THE LIMIT FOR POLI-TARTE TERRORISTS
Quick, hide the kids
and lock the doors. Noël Godin is among us.
So the name doesn't ring a bell. Well, think back
to February. World's wealthiest geek gets planted with cream pie
in mug, and Luddites everywhere lick their lips. Newspaper photo
editors rejoice too.
But computer mogul Bill Gates is only the most recent of Godin's
pie-targets. The Belgian anarchist/performace artist has been creaming
deserving politicos, captains of industry and celebs since 1969.
Such is his status in Europe that Godin is right up there with the
Muscles From Brussels, high-kicking Jean-Claude van Damme, as the
greatest cultural treasure to emerge from Belgium. OK, it's a small
Unbeknowst to local law-enforcement authorities, Godin slipped into
town last week to confer with Les Entartistes, members of the Montreal
chapter of his Brussels-based L'Internationale Patissière.
you know, to give pratical advice on the relative merits of Rich
Whip and Reddi Whip, the key to a perfect pie crust, and tossing
techniques. That sort of stuff.
Les Entartistes -Pie-o-neers, in the mind of some- made their mark
recently, flush on the face of former top-cop Jacques Duchesneau,
who is now making a bid to become mayor of Montreal.
Duchesneau's crime: "He said he was the Bill Gates of Montreal,
but the only thing they have in common is a pie in the face,"
says Entartistes rep François Gourd, whose absurd political
roots can be traced back to the Rhinoceros Party. "But now
the pie is the limit for us."
Pie-tossing entails military-like precision, even for a subversive
goof like Godin. For example, the Brussels creaming of Gates required
the deployment of 30 daring tossers who sneaked 25 pies into the
computer convention. Lost in the ensuing reportage, according to
Godin, was the fact that Gates got belted with not one, but four
pies. And so distressed was Gates about getting cream in his hair
and glasses that he fired his entire nine-man bodyguard crew for
not preventing the attack. (Maybe if Mr. Techno had supplied his
bodyguards with the latest Windows software, they could have foreseen
WAR ON PRETENSION
But Godin claims he's not a malicious man. He's merely waging a
high-caloric war on pretentious people in positions of power. Among
his targets have been pretentious French writer Marguerite Duras
and pretentious French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who
has been dinged a record five times by Godin's gang. "He thinks
he's Jean-Paul Sartre," Godin says. "But he's just a Jean-Paul
Tarte now, and a local pastry paranoid."
Godin sees his mission as a combination of politics and art. He
calls it "poli-tarte" and maintains that it is merely
a throwback to the days when the surrealists reigned on the arts-and-bistro
"They delighted in sending insulting letters to pretentious
people," Godin says. "We've just taken that one sticky
step further into the domain of slapstick terrorism. But we've never
hurt anyone, other than their self-esteem."
What's astonishing is that Godin has never done time in the jug.
In fact, he's only been arrested once in France, but the charges
were dropped when he convinced the judge that pie-tossing was a
time-honoured Belgian tradition. "As a result, we set a legal
precedent in France," godin says. "Now the French can
throw pies at their politicians with impunity."
Gourd's Entartistes, on the other hand, have been cautionned by
the RCMP and Sûreté du Québec that they don't
see the humour in pie-chucking. Indeed, the SQ apparently informed
Gourd that bodyguards for provincial ministers were armed with weaponry
more potent than pie.
Oh yes, while Godin's L'Internationale Patissière is largely
cash-strapped, the tossers are not wanting for fresh cream pies.
Bakers everywhere gratefully supply the group free. Just as well,
since Godin doesn't know how to make a pie himself and he's too
lazy to learn. Another myth is debunked when Godin confesses that
his charges don't really throw pies -they push them in the target's
face. "That's because we're such terrible athletes. But we
do have a 95-per-cent success rate."
Pie-pushing is not just limited to Godin's group and it's Montreal
subsidiary. New York City's Pie Man has been squishing his wares
in the faces of people like Andy Warhol, Anita Bryant and at least
one CIA boss for 40 years.
But Montreal audiences may have established themselves as the most
ardent devourers of poli-tarte. Godin has an hour long video highlight
package of his pie-strikes, wich has played to packed houses at
city clubs like Foufounes Électriques, Lion d'Or and Porté
Disparu. Also on the same bill is a video short of the Duchesneau
It was Entartiste member Pape-Tarte who is credited with scoring
the direct hit on Duchesneau. He's still pumped by the experience.
"I had tried every drug there was," Pape-Tarte says. "But
there is no high that compares with the Duchesneau hit. I'm addicted
now. So much that my friends want to get me into Pie Anonymous."