You remember Snowpiercer? South Korean master Bong Joon-ho’s mad, gonzo train ride through a frozen dystopian hellscape of our own making that featured 2nd Best Chris’s by far best performance to date?
And also, my personal favourite SWINTON performance to date:
And also also, the unbeatable cool of Song Kang-ho:
And also cubed, a pregnant Alison Pill doing this:
It was a restless and visually bursting-at-the-seams thrill ride with an absolutely killer cast, a wild cocktail of tones, and a truly affecting emotional depth. I adore Snowpiercer and I will continue to reference and champion it every chance I get.
In the movie—based on the French graphic novel ‘Le Transperceneige’—a tiny proportion of humanity survives on a gigantic train endlessly circumnavigating the globe after the planet was catastrophically frozen over by a deeply flawed attempt to stave off the worst effects of global warming. The society found on board the train is stratified brutally into the back end (neo-Victorian conditions of abject poverty) and the front cars (lavish, tech-enabled comfort and opulence). One of the revelations in it (MILD SPOILER INCOMING) is that the utilitarian ‘nutrition bricks’ that the poor are ration-fed actually consist of ground up and processed bugs. This is treated as a shocking and disturbing plot beat in the movie, but honestly, I didn’t find it to be too much. Certainly not when compared to some of the other horrors depicted in the story. There is some disgusting hypocrisy—very much in line with the rest of the train’s world on display in the film—in forcing the poor of the rear cars to subsist on bricks of processed insects while the rich fuckers of the front dine on freaking sushi; but aside from the grossly unequal distribution of resources on display, eating insects in and of itself should not be that big of a deal, certainly not in any work of speculative fiction.
Because the thing is, a) more than 2 billion people—mostly in the Global South—eat insects every day in the real world, and b) more people in the West will likely be taking up this practice in the near future; at least if they want to continue to eat meat while also attempting to do their part in averting the worst of man-made climate change.
Climate change is a systemic issue. It’s the big players that have the power to damn or save us here. Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of all global emissions. Telling people that their individual actions can play a significant role in reducing climate change is one of those ways that capitalism ensures that business as usual can continue. Nevertheless, it’s also true that though most individual actions are a relative drop in the ocean, anything is still better than nothing—as long as the larger issues are also being looked at—and that perhaps the single most impactful thing an individual can do is to stop eating meat. ‘Meat’ in that respect refers to the the term as we understand it—i.e. farm-raised cattle, pig, chicken, etc. The climate impact of industrial farming is truly astonishing, with CO2 emissions, land destruction, and wildlife extinction rising sharply wherever it is found.
So if you want help a bit—and if your life situation permits it—then cutting out meat (and dairy) really is one of the better ways you can make a difference (short of reciting the names of those Shell, BP, and Exxon executives a la Arya Stark).
Because of their high protein and fat content—and relatively minimal financial and environmental costs of production—there are discussions already happening around the fact that the industrial consumption of insects may well be the most sustainable way to continue to eat meat in the near future.
And, as already stated, over 2 billion people around the world already eat plenty of delicious bug-based dishes.
All that being said, the following is still the worst thing I’ve ever read on the internet (yes, worse than the poop knife; yes, still probably worse than the rabies thing). I don’t know if it’s true or if this person is just stretching a niche creative writing muscle, but hey, fuck this entry on Reddit ‘today I fucked up’ subreddit:
The reactions were… predictable, yet understandable:
Header Image Source: RADiUS-TWC