The Pie is Flat
April 23, 2008 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Thomas Friedman pied in the face on Earth day by the Greenwash Guerillas at Brown.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi (153 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
His talk, titled “Green is the new Red White and Blue” was about how corporate environmentalism...can restore America to its “natural place in the global order.”

Did he really say that? I hope someone kicked him in the arse too!
posted by furtive at 4:13 PM on April 23, 2008


Folks who do this should be arrested for assault. And we shouldn't give them press here on Metafilter.

and, yes, I'm a crabby old guy, no need to tell me what I already know!
posted by HuronBob at 4:13 PM on April 23, 2008 [8 favorites]


Uh-huh. Perpetrate criminal assault on a person who's greener than most, just because you don't like his particular shade of green.

Good way to ensure that my opinion, whatever it is, is the opposite of yours, Greenwash Guerillas. I think I'm gonna go burn a couple of tires now, and top that off with a couple of Big Macs and some useless consumer goods in clamshell packaging. Which I will then shred and scatter in the ocean.

In short: fuck you.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 4:16 PM on April 23, 2008 [14 favorites]


If the cake is a lie, then the truth must be pie.
posted by isopraxis at 4:18 PM on April 23, 2008 [12 favorites]


It's a sign that maybe so-called "environmental radicals" have gone too far when they get booed even at Brown. Brown never met a hippie they didn't like, but even for them there's a line.

Seems like the attackers succeeded in annoying everyone who came with an open mind to hear a speaker speak, made a mess on the floor, and came across as smug hippies who are afraid of opposing viewpoints.

And I agree with HuronBob; why are we giving them more attention for their juvenile antics?
posted by Leon-arto at 4:18 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


greener than most: you're talking about the fact that he married into billions?
posted by geos at 4:19 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


On second glance, I suppose context is everything:

"natural place" could mean hegemony, or it could mean low environmental footprint.

"global order" could mean a post 9/11 neocon paradise, or it could mean playing nice with the sky, water and biology of this planet.

Could someone elaborate as to which one it is?
posted by furtive at 4:20 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


*reminds self to always check to see if Friedman is in town so he can kick him in the nuts for his horrible writing, regardless of his environmental stance.*

On preview: Good lord, ya'll need to drink a glass of water and take a dump. I think you'll be much happier.
posted by sleepy pete at 4:21 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I used to think throwing pies at pompous windbags was kind of funny, but now I realize the people doing the pieing are those same goons who beat drums at protest rallies and walk around stilts. Or better yet, hoist up paper-mache puppets. So screw 'em.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:22 PM on April 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


greener than most: you're talking about the fact that he married into billions?

No, I'm not talking about that, because it's so irrelevant that it almost redefines the word. It's the archetype of irrelevancy. If all the irrelevancy in the world was hand-formed into a single ball of meaninglessness and cast into oblivion....

Y'know what, I can't even finish the metaphor, that's how irrelevant it is.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 4:26 PM on April 23, 2008


I have limited to no sympathy for Friedman, but perhaps in six months I'll feel differently.

He's one of the loonies who has been a neverending source of cheerleading, watercarrying, and outright lying on behalf of Bush's War. Regardless of what his position is on any other issue, regardless of whether or not he was at Brown to discuss any other issue, he's been so consistantly, and stupidly, wrong on Bush's War that he shouldn't have any credibility and people ought to laugh him off any stage he's idiot enough to climb onto.

That said, pies in the face are juvinile and don't make anything resembling a political statement. But still, he's an accomplace to Bush's ego trip in Iraq, so screw him.
posted by sotonohito at 4:26 PM on April 23, 2008 [6 favorites]


I am trying to decide whether Tom Friedman or the Greenwash Guerillas annoy me more.



Nope, still not sure. Huh.
posted by naoko at 4:27 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


ten pounds of inedita writes "Uh-huh. Perpetrate criminal assault on a person who's greener than most, just because you don't like his particular shade of green."

Well, he did have a mighty large bully pulpit from which to preach his enthusiasm for invading Iraq, and that war is responsible for epic amounts of pollution. Oh, but killing tens of thousands of innocents means they won't be polluting, right? So it's kinda green to support wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians. I see what you did there.
posted by mullingitover at 4:29 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Upon actually watching the video: pied in the arm is more like it. If you're going to pie someone, at least get it right.
posted by naoko at 4:29 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think I'm gonna go burn a couple of tires now, and top that off with a couple of Big Macs and some useless consumer goods in clamshell packaging. Which I will then shred and scatter in the ocean.

That'll show 'em. A pie in the face of Thomas Friedman and you're ready to rage against the earth.
posted by ornate insect at 4:29 PM on April 23, 2008


Did the pie throwers tell Friedman to "suck on this" when they pied him?
posted by NoMich at 4:31 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Top 10 in Greenwashing by #1
posted by hortense at 4:33 PM on April 23, 2008


For me it's what happened after the pie hits that's important. Did poor wittle Tommy get his feelings hurt by the bad protestors?
posted by Xurando at 4:33 PM on April 23, 2008


Mmmmmmmmm...arm pie.
posted by horsemuth at 4:36 PM on April 23, 2008


Is this where we get to rant about obnoxious and ulimately self defeating activists? Good, because I have a bone to pick with Critical Mass. Those guys are dicks.
posted by psmealey at 4:36 PM on April 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


I can't tell who lowers the quality of discourse more: Friedman or pie throwers.

Haha yea, you're right. It's Friedman.
posted by basicchannel at 4:36 PM on April 23, 2008 [8 favorites]


If you're angry about lies and hypocrisy or whatever, use your brains or use your voice. Violence is incremental. I'd hate it if the pie-throwers were in charge. In fact, the pie-throwers are in charge. These folks represent what they are attacking.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:37 PM on April 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


M'yeah, I can definitely understand how some people think he deserves it - he's sort of a preacher of "the status quo is perfect" variety.
posted by peppito at 4:40 PM on April 23, 2008


Those little Hostess pies would be easier to throw.
posted by washburn at 4:41 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just hope they yelled out Suck On This! as they pied him.

Fuck that guy.
posted by delmoi at 4:46 PM on April 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


At least it wasn't a fruit pie. Oh wait... that was Anita Bryant, wasn't it?

I'm with those who think the piers (that'd be "those who pie") should be charged. I also happen to think that "From Beirut to Jerusalem" is one of the best books I've ever read about the Middle East.

No trees were harmed in the keyboarding of this post, but thousands of pixils were brutally regimented into a new world order.
posted by Mike D at 4:49 PM on April 23, 2008


If you're angry about lies and hypocrisy or whatever, use your brains or use your voice. Violence is incremental. I'd hate it if the pie-throwers were in charge. In fact, the pie-throwers are in charge. These folks represent what they are attacking.

