Pieing is the act of throwing a pie at someone. Originally a staple of slapstick comedy, pieing has also come to be used for political purposes, in which throwing a pie at an authority figure, politician, or celebrity is a means of protesting against the target's political beliefs, or against a perceived flaw — arrogance, hubris — in the target's character. (A variation of pieing, when the target is hit with a cake instead of a pie, is called "caking".)


The political act of pieing has its origins in the "pie in the face" gag from slapstick comedy (first popularized by movie director Mack Sennett around the year 1914 in his Keystone Cops silent movies). Throwing pies as a comedy staple came into its own in the Laurel & Hardy classic short film, "The Battle of the Century" (1927) [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017664 "The Battle of the Century (1927)"] . "Internet Movie Database."] which, according to legend, required four thousand pies. Pie-throwing became a convention of early slapstick movies made by the Three Stooges, and others. Other comedians and cartoon characters famous for pieing are Bugs Bunny, Charlie Chaplin, Monty Python, and Soupy Sales.

The probable originator of pieing as a political act was Thomas King Forcade the founder of "High Times" magazine. In 1970 Forcade pied Otto N. Larsen, the Chairman of the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, this has been called the first Yippie pieing. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE7DB1F3CF933A25751C1A9669C8B63 " Take Sugar, Eggs, Beliefs . . . And Aim"] .By Thomas Vinciguerra. "New York Times", December 10 2000] [ [http://www.ww4report.com/node/3495 "TOM FORÇADE: UNSUNG HERO OF THE COUNTER-CULTURE"] By Bill Weinberg. World War 4 Report.] Aron Kay, also a Yippie, went on to take up Forcade's pieing tactics and pied singer and anti-gay-rights activist Anita Bryant in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1977 (audio footage of the incident is included in the Chumbawamba song "Just Desserts", a homage to the concept of pieing). [http://gershkuntzman.homestead.com/files/pie_master.doc "Pie-Faced: Why throwing a pie at someone who deserves it is one of the most celebrated traditions in our so-called culture"] . By Gersh Kuntzman. "Newsweek", April 25 2005.] Kay subsequently pied, among many others, William F. Buckley, G. Gordon Liddy, E. Howard Hunt, William Shatner, and Andy Warhol. Kay retired in 1992 after pieing right-wing activist Randall Terry. His exploits live on though. He appears in cartoon form in a 2003 animated music video, "Death penalty for pot" by "Benedict Arnold and The Traitors", where he and Dana Beal pie George W. Bush and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (at 2 minutes and 33 seconds into the video). [ "Death penalty for pot". Aron Kay pieing George Bush and John Ashcroft in an "animated music video (2003) by northern California artist/animator Brad Frost, of the song 'Death Penalty For Pot,' by the band Benedict Arnold & The Traitors." [http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=706379698] [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTPTWbm6uK0] [http://www.benedictarnoldandthetraitors.com] .]

Concerning Kay a November 12, 1998 "San Francisco Examiner" article writes: "He considers the Three Stooges, whom he began watching on TV as a kid, as the true fathers of pie-throwing." [http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives/nov98/0190.html "A Long Career of Pitching Pastries"] . By Rachel Gordon. "San Francisco Examiner." November 12, 1998.]

Recently, the Belgian anarchist and surrealist Noël Godin has gained a following for pieing figures whom he believes take themselves too seriously, most notably Bill Gates and filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard during the Cannes Film Festival. His favorite target was Bernard-Henri Lévy. (Godin stated that the men he most desired to pie were Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Pope John Paul II.) Godin's popularity has inspired many copycats.

The anonymous Biotic Baking Brigade has pied or attempted to pie, among others, conservative pundits Ann Coulter and David Horowitz; Green Party politician Ralph Nader; and Fred Phelps, the controversial leader of the Westboro Baptist Church. The Canadian group the Entartistes, founded by Rhinoceros Party of Canada founder François Gourd, has also pied many, including then-Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien. In 2003 in the city of Calgary they pied Ralph Klein, the premier of the Canadian province of Alberta, saying in their press release: "Is it surprising to see Ralph Klein opposing the Kyoto Accord for the right of big corporations to pollute, the same corporations that finance his campaigns?" [http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2003-07-17/news_story3.php "The Art of Pieing. Nothing cuts through the veneer of the powerful like a banana cream"] . By Tooker Gomberg. "Now" (Toronto). July 17-23, 2003.]

"The pie gives power back to the people because so many feel powerless in the face of big politicians and industrialists", explained Pope-Tart (a pseudonym), a member of the Entartistes. [ [http://www.entartistes.ca/Gazette310199.html "Pied Snipers"] . By Andrew Duffy. "Southam News." January 31, 1999.] "Newsweek" columnist Gersh Kuntzman wrote that pieing "deserves to be one of the most celebrated traditions in our so-called culture."

Sometimes pieing targets suffer the prank with good humor. Godard was very pleased at being pied; he intervened with the Cannes authorities on behalf of Noël Godin to prevent him from being arrested. By contrast, Bernard-Henri Lévy has on multiple occasions attacked Noël Godin and his followers, and Ann Coulter pressed charges in 2005 when she was pied at the University of Arizona. [http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/1022042coulter2.html] Activist David Horowitz said of his pieing, "These attacks are sinister. The person who throws a pie is saying, ‘I hate you. I don't want you to speak.' I never saw it coming. And it took away my dignity. When you're lecturing, you're supposed to have an authority. But a pie turns it into a food fight." Anti-gay activist Anita Bryant said, upon being pied, that at least it was a "fruit" pie, referring to the gay slur.

ee also

*List of people who have been pied


Further reading

* Noël Godin (1989) "Anthologie de la subversion carabinée". Éditions L'Âge d'Homme; ISBN 2-8251-0715-8.
* Noël Godin (1995) "Crème et châtiment: Mémoire d'un entarteur." Éditions Albin Michel; ISBN 2-226-07824-X.
* Noël Godin (2005) "Entartons, entartons les pompeux cornichons!" Flammarion; ISBN 2-08-068546-5.
* Agent Apple. "Pie Any Means Necessary: The Biotic Baking Brigade Cookbook." Edinburgh: AK Press, 2004. ISBN 9781902593883

External links

* [http://www.sfpincchicago.com/messyworks MessyWorks]
* [http://www.pieman.org/pageb.html Aron Kay's photographic catalog of his and others' pieing exploits] — search for "The Legend of Pieman"
* [http://bioticbakingbrigade.org/index.html The Biotic Baking Brigade Web site]
* [http://www.jaybabcock.com/observer.html An article on Noel Godin]
* [http://www.undercurrents.org/pie/ Pied Politicians and Corporate CEOs] at [http://www.undercurrents.org Undercurrents]
* [http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2003-07-17/news_story3.php The Art of Pieing, by Tooker Gomberg]
* [http://www.entartistes.ca/ Les Entartistes] , Web page of a Montreal-based pieing organization
* [http://www.parascope.com/mx/articles/godin.htm The Pied Sniper: Noel Godin's Flavorful Terrorism] , by D. Trull
* [http://www.alpieda.org/ Al Pieda]
* [http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/1999/03/cox2.html The Medium is the Meringue] , an article from "Mother Jones", March/April 1999
* [http://www.geocities.com/gctz1one/pied Famous Pied Faces List]
* [http://sjnetwork.com/pies Classic Pie In The Face Humor]

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