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What Happened to Pieing Powerful People in the Face?

Moe Howard of the Three Stooges supposedly had his own secret recipe for the pies he famously threw in people’s faces. “A vat of whipped cream, marshmallow sauce and pumpkin filling,” the executive director of the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center claimed in an article for the Washington Post. “That made it very gooey. It really stuck to the target’s face.”

The Stooges weren’t the only pie-throwing experts with a favored recipe.

Decades later, the San Francisco-based Biotic Baking Brigade (BBB)—who described themselves as “flan-archists”—started throwing pies at people, becoming one of the most prominent and prolific pastry protest groups of the late 20th century and early aughts. The group cautioned against using cherry pies because the effect could look like blood, which might cause unnecessary alarm. (Such a result could sometimes be desired, though; it was specifically recommended as a “great choice for a homophobic preacher or neo-Nazi Klansman.”)

Instead, “using some variation of a cream pie is your best bet,” they recommended in their 2004 cookbook Pie Any Means Necessary. “Leaving the pie-ee with a face full of light-colored goop not only accomplishes your goal more effectively, it also communicates what’s going on better. This can also help avoid situations where you get your ass kicked.”

Ah, pie-ing people. You just don’t see it as much as you used to. For a while there, practically anyone who was anyone in power got pied in protest at one point or another. Famous pie-ees include Bill Gates, Sylvester Stallone (reportedly a good sport about it), San Francisco mayor Willie Brown (reportedly not), Andy Warhol (simply because he had met the Shah of Iran) and Phyllis Schlafly.

The BBB was a big part of this political pieing movement, which began in 1970 and grew to involve activists around the world, until it petered out around 2011. The group pied people whose greed and corruption ran unchecked (so-called “titans of power”), a cohort that included politicians, executives, government officials, and assorted capitalists. The philosophy was simple: use pieing as a way to hold people that the BBB saws as destructive accountable—and raise awareness of their misdeeds. Members emphasized homemade pies whenever possible, and preferred ‚Äčthem to be vegan and organic, in alignment with broader counterculture protest ideals of the ’80s and ’90s. Their tofu cream pie recipe, specifically meant for throwing, is made with ingredients including sucanat, almond butter, and maple syrup. It pointedly rejects whipped cream, which members described as “that late-twentieth-century, nutritionally void, environmentally wasteful decorative product.”

Read entire article at Slate