On come on. This guy cheered Bush on when he invaded Iraq, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Is my heart supposed to go out too him because he was humiliated by some pranksters?

Whatever.
posted by delmoi at 4:51 PM on April 23, 2008 [12 favorites]


"criminal assault"? "attackers"? "Violence"?

It was a couple of goddamn pies, for Christ's sake. Was it lame? Yes, but unless the pies were laced with cyanide, not that huge of a deal.

And no, KokoRyu, the pie-throwers are not in charge. The bomb-droppers are in charge.
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:52 PM on April 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


Wow, a lot of hate towards people who care and defense of the Establishment on MeFi tonight.
posted by DU at 4:52 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm so sick of the arrogant pundit class and all the empty talk about "going green" that a million pies probably isn't enough. To be outraged at this because it lowers the quality of discourse is absurd when most of the media is working hard at doing that every day.
posted by palidor at 4:53 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


it doesn't really matter what he stood for... I hate bush, I hate the war.. and I hate activist/idiots that take away the rights of others.....

his "humiliation" isn't the issue, it's deeper than that....
posted by HuronBob at 4:55 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm so sick of the arrogant pundit class and all the empty talk about "going green" that a million pies probably isn't enough.

Could you imagine the carbon footprint of a million pies, though?! Completely unsustainable.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:55 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


people who care

People who care do useful things.
posted by everichon at 4:56 PM on April 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


I think this whole "pie-ing" thing is stupid. I hate Friedman as much as the next lefty, but if a couple of frat boys had jumped on stage somewhere and pied, say, David Suzuki, would those of you who think this is a barrel of laughs still be cheering them on?
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:57 PM on April 23, 2008


Listen, Friedman may be a sh|thead, but some moe that hits me in the face/arm with a pie is gonna get his/her ASS kicked, that's for sure.

Everybody here looks like a jerk. (I probably would too, after kicking a pie-thrower's ass, breaking their fingers and tearing off their clothes to clean the cream off , but you gotta pick your battles.)

what.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:03 PM on April 23, 2008


a) good post title

b) what up with the dicks here? although they always come out in the blue in defense of 'respectability' or whatever they call it; whether it was against the 'turn your back on cheney's grad speech' few years ago, pies in the face, or colbert's incredible truth-to-power speech in 2006 in front of bush, there'll always be 'ooh i'm super leftist BUT' who insist on little livejournal posts as a perfickly acceptable response to billionare warmongers, instead of the humiliation, shame and protest which has traditionally been one of the few outlets available to the underclasses.

in short, huron bob, leon-arto and especially ten pounds of inedita: fuck you. go eat your big-macs AMIRITE!?
posted by yonation at 5:06 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, a lot of hate towards people who care and defense of the Establishment on MeFi tonight.

You don't have to think that Friedman is right to think that the pie-throwers are counter-productive idiots. There's nothing "establishment" about thinking that this stunt just makes the rest of the green movement look juvenile.
posted by Leon-arto at 5:06 PM on April 23, 2008 [12 favorites]


Of all the people to pie for environmental crimes... Tom Friedman?! Seriously? Not an oil executive or a logger or someone getting out of an SUV in the parking lot? Or, really, any of the millions of people who can't be bothered to recycle their cans (rather than a guy who apparently cares, but has methods you disagree with)

Just some bored kids looking to be a youtube hit, I think.
posted by meta_eli at 5:07 PM on April 23, 2008


I support all pies in faces. I strongly believe they are preferable to more extreme alternatives.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:10 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


People who care do useful things.

I'm sure they'd be happy to follow your leadership, if you have some good ideas. I mean, other than snarking on fellow travelers on a website.
posted by DU at 5:12 PM on April 23, 2008


People, people, *please!* Can we please stop talking about pies and get on with the Friedman Hate?

Seriously, fuck Thomas Friedman.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:12 PM on April 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


instead of the humiliation, shame and protest which has traditionally been one of the few outlets available to the underclasses.

Let me be the first to tell you that there is nothing "underclass" about kids at the Ivy League instutition that is Brown. You're far more likely to find trustafian kids there than anybody who has actually ever dealt with oppression. It's hard to get a good look at the kids who ran on stage, but my guess is that the only possible way they could be "underclass" would be if they were freshmen.
posted by Leon-arto at 5:14 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am again reminded of this. I agree with Leon-arto et al., what a waste of everyone's time.
posted by Spacelegoman at 5:15 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, he did have a mighty large bully pulpit from which to preach his enthusiasm for invading Iraq, and that war is responsible for epic amounts of pollution.

Interesting how the GG page makes no mention of that, so it strikes me as being (again) particularly irrelevant. If that's why GG did it, I suspect they would have said so. I think he's a goof for his support of Bush's war, sure. Doesn't mean he should be assaulted for it. And in this case, he wasn't.

That'll show 'em.

It's a symbolic protest, much like me telling you that I'm not paying attention to your other contributions to this thread.

Yonation, don't be that guy. You know: the hypocrite who calls out people for being dicks while studiously ignoring the note at the bottom of the page. "not at other members of the site."

Flagged, btw.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 5:17 PM on April 23, 2008


It's a sign that maybe so-called "environmental radicals" have gone too far when they get booed even at Brown. Brown never met a hippie they didn't like, but even for them there's a line.

Whoa, now. Brown is far as hell from being a hippie school. Disruptive activist events, when they do happen, are few and far between, and mostly scorned by the larger university community. That "radical" reputation is really exaggerated.
posted by lunit at 5:18 PM on April 23, 2008


yonation...before you go telling people to get fucked, perhaps you should learn a little about who you're talking to.... and, it has nothing to do with "respectablility" whatever that means to you, it's not my word...
posted by HuronBob at 5:20 PM on April 23, 2008


What does metafilter hate more, cockiness or Friedman? Truly a Battle Royale.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 5:20 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good way to ensure that my opinion, whatever it is, is the opposite of yours

I'm still trying to wrap my head around how faulty the "logic" of this is.

If Ben takes "action x" due to "view y," and Sally disagrees with "action x," then whether or not that Sally agrees or disagrees with "view y," should remain unchanged: otherwise Sally has no convictions and is no more than a weather vane.

"Action x" is irrelevant to assessing Sally's own views, although it may cause her to re-articulate her commitment to the notion that "view y" does not and never can justify "action x." Otherwise it's just guilt-by-association, and by extension the action of any one person at any time somehow automatically negates the beliefs of everyone else who in any way share beliefs of the person who took the action.

An example: if someone throws a pie in the face of the Grand Dragon of the KKK, are you going to become a racist and burn a cross in a black family's lawn just to spite the pie-throwers, or, conversly, if you already are a racist, are you going to forswear your racism just to spite the pie-throwers? Presumably not in both cases, although I think we can all agree that racism and anti-racism are not ethically equivalent or symmetrical views: the former is ignorant and wrong, and the latter is reasonable and good.

