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The Politics of Edible Missiles

by Michael J A Tyzuk

Last year, while he was giving a speech at the Calgary Stampede, Premier Ralph Klein of Alberta (King Ralph himself) was assaulted by a man armed with a creme pie. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, King Ralph got pied.

This isn’t the first case of Assault with an Edible Missile we’ve seen in the last couple of years. The first one that I can remember was when Bill Gates of Microsoft was assaulted in a similar fashion during a convention. Since then there have been several other such attacks.

It seems as if such assaults are becoming the modern method for expressing disapproval with public and political figures. I have no problem with this, for it beats the hell out of assassinating someone. When you assassinate someone you find yourself in a position where your days are effectively numbered, for there is not a single police force in its right mind that isn’t going to exhaust every resource it has to bring you to heel, be it dead or alive. On the other hand, when you trade your bullets for edible missiles you achieve something that can be even more valuable than assassination as a means to encourage reform: you embarrass the hell out of your target.

In addition to finding Assault with an Edible Missile a more socially acceptable protest measure than assassination, I also find it an oddly fitting means of expressing displeasure, especially where politicians are concerned. Politicians are Very Silly People who think of things in Very Silly Ways. A man armed with an Edible Missile intent on unleashing it against a target can best be described as a Very Silly Man with a Very Silly Weapon who seeks to strike out in a Very Silly Manner against an equally Very Silly Person who conducts a Very Silly Business and thinks of things in Very Silly Ways. Politics is a Very Silly Business. In fact with each passing day I become more and more convinced that Politics is probably one of mankind’s sillier inventions, for I fail to find any real meaning behind it.

Of course, to be perfectly honest, that isn’t entirely true, for I know intellectually that politics serves a very important purpose in the running of a country. However, the nature of politics has been twisted and deformed, with the end result that what was intended to be a tool for encouraging positive change in a society has become a means for Very Silly People to either line their pockets with more and more money or to destroy the reputations of Honest But Very Silly People Who Stand In Their Way.

What’s really disturbing isn’t that humanity was able to twist politics to suit its own selfish purposes, for the human animal is, by nature, a manipulator and a survivor, a creature who continues to thrive by altering the environment around him to suit his preconceived notions of what is right and wrong. That’s what we do, and what we have been doing for centuries. Rather, what’s really disturbing is that our culture and society have reached the point where we have come to consider this kind of manipulation as socially acceptable, and that’s exactly what’s happening. Just look at some of the people we elect to office.

In fact, I’ll take it one step further.

There are two kinds of politician. The first kind of politician is the person who enters into the business of public service through a genuine desire to make the world around him a better place and to encourage positive change. Unfortunately, this kind of politician is in the minority, but when they do make their presence known they can be very powerful.

The second kind of politician is the business politician, and these ones are by far the most prevalent. To these people politics are but a business, a means to an end, and that end usually involves inflating a bank account. And these are the people to whom we entrust the running of our country.

The third kind of politician is the person who genuinely craves power. He wants to be the man in charge. He wants to be the man in the spotlight. And he probably needs to have his head examined, because who in their right mind would want that kind of power? The only kind of person I can think of who would legitimately want that kind of power is a megalomaniac, and I shudder at the thought of one of those running the country. Yeah, I’ve got your spotlight, Mr. Prime Minister. I’ve got your spotlight right here!

So I think that it’s only fitting that every now and again someone decides to go after them with an edible missile. My problem with the whole thing is that these incidents are treated just as seriously as if the assault was with a lethal weapon. I can see it from the point of view of the security squads charged with the task of protecting these people, for those non-lethal weapons could easily be lethal weapons.

But I also believe strongly that sometimes the punishment should be made to fit the crime, so to that end I think that these security squads should be carrying cans of whipped cream and silly string in addition to their Standard Issue Sidearms, and that in the event of an attack with an Edible Missile these forces should be tasked with catching the would be assassin and giving him the same treatment as he gave their protectee. Then they can decide whether to bring the perpetrator up on charges or not.

But at least the initial punishment would have fit the crime

Copyright © 2004 by Michael J A Tyzuk

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