Re: Pies in the face (was Re: PDAs are searchable was Re: blah blah blah)

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Wed Feb 07 2001 - 03:31:42 MST

On Wed, Feb 07, 2001 at 05:16:19AM -0000, zeb haradon wrote:
> >From: "Ross A. Finlayson" <>
> >I thought it was funny when the guy threw a cream pie at Bill Gates, but
> >it was a minor crime. Gates could sue the guy and win for hundreds of
> >thousand of dollars
For what? This implies there's something seriously fucked with your
legal system. About the worst damage that can be done by a cream
pie is the cost of a new set of clothing, plus a public apology for
the indignity.

> There's several interviews with that guy, Noel Godin:
> People on his list to pie include Bill Graham, some prominent hollywood
> scientologists, and The Pope.
> There's also an "anarchist pieing group" that throws pies into the faces of
> people they don't like. They actually have a page where you can vote for
> people to get pied (Vote Nader!):
> (to go directly to the voting booth):
> For the record, I don't approve.

I *do* approve.

The application of the cream pie is a _symbolic_ assassination, not a real
one, and as such it can be seen as a way of defusing socially dangerous
tensions (and notifying the recipient that some people disapprove of
them most strongly) in a non-dangerous manner.

Assassination is relatively rare but makes for a high-profile news
story. The wide coverage associated with these events causes people
to feel that they live in an unsafe or dangerous world, and that only
violent action will suffice to get a minority political point across.
Hence terrorism scares, repressive violations of civil rights, and the
whole nine yards of the police state.

Replacing real assassinations with symbolic ones is, if you ask me,
a big improvement: the victim and the onlookers get the message, but
nobody gets hurt. If every homicidal loon on the planet put down
their guns and bombs and picked up a pie dish full of shaving cream,
the world would be a much safer, not to say stickier (and arguably
funnier), place.

-- Charlie

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