The poster reveals a deep seated ambivalence towards "environementalism" as a conceptual construct by tellingly indicating how this one event could trigger his wholesale rejection of whatever view the pie-throwers hold. We can rest assured the poster would not have said "my opinion, whatever it is, is the opposite" of the pie throwers, if the person who got pied was a convicted child murderer. Although then the poster might have said that even a child murderer does not deserve a pie in his or her face. And it may be that the poster is correct.

Although a pie is not a bullet, and if someone I admire like Al Gore or Noam Chomsky or Nelson Mandela were pied by a right winger, I don't think I would suddenly erupt in a fit of anger. I don't even think I would care. It is just a pie, after all, and proportion is the soul of ethical behavior.
posted by ornate insect at 5:22 PM on April 23, 2008 [6 favorites]


huronbob, tenpounds, thank you for flagging me. in this you demonstrate exactly my point. perhaps my words were strong, but it really gets to me that every time something like this happens, people take such offense at the act rather than who was acted upon. obviously its cheesy to throw pies at friedman; but the point of doing it in front of the whole brown grad event and the various people attending makes it an event that really speaks truth to power, especially to someone like friedman who shouts daily from his cherry NY podium to the masses below.

disclaiming that one is a lefty, doesn't like friedman, etc does not really address the important performative act that is shaming a public figure.

meanwhile, leon-arto: i agree with you that brown attendees are not quite the underclass that others are. but yet, i wager if someone truly from an underclass would perform a physical act like that on some authority the police would be instantly involved.
posted by yonation at 5:24 PM on April 23, 2008


Lowering the level of discourse is an important consideration. What statement did this make? Friedman is an ass? What does this act accomplish? Some people who dislike Friedman (and I can't stand him) are going to agree with the pie throwers, some people who dislike Friedman are going to be turned off by the tactic used and be more sympathetic to Friedman and people that liked Friedman are not going to be swayed by a pie in the face. The net result is negative from the point of view of the pie throwers (presumably). I wish "activists" like this would devote their time to building bridges and attempting to effectuate actual change rather than making worthless statements that seem to be more about seeking personal attention than drawing attention to issues or initiating discourse.
posted by Falconetti at 5:25 PM on April 23, 2008


really speaks truth to power

On preview: Are you kidding? How does this speak truth to power? How low are our expectations?
posted by Falconetti at 5:27 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


i wager if someone truly from an underclass would perform a physical act like that on some authority the police would be instantly involved.

Maybe the police should be involved here.
posted by Leon-arto at 5:28 PM on April 23, 2008


but i think that its not lowering the level of discourse. again, there is a long long history, anthropologically speaking, of symbolic events aligning themselves with social justice movements. whether its dance-ins in hippie america or argentine carnivale during the peronists; medieval european jesters or mummers in philly. there's a reason, therefore, that right-wingers love to laugh at activists for these very reasons, as in that stupid cartoon that Spacelegoman linked to above.

disrupting the performance of everyday life is a very powerful act, and maintaining that there needs to be a minimal level of 'discourse', while valuable, often entails adhering to the discourse and vernacular set up by those in power. by denying these spaces for decentering power discourses, we allow the other side to set the terms, context and language of the debate, and battle them on their terrain.
posted by yonation at 5:32 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


What annoys me about this prank is that they clearly did not hit his face. I was promised pie in the face. This was pie in the arm. Efficacy of pie-throwing aside, we should all come together to condemn this injustice.
posted by scottreynen at 5:33 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


4-22! NEVAR FORGET!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:34 PM on April 23, 2008


Attacking Friedman is ludicrous. The man is in no one's pocket. He is an open-minded free thinker and has criticized many administrations along the way. He is an intelligent, peaceful person who deserves better. Doing antics like this and posting them on YouTube is petty and counterproductive, wouldn't you think? I have no sympathy for the likes of you though we all share a love for Mother Earth and have differing opinions as to how to make the future a better one for us all. How much $$ are your parents paying to send you to university anyway? Grow up!
posted by tangenjill at 5:35 PM on April 23, 2008


denying these spaces for decentering power discourses

Trust me, spoiled kids of rich parents at an Ivy League institution could have their parents build whatever kinds of spaces they want.
posted by Leon-arto at 5:35 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


yonation, point taken. I think you are right that there is a social history of targeted disruption as a means of social protest. But, I am truly baffled by this symbolic protest since on its face I have no idea what the Greenwash Guerillas are attempting to convey by their act. I also think the mainstream debate on environmental issues to be fairly productive and not unduly constrained by the discourse of those in power. When Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave the Black Panther salute on the awards podium during the Olympics, that was a powerful statement of disruption, especially int he wake of the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. This seems clownish (literally) and juvenile, evoking eye rolling more than anything else.
posted by Falconetti at 5:40 PM on April 23, 2008


I'm still trying to wrap my head around how faulty the "logic" of this is.

The logic is simple: if you're an ass, your opinion is wrong, and actions which piss you off are fun and worthwhile.

This ain't rocket surgery.

it really gets to me that every time something like this happens, people take such offense at the act rather than who was acted upon

She was askin' for it, with her low-cut dress.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 5:44 PM on April 23, 2008


Here is the wiki article on pieing

And here is a list of pied politicians and CEOs

And here is Bill Gates getting pied

Not condoning it, not celebrating it, just providing context.

I have to say that, disagree or agree, as a form of political theater it sure beats something where someone gets hurt. A little perspective might be in order here.
posted by ornate insect at 5:45 PM on April 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


The logic is simple: if you're an ass, your opinion is wrong, and actions which piss you off are fun and worthwhile

ten pounds of inedita--let's review your original screed:

Good way to ensure that my opinion, whatever it is, is the opposite of yours, Greenwash Guerillas. I think I'm gonna go burn a couple of tires now, and top that off with a couple of Big Macs and some useless consumer goods in clamshell packaging. Which I will then shred and scatter in the ocean. In short: fuck you.

My response, which you appear not to have read, was to indicate the logical fallacy inherent in your comments. To review: if a child rapist gets pied, will you want to vent about how much you want to rape children now, just to spite the pie-throwers? Would you switch your view so that child rape is now not wrong?

Anyone who goes into a tizzy over A PIE being thrown would appear to have some rage issues. And anyone who throws their opinions to the wind at the slightest provocation was probably looking for an excuse to jettison those opinions in the first place.

