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The Revolution of Everyday Pies
Mark Sanders*

I’ve written a note to Bill Gates saying that we will flan him again before the end of the Summer unless he gives the equivalent of one day’s salary to the Zapatist Commandant Marcos in Chiapas, Mexico

Noel Godin, alias George Le Gloupier, is a true veteran of May ’68. Author of Cream and Punishment and an 800-page Anthology of Subversion, he has since his early days as a film critic in Brussels been the leader of the infamous Entarter Movement; that pie-flinging band of self-styled revolutionaries who stop at nothing in their quest for freedom and personal liberty.

Formed in the late 1960s as a response to the growing complacency of the rich and famous, the Entarter have since grown in stature. Advocating what they politely term, ‘a symbolic pastry assassination of the image’, they stalk the would-be darlings of the media ready to plant a well placed Bombe Surprise at but a moments notice. No one can escape their wrath. Novelist Marguritte Duras, film director Jean-Luc Godard (for turning Catholic and kissing the Pope), the Bishop of Nante (while delivering the Eucharist), the French Minister of Culture (on his first ever official engagement), five Swiss MPs and the reviled right-wing French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy who, holding a special place in Monsieur Godin’s heart, has been pied five times in as many years. Their latest victim, Microsoft chief and the richest man in the world Bill Gates, is still recovering from his multi-layered chocolate gateaux onslaught that took place earlier this year, prompting BodyGuard Weekly to announce - ‘IS ANYONE SAFE?’.

But as the controversy thickens Godin remains oblivious to any danger that might threaten him. In a quiet suburb of Brussels, surrounded by thousands of stolen books on subversion and thousands more pirated video tapes of slap-stick comedies, he plans his next move; "We are only just beginning", he grins mischievously, "We feel ready now. We are strong in numbers. A genuine International Brigade Patissiere has been born and I firmly believe that we are capable of achieving even greater things in the near future. For instance, I believe we can eventually flan the Pope".

Mark Sanders: The first person you ever flanned was the novelist Marguerite Duras in November ’69. Your latest, Bill Gates in 1998. That’s almost 30 years of constant flanning.

Noel Godin: It started all that time ago and I just never stopped, I will never stop. For the first time it was like an orgasm, the coitus. There’s something so sexual about flanning someone, you feel so gratified.

M.S.: Do you consider ‘a pie in the face’ an act of subversion in the spirit of late ’60s?

N.G.: It started all that time ago and I just never stopped, I will never stop. For the first time it was like an orgasm, the coitus. There’s something so sexual about flanning someone, you feel so gratified.

M.S.: Do you consider ‘a pie in the face’ an act of subversion in the spirit of late ’60s?

N.G.: Of course! I have always remained true to the spirit of May ’68. I still live for that time and have always advocated direct sabotage; the sabotage of the professions, the sabotage of the roles into which we are trapped by our day to day boredom. I propose to all workers to sabotage their work, to sabotage their production and their employers and so in accordance to that philosophy, I myself sabotage my own position as a proletarian intellectual. That’s how I started in the first place, working as a cinema critic for a magazine published by the Belgian Catholic League. There I sabotaged everything that I ever wrote.

M.S.: In true Situationist style.

N.G.: Indeed. The systematic sabotage of life. During my time as a cinema critic I printed complete falsehoods. I would invent non-existing films that I illustrate with snapshots of my relatives. I wrote well over 200 interviews without ever leaving my desk, asking questions and then write the answers immediately. Everything in my short celebrity news column was faked; breakfast with Robert Mitchum, aperitifs with Jack Lemon - none of it ever happened. I only got away with it because I was a credulous editor and no one would ever see the copy outside of Belgium.

M.S.: Poetic misinformation?

N.G.: Exactly, a methodical form of private and public subversion. It lasted for 12 years and I never got into trouble.

M.S.: Who was your most popular creation? N.G.: I once created a blind director from Thailand named Viviane Pei. Although she couldn’t see a thing I wrote this glowing review stating that hers were the most beautiful films in the history of cinema. Masterpieces such as The Lotus Flower Will No Longer Grow On The Shores Of Your Island dripped off my pen. In fact she was so convincing as a character that an Asian cinema critic named Pierre Dial actually went to Thailand to find her. Once he discovered that she didn’t actually exist he went ballistic!

M.S.: And your personal favourite?

