Application of a cream tart, pie, cream cake or other pastry into the face of someone considered to be unacceptably pompous or self-important, notably media personalities, which indicate opposition to their policies or perspectives. The aim is to change behaviour through humiliation, ridicule, or threat of ridicule. Attacks may be meticulously planned to ensure appropriate media coverage after the event. Those initiating the attack must be prepared to suffer physically in consequence, especially at the hands of security guards. A team of people may go to great lengths to disguise themselves in order to evade security controls.
Flanning is reasonably common in some educational institutions, although possibly mostly in jest. It is claimed that an International Brigade PÃ¢tissiÃ¨re exists in Europe, especially active in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Canada. This network, founded by Noel Godin, a Belgian anarchist, has engaged in assaults on prestigious thinkers, media figures and politicians with cream cakes over a period of 20 years. Attacks are meticulously planned and require a minimum of four people, including a camera operator, a stills photographer and an assistant to hold the pastry. Recipients have included Jean-Luc Godard (film director), Marguerite Duras (novelist), Bernard-Henri Levy (philosopher), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Michel Camdessus (IMF), Rocky Ruggiero (WTO), Robert Shapiro (Monsanto), Milton Friedman (economist), Charles Hurwitz (Pacific Lumber/Maxxam), Carl Pope (Sizrra Club), Willie Brown (Mayor of San Francisco), Nick Brown (UK Agriculture Minister).
There are a thousand forms of subversion, all of them interesting. But few, in my opinion, can equal the convenience and immediacy of the cream pie, and the "cream psychosis" to which it gives rise amongst those who anticipate being the victims of such a humiliating attack (Noel Godin).
Mayor Brown said: "Violence is violence, whether it's a pie, a knife or a gun.".