It is precisely the ambiguity you have about what the pie throwers were standing for that makes your rage so predictable. I think we can all agree Thomas Friedman is not a child rapist, but I am asking you to see the flaw in your logic and not in your opinions (and there is a difference).
posted by ornate insect at 5:56 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't give a shit if they pied him or not. My gut reaction when I hear his name is still -- always -- "Fuck that guy."
posted by inoculatedcities at 5:57 PM on April 23, 2008


If this is worst Friedman has to endure after all his cheerleading for the war, then he's got nothing to complain about. He wasn't injured or ever in danger, and throwing pies at pompous windbags is a harmless, time-honored tradition. I'll save my outrage for the people who drop bombs on other people.
posted by homunculus at 5:57 PM on April 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


...and this comes from someone who has read both From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World Is Flat.
posted by inoculatedcities at 5:59 PM on April 23, 2008


If throwing a pie is assault, then throwing a kiss is rape.

Have some perspective, please.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:00 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


So I once opened up one of Friedman's books, and there on the first page was a little intelligence test. Friedman wrote something like 'if it goes down thirty percent and then goes up thirty percent, it is unchanged at the end."

So that's the little intelligence test. Friedman flunked it. I guess his editor did too.

I closed the book and put it back.

[For those as challenged as Friedman:
Start with 1000. 30% of 1000 is 300. Down 30% is 1000-300, or 700.

Now back up. 30% of 700 is 210. Up 30% is 700+210, or 910.

910 does not equal 1000.]
posted by hexatron at 6:04 PM on April 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


My response, which you appear not to have read, was to indicate the logical fallacy inherent in your comments.

My response was pretty clear. I don't see Friedman as being the ass. I would see the child rapist as being the ass. Don't mistake the fact that I didn't respond to each word you lovingly handcrafted for not having read it. It just wasn't worth responding to. My logic is sound.

Anyone who goes into a tizzy over A PIE being thrown would appear to have some rage issues.

As opposed to the people actually committing assault? Does not follow.

makes your rage so predictable

Out comes the personal attack. And I'm the one with rage? If you listen very hard, you'll hear me laughing at you and moving on to talk with the grownups.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 6:04 PM on April 23, 2008


I guess if I was really concerned with lowering the level of discourse I wouldn't participate in contentious Metafilter threads.
posted by Falconetti at 6:11 PM on April 23, 2008


If throwing a pie is assault, then throwing a kiss is rape.

Interestingly, the law appears to disagree with you. In several jurisdictions. At least, this is my assumption, since to the best of my knowledge nobody has been charged with rape for throwing a kiss, much less been convicted of it, whereas pie-throwers have been convicted of assault or battery.

I didn't use the word lightly; it is wholly accurate.

Seriously, folks, get some perspective. Freidman isn't a criminal. He isn't some irredeemable outcast to be shunned. The people who did it didn't even do it because he's a Bad Bush-Loving Pro-War Chucklehead.

He was assaulted because people disagreed with him. I am, of course, unsurprised by the crossover between those lovely members of our community who think it's appropriate to take the first shot and make it personal when they disagree with a simple opinion, and those lovely members of our community who think that it's good that Freidman was pied.

Where those two sets meet, you folks can gabble on to your hearts' content. The grownups will be over here.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 6:12 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


ornate insect beat me to it. Pies in the face is sort of a tradtion. Friedman should be honored.
posted by ryanhealy at 6:13 PM on April 23, 2008


ten pounds--so a child rapist deserves a pie in the face, but Thomas Friedman does not? IF that's the case, then it's clear your opinion has nothing to do with the act of the pie throwing at all, since you only would condemn pie throwing if it's done to someone who you think does not deserve it. This is a kind of pathologically circular reasoning that must make your every action easy to self-justify.

Now let's review your quote and the rage it implies:

I think I'm gonna go burn a couple of tires now, and top that off with a couple of Big Macs and some useless consumer goods in clamshell packaging. Which I will then shred and scatter in the ocean. In short: fuck you.

Saying you are going to take a big eco-dump in the ocean, which by its very nature cannot throw pies or defend itself, just b/c you're pissed at some Brown students, is not only illogical, out of proportion and evidence of some possible deep psychological disturbance on your part, but is just really crass and insulting.

I'm sure you meant it to be provocative, but an image of polluting the earth (commiting "assault" on the ecosytem and on those of us not yet born who may want to eat fish) just to spite some pie throwers is not just gratuitous, it's downright reprehensible.
posted by ornate insect at 6:18 PM on April 23, 2008


Based on what I've read by Thomas Friedman I think a pie in the face is just what the man needs. I remeber reading an OpEd by him where he compared the Palestinians to crocodiles in the sense that they were dangerous vermin, so yeah fuck that guy.
posted by nola at 6:19 PM on April 23, 2008


A pie in the face is in fact a political statement. It says "You are so ridiculous that you deserve mockery and humiliation, not being treated as an honest and full member of the discussion and therefore being opposed with actual arguments."

Greenwashing, for those who haven't heard the term, is when a corporation spends lots of money on initiatives intended to spread the idea that they are ecologically friendly- rather than spending money on actually becoming ecologically friendly. Corporate environmental PR campaigns, of the sort that Friedman promotes...
His talk, titled “Green is the new Red White and Blue” was about how corporate environmentalism...can restore America to its “natural place in the global order.”
...are perfect examples.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:19 PM on April 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


the important performative act that is shaming a public figure.

Is that honestly what this did? Do you think Friedman feels shamed by this noble act of righteous indignation? Will he now see the error of his ways, and recant all of his previously held positions, whatever they might have been?

I don't think so.

Ok, on the one hand, getting hit with a pie is not the same as getting pistol whipped, night-sticked in the sternum, or hit with a baseball bat, but I think elevating it with that kind of hyperbole is just as ridiculous.

Getting hit with a Hostess Fruit Pie would really fucking hurt, though. Are you kidding me? Those things are like 6 oz of lead.
posted by psmealey at 6:20 PM on April 23, 2008


So I once opened up one of Friedman's books, and there on the first page was a little intelligence test. Friedman wrote something like 'if it goes down thirty percent and then goes up thirty percent, it is unchanged at the end

You can read the first pages of all of his books on Amazon. None of them appear to have any such thing.

Do you recall what book it was? It seems far more likely that he wrote "is it?" rather than "it is." since the latter isn't a test at all (it implies that the only test is to know that 30 equals 30).
posted by Leon-arto at 6:21 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Could you imagine the carbon footprint of a million pies, though?! Completely unsustainable.

A million pies? Look, I'll give it a shot. Just let me get my fork.
posted by loquacious at 6:29 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Attacking Friedman is ludicrous. The man is in no one's pocket. He is an open-minded free thinker and has criticized many administrations along the way. He is an intelligent, peaceful person who deserves better.
"If NATO's only strength is that it can bomb forever, then it has to get every ounce out of that. Let's at least have a real air war. The idea that people are still holding rock concerts in Belgrade, or going out for Sunday merry-go-round rides, while their fellow Serbs are 'cleansing' Kosovo, is outrageous. It should be lights out in Belgrade: every power grid, water pipe, bridge, road and war-related factory has to be targeted."