N.G.: That has to be George Le Gloupier, leader of the Entarter movement. I made up this story that he was on a crusade, flanning film directors around the world. His first fictitious victim was Robert Bresson but when I learnt that Marguerite Duras was coming to Belgium I decided to cross over from the realm of fantasy into the world of reality.

M.S.: And that was your first venture into the world of flanning. Where you alone on that fateful day?

N.G.: No. I had a girlfriend who, in accordance to tradition, handed me a pie at the moment of delivery. There was also a cameraman and two photographers but as usual the cameraman missed the shot and only the photographers were successful. We were on the front cover of all the Belgium newspapers and have never looked back since.

M.S.: And now George Le Gloupier has become the official disguise of all would be Entarters.

N.G.: As soon as one flans a victim one instantly becomes George Le Gloupier. That’s why anyone involved in a hit should wear the Le Gloupier disguise; a false beard, thick spectacles and a bow tie.

M.S.: Even women?

Especially women!

M.S.: And now the Entarter movement stretches across the world.

N.G.: Their are cells everywhere ready for action. We have received well over a thousand letters giving us support. Wherever I go people want to fight for me. I take down the addresses but I never get round to calling everyone. We could be over ten thousand strong by now, a huge organisation, but we operate in a complete mess all the time so we recruit from the street instead. When I was last at the Cannes Film Festival we were building up a safari patissier but I was only with one other friend but by the time we flanned Tuscan du Plantier, Bernard-Henri Levy and Arielle Dombalse, we numbered at least 30. Many people volunteer so I just choose them at the last minute.

M.S.: As you did recently with Bill Gates.

N.G.: With that particular hit we numbered 32. 25 pies in all. We were very cautious, even scared. We were careful to make sure that on the morning of the proposed flanning, two thirds of those involved still didn’t know who the target was because we didn’t want people giving the game away by talking to their friends who would then undoubtedly repeat the information and destroy our cover.

M.S.: You plan these hits to the last minute detail. How do you find out where a potential victim is going to be at a particular time or date?

N.G.: For the last five operations, the victims have been betrayed by their own entourage. We have informers who come to us with a precise plan of action. That’s what happened with Bill Gates. We announced in the press that we were targeting him and within nine days someone high up in the Belgium headquarters in Microsoft contacted us with a full itinerary of his forthcoming trip to Belgium. His reasons were simple enough. Although he had always admired Bill Gates he felt that he had become unbearably arrogant and needed to be brought down a peg or two. From that moment on he never stopped faxing us inside information, including a map of the hotel where Gates was going to be staying.

M.S.: You had his every move pinned down. N.G.: Exactly, the day before he arrived in Belgium, friends of ours in Paris managed to get hold of special press passes and so were able to inform us that he had a body guard of five armed men who never left him alone for a second. Our informant at Microsoft also told us that on his journey to Belgium, he would be accompanied by four motorcycle policeman and that wasn’t even taking into account the interior security that would undoubtedly be in place in all the places that he was to visit. But we had numbers on our side. Body guards are trained to stop a conspiracy of say, two or three terrorists but against 32 people armed with custard pies they are useless as a defence.

M.S.: Did you have to stalk him further?

N.G.: On the actual day of the hit we had to wait all afternoon. We congregated at the pub and drank Monks beer to give us all courage. Finally we left the bar singing old anarchist songs to keep our spirits up. When we arrived at the scene we divided into small elite groups of three people called Unitees Gloupinesque or ‘Gloup Gloup Units’. We hid our ammunition in shopping bags and waited. Then suddenly Bill Gates arrived with all these sirens screaming. At that moment all the ‘Gloup Gloup Units’ gathered together to form a pastry whirl and then fell on him in a hurricane of flying pies.

M.S.: (laughs) And what was his reaction?

N.G.: At first he attempted an advertising smile but it soon shrivelled up and changed into a grimace. We shouted the war cry, "Let us flan, let us flan the tainted money!" and then went into action. In total he received three pies outside and a further one straight in the face when he entered the hotel lobby. He was so annoyed he fired his body guards the next day.

M.S.: Other victims have been even less fortunate though. The pretentious French pseudo philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy has become a regular target of yours hasn’t he?

