Sloppy notes on intentional, manufactured camp
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Good thing I don't have a copy of Against Interpretation at hand. As much as I loved Sontag's essay on camp I could easily make this all too turgid. Been so long since I read it (I was maybe 17) that I don't remember anything other than her passing references to The Mysterions and The Supremes (each of which would later prove to be great pleasures).
My first sentence was going to be something like "The pleasures of camp aren't something I ordinarily pursue." Which is bullshit. Why else would I delight in old Japanese and Mexican horror and science fiction movies? Watched everything by Ed Wood and Herschel Gordon Lewis, Larry Buchanan and other auteurs of grade-z movies.
OK, I've pursued a certain kind of camp in old movies and TV shows.
Campy music is something I can listen to maybe once. The humor stales almost instantly. For me music is a wholly sensual experience. Though with some of the old girl group recordings you can get both.
And I've read a small bit of prose for campy tickles. I'll never forget the book that proved credit cards were created to ease in the arrival of the Antichrist. Or Blood on the Old Well, a tortured work proving that UNC-Chapel Hill's behavioral psychologists were murdering students. They were all servants of "that known homosexual, Mr. X." But my time spend with books I'd rather spend getting either the sensual treat of good prose or tracing the invincible follies of the human race.
I don't like intentional camp. I'd rather not even call it camp but I guess the word adheres to these exercises in proving who wittily superior the producer is. This little meander is prompted by my request for suggestions of movies to rent (and no one who made a suggestion should take offence).
I guess Nick Zed is the poster boy of art school camp. The pretension of achieving something by being a careless aesthetic sloven doesn't merely bores me, watching one of those movies annoys me.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is the lowbrow popular emblem of bad camp. Seems sad to let someone provide you with their own dull-witted laugh track. The jokes are often strained; at their best obvious.
Manufactured camp isn't for me; I'd much more happily wallow in smarmy nostalgia.