"If [the Sunnis] come around, a decent outcome in Iraq is still possible, and we should stay to help build it. If they won't, then we are wasting our time. We should arm the Shiites and Kurds and leave the Sunnis of Iraq to reap the wind. We must not throw more good American lives after good American lives for people who hate others more than they love their own children."
Consider yourself lucky that the rest of the world isn't as ruthlessly, gleefully murderous as the American rich.
posted by stammer at 6:31 PM on April 23, 2008 [13 favorites]


Seriously, folks, get some perspective. Freidman isn't a criminal. He isn't some irredeemable outcast to be shunned.

Seriously, tenpounds, get some perspective. The pie-throwers aren't criminals. They aren't some irredeemable outcasts to be shunned.

Arguing that they should not have thrown the pie and that they should be disciplined is one thing, but arguing that they should be charged with assault and we should all be outrgaged at, and mortified by, what transpired--is quite another. Perspective indeed.
posted by ornate insect at 6:33 PM on April 23, 2008


They didn't even hit him in the face. Lamest pie-ing ever.
posted by mecran01 at 6:36 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


People really don't get it. This kind of thing is literally counterproductive. People see this sort of thing and decide that environmentalists are kooks.
posted by callmejay at 6:38 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


so a child rapist deserves a pie in the face, but Thomas Friedman does not?

Neither deserves a pie in the face. The child rapist does, presumably, deserve a prison sentence. One can therefore easily disagree with the act of pie-throwing, while still thinking that the wrongdoer should be punished.

A pie in the face is in fact a political statement. It says "You are so ridiculous that you deserve mockery and humiliation, not being treated as an honest and full member of the discussion and therefore being opposed with actual arguments."

And yet, it appears to be having the opposite effect. Perhaps it's not such a useful political statement. And anyway, this was a pie in the arm. You can't even hit the face, then YOU deserve the mockery and humiliation.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:41 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


disrupting the performance of everyday life is a very powerful act

100% wrong! If it was a powerful act, it would accomplish something. That's what power is. Pie throwing, those people who disrupt traffic in SF with their bikes, and other forms of deliberately disruptive petulance - tell me how those actions have changed ANYTHING.

maintaining that there needs to be a minimal level of 'discourse', while valuable, often entails adhering to the discourse and vernacular set up by those in power. by denying these spaces for decentering power discourses, we allow the other side to set the terms, context and language of the debate, and battle them on their terrain.

Too much Theory, too much Foucault. I'm so glad I concentrated on analytical philosophy instead of this rubbish. The "terms, context and language of the debate" is someone explaining his ideas in a speech - if you don't like his ideas, give a speech or write and essay of your own. If you think it's somehow unfair that he has a newspaper column and you have a blog no one reads, tough shit, it's a democracy. "Decentering power discourses", ie acting a douchebag and interrupting someone, is for people who are afraid their own words won't hold up.

PS: for the record I can't stand Friedman and think he relies far too much on paving over complex situations with metaphors.
posted by Spacelegoman at 6:42 PM on April 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


Who gives a fuck if it accomplishes anything? I want to see more pie on more faces than there are grains of sand in the sea.
posted by nola at 6:45 PM on April 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


As many have already noted, that was a pretty wet shit attempt at a pie in the face. You can't scamper off before the pie even leaves your hand. You can't throw from five feet away. If you don't got one hand pushing on the back of the dude's head and give the tin a good couple 90 degree turns before letting go you didn't pie somebody in the face, you lobbed a pie in someone's general direction. You basically spilled a plate full of failure all over the floor, asshole.
posted by The Straightener at 6:47 PM on April 23, 2008 [9 favorites]


Nola, so you're saying you support piethrowing for its potential to pwn motherfuckers rather than its potential to change the dialog. I can get behind that.
posted by Spacelegoman at 6:49 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


So I once opened up one of Friedman's books, and there on the first page was a little intelligence test. Friedman wrote something like 'if it goes down thirty percent and then goes up thirty percent, it is unchanged at the end."

WOW.

As opposed to the people actually committing assault? Does not follow.

If you think getting a pie in the face is criminal assault, you are a gigantic friggin' wuss.
posted by delmoi at 6:53 PM on April 23, 2008


Shut up about the pies already! C'mon, let's focus here...Thomas Friedman wrote a book, in the year 2005, claiming that the internet was a really neat invention that might change the world. And he said it seriously. And millions of people bought the book. And someone in this thread called him an "open minded free thinker." And they used their first comment *ever* to say this.

Sigh...it's too late. So much potential lost. I'm going back to the Dutch TV host pedophilia thread...carry on...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:54 PM on April 23, 2008


If a single pie in the face of Thomas Friedman--regardless of whether or not he deserved it, and regardless of whether or not it's a valid form of protest or just an an empty and counterproductive stunt--can elicit the strong reactions it has elicited here (and probably there is more anger here than even Friedman has, since he's probably been a good sport and just laughed it off), I think we as Americans may have both lost our sense of humor and entered a new era of collective political self-repression that would make the Swiss seem positively carefree.
posted by ornate insect at 6:55 PM on April 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


callmejay writes "People really don't get it. This kind of thing is literally counterproductive. People see this sort of thing and decide that environmentalists are kooks."

Ironically, they're moderates. Radical environmentalists wouldn't protest, they wouldn't burn a bunch of stupid SUVs or picket Wal-Mart.

Radical environmentalists would play along and burn up all the fossil fuel they could lay their hands on. They'd have hour-long commutes, live in their exurban mcmansions, basically burning up every available resource they could lay their hands on. Buying goods at the end of their ten thousand mile supply chains. Radical environmentalists know that the biosphere has bounced back from far worse than mankind, and the sooner the human blight burns itself down the sooner the recovery can begin.

The freeways here in LA are packed full of radical environmentalists. Few, if any, will admit their true goal.
posted by mullingitover at 6:59 PM on April 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


If a single pie in the face of Thomas Friedman--regardless of whether or not he deserved it, and regardless of whether or not it's a valid form of protest or just an an empty and counterproductive stunt--can elicit the strong reactions it has elicited here...

It's Metafilter, dude. It does not take much to elicit a strong reaction. These people will argue about anything.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:03 PM on April 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


Leon-Arto:
So I once opened up one of Friedman's books, and there on the first page was a little intelligence test. Friedman wrote something like 'if it goes down thirty percent and then goes up thirty percent, it is unchanged at the end
You can read the first pages of all of his books on Amazon. None of them appear to have any such thing.
On Amazon, you can read the first page of the first chapter.
But you can not read the first page of the preface or introduction.

I think the book was Flat, but it may have been The Lexus and the Whatsis
I also noticed that Flat has a NEW preface.