N.G.: Bernard-Henri Levy has been flanned five times so far and we are currently planning the sixth operation. He has become so paranoid of being flanned that he has now lives in a complete psychosis. When he was in Belgium recently to talk about his latest film production he would only be interviewed if the journalist agreed to be picked up in a car and driven to a secret location. It got so ridiculous that many Belgium journalists wrote that he was turning totally insane.

M.S.: So which pie is best suited for assassinations? N.G.: It has to be very simple and slapstick, the more orthodox the better. Very soft dough with mountains of cream so we don’t have to throw the pies but instead we can lay them directly down onto the face of the victims. This way our hit rate is 95%. I am almost embarrassed to say that we hardly ever miss our target.

M.S.: How do you choose your preferred victims?

N.G.: Our main principle is to only flan people when they are in a very powerful position. In Levy’s case, he uses his position to encourage either war as he did in Bosnia or his own profile as he is presently doing with the Algerian conflict. But we shall carry on flanning him until he learns his lesson. This year it will be the sixth time. We have the access code to his flat that was given to us by an English journalist. But Levy always has the option of ceasing hostilities. If on the next pie that he receives he sings the old French song ‘Avez-vous le beau chapeau de Zozo’ we will sign a peace accord.

M.S.: You’ve written that a pie in the face is a good barometer of character. Is that always true?

N.G.: A pastry assassination always reveals the true colours of its victim. When we hit Jean-Luc Godard in 1985 he showed himself to be elegant in defeat whilst most other victims are quick tempered. Godard was the great exception. When after the attack he heard that I had been banned from the Cannes Film Festival he called from Switzerland to demand that my pass was given back to me. In contrast Bernard-Henri Levy after his fifth flanning in Cannes, demanded that I be banned for life.

M.S.: Do you consider you pastry assassinations to be assassinations of the image then? A media assassination?

N.G.: Exactly. On the one hand it is real terrorism but it is also a burlesque terrorism. It’s very violent but only symbolically violent, a violence that can be found in Bugs Bunny cartoons or Monty Python. If anyone is wounded it is only in their self esteem. A pie in the face is a great leveller.

M.S.: As in the spirit of Dadaist abusive letters sent to celebrities at the turn of the century.

N.G.: I’m a great partisan of those abusive letters sent by the Dadaists, and those sent by the Surrealists, and the Situationists; in fact a pastry assassination is the perfect materialisation of the classic abusive letter. It’s an abuse that becomes a reality, that explodes in your face.

M.S.: The subversive power of humour...

We kill our victims with ridicule...

M.S.: A cream pie transformed into a bomb!

N.G.: I believe that we have to use the principal weapon of the enemy and that is the media. The Yippies and Hoffman understood that, they would accept an invitation to appear on television in order to mess around with water guns. That was a major force in amplifying the counter-culture movement. They may not be terrorists per se, they didn’t kill but they were extremists. Once the Yippies managed to get one of their organisation inside the Pentagon and put a massive doss of LSD in the drinking water reserve. Other members burned dollar bills in Wall Street.

M.S.: As contrasted by the activities of the more hard-core combat groups such as the Black Panthers or Weathermen.

N.G.: All those groups were sympathetic but they lacked of humour. They took themselves far too seriously. Righteous Marxists who were very austere. There are a few groups that I feel sympathy for at that time. In particular, the English outfit called The Angry Brigade.

M.S.: Who’s your next target?

N.G.: I’ve written a note to Bill Gates saying that we will flan him again before the end of the Summer unless he gives the equivalent of one day’s salary to the Zapatist Commandant Marcos in the Chiapas.

M.S.: And your main objective?

N.G.: To declare Chattily war on all heads of State. We vow to get Chirac within the next year, to cover Clinton from head to toe in chocolate Gateaux; Tony Blair, Fidel Castro and the Pope. That is the thing of real importance. I don’t consider it a negative act to prostitute myself if it helps me to reach my goal. I know that some so called ‘pure’ revolutionaries say that you should never compromise in order to reach revolution but they always seem to be saying that while drinking in bars. They want to rebuild the world sat on their arses. I’ve nothing to loose by playing games. It can be dangerous of course but I trust myself. Nothing will make me recant. I say ‘Let them all eat cake!’

Noel Godin's website which features images of his recent hit on Bill Gates and other favourites can be viewed on: BILL GATES HIT BY CREAM PIE, the MPEG-movie at:




* Originally published in Dazed & Confused ,issue 42, May 1998