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No Vacation ‘Mind Fields’

Olivia here. Last night I watched the brilliant new mockumentary ‘Carnage‘ from comedy heartthrob Simon Amstell, who I have been in love with since his long running tenure as host of Never Mind The Buzzcocks. ‘Carnage’ is a vegan black comedy, set in utopian 2067, where everybody is vegan and animals are free to roam the countryside, after advances in technology have allowed humans to interpret the thoughts and feelings of animals. The ‘documentary’ begins with a group of vegan youngsters, eating nuts and frolicking in a field, horrified by the idea that people ever consumed animal products. Meanwhile, Britain’s elderly are undergoing therapy, traumatised by their meat-eating pasts, the shame of which causes them to cry and shake as they name the kinds of cheese they used to enjoy, guided by an understanding therapist. Set in the fictional future, the documentary looks back through the years in a hilariously revisionist manner, citing 1944 as the year famous for the creation of the first vegan society. As the documentary goes through the years, footage of contemporary TV chefs are juxtaposed with distressing footage of animal slaughter and people sloppily consuming hamburgers, which creates a feeling of revulsion even the most stoic meat eater would struggle to overcome. Particularly harrowing is the use of real footage from a Nigella Lawson show, in which the TV chef cheerfully cracks the spine of a chicken whilst describing her enjoyment of the sound of bone crunching under her hands – in this context it’s completely repulsive. The film moves through the years, documenting the ‘vegan revolution’, as most of Britain stops consuming animal products due to climate change, animal welfare issues, and the creation of technology that coverts animal thoughts into English (with the voice provided by Joanna Lumley), until finally the consumption of animal products is outlawed in Britain. All this change is too much for some people, with some men paying women in back alleys to breastfeed them to right wing Youtube stars taking a militant stance against the ‘nanny state’ (sound familiar?). By the end of the film, my own vegetarianism seemed like a complete cop out considering the cruelty of the dairy and egg industries. Which means I will likely be going vegan in the near future – breaking up with dairy for good. Whoever you are, whether you eat meat or not, definitely watch this film, because it’s not only informative, but hilarious at the same time. You will laugh and cry in equal measure. And maybe, you might think twice before ordering that latte from Costa. I know I will. In the spirit of break ups, today’s Track Of The Day is ‘Mind Fields’ from San Fransisco based band No Vacation, a track inspired by the end of a relationship (with a person I’m assuming, rather than milk). Dreamy vocals are complimented by hazy guitar riffs, tight percussion, and gauzy synths, with a strong DIY bedroom pop aesthetic throughout. Complete with a false ending leading into a bass driven reprise of the chorus, this is the perfect track to listen to whilst contemplating past loves. Like boyfriends and girlfriends. Or cheese.

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