And Friedman's been chanelling Henny Youngman:
"My doctor gave me six months to live. I told him I couldn't pay him. He gave me another six months!"
posted by hexatron at 7:04 PM on April 23, 2008


Radical environmentalists know that the biosphere has bounced back from far worse than mankind, and the sooner the human blight burns itself down the sooner the recovery can begin.

So dramatic!
posted by mr_roboto at 7:04 PM on April 23, 2008


I'm all for pie-ing bad, bestselling writers. Can Malcolm Gladwell be next?
posted by thivaia at 7:05 PM on April 23, 2008


I'm all for pie-ing bad, bestselling writers. Can Malcolm Gladwell be next?

That would be the tipping point.
posted by ornate insect at 7:07 PM on April 23, 2008 [6 favorites]


Indeed.
posted by thivaia at 7:13 PM on April 23, 2008


I'm from Metafilter and I can overthink a plate of pie.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:17 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was in a Boston area thrift store a couple years back when I found a crusty old composition book. As I leafed through it, I realized I had stumbled upon a magnificent relic, an artifact that captured the growth of a beautiful mind. Needless to say, I purchased the slim volume and have keyed in most of these journal entries and contacted an editor at Regis U. to see if I can get them published. Regardless, I've pasted below one of the better-written ones, from the mid-70s. Note the flow of the writing, the adroitness, the beautifully flailing metaphors. En-joy:

Breakout
My Brandeis U. roommate, Charlie, has lately taken a keen interest in a certain video game you might have heard of: Breakout. The concept is simple, with your paddle at the bottom of the screen, hit a ball and break all the bricks at the top of the screen. It's worth remembering, however, that Breakout builds on an earlier game named Pong. In Pong, the object was to get the ping-pong ball past your enemy to score points.

I couldn't help but thing that Pong was perfectly representative of our nation four years ago. As you will recall, it was when president Nixon made the decision to send no new draftees to Vietnam. It was at that time that the ping-pong ball of national opinion was slapped by unwashed protesters past the paddle of sound foreign policy.

Now, however, a new ripple has been added, and boy is it big as all-get-out. Breakout is, arguably, an order of magnitude more complex than Pong, and the stakes increase proportionally. For every level of blocks that get broken through, the ball travels faster and faster. I recently spoke with Anthony Ferrita, the co-owner of Ferrita and Sons Pizzeria and the newly attached Arcade-o-Rama here in Waltham – which he had recently saved from bankruptcy and merged with his own operation – about this incredible advance in "video game" technology.

"It's been a good addition to the shop," he said in his thick, Sicilianly-affected English.

"You kids just come in and pump quarters into the damned video game things day-in and day-out. And for what? I don't know. By-the-slice and soda sales have gotten really big, especially since we broke down the wall and merged the pizzeria and the arcade. I really didn't think this would work out the way it did, but there you have it. Let me get back to the oven, son. I'm busy."

All this seems pretty straightforward, but in my experience, nobody with the wisdom of Tony Ferrita speaks literally. Breaking down walls? Merging? Back to the oven?

I think I understand. My word, how incredibly, poignantly insightful Tony is. His own business and a simple "video game" masterfully reflect the larger reality in East Asia. Just last week, on the 2nd of July, North and South Vietnam united to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The breakout is complete.

The dominoes are starting to fall, folks.

-TF
posted by cog_nate at 7:29 PM on April 23, 2008 [12 favorites]


yonation you twit... I didn't "flag" you... I don't give that much of a shit about what you say.
posted by HuronBob at 7:30 PM on April 23, 2008


See also: Write your own Thomas Friedman column!
posted by cog_nate at 7:31 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


99 comments about a pie-spattered-economist and not a single pie chart pun?

I am disappointed in all of you.
posted by rokusan at 7:34 PM on April 23, 2008


Throw molotovs, not pies!
posted by stet at 7:34 PM on April 23, 2008


Direct action gets the goods.
posted by jsonic at 7:43 PM on April 23, 2008


rokusan writes "99 comments about a pie-spattered-economist and not a single pie chart pun?"

Here, let's put this whole thing in perspective.
posted by mullingitover at 8:05 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you watch the Suck. On. This clip and then the Brown pie clip it's kind of funny.

I feel like a lot more people would have been behind this if they got him on the face.
posted by minkll at 8:09 PM on April 23, 2008


Like school in the summertime: no class.

Too bad the pie-throwing-hippy-shitbags didn't try this down south. They'd get their asses tazed.

(and for the record, I think Friedman's a tool who's always looking for the next big thing to write a book about. those of you who think his drumbeat was needed to start a war in Iraq have forgotten Bush would have bombed with or without Tommy)
posted by photoslob at 8:21 PM on April 23, 2008


*applauds*

*feels just terrible about it*
posted by mediareport at 8:21 PM on April 23, 2008


i think they should have thrown a plate of beans
posted by pyramid termite at 8:32 PM on April 23, 2008


Direct action gets the goods.

This is emphatically not direct action.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:40 PM on April 23, 2008


Folks who do this should be arrested for assault. And we shouldn't give them press here on Metafilter.

I agree they should be arrested. Because that actually gives weight to the message. Civil disobedience should gum up the system. And these folks should be prepared for that.

And, if I agree with the cause and nobody gets hurt, I will send them money for a defense fund.

I also think this kind of thing (perhaps not pies in the face but aggressive political theater in general) needs to be done and should be done.

But I disagree that we "shouldn't" be giving them press. Well. That is just goofy emotional nonsense. We give all sorts of things press. It's not like we automatically endorse or condone every activity posted here.
posted by tkchrist at 8:50 PM on April 23, 2008


Matt Taibbi wrote the best Thomas Friedman smackdown that anyone will ever write.
... Predictably, Friedman spends the rest of his huge book piling one insane image on top of the other, so that by the end—and I'm not joking here—we are meant to understand that the flat world is a giant ice-cream sundae that is more beef than sizzle, in which everyone can fit his hose into his fire hydrant, and in which most but not all of us are covered with a mostly good special sauce.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:54 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why a guy with a typewriter represents such a threat to the pie throwers. He writes articles. He doesn't burn down rainforests or pillage the landscape.
Surely the appropriate response to a guy who just writes articles is to pen your own counter-arguments.
The manifesto the pie throwers printed alongside their video sounds rather arrogant and immature. Their arguments are that Thomas Friedman, a journalist, deserves a humiliating pie in the face at a public event: "because of his sickeningly cheery applaud for free market capitalism's conquest of the planet ... for telling the world that the free market and techno fixes can save us from climate change ... these distractions are dangerous in and of themselves, while encouraging inaction with respect to the true problems at hand ... for helping turn environmentalism into a fake plastic consumer product for the privileged ... for his pure arrogance ... a the only way to compensate for the ridiculousness of having this fool speak on Earth Day."
This has to be some kind of parody of environmentalists because otherwise they sound like a bunch of little over-reacting brownshirts.
posted by Fracmaster at 9:12 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sometimes a pie is just a pie.
posted by Sailormom at 9:13 PM on April 23, 2008


If you want a vision of the future, imagine a pie hitting Thomas Friedman in the face-- forever.

