|Humanoid cosmetics of Essex|
When I first happened on it last year I had no idea what it was supposed to be. I decided it was some kind of nature documentary. Red in tooth and acrylic claw, it features talking-walking humanoid cosmetics in their unscripted habitat of Essex beauty salons and nightclubs. 'What's the longest pier in Essex?' the lipsticks and blushers are asked at a quiz night. 'Isle of Wight?' a vajazzled L'Oréal skin care product wonders.
To paraphrase Ash (Ian Holm) on the topic of the vicious ET in the movie Alien, 'I admire their purity. They are survivors, unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.' Welcome to Essex.
Essex - with its hinterland of OK! sleb shoots, Jordan covers, WAG tabloid tales, spray tans and (most important, this) a fucking zillion white, squared, acrylic nails hand-fanning glossed over mingers in semi-faint shock - is a holiday from one's heavy self, a reminder that life goes on without the books, the opinions, the messiahs, the anything-in-particulars. Essex is a peopled micro-cosmos that just goes on and on regardless. Essex is salutary; it puts you in your place.
In Essex, no one can hear you scream (cos everyone says, 'Shuuu' uuup').