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Ear to the Ground

Ever Have the Urge to Throw a Pie at a Politician? You’re Not the Only One

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Posted on Mar 26, 2014

    Cream pies, ripe for the throwing. Seth Lemmons (CC BY 2.0)


Humans have a long history of flinging food at civil servants to demonstrate their discontent. Whether it’s the comic pie, eggs or in some cases noodles, edibles have proven to be effective weapons of protest, especially when it comes to the kind of less than scrupulous politicians who seem to be running the world these days.

A logical question arises, however, in the current political climate: What size pie would we have to bake to throw at (nearly) everyone in the Senate and House of Representatives? Seems like a lot of butter to waste on the least popular Congress in American history.

Vice magazine:

The first recorded instance of stickin’ it to the man with perishables dates back to 63 AD, when Vespasian, Roman governor of what is now Tunisia and Libya, was pelted with turnips. Protesting punitive policies and general financial hardship, his subjects rained an almighty veg storm down upon him, though there are no records relating to the protesters’ accuracy. There’s irony in there somewhere, but, to be fair, turnips make better skull-bruisers than they do soups, so who can blame them? Despite his eventual rise to emperor, it seems foul foods plagued Vespasian to his last day, when he died from a severe case of diarrhea. Incidentally, his belief and wish that “an emperor should die on his feet,” coupled with an extreme case of the shits, must have made for quite an exit.

Protest food has come a long way since the Roman turnip. One of the most brilliant modern-day examples is the cream pie. Beloved of the silent film directors of the early part of the last century, the cream pie was popularized as a form of protest in the 1970s. In fact, there are many activist groups who have based their entire ethos on the cream pie, including Al Pieda, the Biotic Baking Brigade, and the Entartistes, a member of which goes by the name of Pope Tart. You probably wouldn’t want to spend much time with these people, but at least there’s some flair for wordplay.

One of the earliest and most notable pieings was visited upon Anita Bryant, a pop sensation from 1950s USA who famously hated gays…

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—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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