But only if you want a vision of an awesome future.
posted by ibmcginty at 9:15 PM on April 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


This is emphatically not direct action.

That was my point.
posted by jsonic at 9:18 PM on April 23, 2008


This has to be some kind of parody of environmentalists because otherwise they sound like a bunch of little over-reacting brownshirts.

I think you've nailed it. It's interesting that they choose pie to silence their "opponents". Because it seems silly to argue that something like a pie can be used to hinder freedom of speech. But these guys are fundamentally anti-democratic.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:25 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


This has to be some kind of parody of environmentalists because otherwise they sound like a bunch of little over-reacting brownshirts.

"Brownshirts"? Really?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:28 PM on April 23, 2008


disrupting the performance of everyday life is a very powerful act

100% wrong! If it was a powerful act, it would accomplish something. That's what power is. Pie throwing, those people who disrupt traffic in SF with their bikes, and other forms of deliberately disruptive petulance - tell me how those actions have changed ANYTHING.


Tell that to Rosa Parks.
posted by humannaire at 9:36 PM on April 23, 2008


Too bad the pie-throwing-hippy-shitbags didn't try this down south. They'd get their asses tazed.

So it turns you on to imagine "pie-throwing-hippy-shitbags" getting "tazed"?

What is it about this country that it breeds so many twisted little crypto-fascists?
posted by ornate insect at 9:43 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Lame.
posted by empath at 9:54 PM on April 23, 2008


This pie throwing - steeped in symbolic tradition or not - is likely to simply garner more sympathy for Friedman among people who need the most persuading and educating - the vast middle ground. For a more effective approach to public accountability and public humiliation, I like what these Knox College students did by confronting Ashcroft on the issue of torture at one of his recent appearances.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:09 PM on April 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm from Metafilter and I can overthink a plate of pie.

Bean Pie recipes.
posted by ericb at 10:23 PM on April 23, 2008


Matt Taibbi wrote the best Thomas Friedman smackdown that anyone will ever write.

... and has been involved in a bit of extreme pie-throwing himself.
posted by BinGregory at 10:27 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


If a single pie in the face of Thomas Friedman--regardless of whether or not he deserved it, and regardless of whether or not it's a valid form of protest or just an an empty and counterproductive stunt--can elicit the strong reactions it has elicited here (and probably there is more anger here than even Friedman has, since he's probably been a good sport and just laughed it off), I think we as Americans may have both lost our sense of humor and entered a new era of collective political self-repression that would make the Swiss seem positively carefree.

Um, aren't you the same poster who's spent paragraphs waxing hyperbolic about child rapists and attempted to "indicate the logical fallacy inherent" in a piece of snark? Because that's some hard-core overthinking, there.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:38 PM on April 23, 2008


poor strategy. pie to face should be a surprise from below or behind. leaping up on stage directly in front of the target it would be more effective to, say, sport a ghoulish mask and wave your arms.
posted by ioesf at 10:44 PM on April 23, 2008


Matt Taibbi wrote the best Thomas Friedman smackdown that anyone will ever write.

... and has been involved in a bit of extreme pie-throwing himself.


Oh, yeah. Friedman really did get off easy.
posted by homunculus at 10:55 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you think getting a pie in the face is criminal assault, you are a gigantic friggin' wuss.

I believe spitting on someone is considered assault. I gather that it would follow, by the word of law, that a pie thrown is also assault.

Anyway I gots to get me one of his books if this is him summed up:

Friedman is such a genius of literary incompetence that even his most innocent passages invite feature-length essays.

Friedman is an important American. He is the perfect symbol of our culture of emboldened stupidity.

Goldmine!
posted by P.o.B. at 10:58 PM on April 23, 2008


For a more effective approach to public accountability and public humiliation, I like what these Knox College students did by confronting Ashcroft on the issue of torture at one of his recent appearances.

Nice find, madamjujujive. Those Knox students were a million times more productive than some pie-throwing twit.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:59 PM on April 23, 2008


Wow, I went to bed and look what happened. On the one hand, the pie throwers have been compared to Hilter's Sturmabteilung, and on the other, they are somehow analogous to Rosa Parks.

/scratches head

I don't think the word silly even begins to describe either reaction. I'm with madamjujujive, though, those Knox College kids got it right.
posted by psmealey at 1:40 AM on April 24, 2008


What would Moe Howard do?
posted by fairmettle at 2:38 AM on April 24, 2008


I'd like a word with his parents.
posted by Dizzy at 3:50 AM on April 24, 2008


disrupting the performance of everyday life is a very powerful act,

When it's a strike, a serious demo, or a Rosa Parks like act of civil disobedience maybe. Dance-ins and your other examples don't accomplish shit these days, other than being fun for the participants.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:02 AM on April 24, 2008


I'd like to beat Friedman with HuronBob's fish.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:26 AM on April 24, 2008


Who knew metafilter had battered wife syndrome?
posted by cytherea at 6:30 AM on April 24, 2008


aren't you the same poster who's spent paragraphs waxing hyperbolic about child rapists and attempted to "indicate the logical fallacy inherent" in a piece of snark? Because that's some hard-core overthinking, there.

oneirodynia, I don't think this comment...

Uh-huh. Perpetrate criminal assault on a person who's greener than most, just because you don't like his particular shade of green.Good way to ensure that my opinion, whatever it is, is the opposite of yours, Greenwash Guerillas. I think I'm gonna go burn a couple of tires now, and top that off with a couple of Big Macs and some useless consumer goods in clamshell packaging. Which I will then shred and scatter in the ocean. In short: fuck you.

...is snark, and frankly I'm amazed this vitriolic and hyperbolic comment, which is so over-the-top it seems just shy of insane, got 13 recommends.

With everything wrong in the world that might trigger a rant, the harmless prank of throwing a pie in the face of a NYT columnist is what seems, as if on cue, to set so many off here?

My comments were meant to add perspective, which appears in retrospect like trying to inject sense into a rightwing radio talkshow.

As long as people are more incensed by something like this than the real crimes being committed and the real corruption that infests our halls of power, and as long as we are are all trained like monkeys to overreact with petty aggression against the slightest sendup of the status quo, however mild, then we will have effectively policed ourselves, and the spirit of dissent that our country was founded on, into irrelevance.

I came into this thread with little commitment one way or another, but I leave with a sense that that our priorities are screwed up and that our anger is entirely misdirected.
posted by ornate insect at 6:42 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I believe spitting on someone is considered assault. I gather that it would follow, by the word of law, that a pie thrown is also assault.

