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New York Daily Photo: The Pieman
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Monday, 11 August 2008

The Pieman

Looming large in the photo but rather innocuous live in the setting, is a character who is famous and infamous, depending on who is telling the tale, hearing the story or one's political alliances.
This is the Pieman, aka Aron Kay, a Brooklyn resident. Pieing, the act of throwing a pie in some one's face, was originally a common gag in slapstick comedy. Kay considers the Three Stooges the true fathers of pie throwing. Pieing, as a political statement, originated in the USA with the Yippie movement in 1970. If you are not familiar with the Yippies, see my posting here. Kay has thrown pies at conservative author William F. Buckley, NY Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former New York City mayor Abe Beame, the Nixon Watergate operatives G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, William Shatner, Andy Warhol and Jerry Brown Jr., the former governor of California. His last target (in 1992) was Randall Terry, former leader of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue.
Belgian artist Noel Godin began throwing cream pies in 1968. Perhaps a more poetic interpretation of his actions, Godin refers to himself as an enterteur. He considers his actions non-violent and uses a tarte classique, filled with whipped cream (and perhaps chocolate). At least the receivers get a free gourmet dessert. Among the luminaries who have been his victims are Bill Gates, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Jean-Luc Godard and Nicolas Sarkozy.
Although I am not an advocate of violence or pieing, there are many individuals who are extremely incendiary and have built careers setting fires and fanning the flames. One who comes to mind is Ann Coulter who has been pied. Watching an individual like this in interviews and debates with her sneering and snide remarks, gives one an understanding of how someone can be incensed enough to throw a pie. Others who are extremely arrogant (William F. Buckley Jr, e.g.) or hold and articulate extreme right wing views, such as anti-gay-rights activist Anita Bryant, also ruffle the feathers of pie throwers.
Bon Appetit?


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