not pie in the sky

It is essential to have voices like Aron Kay on the political spectrum. Agree or not with him, one is not left indifferent. Although sometimes labeled an eccentric activist, its a coherent belief, a throwback to the socialism of nineteenth early twentieth century America, but very much in the present and non-nostalgic. Its liberation politics, politics with body and soul with some grit, character and good cheer thrown in. What seems marginal and flaky today is often the mainstream of tomorrow. Despite the inevitable flaws, Kay’s anti-fascist stance, his ability to unmask the ingenious ways fascism insidiously collects on the health of a society like a parasite, makes his voice a reminder that things are not always what they appear to be, as we are, in many respects, a society subdued by collective fascism.

The Kay thinking, is from a plausible belief that freedom, change and the notion of unlimited movement are possible, normative, but only within an unchanging structure, one symptomatic of an unyielding, inflexible society, authoritarian at its core and adept at sprinkling “friendly fascism.” There is a banality here, a contemporary censorship that affirms and enforces itself against the validity and necessity of emotional relationships…. Two figures have been especially prominent in the rise of confectionery as an instrument of political protest. In the U.S. left-wing activist Aron Kay has been dubbed “The Pieman” for a whole series of attacks stretching across almost three decades, and including such victims as right-wing political commentator William F. Buckley, former CIA director William Colby and former New York Mayor Abe Beame…..

---"Right now, I say it's a class war. The mayor was right when he said there was danger of riot." Photograph by Amy Arbus for Bloomberg--- Read More:

“Murdoch had it coming,” says Aron Kay, a legendary New York activist known as “The Yippie Pieman.” He’s been hurling baked goods at politicians since the early ’70s, landing some of the movement’s biggest “gets,” including much-ballyhooed former Democratic mayors Abraham Beeme and Ed Koch. “Pieing didn’t start with me,” Kay points out, “But I have been responsible for much of its history.”

High Times founder Thomas King Forcade founded the movement in 1970. As the peace-sign optimism of the American counterculture bled fast into frenzied chaos, Forcade pegged notorious Republican social scold Otto Larsen in the face with a creampie. The act was singular, bizarre, and surprisingly resonant. Kay got inspired.

By the late ’70s, Kay had hit Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, William F. Buckley — using a mocha pie, so as to “paint his face black” — and G. Gordon Liddy, among others. His pieing antics gave him his own niche in the activist counterculture and brought him into the fold of Abbie Hoffman’s Yippie organization. “Abbie and I had a very close friendship for many years” says Kay, “He and Jerry Rubin were the greatest creative activists in American history, and the country owes them a great debt.”

---By the late 1980s, when Kay was working as Hoffman's personal bodyguard, the Yippie movement had declined. Kay’s job at the time consisted merely of blocking Hoffman from all the druggie hangers-on, whom Hoffman embraced either out of vanity, naiveté, or pure self-destructive impulse. Kay would lead Hoffman around from rock venue to rock venue, to hundreds of benefits with names like "Save the River," and to photo ops with musicians and celebrities. Robert Kennedy Jr. and his buddies frequented the scene, and old has-been academics like Bill Ayers hung around to wax intellectual to college girls.--- Read More: image:

Kay found himself in a shared tent of the Yippies and the traveling-activist group The Rainbow Family at the 1974 world’s fair in Spokane, Washington, tripping on the powerful hallucinogenic ALD-52. Hoffman — then living “underground” and filing travel reports for Crawdaddy! magazine — reportedly spent the night with Kay transcribing his hallucinations and trying to make philosophical sense out of them. He was drawn to the writings of Berkeley professor Terrence McKenna, and found value in the scientific reports of a “universal consistency” in the psychedelic experience. That Hoffman and Kay both experienced the same visuals — the kinds of pyramid structures that McKenna wrote about as being fundamental psychedelic imagery — seemed to make them equitable for a moment. It seemed to break down any kind of status structures between them….

At heart is the message that society needs to transform, overhaul the social and economic system and reconstruct it with something personal and face to face, and not permitting technology to assume an alienating role. A new form of social organization. Dialogue into the realm of the social, an emphasis on the innate individual nature; a piercing gaze on the mystery of what is instinctive, but neither real or unreal, the in-between space that is intrinsic to us and our ability to master suffering and tragedy. This is what Kay represents.

…Breaking down status structures, says Kay, represents the central tenet of pieing. Kay cites the influence of the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers (“Jewish comedians who, as George Carlin would say, ‘created chaos out of order’ in a setting in which they never belongedR

. The pie-thrower plays jester, and the jester, says Kay, is an entirely political role.

Of course the Yippies, who were in bed with the hard-left political establishment, spent their lives fighting conservatism, and most pieing targets over the years, from William Colby to Ann Coulter, have been conservatives. But even Kay points out that pieing, as art form or by means of political expression, seeks only to deflate the individual ego: that insidious personality engine that Kay claims to have expelled from himself back in that tent in 1974. Read More:


Longtime Yippie activist Aron Kay, who has been visiting the Occupy Wall Street encampment daily since it sprouted up on Sept. 17, said he was aware of Catholic Worker’s history in the East Village, where its volunteers regularly provide free food, clothing and shelter (what Ms. Day would have called “acts of mercy”) for people in need. The movement now claims about 213 independent communities in the U.S. and abroad. St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality on East First Street and Maryhouse on East Third Street subsist solely on donations and are run by unpaid Catholic Worker volunteers committed to voluntary poverty.

“People may not know their name here,” said Mr. Kay, 61, leaning on a cane. “But as far as I’m concerned, this [protest] is following in the tradition of the Catholic Worker – take care of the homeless; take care of the disadvantaged and the unemployed, the students, all people who are victims of the same entity: Wall Street.” Read More:


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