Here are the reasons (besides the obvious ones) that we think it was a good idea for Jeremy Paul Olson to throw food at Sarah Palin today during her Minnesota reading, for which he is currently incarcerated:
Throwing food at people has a long, messy history
The first recorded incident of throwing food at a public figure in history, according to our ten minutes of Googling, was in 60-something AD when Roman emperor Vespasianus Ceaser Augustus was "pelted with turnips" at a riot, most likely by people sick of having nothing to eat but turnips. In the 1770s, preacher John Crook was similarly assaulted when he tried to convert the heathens of the Isle of Man to Methodism.
Later, an 1883 Times article titled "AN ACTOR DEMORALIZED BY TOMATOES" recounts the fierce pillorying of the actor John Ritchie
He had a crowded house, and was warmly received, in fact, it was altogether hot for him, there being distributed among the audience a bushel or two of rotten tomatoes. The first act opened with Mr. Ritchie trying to turn a somersault. He probably would have succeeded had not a great many tomatoes struck him, throwing him off his balance and demoralizing him... a large tomato thrown from the gallery struck him square between the eyes, and he fell to the stage floor just as several bad eggs dropped upon his head. Then the tomatoes flew thick and fast, and Ritchie fled for the stage door.
Come on, haters: That is awesome!
More recently, Nixon was pelted with eggs and tomatoes during a 1958 trip to South America, but cleverly blamed it on the fact he was riding in one of the notoriously shitty Edsel convertibles. You guys just got a face-full of history there, which proves that throwing food is basically the "Mad Men" of political protest.
A violent action without all that violence
Violence is wrong. But sometimes you just want to fuck shit up. Throwing food is a good compromise, with much of the spectacle and newsworthiness of violence but none of the stupid "hurting people" part. (Incidentally, we should mention that we endorse that tomato-throwing guy if and only if he was chucking very soft, overripe tomatoes which would splatter readily and harmlessly all over Ms. Palin and drip down into her clothes while she was trying to sign books. Also, the tomatoes should have been organic and fair trade!)
Did we mention that, after signing her books today at the Mall of America, Palin headed off to a $5000 per head fundraiser for The Freedom Club PAC? The people who can pay $5000 for this kind of thing are the people who run our country. It's only fair that we allow Joe the disenfranchised Plumber the right to hurl at members of the power-elite the tomatoes which their own unfair trade policies have made so affordable and delicious.
Usually, the victim deserves it
Consider this partial list of people who have had food thrown at them, according to Google:
- Roman Emperor Vespasianus Caesar Augustus
- Shitty 19th century actor John Ritchie
- Nick Griffin (British right-wing politician and notorious Holocaust denier)
- Thomas Friedman
- Bill Gates
- Ann Coulter
- David Horowitz
- William F. Buckley
- Phyllis Schlafly
- Sarah Palin
If a group of people who more needed a pie in the face exists, then someone should pie those people, too. Chances are, if people are angry enough to risk incarceration simply to throw food at you, you have done something to deserve it—and then some.
Politics is so boring. Those people who complain about how childish or unproductive throwing food at politicians is forget that the political process is by nature childish and unproductive. At least throwing food lends some real and hilarious slapstick to a system which too often resembles Wile E. Coyote trying to blow up Road Runner with a stick of dynamite made out of stupid, boring legislation.