On Tue, 29 Oct 2019 08:18:48 -0600, Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman Post by Ross Post by Jerry Friedman Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
This is clearly a use of "camp" that I've never met before. To me it
refers to the sort of style I associate with Kenneth Williams -- an
Anyway, the meaning of exaggeration to the point of irony, self-parody,
so-bad-it's-good is normal in the U.S.
Got a couple of current examples that those of us in remote
parts might be familiar with?
Here's an a.u.e. thread on the word from 2004. Tony Cooper had "Areff"
(Richard Fontana) to argue with in those days.
Ah, but with Areff it was good-natured arguing.
Post by Jerry Friedman
'It may be regional, but dressing "campy" was a fad when my son was in
high school. I remember him calling one of the girls the "camp vamp"
because she frequently wore beaded vintage dresses. "Camp" was not
That was an exchange based on how "camp" was used by high school
students in this area. When my son was in high school in 2004, he
didn't say anything about any homosexual slurs or even homosexual
discrimination. If either existed, he never said anything about it to
me and we had a fairly open relationship about such thing.
Our daughter's experience (2 years older than our son) in high school
was the same. One of the crowd she hung out with was openly gay and
rather swishy at times. (Our house was a popular hang-out for the
group, so I did notice such things.) Her date at the Senior Prom is
now in a same-sex marriage, but he was not "out" at the time. They
still keep in touch on FaceBook.
I think my son and his friends would have resented any association of
"camp" with swishiness. They didn't mean it that way. "Camp" was
excessive, theatrical, or dramatic in some way.
"Goth" was also popular in their high school days. Goth was dressing
in all black, stud collars, and purple or black lipstick. They were
excessive and theatrical, but not in a "camp" way. "Camp" was light;
Goth was dark.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Areff seems to have thought that Susan Sontag's definition went without
saying. Tony's and his son's definition may (Tony can help out here) be
based on the idea that "retro" clothes worn by young people always have
some self-conscious irony, a pose to be seen through.
My son's "camp" effort was sometimes wearing vintage bowling shirts.
He found some shirts at Goodwill with someone else's name embroidered
on them and some bowling club's logo on the back.
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida