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13 September 1945|
|Occupation||writer, critic, actor, anarchist|
Noël Godin (born 13 September 1945) is a Belgian writer, critic, actor and notorious pie thrower or entarteur. Godin gained global attention in 1998 when his group ambushed Microsoft CEO Bill Gates in Brussels, pelting the software magnate with pies. After bombarding Gates, Godin allegedly said, "My work is done here."
Godin claims his goal has long been to "entarter" as many people like Gates as possible - people he feels are particularly self-important and lacking a sense of humor. Godin told The New York Times he chooses "to function in the service of the capitalist status quo, without really using his intelligence or his imagination." He says his sworn enemies are "authority, depressing laws, the return of the moral order, nuclear power, any form of political power."
Since 1969, when Godin planted a pie on the face of the French novelist Marguerite Duras, he has pied dozens more, including choreographer Maurice Béjart, France's best-known television anchorman Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, French president Nicolas Sarkozy and film maker Jean-Luc Godard.
A regular target is French philosopher, socialite and writer Bernard-Henri Lévy. After one attack, in 1985, an enraged Levy was filmed standing over Godin snarling "Get up, or I'll kick your head in".
Godin, who uses the pseudonym "Georges Le Gloupier" has also inspired an unknown number of followers around the world, who now regularly provide him with details about the whereabouts of various important potential targets. It took 32 people to conduct the Bill Gates operation. His followers take care to look as ridiculous as possible as they throw their tarts, smiling broadly, spouting anti-pretentious poetry and repeating "gloup, gloup, gloup."
Godin insists his group is non-violent and is careful to use only what he calls a "tarte classique", filled with whipped cream and perhaps a little chocolate in soft sponge cake. He says his humor can be traced back through Jerry Lewis, Wile E. Coyote, the Marx Brothers and yippies like Abbie Hoffman.
Godin is inspired (for instance in his Anthologie de la subversion carabinée (1989)) by the works of the Utopian philosophers Tommaso Campanella (Civitas Solis) and Charles Fourier (La Phalange, Le Phalanstère). His ideal society is one where there is no struggle for power or money and where everybody can live in a state of perfect happiness. He is also an admirer of the anarchist Ravachol without approving his violence, sentiment which inspired him to his pie-attacks.
Godin has a particularly colourful way of expressing himself, using terms like "tempêtes patissières" (pastry storm) to describe his pieing.
Godin has appeared in many films directed by his friend Jan Bucquoy and producer Francis De Smet including the acclaimed La Vie sexuelle des Belges 1950-1978, Camping Cosmos playing the Belgian writer Pierre Mertens, Opus IV: La Jouissances Des Hystériques, Tart or Vivant, Tarte ou Vivant and Les Vacances de Noël.
Noël Godin is also known as a film critic (Godin par Godin, ed. Yellow Now - Côté cinéma, 2001), he wrote for the Catholic review Les Amis du film (1969–1973), and as an avant-garde filmmaker (f. i.: Prout prout tralala, 18 min (1974)).
- Anthologie de la subversion carabinée, L'âge d'homme, 1989, ISBN 2-8251-0715-8 (philosophical study of political freedom), réédition revue et augmentée, 2008
- Zig zig boum boum, Le Veilleur, Toulouse, 1994
- Crème et châtiment : mémoire d'un entarteur, Albin Michel, 1995
- Godin par Godin, Yellow Now, 2001, ISBN 2-87340-151-6
- Armons-nous les uns les autres! (novel), Flammarion, 2003, ISBN 978-2-08-068385-4
- Entartons, entartons les pompeux cornichons!, Flammarion, 2005, ISBN 2-08-068546-5 (The story of all his pieings).
- Noël Godin, Entartons, entartons les pompeux cornichons!, Flammarion, 2005, pp. 27, 241
- Noël Godin, Grabuge, Flammarion, 2001, p. 164
- Noël Godin, Entartons, entartons les pompeux cornichons!, Flammarion, 2005, p. 14
- Noël Godin, Armons-nous les uns les autres!, Flammarion, 2003