Condoms, Wet Wipes, Nappies, Tampons: Fatberg!

for Somesuch Stories
A photograph of a fragment of the Whitechapel fatberg.

When I first read of the fatberg I was shocked. When I next read of the fatberg I realised I was reading the same story. Again and again and again, across the media, every time the fatberg was written about the same words were repeated; the fact it comprised condoms, wet wipes, nappies, tampons, fat. It became apparent that there was some mythical object that the articles sought to recreate and some moral story to tell.

This is my Baudrillard moment. The Fatberg… does not exist.

the fatberg is you—the fatberg is what you’re putting in yourself, the fatberg is sheer excess. A pallid yellow that suggests a jaundiced, bedridden George Best; an engorged goose liver; a fat-edged sirloin; fries and synthesised mayo; a crisp late-night samosa.

The essay, Condoms, Wet Wipes, Nappies, Tampons: Fatberg!, is up on Somesuch Stories.