I’ve snobbishly held out against the sun-damaged charms of ITV’s package holiday sitcom Benidorm, set in the ‘all inclusive’ Hotel Solana, for several series. But the sixth one – which sadly this week pours the sand out of its shoes and packs its bags for another year – had me surrendering to it more legs akimbo than the Solanas’ Mrs Slocombe-esque manageress Joyce Temple-Savage for Matthew Kelly. Created and written by Derren Litten (co-writer for The Catherine Tate Show), Benidorm is Carry On meets St… Read More »“You’re As Camp as a Brighton Bus Queue!” – The Bon Mots of Benidorm
Sometimes I worry that I’m too difficult to please these days. At first glance I thought this latest example of ‘soldiers acting gay on video’, in this instance Swedish Marines in Afghanistan, was, despite the lashings of good humour on display, not to mention the military precision that has been put into the choreography, a little dissatisfying. And it wasn’t just the beards. Too many levels of irony here, I huffed. Macho mechanic Marines pretending to be chorus boys in Grease pretending to be macho mechanics.… Read More »Greased Up Swedish Marines
Mark Simpson interviews David Halperin about his controversial new book How To Be Gay (Originally appeared on Out.com 20/08/2012) I’ve always been a big fan of Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, and Doris Day. But it was a secret, shameful love – until, that is, David Halperin’s new book, How to Be Gay (Harvard University Press), finally gave me the strength to come out about it. Talking about gay culture can make people of all persuasions very angry indeed. When Halperin began teaching a course on it at the… Read More »Camp For Beginners: David Halperin’s ‘How To Be Gay’
Mark Simpson on the campness of Susan Sontag (Independent on Sunday, 2002) The first sentence in Susan Sontag’s latest collection of essays is eight lines long, mentions Camus and Pasternak and ends with the word “impinging”. But would we have it any other way? Sontag dares to look serious in a way that is somehow enhanced rather than undermined by that Bride of Frankenstein stripe of grey she sports these days. To hold on to your seriousness is quite an achievement in an age of… Read More »Does My Brain Look Big in This?
As camp comic Kenneth Williams might say: ‘ark at ‘er! An entertaining, often incisive, if rather, er, campy, Huffington Post article ‘The Diva’s Camp’ about Hillary’s diva power (and why this turns off ‘Obama-colytes’) compares Hillary Clinton to Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest: ‘Hillary Clinton is possessed by the spirit of Joan Crawford. Like that notorious über-bitch immortalized by Faye Dunaway in the camp classic Mommie Dearest, Hillary bulldozed into a Democratic primary dominated by men and brazenly declared, as any self-respecting diva would: Don’t… Read More »Who’s the Diva? Hillary or Obama?