att detta verkligen är ett fantastiskt yrke som jag hoppas att fler ska intressera sig för.



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