Anne Elizabeth Moore, Punk Planet associate publisher and sometime THE2NDHAND contributor, delivers PIE, the first of THE2NDHAND's single-author-focused broadsides, #18 here replete with pie-related schemata, narratives, FAQs, and pop quizzes of the short answer, fill-in-the-blank, and multiple choice varieties. Below is a selection of a few of these.
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A FEW UNHELPFUL WORDS ABOUT PIE OFF
Founded in the late-night hours of New Year's Eve, 1999, Pie Off has since become synonymous with bolstering the creativity of the pie form, exploring group decision-making, and eating what amounts to a fuck-load of pie. Clearly, Pie Off carries with it grave physical dangers. Contestants are warned to avoid pie for three days prior. Physical and emotional difficulties from all participants are to be expected: entire careers, fortunes, marriages, and reputations have been staked, lost, and gained at Pie Off.
The ultimate lesson of Pie Off, however, posits that a variety of ingredients can indeed come together however disparate their unique physical sensations and emotional demands. United together in a common shell, the participants of Pie Off work together to forward the message of pie: to increase the girth of participants; to forward the political underpinnings of this particular baked good; and to exploit taste buds so fully that none dare plan another event of its kind for at least six months.
Pie Off FAQ
Why does Pie Off matter?
What is pie?
Arguments among the factions that debate whether or not certain types of pie "count" do not interest Pie Off officials. The fact of the matter -- if your object of delectation has a crust, you will have no difficulty defending it as pie. This is part of the approach that makes Pie Off unique and popular.
Those who do wish to argue over the inclusion or exclusion of certain elements, ingredients, or items from pieness are asked to take their divisive attitudes to McDonalds, where it is excessively plain to all what may or may not be pie. Pie is available on the menu for $0.99; if you do not order it, you will not have any pie.
This sounds great! How do I get involved?
Due to the frequent one-to-one ratio of pies to consumers, noncontestants are encouraged to attend. Also, whiskey and coffee are encouraged to attend.
What, then, isn't pie?
The existence of the concept pie is proof that Pie Off is dedicated to discovering the true nature of pie, not to highlighting the most delicious pie, or bestowing the most prestigious biannual award. The true nature of pie is not only delicious and inviting, but frightening and disgusting. In other words, all things can be pie; what isn't pie simply isn't worth exploring.
Due to the nature of all competitive food events, however, pies that cannot be consumed by the standard judge will lose.
Who decides the winners of Pie Off?
In addition to being a groundbreaking arena for cutting-edge pastry experimentation, Pie Off serves as an exploration of decision-making possibilities. Previous Pie Offs have been judged by hand-count, board consensus, remote scientific judging, a two-vote ballot-box system, Survivor-style elimination, and truly democratic voting.
Thus, the victor of the competition determined via remote scientific judging was technically flawless although lacked flavor and emotional appeal; the winner of the Pie Off judged by hand-count was coincidentally the most attractive single female in the room; and the champion of the contest determined by true democracy was a lame, ineffectual compromise of a pie which merely failed to roust anyone's bile and thus was never excluded from consideration. The dessert determined through extensive rounds of Survivor-style elimination was flashy, mean, and cheap, but at least people voted.
None of this can be explained. It merely is.
How much does it cost?
How can I get involved?
WHO MOVED MY CHEESECAKE?
The beguiling sway of pie over the heart of man is not to be underestimated. As ephemerally delectable as pie is -- or perhaps because of its mortal deliciousness -- pie inspires a fierce competitive nature in humanity unequalled by other desserts, and frequently giving way to bloodshed, grand-scale biological warfare, or worse.
A handy guide to gaining that competitive edge over your would-be foes is thus a must-have for any pastry primer.
First, research the competition. Create a list of all contenders and begin research into their personal lives. Don't overlook the obvious: paying a detective to assist you in this matter will only further ensure your name's place in the roll call of the Great Bakers of History. For an inexpensive fee, satellites can now photograph the goings-on in most bathrooms of the U.S. and Canada.
If you are on a budget, however, simply creating a list of strengths and weaknesses will go far toward securing your victory. Should it be discovered, for example, that one rival is morbidly lactose-intolerant, a surprisingly small amount of cream will eliminate that rival swiftly from the winner's circle. Simple knowledge of a competitor's reliance on imported mangoes, when coupled with an awareness of that individual's shopping habits, budget, and favorite store, can increase your chances of victory by 48 percent.
Remember, too, to research the competition's judges. Most judges are not beyond accepting bribes, and those that are will likely be susceptible to violent physical threats or -- should you find yourself with enough lead time -- the most basic of brainwashing techniques.
Again, however, simply noting your advantages and failings in certain areas can be a great help to start, and may eliminate the need for expensive medical equipment. A rudimentary list of strengths and weaknesses will assist those on a budget, and can be surprisingly easy to put to advantage. A judge who despises cats, for example, will not take kindly to a piece of Chess Pie shot through with traces of cat hair or feces. Another who dislikes poison may find himself particularly unsympathetic toward your doctored-up presentation of rival Jackson Green's award-winning Apple Rhubarb Pie.
Paying close attention to the rules of the competition is mandatory. A judging reliant upon pies baked in the home will not look kindly upon the revelation that your neighbor baked hers in a brick oven at the local pizza eatery. Following these rules in the creation of your encrusted pastry -- or permanently eliminating those aware of your transgressions in this area -- should be your foremost concern.
Finally, be aware that presentation plays a role. A properly knotted tie, a warm smile, and a blowjob can only assist your outstanding baking abilities.
The Biotic Baking Brigade: Heathens and Pie Wasters
The Biotic Baking Brigade is a global network of activists united to "pie" unassuming, white-collar corporate crimers. By throwing creamy lusciousness in the faces of hypocritical movie actors, egregious CEOs, and employees of the wrongheaded WTO, the Biotic Baking Brigade has been slinging justice in the face of evil since the late 1990s.
And it's got to stop.
The Biotic Baking Brigade is in fact little more than a heathenous pack of wasters of everyone's favorite dessert.
Despite their popularity, and the supposed "humorous" nature of their incisive political statements, the rate at which they destroy, unconsumed, entire pies -- the whole enchilada! The big shebang! Every morsel of heartwarming, encrusted dessert! -- must not be tolerated by forward-thinking communities intent on preserving our nation's sense of deliciousness. Would that I could explain how deeply my soul is aggrieved to see someone so undeserving as Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro receive a golden-crusted shell, filled with rich banana-creaminess -- delivered however forcefully.
After all, sometimes it hurts to give, and the most painful gifts can be the most beneficial; Shapiro's pie in the face, unfortunately -- or Bill Gates's, or Milton Friedman's -- was probably the best meal they had ever had in their entire lives. Forcing these evildoers to consume pie tastiness is an unparalleled cruelty forced back upon us all: a bit, I imagine, like forcing the devil himself to have a rollicking good time roasting some more sinners in hell.
It is demeaning to the true dessert activist community to have our ultimate glory tarnished by the sudden and unforeseen appreciation of pie by those least deserving of its light and honor. Let us change what it means to "pie" someone from a punishing act into a rewarding one, and change our slanderous, attack-mode stance into one of power.
Let us revise our uniting slogans to more accurately reflect our true feelings: Take Back the Pastry! Hell, No, We Won't Pie Anyone! This Is What Deliciousness Looks Like!
Anne Elizabeth Moore (anneelizabethmoore.com) is associate publisher of Punk Planet and author of Hey Kidz, Buy This Book: A Radical Primer on Corporate and Governmental Propanganda and Artistic Activism for Short People.