Hey man, eating is like wow, far out, amazing

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The Independent Online

The Shining Path is a marvellous phrase with widespread utility. It sounds like a moralising Victorian children's book; it's actually a murderous Peruvian communist terrorist group. Life is full of little ironies.

The Shining Path is a marvellous phrase with widespread utility. It sounds like a moralising Victorian children's book; it's actually a murderous Peruvian communist terrorist group. Life is full of little ironies.

www.pathtojoy.org isn't quite in that league, but nice enough. It's the website of the Institute of Sensual Eating, which is on the coast in that hippy-dippy flippy trippy part of California. You'd expect it to be the kind of place where assorted white folk wear pastel robey things and chant, Hare Krishna style.

It's the kind of place where the man in therapy can say, confessionally: "I liderally woke up this morning and said: 'Hey, where's my joy?'." It's the kind of place whose Mother Superior therapist looks like Susan Sontag played by the current Ali McGraw in the biopic. It's chunky native bead necklace territory.

It's Advanced Spoof country, Diesel Country, a Dazed and Confused set piece. Art-school.

It's a Häagen-Dazs commercial and they're going into therapy themselves you see. They're getting back their edge. Häagen-Dazs was launched into the late Eighties UK premium ice-cream market with lots of attractive young things licking it off each other. There was practically no competition. Now there is, and sex isn't singular any more. The sexy sell is very Magnum, very instant coffee, very mainstream. So not Shoreditch.

So we go ironic. The setting – sky and sea – is delicious, the institute building – Spanish colonial pastel stucco – is delicious. It's art directors' paradise. And they must have trawled every ugly model agency in California for the simian disciple with his oversized slacker mouth and big gappy teeth. There are delicious lines too "the fridge opened but it was me that filled up with light" or "at the bottom of the tub I found my smile" and, best of all "pleasure is a life-skill".

The chorus sings us out with "pleasure is a path to joy". It's a bit Bollywood, management-training and a whole lot Clerkenwell Road.

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