Not at all. Obviously I only speak for myself here, but there is a difference: I regularly insert pie into my face voluntarily; the same could not be said regarding a gob of a stranger's phlegm.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:45 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tragic waste of pies. I'm sure they were misled before deployment.
posted by hojoki at 7:08 AM on April 24, 2008


The best part of the video was at ~27s where the guy who later goes up on stage to help Friedman gives this resigned look to his compatriot like "well, here we go..."

Pretty weak pie shots, and fairly far from the face. They're clearly not worth of the title 'guerillas'. At least Friedman got off that lovely burned-orange blazer first.

I haven't respected Friedman in a while now, but this kind of derailment fails to impress. I think it's telling the GG themselves posted it under 'comedy' with tags such as 'prank' rather than under 'political' or anything more serious...because it's a fucking joke.

And cream pies as assault? Americans are hilarious like that (athough they're not alone in taking personal sanctity over-the-top, IMO). I wonder if the law needs some sort of 'couldn't cause harm but is almost like assault' categorey to include things like this and spitting, for example.

sidenote: MeFi's spellcheck keeps telling me 'dialogue' is spelled wrong. Plz stop.
posted by cosmonik at 7:18 AM on April 24, 2008


sidenote: MeFi's spellcheck keeps telling me 'dialogue' is spelled wrong. Plz stop.

sidesidenote: To MeFi, dialogue is correctly spelled dialog.

posted by humannaire at 7:48 AM on April 24, 2008


Here's the huffington post write-up.

Also, the girl who did it has written a letter to the Brown Daily Herald. It'll be published tomorrow. Stay tuned.
posted by lunit at 7:54 AM on April 24, 2008


Here's the editorial printed in today's Brown Daily Herald.
posted by lunit at 8:05 AM on April 24, 2008


Don't pie me, bro.
posted by The Bellman at 8:49 AM on April 24, 2008


A Cool-Whip pie?

What happened to hippies baking their own earth-friendly pies?
posted by monospace at 9:05 AM on April 24, 2008


Have people read Friedman's column on how "9/11 made us stupid"? I thought it was pretty right on.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:07 AM on April 24, 2008


but i think that its not lowering the level of discourse. again, there is a long long history, anthropologically speaking, of symbolic events aligning themselves with social justice movements. whether its dance-ins in hippie america

Yes, and that accomplished fuck-all besides making some people think that self-indulgent "happenings" could lead to political change, which they do not.

or argentine carnivale during the peronists; medieval european jesters or mummers in philly.

Your misunderstanding of carnivale and jesters is deep, here, carnivale did not originate in Peron's Argentina, where it served the same purpose as carnivales since the middle ages, a sanctioned time and place for the disruption and violation of social norms, where such norms are thereby reinforced. Carnivale, as well as jesters, people employed, as it were, by the ruling class, are in no way aligned with social justice movements.
posted by Snyder at 9:29 AM on April 24, 2008


sidesidenote: To MeFi, dialogue is correctly spelled dialog.

sidesidesidenote: dear Gods, you're right...*shudder*...this place is sicker than I thought.
posted by cosmonik at 9:59 AM on April 24, 2008



If Ben takes "action x" due to "view y," and Sally disagrees with "action x," then whether or not that Sally agrees or disagrees with "view y," should remain unchanged: otherwise Sally has no convictions and is no more than a weather vane.

"Action x" is irrelevant to assessing Sally's own views, although it may cause her to re-articulate her commitment to the notion that "view y" does not and never can justify "action x."



So you're the guy who put together the logic questions on the mensa test.
posted by notreally at 10:10 AM on April 24, 2008


Have people read Friedman's column on how "9/11 made us stupid"? I thought it was pretty right on.

I love you f_o_f, you're my favorite MeFi guitarist, but I remember that piece, and I remember being really frustrated by it. If be "we" he means the press, the media and politicians, I would say that he has a point. But he doesn't. He means all Americans. That "we" have lost our minds. I think that's patently untrue.

There are a lot of us out here that didn't. Many of us in NYC, DC and elsewhere were stunned on 9/11, but it didn't alter our world views. We were angry at the bastard terrorists, but almost as furious as our own government, who for all the tax dollars they take from us (and borrow from elsewhere) and spend on "defense", they completely failed that day... and, we learned, many months leading up to that day. We were also frustrated by the ridiculous rush to "support the president" in the days after 9/11. We of course already did, insofar as he is commander-in-chief of our military, but we were aggravated by his apparently cowardly display on that day, as well as the shocking stupidity and foolhardyness that he was to display for going on seven years since.

We were under no illusions about Iraq being a ruse, but our voices were silenced by those in the media and the Congress that were lining up to support this obvious debacle. There's no glee (at all) in saying I told you so at this point, it's more depressing than ever to even think it. But Friedman was one of the many educated voices that were party to this chorus of bloodlust and blind obedience. And he needs to pay a price for it. But a pie in the face?

The arrogance and simple-mindedness of Friedman's columns is borderline offensive, but he was an excellent journalist at one time, so I can't forget that. But the pie thing was stupid. Just as it was stupid when it happened to Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter deserves an eternity in the lake of fire, but a pie in the face?

Pathetic.
posted by psmealey at 10:14 AM on April 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I regularly insert pie into my face voluntarily

You shouldn't be so hard on yourself!
posted by P.o.B. at 11:38 AM on April 24, 2008


All I can wonder is how come no one noticed the assailants entering the auditorium with the pies. Hid it under there coats, maybe?

That's kind of messy.
posted by Weebot at 11:47 AM on April 24, 2008


"I'd like to beat Friedman with HuronBob's fish"

you can't, I let it go...

but, if it's really important to you, I'll go see if I can find it.....bass season opens in a few days... :)
posted by HuronBob at 12:24 PM on April 24, 2008


psmealey, I read the "we" in that article as, essentially, "people who agree at least in part with the views I've been expressing" - in other words, Friedman is acknowledging that his work is OPINION and not FACT, and that he had come to the conclusion that his perspective had been horribly skewed by 9/11.

I'm a little less pre-disposed than some to dislike Friedman, although I do think he can be a little smug sometimes. And giving the Bushies the benefit of the doubt - well, damn him for that. I have to confess that I did too, more than I care to admit, but someone with his pedigree and position ought to be held to a higher standard than the freelance guitarists of the world...


I love you too, psmealey
posted by fingers_of_fire at 2:14 PM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Have people read Friedman's column on how "9/11 made us stupid"? I thought it was pretty right on.

Here on Key West, we have a supremely popular saying which applies here:

"Even a broken clock is right twice a day."

BTW, if I had only had a dollar for everytime I heard this.
posted by humannaire at 10:57 PM on April 24, 2008


pie on, wayne! pie on, garth!
posted by telstar at 12:35 AM on April 25, 2008


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