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HOUR 28 Mai 1998


The pie thrower's pledge: Today Duchesneau, tomorrow the world

Jacques Duchesneau didn't see the cream pie with his name on it until way too late. Even if he had, it's unlikely he would have seen the other four for wich he was also targeted.

As he made his way through the crowd of 2,000 well-heeled supporters at Windsor Station last week to launch his mayoralty campaign, Montreal's former police chief paid little heed to the flower girl with the large bouquet, or the cherubic bus boy with the curly locks trailing close behind. A career cop, he probably took the burly man in black for just another well-wishing colleague instead of the entarteur about to make him the latest victim of a vast international conspiracy.

Hour has learned that the cream-team that "hit" Duchesneau last week was composed of 11 co-conspirators. Five were armed with carefully concealed pies -chilled Reddi Whip in paper shells- and accompanied by a diversionary confederate. There was also one operations coordinator, subsequently identified as well-known Plateau prankster François Gourd, who drove the getaway car.

For Les Entartistes du Québec, it was imperative that a major Montreal figure be cream-pied before June 12 -the day when the crème de la crème of the pie-throwing world gathers here to sign an accord creating the international Patisserie Brigade. Protocol suggests one does not host a pie-throwing conference unless one has thrown a pie or two. Ergo Duchesneau.

Among those attending will be pie-thrower extraordinaire Noël Godin, the wily Belgian who organized the pie hit on Bill Gates that made front-page news around the world. The French coined the term entarteur -"thrower of cream pies"- to honour his exploits, wich have made him a diabolical legend among the international glitterati and a darling of the paparazzi.

Godin's sworn ennemies include "any and all authority, depressing laws, return of the moral order, nuclear power and any form of political power." His targets have included some of the biggest and brightest vedettes in the French intellectual and entertainment realm: director Jean-Luc Godard, choreographer Maurice Béjart, film producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier -and France's best-known television anchorman, Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, creamed by Godin as he jogged through the streets of Paris.

Godin's greatest success has been an ongoing personnal vendetta with French philosopher Bernard Henri Lévy. "He's the worst," says Godin. "He represents empty, vanity-filled litterature. He is totally in love with himself to the most spectacular degree of imbecility."

Godin and his accomplices have scored cream bull's-eyes on Lévy no fewer than five times, most memorabily in May 1994 as the Parisian intellectual was on a stage at the Cannes Film Festival.

"There are a thousand forms of subversion," according to Godin. "All of them are interesting, but few, in my opinion, equal the convenience and immediacy of the cream pie."

As scholar and practitioner, Godin can trace the lineage of his art form back through the silent films of Mack Senett, the Marx Brothers, Wile E. Coyote and the Yippies of the late, lamentable Nixon era. One person he looks forward to meeting here in Montreal is Yippie veteran Aron Kay, the original "Pieman", who will head the US delegation. Pieman's list of confirmed hits includes former CIA director William Colby, notorious homophobe Anita Bryant, conservative guru William F Buckley Jr, all the original Watergate conspirators, and Andy Warhol for hanging out with the Shah of Iran.

Pieman came up through the alternative ranks via the Berkeley Barb and the Underground Press of 1968-69 San Franscisco. As chief pie thrower for the infamous PieKill Inc. -a "cream-pies-for-hire" Yippie venture- he was as much a part of that scene as Abbie Hoffman or Jerry Rubin. Today he maintains a graphic-intensive website devoted to pie-throwing and pie-throwers around the world (www.pieman.org).

Internationnaly, pie-throwing is about to take off. Following the successful examples of Godin and the Pieman, cadres of budding entarteurs are springing up in Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Switzerland, where five cabinet ministers were recently pied simultaneously. Les Entartistes du Qc have been meeting and plotting on the Internet (www.dsuper.net/~aboyeur/tarte.html) and in neighboroud parks of the Plateau for three months in advance of their June 12 "conference-cum-cabaret" at the Lion d'Or.

One consequence of the conference could be the merger of several pie corporations. "In these days of globalization, we're simply following up the currents", said "Pop-Pie", nom-de-guerre of the entarteur who carried out the Duchesneau hit. "Everyone's merging with everyone else, and, tough we see things differently, we're no different."

In the parlance of the military-industrial complex, he and his fellow believers in pie power see the world as one huge, target-rich environment.

"We are just beginning," says Godin. "A genuine International Brigade Patisserie has been born. We believe that we are capable of achieving great things in the very near future".

When asked who's next, as Les Entartistes du Qc toasted Jacques Duchesneau in a local watering-hole, "Pie-gal", the flower girl responded: "Look in your newspaper. The list is right there. No politician is safe, no banker is safe -nobody is safe now that we're here."


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