Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Notes on 'Notes on Camp'

My friend Mark Allen speaks to Bruce LaBruce, who has a fun new take on Susan Sontag's infamous 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp.'" Read HERE.
LaBruce: My theory is that reality TV is quintessentially camp, but in a kind of disturbing, misdirected way. Mob Wives and the Real Housewives franchise, for example, are really about women acting out the lives of drag queens, except their bitchiness and greed and materialism is actually all too real; there's nothing artificial about it. And a lot of it is just real estate porn anyway. Then you have the other extreme: the low-brow, working-classic variety of reality TV. I mean, what could be more camp than Hillbilly Handfishin', except for maybe Celebrity Hillbilly Handfishin'? It's a bit sad, when you think about it, that the only popular representation of the working classes now is through these bad camp reality TV shows. No more The Grapes of Wrath or How Green Was My Valley, I guess, or even Green Acres, which I adore. Lisa Douglas (Eva Gabor) on that show was one of the most subversive, complex female characters ever portrayed on network television, a character who could actually see the credits of the show, communicate nonverbally with animals, and who abandoned her life of luxury and materialism in New York for the squalor of a broken-down farm and was still absolutely joyful! I don't know what Jodie Foster was talking about. I don't mind Honey Boo Boo. I like her gay uncle, Uncle Poodle. That's good gay camp!
Classic Gay Camp:
Carmen Miranda
Mae West
Joan Crawford
Bette Davis
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane
Art Nouveau
Art Deco
The Catholic Church
George Kuchar
Franklyn Pangborn
Edward Everett Horton
Paul Lynde
Charles Nelson Reilly
The Boys in the Band
The Killing of Sister George
John Waters movies
Mario Montez
Holly Woodlawn
Candy Darling
Jackie Curtis

 Bad Gay Camp:
Will and Grace
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
Misogynist Drag Queens
Neil Patrick Harris
Contemporary Broadway Musicals
Certain Ken Russell Films (The Boy Friend)
Perez Hilton
Adam Lambert
Lady Gaga

1 comment:

MikeMB said...

So basically, old guy likes old stuff, hates new stuff.